|“||Due to conflicts of contract, baptism, and breeding, the Hellbound Court of Greendale decrees that Sabrina Spellman shall retain her mortal life on the condition that she also attend the Academy of Unseen Arts as well as weekly Black Mass.||”|
|— Faustus Blackwood|
Down the silent halls of Baxter High, time seems to slow as Sabrina runs out of Principal Hawthrone’s office, the Dark Lord's words filling her head, "Your flesh is mortal, and in the end, all mortal flesh must die." She reaches the girl's restroom and throws up. Madam Satan follows Sabrina into the restroom after watching her flee Hawthorne’s office. Sabrina insists that she’s fine and leaves.
Meanwhile, Ambrose prepares for Connor’s wake. He enters the main room to find Connor’s iguana sitting on top of his casket. Ambrose takes the iguana and asks Zelda and Hilda how to get it to talk. Zelda says that Ambrose isn’t allowed a familiar per the rules of his house arrest. However, Ambrose thought if he could get it to speak, he could find out how Connor died. Unfortunately, familiars are bound to their witches, and so it’ll be dead soon. The greatest agony a familiar can know is a life without its master.
Rosalind informs Sabrina, Harvey, and Susie of the latest problem at Baxter High. She went to get her book, The Bluest Eye approved for class only for Mr. Garland to reject it as her book had been deemed problematic. Susie wants to take the fight to Hawthorne with WICCA’s help. And so, Sabrina, Rosalind, and Susie confront Hawthorne, who claims that they don’t ban books at Baxter High. However, the book Rosalind proposed has graphic passages. Certain topics and titles have no place at the school.
After being shut down by Hawthorne, Sabrina, Rosalind, and Susie head into the library to investigate as Rosalind believes that Hawthorne is lying about not banning books. They confront the librarian Ms. Curtis with their suspicion as they can’t seem to find any of the supposedly controversial books that should be in the library. Ms. Curtis reveals that a few years ago, there was a soft purge of bad books.
Sabrina returns home to learn from Hilda, Zelda, and Ambrose that she’s received an Infernal Summons. Sabrina’s been charged with an offense, a Breach of Promise. She made a promise to sign the Dark Lord’s Book of the Beast and then broke it when she ran away. Now she will be judged and tried in front of their coven. Sabrina reveals that she saw the Dark Lord after he took possession of Hawthorne and threatened her. Still, Sabrina refuses to pledge her loyalty to him. Zelda informs Sabrina that not only has she been summoned, but Hilda and Zelda have been as well. All three are on trial as it was their duty to see Sabrina down the right path. Guilty until proven innocent is witch law. They had been stripped of their powers, meaning they will age and rot rapidly until a verdict is reached. It had already started as one of Hilda’s teeth have fallen out. Sabrina’s trial is at midnight, and she is expected to attend.
Sabrina asks Ambrose if there was any way for her to fight the trial as she never promised the Dark Lord that she would sign the Book of the Beast. Ambrose informs Sabrina of lawyer and occultist Daniel Webster. He’s mortal, but is rumored to have beaten the Devil himself.
As High Priest, Faustus Blackwood is tasked with being the Dark Lord’s prosecutor. Zelda hopes they can settle this without a public trial, but Blackwood informs her it’s too late for that. However, if Zelda could get Sabrina to admit her wrongdoing and beg for forgiveness, then she may be excused. With her powers taken away, Zelda continues to age. As Blackwood strokes her hair, a lock of it falls from her head. Madam Satan watches from the coroner, though doesn’t expose her position until after Zelda leaves. She reminds Blackwood that Sabrina has been put in her charge. Madam Satan eased her to the alter, but it was Blackwood who failed to get her to sign. He denies this, blaming Sabrina’s reluctance to sign on Madam Satan, who informs him not to underestimate Sabrina.
Sabrina knocks on Daniel Webster's door and tells him she needs his help to fight the devil as she’s being tried for Breach of Promise after running from her Dark Baptism. Sabrina claims they lied and coerced her, and now her family is being punished. She is hoping he could help, but Webster no longer practices. After Sabrina leaves, Webster looks to his daughter’s photo on the wall.
Harvey’s brother Tommy looks through his numerous graphic drawings, which Harvey sells to Dr. Cerberus who runs the book store. He even offered Harvey a weekend job, which is unwelcome news to his father, who tells Harvey that it he wants a job then he can start taking shifts at the mines. Tommy argues they can manage without Harvey, but Mr. Kinkle will hear nothing of it.
Just outside the church where the trial is being held, Zelda instructs Hilda and Sabrina to admit their wrongs and accept their punishment before the court. Sabrina stands accused before the Infernal Three for Breach of Promise. When the accused is confirmed guilty, she will abandon her mortal life immediately and upon her death, she will burn for 333 years in the Pit. Daniel Webster enters the church as Sabrina’s counsel, stating that she pleads not guilty.
The court takes a recess, during which time Zelda scolds Sabrina for hiring Webster. She remembers how he used to sniff around Edward many years ago. Edward was the reason Webster came to Greendale. He taught Webster witch law and offered him comfort when there wasn’t any. Webster is hoping to return the favor.
Court is back in session and Father Blackwood interrogates Sabrina, ultimately accusing her of breaking her promise to the Dark Lord. Webster counters that there were no contracts, thus no case. Father Blackwood submits the Book of the Beast as evidence. In it is Sabrina’s name, though it was submitted only a few days after she was born. Additionally, Blackwood calls Zelda to the stand. On the day Sabrina’s name was written into the book, Zelda accompanied Edward into the woods, with baby Sabrina in his arms. When they reached a clearing, he placed her on an altar and signed her name into the Book of the Beast, promising her name to the Dark Lord.
Court adjourns and the Spellmans return home. Sabrina now realizes that her aunt Zelda’s strong-arming her to sign the book was her attempt to cover up the fact that Sabrina had already been pawned off to the Dark Lord. Ambrose tends to a rapidly aging Hilda as Zelda explains that Sabrina was never supposed to find out. Edward needed a witness. He had struck a bargain with the Dark Lord. With permission to marry Sabrina’s mother Diana, Edward would sign Sabrina’s name in the Book of the Beast.
Madam Satan pays Webster a home visits disguised as his dead daughter. She tells him that he should be spending his time getting ready to join her in hell rather than defending Sabrina.
On their way to school, Sabrina and Harvey share how they both got into it with their respective guardians, Harvey with his dad and Sabrina with her aunt. Harvey’s dad was making him work at the mines, which Harvey is terrified of. 8 years ago, he was playing hide-and-seek with Tommy and a couple of his friend. Harvey decided to hide in the mines. He was in there for over an hour and no one found him. While looking for a way out, he saw unbeknownst to him, the Dark Lord. He was terrified, frozen with fear and crying. He was still crying when Tommy found him five hours later. He worries that it’s still down there waiting for him.
Madam Satan, under her persona of Ms. Wardwell, informs Sabrina and Harvey that WICCA are making their voices heard. Rosalind and Susie are handing out lists of all the books that had been removed from Baxter High. Principal Hawthorne arrives on scene to inform them that he called the PTA and the school board about The Bluest Eye. They were reviewing the matter and would come back to him with their thoughts.
Connor Kemper’s wake is held at Spellman Mortuary. The Kempers can barely hold themselves together. Ambrose notices a man standing in the far corner and approaches him. His name is Luke. He reveals that he and Connor dated a few times. Luke mentions Connor’s iguana, leaving Ambrose to question if Luke is also a warlock, though he doesn’t sway one way or the other. Ambrose reveals that he has Connor’s iguana upstairs if Luke wanted to see, but Luke declines.
Madame Satan cast a spell from her office. Time and space around Sabrina appears to freeze as she sits in class. She sees Webster’s daughter in the hallway and follows her to the library, where a book of article clippings pertaining to Webster awaits Sabrina. He was criminal defense lawyer, helping the worst kinds of offenders, killers, rapists, and cannibals, get off.
Sabrina confronts Webster, referring to him as the "Defender of the Damned" as he helped free murderers and monsters. She fires Webster as her attorney. He tries to explain that much like Sabrina, he was once trapped by the devil. He made a deal, a long time ago, to become the greatest lawyer in the world. A different book, but the same beast. Webster started winning cases. And by the time he realized that the only cases he got were defending monsters, it was too late. That was the Dark Lord’s trick, because there’s always a trick, as well as a price. Webster had set a man free who had done unspeakable things to a number of women. And after Webster freed him, he broke in and he did those things to Webster’s daughter. While he’s done more than his share of bad, he thinks he can save Sabrina.
Court is in session and Webster calls Zelda and Hilda to the stand. Both are certified midwives. They’ve delivered many babies in the witch community, including Sabrina. Given Sabrina’s dual nature, he argues that she’s only half subject to the rules of the court. He demands a jury of mortals and a change or venue.
Ambrose receives a surprise visit from Luke, who reveals that much like Ambrose and Connor, he too is a warlock. They then proceed to hookup.
If Sabrina’s dominant nature, witch or mortal, is to be determined, Father Blackwood wishes to test her with human laws, such as subjecting her to trial by water to see if she floats or sinks and stripping and examining her in front of the coven for a witch’s mark.
Sabrina, Zelda, Hilda, and Webster return home where they discuss their next course of action. Webster questions if Sabrina has a mark. Before she can answer, Father Blackwood interrupts and reveals that he pleaded to the Dark Lord on Sabrina’s behalf. He has offered a path. He will wave Sabrina’s punishment in the Pit and allow her yearly visitations with her mortal friends so long as she ratify her signature in the Book of the Beast and withdraw from Baxter High to begin her studies at the Academy of Unseen Arts. They’ll await her answer the following night in court. Zelda encourages Sabrina to take the deal, but Webster insists that it’s a trick.
The following morning, Salem sits in the pet cemetery. Just inside, Ambrose awakens. Luke is gone, but he’s written his name and number on the banister above the bed. Ambrose gets out of bed to find that Connor’s iguana has died.
While walking through the woods, Sabrina stops, undresses, and asks Harvey if he can find her witch’s mark. Harvey looks, but he can’t seem to find a mark.
Sabrina arrives at school, where Rosalind and Susie inform her of the upcoming town hall meeting where they could present their case to the PTA, but it was scheduled in three months. Rosalind reveals that there is something deeper at the root of her mission. She has Myopic atrophy. In about three months, maybe less, Rosalind will be completely and totally blind. She counted how many books she could read in that time, and that’s why every single one is important.
Harvey reports for his first shift in the mines with Tommy, though he instantly starts to panic at the thought of entering. Tommy recalls Harvey’s last encounter in the mines and sends him home.
Sabrina comes home with a decision. She informs Zelda, Hilda, Ambrose, and Webster that she’s decided not to take Blackwood’s deal. Instead, she’ll submit to his exam as she doesn’t have a witch’s mark. When they find out that she doesn’t have it, Webster will demand a retrial in human court, and she’ll demand that Zelda and Hilda’s powers and youth are restored. Once Sabrina and Webster are gone, Hilda jumps to her feet in anger. She heads upstairs, telling Zelda not to wait for her and to ensure Sabrina makes it to court. As it turns out, Hilda has a secret of her own. Inside a chest, Hilda has a baby record book.
Mr. Kinkle returns home in a fit of rage after learning that Harvey skipped his shift in the mines. Tommy pulls his dad off of his brother and tells him that Harvey is done with the mines, even if that means Tommy has to cover his shifts or hire more guys.
Court is in session. Sabrina, Zelda, Blackwood, Webster, Prudence, Dorcas, and Agatha are in attendance. Just as Father Blackwood is about to begin Sabrina’s examination for a witch’s mark, Hilda interrupts with new evidence which Webster submits to the court. Sabrina’s name is printed onto a baptismal certificate from the Holy Mother Church of Greendale, witnessed by Diana and Hilda, meaning there are competing claims upon Sabrina’s soul. However, Webster argues they have a binding contract notarized and dated one day before Edward inscribed Sabrina’s name to the Book of the Beast, therefore rendering Sabrina’s name in the Book of the Beast null and void. Father Blackwood and Webster are summoned to the courts’ private chambers.
Just outside, Zelda questions how Hilda could witness Sabrina being signed over to a Christian church. Hilda explains that Edward had no idea that Sabrina was baptized and Diana had asked her to keep it a secret. With that, Sabrina denounced any and all secrecy within the family and asked that her aunts do the same.
Back in the church, Father Blackwood announces that due to conflicting contracts, baptism, and breeding, the Hellbound Court of Greendale decrees that Sabrina shall retain her mortal life on the condition that she also attend the Academy of Unseen Arts, as well as weekly Black Mass. Sabrina accepts the court’s decision. With a ruling in effect, the court restores full power to the Spellman family.
After the final ruling, Sabrina invites Webster over to celebrate, but he declines. She thanks him nonetheless for helping her win and gives him a hug. Before parting ways, he advises Sabrina to take advantage of her qualified victory to learn everything she can about her adversary and fight for what’s hers.
Later that night, Zelda informs Hilda that she’s been excommunicated from the Church of Night for her part in Sabrina’s Catholic baptism. She’s cast doubt on their faith in the Dark Lord, for which he was vengeful.
Madam Satan is not impressed with the most recent ruling, stating that Father Blackwood’s half-victory is no true win. However, he did as promised by getting Sabrina to the Academy. Now that she’s under his watch and authority, he will either bend Sabrina to his will or break her. Madam Satan explains that Sabrina’s strength, the bonds that must be severed are those to the mortals around her.
Rosalind fears as her eye sight worsens. She looks into the bathroom mirror, and her eyes temporarily turn pitch black, though they restore to their natural coloration upon Sabrina’s arrival. She approaches Rosalind and brings her to the library, where Madam Satan, Susie and the ladies of WICCA wait to read The Bluest Eye. Sponsored by WICCA, the ladies had arranged a secret book club, which they hoped Rosalind would lead.
- This episode is based on issue 5 of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic series, where Sabrina also has to stand trial for her dark baptism being disrupted.
- John Rubinstein plays Daniel Webster, a lawyer who sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest lawyer ever but was then cursed to represent and free the most evil defendants. Previously, John Rubinstein appeared on the supernatural American television series Angel, playing Linwood Murrow, a lawyer who sold his soul to the devil and worked for the demonic law firm of Wolfram & Hart, where he represented and freed the most evil defendants.
- The Devil and Daniel Webster is a 1936 short story in which the famous real life lawyer Daniel Webster defends a man who sold his soul to the Devil.
- Ambrose hears knocking at his window and then Luke appears in his room and says "open the window mark", a reference to the 1979 American miniseries Salem's Lot.
- When Sabrina runs into the girls bathroom, there is a sign on the wall that says "Plug It Up, Plug It Up, Plug It Up", a reference to the scene in Carrie that takes place in the girls locker room, and is the precipitating incident for Carrie's powers.
- ↑ Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Gets Premiere Date (And It's Spooky) - TVLine
- ↑ Upcoming Episode Titles - Various Shows - 15th July 2018 - SpoilerTV