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S01.E02: Chapter Two: The Dark Baptism

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A legendary guest visits Spellman Mortuary, Ambrose explores a grim revelation, and Sabrina stuns the coven with a shocking announcement.

 

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I’m confused. By not signing the book, wouldn’t she start to lose her powers as Ambrose described? Is the “Dark Lord” allowing her to keep them in anticipation of her signing the book eventually? And the whole Satan worship/doing his bidding is not what witchcraft is supposed to be about, in my understanding. It’s more of a pagan/natural order thing. Maybe that’s what Sabrina’s parents were trying to create? 

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8 hours ago, DietCokeJunkie said:

I’m confused. By not signing the book, wouldn’t she start to lose her powers as Ambrose described? Is the “Dark Lord” allowing her to keep them in anticipation of her signing the book eventually?

This is what I wondered the first episode. There is some reason why he wants this particular girl, I bet to fulfill some sort of prophesy but you would think that not signing under the full blood moon would negate any prophesy. So, yes, confused.

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16 hours ago, DietCokeJunkie said:

And the whole Satan worship/doing his bidding is not what witchcraft is supposed to be about, in my understanding. It’s more of a pagan/natural order thing. Maybe that’s what Sabrina’s parents were trying to create? 

True, but real world Wiccans also aren’t considered a species other than human. 

Unless I was lied to in that interview I did for a paper in college...

Anyway, I really enjoyed the first two episodes, especially Sabrina’s relationship with Harvey. 

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I don't think "witches" in this show universe have any intention of having anything to do with real-life Wicca/witches/paganism. The show is treating it more like "witches" are just inverted Christianity (Catholicism?), but also sort of a different species.

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Witchcraft is a practice, with a skill set.  It's not an actual religion.  Practitioners of witchcraft are called witches.  Males are oftentimes referred to as warlocks, but in some circles the original meaning is kept, and that is the non-gender practitioner of black magic (evil magic).

Wicca is a religion that has been around since 1954 and is based on Paganism, with a new age and contemporary feel.  Wicca and Paganism are officially recognized by the U.S. military.  The pentacle was approved in 2007 as an emblem on military gravestones.

There can be witches who are Satanists, or devil worshipers, but not all witches believe in Satan, or are actively anti-Christian.  There are independent witches who practice their beliefs alone, some belong to a coven, are from a family of witches, or have to hide it from their families.

Hope this helps a little.  There is a lot to learn about the different forms of witchcraft!

The non-mortal witches in this series are more of the vampire myth variety.  IRL witches are basically humans who practice witchcraft.

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Maybe I am too old for this kind of show but it’s not the dark nature because I really enjoy these dark dark shows but every time Sabrina disobeys her aunts or the leader dude of the Coven I get kinda pissed at her.  I get the story idea of a girl living between two worlds but honestly it’s the witch world that interests me.  the human works I find insanely boring.

Also these aren’t wiccans.  Wicca is a religion.  This kind of witchcraft is working under a more devil worship idea of witchcraft.  Which I can work with.  I enjoyed WGN’s Salem and it worked under the same practice.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I too am uninterested in the Harvey romance and the high school girlfriends.  As an older adult myself, Chaos Theory, I was annoyed that Sabrina just had to go to the party and am wondering why the aunts didn't throw her a birthday party so they could keep an eye on her so she wouldn't be late to the Dark Baptism.

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On 28.10.2018 at 2:12 AM, DietCokeJunkie said:

I’m confused. By not signing the book, wouldn’t she start to lose her powers as Ambrose described? Is the “Dark Lord” allowing her to keep them in anticipation of her signing the book eventually? And the whole Satan worship/doing his bidding is not what witchcraft is supposed to be about, in my understanding. It’s more of a pagan/natural order thing. Maybe that’s what Sabrina’s parents were trying to create? 

I assume it will turn out to be a huge scam. That witches have these powers naturally and Satan just tricked them into his service. He is the prince of lies, afterall. That would also explain why witches already have their powers before the dark baptism.

Edited by Miles
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On October 27, 2018 at 9:12 PM, DietCokeJunkie said:

I’m confused. By not signing the book, wouldn’t she start to lose her powers as Ambrose described? Is the “Dark Lord” allowing her to keep them in anticipation of her signing the book eventually? And the whole Satan worship/doing his bidding is not what witchcraft is supposed to be about, in my understanding. It’s more of a pagan/natural order thing. Maybe that’s what Sabrina’s parents were trying to create? 

The coven seems family based and closed to non adherents (ie humans) and so descendants could very well be born with the powers of the coven that are then withdrawn if they choose to not fulfill the promise of fealty.

Of course witches and warlocks worship and draw their power from Satan...in the narrative. Much more interesting than nature lovers who commune with the earth. moreover that makes for a rather boring story.

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11 hours ago, CrystalBlue said:

IRL witches are basically humans who practice witchcraft.

I'm sorry, Crystalblue, but this sentence cracked me up since IRL witches are completely human. ?

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12 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

Maybe I am too old for this kind of show but it’s not the dark nature because I really enjoy these dark dark shows but every time Sabrina disobeys her aunts or the leader dude of the Coven I get kinda pissed at her.  I get the story idea of a girl living between two worlds but honestly it’s the witch world that interests me.  the human works I find insanely boring.

 

I agree. I find the witch world, the Aunts, and Ambrose to be infinitely more entertaining than Ros, Susie, and Harvey having a party and standing up to bullies. Which is one of the weaknesses of the show, IMHO, because the weight of the dilemma is that Sabrina can't bear to leave these people and this world behind. But meanwhile I'm rooting for her to do just that so we can get to more interesting things.

 

What annoys me about Sabrina is that she seems to think that the rules don't apply to her, and she can have both worlds equally. I know that pretty standard for the teen-coming-of-age drama, but what makes her think that she can have her cake and eat it to (i.e. powers without pledging allegiance to Satan and without giving up her mortal life)? Also, why doesn’t it ever come up that she would probably have to leave her witch family if she chooses a mortal life? 

 

Idk why, but that little scene where the Aunts go to pick up that creepy black goat cracked me up. Two weird spinster sisters dressed like they're from another era, out to buy a weird goat. What's not witchy and suspicious about that?

Edited by kitlee625
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I really liked that Sabrina was questioning what kind of commitment her dark baptism is. If your religion is going to have rites for older people (not just babies) then it seems you should expect them to have questions about what it all entails.

Faustus seemed like a slimy double talker when he came to answer her questions so I wasn't at all surprised to learn he had been lying about the free will stuff. He reminded me of those salespeople who will say anything to get you to hand over your credit card and get you enrolled in a lifelong monthly subscription service or a timeshare.

The Dark Lord may see Sabrina as defiant but I see her as having enough brain cells to realize that she doesn't want to be enslaved to him, forced to obey his commands for hundreds of years. He could order her to kill people she loves or to hurt innocent people, which isn't a stretch if signing the book means she will gain even more magical power and required to obey him. Only a moron would sign that without asking questions like that beforehand!

I was fine with Sabrina wanting to teach those mouth breathing assholes a lesson. Anyone who has ever witnessed a group of bullies can understand the desire to do something to get them to stop being such jerks. I was surprise that was the route she decided to go, but I guess knowing what they fear is all you really need.

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12 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

Maybe I am too old for this kind of show but it’s not the dark nature because I really enjoy these dark dark shows but every time Sabrina disobeys her aunts or the leader dude of the Coven I get kinda pissed at her.  I get the story idea of a girl living between two worlds but honestly it’s the witch world that interests me.  the human works I find insanely boring.

Also these aren’t wiccans.  Wicca is a religion.  This kind of witchcraft is working under a more devil worship idea of witchcraft.  Which I can work with.  I enjoyed WGN’s Salem and it worked under the same practice.

Yeah, the witch world is a hell (no pun intended) more exciting world than Sabrina's human one.  I could care less about her friends and her boyfriend isn't exactly Mr. Excitement himself.

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On the one hand, Sabrina saying no to her Dark Baptism and telling everyone how she can have both raises a ton of questions, after we had other rules established last episode. If Sabrina has said no to the book, does that mean she doesn't get powers anymore? And it seems like Sabrina is trying to have it both ways, and say that rules dont apply to her, and, like everyone else, I find the witch world way more interesting than the human world. On the other hand, I cant fault Sabrina for questioning the obviously creepy rituals her families religion requires her to do, and the head magic guy obviously lied to her about what this ceremony actually meant.

Loved Ambrose bluffing about creating a protection spell for Sabrina. I really want to know his backstory, and what he did to get on house arrest. What kind of thing is against the law for Satan worshiping witches?

I am pretty sure it will turn out that this whole book thing is a scam, and that you dont actually need to sign allegiance to the dark lord to have powers. Its probably a naturally occurring part of the witches subspecies, and the book stuff is just bullshit from the dark lord to keep them in line. 

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I didn't see this as Sabrina wanting both or acting like rules didn't apply to her. She never whined about the possibility of losing her powers -- she never talked about them at all.

1. She doesn't want to give up her mortal friends.

2. She's concerned about what she has to promise to join the Church of the Night.

Neither of those are unreasonable. She is under a LOT of pressure to sign the book, and she's looking for an upside. Doing what her family wants appears to be the only upside. Her powers haven't even been something she has discussed, pro or con. Left to her own devices, I think she'd have simply not signed the book and become mortal. It was everyone ELSE who couldn't let it go.

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On 10/28/2018 at 7:23 PM, CrystalBlue said:

Witchcraft is a practice, with a skill set.  It's not an actual religion.  Practitioners of witchcraft are called witches.  Males are oftentimes referred to as warlocks, but in some circles the original meaning is kept, and that is the non-gender practitioner of black magic (evil magic).

Wicca is a religion that has been around since 1954 and is based on Paganism, with a new age and contemporary feel.  Wicca and Paganism are officially recognized by the U.S. military.  The pentacle was approved in 2007 as an emblem on military gravestones.

There can be witches who are Satanists, or devil worshipers, but not all witches believe in Satan, or are actively anti-Christian.  There are independent witches who practice their beliefs alone, some belong to a coven, are from a family of witches, or have to hide it from their families.

Hope this helps a little.  There is a lot to learn about the different forms of witchcraft!

The non-mortal witches in this series are more of the vampire myth variety.  IRL witches are basically humans who practice witchcraft.

Thanks for this!  There is a lot to learn but this is very informative.

In my tradition of Wicca the term warlock describes an oath breaker as well.  I refer to myself and other male practitioners as witches.  Last I checked I'm human too.  :)
 

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On 11/2/2018 at 11:04 AM, Hawkes said:

Thanks for this!  There is a lot to learn but this is very informative.

In my tradition of Wicca the term warlock describes an oath breaker as well.  I refer to myself and other male practitioners as witches.  Last I checked I'm human too.  :)
 

I remember learning that as well.  Thanks for reminding me and expanding on it.  Most people think warlocks are male witches, good, bad or indifferent.  Nice to know you're human.  :)

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On 10/28/2018 at 11:09 PM, Miles said:

I assume it will turn out to be a huge scam. That witches have these powers naturally and Satan just tricked them into his service. He is the prince of lies, afterall. That would also explain why witches already have their powers before the dark baptism.

I suspect the same thing, especially because 

Spoiler

Later we see Roz and Susie having powers of their own, which implies to me that magical and psychic abilities are an inborn trait that doesn’t rely on an entity giving it to anyone. I assume practicing witchcraft just makes their abilities stronger.

 

I wouldn’t be surprised if going forward that this will become a huge conflict in the witch and Church of Satan community, if and when some of them start questioning whether they need Satan or not.

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Sooo.... Does the blatant misandry and overtly feminist bullshit messaging ever get dropped or curbed? There is a fairly intriguing premise here but I can't see it holding my interest if it stays mired in that garbage rhetoric. Female superiority doesn't correlate to gender equality; it can be played for humor but these writers appear incapable of that. You'd think a show that's championing the cause of a non binary character like Suzie would be more careful about sending mixed signals. Hopefully, they stop using ink laden jackhammers to carve out this nonsense and get on with telling a great story.

I get the necessity for the human friends and all, no real issue with it, but the witch stuff and all the family background is definitely more interesting.

Also, Harvey needs to stop calling her 'Brina; he sounds like a dumbass.

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Harvey is a dumbass and has got to be the most boring, uninteresting character in the whole show.  Not that I condone 16-year-olds having sex outside of marriage, but the pristine kisses and no-chemistry vibes I get from Sabrina and Harvey are like the 50s.

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Trying this out. Have some thoughts:

Why does one aunt have an American accent and one a British accent? They do seem to be actual sisters, since one of them asserts her right to kill the other one due to being the older sibling, or something. (That felt lifted directly from Neil Gaiman’s Cain and Abel characters in Sandman, which was also referenced in this episode IIRC.)

Michelle Gomez will always be Sue White from Green Wing for me, and she makes a fantastic wicked witch. I wish there was more of her so far. 

Zzzzzzz on the teen storylines, although I enjoyed the Wyrd Sisters v Bros scene very much. 

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On 10/28/2018 at 7:23 PM, CrystalBlue said:

Witchcraft is a practice, with a skill set.  It's not an actual religion.  Practitioners of witchcraft are called witches.  Males are oftentimes referred to as warlocks, but in some circles the original meaning is kept, and that is the non-gender practitioner of black magic (evil magic).

Wicca is a religion that has been around since 1954 and is based on Paganism, with a new age and contemporary feel.  Wicca and Paganism are officially recognized by the U.S. military.  The pentacle was approved in 2007 as an emblem on military gravestones.

There can be witches who are Satanists, or devil worshipers, but not all witches believe in Satan, or are actively anti-Christian.  There are independent witches who practice their beliefs alone, some belong to a coven, are from a family of witches, or have to hide it from their families.

Hope this helps a little.  There is a lot to learn about the different forms of witchcraft!

The non-mortal witches in this series are more of the vampire myth variety.  IRL witches are basically humans who practice witchcraft.

Very late to the party, but I just started the series.  It had been on my radar but I was catching up on other shows (and you know those pesky real life responsibilities), so I didn't start watching it until a friend said, "You have to watch Sabrina, so we can talk about it.  It's bonkers."  So, far she's right it's pretty bonkers, in a good way for the most part.

That being said, as a pagan I do have some issues with how religion is being presented so far (I'm in episode 5 as of writing this).  I actually don't have a problem with the whole witches are the handmaids of Satan thing per se (It's a fantasy show I can turn off my brain if it's just witches=evil).  It's just that they don't seem to be very consistent in whether that is a good or a bad thing.  The way witches talk about Satan in the show is very close to how actual Satanists (most of whom don't believe in an actual Satan but see him more as an archetypal figure) view him as an archetype of free will and access to knowledge.  He did tempt Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, many see him as freeing humanity.  But the show has their church being corrupt and evil and if there were hints that this was some perversion of the actual Dark Lord's intention, I think that would be interesting.  But it doesn't seem to be, Satan seems to want to use Sabrina as some sort of tool...or something.  Also, you know witches are apparently cannibals too.  I can see why the Church of Satan was a tad pissed off that they used a figure very close to their representation of Satan on the show.

Also not to pick nits, but the word Wicca comes from the old English word for Witch, so many Wiccans would say they simply practice Witchcraft (and generally when Witchcraft is capitalized it is referring to Wicca), especially someone who practices British Traditional Wicca.  But the history of Wicca and Witchcraft is very muddy.  British Traditional Wicca began with Gardner, who claimed to simply be teaching an ancient religion (if you're interested you can google Witch Cult), which is totally false, but many Wiccans still believe that narrative.  To muddy the waters further different Traditional covens broke off from each other and then Neo-Wiccans or Solitary Wiccans began to pop up as people began to write books about Wicca and Witchcraft revealing aspects (but not generally all because what goes on in trad coven is typically oathbound) of the religion to the general public.  What goes on in trad covens is often not nearly as warm and fuzzy as Neo-Wiccans (who generally only access through the sanitized non-oathbound stuff) would have you believe.

Also, Paganism is not a religion itself, but a loose collection of non-Christian religions.  They often tend to be Earth-based religions, not all of them are. There are even some really right-wing people who practice Asatru or Heathenism, which is based on the Old Norse religions (that is not to say all Heathens are right-wing or racist, but they do exist).  There are dozens of other Pagan religions some bigger or smaller.  Individual Pagan religions tend to be orthopractic, instead of orthodoxical.  Which means, members of the religion agree to practice the same way, but that doesn't mean they believe the same things.  Which makes everything even more confusing and I doubt we'll ever get a really good representation of Paganism on a mainstream TV show. 

That being said I'm not super thrilled about the zigzagging the show seems to be doing with Witches.  Are they simply evil?  Is it a mixed bag, where some are evil and some are good (but only Sabrina and her family ever seem to be even close to good)?  Is it simply a question of orange and blue morality where their morals simply don't align with the "mortal" world at all?  I'm not sure yet, and I don't know if I hold much faith that the show will make a definitive choice.  So far it just seems to be what furthers the plot, causes the most angst for Sabrina or makes the coolest/funniest moment.

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I just started watching this as I was looking for something new to watch. I have to admit I was disappointed by the ending of the episode. Instead of going full blown Charmed or Buffy they should have stuck with the "dark lord" being a religious figure instead of a real being that they interact with. It reminded me to much of the Demons that both of those shows faced which got really stupid quickly.   It would have been way more interesting to have her sign the book and then stay at the muggle school. As it would add conflict of her being between the two worlds and with her family.  While keeping both relevant.   Plus would add more of a interesting plot as she realized the truth of what they really stand for after she already signed it. Based on what her cousin said, she'll begin to lose her powers once she turned her back on them. Which would make her mortal with is okay. I'm not sure why the coven cares as most of the community seem to think of her as a disgrace and that is were she belongs anyway.

I guess I'm in the minority that I didn't mind her mortal scenes but I couldn't help comparing it to the 90's show. Which is way better! Sure it's comparing apples and oranges as that show is way more light hearted and fun. But if I remember correctly there episodes that dealt with both worlds.  Plus obviously the characters were better of course I'm comparing a whole show with only two episodes.

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