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S02.E01: Chapter Twelve: The Epiphany

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As Sabrina prepares for a spellbinding showcase, Susie embraces a series of new beginnings, and Ms. Wardwell finds greater purpose at Baxter High.

 

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It seemed stupid for Sabrina to make Suzie/Theo so good at basketball, it is only going to make him look stupid when Sabrina is not around, unless Principal Wardwell is going to take  Sabrina's place.

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2 hours ago, AngelKitty said:

That's what I thought too. Her help isn't going to be appreciated when her human friends find out.

I thought the coach had a really good point that beliefs or not, Susie/Theo's own merits don't place him on the basketball team.

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That was my first thought too.  I mean I get that Sabrina wanted to help her friend, but it's not going to help in the long run (and I suspect we might see that play out).  I know next to nothing about basketball but I haven't seen many short people playing competitively, and Susie/Theo is a short person.  Principal Wardwell's observing was interesting - she was clearly keen for Theo to try out but whether it was just a gender thing or she had her own nefarious reasons is something I hope we get clarity on.  I suspect her watching the tryouts was more about Sabrina than Theo.

The trial was interesting - I liked that Sabrina got help from the Weird Sisters and that she and Nick weren't really that competitive and ended up working together.  There were some nice scenes in the episode and I'm glad the show is back, but the 'men are oppressing women' thing was laid on far too thick.  More subtlety please.

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The beginning of the episode with Sabrina magically changing clothes in front of her mirror was a really nice nod to the Melissa Joan Hart Sabrina. The two versions are so very different that there's little room for overlap, so sneaking in that reference was a cute idea.

Sabrina's exasperation with the boys' club mentality and questioning what century they all lived in made me laugh, because really, that's an excellent question! I don't mind the ambiguity of the time period in some respects; the retro clothes are cool and I like the candles lighting the scenes at the academy. But if Sabrina's using expressions like "throwing shade" then we're clearly in the smartphone era and maybe the characters should reflect that in other ways. And as for the magical community, just what century are they living in if the women haven't pushed back against the blatant patriarchy ruling their lives?

Theo's emergence was treated gracefully, but otherwise the basketball plot was a miss for me. Theo shouldn't be on the team without the skills to back it up, which I'm sure will become evident when Sabrina's not magically assisting (bad Sabrina, bad!).

I like Nick and Sabrina's relationship and that they teamed up rather than be pitted against each other. Ambrose ultimately getting the Top Boy position was a let down; I wanted Prudence. I'd like to see her come into herself more and realize that her strength comes from within, and isn't tied up in Father Blackwood's name or approval.

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I really want to like this show, but they make it so hard. The witch world makes no sense at all. If a head boy gets chosen every year, how do they all end up becoming high priest? Their coven only seems to have about 50 people, how do they have enough witches to kill and eat one every year?

I don't think the message that girls can only win because they are dirty, rotten cheaters is empowering. Sabrina didn't know the material and wasn't prepared. And it's hard to take all of her complaints that she couldn't study the night before the test because of demons seriously when Nick went out partying all night before the test and was still able to compete. (The only thing that was impressive was how fast the weird sisters were able to do research and find the answers). It's hard to root for Sabrina when she does things like angrily ask, "Are you accusing me of cheating?!?" When she did fucking cheat!  

Suzy/Theo does not have the skills needed to compete on the basketball team. The coach and players aren't jerks because they only want skilled players on their team. Also, how do they not have a girls team? Title IX was created back in the 70's. It would have made more sense for them to have a girls' team, but Theo wanted to try out for the boys' team because he was ready to transition. 

Did Hilda lie to Sabrina about how to win the potion contest? She told Sabrina as long as she didn't use near rhymes she would win, but Nick "rhymed" blood and good and the potion stayed stable. Then when Sabrina rhymes shark and dark, the potion goes bad. It didn't make any sense.

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Question.. is there a reason why the seasons are not listed separately? 

(Sorry if this question isn't in the right place. I didn't see a mod listed for this series)

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IIRC, the first two seasons were originally pitched and purchased as one full season. So what some media is referring to as the second season is really the back half of season one.

The Suzie/Theo character arc has been poorly done, and it's disappointing. Suzie had no character development, which makes the decision to transition to Theo (and sorry, I have no idea how to handle names and pronouns in this fictional situation) mystifying. But more mystifying is both why he wanted to try out for basketball and why we're expected as viewers to support him over the coach and team. Theo's demonstrated no athletic ability or interest, and it's established canon that he can't actually play without Sabrina's witchcraft. I feel like there was a plot/character development that could have been interesting with Theo initially trying out for basketball as part of a stereotyped notion of what being a man means and then realizing/accepting that he doesn't need to be a jock to be his true man self. Instead, we get Sabrina cheating for him and this being shown as progressive.

I really wish the show would be less heavy handed on its sexism storylines. Somehow, it's all ending up muddled instead of inspiring.

I'm sure they hired a real bellydancer to portray Salome because why on earth wouldn't they? But that was some non-sexy, non-inspired dancing. And an all-male club doesn't seem like a great environment for the non-gay warlocks to engage in keep-it-secret debauchery. Again, I feel like the script writers aren't really thinking their scripts through.

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1 hour ago, Zuleikha said:

IIRC, the first two seasons were originally pitched and purchased as one full season. So what some media is referring to as the second season is really the back half of season one.

The Suzie/Theo character arc has been poorly done, and it's disappointing. Suzie had no character development, which makes the decision to transition to Theo (and sorry, I have no idea how to handle names and pronouns in this fictional situation) mystifying. But more mystifying is both why he wanted to try out for basketball and why we're expected as viewers to support him over the coach and team. Theo's demonstrated no athletic ability or interest, and it's established canon that he can't actually play without Sabrina's witchcraft. I feel like there was a plot/character development that could have been interesting with Theo initially trying out for basketball as part of a stereotyped notion of what being a man means and then realizing/accepting that he doesn't need to be a jock to be his true man self. Instead, we get Sabrina cheating for him and this being shown as progressive.

I really wish the show would be less heavy handed on its sexism storylines. Somehow, it's all ending up muddled instead of inspiring.

I'm sure they hired a real bellydancer to portray Salome because why on earth wouldn't they? But that was some non-sexy, non-inspired dancing. And an all-male club doesn't seem like a great environment for the non-gay warlocks to engage in keep-it-secret debauchery. Again, I feel like the script writers aren't really thinking their scripts through.

Suzie/Theo story seemed unnecessary actually. I guess the show wanted to point that anyone can became whoever they want and be happy with it but as you described it didn't really go as planned.

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1 hour ago, Zuleikha said:

The Suzie/Theo character arc has been poorly done, and it's disappointing. Suzie had no character development, which makes the decision to transition to Theo (and sorry, I have no idea how to handle names and pronouns in this fictional situation) mystifying. But more mystifying is both why he wanted to try out for basketball and why we're expected as viewers to support him over the coach and team. Theo's demonstrated no athletic ability or interest, and it's established canon that he can't actually play without Sabrina's witchcraft. I feel like there was a plot/character development that could have been interesting with Theo initially trying out for basketball as part of a stereotyped notion of what being a man means and then realizing/accepting that he doesn't need to be a jock to be his true man self. Instead, we get Sabrina cheating for him and this being shown as progressive.

This is what happens when you bring a character on purely to be the token minority character. I feel like Theo's entire point is to be the little trans boy who teaches everybody how to be woke. I think the only reason we even see him try out for the team is to put him into Blonde Evil Jock Boy's territory and I won't be surprised if we see less of him as the series goes on. Lachlan Wilson is not a bad actor but unless he goes evil I really don't see the point. Honestly, I'm with the people who want them to just drop Baxter High entirely but they won't because this show is being built so much around Harvey and Sabrina's angst.

Edited by methodwriter85
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I think it was odd to have Suzie's getting on the basketball team be all "ooh, girl power, equal rights, girls can play sports" only to turn around and go "nope, she just wants to be a boy so she wants to play boy sports" no girl power here, move along. 

I appreciate that they are trying to tell a story that is very rarely told, but they are doing a piss poor job at it. 

Edited by Mabinogia
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4 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

I think it was odd to have Suzie's getting on the basketball team be all "ooh, girl power, equal rights, girls can play sports" only to turn around and go "nope, she just wants to be a boy so she wants to play boy sports" no girl power here, move along. 

I appreciate that they are trying to tell a story that is very rarely told, but they are doing a piss poor job at it. 

Yeah, that was kind of a botched message, wasn't it?  Trying to use the same character to do a "girl power" story and a girl-to-boy transition story simultaneously.  And as others have pointed out, how is someone, girl or boy, who is not good at basketball and who doesn't even really have the required body type (height), going to be able to keep playing once Sabrina is not there to help cheat?  Sabrina would need to put a permanent "good at basketball" spell on Theo, which didn't seem to be the message they were going for.

This show IMO isn't good with Sabrina's friendships.  Harvey, Suzie/Theo, and Roz all seem like they come from an after-school special about teenage detectives or something.  Like they tried to cram in some junior Scooby-Doo characters or something.

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So, its an "empowering girl power" story because...the girl who wants to play on the boys team needs magic to be any good, and is actually only doing it because "she" is actually a trans boy, and Sabrina is all indignation that she was accused of cheating...when she totally did cheat. Kind of sending mixed signals there, show. 

I mean, I can appreciate what they're trying to do with Suzie who is now Theo, and its great that they want to represent a marginalized group, but it feels rather disingenuous, like its just something they want to do to score some work points.

Like, Lord Blackwood has always had a sexist kind of vibe to him, and so has the coven in general, but it wasnt so over the top blatant as it was here. Is the only way to make a feminist story to have an Evil Misogynist Man around to say evil misogynist stuff and be shot down by the heroine?

Anyway, despite my gripes, I am happy to get more episodes of this show. I liked that Nick and Sabrina worked together, even when they were competing, the demons and their curses were sufficiently creepy, and Sabrina changing her outfits with magic was a cute shout out to Sabrina the Teenage Witch. So there are some things that are probably going to continue to bug me, but i am still interested to see where we go from here.

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In s1, the coven's sexism was less overt. It popped up every now and then in relationship to the Dark Lord or Father Blackwood, but it seemed like in the general day to day, it was more egalitarian/feminine power supporting. It didn't seem like the type of place where only boys would be allowed a top student position. It was a contrast with Baxter High--not the exact same crap. Now it's the exact same crap. 

It's just tiring. There are other ways to tell this type of story.

I don't mind Sabrina's faux-outrage about cheating because Blackwood was cheating with the questions he asked her. I also still don't understand what happened in the bubble contest. 

I realized what annoys me most about the way Theo's story has developed is that when we left off Suzie last season, Suzie was connecting with the ghost of Dorothea. As far as we saw, Dorothea was not a transman. She was a gender role non-conforming cis-woman. Suzie's conflict was also portrayed as being about expression--she was mocked for not dressing girlishly enough. But even though the defense of Suzie was explicitly tied to girl power and sisterhood with the whole W.I.C.C.A. thing, Suzie was never  shown to have discomfort with her gender identity. So it feels like a weird leap. It felt like at most Suzie was going to explore a non-binary identity, but then all of a sudden Suzie's transitioned to Theo and always felt like a boy. I have no idea how Theo got from where we left off to where we are now, or what Dorothea's history and ghost had to do with any of it.

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If Theo was good at basketball I'd see giving him a chance. But if he's not good then the coach has every right to cut him like all the other boys that are not good enough. Sabrina using magic to help was all kinds of wrong, because when they actually have a game and she's not there Theo is not going to help the team. Plus the only position that allows you to be shorter is the point guard, but the point guard makes up for their lack of height with their skill and speed and Theo knew nothing about the game.

This show is terrible at helping with the messages they are trying to send. Equality doesn't mean just because you want it you should get it. You need the skill to back it up. Sabrina didn't study and cheated. That's not proving she's right for the job. 

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On 4/6/2019 at 5:11 AM, Linny said:

I like Nick and Sabrina's relationship and that they teamed up rather than be pitted against each other. Ambrose ultimately getting the Top Boy position was a let down; I wanted Prudence. I'd like to see her come into herself more and realize that her strength comes from within, and isn't tied up in Father Blackwood's name or approval.

During the entire Top Boy competition nomination, I was kind of irritated that Sabrina never uttered Prudence's name. Prudence is a stronger more knowledgeable witch than Sabrina. I would have liked it if Sabrina mentioned other witches who should have been nominated for Top Person and included Prudence, but still had a caveat along the lines of "but not Prudence because she's the worst."

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On 4/5/2019 at 3:44 PM, methodwriter85 said:

I thought the coach had a really good point that beliefs or not, Susie/Theo's own merits don't place him on the basketball team.

I found the parallel competition stories kind of interesting this episode. Theo probably didn't have a shot at making the basketball team, because he's not good at basketball, and Sabrina probably didn't have a shot at winning the school competition because she's brand new and hasn't studied anything yet, but both of them were initially denied the right to even try because of their gender, which is where it becomes gallingly unfair. And, once you've been honest about that -- once you've come right out and told somebody to their face that the possibility that they could succeed is so disgusting to you that you won't even let them compete -- it makes the question of whether it's okay to cheat a little more complicated.

I think the discrimination stuff was heavy-handed in this episode, but there's also something annoying accurate and lifelike about the ultimate outcome of the magic competition, where Blackwood would rather pick a random adult who doesn't even go there than a female student.

On 4/6/2019 at 12:16 PM, Rockstar99435 said:

Did Hilda lie to Sabrina about how to win the potion contest? She told Sabrina as long as she didn't use near rhymes she would win, but Nick "rhymed" blood and good and the potion stayed stable. Then when Sabrina rhymes shark and dark, the potion goes bad. It didn't make any sense.

My explanation for this is that, if Sabrina's a beginner, the safest thing for her to do is stick to simple, obvious rhymes rather than trying to use weird ones. But maybe if you're good at doing whatever this is, part of your skill can be going for unconventional rhymes? I don't know.

16 hours ago, HunterHunted said:

During the entire Top Boy competition nomination, I was kind of irritated that Sabrina never uttered Prudence's name.

Me, too. I also wondered why Prudence wasn't stepping forward, and then they reminded us part way through the episode that she wants to stay on Blackwood's good side so that she can get the family name. But, 100%, if I was going to nominate a student who should be Top Boy at the Academy, it would be her.

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I really wish the show would be less heavy handed on its sexism storylines. Somehow, it's all ending up muddled instead of inspiring.

I'm not sure anything about this show is supposed to be inspiring, exactly. It's a horror genre show meant to subvert the more family-friendly version of the Archie comics. Hence all the references to Satan and the Dark Lord and the baby-eating and whatnot. I don't think this is the type of show to look for uplifting messages in.  

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I'm all for Sabrina fighting the patriarchy of the witch world since it's been clear that Blackwood and most of the boys think they're superior to the witches by virtue of their penises. I mean, seriously, what kind of co-ed school has only Top Boy?

Although it was clear that someone summoned Asmodeus to attack Sabrina, I wasn't clear why she assumed it was Luke. Most of the other boys were shown to support Nick when he was nominated, so it could have been any of them (or Blackwood).

Poor Prudence. She's smart and ambitious but she's being treated like a free nanny by Blackwood. She should be going to class, not taking care of her little brother. And I would say that even if she were still being a snotty bitch like she was at the beginning of S1. Blackwood has enough power and money that he should be able to hire someone to watch that kid. It drives me crazy when older siblings are expected to drop what they're doing just because their parents decided to fuck and have another kid. It's YOUR kid so YOU can raise him yourself!

I guess we'll see if Zelda's Lysistrata ploy works on Blackwood. I'm not sure if I want it to or not. On the one hand, I am all for Zelda getting some. On the other hand, Blackwood is gross in every possible way.

Does Sabrina plan on going to every basketball game so that Theo won't suddenly revert to not being able to dribble or shoot?

I laughed at Sabrina's Mean Girls shout out when Ambrose was named Top Boy: "Ambrose doesn't even go to the Academy!"

Either Nick is a nice guy (and seemingly the only non-sexist warlock in the entire Church of Night) or he is playing a REALLY long con with Sabrina. I liked that he had no problem with Sabrina running against him for Top Boy and that he's all for her becoming High Priestess. I really liked that he was willing to throw away the third challenge to work with her so she could find out who had summoned the demons to attack her.

On 4/6/2019 at 9:16 AM, Rockstar99435 said:

how do they not have a girls team? Title IX was created back in the 70's.

Not every high school has teams for both genders in every sport, even with Title IX. My high school had a girls' gymnastics team but not a boys' gymnastics team. We had boys' teams for lacrosse, golf, water polo, wrestling, and football but no girls' teams for those sports. All of the other sports we had besides the ones above had both girls' teams and boys' teams (basketball, track & field, cross country, tennis, soccer, etc).

On 4/7/2019 at 7:42 PM, Zuleikha said:

I realized what annoys me most about the way Theo's story has developed is that when we left off Suzie last season, Suzie was connecting with the ghost of Dorothea. As far as we saw, Dorothea was not a transman. She was a gender role non-conforming cis-woman. Suzie's conflict was also portrayed as being about expression--she was mocked for not dressing girlishly enough. But even though the defense of Suzie was explicitly tied to girl power and sisterhood with the whole W.I.C.C.A. thing, Suzie was never  shown to have discomfort with her gender identity. So it feels like a weird leap. It felt like at most Suzie was going to explore a non-binary identity, but then all of a sudden Suzie's transitioned to Theo and always felt like a boy. I have no idea how Theo got from where we left off to where we are now, or what Dorothea's history and ghost had to do with any of it.

According to this article from last year, Susie was originally supposed to identify as a transgender man and come out in one of the first episodes of S1, but Lachlan Watson talked with the show creator and the writers, and they ultimately decided to slow down Theo's journey.

On 4/6/2019 at 3:11 AM, Linny said:

as for the magical community, just what century are they living in if the women haven't pushed back against the blatant patriarchy ruling their lives?

Unfortunately, there are lots of examples of women in this day and age who aren't pushing back against the patriarchy ruling their lives. Just as a parallel example, the Pope is always a man but there are lots of women who are Catholic.

On 4/6/2019 at 1:04 PM, HollyG said:

Question.. is there a reason why the seasons are not listed separately?

Netflix has always described this as part 2 of S1. When they ordered the first season, it was a 20 episode season to be split into two parts. Other shows on other networks have done the same thing. The final season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was released in two parts with the first six episodes dropping on Netflix in May 2018 and the last six in January 2019. ABC Family/Freeform has been doing that with their show for ages so shows like Pretty Little Liars had their seasons split (for example, the first half of S1 was aired in summer 2010 and the last half was aired in winter 2011). But even shows on regular non-cable/non-streaming networks split their seasons up. This Is Us had a two month hiatus from November 27 until January 15.

I think some of the confusion stems from the fact that after part 1 of S1 aired, Netflix renewed it for a second season. It was already known that part 2 was coming in April so I think some people just mixed up part 2 and S2. But as you can see in this article about the S2 renewal, part 2 was always considered part of S1.

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Netflix has renewed “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

The streamer has ordered another 16 episodes of the series, which will be split into two parts. Netflix initially ordered 20 episodes of the show, which was split into two 10-episode segments. The new season will begin production in 2019. The second half of Season 1 is set to premiere April 5, 2019.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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2 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Rupture

Not every high school has teams for both genders in every sport, even with Title IX. My high school had a girls' gymnastics team but not a boys' gymnastics team. We had boys' teams for lacrosse, golf, water polo, wrestling, and football but no girls' teams for those sports. All of the other sports we had besides the ones above had both girls' teams and boys' teams (basketball, track & field, cross country, tennis, soccer, etc).

Title IX doesn't require the existence of corresponding teams for boys and girls, but it does require an equal amount of opportunities(in proportion to male/female enrollment). It is exceedingly rare to find a school that fields a boys basketball team but not a girls one, considering first that until recently girls basketball was that most popular girls sport nationwide(and now is still at number two), and second that so many schools have traditionally "boys only" sports like football and wrestling with large rosters already needing to be counter-balanced by other girls sports that not fielding both a boys and a girls team in a sport like basketball that has long history of participation across gender makes little sense. 

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Susie was originally supposed to identify as a transgender man and come out in one of the first episodes of S1, but Lachlan Watson talked with the show creator and the writers, and they ultimately decided to slow down Theo's journey.

See this is where I thought they were going with Suzie and Dorothea in the first part: from the interview, " "It is still seen as rebellion, as anarchy against the system to be anything other than the perfect gender binary person," Watson says. But at least in the episodes I'm in, Theo is still a perfect gender binary person. He's simply flipped from girl to boy. And the slowed down trajectory didn't do anything to give us great insight into Theo's POV. If this is where they were taking him, I wish they would have shown him uncomfortable with the creation of W.I.C.C.A. and all the girl-power framing Sabrina, Roz, and Ms. Wardwell included him in. Instead, he was only shown as made uncomfortable by other people's reaction to his (in reality, not particularly unconventional!) look and the compulsory femininity of dresses. It all seemed very external rather than internal.

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I'm glad to see I'm not the only person put off by the Theo/basketball story. Yes, the team was a bag of dicks to Susie/then Theo. And the coach was inexplicably a prick about it, instead of just letting her(as I believe she was still identifying as at the time) try out and promptly cutting her as would have been completely warranted. But was I supposed to feel bad when she got bounced off a hard pick? That's part of the game. Should she have been taken seriously when it was clear that she not just simply couldn't play, but didn't even appear to have any experience or knowledge of the game or to have ever put in any previous work learning the game?

If they wanted to tell this storyline effectively, they could have first cast a transgender or non-binary actor with at least an ounce of believable athletic ability(and I don't care much about Theo's height, this is not the NCAA , there are plenty of capable short kids playing high school basketball across the country) and then portrayed them as someone who was capable of performing at a competitive level during tryouts but was non the less being shut out and overlooked because of their gender status. Sabrina could have then used "magic" to give them a hot hand during the tryout, simply making them impossible to overlook, though even without the help they would still be a capable player. Instead, we got Theo making the team because he made some uncontested shots(in a tryout that consisted entirely of, err, one scrimmage) despite not having any ability to play defense, rebound, dribble or anything else of any substance. 

I had a feeling the anything to do with the "basketball" storyline was going to be bad as soon as Harvey mentioned he was going to try out... well after Christmas(and judging by further episodes appeared to be a week or two before Valentine's day).

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