Ending Explained is a recurring series in which we explore the finales, secrets, and themes of interesting movies and shows, both new and old.
The third installment of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a cauldron of spooky delights — witchcraft, folk horror, original mythos, time-traveling, cheerleading — and it’s one hell of a ride. The season ends on a high note, too, with a new threat being summoned that will undoubtedly cause chaos for the Glendale gang in the next part of the saga.
The closing moments of the season’s final episode sees Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle) and his followers summon the Eldritch terrors from a mystical egg. The warlock doesn’t mention the beasts by name, but he promises that their arrival will mark “the beginning of the end.” Expect these monsters to be more powerful than anything Sabrina and her coven have faced before.
Blackwood spends the majority of Season 3 as a background player, but this ending suggests that he’ll feature heavily in the next outing. While summoning the next Big Bad, he offers his servitude as a “vessel” and “priest.” Knowing Blackwood, though, he’ll try to use the beasts as a pawn in his own plans for revenge against the Spellman clan. He makes it clear that he wants them dead during the summoning scene, after all.
Blackwood has spent three seasons trying to ascend the supernatural hierarchy, and he’s willing to align with any party that will help him reach his end goal. In Season 3, he turned his back on the Dark Lord to join the pagans. However, they were merely a stepping stone towards his grander plan, which was to summon beings that are even more powerful than the forces of Hell.
Of course, the identity of the new monsters is the big question here. Who are these Eldritch terrors that Blackwood has summoned from the cosmos to bring about the end of days? Throughout the season, Blackwood also referred to the monsters as the “Old Ones.” This is an obvious nod to the Old Ones in H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, who are a pantheon of ancient deities that once ruled the Earth.
In Lovecraft’s mythology, the Eldritch abominations defy the rules of reality and the universe. They play into the idea of fear of the unknown, making humankind seem inconsequential and meaningless in the grand scheme of things. In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Blackwood informs the Dark Lord that even he cannot comprehend their power, so it’s clear that the show will portray the deities in a similar apocalyptic light.
That said, while Season 4 will most definitely feature gods from the Lovecraftian lexicon, the show will probably reinterpret them in a fresh and interesting way. One monster who is bound to appear is Cthulhu, as the creature already has an interesting history in Sabrina lore. In the Afterlife with Archie comics, the teenage witch was forcibly married to the Elder God. Don’t be surprised if he falls in love with Sabrina in the show either, as supernatural studs have a tendency to try and court her.
The series has been sprinkling in Lovecraftian Easter eggs since the beginning, so it’s unsurprising that the show will lean more into those influences in the next season. This will add some cosmic horror flavor to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as well, and allow the creators to incorporate a wider range of spooky influences into the cauldron.
If the closing moments of Season 3 confirm anything, it’s that the fourth installment will be larger in scale, scope, and ideas. The show’s mythology just keeps expanding, and it’s a fascinating universe to explore with these characters. The Eldritch terrors cannot come soon enough.