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The Ending Of Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Part 4 Explained

Contains spoilers for the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series finale

For her final battle, Sabrina faces down a cosmic-level evil — with a little (magical) help from her friends and coven — in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4. 

When fans last saw the young witch at the end of Part 3, there were actually two of her. After two seasons of debating whether she wanted to be a witch and then the Queen of Hell, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) did what she does best — she found a loophole. Unwilling to leave behind her friends but terrified about what Hell would be in the hands of Caliban (Sam Corlett), Sabrina split herself in two, allowing her to have the best of both worlds. But while Sabrina was fighting for her crown and keeping her crumbling coven afloat, her former coven leader Father Faustus Blackwood (Richard Coyle) was busy releasing the horrifying and world-destroying Eldrich Terrors upon the Earth. 

With his daughter Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) and Ambrose (Chance Perdomo), Sabrina's cousin, failing to stop him, Blackwood called upon eight ancient entities that, according to the Spellman warlock, "pre-date recorded time and space." Existing long before the concepts of good and evil, these inhuman, unkillable, and world-destroying entities descended upon Greendale and unleashed their respective terrors on the town, and eventually clearing the way for the biggest threat the Spellsmans have ever faced: the Void. Known as the ending of all things, the Void will destroy sanity, reality, and the entire universe if Sabrina can't stop it. 

And so the final chapter of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina sees the young witch, her friends, family, and coven all taking on a new horror, one episode at a time, leading to an ultimate battle that not everyone makes it out of. Here's how Netflix and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa wrapped four thrilling seasons of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Sabrina turns to Pandora's Box to stop the Void

The episode begins with Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) standing behind a podium as she reads from The Eldritch Gospel, written by Reverend Lovecraft, a.k.a. Blackwood. She describes a great and terrible nothingness — the Void — before viewers are taken back to two days before a universe-bending event. There we see Sabrina Spellman, along with her on-again-off-again boyfriend Nicholas (Gavin Leatherwood), and her coupled friends Harvey (Ross Lynch) and Rosalind (Jaz Sinclair), and Theo (Lachlan Watson) and Puck (Jonathan Whitesell), all getting cozy as they watch a horror movie. Sabrina's 17th birthday is just around the corner, but all she wants is something lowkey, she tells them. Once back at Sabrina's, Nick offers his sweetheart a locket that allows him to locate her wherever she is before the two are interrupted by an alternate dimension Salem and her Morningstar half, who has come to warn her about the Void with her dying breath. 

With little time to mourn her death, the still-living Sabrina sets out to find out how she can stop the Void, and in the process, discovers the Imp of the Perverse — a terror that mind-wiped all of Greendale after magicing Blackwood's wish to be the Emperor of the town into a nightmare reality. As it did in episode four of the season, this calls up the Trinket Man (James Urbaniak), who trades the Imp for Pandora's Box. The Trinket Man says that it's a tradeoff that will help Sabrina destroy the Void but may require a personal sacrifice. Specifically, that she'll be trapped inside the box with the Void. 

Being her rash and selfless self, Sabrina takes the box into the mirror from which Sabrina Morningstar last appeared and opens the box. But unlike Sabrina, her family and coven are unwilling to let her go. Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Lucy Davis), along with Ambrose and Nick, all use a spell to pull Sabrina's soul from her body and place it into Morningstar's before the Void seemingly disappears. 

Sabrina Spellman's 17th birthday goes up in flames

Sabrina's birthday has finally arrived, and between surviving a wicked complicated 16 and stopping a universe-ending Eldritch Terror, things finally seem to be looking up for the young witch — but that would be too easy, apparently. At her party, things begin to disappear, and then later on, so do people. When Lucifer (Luke Cook) and Caliban show up to Sabrina's party uninvited, they demand that she bind her powers and hand her body — or really, the body of Sabrina Morningstar — over to them so the Queen of Hell can receive a proper burial. While the Spellman family wants to put up a fight, Sabrina agrees to Lucifer's demand, but before she can surrender, Ambrose attempts to launch a magical attack. Caliban notices and sends the group of miners — very much like the first Eldritch Horrors — after the group. But instead of becoming overcome by them, Sabrina makes them disappear one-by-one, including Harvey's father and eventually Caliban. 

Lucifer realizes that Sabrina possesses something powerful beyond magic and flees back to hell, where Lilith (Gomez) awaits him. After Madam Satan discovered Sabrina Morningstar's death, she raced to tell Lucifer in hell and made a deal that if her information was good, he'd give her powers back. Despite his blatant defeat, Lilith wants Lucifer to hold up his end of the bargain, and so when he selfishly doesn't, she stabs him and consumes his celestial blood. With the power of the devil on her side, Lilith banishes the fallen angel from the realm of Hell and her sight. 

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Ambrose and the others struggle to get an upset Sabrina to control her powers and stop making those around her disappear. In the process, they discover that Sabrina was right when she told them she hadn't finished putting the Void in Pandora's box before they pulled her soul out. Now, a part of the Void is inside of her. 

Sabrina Spellman makes the ultimate sacrifice to stop The Void

Fearing for those around her, Sabrina flees to a remote location to avoid Tthee Void hurting anyone else she cares about the way she hurt Harvey. But Blackwood finds her and promises the young witch he can help her with controlling the Void. Unfortunately, and much like all of Blackwood's "promises," it wasn't the entire truth. The former high priest to the devil actually wants to sacrifice Sabrina and unleash the Void on the rest of the universe in a gamble to end it. 

Ambrose, Roz, Prudence, and Agatha (Adeline Rudolph) are all able to locate Sabrina, but their attempt to convince her to come home ends in her sending Prudence and Roz to the Void. However, when Sabrina telepathically reaches out to Ambrose, she reveals she has a plan in place and calls for him to come back during the winter solstice. As viewers soon discover, the plan involves Pandora's box, and thanks to that locket Nick gave to Sabrina, her body and thus the box. 

Under cover of the solstice, the coven does manage to come back for Sabrina and put a stop once-and-for-all to Blackwood, blinding him and eventually chaining him up in the hell — which is where Prudence takes it upon herself to end him forever. But even with Blackwood now gone, Sabrina wants to go through with Blackwood's plan to cut her open. As she and Ambrose both say, draining it from her and pulling out their friends' before using the box to finish the job against the Void is risky, but it's also the only way. The Greendale crew initiates their plan, and Sabrina begins to bleed out, but as Nick closes the box and begins to rejoice, it becomes clear that everyone else's survival came at the cost of Sabrina's. This time, there is no back-up plan and no last-minute magical save. Despite beginning the season with two Sabrinas, The Chilling Adventures ends its run with none.

While Sabrina has left the mortal plane, that's not the very ending of the series. Viewers do get to see both Sabrina's laid to rest, and Nick — still deeply in love with the girl who went to hell and back for him — make the final choice to join her in the afterlife. 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina finale is narratively symbolic and contentious among fans

Considering that The Chilling Adventures revolved around Sabrina and its messages about female empowerment, the show's ending is quite shocking. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sabrina actress Kiernan Shipka shared that she, too, was first surprised by the show's cancellation, and then by its deadly finale, telling the outlet that she believed Sabrina couldn't die. Despite this, Netflix series star said that it's a fitting ending for a character who spent much of her two-year run being heroically selfless. "At the end of the day, I think that what it represents is she is truly a selfless soul, and she sacrifices herself for the greater good, which is very hefty. And I think it hit me emotionally quite a bit. It's not an easy ending to just digest. There is a lot of meaning and impact behind it and how we wish to read into that. But above all else, I was completely surprised," she said. 

Since airing, the ending has gotten mixed reviews from both critics and fans, many of whom have appreciated the symbolism but disliked the main character's fridging. In a separate interview with Seventeen, Shipka acknowledged this but still noted that the fans and cast would have each other after the show ends. "Not to say that everyone will love the ending because that's obviously up to the viewer, but I do think that we gave it a real ending," she told the magazine. "Which I'm happy we were able to do because I think that the fans deserve that."

And considering how much Sabrina survived in previous seasons and sister-series Riverdale's continued success on The CW, Kiernan Shipka teased ET that the youngest Spellman might not be dead forever. "I will say I think she's pretty savvy and could find her way back to Greendale if she chose to," Shipka noted.  

For now, Sabrina's family and fans will have to hang on to her magical memory.