There’s been some lip this week from Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa about Sabrina the Teenage Witch stopping by The CW show in its first season, a rumor that Riverdale star KJ Apa stoked all the way back in July:
'Sabrina, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Sabrina from the comics, she’s going to come,' Apa said. 'Yeah, she comes in our last episode.'
But that rumor lay dormant until this week, when Aguirre-Sacasa gave this exclusive to TheWrap:
'We could [see her in Season 1],' Aguirre-Sacasa told TheWrap. 'As I say, never say never, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.'
'As dark as ‘Riverdale’ is, the vision for Sabrina is even darker,' he elaborated. 'Riverdale is on one side of the Sweetwater River and Greendale, where Sabrina lives, is on the other. There’s sort of that mythic idea that on one side of the river there’s one reality and on the other side of the river there’s another reality. So who knows? But yeah, there’s definitely a universe where Sabrina pops up in Riverdale, or there’s a version of Sabrina that exists in her own witchy bubble.'
Sabrina's a no-brainer on Riverdale. Not only is she one of the most popular characters in the Archie Comics universe, and one whose pop-spooky origins fit in beautifully with Riverdale's dark teen tone, but Aguirre-Sacasa wrote Sabrina's most recent return to the page, the absolutely brilliant Chilling Adventures of Sabrina out from Archie Horror. The comic is killer, legitimately frightening, with creepy, elegant art by Robert Hack and a no-nonsense Satanic approach to high school.
It takes place in the '60s, which obviously doesn't quite line up with our Riverdale timeline, but Sabrina also appears in the new present day Archie comic, and anyway, witches live forever. So, after reading Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, what can we expect from the Teenage Witch when (not if, surely) she appears on Riverdale?
[SPOILERS for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina follow]
1) Blood and Mayhem
This witch is not messing around. Sure, she spends plenty of time mooning over her perfect (and boring) jock boyfriend Harvey or wondering what to wear to school, but she's also immensely powerful and deeply unnerving. She'll take to the sky on the back of a horned goat and then butcher it as she cavorts with the Dark Lord. It's intense.
2) Family Drama
Sabrina's the "half-breed" offspring of Edward Theodore Spellman and his mortal wife Diana. After accepting the gift of fertility from supernatural forces, Diana is forced to give up her firstborn child, but she does not make this sacrifice willingly. The transaction ends with Diana in The Hearthstone Clinic for the Mentally Unwell, and with Edward tree-trapped in a giant oak in the Massachusetts woods. Sabrina is raised in seeming harmony by her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, along with her fabulous cousin Ambrose and her familiar, Salem the Cat - but a deep well of tension runs beneath these still waters. Especially once we meet...
3) Madam Satan
She's the witch Edward threw over for a mere mortal, and once she's raised from Gehenna - the eternal destination of the wicked - she devotes her considerable resources to destroying the child born of that affair. Madam Satan is rad as hell, and here's a pretty solid theory that could be a SPOILER:
(wait for it)
In the comic, she disguises herself as a teacher at Sabrina's high school and convinces Betty and Veronica to do her bidding. In last week's episode of Riverdale, Kevin joked that Veronica had been "possessed by Madam Satan" when she kissed Archie, but maybe it's another Archie paramour who's hiding Satanic depths. I'm telling you, I don't trust this hot new Miss Grundy.
4) Betty and Veronica Hijinks
Yes, Betty and Veronica are Madam Satan's little minions in Chilling Adventures, and what's more, they're witches in their own right in this version of the universe. While the more supernatural elements of Sabrina's story are unlikely to permanently color Riverdale's slightly more down-to-earth approach, a witchy one-off sounds about as fun as possible.
A one-off until, that is, Sabrina gets her own spin-off by Aguirre-Sacasa, as he hints in the above interview ("there’s a version of Sabrina that exists in her own witchy bubble.") After seeing Aguirre-Sacasa's great work with Riverdale and falling wholly in love with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - and as a lifelong lover of teen girl horror in every form - I'm already 100% in the bag for this show that, okay, might never exist. Who's with me?