I’ve written a lot on this blog about Sabrina Spellman’s smarts and her hero complex. In more than one instance, those characteristics have defined her personality in concert to each other. When tricking Susie’s bullies in the mine, for example, Sabrina uses her knowledge of what’s possible to defend her friend rather harmlessly — magic is a slight-of-hand device used to embarrass the boys.
In “The Burial,” those parts of her personality are competing for her headspace, contaminating it.
A disaster in the mine has killed Harvey’s brother, Tommy, and Sabrina, being the merciful heroine, is bound onto the idea of resurrecting him. She knows it’s possible* and is steadfast in believing she’s capable of carrying it out.
(*It’s possible. What’s she care if it’s frowned upon or not? She’s already performed an exorcism.)
And she has the ammunition for it. Ros’ vision pins Agatha and Dorcas to the crime. Ms. Wardwell tells Sabrina she has the book with the spell to do it. Still, this isn’t tricking a bunch of teenage boys, capturing a demon in a spider’s web, or even exorcising a mortal. The implications are life and death, breaking the laws of gods. It means murdering one (Agatha) to spare another (Tommy). It’s dark magic Sabrina has her hands on and it’s consuming her.
It’s the dumbest idea ever, but I suppose Sabrina hasn’t seen what happens to Khal Drogo.
What’s even dumber: She’s going to try to pull a fast one by resurrecting Agatha as soon as she and her accomplices can drag her freshly-murdered body to the burial ground outside the Spellman Mortuary.
It’s the first time one of Sabrina’s ideas feels truly drunk in love, and it doesn’t seem that Ms. Wardwell, who no doubt wants Sabrina taking the darkest of paths, is working too hard to make her this bad either. This is an idea born and raised inside Sabrina’s head. Yet, even as she’s standing with the knife at Agatha’s neck, there’s conflict in her eyes. That combination of intelligence and her hero complex are at odds, and it’s as if she’s nearly coming to her senses in that moment but knows she’s gone too far. Seeing it, too, Prudence asks Sabrina if she’s really sure about this (because, really, no one but Nick is). Sabrina says she is, “I have to be,” and slices the knife across Agatha’s neck.
Whether those characteristics are competing or working in symmetry, they aren’t going anywhere, and the path Sabrina’s set herself off on is a dark one — one she can’t come back from.