Do you feel a chill in the air? Something very witch finds its way to Riverdale.
After years of rumors and countless pleas from fans, Kiernan Shipka finally brings teenage witch Sabrina Spellman to the CW drama this Tuesday (9/8c). Shipka played Sabrina on Netflix for three seasons Riverdale spin-off Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and her appearance on the mothership had “been a conversation piece for a very long time,” she tells TVLine, but “the stars were never quite attuned to it.” But better late than never: “It was just a matter of bringing all the elements together, finally. It was always a no-brainer in my mind that I would do it.”
Sabrina’s arrival coincides with the five-part “Rivervale” event that kicks off Season 6, and the eerie supernatural undertones make it a perfect match. “It made sense that she would come in as a witch with a more fantastical air in the air, if you will,” Shipka notes. “I think it was a fair arrival, given that she died. I know anything can happen, but the more magic involved, the better.”
Yes, about that: Sabrina really died and went to the Sweet Hereafter in Sabrina‘s series finale – so how is she back, exactly? Shipka says her death wasn’t the end of the story: “It’s very different from Sabrina to just chill out in the Sweet Hereafter. I think she would be bored and want to find her way back to her friends and her family and vice versa. Her aunts and her friends and Ambrose would do anything for her, so it makes sense to me that her death was not an eternal death.”
So what brings Sabrina to Riverdale…sorry, Rivervale? “We find out that Cheryl and Sabrina have been friends,” Shipka explains, “and I think it should come as no surprise that those two characters are friends.” When a passing comet inspires Cheryl to look back at the tragic tales of her Blossom family ancestors, “she needs some extra horsepower and some extra witch power, and who better to call her than Sabrina?”
Sabrina’s return “came together in a beautiful way and my heart felt very full,” says Shipka, adding that “it was wonderful to be in her shoes again.” But could she get back into it? “Hope it’s not the last we see of her in Riverdale,” she says. “I would certainly like it.” But this week’s performance, she notes, is “a thank you too” to Sabrina‘s loyal fan base “to support us. This is in many ways for the fans. It’s been a while.”
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