After years of waiting, Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fans finally got to see their biggest wish come true on the Dec. 7 episode of Riverdale. The penultimate episode of the alternate-universe “Rivervale” event saw Sabrina Spellman arrive, and she brought tons of sly references for diehard CAOS fans. While the witch’s cameo may have been brief, these CAOS easter eggs in Sabrina’s Riverdale episode made it all worth it.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from Riverdale Season 6, Episode 4, “The Witching Hour(s).” Unfortunately for fans expecting a whole episode dedicated to Sabrina’s magical crossover, she only appeared for the final moments of the episode. The bulk of the story was devoted to Cheryl Blossom’s ancestors, Abigail and Poppy, both of whom were persecuted and outcasted for loving women. Well... it’s a lot more complicated than that, actually. At the end of the episode, it’s revealed Abigail, Poppy, and Cheryl have always been the same person — cursed with lonely immortality by a spurned warlock. That’s where Sabrina comes in. With her help, Cheryl(/Abigail/Poppy) casts a transference spell to switch souls with Nana Rose, allowing Abigail’s long-suffering existence to finally end and Nana Rose to regain her youth.
It’s a lot to wrap your head around. But along with all the metaphysical weirdness, Sabrina also brought a ton of fun references only the most hardcore CAOS fans might have caught.
1. Mutual Friends
When Sabrina arrived at Thornhill, Britta asked how Cheryl knows her. Sabrina explained they “have a lot of mutual friends.” The line is a knowing wink to all the actors who have appeared on both shows.
2. Ambrose’s Shoutout
The only other main CAOS character to be mentioned in the episode is Sabrina’s cousin Ambrose, whom she said helped teach her the transference spell.
3. Body Swap
Sabrina described the transference spell as “a classic body swap.” As CAOS fans well know, body swap spells were used very often in the show, with one of the main storylines in later seasons centering around Sabrina creating a double of herself through this paradoxical magic.
4. The Sweet Hereafter
Cheryl — or rather, Nana Rose in Cheryl’s body — reassured Britta that Abigail’s soul is at peace in the Sweet Hereafter. That’s the same name for the afterlife the witches in CAOS used.
5. Softball Rivals
Sabrina said that Cheryl’s coven is in the same softball league as her own. When both Riverdale and CAOS were filming in Vancouver at the same time, the two casts would sometimes face off in softball games.
6. Greendale’s Mention
Although the episode took place in the alternate “Rivervale” universe, it appeared Greendale was unchanged. Early in the episode, Toni’s ancestor Tommasina mentioned she was from Greendale. Not Greenvale — Greendale. Does that mean this “Rivervale” universe is the same universe CAOS took place in? I’ll leave that up to the fan theorists.
7. Happy-Sad Endings
Probably the most obvious nod to CAOS, Sabrina remarked that "happy-sad endings are the best," an obvious reference to her own series’ controversial ending, which was particularly dark but also had a note of optimism as Sabrina and Nick ended up together after all.