The Timelines In 'Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina' Part 3, Explained
In Parts 1 and 2, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stuck mainly to horror tropes and witchcraft magic. With Part 3 promising a trip to Hell for Sabrina and her crew, it seemed like more horror and gore would be on the menu. Warning: Spoilers for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 follow. But what no one saw coming was the time-loop trope... until everyone began to die, that is. The confusing timelines in Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Part 3 might be a little hard to follow for those who don't know time travel, so let's break it down.
Up until Episode 7, things were relatively normal. Sure, pagans were trying to kill Sabrina's coven and her human friends, Father Blackwood wanted to take out the Spellman family, and of course, there was the contest with Caliban for the right to rule in Hell. But by that point, Sabrina was still managing to keep all the balls in the air.
That is, until Caliban tricked Sabrina into handing Judas' 30 pieces of silver (part of the whole "ruler of Hell" contest) to him, and then trapped her in a wall of stone for, like, decades. That meant she didn't make it back to stop the Pagans from resurrecting The Green Man, killing everyone on Earth, and defeating Caliban and Hell. Total disaster.
Good thing time isn't the strict progression of cause and effect most people assume it to be. It's actually — from a non-linear, non-subjective point of view — a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.
How Sabrina's time loop started is not clear, but honestly, it never is. All Sabrina knows is that one day, another version of herself appeared in front of her stone-trapped self, switched places with her, and allowed her to go back in time, before all the pagan stuff went down.
Taking the Unholy Regalia with her from fallen Hell, Sabrina went topside. There, Ambrose helped her use Father Blackwood's egg to throw herself back in time to just after she left to compete with Caliban to find Judas' silver. That put her in the Spellman house before Father Blackwood attacked and killed everyone, so Sabrina was able to rescue them. She also popped over to Harvey's house, saving her friends from the pagans as well.
With everyone together in a big group (once Hilda was resurrected from the Cain Pit, natch), the coven hatched a plan to take out the pagans. It was relatively simple, involving tricking them into using a glamour of the virginal Miss Wardwell for their ritual and killing their Green Man for good. So, the coven attacked, the bad guys were killed — happy endings for all.
But instead of returning to stand in front of herself to close the time loop like the other Sabrina instructed, current Sabrina stopped herself before she got trapped in the first place. This conveniently created two Sabrinas: one who went to trap Caliban and go on to rule Hell, and one to be home with her friends and fam. But in doing that, she also created a time paradox, which can rip apart the fabric of the entire universe if left unfixed too long.
So, there's clearly going to be some much-needed timeline cleanup in Aisle 5 once Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 hits Netflix.