Sabrina Spellman has returned to Riverdale. And this time, she brought answers. Sunday, July 10’s episode of Riverdale featured the second Chilling Adventures of Sabrina crossover, where Sabrina visited Greendale’s neighboring town to resurrect some of Riverdale’s dead residents. The episode not only provided Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fans another taste of their favorite witch, but also revealed exactly how Sabrina is alive after the CAOS finale.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for Riverdale Season 6 Episode 19, “Chapter One Hundred and Fourteen: The Witches of Riverdale.”]
Sabrina Spellman died in the ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ finale
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina came to a shocking end in 2020 after four seasons on Netflix. The finale did what many shows would never dare to try, even in their last days: it killed off the main character. That’s right — Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), the teenage witch, died and went to the Sweet Hereafter.
For those in need of a refresher, here’s how it all happened. The most dangerous Eldritch Terror, The Void, threatened to swallow everyone and everything in Greendale. In order to save her loved ones, Sabrina had to perform a spell that risked killing her. She did manage to protect the town, but unfortunately, she died in the process. Her family buried her beside Sabrina Morningstar — who died after a trip to an alternate reality — outside the mortuary.
The finale’s last scene showed Sabrina in the Sweet Hereafter, a heavenly depiction of the afterlife. However, she wasn’t alone. A surprise twist revealed that her boyfriend, Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood), drowned himself in the Sea of Sorrows, presumably so that he could join her in the Sweet Hereafter forever.
And with that, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina wrapped itself up with a neat bow — until Riverdale unwrapped it a year later.
How is Sabrina Spellman alive in ‘Riverdale’?
Sabrina Spellman made her debut in Riverdale, alive and well, at the beginning of season 6 in December 2021. She only briefly appeared in one episode of the “Rivervale” event set in an alternate reality. While the episode confirmed that Sabrina came back to life, it did not explain how.
Thankfully, that wouldn’t be the only time Sabrina crossed over into the town of Riverdale. The latest episode, season 6 episode 19, marked her return. This time, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), a fellow witch, called on Sabrina to resurrect Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Fangs Fogarty (Drew Ray Tanner), Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan), and Dagwood Blossom (Bentley Storteboom). These firstborns of Riverdale had all died in the previous episode thanks to a plague by Percival Pickens (Chris O’Shea).
Sabrina enlisted Cheryl, Heather (Caroline Day), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), and Tabitha Tate (Erinn Westbrook) to form a coven for the resurrections. She explained that she specialized in death magic because she died once, too. But death is never permanent when Greendale witches are involved, right?
Apparently, when Nick drowned himself, it wasn’t to spend eternity with Sabrina. Instead, he traded his life for hers. Once he brought himself to the Sweet Hereafter, Sabrina was free to leave.
Unfortunately, Sabrina didn’t provide much explanation beyond that. There are certainly still blanks to fill in; did she leave Nick in the Sweet Hereafter without a fight? That doesn’t seem like the Sabrina Spellman fans know and love. Hopefully, more Riverdale x Chilling Adventures crossovers in the future will provide additional answers.
A ‘Chilling Adventures’ deleted scene offers another explanation for Sabrina Spellman being alive
Earlier this year, Chilling Adventures and Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa provided another hint at how Sabrina Spellman is alive. He took to Instagram to share a deleted scene/alternate ending for Chilling Adventures — one that could explain Sabrina’s return to life.
Instead of ending with Sabrina and Nick’s kiss in the Sweet Hereafter, another scene showed Zelda Spellman (Miranda Otto) using magic to call on Baron Samedi (Ron Selmour). The Underworld’s Haitian Loa once promised Zelda that she could summon him for help at any time. Zelda told Baron that Sabrina was dead, and she wanted her back — “whatever the price.”
The scene didn’t show whether Baron agreed to resurrect Sabrina. However, it’s possible he and Zelda were part of Nick’s plan to sacrifice himself. Either way, fans finally have an explanation.
Riverdale airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW. Meanwhile, all four seasons of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are available on Netflix.