Original Air Date: October 26, 2018
Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch
Also Starring: Shaq, Boomer, Edward, Trevor, Bobby
Directed by: Lee Toland Krieger
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains spoilers for this episode!
Synopsis: Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is on the verge of her sixteenth birthday and a very big decision; does she go through with her dark baptism and enter the world of witches or does she remain in the mortal world?
Featured Feline: As in the comic book series upon which the show is based, Sabrina has a cat named Salem. In this version, however, Sabrina is supposed to pick a familiar but instead of looking through the standard registry she summons one in the woods. One night she is alone in her room when she sees the window is open and claw marks are on the sill. Nervously she realizes something is in the room with her. The creature, which is only seen in shadow (and looks like a monster) says “I heard you calling in the woods, and I came.” The creature slinks back behind a mirror and then emerges as a black cat.
Sabrina happily picks up the kitty and asks what is his name.
In the next scene the cat is eating on the kitchen floor as Sabrina talks to her aunts. Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) questions the name Salem but Sabrina explains that was already his name.
Salem is then seen accompanying Sabrina as she leaves the house in a later scene.
He is also outside Miss Wardrell’s office at school.
Later Sabrina is walking through a maze to get to an old apple tree in an orchard. She is attacked by a scarecrow and runs away. As the scarecrow is about to catch up to her, a figure tackles it (looking like the creature which first appeared in Sabrina’s room). She looks and sees Salem on top of the empty scarecrow clothes.
Sabrina says, “Good boy!” then asks Salem if he can guide her through the maze, which he does.
When they reach the tree, Sabrina reaches for an apple so that she may gain wisdom about the decision she must make. Just before she touches it, Salem hisses.
Sabrina bites the fruit anyway and sees scary visions. Then her mortal boyfriend Harvey (Ross Lynch) finds her and sees the cat. Sabrina says it is a stray she is taking home. “I never really thought of you as a cat person,” Harvey comments.
When Sabrina gets home, Salem does not enter the house with her. This is probably because of the guest who is waiting inside.
Fans of the comic book series (both the original and the newer versions) as well as the earlier series know that Salem (whose last name is Saberhagen) has a complicated past which will undoubtedly be revealed in future episodes. In this series Salem does not talk, separating him clearly from the previous television incarnation in which Salem was a real wise-cracker.
The cat actors jointly playing the part of Salem are named Shaq, Boomer, Edward, Trevor and Bobby, with Shaq being the standout star. News was made when Salem actually walked the red carpet at the series’ premiere, although it’s not clear which of the cat actors from the show were the ones who made this walk.
It has been noted online how the lead actress of the series, Kiernan Shipka, is actually allergic to cats, but does okay if she keeps her distance from the cat actors.
Final Mewsings: Has a cat actor ever been allergic to one of his or her co-stars, we wonder?