Kiernan Shirpka Explains How in Hell Sabrina’s Coming to Riverdale

Kiernan Shirpka Explains How in Hell Sabrina’s Coming to Riverdale
Photo: Kailey Schwerman/The CW

Those fans who have been patiently awaiting the long-anticipated crossover between Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina need to wait no longer. Tonight’s episode will finally see Keirnan Shirpka’s teenage witch meeting her fellow Archie Comics characters as part of the show’s increasingly bizarre “Rivervale” five-part event series, and the actor has revealed why — and how — Sabrina’s come to town after dying in the finale of her own series.

Just to be clear, there is no continuity between the two series, especially at the moment. It was never explicitly stated that Riverdale and Chilling Adventures took place in the same TV universe in the first place, but right now, Riverdale might not even be in its own continuity. The event series has been taking place in Rivervale, an alternate version of the town where explicitly supernatural things are happening, like attacks by murderous ghosts, the arrival of Satan, and the ritual sacrifice of Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa) by all of his friends and family. Whether this is an alternate universe, a dream sequence, or something else entirely, is yet to be seen.

So there doesn’t need to be an explanation for how Sabrina has been resurrected after dying and going to heaven in her series’ finale, but Shirpka has one anyways. “It’s very unlike Sabrina to just kind of chill in the Sweet Hereafter. I think she would get bored and want to find her way back to her friends and her family, and vice versa. Her aunties and her friends and Ambrose would do anything for her, so to me, it makes sense that her death wasn’t a forever death,” she told TV Line. Since there were plans for a fifth season of Chilling Adventures in motion before Netflix decided not to renew the show, it seems likely Sabrina was going to be resurrected anyway.

Again, it hardly matters. As for what brings the witch to Riverdale, I’ll give you three guesses, and they should all be Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch). Here’s the official synopsis for tonight’s episode: “As Bailey’s Comet passes over Rivervale, Cheryl and Nana Rose revisit the tragic stories of the Blossom women through the years; the once-in-a-lifetime celestial event prompts Cheryl to summon a familiar face to Rivervale — Sabrina Spellman.”

“We learn that Cheryl and Sabrina have been friends, and I think it should come as no surprise that those two characters are friends,” Shirpka said in the interview. “[Cheryl] is in need of some extra horsepower and some extra witch power, and who better to call than Sabrina?’”

It does come as no surprise that Cheryl, who is currently leading a cult based around her murdered brother, has kept his rotting corpse around for far too long, and had a haunted doll — all in the show’s regular continuity, mind you — is friends with a witch who is/was a member of a satanic coven. Honestly, given how bananas everything is on Riverdale proper, it would come as no surprise to learn O.G. Cheryl is also friends with a witch who is/was a member of a satanic coven. There are already so many cults on the show; what’s one more?