While the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina focused mainly on Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) struggling to balance her mortal and witch worlds, Part 2 raised the stakes with Sabrina having to literally stop the world from ending.
After discovering she's prophesized to be the Herald of Hell, aka the Dark Lord's queen, Sabrina sets out to make sure that never happens — only in the process she accidentally does just that, allowing the Devil himself to once again walk the Earth in his angelic form. But before the Dark Lord can kick start the End of Days, Sabrina teams up with her family, friends, and even Lilith (Michelle Gomez) to trick and trap the Dark Lord — who, by the way, is revealed to actually be Sabrina's father, but that's a whole other thing.
Unfortunately for the good guys, though, their plan to lock the Dark Lord inside the Acheron configuration fails because it isn't strong enough to hold him. As it turns out, the only prison powerful enough to contain the Dark Lord is a human body, and so Nick (Gavin Leatherwood) sacrifices himself, taking Satan's spirit into his own body. Lilith, the new queen of hell, then takes Nick/the Dark Lord back to her kingdom, so that he can't wake up and wreak havoc on Earth.
So what does this cliffhanger mean for Nick moving forward? And what does all this mean for his relationship with Sabrina? TV Guide spoke with Gavin Leatherwood about all this and more.
What was your reaction when you found out Nick would sacrifice himself as a vessel for the Dark Lord?
Gavin Leatherwood: That twist was so huge. We do a big table read for every new episode and when that moment came about, it was like the whole room felt the energy shift. Like, whoa! It was so much fun to play, too. I thought that it spoke volumes about his character, because he had good intentions with Sabrina and really did want to help her along down her path, and he didn't know the big grand scheme plans of what the Dark Lord really had in mind for her. And in that last moment when he had the opportunity to be that person, to sacrifice himself, I think it shows that Nick does have a lot of good in his character, even though he was a little manipulated himself.
What do you think this experience like for Nick? Is he conscious of what's happening? Is he being tortured? Is he gone?
Leatherwood: I keep playing with that idea too, and it's fun to speculate. I don't know what direction they're going to go with it. But I'd really like to see a Smeagol/Gollum thing, where he's battling having the Dark Lord in him, as well as having Nick being his main being and then having this other kind of character within him too. But yeah, I'm certain that having Satan inside you definitely takes a toll on you.
Are you excited to get to play the Dark Lord when we see Nick again?
Leatherwood: Yeah, I mean that adds such a whole other layer to Nick. I feel like Part 2 did a really great job at exploring more layers of who Nick was and it peeled back a lot of who he was on the surface and we really dive further into his emotional depth. And now to have this be a whole other part of who Nick is is going to be really challenging, I think, but a really exciting thing to play.
If Nick survives and manages to come to himself again, how do you think this experience will change him?
Leatherwood: I mean, I hope he survives because I love what I'm doing. I love my job. I'm certain this will definitely take a toll, mentally and emotionally. It's going to be a lot of homework and a lot of work will go into developing [how Nick's changed after this]. And a lot of it goes hand in hand with the scripts we get and the writing, to kind of see what their direction is and adjust and find the best way to play that and encapsulate what the writing is.
Before Nick sacrificed himself and proved his moral character, Sabrina learned he had gotten close to her on the Dark Lord's orders. How far in advance did you know he was working with the Dark Lord to a degree?
Leatherwood: I had a little tip from Rob Seidenglanz, who's one of our producers and he also directs. And it was actually the first episode I worked on, which was Episode 4 [of Season 1], and there was the big Baphomet statue and children around and I give Sabrina Edward Spellman's journal. And as she walks away, Rob goes, "You know, when she walks away, watch her go and shoot a look up at Baphomet." I was like, "OK, but why?" And he's like, "Because something might be brewing." So there was a little seed planted and it's not really talked about ever again. And then there were fan theories coming out about Nick potentially being the Dark Lord. And I always wanted to honor that, but I never knew for sure if he was working with him or was him or what that was, but I just wanted to allow a bit of that to be underneath the surface and who Nick was.
Even after Nick's betrayal, Sabrina still calls him her boyfriend in the finale. Do you think the truth coming out and his great sacrifice has the potential to bring them closer?
Leatherwood: I think so. But it could also push them further. Maybe Sabrina's now a bit more gung-ho for Nick considering he did have this heroic act and maybe because of the trauma of having the Dark Lord in him, maybe he's going to be resistant to it or hesitant. So yeah, I'm not sure. Then there's the love between Harvey and Rosalind as well, which is beautiful and moving in a great direction. But Sabrina and Harvey are still OG loves, so there's definitely something powerful between them and then there's this new thing between Nick and Sabrina too. There's definitely going to be a lot of tension, for sure.
Nick was definitely very jealous of Harvey throughout this season. But now that Harvey helped defeat the Dark Lord and is going to help Sabrina rescue Nick from hell, do you think that could lead to them having a less contentious relationship and maybe even a friendship?
Leatherwood: For sure. I think that initially was built around the fact that Harvey was able to love and Nick didn't know what that was like. He knew lust mainly. And that's where there was a lot of that friction. But when Nick goes and helps Harvey, there's a bit of him that wants to get closer almost to the enemy, I guess. But friendship starts blossoming and a friendship starts growing. And I just love working with Ross. So more scenes with him. It'll be fun, yeah.
Sabrina is determined to go to Hell and get Nick back. Is there anything you can tease or anything you hope to see regarding what this journey will look like, what we can expect of hell, and what it will take to get Nick back?
Leatherwood: I don't know what's to come, to be honest. And I really like considering all the possibilities. What if they went and Nick wasn't there? What if he left or escaped or something? What if they journeyed all the way there to get him out and then he didn't want to leave? I asked [creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa], am I going to be in hell? Am I going to be there for a while? What's the deal? And he said they're coming to get you and we're going to show that in the first episode. So that's all I know as far as what Part 3 has to offer.
Lilith did say she would take good care of Nick. But should we really trust her?
Leatherwood: No. I don't think so. She's so sneaky. And she plays it so beautifully as well. But I don't think so. I wouldn't be surprised if Nick is chained up and was her hell slave or something because that's just so in her character. Who knows.
Nick sacrificed himself to stop the apocalypse, but does that mean he shut down the prophecy for good or could the End of Days still occur?
Leatherwood: Anything's possible in this world. And if there's one thing that's been proven it's that for Sabrina there's a never-ending amount of obstacles and demons who want to stop her from getting to where she's going. She is a revolutionary, very powerful character and there will always be challenges coming for her.
You mentioned this earlier, but there have been some very crazy theories about Nick, so I wanted to get your thoughts on some of the biggest ones, including that Nick was going to be revealed to be the Dark Lord in disguise. Did you ever seriously think that was actually going to come to fruition?
Leatherwood: I knew that there was something there, I just didn't know what it was and honestly, all the theories did kind of help start that snowball of a thought to really speculate what that could be. And I'm really happy the way it turned out. I'm glad I wasn't the Dark Lord the whole time. I would have liked to know that too. It was cool to see that he was working hand in hand with him because a lot of characters really are under those puppet strings, and for Nick to be one of them was a cool thing.
There's also a theory that Nick is Sabrina's twin brother.
Leatherwood: I hope not. That would be so awkward. That's like a Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker thing.
Well, Father Blackwood wanted to marry his twins, and I was worried like, "Is this laying the groundwork..."
Leatherwood: I guess the witch and warlock community is much more progressive. But no, I didn't really play with that one too long. I didn't want to.
The other most popular theory is that Nick is actually Edward Spellman.
Leatherwood: The fact that Nick knows so much about Edward Spellman and really reveres him and just idolizes the guy — I mean, there's a twist. Let's pitch it.
In the comics, Edward Spellman does come back in Harvey's body and goes on a date with his daughter.
Leatherwood: Yeah! And eats Harvey's parents. Twisted.
How would you feel if you found out you were actually Sabrina's dad?
Leatherwood: I mean, that's even worse than the twin brother thing. If I was Edward Spellman with Satan inside of me in Nick Scratch's body, it would just be a cluster-you-know-what going on up here. I mean, hey. I'm all for the challenge.
Do you think there are more secrets to be revealed about Nick or have all his cards been put on the table?
Leatherwood: I don't think any one character's cards have been put on the table and that just keeps being shown more and more as the show moves on. The thing I really like about the show is how rich each character really is and we see everyone grow more and more. I mean, Hilda surprises us in ... Part 2 when she kills [Sister Jackson] and she drops face-first [onto the table]! Hilda's a badass, dude. And we're seeing more of that. And every character's progression is really beautiful, and I don't think they're ever going to lay all their cards on the table. I think they're going to keep showing more and more growth.
You mentioned Nick's interest in Edward and Edward obviously has hovered over Sabrina's journey so much, especially this season. Do you think we're going to get to explore who Edward really was or will he always just exist on the periphery?
Leatherwood: I think he's going to be one of those kinds of characters who is more so in the peripheral, just coming in right at the opportune time. I think it's hard for a lot of ghosts to come here, something about airfares or traveling through different dimensions. He'll still be around. But as far as his involvement, I think he's more the whisper in the back.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is available to stream on Netflix.