'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' Season 2: Feline Salem may not talk, but he sure has enough of a backstory for an entire episode
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was a massive hit, the only disappointment was that Sabrina's familiar did not talk, but that may change in season 2
The witching hour is dawning again as 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' (CAOS) returns with season 2 in April. Sabrina Spellman's (Kiernan Shipka) silver bob-cut hair and dark lipstick are enough to intrigue us about what darkness lies ahead, but there's something more to look forward to, an episode that will put popular demand to rest - a Salem-centric episode exploring more of the famous feline's backstory.
When 'CAOS' first aired last Halloween, it became an instant hit with dialogues such as "Hail Satan" finding its way among the viewing public, but one major disappointment was that throughout the 10 episode-run, actually 11 with the Christmas special, The Midwinter's Tale, Salem, did not talk.
This dark take on the Archie Comics character, who was the subject of the 90s' lighthearted sit-com 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch,' was bound to take a dark turn, but omitting the dialogues of Salem, was believed to do more injustice than justice in the magical world of Greendale.
The creators heard the criticisms and attempted justifying it. 'CAOS' and 'Riverdale' creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said featuring a talking cat would take away the darkness from the show that was described to be "tonally in the vein of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist."
"It felt like if you have a talking cat, it would almost inherently be funny and be a comedy," Aguirre- Sacasa said in an interview. "As I was writing the comic book, I realized that when you read a comic book, you just read the words. You don’t necessarily see any characters’ lips move. ‘Oh, of course, Salem should talk. It’s going to be like anyone else talking,'" he said of the dark comic. "When we did the show, [he doesn’t speak] partly to project the horror tone," he added. "That isn’t to say that Salem won’t talk in the future," Aguirre- Sacasa teased.
So, when season 2 started filming, there was a lot of speculation as to whether Salem might get his own exclusive episode. "We’ve definitely talked about doing a Salem-centric episode where we would learn more about his life," the creator stated. We are yet to see if that holds true, but if there is an episode in season 2 centered around Salem, here's what you can expect.
When Salem first appeared alongside Sabrina in Archie's Mad House #22 in 1962, he was not a talking cat. In fact, he was not even black. The original Salem was a non-verbal orange cat and became animated and talkative with a live-action sitcom, where he was voiced by Nick Bakay. Even the backstory of Salem keeps changing.
It initially started with Salem as a human sailor or witch who was cursed to take the form of a feline familiar. The late 1990s Sabrina comics revealed Salem was turned into a cat for standing up against Enchantra, the head witch, at the altar. Then, in a 1990s live-action TV movie, Salem was shown to be imprisoned in the form of a cat for attempting to use magic to make a mortal love him.
In 'CAOS' we first see Salem as a forest goblin, who comes to Sabrina after she summons him. Looking like a spirit of the forest and talking in an echoey tone, Salem guises himself as a cat to be Sabrina's familiar - an animal guide to assist the witches. In Aguirre-Sacasa’s comic books, Salem has a whole issue, 'That Damn Cat,' dedicated to his backstory, which explores the Salem witch trials of 1692.
'CAOS' season 2 drops on Netflix April 5.