Why Cousin Ambrose Is On House Arrest in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina


WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1, streaming now on Netflix.

While his cousin is free to come and go on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, charming Ambrose Spellman has been trapped in the family mortuary with his frequently feuding aunts for the past 75 years, by order of the Witches Council. But why?

We get the first clue in the fourth episode, as Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) defies the terms of his house arrest, and risks being dragged by vicious, sparrow-like psychopomps into the hereafter, to astral-project his form on a date. Asked by the young warlock, Luke, about the craziest thing he's ever done, Ambrose confesses, "I'm not proud of it, but ... I was arrested for attempting to blow up the Vatican." Luke thinks he's joking, but he's not.

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However, Luke and the audience are left without any elaboration until Episode 8, when Ambrose meets with Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), high priest of the Church of Night, about the possibility of easing his sentence.


"My father died young," Ambrose reveals. "He was killed by witch hunters. I drifted from university to university, trying to find a father figure. And then, I found one." In what's almost certainly a set-up for a Season 2 subplot, he describes a brilliant, charismatic man who was devoted to the Dark Lord -- "a young Crowley," he says, referring to infamous occultist Aleister Crowley -- and apparently eager to recruit a new member to his cause.

Although Ambrose wasn't the only witch involved in the plot to blow of the Vatican, he was the only one arrested. But he refused an offer of immunity in exchange for revealing the name of his co-conspirators, and paid the price. Father Blackwood makes the same offer, but even after all of these years, Ambrose turns it down.

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Rather than being enraged, Father Blackwood admires Ambrose's loyalty and integrity. While he's unable to lift his sentence, he can ease it, permitting Ambrose to come work for him at the Academy of Unseen Arts, alongside Luke (Darren Mann), as a form of community service. In the meantime, Blackwood promises to work toward a full pardon and, eventually, freedom.

On the one hand, that makes Ambrose beholden to the nefarious high priest. But on the other, it gets him out of that damned house and away from the aunties. Sometimes one has little choice but to make a deal with the Devil, or at least his representative on Earth.

Available now on Netflix, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stars Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman, Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle, Michelle Gomez as Mary Wardwell/Madam Satan, Jaz Sinclair as Rosalind Walker, Chance Perdomo as Ambrose Spellman, Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman, Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman and Richard Coyle as Father Blackwood.

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