It turns out that Christmas in Greendale is a lot like Halloween in Greendale — only with more evil spirits. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina‘s holiday special, which hit Netflix on Friday, picked up shortly after the events of Season 1, as the Spellmans celebrated their first Solstice with a new baby under the roof. (As you’ll recall from the finale, Zelda has decided to throw caution to the wind and raise Father Blackwood’s presumed-dead infant daughter as one of her own.)
But Zelda’s attachment to baby Leticia nearly became her undoing when a gang of impish fiends known as the “Yule Lads” infiltrated the mortuary (via the chimney, naturally) with designs on the child. Sabrina’s aunts were forced to summon the imps’ mother, an ancient brute of a witch who refused to call off her boys unless Zelda handed over the baby — which she thought she did, until Sabrina revealed that she gave the witch one of Ambrose’s old teddy bears that she disguised as Leticia.
Speaking of Sabrina, the teenage witch further complicated the situation by holding a seance with the Weird Sisters to summon her mother. Not only did she want to know why Diana was trapped in limbo, but she also needed to talk to someone about her Harvey situation — someone who knows how difficult witch-human relationships can be. As you can imagine, Zelda was not thrilled to discover what her niece was up to.
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I should probably also mention that Mary Wardwell (aka Nightmare Face!) was responsible for dousing the Spellmans’ protective Yule Log, which is how the Lads were able to break in. She spent most of the episode scheming — and constructing a deliciously twisted ginger bread house — by her lonesome, but I enjoyed the time we got to spend with her.
Sabrina’s night took another unexpected turn when Roz showed up to inform her that Susie was missing, and that she suspected Susie’s boss — a lecherous mall Santa named Bartell — of being a demon. Her cunning-related instincts were right on the money, though it wasn’t the Spellmans who ultimately defeated Bartell; Zelda summoned back the imps’ mother, certain that she would be grateful for the opportunity to destroy someone who hurts children. (Or in Bartell’s case, someone who gives them the full House of Wax treatment.)
Sabrina also got to enjoy one last moment with her mother, during which Diana finally revealed why she hasn’t been able to cross over: She was afraid that Sabrina wouldn’t be loved and protected without her, but now realizes she misjudged the situation. “You have mothers, a family that adores you,” Diana said before once again vanishing from Sabrina’s life.
With Susie and the baby both safe, the Spellmans retired to the mortuary to celebrate what was left of the holiday. As Ambrose put it, “Aside from the home invasion and the child abduction, I’d say this was a rather merry Solstice.” And as Sabrina put it, even better, “Satan bless us, everyone.”
But perhaps Sabrina shared her #blessed feeling too soon, for only moments later, three spooky figures were seen emerging from the mines. Maybe it’s because they appeared during Ambrose’s holiday reading, but they gave me major Wise Men vibes — only much darker.
Also worth discussing…
* Sabrina’s scenes with Harvey in this special were just heartbreaking, though I can’t blame him for not wanting any more magic in his life — even if Sabrina’s enchanted egg nog did get his dad to quit drinking. After all, you don’t really come back from having to murder your own zombified brother. And if Sabrina chooses to take Diana’s advice (“I wouldn’t lead anyone else down [the Path of Night]”), this could be the end of her relationship with Harvey for a long time.
* There’s no way Zelda is just going to hand the baby over to Dezmelda without any future consequences, right? Like, let’s get those theories started now: Do we think Leticia going to return, magically aged up to match Sabrina, at some point in Season 2?
* I’m glad Ambrose and Luke are still together, but I wish we could have seen more of them enjoying the holiday as a couple.
What did you think of Sabrina‘s haunted holiday special? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.