The 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' was a great example of a reboot that can work well and stand in its own right, so it was great to hear that the show had a sneaky Christmas special up their sleeves to keep us going until season two.
'A Midwinter's Tale' picks things up for Sabrina right where we left her. She's still rocking her new hair-do and is starting to embrace her inner badass after signing the Book of the Beast at the end of season one. Her friends and Harvey now know she is a witch and are trying to get their heads around it while Sabrina is still unwittingly in the grips of Mrs. Wardwell, aka Madam Satan.
While the residents of Greendale are all coming together to celebrate Christmas, over at the Spellmans it's all about the Winter Solstice - a night where the veil between the living and the dead becomes thinned and a Yule Log must be kept lit at all times to ward off evil spirits.
So it's just a quiet night by the fire with some hot cocoa and festive ghost stories? Hardly. Sabrina decides that this is as good a time as any to have herself a little seance to try contact her mother and find out what unfinished business has left her knocking around limbo for so long. Naturally this does not go to plan and with the help/hindrance of Mrs. Wardwell, Sabrina finds herself accidentally welcoming in some uninvited guests. This isn't the only scare the episode brings as Susie also finds herself at the mercy of a demonic Santa Claus with a penchant for wax dolls.
The episode trucks along at a good pace and the show really is starting to embrace all the quirkes of its characters. Lucy Davis steals the show as aunt Hilda while her co-dependent relationship with Zelda continues to provide amusement. Kiernan Shipka too feels so right in the role of Sabrina we're starting to (slowly) forget Melissa Joan Hart's face when we hear the name. It's also easy to see how there is so much room for the character to evolve over time, from the naive teenager trying to solve her boyfriend's problems into, well, the options are endless.
The show feels reminiscent of the early days of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' but is by no means trying to imitate - it has its own unique look and feel to it that could easily sustain itself for seasons to come.
For now, 'A Midwinter's Tale' will serve as the Christmas scare you didn't know you needed this festive season and leaves enough threads that should sew together a very promising second season.
You can read our review of season one of 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' here.