Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season 1/ Episode 11 “Chapter 11: A Midwinter’s Tale” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Thought a solstice episode, which features Sabrina conjuring up Diana, this also affects what we’ll see in part 2 (or season 2).

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Though a solstice episode, which features Sabrina conjuring up Diana, this also affects what we’ll see in part 2 (or season 2).

Director(s) Jeff Woolnough
Writer(s) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Donna Thorland
Air Date 12/14/2018
Introduced This Episode
Leticia ?
Mr. Bartel Brian Markinson
Gryla Heather Doerksen

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Family Time: Agatha, Prudence, Sabrina, Zelda, Leticia, Ms. Waldwell, Diana

It’s Leticia’s first solstice and this seems to trigger a bit of loneliness in Sabrina. Well, that and leaving her friends behind. So, she decides to, with Agatha, Prudence, and Dorcas, to have a séance to raise her mother from limbo. Something Prudence, and her girls, agree to for they know what it is like to lack a mother. Plus, with the solstice thinning the veil between human and other, it is the perfect time.

Problem is, Ms. Wardwell fears what Diana could say so she decides to complicate matters by dosing the Spellman family’s yule log. Something which is supposed to keep bad and mischievous spirits out. Like the yule boys.

Gryla: Zelda, Hilda, Ambrose, Diana, Sabrina, Gryla, Leticia, Diana

Gryla (Heather Doerksen) appearing, after being summoned.
Gryla (Heather Doerksen)

After catching Sabrina and kicking out her little friends, the Spellman household finds itself dealing with the Yule Boys. Who are these boys? Well, Gryla, a witch who was alive during the famine, she made a pact with another witch to eat their child to survive. However, said other witch didn’t hold up their part. Now, in mourning of her gone child, Gryla collects orphans. Said orphans, mischievous spirits, are the Yule Boys and to get rid of them you need to offer Gryla something in return.

Originally, it was just going to be some gin and baked goods. However, then Leticia cries and being that Gryla can smell that the babe isn’t Zelda’s, she tries to make a claim. Yet Diana, who appears once more, after the séance, helps in keeping Leticia from being whisked away by Gryla.

A Love Eternal: Diana, Mr. Bartel, Susie, Roz, Sabrina, Gryla, Zelda, Leticia, Harvey

Mr. Bartel (Brian Markinson) and Susie before Susie is encased in wax.
Mr. Bartel (Brian Markinson) and Susie

Naturally, while Sabrina has kept her distance a bit, she hasn’t outright abandoned her old friends, or now ex-boyfriend either. They are originally approached for the séance, but decline, and Harvey still gets a Christmas gift. Two in fact. Enchanted pencils and eggnog which ends his father’s alcoholism. Yet, Sabrina using magic in his family has him a bit too on edge to thank Sabrina without a desire for her to stop meddling in his life with magic. In fact, after the Tommy situation, it leads him to even return his pencils just because he doesn’t trust magic.

Yet, for Susie, who gets to be an adorable elf, magic, in the form of Gryla, is what saves her life. You see, a demon who masquerades as Mr. Bartel, the local Santa, seemingly kidnaps a child and traps them in wax each year. Usually, this task requires seeking out a child and doing quite a bit of work but Susie was perfect. Leading to him kidnapping her, Roz reporting her missing and using Gryla, who vehemently hates those who prey on children, having to handle things.

But, two things left to cover. The first being that Zelda decides to have Leticia live with another family and Diana talks about when Edward revealed he was a witch to her. For Diana, talking about Edward and walking the path of night with him seems to help Sabrina deal with losing Harvey. Maybe solidifying she did the right thing. As for the whole being in limbo thing? Well, if what she said was true about a saint and demon taking both hands, when Gryla wanted Leticia, then it seems there might be nothing Sabrina can do.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Um, why did Ambrose mention Leticia was kidnapped around Luke?
  2. Considering Gryla’s children aren’t alive, just ghosts wandering about, does she eat them and keep their souls? If not just snatches their souls, to stay with her forever, and has them leave their bodies behind?

Miscellaneous Commentary

Diana and Zelda’s Relationship

Diana in a crown and white gown.

With Hilda speaking about having bad blood with Diana, even before the whole baptism thing, you have to wonder if it was simply because she was a mortal or something else? Also, considering how long Edward was likely with Diana, and Zelda’s talk of family, why did their feud not end? Not to mention, was it a one-sided thing? Because Diana helping Zelda, in terms of some silly game and a trick to keep Gryla from having Leticia, could be seen as an olive branch of sorts.

Though, there is also the need to question when did Zelda’s family shtick start? Could it be, after Edward’s death, that is when she became seriously gung-ho on family? That may be before, while she was into family in terms of pride, it wasn’t at the level it is today where extended family was included in her thoughts and actions? Just a thought.

What May Happen To Leticia Now?

Baby Leticia

With Father Blackwood’s plans to turn the clock back in the coven, Leticia, the heir to his seat, being sent away creates an odd decision. First and foremost, taking note how much Zelda loved that child, it seems weird she wouldn’t treat her like the rest of her family and just continue to fight to keep her. Granted, I get she has enough to do just with the stuff Sabrina gets in. Never mind Ambrose and Hilda. However, Gryla being the straw which broke the camel’s back seemed odd to me.

Yet, lest we forget, even if Gryla did back down, Zelda likely wouldn’t have peace. Between Father Blackwood showing up to visit, Ambrose saying something to Luke, like an idiot, and Leticia’s crying, maybe it would all be a bit much in the long run? Plus, then you have Sabrina trying to influence the child and all the fights that would bring. So while it would have been interesting to see Zelda raise Leticia, and clue you in on how raising Sabrina was, maybe this is for the best.

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