I classified this episode 'Average', but average in this series is still head and shoulders above normal, free-tv fare, even twenty years later.
The lovely Lee Remick is appropriately distant and beautiful as the Snow Queen. I liked the time when Kay threw a tantrum over power, and the Queen asked him to join her as she messed around with icebergs. When Kay pouted about why he should go, the Queen simply smiled, twirled, and singsonged about learning something about magnetic fields, in a tone that suggested it was like magnetic fields were simply sublime! (They can be, just not to me personally. Intriguing, yes-sublime, no.)
Lance Kerwin was okay as Kay, but he seemed very pouty and tantrumy after the mirror bit affected him. It may have been in the script, but I don't think Kay's personality change had to be presented in that simple a stroke. I also could still have my grown-up viewing glasses on; kids sometimes need big strokes of character to understand stuff.
Gerda, the best, bravest, and stout-hearted of friends? Melissa Gilbert, of course! A gal who grew up being a meaningful cryer as well as a brave-and-true friend. It is amazing how she doesn't seem to really age much; not quite Dick Clark-ian, but not too far from that.
Gerda's suspicion of these forces of Nature are a little out-of-place, in my opinion, because Grandmother's speech about the place/function of the seasons was respectful and not superstitious-bad, where the personifications are only to be respected for their fearfulness. Gerda's distrust and anger at the Lady of Summer is spot-on and understandible; it's the immediate leap that the Snow Queen is harming Kay that leaves me wondering. Still, that the sisters (at least Lady Summer) were willing to stick up for each other despite their differences was nice.
Lauren Hutton was inspired casting as the Lady of Summer; you can picture Lauren and Lee as sisters with little problem, in my opinion. (Spring and Autumn could've been visiting Summer, and played by Tanya Tucker and Yvette Mimeux, respectively, maybe.)
Anyway, the there were interesting bits that got short shrift, so I sorta wish they hadn't been included, such as Robber Girl, the reindeer, and the talking tree. Robber Girl was cool in the different-from-the-heroine type; she could've been a help on Gerda's quest, but I guess that there was a need to make Gerda and Kay each other's primary friend. The talking bits of Nature would've been cooler with just a smidge more time(the tree) and a smidge more info(the reindeer.) Where did the talking reindeer come rom- Santa Claus? A smarty line or two is all I really needed.
As I said at the top, overall a good episode; my problems very nitpicky. A strongly recommended episode.