When someone first described Sleepy Hollow to me, I honestly thought they were making it up. But no, it was real and against all odds it was fun. The first season kept my interest and the second season opener was almost perfect. But then, in the mid-season finale they made the the interesting choice to (seemingly) kill off the original bad guy. Last week’s opener had Abbie and Ichabod trying to figure out what to do now, and it’s an almost metatextual discussion. Especially now that reports say they’ll be switching the show to a more episodic, monster of the week show, instead of the serialized show that many have fallen for. Only time will tell if this is a bad move in the long run.
Why did I start watching Sleepy Hollow? Friends told me it was crazy fun. They didn’t lie, it’s ridiculous fun (the Headless Horseman uses a machine gun! How can he see? Magic!) and the leads are especially engaging. It’s also one of the more diverse shows on television with not just one but three African-American characters, including two women.
It’s gone off the rails this year with really dumb emotional plotting that made Katrina into a ping-pong ball. It was supposed to add depth to her character, mostly unseen until season #2, but the emphasis on her lame plot line and the new treasure hunter dude put Jenny, Irving and, most of all, Abigail in the background too much.
Abbie and Ichabod, solving crazy (even dumb) mysteries amid cultural confusion and malapropisms is what makes this show tick. They’ve lost that this year so far but they can still bring it back. This week’s episode was a good start, though the plot, oh, the plot.
My husband watched the show live while I put together my Gotham recap for CriminalElement.com and I lost track of what was happening until the colonial guy covered with blood drew my attention.
“What the heck is going on?” I asked.
“It’s too dumb to explain,” he answered.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Sleepy Hollow in a nutshell.
The best part of Sleepy Hollow is arguably the chemistry between the actors. It’s that which lets us ignore a lot of the show’s flaws or plot-induced stupidity. I’m already shaking my head at the introduction of Orion, an angel who was trapped in Purgatory. Abbie’s decision to trust him last episode baffled me. You know what Christian theology calls an angel who abandoned his post and was sent to Hell? Guess Abbie missed that day in Sunday School. Yet that doesn’t take away from the simple fact that Abbie is awesome.
This week’s episode continues the thread of “Can Ichabod and Katrina trust each other and be married and stuff” and so we see them start on a date. It’s interesting how Katrina has been in modern times for less than Ichabod and has already been shown as way more comfortable in modern dress than he is. I’m sure that has nothing to do with wanting to put Katia Winter on display or anything.
Hey, Abigail Adams (Michelle Trachtenberg) had nearly as much cleavage going on in her century as Katrina did in ours. I think I’d be totally on board with a Reverand Nash/Abigail Adams supernatural show in which they solve dumb mysteries amid the Revolution itself. And, hey, Trachtenberg has experience defeating the ultimate evil. Or was that being kidnapped? I forget.
But that show would lack our Abby and thus would be inferior. Because you don’t mess with Abby, especially when she’s protecting the world from supernatural evil. Even if you used to be one of her best friends, if she thinks you’ve returned from the dead as servant of evil, you’re going down.
But she might wait on that to make sure. One hopes so because this show sorely misses Irving.
I can’t get a shot of the whole dress, but by Colonial standards, I think she’s in her underwear.
Everyone else in in traditional Colonial garb. Perhaps Katrina shopped at Ye Olde Revolutionary Gothwear?
Speaking of putting on display, do historical societies really sit around and eat on plates that belonged to former presidents? Dang. Where do I sign up?
A bigger question is how they convinced Massachusetts to let go of Abigail Adams’ desk? And why they wouldn’t have it roped off. Once upon a time, when my eldest daughter was a toddler, we visited Edison’s Laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. My daughter slipped under the ropes and sat in Edison’s desk chair. We silently and frantically motioned for her to come back before the humorless park ranger noticed.
I guess she’d have been fine in this museum. Of course, we didn’t have to worry about serial killers hiding in paintings. That we know of, anyway.
Oh, right; there was an actual story! There’s a painting with a murderer trapped in it. We find this out when he starts killing people to free himself. Turns out Abigail Adams was hunting him, and finally trapped him in his own painting. We know this thanks to handy notes in a secret compartment Katrina knew about. Of course, one wonders why Mrs. Adams didn’t just have the guy killed or burn the painting – why risk him ever getting out? Ichabod and Katrina do eventually decide to burn it.
This is why you shouldn’t think too much when watching Sleepy Hollow: if he could get out of the painting to kill people, then he wasn’t exactly trapped, was he?
Maybe Abigail figured he couldn’t get out of the painting. Maybe she was worried destroying the painting might free him. You can never tell with magic. But, hey, at least Ichabod and Katrina did the danger date thing. I felt sorry for Katrina this episode because she’s been focused on one thing for so long and now it’s over and she turns around and nothing is the same, not even her husband. If they’d used this characterization to explain why she was more drawn to Abraham, who was the same as she remembered, it might have made sense. A lost opportunity from earlier this season.
But back to Abbie, Jenny and Irving. He’s alive. Dun…dun…dun…dun! Evil or not evil? Abby’s not too trusting of someone she literally buried.
By the way, when did Captain Irving’s ex-wife find out about magic and stuff? Did I miss something?
Did Irving tell her something after their daughter was possessed? But I’m glad she knows because I’m tired of people not telling those they love about stuff.
Anyway, they think he’s a cop killer, but the cliffhanger at the end is that someone might have evidence to prove his innocence. I’m guessing his name starts in “H” and ends in “enry,” as John Noble still has a credit on the show.
You know it’s a measure of how little Irving has had to do this season that I can’t remember which cop he’s supposed to have killed.
The ones his daughter murdered while possessed. He confessed because he’s a good dad. Then he claimed to be nuts. Yeah.
As always, Lyndie Greenwood continues to own every second she is on screen as Jenny Mills, giving us a great moment in a graveyard as she digs up the aforementioned bullets.
Speaking of Hawley, thankfully he’s not in this episode, but next week will focus on him. Darnit. Apparently he was raised by an immortal or something and the team has to rescue him? I’m not sure if I really care about the actual story though, as long as the acting stays on the level it’s been.
I know I’m supposed to be the right demographic for the Indiana Jones of supernatural things but he bores me. I’m hoping the next episode puts an end to him. He took up far too much time from Irving and Abbie and Ichabod and especially Jenny.
As long as I get those lovely interactions between Ichabod and Abbie, I’ll keep watching. If they can bring the rest of the cast up to that level, I’ll be please. Even if the plots are too dumb to explain.