Same Geek Channel Review: ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Episode 215 “Spellcaster”

Reading Time: 7 minutes
The reason we watch the show. Source: FOX.
The reason we watch the show.
Source: FOX.

Corrina: Last time on Same Geek Channel: Sleepy Hollow, we ditched blond studly guy to focus on our core characters, mainly Ichabod and Abbie.

This episode appeared devoted to providing Katrina, another plot drag on this season, with something to do. Unfortunately, that something proves to be more angst and wavering. Um, yay?

Real “yay”: maintaining the focus on Abbie and Ichabod.

Mordechai: I’ve a confession to make–when I saw that this episode was going to focus on Katrina, I had a hard time staying interested. A conspicuous lack of Jenny Mills didn’t help. Thankfully, the second act picks up and the third act reminds me of why I fell for this show.

There’s a good amount of Ichabod reacting to the modern world in this one. Trash talk comes up (and if the showrunners don’t give us the teased Ichabod at a hockey game, I will be ever so cross), as well as a reference to “Spidey Sense” and a touching reference to Edward R. Murrow. And the opening, with Ichabod at an open house, is great.

Mind you, pretty sure they had wax fruit in Colonial times. Source: FOX.
Mind you, pretty sure they had wax fruit in Colonial times.
Source: FOX.

Corrina: I wondered why Ichabod wanted to look at houses. Is he planning to set up a real home with Katrina? (Aside: have they even had reunion happy times yet? I know, I know, but my mind wanders.) But the main point being that Abbie and Ichabod house-hunting is gold.

Mordechai: Solid gold. I saw it as Ichabod wondering what his purpose was outside being a Witness. Which is weird, since he’s seemed fairly committed before (like the half-season opener).

The first bit of the show is pretty bloody. The secret journal of John Dee come to the area and two people are murdered for it. May I just say how happy I am that it turns out that the journal was summoned by a Purgatory escapee? I’d been getting a little sick of Sleepy Hollow, New York, being some kind of mystical singularity. Please note, though, that the murders occur not in Sleepy Hollow, but White Plains. White Plains is close to Sleepy Hollow (we’re talking a ten to fifteen minute drive), but no way is it close enough that Abbie would have any kind of jurisdiction there.

Corrina: Yes, but why would an auction house have two people cataloging inventory in a warehouse rather than an atmosphere-controlled facility? We know John Dee’s book is magical and therefore indestructible, but no one else does. Handling it with plastic gloves is the least of things that are needed to keep a 15th century manuscript from disintegrating. I digress.

Mordechai: I’m ashamed that I didn’t even consider that.

Corrina: Lots of blood, a security guard determined not to fire, and a crazy warlock made for a creepy scene.

Also, considering the next scene, it appears the crazy warlock has either been lifting weights or taking steroids while in Purgatory.

Mordechai: You know, we had a shirtless moment last episode too. Maybe this is a new trend. Getting back to the distance thing, it hit me as odd when later in the episode Captain Irving just shows up at the auction house. Forget how he knew Abbie was there–why isn’t she wondering why the heck he’s one town over?

Anyway, our mystical big bad is one Solomon Kent. Kent was the instigator of the original Salem Witch trials, himself a witch. He was trying to hide the accidental killing of a woman he was infatuated with (protip: don’t try to embrace someone you just handed a knife to. Also? That’s not how you hand someone a knife). He ends up murdering tons of people, including Katrina’s grandmother. Interestingly, we learn that Katrina’s last name (VanTassle) is her grandmother and mother’s last name. Meaning that for some reason, her mother kept the name or raised her under it. I wonder if this will be a plot point, or just me picking up on an irrelevance?

Speaking of "irrelevance", here's Katrina. Source: FOX.
Speaking of “irrelevance”, here’s Katrina.
Source: FOX.

Corrina: I’m guessing irrelevant or else it’s to later reveal that Katrina was an illegitimate daughter. Or they just needed a connecting name for all the characters.

I went off on a completely different tangent, about Solomon Kane, the Robert E. Howard character whose stories have been adopted into graphic novels. Kane is also a Puritan, but he’s on a black-and-white mission to basically purify, so that’s where the similarity ends. Still, I wondered why they choose such a similar name and if one of the writers is a closet Howard fan. But, back to the characters actually on the show.

Mordechai: I thought of Kane too! Katrina actually gets to throw some magic around. Kent tells her she’s much more powerful than she should be, and we get more hints that she may be the next antagonist. We also learn that her magic is powered by nature, and other magic is powered by other things, like fire or the stars and the moon. Hey Ichabod? Those are part of “nature” too.

Corrina: In all my fantasy novels, witches tend to favor earth, water, fire or air magic. (Also see Avatar: The Last Airbender.) The division makes sense, Ichabod’s comment about “nature” doesn’t.

Mordechai: Kent is a “blood mage,” and that’s apparently the most powerful and worstest kind.

Corrina: Blood mages are always the worst kind. I bet they’re the messiest to clean up after too. Except if the blood is magic, it seems to clean up after itself.

Mordechai: Now I want to do a story about a good blood mage. Kent summons some blood creatures to fight our heroes, giving us the second recent episode with blood covered men. Overall, the first twenty minutes or so have a lot of blood, even for Sleepy Hollow.

Corrina: Hence, my worries about the clean up.

Mordechai: Ichabod and Abbie beat back the bad guys, but Kent gets away and Katrina is too spent (or pretending to be). Abbie reminds Ichabod that they were taking bad guys out before Katrina showed up (yes!), and enlists Captain Irving to help.

Intense Irving is intense. Source: FOX.
Intense Irving is intense.
Source: FOX.

Corrina: At this point, I was cheering Irving’s arrival. He adds an energy to the show that’s it sorely lacked for some time.

Mordechai: It was a great scene. Orlando Jones kills it for me. And hey, the plan works out pretty well, too. Once they realize Kent isn’t trying to resurrect his love, but travel back in time, they know where he is going to be and kick his ass. Well, not literally. Although Ichabod does absolutely beat the crap out of him.

Corrina: I loved the bit about using modern science to combat magic. It reminded me of the Buffy episode where the Scooby Gang raided an Army base to get weapons against Angelus. This contrast between the modern world and science and the magical world and the Revolutionary Era is a large part of what’s appealing about Sleepy Hollow.

Mordechai: Then, in a bit of Plot Induced Stupidity, they both run off to find Irving. While they leave the body unattended, Irving comes out of the woods, crushes Kent’s neck under his heel, and steals the journal of John Dee. When the others ask about the book, Irving says it must have disintegrated with the body. Oh, that’s right, the body disintegrated. That’s helpful.

Corrina: Things disintegrate all the time in Sleepy Hollow. Maybe they’re as worried about cleaning bills as I am. But I’m a bit bummed that Irving came back evil after all. I don’t want him as the antagonist. I like him too much.

Mordechai: All the hints in the episode made it feel like they were setting up either Katrina or Irving as the new central antagonist. The show badly needs one. The level of writing on this episode is strong enough that you even think that after we see Henry again, for the first time since the finale. He’s been hiding out in a hotel, purposeless, just carving things and eating takeout. When the motel owner is attacked, it reminds Henry that he’s not the moping type. And then we get this:

Sleepy_hollow_irving_henry
Sinister plotting in the woods! Source: FOX.

Corrina: I wanted them to drag out Henry’s decision between good and evil longer, but I suppose it’s for the best. But it would’ve been interesting to see Katrina turn to evil in this episode and then Henry realize he has to stop her in order to sort out his own issues with his parents. But maybe that’s too complicated. Or maybe it shows how little stomach I have for Katrina being angsty and worried and torn.

Mordechai: I’m glad they didn’t drag it out, as the episodes have been dragging enough as it is. With Henry and Irving are still tied together that means Katrina was either fooled or lied. Could Irving be Moloch in a new body? Or just something new? And is Katrina part of this, or a whole other kind of threat? I’m also intrigued by the time travel spell that is now in Henry’s hands.

Corrina: We saw some sort of evil seeds enter Katrina at some point while she was living with Headless. I’m sure that’s part of it.

Mordechai: And Kent even says something about seeds of evil. Good catch.

Apparently eyes turning white is a sign of evil. Watch for it. Source: FOX.
Apparently eyes turning white is a sign of evil. Watch for it.
Source: FOX.

Like the last episode, they do a bit of talking right to the fans with the closing scene, with Henry telling Irving that no, this is not where it all ended, but where it all begins. Hopefully, Sleepy Hollow can keep that promise and bring back some of the fun and energy from the first season.

Corrina: I will stick with this show as long as they stick to that.

Get the Official GeekDad Books!