After four episodes of wildly uneven television, Sleepy Hollow may have finally found it’s groove again.
Corrina: If this show had been this good from the beginning of season 2, instead of spinning its wheels, it might not have started bleeding viewers.
Introduce a cool new character: check.
Another wacky appearance by a Founding Father: check. Abbie and Ichabod banter at the beginning: check. Forward movement on Irving’s story: check
Mordechai: You left out “Jenny being awesome.”
Corrina: And now we have a clear antagonist for this last part of the season, as it seems the Crane family is about to gang up on Ichabod.
To recap: the show begins with three underground survey workers encountering some Morlocks, er, strange beings in a tunnel sealed by what’s surely a magic steel cover.
Ichabod and Abbie touring a battleship and I tried to identify which one but while I know the Intrepid is on display in New York City, that’s an aircraft carrier, not a battleship. It leads to banter about the modern-day versus Revolutionary Era weapons and Ichabod claims he’s now fully acclimated to the modern world. I have my doubts.
Mordechai: That’s not New York City. There are several such vessels open to the public in the New York area, though. Also, the banter comes first, with less a claim and more his asking himself out loud. Like the last two episodes, this is very clearly aimed at the viewer.
Corrina: Agreed. Definitely meta-commentary.
When our witnesses head to investigate the disappearances, Calvin Riggs, a Pultizer Prize-winning reporter (played by Sharif Atkins of White Collar) steps over the line (literally), claims he’s a Sleepy Hollow native so he knows weird stuff is going on here, and his brother is one of the missing. I instantly liked him. Intelligence, charm, and screen presence. A huge improvement on Bland Studly dude.
Mordechai: And it helps that his flirting was far, far more subtle.
Corrina: Abbie blows off Calvin and she and Ichabod investigate. They find that the cap to the tunnel of Morlocks is partially magic. Ichabod says it’s Thomas Jefferson’s work. Of course it is.
A first foray into the tunnels results in failure as they’re driven out. Calvin the reporter shows up to catch the tail end of this and calls them out. Abbie gives him a somewhat evasive answer but promises to find his brother. A second foray, this time with light to drive away the Morlocks, ends in Abbie and Ichabod discovering a long-secret and very elaborate library of secrets guarded by one Thomas Jefferson.
Or, at least, a magical hologram of Jefferson.
Mordechai: Have I mentioned how sad I am that you referenced the Morlocks before I could? It’s stopped me from joking how the cap could have used more locks. That’s a DadJoke right there. How about that abortive Crane/Jefferson bromance?
Corrina: Hmm…nah. I hope that the next time the show uses a Founding Father that they use a less known one, like Nathanael Greene or Daniel Morgan. Of course, they’d get the history wrong but at least it would draw attention to them.
So what is Jefferson guarding? All the knowledge the two witnesses need to fight evil.
Gee, that would’ve been handy last season. What the heck made Jefferson think Abbie and Ichabod would just stumble over it one day? But, of course, that would be too much knowledge for the show, and to rescue the remaining two surveyors, including Calvin’s brother, they have to attack the Morlocks and blow up the library and Jefferson’s magical facsimile with it. Bummer. Jefferson is initially against this plan–he’s been guarding this stuff for two centuries–then agrees that human life is more valuable and that the 21st Century United States is in wonderful hands.
Mordechai: The “blow it up this second” tactic really bugged me. The thing has been there for two hundred years and this is the first time that someone has stumbled over it. That means that this is fairly safe to take their time with. They could have gotten Jenny, some high candle-power flashlights (the Reavers don’t like light, you see), and taken them out, then looked at the information at their leisure. But then we wouldn’t have much of a show.
Corrina: Know what disappoints me even more than that? That Abbie didn’t call out Jefferson’s slave-owning self. Especially when he was ready to sacrifice two more people for his “cause.”
Mordechai: Especially after they touched on it in season one.
Corrina: Another chance lost.
But at least Calvin’s brother is saved, as is his fellow surveyor, though no word of how traumatized they are by seeing their friend eaten by Morlocks.
Mordechai: And they flirt. Oh how they flirt. All with the eyes. Loved it.
Corrina: All I noticed was that I enjoyed Calvin. A lot. Maybe he was flirting with me? I’ll go with that.
In the subplot, Jenny helps Irving break into the police evidence look-up to retrieve his personal belongings. Jenny doesn’t trust Irving and gets the drop on him when he takes something magical. Irving explains he needs it to remain “himself” for a little longer as he woke up basically without a soul, with only evil inside. He’s found a few things to keep the evil self at bay but he’s running out of time. He wants Jenny to protect his family before he hurts them by running. Aw, I hope this doesn’t mean Irving dies again. Or that they didn’t just introduce a new African-American character because Irving will be gone by the end of the season.
Mordechai: That scene could have been the entire episode and I would have been happy. Just great acting. It also explains why Katrina didn’t catch Irving.
Corrina: Yep, Katrina’s going all Dark Phoenix (as do many redheads on geek shows), and teaming up with Henry for something obviously nefarious. Katrina evil is predictable but more interesting than her whiny, passive self.
Mordechai: But is it of her own free will? And heck, was Irving even telling Jenny the truth?
This is what the show has needed. They’re setting up a strong conflict, which is where these characters do best. The question is if it’s on time. FOX may have squandered the goodwill of the viewers, and we may not get a third season.
Talons crossed, people.
Corrina: Unlike Gotham, we’re sticking with Sleepy Hollow. Join us next week, Same Geek Time, Same Geek Channel!
Mordechai is a geek with loving wife, a teenage geek daughter and geek-in-training grade-schooler. Mordechai has an obsessive interest in comics (especially older ones) as well as tech. He also watches way, way too much television.