Sleepy Hollow: The Midnight Ride

"Feeling mocked yet?"

Last week, I considered the possibility that "The Sin Eater" was Sleepy Hollow's first four star episode. I have now reconsidered. Because this week's was even better.

Why was it so good? Because they've finally figured out what kind of funny works on this show, and they managed to successfully combine it with shuddery. And they finally got somewhere with the plot. Our heroes set a clever trap for the Horseman -- and they actually caught him.

The episode started with a wild ride and ended with one, and that ending, with the chase through the masonic temple and all the fake heads as bait for the Horseman was funny and exciting and I loved it. I also loved the scenes where Ichabod and Abbie were trying unsuccessfully to destroy the Horseman's head, especially that shot of the empty room with the head sitting next to explosives. The "headless" thing was all through the episode, too. The four beheadings and the hollowed out heads with candles in them hanging in a church tower were just not something you see every day.

(I hope that one of those heads wasn't supposed to be James Frain's character, because I want him back.)

What on earth can they possibly do with the Horseman now? They can't destroy him. How can they keep him captive forever? Won't he eventually escape somehow? (Probably in the next few episodes?)

The supernatural elements are finally starting to gel for me, and I didn't find anything in this episode to be too dense. Maybe it was the devil's trap and the special manuscript which made me think of Supernatural, a show that also uses the Bible and local legends in its mythology. And the "man out of time" stuff is continuing to delight me, especially because they're doing it so well. This week, Ichabod ridiculed the concept of bottled water (there's an inalienable right to water, you know), was impressed by what you can get in a supermarket, unintentionally experienced a live cam sex chat thingy, and lectured museum-goers on the truth about Paul Revere. I thought his disappointment with his hero Thomas Jefferson was sort of sweet. And Ichabod is a cipher expert. I think we knew that already, didn't we?

I also got a charge out of Orlando Jones's Captain Irving this week. He's finally part of the inner circle. Loved his expression when he finally, actually saw the Horseman. (I included the photo on the right because it's a great photo. :)

And John Cho was back to confuse me! I thought he was a bad guy. Apparently, Andy Brooks sold his soul, but he still wants to protect Abbie. Maybe. Actually, John Cho looked so earnest that I think he's sincere. Maybe there's a way they can save his soul?

Bits and pieces:

-- The Beetlejuice credits are back. Last week's episode must have run long.

-- Jenny wasn't in this episode, but we hear she is moving in with Abbie.

-- Ichabod told the woman online that he was espoused. That, and his disappointment with Thomas Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings, made me wonder if Ichabod is going to be faithful to Katrina forever. It's rather sweet. I keep calling him sweet, don't I? He's such a cutie. I have it bad.

-- The Horseman beheaded the oil painting of Washington. LOL.

-- Things finally seem to be happening with Abbie's ex, Luke Morales. I honestly don't care. He's the most uninteresting character in the series. Please write him out.

-- This week in revolutionary history: April 18, 1775, and the Midnight Ride, as advertised. I don't remember hearing about the beheadings during that famous ride. Maybe I need to brush up on my history.


Ichabod: "The extent to which your generation has defiled this earth is truly mind boggling."
And so say all of us.

Brooks: "Rumors of my demise have been… pretty much true."

Ichabod (voice mail): "Dear Miss Mills, I hope this aural missive finds you well, or finds you at all. I'm still trying to fathom the notion that my words are somehow recorded on your 'smart phone'."

Captain Irving: "I am running out of rope with which to hang myself."

Abbie: "You wanted proof."
Captain Irving: "Honestly, I wanted it to be a lie."

Ichabod: "The myriad of destructive devices you have in this century is remarkable."
That, and the supermarkets and online sex sites.

Abbie: "Excuse us. My cousin Steve forgot his medication this morning."

Abbie: "I have good news and bad news. What do you want first?"
Ichabod: "Is this a riddle?"
My favorite line of the night. I don't know why it struck me so funny.

Abbie: "We can simulate the sun."
Ichabod: "As long as it doesn't include the internet, I'm amenable."

This show just keeps getting better. Don't you love it when that happens? Four out of four hollowed out actual heads with candles in them,

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


sunbunny said...

DEFINITELY the best episode yet. I actually watched it twice. It was the funniest, the most exciting, and, as you said, the least mythologically dense one so far (thank god!).

The characterization on this show is just so great. I love that they can make Crane super hot and badass while still making him goofy and funny (they're clearly taking pages out of the Angel playbook; the scene in the museum reminded me of "She"). And I just adore Abbie more and more. She's just so smart. Trying to destroy the skull with chemicals? UV light? Abbie for the win.

The ending caught me by surprise. I was so into the scene I was completely confused when the episode ended! I want more!

Billie Doux said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did, sunbunny. I'm starting to get bummed that the brief season one will be over soon and we'll have to wait months for season two.

ChrisB said...

This show just keeps getting better and better. I love when they take history and manage to make it more real somehow. Of course Paul Revere wouldn't go shouting through the streets. The way the ride was portrayed was wonderful.

I don't know about you guys, but I watch this show with closed captioning. More than once, what is being said is not what was captioned -- it is, inevitably, better. Makes me wonder how much of the dialogue is improvised and off script. In only one of several instances this episode, "I cracked the code" is captioned while Crane says, "I deciphered the password." So much better.

Vero said...

Finally! I said last week that this show had not hooked me yet, but this was THE episode I had been waiting for since the beginning. It had the perfect balance of the supernatural, the historical, the funny and the sweet.

Actually, one of my favorites scenes that is not mentionned in your review Billie is the one between Abbie and Crane when they were telling each other how lonely they felt, but at least they had each other. I just found it really honest and sweet, and also beautifully acted.

I also watch with the closed captioning Chris B (mainly because English is not my first language and I hate to miss parts of the dialogue!) and last night's CC was really weird, very different from what was said on many occasions. Was it the first time it happened with this show? I don't think I've caught it before. Anyway, I think the CC made me believe that the horseman had talked to Crane when he got to the cemetary because I seem to remember it saying something like "I got your message" and I was confused that the horseman could talk!

Namastenancy said...

I laughed out loud so many times I scared my cat. Abby saying that he is her brother and had forgot his meds was a hoot! Then the Internet Porn and the whole dialogue around that. The writers have a very good ear for the difference between 18th century manners and our own and are doing a great job of playing that up in a funny way. Abby and Crane have such lovely chemistry together which is why all the goofy/ silly works.

I want James Frain back too. I just finished watching the "White Queen." Blech. It's nice to see him clean shaven. Speaking of that - I wonder if they are ever going to cut Crane's hair.

Four pumpkins and a big slice of pie for this one.

Josie Kafka said...

So I should start watching it again? Because y'all seem really, really excited.

Billie Doux said...

It is definitely improving, Josie. If this episode is available on On Demand, you might want to give it another shot.

Billie Doux said...

Salon has an article up today that contains serious praise for the diversity in Sleepy Hollow and mentions this episode in particular:

The article also refers to Sleepy Hollow as a "runaway hit". And, unfortunately, says some not so good things about last season's Game of Thrones.

ChrisB said...

What an interesting article!

Jess Lynde said...

I really loved this one, too. The last episode was moving and revelatory, but this one had the nearly perfect blend of humor, partnership beats, and action. So many things to delight in! Even though the credits were back, John Cho was too! Being all creepy, undead stalker (I do kind of feel bad for him, but only a little)! Captain Irving is officially part of the inner circle! (My suspicions about him knowing more than he let on seem to be totally wrong, but so what?!) We got multiple instances of Ichabod's clipped annoyance at the modern world and its perversion of the history he knows! (I would have been quite content with just the water rage and the history museum rage, but the rude Jefferson awakening was a wonderful bonus!)

And, as Vero noted, we got the terrific scene between Abbie and Crane in the archives: "All we really get is one another." This was probably the first moment where their bond really clicked for me. I've enjoyed their working relationship, and their friendly banter is always entertaining, but commiserating over the loneliness of being the "witnesses" really sold me on how deep their connection has become. I'm feeling it now. I'm not sure why the "near death" bonding they did last episode didn't do it for me --- perhaps that situation was too fraught. Finding that connection in a quieter, contemplative moment just really made it sing for me.