Sleepy Hollow: The Akeda

"You brought roots to a sword fight?"

As cool and twisty as much of this episode was, a lot of it was all over the place and they left way too much up in the air. Yeah, I know, they had to leave something for the back seven. So there's that.

What I liked most was the payoff for Henry. We've spent the entire season watching Henry acting like a powerful, demented little boy, lashing out with homicide, playing lethal games with his parents. And now he's turned on his chosen daddy. And it wasn't that Henry saw the light and converted to the side of good because Ichabod and Katrina refused to sacrifice him. It was that Moloch completely failed Henry as a foster father and role model. The Biblical Abraham suffered when he was told to sacrifice Isaac, but Moloch was, like, la la la, go die for me and I'll just create another Horseman. It was somewhat ridiculous for Henry to expect loving kindness from Moloch in the first place.

But it also made me wonder if Moloch ever really worked as a Big Bad at all. We never had a relationship with him as we now have with Henry. I'll give them this, though. I did not expect it to be gently wafting curtains for Moloch so soon. And I am at a complete loss about what Henry will do next. Even though Ichabod and Katrina must have had a role in Henry's decision to turn on Moloch, I somehow doubt that Henry is going to turn around and untie (or de-root) his parents and the Mills sisters.

The other big payoff in this episode was Frank Irving. I like Frank a lot, and I haven't been happy with his bopping around Tarrytown Psychiatric all season. But it was cool that his soulless state turned out to be useful with the Methuselah Sword. Maybe I would have liked it more if he'd used it to shish-kebob Moloch himself instead of Henry's avatar, after which Frank promptly died. Bummer.  What about Frank's soul? Is he in Hell? Is Orlando Jones out of the series, or will the Witnesses and their sidekicks find a way to save him? (I'm betting on the latter.)

I liked that they went back and finished at the four white trees, which is where it all started for Abbie and Jenny as well as Henry, but is it really the end of the Apocalypse? Is Henry still a Horseman without his avatar and Moloch? Are the Horsemen still even a thing? What happens to Purgatory with Moloch gone? And what's next for our Witnesses?

Could it be divorce court? There was something of a culmination of the constant Crane marital tension as Ichabod and Katrina argued somewhat genteelly and decided that they would take a break and just be comrades in arms until Moloch was defeated. Well, he's defeated. Honestly, I wish that Headless had finished the binding ritual because I'm tired of the way the writers are jerking around Katrina. I want to care about her as a character, but that's hard to do because we don't really know what is motivating her, or even the extent of her magical powers. Did she kill Mary, as Ichabod now suspects? Why on earth does Katrina care about Abraham? I believe that she does, but I just don't get it.

I seem to be bitching a lot, but I love how nuts this show is and I honestly did enjoy this episode. The opener with the GPS and Ichabod falling in love with the motorcycle was great fun, too; they do the man-out-of-time stuff very well. (I loved how Ichabod went from "Perhaps there's a stable nearby…" to "I want one of these as soon as this is over." This series' greatest treasure is, and continues to be, Tom Mison's Ichabod.) I liked that Henry's toy model of Sleepy Hollow had a purpose with the pentagram and all, but it wasn't very diabolical of him to leave such an obvious clue behind for the good guys. I also liked a drunken Hawley dragged out of a bar to babysit Headless. "It's not a party. You can't have any friends over."

And of course, there was Ichabod and Abbie, ready to charge into battle and die to stop the Apocalypse, which they fortunately didn't have to do just yet. The Sleepy Hollow Scooby Gang works for me. I care about them all. Well, except for Katrina. The writers need to fix Katrina. Seriously.

Bits and pieces:

-- The Methuselah Sword had runes mentioning Erelim angels. I was wondering about angels.

-- I absolutely loved the way Ichabod held Abbie as she was sobbing for Frank. Beautiful shot.

-- I liked Hawley's mystical weapon stockpile (Blackbeard's flintlocks? the super katana?) and the battle in the woods with the Colonial zombies.

-- There were parallel Horseman sword fights, with Ichabod chopping off the end of Abraham's axe, and Frank taking off the arm and sword of Henry's avatar. The avatar melting into a picturesque mess was a terrific special effect.

-- Frank's code was the date that traitor John Andre was captured in Tarrytown, New York. There's a long Wikipedia entry that I didn't read.

-- Frank left the care of Cynthia and Macey to Jenny. I wasn't imagining the bond between Frank and Jenny, then. They'd make a cute couple if he isn't dead forever.

-- Katrina is still in her lost-and-found goth girl outfit. Maybe now that the Apocalypse has been averted, she could work in a trip to JCPenney.


Ichabod: "If ever there were justification to commandeer a vehicle, the Apocalypse would be it."

Ichabod: "Where do I buckle?"
This was just adorable. Where do I buckle?

Hawley: "Hey! I didn't know you guys like to party. (pause) I'm about to do something less fun, aren't I?" Honestly, this was the most I've liked the guy so far. Maybe he's not so bad after all.

Hawley: "Doomsdayers are zero for ten thousand years."
Except for this time.

So it wasn't as effective a game changer as "Bad Blood" last season, and I had trouble getting my thoughts together to write this review which is a sure sign that it didn't entirely work for me. But I'm definitely onboard with this unexpected twist. Three out of four motorcycle buckles,

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


J.D. Balthazar said...

Although I really liked this one, and I like the fact that Henry acted against his demonic father, I'm a little torn about certain aspects to this finale. Mainly Katrina, and Irving's death.

Katrina needs focus, she's been all over the place, both emotionally and romantically. It's like the writers don't really know what they want to do with her (which would explain why such an important character was stuck literally in limbo all last season). I hope that she has a direction in the back half.

As for Irving, I seriously doubt that's the end of his character. But if it was, that was at least a hero's death. I just wish I felt more affected by his death, perhaps it's because he's been absent for most of this season, or perhaps it's because he might come back anyway. Either way I'm not broken up about the death as much as I should be.

The rest, it was good, uneven, and totally SH. I loved the motorscycle scenes and the group coming together. I even liked Hawley for once.

I look forward to next year and new episodes. Thanks for the review!

Jess Lynde said...

Well, I'm curious to see where things turn next. Hopefully, towards something better, because this last run of episodes hasn't really been working for me. There are still moments that capture what made the first season and the beginning of this season work, but overall the show just isn't clicking with me the way it did before. (I wonder if the change in my viewing pace affected the way I'm responding to it, or if it was purely a coincidence that the content of these more recent episodes just hasn't connected with me in the same way.)

I'm glad Moloch has been dispatched, but nothing here felt like the satisfying culmination of a slowly building arc. For me, it wasn't even a very exciting climax point. Frank's sacrifice, in particular, was disappointing. I agree with J.D., in that it didn't affect me much, and might have worked better if he hadn't been so badly sidelined for most of the season. As things stood, this death felt like a terrible waste of a good character. I, too, am hoping he'll continue to be around in some capacity in the remaining episodes. Maybe as Evil Henry's undead henchman. Then perhaps the team can focus their energy on redeeming/saving Frank and give up on Henry.

Henry is evil, Cranes! Just accept it. As Billie said, killing Moloch wasn't a redemptive act. It was a petulant, murderous child maneuver, and he's probably just going to become a bigger bad now. Can we stop trying to gin up drama over Ichabod having to kill his son, when they have no basis for the emotional connection the writers are trying to exploit? It isn't working. Just like Katrina and the Not-So-Headless Horseman. Not working at all.

nancy namaste said...

Reading your review and the comments always completes each SH episode. Adored Adored Crane on the motorcycle - he's the main reason I watch the show although Abby comes a close second.

Where do they go from here? Who knows but I'm along for the ride. But I agree that the writers need to figure out what to do with Katrina and get her some new clothes. Being pretty isn't enough.

ChrisB said...

I did not think that the Big Bad would be dispatched quite this quickly. I agree with all the others that Frank's death should have been more affecting. I was more moved by Abbie's reaction.

Crane and the motorcycle may be my favorite moment of the series.