Sleepy Hollow: Tempus Fugit

"Let us change the course of history. Again."

A nearly perfect season ender.

History was saved, nearly everything was resolved, Katrina was finally written out, and they left us with a great foundation to launch another season. This episode could also function as a satisfying series finale if that's what it turns out to be, although it did its job and made me want more. Why couldn't we have another season or two with the writing on point like it was here? Is it too late to save Sleepy Hollow?

I loved how clever Abbie was in dealing with her impossible situation. She used her knowledge of Ichabod to get him to believe she wasn't a lunatic, which was a lovely full circle bit since he did much the same thing with her at the beginning of the series. Abbie knows how curious Ichabod is, and how his default setting is to help people. The thing with the password and the selfie on her cell phone was perfect. I especially loved the little bit when Ichabod looked at the instruction "slide to unlock" and slid the cell phone itself across the table.

I also loved every moment with Timothy Busfield's Benjamin Franklin, right up until he was unexpectedly decapitated. Of course Franklin was able to deal with the spell and the time travel and the Witnesses and come up with the perfect solution. I particularly loved how enamored he was with Abbie herself, and how he correctly saw the professional success of a young African American woman as the ultimate fulfillment of the American dream.

But having Grace Dixon completely undo the Traveler spell and re-set history was a bit too good to be true. I was expecting a more complicated resolution to the time travel mess that would include consequences and probably at least one more episode. Although I'm glad they didn't leave us with a cliffhanger, especially if this is all we're getting.

The part of the episode that didn't work for me hasn't worked the entire season, and yes, it was Katrina going completely evil. It's obvious that the producers and writers never knew what direction they wanted to take her character. Her turn to the dark side would have worked a lot better if it had been set up more logically and consistently. What if we'd learned in the first season finale that she had been evil from the beginning? Would that have worked? It was frustrating that it took an entire season for Ichabod to redirect his loyalties from Katrina to Abbie, but I did like that Ichabod in 1781 was so open minded that he was able to see the possibility of darkness in Katrina when it was right in front of his eyes -- at least enough to make him go check out Abbie's cell phone.

Sleepy Hollow may have lost its way in season two, but it still has so much to recommend it. Tom Mison's Ichabod Crane is their biggest asset, and Nicole Beharie's Abbie and the relationship between the two of them is wonderful. The unusual setting and story could work to their advantage if the writing were better and more consistent. Even though they tied up loose ends, we were left some intriguing tidbits: Franklin's aside that there are people in Abbie's time who know about the war, the Horseman, the Kindred, the statue of Grace Dixon, all those empty pages in Grace's journal that Abbie has to fill.

And of course, there is Ichabod's emotional state. He was devastated by the loss of Katrina and Henry, and if the series continues, I'm sure they'll explore that.

Bits and pieces:

-- The photography on this show is amazing. The battle scene at the beginning was excellent, and I liked that it included all the steps Ichabod had to go through to fire his weapon.

-- Tom Mison rocks all of his costumes and looked terrific in that uniform. I really loved that Abbie's blue coat resembled Ichabod's uniform, too, a sort of visual reminder of their supernatural partnership.

-- What was Sutton going to hit Abbie with? Do I even want to know? At least the way she took him down was satisfying.

-- It was a little cheesy that Henry's spirit came for Katrina. And like Henry, Katrina's body dissolved into ash, much like a vampire on Buffy, no inconvenient bodies to clean up or explain. Would that happen to Ichabod, too, or was it a witch thing?

-- The knife that Katrina nearly killed Ichabod with in 1781 looked nearly the same as the one he used to kill her in 2015.

-- Jenny and Frank almost weren't in the episode. They arrived at the last moment with Frank's good news. And Neil Jackson wasn't in the episode at all; we never saw the Horseman's face.

-- Ichabod's birthday is August 18.

Quotes, mostly Ichabbie banter:

Abbie: "That took a really long time for three miles."
Ichabod: "I suppose there are flying carriages in the second millennia?"
Abbie: "Only for long distances."
Ichabod: "I was being sarcastic."

Abbie: "That's going to be a Starbucks."
Ichabod: "A what?"
Abbie: "Coffee house. That livery stable, too."
Ichabod: "Why?"
Abbie: "I don't know. People drink a lot of coffee."

Abbie: "You know them?"
Ichabod: "Tis a small town. Providing I do not die or become suspended in time, I'll have a lot of explaining to do. They've never seen a woman in trousers."

Franklin: "What of my other ideas? Did libraries catch on?"
Abbie: "One in every neighborhood."
Franklin: "Splendid, splendid. Universities? Hospitals? The post office? The Franklin stove? Bifocals? Swim fins?"
Abbie: "All still around. You're even on the hundred dollar bill."
Franklin: "A hundred. How about that, Ichabod? The hundred dollar bill. What is Jefferson on?"
Abbie: "Two dollar bill."
Franklin: "The two! Does anyone even use the two? Sounds cumbersome."

Grace: "Sometimes all it takes is to put pen to paper to make a difference."

Ichabod: (uncomfortable) "Is this level of intimacy commonplace in 2015?"
Abbie: "Yeah. We hug it out."

Abbie: "Ready, Captain?"
Ichabod: "Ready, Lieutenant."

Four out of four selfies on cell phones. What did you think? Are you hoping, like I am, that this isn't the last of Sleepy Hollow?

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

7 comments:

Jess Lynde said...

I haven't been watching this show this last couple weeks. It took me two days to watch all of 'What Lies Beneath' and I ended up fast-forwarding through chunks of it near the end. So much of that episode was exactly the kind of material that would have worked like gangbusters for me when I was caught up in the flow of Season 1. The camaraderie, the historical twists, etc. And yet, I found myself ranging from irritated to bored with it at this point. The assorted missteps had soured me so much that I couldn't even enjoy the Abbie and Ichabod partnership anymore! So I decided that I needed to call it quits. (Warehouse 13 taught me that "bitter-watching" is not a good use of my time.)

But, I still followed the reviews for the last two episodes to see how things were progressing, and based on what folks are saying about the season finale, I'm thinking I might be ready to give the show another go if it comes back in the fall. It sounds like things have been left in a good place to get the show back to the happy zone of S1. The decks have been cleared, and we're back down to our original Scoobie Gang of Ichabod, Abbie, Jenny, and Frank. Yay! I think that after a good long break, I might be ready to try a fresh start with a new season. Hopefully, the deaths of Katrina, Henry, and the Crane family drama will take all my bitterness with them. :)

Billie Doux said...

TV Line has a nice interview with Tom Mison about this finale and where things might go for his character.

http://tvline.com/2015/02/24/sleepy-hollow-season-3-spoilers-tom-mison-katrina-dying-katia-winter-leaving/

Patrick said...

Honestly, I'm pretty sure I'm done with this show. The first season was insane, but it was fun, and they definitely seemed to have a basic idea of where that season would go when they started it. But it seemed very clear that they were writing season two completely by the seat of their pants. And the character who suffered the most for it was definitely Katrina. For the writers, freeing her from Moloch's clutches was a case of the proverbial dog catching the proverbial car, they had no clue what to do with her after she escaped purgatory. Their first idea? Have someone else hold her captive! *groan* Then she finally does get free, only now the writers are paying too much attention to the 'shippers on the Internet, and can't decide if Ichabod should actually be with his WIFE, or if they should break up the lawfully wedded couple so they can make Ichabbie happen. And they play out this conflict by making Katrina less and less sympathetic. Now I will grant you, I am thoroughly biased, seeing as how I think Katia Winter in her full Katrina "look" is beautiful on a level that would make Helen of Troy jealous. But I was also very charmed at the beginning of this show by Ichabod's devotion to his wife and his yearning to be with her again. But while the writers gave us all the reasons in the world to want Ichabod to be happy, they gave us NO reason to want Katrina to get a happy ending.

Yes, there were a LOT of other things that were sloppy and uneven about this season, but like I said, I'm biased. :) Anyway, I think I'm writing this one off. Maybe I'm spoiled by shows like Arrow, Flash etc. where the writers have clearly thought things through, but I'm not waiting until season six to wonder why the hell I've kept running down this particular rabbit hole for so long.

ChrisB said...

Like Jess, I had given up on this show. I tried to stick with it, but the last few episodes I watched just didn't do it for me. It makes me sad when a show I once loved devolves into such a mess.

I have, however, continued reading the reviews and I liked the sound of this one. I'm glad I watched it. It was fun in a season one sense and the scene with Franklin was fantastic.

I agree with everyone that the character of Katrina proved too much for the writers who blew it this season. I expect that what they were going for was the third leg of a triangle, yet Winter and Mison have zero chemistry. And, while I agree with Patrick that Winter is beautiful, her acting (or at least what the directors had her do on this show) was sometimes painfully OTT. I could never care about her one way or the other.

Will I come back next year? Maybe. I imagine I will watch the first episode or two to get a sense of where the show is headed. If it sticks to the core four and doesn't burden us with secondary characters that don't work, I may stick around.

Great season of reviews, Billie. Thanks for doing them.

Lora S. said...

I have to respectfully disagree with the above commenters. While Katrina was a failure on pretty much every level, she wasn't awful to watch. She was just below average. Which is totally unbalanced with Icabod and Abbie, and to a lesser extent Jenny and Irving.

The reason I think the series is strong, is our main duo never lost themselves. Their dialogue was always crisp and witty, and their motivations always remained logical.

I'll also agree that it was clear they didn't have a fully fleshed out idea for the season, and that was a major failing. But it is a sophomore season, and sometimes ambition can overwhelm creativity.

One thing was abundantly clear, the direction they wanted to go was hampered in some way, and the back half of the season really strives to fix those issues.

But the core of the series, the things I fell in love with are just as good as ever. Not only that, but all the extraneous stuff that everyone seems so down on, well that stuff literally just got killed off.

If we get another season, I'm confidant we'll get a very different, refocused, and fun third season.

Thank you Billie for sticking with it, you're reviews always make me smile because they remind why I do love this show.

mona said...

I am with Lora on this :)

While it was very messy at times and the writing seemed all over the place, I still enjoyed this show more than many others. I think Crane and Abbie are such terrific characters, that their interactions balance out all the other mayhem for me ^^

I loved the finale and I am really hoping for another season after that.

Thank you for you reviews Billie <3 Made the whole show even better =D

Hank said...

That was a whip Colonel Sutton was brandishing before Abbie took him down with that badass move.