by Billie Doux
We returned to the familiar Sleepy Hollow sets, the flashbacks were nostalgic and appropriate, the action further cemented our new Team Witness, and the Philosopher's Stone debacle near the end actually explained what happened to Ichabod in the pilot episode — good writing there. We also got a poignant scene with Ichabod at Abbie's grave.
In fact, this should have been a four-star episode. Why wasn't it?
I did like the effective two-pronged attack that Team Witness pulled to outwit the Sphinx. It's understandable that Jenny has been protecting Jake and Alex from the worst of the supernatural danger, and it was time that they called her on it and insisted on equal-danger-facing -- although that also made me apprehensive that either Jake or Alex would die by the end of the episode. (Thankfully, no.)
But the Judas Scepter "tuning fork gone wrong" made me think that it was a little homage to this season's big bad on The Vampire Diaries. (No, that's something they'd do on The CW, not Fox.) And then the Sphinx as an ancient mystical archer started reminding me of Arrow. If you watch DC's Legends of Tomorrow, I bet you know what I'm going to reference when they got to George Washington in a tent. Yes, I acknowledge that Sleepy Hollow did George Washington first, but still. What am I getting at here? That it's not good when what pops out at me is what's going on with other shows?
It was a bit sad to learn that Washington deliberately sacrificed Ichabod, but not a surprise, considering the stakes. I did like how Ichabod's death and the mixing of his blood with Headless happened directly on top of the Philosopher's Stone. I haven't seen the pilot episode in awhile. Did we really see the Stone in the pilot? Did they always plan to bring it in at some point?
And again, so not a surprise that Dreyfuss survived the mystical explosion, and now he's immortal. (When Dreyfuss said, "The Philosopher's Stone is now complete," did anyone else hear the words "Death Star" in their heads?) What about the cost they were talking about? Will people in Sleepy Hollow start dying in order to give Dreyfuss eternal life, or did they get around that somehow by blowing everything up? Will they go the obvious Alias route to defeat Dreyfuss (please note that that link will spoil the ending of Alias for you) or is Dreyfuss linked to Ichabod now in some sort of mystical way that will lead to his downfall.? I'm also wondering if Sleepy Hollow has made Dreyfuss too cute and non-threatening so far. I'm ready for Jeremy Davies to become a lot less cuddly and a lot more evil in the second half of the season.
Finally, that scene where Ichabod visited Abbie's grave and told her the latest in a very Ichabod-like fashion was lovely, beautifully performed by Tom Mison... but honestly, it should have made me cry. It didn't.
And I am very aware that I just spent several paragraphs complaining about what was a relatively good episode. As a reviewer, I like to focus on the positive, and sadly, I can't seem to do that with Sleepy Hollow anymore. I was ready to give this show another chance. But as much as I love Tom Mison, and as well as the new Scoobies are working out, I'm ready for this show to come to an end. (Feel free to disagree in the comments.)
-- When the series began, the Sleepy Hollow population sign said 144,000. Now it says 146,169. Who updates signs like that?
-- Dreyfuss told Ichabod that self-made billionaires are self-involved. Pretty funny.
-- Dreyfuss retrieved Jobe from some sort of see-through trap (what was that?), and lost him to Franklin's lantern at the end. Is this the end of Jobe? Is this a question I will end up asking in every episode from here on out?
-- The Washington flashback included Benjamin Banneker from a couple of episodes ago. I think the writers are trying a bit harder to make the Colonial flashbacks more meaningful and consistent.
-- Diana seems to be fully on board now, and she and Ichabod are planning to make Molly's life as a Witness much safer than Abbie's. Good luck with that.
-- A headless bobblehead souvenir. Good one.
Ichabod: (in a convenience store) "Hardtack, peppered jerky, myriad nuts, seeds, dried fruit and beverages. Provisions amassed here would sustain a year-long expedition into the wild."
Diana: "We're only 45 from the Sleepy Hollow exit. Chips will do the trick."
Diana: "Check your raccoon tail at the door, Daniel Boone. There is no amount of colonial know-how that could have created the wonder that is the Blue Frost Razzle Dazzle Berry Bucket of Slush."
Ichabod: "I believe this is what is known as a 'brain freeze'."
Tom Mison's 'brain freeze' expression was so droll that I rewound it to watch it again.
Jake: "It's kind of... it's nice here... I was kind of expecting more of a Stephen King vibe."
Ichabod: "Welcome to Sleepy Hollow."
Diana: "Where the magic happens. Literally."
Jenny: (showing them around) "The library, lab. There's a secret entrance behind that grating that leads down to the sewer system."
Diana: "What secret base is complete without one?"
Jenny: "There's lots of ghosts in this place. But all ones I adore."
Ichabod: "As always, Lieutenant, we secured a strong victory. Fist bump. And what else is new in the world? A Hogwarts theme park has opened. I have ordered a metric ton of Ravenclaw attire from the internet. Mr. Robert Zimmerman has a fine new studio album. As for your New York Metropolitans this year, they have a fierce rivalry with those grizzly Cubs of Chicago."
Three out of four Stephen King vibes,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.