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Sleepy Hollow: The Lesser Key of Solomon

Jenny: "Nice to see you again, British guy."

I was sort of hoping there'd be a Hellmouth. And voila.

I have to admit that the supernatural plotting on this show isn't doing much for me. I'll even admit that I'm having a hard time retaining some of it because it's so freaking dense, and I'm definitely not ready to rewatch each episode and obsess about it. But there's an apocalypse coming, right? Crane and Abbie are the two witnesses in Revelations, right? And we just learned that Moloch is the Big Bad, I got that part. We also seem to have acquired Revolutionary-era Nazis in the form of supernatural Hessians who torture innocent bartenders to death, and one of them was even undercover as a music teacher.

We also have a magic sextant. You gotta love a magic sextant. Okay, so it was a secret map, not magic, but everything else on this show is supernatural. Like the box that was a doorway to the seventh circle of Hell. The scene in the church with the bubbling cauldron and the demons reminded me so much of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the library and the Hellmouth, but with better special effects. Although the demons did look a bit like a bunch of kids writhing under a sheet.

I like both of the Mills sisters and it was nice to see Abbie and Jenny reconnect and move toward forgiveness. It was a little surprising to learn that Jenny also had a relationship with Sheriff Corbin, to the point where he entrusted her with his magic sextant. I also liked Abbie threatening Jenny's terrible former foster mother with brimstone.

But for me, the best part of this episode was at the beginning:

Crane: (sitting alone in a car) "... until fate's cruel hand intervened and in a blink of an eye, Katrina was lost to me."
Woman's voice: "I am so, so sorry!"
Crane: "I offer this tale, no matter how cruelly he may have treated you, to suggest that you do not give up nor give in to anything less than certainty in matters of the heart."
Woman's voice: (heartfelt) "No one's ever said it like that. Thank you."
Crane: "It is I who should thank you, kind woman, for unlocking this vehicle from afar. And showing me how the entertainment system operates. Farewell, Yolanda."
Woman's voice: "Thank you for calling Northstar Assistance."

It was funny and cute and a good "man out of time" scene, but it was more than that. It made me go "awww" because it was charming and sweet and a lovely character moment. How like Crane to share his heartbreak with a stranger in the hope that it would help her with her own.

And I loved Crane and his photographic memory remembering the map. And Crane invented the Boston Tea Party! Of course he did. I love this guy. I'm watching because of this guy. And I'll stop raving about Tom Mison now.

Bits and pieces:

-- The credits are too Beetlejuice for me. Am I the only one?

-- Did we already see "Keep telling yourself that" scrawled on the toilet paper dispenser at the truck stop?

-- Moloch was also mentioned on Buffy; he was the villain in... was it "I Robot, You Jane"?

-- The actresses who play Abbie and Jenny are both beautiful, but they don't much resemble each other.

-- I absolutely hate it when someone slices their hand deliberately to use the blood for a ritual. There are so many nerve endings in the hand, people use their hands constantly, and it would make a lot more sense to cut, say, anything else that isn't your freaking hand.

-- In this week's hair report, I just keep noticing that Crane and Abbie have the same hairdo. Maybe it's a "two witnesses" fashion thing.


Crane: "An officer of the law with a criminal past. Imagine the delinquency we could perpetrate if we really put our minds to it."
I like that Abbie isn't a goodie two shoes. And that Crane likes that Abbie isn't a goodie two shoes.

Abbie: "You invented the Boston Tea Party so that you could steal something from the British?"
Crane: "At the time, it was referred to as 'The destruction of the tea'. You've coined a far more festive name."
Well, it used to be a festive name, before it became a political group hellbent on taking us back to the 18th century and destroying the country's economy. Which sort of fits in with the apocalypse on this show, doesn't it?

I'm not ready to commit to reviewing this show every week, but I am still getting a charge out of it. What did you all think?

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Fun review, Billie.

    I'm still not watching yet, but that Northstar conversation was fun just to read. :-)

  2. The mythology is crazy dense and I think it's weird they're introducing so much this early. I've sort of given up trying to really understand it for the moment. It takes away too much of my enjoyment of the show which I'm basically watching for Tom Mison and Nichole Beharie. I love their rapport and both their characters are really interesting. Plus, I'm really quite in love with Tom Mison.

    I agree Abbie and Jenny look nothing alike. Their coloring is similar, but I refuse to believe eyebrows that different looking could come from the same genetic line. Weird, because the young versions of Abbie and Jenny were very well cast. Hm.

    I actually like the credits. They're spooky but not really intense.

    Oh and I'm glad you published this review because it gives me a chance to use one of my Twitter jokes:

    "Moloch? You mean that demon that got trapped in the internet on Buffy? I'm not exactly quaking in my stylish yet affordable boots."

  3. Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's noticing the Buffy parallels! (I even wrote a blog post about it!) I was Tweeting with a friend (and fellow BtVS fan) during the show on Monday night, and we kept cracking each other up with our Buffy in-jokes.

    Anyway, I also felt that the best part of this ep was the beginning. I had no idea what was going on until the "punchline". Brilliant.

    I also agree that Jenny and Abbie don't really "read" to me as sisters. Not only physically, but Abbie's accent is totally different from Jenny's, which always takes me out of their scenes a bit.

    The rest of the episode felt flat to me. Not nearly as engaging as the premiere. I'm still watching, though, because I love the relationship between Crane and Abbie. Plus, even Buffy's first season wasn't that great. Some series do need some time to come into their own.

  4. Great review!

    I like this show, but I'm not loving it yet. I like Ichabod and Abbie working together, but somehow I feel I could have done without the quick introduction of Jenny. I'm not sure how involved she's going to be in their cases, but she kind of feels like a third wheel between Abbie and Crane (not that I want them to develop a romantic relathionship).

    "I absolutely hate it when someone slices their hand deliberately to use the blood for a ritual. There are so many nerve endings in the hand, people use their hands constantly, and it would make a lot more sense to cut, say, anything else that isn't your freaking hand"

    Yes! I always have the same reaction! It just is so stupid. They also don't make just a small cut, it's always a cut a few inches long. I know it looks cool, but it's just ridiculous.

  5. Cute episode, and I'm still enjoying them, but not much more than that. Like you I pretty much watch for the Ichabod Crane scenes! ;o)

    And I think I like Jenny better than Abbie!

    Also caught the Moloch BtVS reference, got a laugh at that! Would really like to know if it was on purpose or a coincidence! :p

  6. That opening scene with Ichabod talking to the not-Onstar rep almost made me fall out of my chair I was laughing so hard. Once again, they're very clever with the "man out of time" gags. I don't think any of them have felt cheap. Kinda wondering when they're going to get him a new set of clothes, though.

  7. I'm loving this show more every time I watch it. It all started when I noticed Tom Mison. Like some of the rest of you, I am now half in love with this man. Could he be the next Nathan Fillion of this site???

    The mythology is a bit dense, but followable so far. Of course, we need to remember that these are the same minds who came up with the Rambaldi mythology, which just got out of hand. I hope they can manage to rein it in a bit this time around.

    What's really compelling is the chemistry between Crane and Abbie. Often, however, great chemistry is altered (dare I say, ruined) when another element is added to it. Jenny added a fantastic dynamic to the duo and I loved the way that Crane refused to take sides.

    I grinned when I saw the Boston Tea Party and its date -- the best date of the year, if I do say so myself.


  8. I'm with you on the credits, Billie. A little too Beetlejuice-y. There's just a smidge too much Danny Elfman in the music, and the rapid-pace stop-motion animation felt a little too whimsical.

    Who knows, maybe it'll get better. Grimm tried shifting from just the title card in Season 1 to that dreadful intro narration at the beginning of Season 2, and saw the error of their ways. After a few episodes, the Season 2 credits became something really cool. These guys could learn, too.

  9. Yes! Those are my exact thoughts every time someone dramatically cuts open their hand. I mean, your palm seems like the WORST POSSIBLE PLACE to cut yourself. Not only that, but the hand-cutting usually takes place right before some sort of epic battle in which the character really needs their hand to be functioning optimally.

  10. Rewatching season one (which I planned to do before the season 2 premiere…oops) and I caught this:

    Ichabod refers to a flashlight as a torch like a modern Brit would but the only people he's met since the invention of the flashlight are American and would thus call it a flashlight. So how did he know to call it that, huh? HUH?!

  11. This one recaptured a bit more of the fun vibe for me, but still managed to deliver some good emotional beats with the sisters. Particularly their final moments at the station. Both actresses did a great job conveying the sisters' deep pain, and senses of betrayal and guilt.

    Like everyone, I thought the OnStar exchange was glorious, and I chuckled a good bit over the reveal that Crane created the Boston Tea Party as a cover for his secret mission. His clipped annoyance over the festive name change was too funny.

    Other points of agreement: the effects on the gateway to hell were alternately pretty cool and fairly ridiculous looking, depending on the shot; I don't like the credits sequence either --- the music is okay for me, but I don't like the visuals; and since you mentioned it in your review for Ep. 2, I can't unsee the hair thing either. Ack! :)

    I noticed they used a different font for the subtitles in this episode. I guess human allies don't get the demon font. Fun!


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