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Sleepy Hollow: Mama

"She fought for me."

Somewhat predictable story, but elevated by strong performances.

Abbie and Jenny spent their childhoods thinking the worst about their mother: that she was crazy, that she tried to kill herself and Jenny in that car, that she committed suicide and left them alone. And now they have the comfort of knowing that their mother wasn't like that at all, and that she always fought to protect them both.

The sisterly interaction as they confronted their past together was sweet — Nicole Beharie is wonderful and I've liked Lyndie Greenwood's Jenny since she was introduced — and the touching resolution of the mystery of Mama Mills was lovely. I particularly liked the huge mural of her daughters that Lori created, hiding under the drywall.

But the ghost story itself was just too rubber stampy. The "abandoned" wing, and the fact that her cell was there so that they could uncover the mural was too convenient. And it kept bothering me that Abbie, Jenny and Hawley seemed to be able to go anywhere in Tarrytown Psych without keys and without staff escorting them. And how did Abbie get blood test results for Frank so quickly?

Even though we were overdue for backstory on Abbie and Jenny, okay, I missed Ichabod. His cranky reaction to his head cold, the child-proof container, and Hawley's matzoh ball soup were all so cute. So was that moment during the séance when Ichabod and Hawley obviously didn't want to hold hands. (When Mama Mills finally appeared, I almost expected her to start with, what are you girls doing with these two long-haired white boys?)

It's no secret that I'm ambivalent about Hawley, but he was purely helpful this time, and the fact that he's actually read Jane Austen (he called Ichabod "Mr. Woodhouse" this time, a character in Emma) makes him slightly more appealing. The Sleepy Hollow Scooby Gang needs more members. I wish I liked Hawley more.

But I do like Frank Irving, and I was happy that this episode finally got him out of Tarrytown Psychiatric because he's been underutilized this season and I want him working to free himself of Henry's soul spell. Frank's near suicide scene upset me, probably because of that graphic mental patient abuse tub thingy was just hideous.

As something of a counterpoint to the Mama Mills plot, Katrina got all maternal with the Moloch baby at Fredericks Manor, and it sucked the energy right out of her and got a whole lot bigger. That black ashy thing she was holding actually made me shudder, so good work, CGI guys. Henry appeared to be upset while watching Katrina with the baby. Huh.

And our heroes now have a way to stop Moloch: a spell in Grace Dixon's journal, which will probably come in handy in the fall finale.

Bits and pieces:

-- I like the way Abbie and Jenny touch their foreheads together as a physical expression of their connection.

-- The sisters as children were portrayed by two different and younger child actresses this time, and were not quite as good a match as the older girls who played them last season. However, Aunjanue Ellis was wonderful as Lori Mills. Cynthia Stevenson was also terrific as the evil ghost of Nurse Gina Lambert.

-- Sheriff Reyes trusts Abbie now. Or she will until she finds out that Abbie helped Frank Irving escape from Tarrytown Psych.


Ichabod: "When I'm rested, there shall be Hell to pay."

Frank: "My soul belongs to the Horseman of War but for now, I am still in control of my actions. Even chose my own color Jell-O for breakfast this morning."
Jell-O? For breakfast? What horrible hospital conditions.

Abbie: "Why am I a witness? Why was I chosen for this?"

Ichabod: (tasting the matzoh ball soup) "That is… somewhat comforting."
Why didn't Abbie just get him some NyQuil? That stuff is amazing. Have you ever seen Denis Leary's comedy bit on NyQuil? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XsgVufugTg

Hawley: (re: the handwritten spell book) "She put anything in there about a hex that kills a demonic nurse? Check the back for an index or something."
That might only be funny if you're a librarian like me.

Abbie: "Frank, what are you doing out here?"
Frank: "The police call it 'escaping'."

I feel like I should have enjoyed this episode more than I did. Two out of four child-proof containers,

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


  1. Man. Back to back nights of "wanted to like this more than I did." Erg. I agree that the plot on this one was pretty weak overall, and sidelining Ichabod in favor of Hawley was not a winning move. But bringing Jenny and Irving back took the sting out a little, and Nicole and Lyndie gave tremendous performances. The scenes with the sisters together worked well for me. I was very moved by their reactions to their mom at the end, and that was entirely because of Nicole and Lyndie.

    On other fronts: I'm so glad that Irving is out of Tarrytown and back in the mix! I'm also glad Baby Moloch isn't a baby anymore. Not that I'm necessarily looking forward to his Damian phase, but at least it represents some forward progress. Hopefully. Perhaps we can move back into the cuckoo bananas apocalypse zone soon. Please?

  2. Yeah, this episode was lacking something without Crane front and center. I'm sure Tom Mison didn't mind some time off, but the dynamic was sorely lacking.

    Having said that, I did like the interaction between the sisters and the scene at the end brought a tear to my eye. I'm glad they were able to get some closure.


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