Everyone’s new favorite insane, yet surprisingly entertaining series Sleepy Hollow returned this week without taking even a moment to crank down the crazy. And yet, why should it? It’s what the show does best. So far though, unlike the batshit-but-really-just-shit Zero Hour last year, Sleepy Hollow doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is key for a show that requires viewers to suspend disbelief for 98% of its hour. There’s a charm here that can’t be denied, and most of it is due to Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane. Hit the jump for why you should always check under the tongue to see if people are hiding their medication.
Sleepy Hollow borrows from a number of other supernatural shows — most noticeably, Grimm — but it has elements of Buffy and True Blood as well. Like all of these shows, the hero(ine) repress a lifetime of weird behavior and differences that, turns out, doesn’t make them a freak so much as the savior of humanity. This week we learned that Abbie and her sister see things: monsters, ghosts, all sorts of supernatural sundries. But whereas her sister committed to the visions (and got herself committed in the process), Abbie has successfully repressed them until now.
Ichabod may not have visions, but he has the exact historic knowledge Abbie needs when it comes to destroying a variety of beasts who haunt the town. Like Grimm, there’s a Monster of the Week, but also like Grimm, they aren’t necessarily on-offs. They are connected to this crazy story: this week, Cyrelda of Abbadon, who collects ashes so that she can resurrect herself, was part of a “dark” coven and was ultimately undone by the good one, to which Katrina (Ichabod’s wife) belonged.
All of this is fine and well — Sleepy Hollow should feel at liberty to create whatever mythology it wants for its monsters. The issue comes when it tries to over-explain itself. Did we need to know the whole side-plot about why Katrina had a grave because she was a witch, even though witches bones were buried elsewhere, because that grave was to hide the horseman’s head? It doesn’t make a lick of sense, and it adds nothing. The same goes for a lot of the Founding Fathers tidbits, particularly anything related to George Washington and his magic Bible.
But Sleepy Hollow‘s other triumph this week amidst its insanity was its integration of Ichabod into his new world. The sticky notes were a quick way to orient him to new-fangled things so that he is not, every episode, asking about cars and light bulbs and TV. The montage was quick, cute and charming. He’s a smart guy, and he adapts quickly. We can buy that. An occasional rant about the taxation of baked goods isn’t a problem, either. Ichabod is the best thing the show has going for it, and if the series plays its cards right, he will carry it (and us) through.
Like I said last week, though, the show is a mixed bag. On the one hand, welcome back John Cho as quasi-zombie Andy who runs errands for Satan and his minions. On the other hand, Corbin as a benevolent ghost giving Abbie really straight-forward advice? “What is dead can never die,” I suppose. The question is whether or not, in this case, “belief is sanity.”
Episode Rating: B
Musings and Miscellanea:
— I still can’t believe the town is still in such denial about these weird happenings given that it is Sleepy Hollow. Shouldn’t people be expecting headless horsemen?
— Witches are apparently all the rage. Fittingly, American Horror Story‘s new witch-centric season was advertised in the midst of this episode.
— All Satan-related bits are truly creepy. The “reworking” of Andy’s death was freaky, as was his return to the living (but I liked the inclusion of his wrinkled neck given the fact he turned into Stretch Armstrong there).
— Some Abbie background: Corbin is her mentor and father-figure and Luke is her ex. Ok. ::snooze:: What is far more interesting is what kind of relaxer she uses on her hair, because she looked great.
— The witches on this show are all really busty, aren’t they? Didn’t you love Cyrelda’s tasteful resurrection garb as well?
— “The ashes of your decedents are mine!” might be something I start to say to people who annoy me.
— “What’s an outrage is a 10% taxation on baked goods! Why are the people not taking to the streets??” – Icabod.
— Next Week: the sand man …