“The things one most tries to hide are often the things most easily seen” – Ichabod Crane
When another soldier in the army of evil – the Sandman – arrives in Sleepy Hollow, Abbie is forced to face her past and her institutionalized sister, Jenny. Flanked by Ichabod, and with her life at stake, the duo must undo the sands of time (and their clothes) and continue their fight against evil.
- EXPLORING ABBIE: The fractured relationship between the Mills sisters has been one of the strongest aspects of Sleepy Hollow so far, so it was pleasing to delve into the root cause of their rift. The answer was fairly obvious: Abbie lied about not seeing the beast, essentially hanging Jenny out to dry and committing her to a life of medication and push ups. But the path taken in exploring Abbie’s guilt/fear was creative and ultimately saw her push through to a new level of understanding in a way that felt rather earned.
- CONCEPT & VISUALS: As touched on above, the dream world conceit was very enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing. I love that the show can literally step into a whole new world at any given moment, filled with symbolism and thematic poise, and yet make it believable and tied to the characters. This is a great string for the show to have in its bow and, due to the commitment to develop the world, doesn’t feel jarring at all. What’s also positive is that I find myself engaged in both the heightened and (slightly more) grounded worlds of Sleepy Hollow.
- PARTNERS IN TIME: I’m still digging Abbie (even though her policing performance so far leaves something to be desired) and Ich continues to grow on me. The banter between them is often disarming and I was proud of him when he decided to join Abbie in the dream world. The show has navigated his adjustment to modern times quite well, often through humor, which is good because it could have been an area of particular contrivance.
- HISTORY: Given the importance of history to the show’s mythology, it’s pleasing to get Ich’s take on past events and see his reaction to how things stand centuries later. His response to the post-Revolution fate of many Native Americans could have done with more space, but it’s interesting to see the world through his eyes and get his opinion.
- CHARACTER FOCUS: The episode was more consequential and focused on our characters, which is an improvement on the previous installment where there was too much onus on the freak of the week from an external position. Here, the show still managed to fill its ‘faceless monster of the week’ quota, but it was done through Abbie’s lens (literally, in some cases). As a result, the Sandman was a more disturbing and threatening character. That we also ended with an unresolved ‘open hatch’ (again literally, and narratively) into the next episode serves the ongoing story well.
- HOME BASE: Abbie and Ich have their version of Walter’s Lab! Irving’s clearly one of the good guys.
- LACKLUSTER: I found the episode a bit slow and lackluster in places, first half in particular could have done with an injection of excitement.
- ON THE NOSE: The August “49″ flashback reminder was a bit on the nose and unnecessary for my taste. It’s a bit of a catch-22, especially with a new show where you want to carry everyone along, but I feel it also has to trust the audience a bit more. Not a major gripe because it’s only a small thing, an understandable one at this stage.
- ONE FOOT IN: I’m still waiting for that outstanding episode, the point of no-return. Will it come with episode number 4, so often the clincher for serialized fare?
As much as I like Abbie, I found her comment about it being Jenny’s own fault for ending up in the institution a bit unfair, given what we found out last episode about her August intervention, not to mention the fact that Jenny was telling the truth about the coming storm. Of course, Abbie was covering up her own guilt, but nevertheless it was an interesting insight into her character and the layers she’s put up over the years.
8/10 Seriable Stars
Character of the Week: Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie): Accepting.
To be continued…