“I need you to know, that..I see who you really are” – Abbie Mills
Reviewing Sleepy Hollow 1.04 “The Lesser Key of Solomon” from an unashamedly serialized perspective.
Crabbie’s search for Jenny leads them to Corbin’s secret cabin in the woods. In a ground-shifting episode, which reveals the truth behind the Boston Tea Party, Crabbie discovers more about the evil they are facing… and finally learn its name.
- Serial Flex: The episode almost felt like a two-parter as we pick up right where we left off last time out (with added Yolanda), proving that Sleepy Hollow can flex its serialized muscles when it wants. Moreover, it served the episode well, plugging us straight into the action to advance the personal and larger issues at hand.
- Jenny Insight: I was pleased to get deeper insight into Jenny and her take on proceedings. The revelation that Corbin took her under his wing is an interesting reveal that adds complexity and further keeps Abbie’s spirit guide alive in the present day story. While ‘Moloch’ may yet have plans for Jenny, she proves herself to be a very useful protagonist; one with clarity and strength of mind but also the compassion to forgive Abbie (or at least start to) for turning her back on her.
- Sister Story: Indeed, I liked how natural Abbie and Jenny seemed together, while also carrying the weight of resentment we might expect. I enjoyed seeing them embark on that full circle journey on the curve of the very thing that fractured their relationship, to find a semblance of healing by the end of the hour. Again, it felt very honest with commendable performances by both Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood who are able to convey strength and vulnerability with equal measure, it seems. After just four episodes I find myself invested in that particular relationship and encouragingly it appears to have legs – there’s still baggage to be addressed and doors to be opened; this isn’t your open/shut storyline. In many ways, this is the sibling equivalent of the father/son dynamic on Fringe, and it’s refreshing to see this kind of story played out with so much commitment. Dear writers, don’t be afraid of number 49!
- Entwined. More interweaving of history and mythology, this time with Ichabod revealing the truth about the Boston Tea Party and its connection to the larger war. Again, I’m having slight shades of Carnivale with the way Sleepy Hollow is able to leverage its story with history.
- Doing The Devil’s Work. Ichabod, Abbie and Jenny leaving the Super Mythology Porn Box (SMPB) on the table, making it super easy for the Hessian clan to nab it and almost unleash hell on Earth. Sloppy. They were taking gunfire, but if they represent our best hope against the forces of evil, they’ll need to up their game and at least make evil work for it.
- The Evil Horde of Evil were defeated a touch easily and the Church battle felt a bit clunky.
- Whack-A-Mole, Baby: While Headless and Mols (and Andy to an extent) represent credible overarching villains, the villain of the week approach/focus does feel a little tired already. The Hessian were serviceable as they gave the appearance of larger mythology ties, but I still found them largely inconsequential and ultimately forgettable. Since the ‘evil of the week’ is part of the plan, it will be interesting to see how the writers navigate the challenge of making the random baddies seem less random. There was effort here, but they just didn’t resonate.
- The Others: Abbie’s colleagues lack development, even at this early stage. I sense potential in Captain Irving, but overall I’m not dying to spend too much time away from Crabbie. I think it’s possible, if not important, to have compelling characters outside of the central pair-plus-Jenny.
- We have a name for the demonic face – MOLOCH!
- Abbie potentially risked Jenny’s life by refusing to drop the book as her sister was being held at gunpoint. Jenny told her not to do it and Abbie ultimately dropped it (albeit it by throwing it into the evil ring of fire), but it was a risky if clever move by the Lt as it required Jenny to be on point. I guess that’s trust for you.
- “People say that things happen for a reason, I haven’t found one yet. Because we lost everything in the forest that day.” Abbie’s determined to find answers and is asking the right questions – why were Abbie and Jenny chosen? Did they witness Moloch by chance or were they fated to witness the Beast? Fate can be a more interesting line, but so is coincidence that becomes fate.
- So, what do we suppose old Headless is doing while all this is going on – keeping his head down and plotting his next move?
8.5/10 Seriable Stars
Character of the Week: Jenny Mills (Lyndie Greenwood) – Forgiveness.
To be continued…