Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (1x5)

Roanoke Colony was a late 16th century attempt by Queen Elizabeth to establish a permanent English settlement in the New World. Of course, there is a reason why Roanoke Colony is remembered today even though it wasn't successful like Plymouth or Jamestown. No, Roanoke is remembered because it vanished. Or, rather, the people vanished. When the final shipment of supplies from England came back, the people of Roanoke were nowhere to be found. Naturally this has become the source of Hollywood fodder. Vampires, angles, portals of hell, and disease run amok have all been explanations for why the people of Roanoke vanished. In actuality, the settlers probably integrated with local tribes, starved to death, or were killed for being interlopers. I'm fairly certain mystical and mysterious forces were not at work here. But, that doesn't make for a good compelling television story. So what does make for a good Roanoke story? Death! Horseman! Time travel (sorta)!  In this week's episode, "John Doe," Ichabod and Abbie encounter the mystery of Roanoke and we meet another horseman. 

The titular John Doe in this weeks episode is a young boy, later named Thomas, who opens our story this week by wandering in the woods when he spies a young girl in a white dress. The young girl is dressed in modern clothing but the young boy is dressed in ye olde English clothing. Thomas begins chasing the girl only to, in turn, be chased by a horseman. But oh lo and behold, it's not a headless horseman. This horseman is carrying a bow and wearing a Viking helmet and wearing chain mail because the more anachronistic we can get the better! And then suddenly the horseman vanishes into a puff of smoke. More on him in a bit.

Meanwhile, Ichabod has grown weary of his motel room and has decided to move into Sheriff Corbin's old cabin. It's rustic and old fashioned and Abbie jokes that it will suit Ichabod just fine. Once they "spackle" the bullet holes, of course. Ichabod and Abbie are really starting to grow on me as the idea of ship, especially considering that I think Katrina might be evil.
Abbie and Ichabod have a nice talk about belief and Abbie's struggles with it. In TV land this is what we call foreshadowing--in other words, Abbie's struggle with belief will be paramount this episode. This lovely Icahabbie moment is interrupted by police business. Our young John Doe has been found and struck by a mysterious ailment--black veins. As Ichabod wonders what happened, Thomas utters a word in another language--specifically Middle English. I gotta give props to the actors here, they really tried their best to speak a language that is different from our current English. Through a lot of translation we learn that Thomas was forbidden to leave home which turns out to be Roanoke.

Icahbod and Abbie go searching for the mysterious Roanoke colony which...they find. Hidden in the depth of the woods, which involves walking on water to find, the colony of Roanoke is thriving and operating just like it would have in the 16th century. They still speak Middle English, they still dress the same. They are removed from time (this is very Storybrooke come to think of it). And everyone in town is infected but not sick. There is a lot of confusing exposition about being led to safety by the first daughter born in America but the driving home point is the horseman: it's Pestilence.

If Pestilence is unleashed unto the world, it will join with Death and bring about the Apocalypse! (because of reasons?) (technically there are 4 Horseman..where are the other ones?) (for that matter where is Satan and the Beast? Is Moloch the Beast?)

Ichabod and Abbie realize that Thomas must be taken back to Roanoke but oh no! Ichabod is infected and put into isolation where he is spiritually transported to Purgatory. Don't ask me to explain this. He's not dead--though Katrina thinks he is.
But while there we learn that Moloch, the horned demon, decides when souls can leave Purgatory and where they go. Katrina is being kept by Moloch but Ichabod is pulled out of Purgatory before Katrina can tell us why. I keep joking that Katrina must be evil because of the black flow-y dresses but now I'm starting to think I'm right. She made a pact with Moloch. Perhaps power for her and her coven in return for her soul?

Ichabod is released into the world to take Thomas home after Abbie convinces the Police Chief that it needs to happen. How you ask? Faith. Her faith and belief come into sharp focus this episode when Abbie finds herself in a chapel asking for a sign from God of how to cure everyone. God tends to not directly talk to people but a sign she gets nevertheless: water. The water in Roanoke is the key. When this is questioned, Abbie says "I've got no choice but to believe." And then she preceeded to turn on a light board with her mind.

No I'm just kidding. Abbie's not exactly like Olivia Dunham. She and Ichabod take Thomas back to Roanoke, the horseman of Pestilence hot on their heels. Thomas and Ichabod dunk themselves in the magical waters of the village...before it vanishes. Yes, it vanished. The town, the people, all of it. POOF. Ichabod then figures out the people of Roanoke were dead all along but Thomas returned to flesh and blood when lured into our world in order to start a plague. Now that Thomas has been returned, everyone who fell sick outside in the real world is now cured! It's a miracle!

Oh and our Headless Horseman Death is back. Apparently he's been living under the sea (in a pineapple no doubt)

Miscellaneous Notes on John Doe

--Ichabod encounters our world this week with: plastic, sticky tape, Spackle, and kidnapping databases.

--Nice inside joke about the idea of Ichabod getting new clothing. The fandom is horrified.

--"What was that?"
"I like it."

--Looks like we're going to have a three week break from Sleepy Hollow but when we return: more Horseman, more mythology and Walter Bishop (who isn't really Walter but will always be Walter to me!)

No comments:

Post a Comment