Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (1x8)

When I blogged Sleepy Hollow for the first time, 8 episodes ago now, I remarked on how the show was taking vast liberties with the original story, essentially removing all traces of the Irving work and repackaging it as something that was Sleepy Hollow in name only. Unlike other TV shows doing essentially the same thing (*cough* Dracula *cough*), Sleepy Hollow got away with it because of its kooky nature and ability to have fun instead of being bogged down in too many ideas. So I was perfectly ok with the lack of original material, in other words. And then this week, Sleepy Hollow decided to go and prove me wrong. This weeks episode, "Necromancer," revisited the original source material to shed some (confusing) light on who the Headless Horseman is and just why he was so determined to ruin Ichabod Crane's life. And with so many things in life and on TV, it all comes down to a girl. 

 Necromancy is defined as a form of magic that involves communicating with the dead. (Unless you are myself and my best friend, in which case it is sleeping with the dead). When we left off last week, the Headless Horseman had been captured by Ichabbie and was held hostage in a tunnel with UV lights. Go with it. This week, we pick up right where we left off with Ichabod and Abbie wanting to interrogate the Headless Horseman. Which might be difficult seeing as how he is in fact, headless. But thankfully this is something Ichabbie recognize and acknowledge as a problem. Enter Sulu Brooks, last seen with a creepy neck and rumors of his death being accurate but complicated. We know that Brooks was in service to Moloch, the demon who is in charge of the Headless Horseman. Ichabod and Abbie have also previously used Sulu Brooks to send messages to the Headless Horseman so they deduce that they can use him again. Smart people. I like it when they use their noggins. Turns out, Sulu Brooks is a Necromancer, someone who can commune with the dead. In this case it means the spirit/essence/something of the Horseman inhabits his being and uses him as a mouth piece. The effect was quite creepy to be honest; his eyes turned black and he spoke with a lower voice--well, once he stopped speaking German that is. (Why German? Is that the language of death? Is that at all racist?)

Ichabod might need to work on his interrogation skills. I'm not sure if my first question to the Headless Horseman would be "what is your name?" I might ask something like "if you've been asleep in a lake for 200 years because of our blood connection, then why isn't the Earth teeming with humans ?" Or "if you're death why does sunlight affect you given that people can die under any condition." But I digress. Obviously Death is not going to tell you its name but at least we were spared the religious drivel of "I have many names. I am called Legion or Beelzebub or He Who Walks Between the Rows" (wait. What show is this again? Right, Sleepy Hollow).  Instead the Headless Horseman drops a pretty little jeweled necklace on the floor causing Ichabod to have quite a reaction. The necklace means something to him and now we get to do the flashback thing. First, let's remind ourselves of the original story of Sleepy Hollow: Both Ichabod Crane and Abraham Von Brom are in love with Katrina Van Tassel. It is also heavily implied that Abraham is the Headless Horseman who spirits Ichabod away after a party in order to have Katrina to himself.
(If you just went "OH" and made a connection to the television show, then congratulations. You win today's prize). So why is the necklace a big deal? It was given to Katrina by Abraham way back during the Revolutionary War; they were engaged through an arranged marriage, one that Katrina resented and from which she wished to be free due in large part to her undying love for Ichabod Crane. Ichabod and Abraham were allies and best friends in the war against the British army. Now in the original, the two men resented each other, but in modern TV it makes for a much better storyline if the dudebro code is broken and your best friend takes your girl away from you. Let's stay with the flashback for awhile longer before we return to the interrogation. After Katrina tells Ichabod that she is going to break off her engagement to Abraham, the two men are sent on a secret mission to Philadelphia where Ichabod finally confesses his love for Katrina and his desire to marry her. Don't do it Ichabod! She's most likely evil and working for Moloch and probably sold your yet to be conceived child to the demon in return for powers! (Wut? It's my headcanon). Besides, someday you will meet a lovely Lefteniant and you need to not be tethered to Katrina because clearly you are meant to be with Abigail Mills instead! Oh, also clearly telling your best friend that you love her girl is going to have lasting repercussions. And indeed they do.

Upon learning that Katrina and Ichabod love each other, Abraham challenges Ichabod to a duel. Chivalry! They clang swords for a bit and then suddenly, out of nowhere, Abraham is shot in the back (symbolic and such). And lo! British soldiers come riding up the path toward the men. This is bad news for Ichabod who is currently working as a spy for George Washington against the Red Coats. If he is captured, he will most likely be treated as a prisoner of war so flee Ichabod does. This leaves Abraham near death and the British soldiers, who are wearing creepy BDSM masks, prop him up against a tree and then a surprise guest appears with a most enticing deal. Yeah, it's Moloch. You get that Abraham is going to be the Headless Horseman, right? Moloch offers him the following: come work for me and be Death on a pale horse and I will hold Katrina captive in my afterlife until your job is done and then you can have her all to yourself. This is something Abraham agrees to and so his conversion begins, which apparently involves a change of clothing, a head shaving, and being branded with an arrow on his hand and a tattoo on his freshly shaved head. So the over all problem here are all the questions this raises, specifically "if Death is a man named Abraham, then is Death just 'inhabiting' Abraham?" And why in the name of everything is Death working for a demon? That is just not how this works. It would have made much more sense if the Headless Horseman was Abraham and the demon Moloch inhabited him and this delightful trio of weird was working for Death.

Also, man does Katrina cause a lot of problems! She's the one who saved Ichabod on the battlefield and thus ensured that the Horseman/Death two-for-one special would survive as well. There is no way this chick isn't evil and working for the forces of Darkness! She probably wants to be with Abraham and is waiting for Ichabod to be disposed of so she and Death can ride off into the sunset. (Do evil people ride off into sunsets?) Speaking of Ichabod being disposed of, back in the present day, the Horseman breaks free (because of a subplot involving a Druid tablet, Hessians, and electric power grids) and he and Ichabod get into a sword fight, which is how Ichabod figures out that Abraham is the Headless Horseman. In the final moments of the fight, the Horseman is presented with an opportunity to kill Ichabod but then our Necromancer comes back into play with an order from Moloch that the Horseman cannot kill Ichabod and POOF the Horseman vanishes. But during this nice little exchange, Ichabbie do learn one valuable thing: the Horseman's weakness is Katrina and the final words of the episode, "We need Katrina." No! You don't! Leave her in her afterlife.

Miscellaneous Notes on Necromancer

--Abbie teaching Ichabod to fist bump was adorable.

--"I shall never loose my cool." Oh Ichabod.

--Why doesn't Moloch want Ichabod to die yet? My guess is that first the end of days must actually begin before the witnesses can die.

--Jenny and the Captain have a certain chemistry. New ship! CaptainCrazy

No comments:

Post a Comment