Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (1x9)

I really love it when I'm right. Honestly, having a headcanon confirmed is an amazing feeling when you're a part of fan culture. Several episodes back, I hypothesized that Katrina gave birth to a baby and most likely sold him to Moloch in some sort of deal. This weeks episode of Sleepy Hollow, "Sanctuary," at least proved the first part right. Whether or not Katrina sold her babe to Moloch has not been confirmed, but I wouldn't put it past her. Sanctuary is defined as a place of refuge or safety; a place where the soul can retreat and the forces that seek them can not penetrate. But sometimes sanctuary isn't enough and the forces of darkness are too strong. In other words, sometimes the crows can still get in. 

The real meat of this story involves a look into Katrina's past after she lost Ichabod in battle with the Headless Horseman, who is actually her ex-fiancee Abraham. (odd sentence is odd)
 Soon after Ichabod and Katrina are married, they visit their good friend Lachlan Fredericks at his Manor House, near Sleepy Hollow. The Manor is a sanctuary where everyone who comes to stay is welcome there forever, by choice. They will never be forced to stay. The African slaves are free men and women who choose to work for the family. They are as much a part of the family as the white members. This was a nice historical moment; we tend to think of abolitionists as only existing in the years leading up to the Civil War, but they were around long before then. The head of house, Grace, is also a skilled midwife and protects her master's secrets. The owner of the house, Lachlan, is part of Katrina's coven, those witches and warlocks who fight the forces of darkness that resides in Sleepy Hollow (except for Katrina, of whom I am deeply suspicious).  Lachlan has secured his estate with magical hexes, intended to ward off all supernatural forces of evil that wait on the periphery. It's a sort of utopia that hasn't managed to actually distance itself from the evil in Sleepy Hollow. But, of course, any linguist will tell you that utopia has two meaning: eu-topos, meaning the good place or ou-topos, meaning the place that is not. The Manor might appear to be the good place, but in reality, the dangers that lurk just outside are closer to invasion that one might think.

A few months after Ichabod "dies" in his battle, Katrina finds her self in a motherly way (I secretly hope this isn't Ichabod's child) and is fleeing from some dark force who wants to steal her child. Or if you're me, then she is fleeing from fulfilling her end of the bargain she made with a dark demon. Maybe she had second thoughts about giving her baby to a monster. Katrina has no where to turn except to her coven and the sanctuary they can provide at the Manor. There, in the dead of night, Katrina gives birth to a son. But the second the baby is born, the menacing crows that sit on the edges of the estate begin trying to break into the house through the windows. Of course, the dark demon after the baby is Moloch. What kind of bargain could Katrina have made? Maybe she agreed to give Moloch the child if he would reunite mother, father, and son someday and spare Ichabod's life, even if he is one of the witnesses. So Moloch holds the son and Katrina hostage in his dark purgatory like forest until the end of days is brought about and in return he will spare Ichabod and give Katrina back her family. I am also suspicious that Katrina was powerful enough to unite the Headless Horseman and Ichabod so I wonder if Moloch had a hand in that as well. Maybe the demon gifted Katrina with this one time power to save her husband. After all, Moloch needs Ichabod alive. Am I trying to hard to make Katrina evil? Maybe. But she is just so suspicious and sneaky and wears a lot of black. Beware of women in black on TV.

Meanwhile, in the present day, an heiress named Lena has purchased the manor because it once belonged to her family. She wishes to restore it and figure out how it went from a place of refuge to a desolated abandoned haunted house. We know, after all the flashbacks, that it is because Katrina brought the evil to the front door by having the baby in the manor. The house is covered in vines and trees and branches. That come alive and grab people. I had a very dorkish moment when I saw the walking tree because all walking trees are Ents and I started looking for two little Hobbits as well. (Nerd jokes!) The house, now full of dark spirits and under the control of Moloch, has a mind of its own and bars Ichabod and Abbie from leaving the house. It's all very spooky and I wonder if this episode would have worked better as a Halloween episode. All the right elements were there: chase scene, random birds flying in your face, demons and monsters, ghosts, bloody hand prints and a sense of never getting out alive. Abbie is separated from the group at one point; Abbie has a serious aversion to haunted houses, she has never liked them. But luckily there is a friendly ghost of the former head of household, Grace, who is guiding her. Grace guides Abbie to the room in which Katrina gave birth and Abbie has a vision of the whole flashback. I'm glad Abbie told Ichabod what she saw. She could have kept it to herself in an attempt to spare Ichabod pain but she knows that it is important they have all the information if they are going to stem the tide of darkness. Abbie has a lot of visions though and I have to wonder if she is more than just the second witness. Maybe she has some seer blood?

Everyone gets out of the house and Ichabod has a very scary intense moment where he hacks the walking Ent tree to death by chopping at the roots, which produce huge quantities of blood. This episode was very horror movie-tastic. Ichabod, now mourning both his wife and the son he never knew he had, mopes on Thanksgiving day and Abbie comes to pay him a visit. They have a very deep conversation and share some rum. And of course, in a shock to no one, Abbie turns over all the files Lena, the heiress, gave them about her research into the Manor. Included among them is a family tree of Grace, the servant. Abbie is a direct descendant. Abbie's ancestor birthed Ichabod's son--connected through time and space, these two are. My hope is that by the time Katrina makes her way back to Ichabod, it is too late. Ichabod has discovered what a horrible person she is, has fallen out of love with her, and is with Abbie.

Miscellaneous Notes on Sanctuary

--Brief review, I know. Outside of the flashbacks, there wasn't much in this episode.

--Subplot involving the Captain and his disabled daughter, Rue Macy. We don't know how Macy got into her wheelchair but I think we can assume that she wasn't born handicapped. The Captain is a bit of a neglectful father and his exwife is fed up. She is filing for sole custody unless the Captain gets his act together.

--Jenny and the Captain have a fun little flirty meeting. And Jenny seems to understand Macy and why she wants little to nothing to do with her father. I wonder if Macy is in the chair because of the Captain.

--Ichabod went through the drive-through and finds it horrifying.

--"Did you say billionare? As in she has a billion dollars? That's the sum wealth total of the entire 13 colonies. In my WHOLE lifetime." I love when Ichabod reacts to modern society.

--"Your company holds the greatest value to me." Oh Ichabbie is adorable.

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