Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (1x11)

And we're back, Sleepy Heads! It has been a few weeks now since we last checked in with Ichabod Crane and his Leftenant, Abbie Mills. When we left for the holidays, Ichabod had learned that he had a son who was apparently killed by Katrina's coven (if that is actually true, I'll eat my hat); the war against evil was in full swing in Sleepy Hollow and Moloch told Ichabod that he and Abbie would turn against one another in the final days. With only two episodes to go after this weeks installment, "Vessel," it looks very likely that the Apocalypse will begin properly soon enough. 

I think for a first episode back after an extended hiatus, I expected more. It was a rather sleepy (pun intended--it was low hanging fruit) episode. It's not surprising, though. Episodes before major season finales tend to be more about getting characters in a certain emotional place rather than being mythic heavy. This episode did tie up some loose ends which is always appreciated. The episode begins with Team Witness in their cabin discussing Moloch's prediction that one of them will betray the other. Ichabod is worried, but Abbie thinks Moloch may be presenting them with a boondoogle--a fool's errand, in other words. If Moloch can keep them distracted with the idea of betrayal then Team Witness can't focus on stopping the end of days. It's not a bad idea, really. Abbie is quite intelligent and I think that's why we like her--she's smart and sassy and can match Ichabod's dry wit note for note. Speaking of Ichabod, holy skinny jeans, Batman. While Abbie's logic that if they put Ichabod in a disguise, Moloch won't know it's Ichabod was sound to a certain extent, the real gold of that scene was the absolute hilarity of Ichabod in the world's smallest and tightest skinny jeans known to man. I'm think they may be tighter than Wolowitz's skinny jeans on The Big Bang Theory. It was a nice play to the fandom who are obsessed with Ichabod's clothing. Of course Ichabod can't stomach the clothes and quickly changes back, thank the lord. Never change your clothes, Ichabod.

The main thrust of the episode involved Captain Irving and his daughter Macy being chased by a demon. When we last saw them, Captain Irving received a creepy but cryptic message from a demon that they were coming for Macy's soul. Irving already blames himself for his daughter being in her wheelchair, so protective cop daddy goes into overdrive, taking his family to a safe house cabin the middle of the woods. Sadly, the demon can jump bodies so they've actually brought the demon along in the form of Detective Morales.

It was just a matter of time before the demon got to Macy, though I'm not clear as to why they want her specifically. Is she marked in some way? Does she have something to do with the end of days and Moloch's plan? We know Moloch is a demon who uses/goes after children so does the big bad demon think Macy will be super helpful in taking down Ichabod and Abbie?

Speaking of Abbie and her continued "my family is really messed up" drama, Crazy Sister Jenny returns. It turns out that the demon possessing Macy is familiar to the unhinged Mills sister. About seven years ago the same demon, who we learn is named Ancitif, possessed Jenny and tried to get her to hurt Abbie. Poor Jenny. She really can't catch a break, can she? Corbin, the now headless and deceased former sheriff, rid her of the demon through an exercisim but not before Jenny predicted his death and threatened to kill Abbie. It's interesting that while Jenny doesn't want to kill her sister currently, the demon, during the confrontation, seems to think that Jenny still has darkness inside her. Is Jenny going to be a helpmate or a hindrance in the coming days? I go back and forth on her a lot. I think she does have a lot of resentment toward her sister, even though she does a great job of covering it up. But she also has a lot of anger toward the demonic world so the question becomes "what matters more?" Revenge against your sister or taking down the big baddies? The demon, we learn, is an ancient one who is a leader in Moloch's army and has been sent to destroy Moloch's enemies. So why go after Macy unless she is seriously important to the side of good? The only way to get rid of the demon is to trap it in a lantern from 14th century France, given to Benjamin Franklin during the 18th century American Revolutionary War. Sure. Makes total sense.

The magic lantern of doom is inside a heavily fortified compound of an end-of-the-world fanatical group, so naturally Abbie and Ichabod have to break in. This is what I mean by a rather sleepy episode. It more or less plodded along from set to set, problem to problem. I was far more interested in the actual demon possession of Macy (because wicked cool visuals and makeup) than I watching Icabbie and Jenny go take on some militia doomsday. They have a stand off but Jenny gets them out of it rather quickly and they end up back at the Archives. The demon inside Macy wants Washington's Bible. According to Abbie and Ichabod, the Bible hasn't yielded much in the way of secrets but if the demon wants it then it must have something important in it. They can't afford to let it fall into Moloch's hands. The demon is cast back into hell by Team Witness and Macy is returned to normal. And now she can look forward to a lifetime of therapy! Knowing that the demons want the Washington Bible, Abbie and Ichabod begin studying it in earnest and Ichabod realizes the secrets were written in invisible ink. Using some lemon juice (which he first squirted into his eye accidentally, adorable man) Abbie and Icahbod reveal the first secret of the book: a date! December 18, 1799. The secret is written in George Washington's hand and Abbie, who apparently has Wikipedia in her head, notes that Washington DIED four days before this note was written so how could it be Washington's handwriting?

Oh please tell me that George Washington is somehow still alive. That would be the ridiculous cherry on top of the crazy ice cream sundae.

Miscellaneous Notes on Vessel

--A rather slow episode but next week is the two hour season finale. I expect epicness will ensue.

--"One sign of the Apocalypse is surely skinny jeans."

--"I have tow words for you: dry cleaning"
"Say two words that I understand"

--"Mastering the remote. You're officially a modern man." 

--Ichabod discovered bras.

--The high point of the series continues to be Ichabod and Abbie's interaction over any sort of myth or plot. While the latter is fine, if absurd, the former is the real selling point.

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