Tuesday, September 30, 2014

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (2x2)

What is the cost of war? There are many obvious ones, of course. People, resources, money, land, tangible structures and intangible ideas, like peace, liberty, justice, freedom, or even negative ones like oppression that fall as the world changes in blood and battle. But what about the personal losses? Integrity, honesty, commitment, loyalty. Are these not also lost in war? Perhaps even your own soul. It's hard to make that sort of declaration when talking about Sleepy Hollow, a campy show that delights in the absurd in which a Headless Horseman uses a shotgun to kill. But questions of that tenor lurk beneath the surface of this weeks episode, "The Kindred." An apt name, if ever there was one. How do you, in war, prevent yourself from becoming the monsters you are fighting? How do you not become their kindred in violence and destruction while fighting for the greater good? It's an odd turn of phrase, the greater good. Who decides what the greater good is? And what happens when the greater good clashes with your personal desires? All questions ripe for the picking this week. Oh, and Ichabod visited a bank; that was a great. 

Katrina is still being held hostage by the Headless Horseman who intends to make her his bride in a ritual that he has plucked from an obscure non-canonical Biblical Text. See, only on Sleepy Hollow can I write that and have it make a modicum of sense. The Headless Horseman is determined to make Katrina love him, an idea she relishes. Or maybe I just want her to relish it because I still think this chick is evil. The dresses, guys...the dresses. But this is where the personal desire versus the greater good comes into play. Ichabod, after being without Katrina for so long, wants to rescue his wife before dealing with the larger problem of Moloch trying to break free from Purgatory and "scorch the earth in hell fire and damnation." It's something Abby remarks on but she doesn't press the subject, something I find odd given that Abby has always been a tough as nails type of girl. By all rights, Abby should hit Ichabod upside his head and tell him to focus cause the world's about to end. Midway through the episode, I believe we get an answer to why Leftenant Mills isn't doing this: Ichabod is her weakness. It may not be a love connection (yet, damn it) but Abby's faith in Ichabod is her greatest weakness. If Ichabod wants to hunt for Katrina, then that's what they do. She trusts him to know best. Which also means she'll help raise a monster of her own when Ichabod tells her that's the right course of action.

So, this monster is creepy. Meet the Kindred! He's a fun time guy, stitched together with various human bits and bobs, complete with the Headless Horseman's head and all designed by Benjamin Franklin. Ah, Benjy. You rascal, you. The Kindred's purpose is to protect Abby and Ichabod while they are trying to bust Katrina out of the Horseman's house. The Kindred is under their command and is the equal of the Horseman of Death. I must say, the fight sequence between The Kindred, The Horseman of Death, and the Horseman of War was well done. Very scary but also maintaining that campy nature I've come to expect and love. You've got one guy without a head and wielding an axe; you've got another guy who is made up of different humans and has a skull for a head; and still another in a knight's raiment with a flaming sword. It's so late night Hollywood B movie it's hilarious. But it works for Sleepy Hollow.

However, Katrina doesn't want to leave the Headless Horseman (because she's evil). She has finally gotten the Horseman to trust her by lying and telling him that she'll choose him but it must be of her own free will. While the Headless Horseman is off fighting the Kindred, Katrina and Ichabod meet up and she tells her poor husband that she can be a mole on the inside (cause she's evil) and that she must try to save Jeremy (or make him more evil).  I have to wonder where this is going. On the one hand, it gives Abby and Ichabod more time alone together, and as I said last week, they're the reason we keep tuning in. Katrina is an awkward third wheel (and evil) and moreover, a mole could be useful. On the other hand, Katrina might be playing Ichabod (because she's evil) and want to get in close with the Headless Horseman for nefarious reasons (because she's evil). Alright, one of those situations is more likely than the other, I know. There is a kiss between Ichabod and Katrina but I looked away. Poor Ichabod. He doesn't see that Katrina is clearly evil. Ichabod leaves Katrina to her devices and flees with Abby. Back in their hideout Ichabod tells Abby that they cannot become monsters to fight monsters. They must be better than that. Good for you Ichabod. Rise above!

I have to admit the ending the show surprised me a bit. We finally checked in with the former Captain of the Police, Irving. He's being held in jail and psych ward for confessing to murders (he didn't commit) and then claiming it was a demon. Irving knows that his wife is sending a lawyer along to help him out of this situation and who should appear but Jeremy, in a nice suit with the charming demeanor of a kind lawyer sent to help you out of your woes. Oh, and what's this he has in his briefcase? A special contract? With a pen that "accidentally" stabbed the good Captain and drew blood? Oh my gosh, do not sign this! Have you never read Faust? You're probably selling your soul to Moloch for all eternity! Of course the Captain signed and now, I'm sure, Molcoh will use him as a new toy to plague Abby and Ichabod. Oh Sleepy Hollow. Your twists and turns are ever so much fun.

Miscellaneous Notes on The Kindred

--Jenny is in prison and the new Captain of the Police, named Reyes, is all sorts of evil and bitchy. I think Reyes works for the Horseman.

--Ichabod in a bank. Bless his rant.

--"Hello...mother." RUN FOR YOUR LIVES. (John Noble is brilliant)

--"I am not the witch in the family!"

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