Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (2x8)

The power of hearts is a curious thing. Or maybe that's the power of love? At any rate, hearts--metaphorical and literal--take center stage in this week's episode, "Heartless." I'm going to be ever so slightly critical up front: there is a pattern to each episode so far. It's not necessarily a bad thing because Sleepy Hollow constantly delivers quality TV, but it is there. I've noticed it before and it doesn't bother me, but in order to give a full and proper review, I do think it's time that I made official (as it were) mention of it. The pattern goes like this: Henry comes up with a plan that is EVIL; he enacts this plan that is somehow targeted at driving a wedge between the Witnesses, between Ichabod and Katrina, or generally making the lives of the Trio a living Hell. The three manage to stop the EVIL and learn a valuable lesson. Henry, thwarted, beings anew. It's monster-of-the-week with the added bonus of Henry just being a super creep. As I said, it doesn't anger me so much as something I need to make reference to. This week, the monster/Henry's plan of EVIL was a succubus. Thank goodness I read a lot of fantasy. A succubus is a demon that feeds on sexual energy. In this case, the succu-bitch is feeding on men and woman alike, taking their life force for a very EVIL reason. Baby. 

The succubus plot is perfectly fine, neat and tidy, but I want to touch more on a theme that kept cropping up this week: the evolution of relationships and the secret desires of the heart. First, we have Hawley and Abbie. Hawley clearly has the hots for the Leftenant and Abbie, being one hundred percent focused on the job, is either totally ignorant or willfully so. I suspect it's the former and not the latter. Abbie likes Hawley as a go-to guy for information and aid but nothing more. However, I think by the end of this episode, her feelings are starting to evolve. He's not just a "brigand" or rogue but a good guy who was there for her when she and Ichabod needed him. It might be the start of something. What I find more interesting is Ichabod's take on this. He seems cautious and over protective. Ichabod actually wants to know what Hawley's intentions are with Miss Mills. From whence does that stem? On the one hand, Abbie is his best friend and closest ally. He worries for her. It's natural (and adorable). But is Ichabod a wee bit jealous? Perhaps so, but not because he desires Abbie for himself. Rather, I think Ichabod fears losing his friend. He and Abbie have a unique and beautiful relationship that thus far is unhampered by any romantic entanglements, despite the fandom's demands (god that must be nice....) If Abbie begins relying or depending on Hawly--turning to him for guidance and comfort--what does that mean for Ichabod? Now, here's the best part: Ichabod has his own evolving relationship with his own mate and it's Abbie who gives him solace.

I couldn't help but notice how many professions of love Ichabod and Katrina had toward each other this week. Lots of "she is the love of my life" and Ichabod treating Katrina like she is a china doll ready to break into a million pieces. It's a bit "the lady doth protest too much."There have been too many lies, too much time apart for Katrina and Ichabod to fall back into old habits. They can't even agree on the nature of love on a reality television program. The fact is that their relationship has fundamentally changed because they have changed. Ichabod "died" and was reborn, met Abbie, learned he had a son, went to Purgatory. Katrina did things of a similar nature and kept a CRAP ton of secrets from him. When confronted with the succubus, Ichabod hears his own fears reflected back on him; his love for Katrina has soured in light of all the negativity. Yes, Ichabod loves her but that love has grown stale and either must evolve or perish. And then there is Katrina herself; I almost laughed out loud at the fact that she ends this episode by going back to Abraham and Henry, not because she is secretly evil but because it just proves that the writers know what they are doing. Abbie might think they are stronger with Katrina on the team, but the writers know that the red haired witch adds unnecessary weight to the dynamic of Ichabod and Abbie--also know as, the reason we all watch. What is interesting to note is that Ichabod takes this news with good cheer; "I trust Katrina." Mmhm. Sure. You're not just the tiniest bit relieved?

Ok, last evolving relationship: Abbie and Katrina. I think this might be the most time they've spent together, talking, in one episode ever. And I just want to say that I called it. I knew Abbie wouldn't give ground with regards to Henry, just as Katrina won't either. And there is Ichabod, quite literally, in the middle of them. Abbie begins the philosophical discussion with, "at what point do you say that [Henry having good in him] matters?" She has a point. Henry might actually be good and be capable of change but so long as he actively resists that, then there is no point in trying to make him "see the light." Katrina on the other hand is just as staunch; she won't give up on him and believes that she can turn him. I knew--and said as much--that this would come to some sort of argument and it did. However, the argument actually devolved (see what I did there?) into Abbie laying out another claim: Ichabod and she are the witnesses and have been fighting the forces of evil for quite awhile now, while Katrina simply cooled her heels (sorta) in Purgatory. Ichabbie work well together and did so without much conflict until YOU showed up. And now Ichabod leaves work early, as it were, to tend to Katrina's many woes and ills, leaving Abbie alone in their work room. Ichabod, of course, gets in the middle of all this and simply tries to make peace, as I said he would. Poor Ichabod. You can't have it all. In the end, Katrina and Abbie come to an understanding and it really takes Katrina learning that in Abbie's past her mother might have loved her but it didn't matter in the end; Abbie's mother still left her and Jenny alone. Even with this knowledge, Katrina goes back to Abraham and Henry. And yeah, meets a little demon baby born of her womb and human/succubus essence. Weird plot, guys.

Miscellaneous Notes on Heartless

--Ok, I really skimped on the plot for this one, didn't I? The succubus herself isn't important (she dies by episode end) but yes, there is a baby Moloch who has come into the world. And Katrina was looking at him with some love in her eyes, no?

--"He was macking on a lady."

--"Your mind is grappling with what your loss." "A unholy creature of Purgatory?"

--Henry is a Horseman of the Apocalypse but still applies for permits. Bless.

--Where is Jenny? She has been MIA for awhile.

--I want more Henry and Ichabod scenes. Those are glorious.

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