Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (2x16)

Just when you think it can't get any stranger, Thomas Jefferson appears. Well, not Jefferson exactly, more like a "witchcrafted generated spirit of a man who died 200 years ago." The point being that whatever he may be, Jefferson and Ichabod had a nice little heart to heart in this weeks episode, "What Lies Beneath." I always say that I don't mind monster-of-the week if it's done right, so let me put my money where my mouth is. This is doing it right. Yes, there was a case of the week, but instead of being a sort of obvious filler, it added to the overall mythos of the show. It was a high stakes, fast paced, witty, and somehow charming hour of TV. That's how you do monster of the week and not move away from what made an audience love your show in the first place. Abbie and Ichabod have been destined to be Witnesses for as long as this shindig has been up and operational. There are records and helpful hints and pages upon pages that could lead Team Witnesses in the right direction! To bad they blew it all up in order to save some humans that were being eaten alive. But hey, Witnesses gonna do what they gotta do. That's what makes them heroes. 

On the one hand, let's be real, a lot of this is ridiculous. A secret underground chamber built by Thomas Jefferson to house undead secret warriors from George Washington? And inside the secret chamber is a magic box that houses a hologram of Thomas Jefferson who can not only be really helpful to you, but can also philosophize like a living Jefferson? Yeah, that's just silly. Except that is what I expect from Sleepy Hollow each week. Silly nonsense that is so cleverly acted that it doesn't matter that it's very spaghetti-to-the-wall style of writing. What sells this episode is that Abbie and Ichabod are really working together once more like a well oiled machine. Neither of them has to step up and play savior, because it's when they are together that they are strongest. It's a rather positive message and adding to that is the fact that their destines have been intertwined for a very long time. They were always meant to be Witnesses and always meant to be Witnesses together. There is a very heavy handed "we are soldiers" theme to this episode that begins with Ichabod and Abbie walking along a naval pier. The field trips are cute, but also feel like they are trying to tell the audience what the moral message of the day is before they go and demonstrate it. I don't need both. I would have gotten the soldiers in combat theme just from the way Abbie and Ichabod set aside the mission to save innocents from a dangerous enemy; or even from the photographer/brother/flirt who had obviously seen combat and knew how to read a situation. The big question at the end of this episode is whether or not Abbie and Ichabod made the right choice. If you had the chance to learn as much as possible about what is coming in a war for all of mankind but you had to let two people die, could you do it? I don't know if I could walk away from that much knowledge that would, in the end, save the world. But I'm not the hero in this little journey; Ichabbie are. This review is becoming rather brief, but that's not because this was a lackluster episode, far from it. To really wrap it up, everything is in order here. We have Ichabod and Abbie being heroes. We have a scary monster. We have some sort of Founding Father who played an integral role in the war against evil. We have a side story that seems somewhat random but will probably factor in later. And Henry payed a visit which is the whipped cream on this sundae of ours. Only two episodes left!

Miscellaneous Notes on What Lies Beneath

--Alright, Frank and Jenny. This felt very much like the writers needed to answer the big Frank question so they did it with a big ol' plot device and rapid explanation while utilizing their secondary characters and making us pity both of them. Basically, Frank's soul is tainted and Evil! Frank can surface at any time so before Evil! Frank takes over completely, he wants to send his wife and kid away from Sleepy Hollow. Who wants to place money on Frank dying again in the season finale?


--"Jefferson unfriended me."

--"We just blew up the author of the Declaration of Independence."

--Not nearly enough Henry, but just enough Katrina. I'll settle.

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