Friday, October 9, 2015

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (3x2)

Got a secret, can you keep it? You'll take this one to the grave. Okay, that was rather low hanging fruit, but it works with this week's episode, 'Whispers in the Dark,' because this week is all about the secrets we keep and how they can lead to our demise...even if there isn't a giant black cloud hunting you down. The duplicity of many of the characters takes center stage in this episode and they are forced to either come clean or keep in the dark, biting their tongues even though there is the fantastic axiom that the truth shall set you free. As usual, and as I've come to expect, this is another great episode that really relies on Abbie and Ichabod's chemistry to drive the somewhat silly story (I love how, thus far, Abbie and Ichabod have only been apart for brief moments in time; never enough that you get bored, but just enough to let them develop independent of each other as much as they develop together). As we march onward in season three, Sleepy Hollow proves that it's going to stick its well developed landing. Grab an apothecary (much to Ichabod's chagrin) and let's go! 

I want to spend most of this review talking about one Abigail Mills. Abbie has always been fairly forthright because secrets have a minimal place in her pragmatic, forward seeing universe. Remember when Abbie laid her sad history bare in just the first three episodes of the first season? Ichabod was a perfect stranger and they were still figuring out the whole Team Witnesses thing, but Abbie knew there was no point in keeping the secret of her and Jenny. It was something Ichabod needed to know and it wasn't something that was keeping Abbie up at night so it was easy for her to be so forthcoming. The secret that she's keeping this week, then, must be a doozy because Abbie is reticent to a point that we've never seen before. Abbie jokes that Ichabod should mind his business when it comes to Daniel Reynolds; she says that the key to being good roommates is respecting boundaries (a good life lesson, but comes across as another 'stay on your side of the line, Mr. Crane'), and even after Ichabod confesses his secret that was brought to light when the Wraith confronted him, Abbie stayed silent, preferring to bury herself back in the case of the week instead of seeking absolution. We know precious little of Abbie's nine months being back in the mortal world and away from her Witness counterpart but we got hints of it this week; it was clearly a rigorous process to move through the FBI training at such a fast pace, but along the way, there was Daniel, though this isn't the real issue but let's stay there for a moment. I've never been silent on the matter of Ichabbie; I'm in favor of it, whether it be friendship or lovers, but with the appearance of Abbie's old flame, it looks as though the writers are sticking to their Best Friends/Witness shtick. You know what? I respect that. I really do. Male and female friendships (that stay friendships moreover) are all too rare in media culture. It always happens; someone falls for someone and there is unrequited love followed by opening up followed by declarations of affection. Should this never come to pass for Ichabbie, that's perfectly fine. They are better off as friends; truly. Now, back to Daniel and Abbie. There's something there and I'm fine seeing where it goes, especially if Daniel is the sort of man who will let Abbie be her own woman, but the bigger secret isn't Abbie's romance (because these writers realize that there can be more to a woman than romance. Quick. Someone go remind OUAT). Abbie found her father! Way back in the first season, I predicted that Abbie's father would come up at some point and lo' here he is. Is Abbie ready to meet her father again? No, and it takes courage and all manner of strength to admit that you want a connection with someone but that you're just not prepared for that yet. It takes self awareness and a lot of introspection. I wish the writers would let us see that, though, instead of the after effects but that's what flashbacks are for! I know this review seems brief and low on content for Ichabod, but this was really Abbie's episode and therein lies my focus. I'm relieved that by episode's end Abbie opens her heart and soul to Ichabod, once again proving that those two are linked in ways that are simultaneously mythical and so wonderfully, gloriously, human.

Miscellaneous Notes on Whispers in the Dark

--Ichabod being domestic is the most adorable thing ever.

--Ichabod's secret doesn't feel as though it should be as weighty as he views, it but it does show how honorable he is. He truly is a good man.

--Love Ichabod giving Daniel Reynolds the side eye. 

--Some amazing CGI effects this episode. The Whispering Wraith was really scary.

--I'm honestly not feeling the Betsy Ross storyline. I can't get a read on her apart from "badass Pre-Abbie" and no one is going to top Abbie in terms of awesome or narrative importance. 

--Hi Joe Corbin! Joe and Jenny are going to have a little mission together, aren't they? Good luck, guys.

--"I shall find my place in this new world, but not at the expense of my colonial soul."

--What exactly does Pandora want? It's only two episodes in so I won't worry quite yet, but thus far the villain of the year is feeling a bit vague. What's her motivation?

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