Friday, October 30, 2015

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (3x5)

And thus, Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills packed their bags and headed off to the Jeffersonian to meet Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennen and Seeley Booth. Yeah, that's right. It's crossover time. When this crossover was announced, I was skeptical, to put it mildly. I had been a semi-regular viewer of Bones for the first six years it was on the air before giving up that ghost. Procedural cop shows have never been my cup of tea but the characters on Bones were delightfully quirky and fun and they kept me hanging on until I decided to call it quits. My point is that I have, at the very least, a passing acquaintance with the show and characters; enough to know that for Bones--scientific, pragmatic to a fault Bones--to come into contact with Ichabod--a time traveling, monster hunting, man from the 18th century--and not have it fundamentally alter the way she views the world (through her myopic and science-only lens) would be disingenuous and that something was rotten in the state of Denmark. And this was my problem with the crossover when it was promoted. How could those characters possibly exist in the same world? Abbie and Booth? Sure, no problem. Even Booth and Ichabod could find common ground since Booth has a lot more faith and belief than his other half. But Bones and Ichabod could not possibly exist in the same universe, to say nothing of interacting. But, with all that said, this two part episode "The Resurrection in the Remains" (the Bones half) and "Dead Men Tell No Tales" (the Sleepy Hollow half) was fun. A lot of fun, to be precise. The overarching mystery isn't exactly important and nothing was really added to the mythology of either show, but it was a good romp. Sometimes, that's all you need. 

This one is going to be rather brief. As I said above, this isn't a mythology building episode (or episodes). It's about what happens when we take our characters and put them outside of their comfort zones (Sleepy Hollow, each other) and watch them interact with people who do not understand--and even know about--the world in which Ichabod and Abbie find themselves every week. The biggest surprise here, honestly, was the chemistry and interaction between Ichabod and Bones. Abbie and Booth seem to get each other and thus, while they might rub each other the wrong way initially, have similar cop mentalities that mesh. Ichabod and Bones are on opposite ends of the spectrum, so while having these two interact was my original complaint about this crossover, the actors and writing sold me on why it was important and necessary to have the man out of time with the soul of a poet and the woman with the heart, soul, and mind of a scientist engage in various tet-a-tet's. Whether it be love vs science or the higher mysteries vs skepticism, Bones and Ichabod will simply never see eye to eye. It doesn't matter that Ichabod can point out that love is more than just a series of numbers (and use Bones's own relationship with Booth as the linchpin in that argument); to Bones it all stems from a need to procreate, one of the most basic urges in the universe. Conversely, it doesn't matter how many scientific proofs Bones can point to for why faith, art, and feelings of love exist, Ichabod will see beauty in the universe, in art, in poetry, in religion, in love, in humankind. Of course, much of this comes from their own experiences and the experiences we witness every week with both casts. Bones deals with murderers on a daily basis; these murderers kill for the most mundane of reasons: jealousy, lust, money, greed, ect. Ichabod deals with the supernatural forces that are only stopped by belief in Abbie, in the mission, and that good can overcome evil. For Bones, the only thing that overcomes evil is science and evidence. Her belief is in the numbers (though, Bones would never deign to call it belief). It is as Ichabod himself says, in my favorite line of the night, about Bones: "she'd dismiss Moloch as a tall man with a skin condition." While I was very (very) skeptical at first about Bones and Ichabod meeting, it turned out much better than I envisioned because the driving home point is really that both mentalities--the scientific and the poetic--are valid and one does not cancel out the other. They can exist together. Bones need not be radically altered after meeting Ichabod Crane because her own preservation of self would never allow for such an alteration; Bones's essence will forever find a scientific rationalization for the bizarre and otherworldly. But that's okay; Ichabod has enough belief in the otherworldly for everyone. After all, he's (one half) of a hero team destined to save the world.

Miscellaneous Notes on Dead Men Tell No Tales 

--Ichabod did not beam from the planet Vulcan, everyone. Just to be clear.

--"I was referring to the four of us getting along." Ichabod got the best lines of the night.

--General Zombie Howe and his zombie army were very scary. Once again, props to the CGI team behind Sleepy Hollow this season.

--The one scene with Betsy Ross was pointless, solidifying my belief that her insertion into this show is completely unnecessary.

--Jenny and Joe have a little adventure that is probably highly relevant to the overall season but thus far continues to be a "watch and see" plot line. I'm fine with that.

--Ichabod does his own sewing and embroidery. He's a crafter. Like me. We belong together. 

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