Friday, November 20, 2015

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (3x8)

And so the old passed away and the new was brought forth. In this week's episode, "Novum Ordo Seclorum" the Hidden One, a living breathing god, attempted to bring his world, the world he remembers and longs for, back to Sleepy Hollow. It's the fall finale of my favorite spaghetti-to-the-wall show and, as expected, we were left with quite a cliffhanger. I, for one, refuse to believe that Abbie Mills just blew up inside of a tree. I refuse to believe that Team Witnesses are down one Witness. Let's, instead, ponder the actions of said Witnesses. What lengths would you go to in order to save a loved one? Would you rob? Would you defy authority? Would you murder? Would you go against god himself? Would you die? Those are the questions Team Witnesses must ask themselves as they face down the most powerful force yet. Moloch was a demon from hell, but the Hidden One is an actual god and even with a veritable litnay of supernatural victories, Ichabod and Abbie are facing a force that is far more dangerous than anything that has come before. Grab something mystical, powerful, and magical, try not to die, and let's go!

As one might expect, in hindsight, this episode was heavily focused on Abigail Mills--our wonderful, hard, pragmatic, loyal Leftenant. Guilt is following Abbie around in the wake of Jenny's disappearing act; we had a spectacular episode a few weeks back that really focused on the relationship between Abbie and Jenny and all the history and weight between the Sisters Mills. When they were younger, Abbie let the world believe that Jenny was crazy, the younger claiming that a monster sprang up from the ground, next to four white trees. Abbie refused to corroborate and went on to lead a vastly different life than her sister. And now, Jenny is having the essence of a magical shard (yes, sometimes Sleepy Hollow gets a bit Magical McGuffin-y too) get sucked out of her by a real god. You have to wonder what Jenny and Abbie's life would have been like if Abbie had stuck by her sister all those years ago. Would they have been locked up together? Would Abbie have become a cop, ignoring all the magical goings-on in Sleepy Hollow, living in a black and white world, while Jenny traveled the world, looking for magical artifacts? It does little to no good to dwell on these questions, but I think all those types of questions are floating around Abbie's head this week. Once again, Jenny Mills is in danger and it falls to Abbie to save her--and save her she will, doing anything she can to rescue Jenny. Last week, I noted that Abbie was facing a choice between the FBI and Team Witnesses; while we could say that Abbie chose Team Witnesses, it's more that she chose Jenny and Jenny alone. Abbie would undoubtedly choose Ichabod over the FBI, but when it comes to Jenny, it's not even a question. That's her sister and that's all there is to it; even if Abbie did have a romantic relationship with Danny at one point, it's nothing compared to the relationship with Jenny. That's how you write strong, independent women, folks. Romance can always be a factor, but you need not be defined by it and your entire storyline does not revolve around your romantic partner.

This, of course, brings us to the big moment of the episode: Abigail Mills and her apparent death. Now, I don't think she's dead--I think Abbie is in the Underworld (seriously, what is with my shows and the Underworld this year?) and that she'll survive this just like she survived Purgatory. But Abbie's sacrifice came from a place of pure heroism and sisterly love. There were only a few options open to Abbie--the death of Jenny (unacceptable and goes against Abbie's very being), the death of the entire town of Sleepy Hollow (unacceptable and goes against everything Team Witnesses stand for), or her own death. Like heroes are wont to do, the lives of others matter more than their own. I talk a lot about gender reversals on Sleepy Hollow and this was a great example of how Sleepy Hollow plays with such ideas. Ichabod is (one of) the heroes of this show and in other narratives, the big heroic moment would fall on his white, male shoulders. But the narrative weight is so much more heavy because it's Abbie dying for the love of her sister. This is just Abbie's hero journey; she must pass through this stage before she can come back and defeat evil alongside her other cohorts. Ichabod's own story is going to be in wrestling with losing his Leftenant, his Abbie. I guess I should have seen it coming all along, especially when the super heavy line, "don't get too close to anyone. When you lose them, it will break you" was dropped. Ichabod could survive losing Katrina because their lives no longer made sense together in this new age, but Abbie is his root, that which tethers him to this new world. It's a new age in the life of the Witnesses, but can the team survive the loss of one of its most important assets? While I do not believe that Abbie is dead and gone for good, I think we're going to see our little band of heroes deal with the (supposed) loss of their friend and sister and co-Witness for awhile. Hold on to your heads, Sleepyheads. Things are about to get angsty. But, hey. I have faith. Come what may---Team Witnesses represent!

Miscellaneous Notes on Novos Ordo Seclorum

--I guess the show is just going to call Mr. Creepy Man "The Hidden One" without naming him after any particular God? That's a shame. I still think he's Amun-Ra.

--Pandora and Hidden One are a couple? "For you, I would break eternity." That's almost sweet, if they weren't trying to wipe out humanity.

--Ichabod basically started a riot at a fraternity toga party because of course he did.

--The Witnesses have a long lineage, which we knew after last year, but I wonder if we'll ever hear anything about them. Are Ichabod and Abbie "reborn" in different lifetimes as Witnesses to battle evil?

--No Betsy Ross. Praise the Lord.

--I love that Abbie's voicemail has a specific portion of it devoted to Crane needing to wait for a beep.

--"You ready to fight some monsters?" "Indeed." "My man!" 

--"Your spirit and mine are made of far heartier stuff....come what may." See everyone in February!

No comments:

Post a Comment