Saturday, March 19, 2016

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (3x15)

How many Magical McGuffins does it take to open a door? Apparently not only does it take a box, an emblem, a banshee, a witch, and cuneiform, but it also takes Joe Corbin completely Windigo-ing out. Yes, a leading character became a Magical McGuffin. That sounds like criticism but it's not, at least not really. It's more like a wry chuckle at how spaghetti-to-the-wall this show gets, more so with every passing week it seems. In fact, this week's episode "Incommunicado" was surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because, like last week, it keeps our beloved Team Witnesses apart for ninety percent of the time. With Ichabod locked in the Archives and with Abbie trapped in the basement with Pandora, her sister, and a scary deer-monster, there is very little in the way of charming Ichabbie which, as we all know, is the total selling point of the show. However, what we did have was quite special and demonstrates that while, less is never more with these two, brief respites are not as horrid as we might imagine. The biggest theme of this week's episode is rather basic; communication is good and good teams have good communication. It's elementary and simple and something Sleepy Hollow has pushed since the earliest days, but it's not a lesson that one tires of hearing. Ichabbie? Good communication. The Hidden One and Pandora? Bad communication. Across barriers and internal monsters, our heroes are always in line with one another. Grab your favorite type of pastry and let's go!

For the first time since he appeared last arc, the Hidden One finally felt menacing and like a real threat instead of a shadowy and sulky wannabe Bad Boy. This was also the only time he felt like an omniscient and omnipresent god; up until now, The Hidden One has used big talk to signal his power (aided by helpful flashbacks that leave no doubt that he is, in fact, divine) but any tangible power was drawn from Pandora making The Hidden One look ineffectual and a total let down after the unpredictable likes of Moloch and Henry Parish. This week, our resident god literally absorbed every book, piece of art, poetry, comic, photography, music, and even various sonnets in a matter of seconds and informed Ichabod that none of it would be of any help to them as they were trapped together in the Archives. This week, he was the one who clued Ichabod in on something historical instead of it being Ichabod who normally informs the audience about such-and-such monster or historical time period and entity. And maybe most damning of all, it's the Hidden One who knows the true history of the Witnesses, stretching all the way back to 4000 years ago and traveling down the Crane and Mills bloodline to Ichabod and Abbie now. The Hidden One is the one with the experience and know-how, not Team Witness and, like all the cool kids says, knowledge is power. The same can be said for Pandora and Team Sister Mills (and helpful friend Joe) this week. It's Pandora directing all the action, making all the commands. Only she can break the barrier with her box, and in order for her to do that, Pandora takes charge and Abbie/Jenny are forced to ride shotgun (with helpful friend Joe and his Windigo id) giving the woman who has tried to kill them many times over pieces of her long sought after box. It's a scary prospect, this idea that the villains are getting the upper hand and are suddenly in control instead of Team Witnesses. Or, at least, it would be if The Hidden One and Pandora were communicating effectively. See, we came back around to my original point. Ichabod and Abbie may have had to take a backseat to the god and his girl's knowledge this week, but the foes are still at cross purposes and lying to one another, signaling to the audience their eventual defeat. Pandora didn't tell the Hidden One that Ichabbie have the Emblem of Thura, information he needed to know because of past historical events. The Hidden One is still too concerned with his own importance and power to care about Pandora's ever diminishing returns in her own power supply or her obvious misery. Abbie, on the other hand, knows Ichabod so well that she can buy a multi-grain croissant and, with minimal effort, get him to eat it and enjoy it. Their communication levels are off the charts. Yes, the loss of the emblem is a sad one (no more mind melding!) but it doesn't matter, in the end: Ichabbie have always been able to communicate and understand one another long before the Emblem came into their lives and it shall remain that way long after The Hidden One crushed into dust.

Miscellaneous Notes on Incommunicado 

--Geez Kyle, get with it! Clearly the band is a post-punk indie rock one.

--Great effects for the Banshee and for the moments of silence when it appears.

--Also, how about a round of applause for the use of Beethoven's Fifth in the final Banshee sequence?

--Really loved Ichabod's long speech about the importance of art as inspiration and how it is because of flawed but beautiful human beings that the world can enjoy them.

--"I'm eating my feelings." Bless you, Ichabod.

--I was rather ho-hum about Joenny when it became apparent that's where the writers were going (always going to be more concerned with Ichabbie) but there is no denying that the writers have done a splendid job selling this little relationship.

--I will never, ever, say no to an Ichabbie hug or fist bump. Team Witnesses Represent!

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