Saturday, March 26, 2016

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (3x16)

Here's something you will not learn in your standard American history textbook: Betsy Ross's famous flag was sewn with a golden thread, which was previously strung in Orpheus's lyre, the same musical instrument taken with him to traverse the Underworld to save Eurydice. Really, it's shocking that sort of information didn't make it into our historical record. This week's episode, "Dawn's Early Light," is Sleepy Hollow at its strangest, most spaghetti-to-the-wall. There were conspiracy theories, historical objects and people, monsters from the past, mythology, and an almost over abundance of historical revisions to reveal something supernatural. And it was all rather fun, wasn't it? Isn't this batty nature, along with our favorite witnesses, why we watch Sleepy Hollow? Its charm in embracing the absurd plot lines and running with them, full throttle, are at the very least entertaining if simultaneously totally off the map in terms of anything believable. That's not an underhanded compliment. I sincerely enjoyed this episode with its monsters, flags, golden threads, and Masonic agents. TV can be deep and meaningful and move our souls both with passion and with frustration; and sometimes, it's just good fun. Grab whatever magical object you think played the most vital role in this episode and let's go!

Was there even a theme to this week's episode? Maybe and maybe not. It was all so (delightfully) hodgepodge-y that it almost doesn't need an overarching theme to tie it all together. But, that makes for a dull review, so yes, my readers, there was a theme (because, I the viewer, just decided so). If there was one motif that was hit upon more than others this week, it was that the truth shall set you free. Now, this theme wasn't actually uttered by a character or characters, unlike it past weeks in which the theme was actually enumerated upon. Rather, it was in several discoveries made by the characters. These truths, some may be self-evident, were of a cosmological nature (Ichabod learning that Betsy went with George Washington to the Catacombs; Danny learning the truth about everything); of a personal, private nature (Jenny admitting, if silently, that she is uncertain about a more open relationship with her father than previously stated); and of a interpersonal nature (Pandora realizing that the Hidden One is a self-righteous bastard who has no real love for her and that she is on the wrong side of this conflict). The thing about truths is that while their initial revelation is important, moreso is what is done with those truths. Danny likely just joined Team Witnesses (with pals Jenny and Joe) and will go exploring the Catacombs to help the save world. That's all well and good, but does he have the mental fortitude to withstand the onslaught of crazy that haunts the tiny hollow? Abbie seems to think so, if the kiss at the end of the episode is any indication. Our Leftanant's truth discovery this week is that her ready made excuses about the dangers of the world she lives in every day are just that, excuses. She is scared of what being with Danny means, the fear that he won't, in the end, be able to handle the world she calls home. I remain unconvinced by Abbie's deep passion for Danny since the relationship has been given very little development; moreover Abbie's pragmatic, no-nonsense nature has always been her leading characteristic, and Danny and his love have yet to demonstrably hinder that. But onwards. Whether or not Abbie has misplaced her trust remains to be seen; I would gently remind the readers of my little blog that Danny has some sort of side dealings going on, last time we checked in on him privately. But, what about the others who had moments of truth this week?

Is Pandora on Team Witnesses now? It's hard to say. I find it hard to believe that she shares the same altruistic sentiments that Ichabod and Abbie have. It's more likely that she is now so firmly against the Hidden One that the old adage about the enemy of my enemy being my friend is closer to her own truth. And what a wake up call, amirite? The emotional and verbal abuse officially went physical as the Hidden One tries to drown his beloved, all while telling her that she is nothing more than a family pet that he let get too familiar. What a guy. What a god. Let's kill him! The real significant and cosmological truth moment, though, concerns a certain flag and what it means for our Witnesses and their mission. It's nice to know that certain threads (pun!) are coming back into play, like the Catacombs and Betsy's never ending insertion into a story where she doesn't belong. This episode did the impossible: it made Betsy Ross relevant. Her story this week had weight, even if it was more about her famous flag than her very self. But honestly, I won't complain. All season, she has been nothing more than a tag-a-long in the Ichabod Crane adventure, only along for the ride to provide the "necessary" sex appeal to Ichabod's backstory (which he doesn't need, but these are the same writers who kept trying to make Katrina interesting). I am very excited that the show is going a very classic route in its final episodes of the season (let's be positive and say season, not series); back to the Underworld, crossing a watery threshold, we go, to defeat a god (this all sounds familiar, no?) There was one more truth that was revealed this week; the Witnesses's bond is powerful because it is true, and they are strong because they love one another. While I'm not sure how this bond and this love will defeat the Hidden One, I'd wager all the money in my pockets that the power of the Witness bond, which has been harped on more this season than any other, will play a significant role in taking down the Hidden One and getting everyone home again. So the Heroes Journey goes.

Miscellaneous Notes on Dawn's Early Light

--So just to keep track of all the historical and mythical things in this episode, we had: Washington's Crossing of the Delaware; Betsy Ross's flag, Paul Revere's house, the Eternal Soldier, Orpheus and Eurydice, Francis Scott Key, Fort McHenry, Masons, the War of 1812, and the opening line to the Star Spangled Banner. Spaghetti, meet wall.

--"A relationship can survive most anything except secrets." That's about as close to the theme of the week as we're likely to get.

--Ichabod brought home KFC over Burger King. Bless.

--Ichabod tells Abbie that returning to the Catacombs must be her choice; he will not make it for her. Yes, agency. Yes.

--Hamilton: The Musical jokes for the win!

--Just so everyone knows, the road to the Underworld does not run through a candy shop.

--Abbie Mills has clearly been reading my blog. In her words (and mine, week after week): "Let's go!"

No comments:

Post a Comment