Saturday, March 4, 2017

In Which I Review Sleepy Hollow (4x9)

Was it a smart move to make the new Witness a child? Several reviews ago I discussed how having Molly be a child, and quite a young child at that, was a staggering difference between her and the Witness who came before, Abbie. The latter had an independence and ferocity of spirit that was not directly tied to her Witnesshood but to being an adult. Molly lacks that; so far, when danger rears its ugly head, Molly has spirited away, hidding out of sight, waiting for the adults of Ichabod and Diana to save the day. It does little to prove that Molly has the same cosmic significance as Ichabod or even Abbie. Where the show used to be focused on two partners, it can feel that this is now the Ichabod Crane show. In this week's episode, "Child's Play,"  Molly is put front and center and we are asked to consider her status as a child as an asset and a strength, not a hindrance. Grab your favorite childhood toy and let's go!

There are perks to being a kid, not the least of which is an active imagination and the ability to create worlds and figures by simply believing you can. The best authors and artists likely had over active imaginations as children. As with adulthood, however, if there are perks, there are also pitfalls. Puberty isn't exactly fun; school is draining; you have little independence, no money, and are controlled by those older than you. Perhaps more obviously, parents have almost total control over your existence. The feelings toward one's parents can range from love and devotion (for providing the necessities of life) and anger and resentment (for the control, the restrictions, and the cloying clingyness). Molly, at the gentle age of 11, is going through all this plus dealing with a world that is suddenly full of monsters, demons, and the supernatural. Not to mention the whole cosmic destiny thing. Getting through the sixth grade is hard enough without wondering if you favorite imaginary friend is going to come to life and attack your mom. Molly's id, Mr. Stitch, has no motivation outside of what Molly's deep subconscious is feeding it--that dynamic of love and respect vs anger and resentment. The little girl loves her mother Diana so much that she can't bear to voice the feelings she's keeping locked up inside. Molly is scared and feels alone; she is worried about real monsters coming to get her in the middle of the night and not knowing if her father is really her dad or a shapeshifting wolf. But because Molly loves her mother so much she can't tell Diana all these feelings because that's a burden to her mother. But being told constantly that everything is okay is equally draining when the world keeps demonstrating how it's not actually fine. Dreyfus is incredibly creepy when he shows up exactly where Molly is like some sort of dark wizard, but he's got a point when he manages to pinpoint Molly's unhappiness. Mr. Stitch allows Molly to act out this unhappiness without actually acting out (the downside being that Mr. Stitch can hurt people). So is Molly's innocence and childhood a plus? It certainly can be; Molly has the ability to imagine things the adults cannot; Molly's kindness and childlike acceptance are another bonus and when push came to shove, Molly beat the monster of the week through acknowledging and giving weight to her own feelings, one of the vital moves one must go through on the path to becoming self-actualized. Abbie needed to face the three white trees and Moloch; Molly needed to face Mr. Stitch. This was the first big step in allowing Molly on to the team in a more prominent feature. She went into the belly of the whale and emerged victorious. How very Witness of young Molly Thomas.

Miscellaneous Notes on Child's Play

--Dreyfus's vision of the future includes being close friends, possibly even a father figure, with Molly, with intimate dinners on the White House lawn. I have no idea what to make of that.

--Pizza, according to Ichabod, is Neapolitan Flat Bread and Chinese is a far better fare.

--Mr. Stitch is very much like the Golem of season one that was attached to Ichabod's son, Henry. Nice callback.

--"Battling against the supernatural made us sisters again."

--I continue to not care about Alex and Jake, though the latter had some funny moments this week.

--"We must rescue ourselves."

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