Sleep Hollow: S2E12 “Paradise Lost”

Our Bond Cannot Be Broken

Orion with halo

They’re baaacck. Just as I was lamenting the opportunity to review Sleepy Hollow, the show returned to rescue me. My months of deprivation have ended. Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the show is back in fine form. Abbie is bold, strong, taking the lead. Innuendo abounds. The story moves. And we get an angel. What’s not to love?

As if from a deep slumber, like Ichabod, we awaken from a mid-series break to an opening scene that looks suspiciously like a dream.  The first person Ichabod touches is Abbie, then his wife.  Moloch is dead. Is this real? Six weeks later, Abbie and Ichabod are shopping together, a Couple Activity if there ever was one. Let me pause here. SIX WEEKS LATER.  What happens in that six weeks??  Big gaps in time, dreamlike opening scenes.  Just saying. Ichabod realizes how lost and purposeless he is without the Darkness. When it comes to discussing Katrina, Abbie can pour salt in the wound when she wants to: “She spends more time with her greatest enemy than with you.” She says it wistfully, with innocence, but there’s an edge and an ulterior motive hidden in there. Seems like our girl is cleverly creating a wedge now that Ichabod is living on a makeshift bed instead of at the cabin with his wife. She knows an opportunity when she sees it.

Katrina ep 12

And then, before the credits, we are treated to red-eyed apocalyptic demons, a winged halo-throwing angelic host in black and our gun toting dynamic duo! Meanwhile, Katrina is doing the bondage thing again, this time with the blonde headed Horseman in chains as she seeks a way to transform him back to human. Then what, Katrina? What plans do you have for him then?

Back to our fearless duo, the angel, Orion, tells them he’s one of the few angels who is devoted to fighting evil and has escaped from purgatory after being locked away there for 200 years. Let’s not assume Moloch locked him there. He might be there on a directive from on high for conduct most unbecoming.

When alone with Orion, Abbie asks some pretty lame questions.  She seems so much more sophisticated after all she’s seen than to ask an angel “was the world really created in seven days?” and “what’s he like, if he’s a he and not a she?” And she doesn’t get it when the angel tells her All that is, is All that is?? He ends up giving her a mini halo weapon charm for her to call him when she needs him.  Looks like a tracking device to me. Why don’t I trust him? Perhaps because he’s a super righteous, angry angel dressed in black, with black wings and weird eyes??

Angel Orion and Abbie

 

Katrina tells her husband that she wants their love to bring back the Headless Horseman.  Ohhhh-kay. I think I see the wheels turning for Ichabod that this will reintroduce Abraham once again as a flesh and blood rival for her affections.  Ichabod may sometimes be a little slow on the uptake, but he’s not a complete idiot. He stalls.

Orion has other ideas about Abraham. He’s bent on destroying him in a very It’s My Mission kind of way.  Yeah, he’s no good. Further giving in to her soft spot for Abraham, Katrina lets the Headless Horseman go so she can attempt his transformation to mortal.  Meanwhile, in a local bar, Abbie’s sister, Jenny, is looking more beautiful and wearing a leather skirt, which means Hawley is on the horizon to thwart any suitors and offer up an ancient Sumerian demon tracking device so he can learn that the Horseman is with the demons. (This show knows how to kill two birds with one stone.) And what is the Horseman doing after Katrina freed him and made him promise not to hurt anyone while she tries to fix him back to normal?  He’s hanging with demons and reforging his mighty axe, of course.

Ichabod’s ever sharpening research skills reveal that Orion’s appearance has historically presaged really major disasters and plagues. Then Orion tips his hand to Abbie, who he thinks shows good character, and tells her he will bring a great judgement to mankind, and use his blade to cleanse our wickedness. (Well, someone’s gotta do it.)  Angel battles Horseman. Ichabod and Abbie battle demons. It’s ON. Abbie distracts Orion, Ichabod destroys his weapon, thereby saving his friend (and rival), Abraham. Orion flies off.

black-angel-wings

I always wonder…why the cumbersome wings? If the giant bird wings are literal and real,  why the ability to make them come and go on command without the ability to make them look different? Why not appear in another way, like with sleek, retractable metal wings?  But I quibble.

Ichabod also shows backbone in this episode when he faces Katrina, “We share  a mission, but we also chose to share a  life together. You simply used our marriage as a bargaining tool…We must redefine our marriage.”  Katrina wants to start today. Ichabod is like, uh no. On my terms, in my time. And this, ironically, becomes the sexiest moment to date between the couple. ALWAYS better when you let the characters fight the magic before it subsumes them. It works for Abbie and Ichabod, and a real husband/wife relationship and attraction gives Abbie something to fight for, even if it’s subconsciously or on the sly.

Nice treat: the Captain arrives, albeit looking a little worse for wear. Oh shit. I just realized what’s up with that and why he asked, “Is this Heaven or Hell?” And I thought we were rid of…I’ll hold that one back.

My Pet Peeves:

Shots turned upside down suggesting a topsy turvy world where what you think is real or good, isn’t! Gives me nausea.

The cursory Hawley In/Hawley Out moments. He still doesn’t feel like a full character.

My Favorite Moments:

“Witnesses represent.”

Abbie calls angel Orion a zealot.

Ichabod growing a set with his wife.

The preview for next week’s ep looks promising. I think the show is really getting back into its groove. The ethnic diversity is re-establishing itself. Abbie and Ichabod are making strong choices as co-Witnesses. Passion and love intrigue are in the air. Jealousy is asserting itself as a core issue. Now sit back, and enjoy the rest of the season.

 

 

 

 

Sleepy Hollow S2E11: “The Akeda”

SACRIFICE

Biker babe

It’s a dark, apocalyptic and really really stormy night…And my dream from my last review of Abbie riding a motorcycle has come TRUE!  Ha! Prescience?

The gang’s all here, and this is one busy episode. And that’s saying something for this show.  Abbie and Ichabod discover Henry and Moloch’s Mad as Hell plan in miniature. That pentagram over the model town is pretty lopsided. It’s a mathematical as well as supernatural figure after all, but we’ll assume the model is not accurate. BTW Couldn’t Henry just use a MAP?  Onward to Katrina and Abraham playing bondage by firelight, forcing Ichabod to draw his sword and fight for his wife.  Ichabod wields the cool, magical Methusaleh blade well. The music pounds. The action moves. It’s Mid-Season Finale!

Magic has a price. Any witch knows that. Ichabod, Abbie Katrina and Jenny come together to capture Abraham/The Headless Horseman. And as Katrina chains up her Other Man (is that a twinkle in her eye?), Abbie deals with the Katrina/Abraham dilemma head on. “I know this isn’t easy for you…seeing her with him.”  Oh, Abbie.  This draws Ichabod out to admit that the marriage has been “under a lot of strain.”  Uh-huh. The romantic formula brews.  Hmmm. Am I the only one seeing Ichabod’s handling of that sword throughout the episode as kinda phallic?

Ichabod Sword Irving

The sword of Methusaleh, which can stop the Apocalypse, claims a human soul if used. Of course, Captain Irving doesn’t have a soul, so let’s volunteer him! Wait. Where is he again? He reveals his whereabouts via code. Naturally.

As Katrina tries to cajole and convince Abraham to help, Ichabod overhears her entreaties. Oops. Again, it must be mentioned that Katrina is STILL wearing that corset. But now I see it for what it is. She’s a quintessential Tease, because, you know, a proper lady wants to wear her period underwear on the outside all the time and every chance she gets when she’s around two men from the 18th century who would usually only see such a private item in the bedroom. Sly Fox.

No episode would be truly Sleepy Hollow-ish without a visit to the catacombs. Those sets are getting some good use. Here, we find Captain Irving, looking menacing in the dark, with a gun and in a hoodie (Really?)  I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Oh, please please please don’t let this be Irving’s Sacrificial Negro swan song.

Meanwhile, we learn from big Sooty Black Moloch that each white tree burned black brings evil. Huh?  Black = Evil? With all these evil white folk running around?? Cue Hawley. Damn, I thought maybe we were rid of him and his convenient presence and quips.  Anyway, bloody hail falls when he steps outside. Just sayin’.

Moloch

Ichabod tries to have a heart to heart with Katrina. I just never believe she has any real feelings for him, do you? I’m not sure if it’s the actress or the story plans for the character and uber subtext that the writers have given her. In a showdown, all our heroes go for a walk in the woods armed to the teeth on their mission to stop Moloch, and all Hell breaks loose. Abbie gets shot, Katrina gives glowy witchy power, Irving wields the shining sword and War comes galloping in with a flaming blade. (More males and their swords.) I don’t make this stuff up folks, I just review it with glee.  Irving cuts off War’s arm. (Come on! It’s just a flesh wound!) And of course, Irving stumbles, bleeding and wounded after the fight and…well, you know the rest.

Ichabod walks in on Abbie in a little black shirt, looking sexy and beautiful while having her wound bandaged by her sister.  Then he gets to hold back an emotional Abbie (against him, yes, AND in slo mo) when she learns about Irving’s fate. And I’m like, couldn’t Katrina sing HER swan song too?  These two Witnesses are just made for each other!  When Abbie takes hold of the sword (why not?), Ichabod stands up for Abbie staying alive. He’s likely thinking uh, I just held you against me, and I REALLY think you should live. Then she reminds him that their Purpose and Mission are more important. And each of the women step up to say they’ll gladly take the sword and risk their lives.  A strong, We Are Powerful Women moment.

Meanwhile, Moloch expects Henry to die and sacrifice himself for the demon’s glory. Henry sees Moloch as a substitute father and is none too pleased. I think we see where this is going, right? Abbie, using some impressive super heroine moves, fights off a Root attack from Henry. (Hey, are those giant, natural hair roots?) Henry dares Ichabod to kill him. “What will it be, Father?”  I’ll take that sword, son.

Into the Woods, and our heroes are tied to the white trees as they wait to be slaughtered. Henry realizes that Moloch thinks little of him or Abraham and their loyalty. Moloch just wants everyone dead. And so Henry feels betrayed and takes matters into his own hands, and the full meaning of The Akeda, or Binding, from the biblical Isaac and Abraham story, exerts its influence.  My ears began to tire at this point from all the bombastic music and sound effects. And then, all of a sudden, darkness. It all ends, leaving us to wait. And wait. And wait.

Mid-season. Oh how we hate thee.

My Pet Peeves

The episode was a little bit on the frenetic busy side in its effort to create compelling action

Gunga din/Sacrificial Negro (unless Irving’s not dead, and is really just in Supernatural Stasis)

My Fav Moments

Ichabod on a motorcycle for the first time: “I want one of these as soon as this is over!”

“Enough deceit! We have an Apocalypse to halt!”

“It’s okay. She’s a witch.”

Abbie admonishing Hawley: “I need to trust you to watch over the Horseman until we get back. It’s not a party. You can’t have any friends over.”

More seeds of romance

All that sword play

What will you watch while you await the return of Sleepy Hollow?  My appetite is whetted by all these swords, and since Walking Dead is also on break, I guess I’ll have to settle into Game of Thrones. Oh, but that’s not premiering until Spring 2015. What’s an ersatz kick-ass damsel in distress to do?

If you feel so inclined, share what you’d like to see in the second half of Season 2. I want to see a full blown Abbie/Ichabod romantic moment, maybe by accident, maybe thinking they’re going to die, and so they think why not?   I’d like to see Abbie go Evil. She certainly has the attitude and chops for it. If Hawley and Katrina have to stick around, I’d like to see them more involved in episodes in meatier, less predictable ways. Hell, let Hawley go after Katrina. It would be fun to see Irving re-appear. I want stand alone episodes that dig into some cool and really scary supernatural shit. Your turn.

Until next time, in 2015, naturally…

Abbie Natural

 

 

Sleepy Hollow S2E10: “Magnum Opus”

First of all, I have to apologize to my readers for my being so late in posting this review.  For this reviewer, TV horror needed to take a back seat to the real horror of the events that occurred this week of the killing of 12 year old Tamir Rice by Cleveland police and the grand jury decision on the Mike Brown case in Ferguson.  It’s taken me a few days, but I’m back.

Mirror Mirror

Let’s reflect. As usual, this episode is chock full of fun before opening credits: Katrina chats by mirror; Abbie and Ichabod puzzle over old books, maps, messages, mirror distortion code-breaking and prophecy; Henry eavesdrops; a sheriff is after Captain Irving; a quest begins for the sword of Methusaleh to kill Moloch; the Headless Horseman rides again. Buckle up.

It’s a dark and stormy night, and it’s nice to see the Horseman riding again.  There’s a lot of running.  Abbie fearlessly takes the initiative in a high stakes search for a supernatural weapon. And the soundtrack looms with blares of trumpet. It’s like Season One all over again which is a good thing. We’re back to the dynamic duo fighting the good fight as only they can.  The show works much much better this way. Oh, and no Hawley. He was not missed. OK?

Ic and Ab Magnum Opus

Flashbacks? Oh yeah. With fencing dudes Icabod and Abraham giving a hint of homoeroticism. You know, the we’re playing sports, sweating, getting close, best friends kinda thing, capped by Ichabod’s declaration “He made me who I am.”  This is followed by a pub flashback and a drinking buddies moment with talk of bedding buxom women: cue Katrina, and lo and behold, we have a threesome.

Ichabod is very uber confident and pontificating in this episode, often to comic effect. But it also serves to make him seem more in control and sexier,  and less the bumbling, out-of-his-time guy. I like a balance of those two sides, and we get that this episode.

Ichabod and Abbie go into, yes, you guessed it, yet another cave leading to the town’s underground catacombs.  They discover people turned to stone. Are you thinking Medusa?  She was a Gorgon, so yes. Abbie shows fear, vulnerability and frustration in having to face this creature and her own possible death.  Then she uses her logic to deal with it. Bravo, girl.

gorgon-magnum-opus

The Horseman rides a second time, and did I miss something? Is he ALWAYS accompanied by stormy nights? We get treated to Gorgon SFX. Nice.  Abraham appears to Ichabod as his true self (with head), and the men take up swords against each other.  They argue plot points we already know, but there’s an added injection of doubt about Katrina’s true allegiance.  Before he leaves, Abraham drops, “As I ride with your wife…You have no sword. You are nothing.” Ouch.

Abbie and Ichabod go into Witnesses Overdrive as Abbie gives him that direct, smoldering look, drops her voice deep and low and asks, “What do we have that they didn’t? ” The look is returned by Ichabod,  “Each other.” And they light a flame together to reveal the treasure they seek.  So much symbolism this episode.  Mirrors and true selves and the crucible of fire that tests both courage and love.  The glowing light reflected from the sword is very Medieval and fetching on our Ichabod. Sword in the Stone, the Golden Fleece…any other myths knocking around this episode?

sword in the stone

While Captain Irving takes off to seek his own fate, Henry takes after his dad with all that pontificating. He’s getting on my nerves.  I don’t find him scary AT ALL. As much as I love the actor, the character is tiresome.  I only hope that fast-grow Moloch will step in soon to take the reins. One more episode before the mid-season break, so I have a feeling my wish will come true.

My Pet Peeves

The repetitiveness of some motifs have started to come across as lack of imagination: Henry’s I’ve Got Something New for You at the end of each episode, cave locales for supernatural encounters, it was a dark and stormy night. Yes, I know there’s a formula. I think we need a bit more originality.

My Fav Moments

Abbie’s Clarity of Purpose and Rare Gift: “It is my legacy…It is why I’m here.”

Who needs technology? Mirror as video conference, distortion decoder AND bugging device. Ah, but clever Ichabod has started using his PDA apps!

Icabod Cell Card game

The multiple mentions of Abbie’s mom and her legacy, which means the highs of the previous episode are part of the story arc.

“Thank you, Colonial Myth Buster.”

“Good morning, sunshine.”

“Crane, I can see his head.”

Whenever Abbie sports that pseudo biker babe look in that black cap and leather jacket, it makes me want to actually see her on a bike (writers?)

I don’t know about you, but I hate mid-season breaks. They are the bane of my existence. And it’s a shame to pause just when it feels like the show is starting to finally get its groove again.