Sleepy Hollow “Sandman” Review
The opening dream sequence really set the tone of this episode. I half believed that the scene was real at first, which is telling me again that the best part of this show is really Abby. I’m finding myself invested in her more than Icabod, which is saying a lot as Icabod is most certainly still holding his own through his tactical wisdom and adjustments to modern living. What’s keeping me interested is Abby’s sister Jenny and her involvement with the woods demon, which is intriguing me enough to keep going as I still feel that the apocalypse angle is overdone. I’m holding out that the twist of the four horsemen will be something we haven’t seen before.
As of episode three, Sleepy Hollow is really starting to set pace with Supernatural, particularly with the shock gags like the popping sand eyes and the deepening occult themes. What was at first questionably cheesy is now becoming serious. The visit to the penitentiary proved that there is more about Abby than her role as a troubled teen turned cop, giving it a very Constantine (film) feel with the two sisters, one who was sentenced for talking about what she saw and the other remaining silent. This trope took a turn though with the third party seeing the demon, a twist I didn’t see coming. Typically, it’s just the twins at opposite viewpoints, but this time Mr. Gillespie was the missing piece of the initial woods demon puzzle, revealing the monster of this episode: the Sandman.
Now, the Sandman is wonderful as a monster, only appearing after the characters fall asleep, and reminding me more and more heavily of Supernatural, but with companions instead of brothers. With that pairing instead, the show is getting progressively more difficult for the pair to work within the confines of the law rather than running from it, leading me to wonder if Abby and Icabod will eventually have to leave the law and form their own investigation. Time will tell on that one.
At least once an episode now, it seems Icabod gets some pretty fantastic moments where he’s trying to adjust, and this episode’s was interestingly about the eventual puttering out of Native American culture. This was my absolute favorite portion of the entire season, particularly the drinking of jasmine tea to go under with the scorpion sting to keep you grounded to the real world and your actions in the dream world. Fantastic concept. Fighting the Sandman on his own territory put this series on a whole new level for me. I keep finding myself far more invested in the various demonic mini villains than wondering about the apocalypse part, which I’m hoping will all tie together. But this episode, more than any other before, solidified it for me that I’m going to finish the season. Not because of the occult, or the mysteries, or the growing chemistry between Abby and Icabod, but because it is careful to reveal every twist. Everything feels deliberate. I’m hopeful and willing to find out if it continues.
Catherine Scully has always held a fascination with the dark side of children’s stories. A product of too much James Bond and a passion for the more fantastical storytelling of Lovecraft, Machen, Poe, and Guillermo Del Toro, Catherine’s work leans towards supernatural horror or dark fairytales. When not writing and editing, she acts as the Young Adult Editor for the Horror Writers Association, where she helps facilitate Jonathan Maberry’s weekly Scary Out There: What is YA Horror? and is always looking for ways to talk about scary stories for children. She contributes articles to Horror-Writers.net and YA Scream Queens.