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 S2E8: “Heartless”

You Gotta Have Heart

pretty Abbie

But how do you really feel? This becomes the resounding question that episode 8 asks. After last week’s reunion of Katrina and Ichabod,  Sleepy Hollow tries to further create a real marriage relationship between Ichabod and Katrina, but it seems, well, hollow, despite the mellifluous,whispery voices. Passion? Nah. Perfunctory? Yep.

Romantic-Cranes-Sleepy-Hollow-2x07.bmp-e1415127809203

Lest we forget, even when they were in bed last episode, I wasn’t buying it.

The jealousy Ichabod feels when he hears that Abraham (aka The Headless Horseman) had been taking care of his woman, would be so much more fun and believable, if he had some true passion for his wife. Ah, but that’s the point, isn’t it?  Ichabod knows he’s supposed to love Katrina passionately, but doubts have been planted episode by episode (they hide things from each other, they’ve been separated a long time, The Headless Horseman is a handsome, helpful dude with a head in Katrina’s presence, Abbie is…well…Abbie).

Meanwhile, Henry is up to his old tricks, trying to raise Moloch via wreaking havoc on the poor little town via an Incordata or succubus. The creature sucks the heart out of those who have strong hidden feelings. The message? Suppressed desire will end up killing your ass.

Hawley and Succubussleepy-hollow-succubus-heartless-750

I’m hoping that it’s just these two episodes that Abbie is so reactive. She figures things out, walks around with papers and photos. Yeah, she continues to fire off a shot or two, goes on the hunt, saves the day by reading an incantation. But she’s constantly The Commentator, laying the I’m-all-business and I’ll-tell-you-like-it-is on pretty thick. But there is method to this madness. Abbie is fighting her secret attraction to Ichabod tooth and nail, as is Ichabod for Abbie. And they are both fighting self knowledge of their feelings for each other most of all. But it peeks out in little ways: the look on Abbie’s face whenever she watches Ichabod with his wife. The jealousy that Ichabod can’t hide when he realizes Hawley has a thing for Abbie. What I call the Relationship Event Horizon is nearing…the moment when all is revealed and long awaited fervent kisses ensue. But we’ll have to wait for that.

I loved the gender pairing of Ichabod and Hawley in the club while Abbie and Katrina went hunting for the succubus heart, providing an opportunity for more little revelatory disclosures and playing up the fact that each pair loves the same people.

Ichabod and Hawley

In the climax, the succubus calls Ichabod out on his doubts. “I can sense your desire. It burns strong. Even though you fight so hard to hide it.” Uh-huh.

Foreshadowing in Abbie’s comment to Katrina about Henry: “I think there are things that even a mother’s love can’t overcome.” It’s not just Katrina, but Abbie’s mama that comes to mind as well. (Get ready for episode 9).

I keep waiting for Abbie to share some fun, special  little tidbit about Ichabod that unwittingly clues Katrina in on Abbie’s true feelings…and to watch those awkward realization sparks fly. Ah well. That’s not gonna happen any time soon, since Katrina is conveniently dispatched back to The Headless Horseman, by her own volition, when she tells Abbie it’s the only way she can help stop Moloch. (Was that a secret little twinkle in Abbie’s eye???) You really didn’t think Katrina was going to stick around for more than a couple of episodes and muck up the approaching Relationship Even Horizon, did you?

Abbie smiling

A little surprisingly, Ichabod is not broken up by Katrina going back to The Headless Horseman and even goes so far as to declare “We must allow relationships to evolve and we must allow them to follow their natural course.”  Oh yeah, we get the double meaning, you desirous dog, you.

My Pet Peeves

Sucked dry, dessicated victims is a bit shopworn.

Is Hawley a character or a device?

Katrina’s still in that corset? (Is period clothing grafted to these people?)

My Favorites Moments

I’ll go to superficial first: loving Ichabod’s flowing tresses.

The Hawley factor, in particular the shirtless bandaging of his wound. (Oh, am I still being superficial?)

Abbie digging into a jar full of maggots to pull up a heart: “This is nasty.”

Abbie setting Hawley straight: “Sorry you’ve got your signals crossed, but I’m sure you’ve misread women before.”

To ride out the episode, Ichabod’s final line about Katrina is a nice set up: “I trust her.” Ah, but Henry knows better than anyone, a mother’s love knows no bounds. The sneaky little devil.

Sleepy Hollow S2E6: “And the Abyss Gazes Back”

Look Where You’re Going

An episode that starts with yoga, so we can see Abbie in a state of semi-undress and Ichabod in casual modern clothing as both sweat by candlelight???  Bestill my heart! Nicole looked like she knew what she was doing, so I’m guessing she brought her mat on set enough times for it to be incorporated into the show. Nice, fun touch.

ichabod Yoga

Sheriff Corbin’s son, Joe,  showed up, so I guess I was prescient last week. This time we get another son as monster (by curse) and the theme of Becoming Monsters by our actions. Joe is in town after an honorable discharge from the Army, and battles transforming into a Wendigo, which kind of put his platoon in Afghanistan in peril, and now threatens Sleepy Hollow. This is juxtaposed, briefly, with the storyline of Henry trying to turn  Captain Franklin into a monster by tempting him with the chance to kill the man who paralyzed his daughter. This episode gives us the power of will, the desire to be good and stay that way and the temptation of our baser instincts. I wish we’d gotten more of the Captain’s struggle, but I guess prison angst had to take a back seat to cool galloping antlered monster.

the-wendigo-on-sleepy-hollow

This episode was in better form than the previous one. More cohesive, pulling together multiple key characters into the thread of the storyline and the general arc of the show. This is what the show needs. Episodes like this have drive and heart, examine the human condition, keep us caring about the characters, introduce new info and danger and move the story along. And we are once again asked one of the core Sleepy Hollow questions: Can you believe someone is not beyond saving as much as Abbie does? I wouldn’t quite call her Saint Abbie yet. But she takes her mission seriously. All the more fun it will be when the writers show us Evil Bitch Abbie, because you know, inevitably, they will.

By the end, Henry is up to some serious no good, setting in motion a new attack on Catrina, his mother. From the promos, it’s clear where that’s heading, but for those who turn away from spoilers of future eps, you will have none here.

My Favorite Moments

Ichabod’s hair is looking sexier (when not in that straggly ponytail)

“As much as i would love to debate the variety of rodent hats that existed in your days, can we please refocus?”

The way the Wendigo runs

The look Hawley drops on Abbie just before her sister walks in. (oh-oh)

Ichabod knew Daniel Boone TOO? I need to keep a running list of the famous he conveniently knew.

Ichabod online gaming.

My Pet Peeves

Veiled T&A: Abbie is giving more push up this season (because what female cop doesn’t want to wear scoop neck tees that show some cleavage?) I know, I know. It’s TV and the fan boys exert their influence. But her sister, Jenny, dresses more appropriately for battle.  It would be better and more believable to let Abbie give the sexy shorty occasionally. She’s a pretty and talented actress. Can we let that carry the day for most of the episode?

Captain Franklin’s soul bartered? Nope. Not buying it. I maintain that bartering requires mutual agreement. The Captain was, as he said, tricked.

Well, my friends, it’s THAT week. If you’re in NYC, I might see you at the famous Halloween Parade or at the annual Limelight party. Otherwise, enjoy yourselves out there. Be safe, have fun, and if you see the Abyss, look the other way.

 Henry in cave

 

Sleepy Hollow S2E5 review: “The Weeping Lady”

Katrina Weeping Lady

 

The Green Eyed Monster

First, let me get this out of the way. Ichabod’s jacket. Within the first moments of the 5th episode of the second season, some girl named Caroline is sewing buttons on it. At least they poke fun at my torture by having her add that she thinks Ichabod is a devoted Colonial re-enactor, and then reveals that she has made him new breeches, shirt and hose all cut from cloth woven on a Heritage Saxony loom. Oh, they know I’m watching. Does the jacket ever go in the washing machine? Get hand washed?  Now, I’ve done my share of wearing re-enactment clothing and period correct costumes. But why can’t Ichabod be more like Claire from “Outlander” and just get with whatever time he’s in and dress appropriately? Except the brass button pants. Uh, yeah. He can keep those on. Those, we like.

Hey at least Abbie’s hair didn’t stay bone straight after she fell in the water…oh wait, a few minutes later it’s like she had access to a blow dryer.  Must repeat: It’s TV, it’s TV, it’s TV.

More importantly, in this episode, we get to see Katrina use her power, so she’s finally  “powerful and devious” not just Captive and Victim. Like may fans, I was getting a little antsy to see Katrina do something more than look moon eyed at the bewigged Headed Horseman between spying on Henry Parrish and glancing at the door.

The central story this week is the local Colonial folklore of a Weeping Lady who turns out to be someone Ichabod once knew. We’re guided between Fact and Fiction, Present and Past.  There are mucho flashbacks, so there isn’t a driving story arc. I’m finding that in the past two episodes,  the story lurches forward, has some good moments, but doesn’t deliver the punch of more stand alone episodes or the ones that have driven the story forward at a galloping pace.

Hawley shows up again right when and where Abbie’s researching a supernatural event, and AGAIN Abbie thinks this is normal.

Moloch gets his rolling thunder voice in there to express his ire and angst, leaving poor Henry Parrish weeping like a little lost boy.  And you actually feel a little sorry for him.

What I love about this show is that characters have unexpected secrets and complexity, good weaves with evil, and plot twists bring small reveals, and the headless horseman gets a little more vulnerable, a little more human.

Another little surprise: Jenny and Nick, sitting in a tree…

Jenny Mills Nick Hawley

 

Not sure if throwing the sister in there deflates the potential for romantic rivalry or just shifts it from Ichabod (who is, after all, married) to a potential Jenny/Abbie rivalry.

Anybody else think Hawley bears some resemblance to the original Sheriff Corbin (Clancy Brown)?? No?  Just me?

 

Sheriff August Corbin

 

My Favorite Moment

Ichabod, after watching high school Spirit Squad girls do aerial splits in tiny shorts: “I’m duly impressed by their…spirit.”

My Pet Peeve

You already know the answer to this.