SLEEPY HOLLOW Debriefing: “I shall consider myself punked.”

sleepyhollow_s2_cast

That’s pretty much exactly what the first half of this episode was, wasn’t it?

I have to admit up front: I don’t know a whole lot about the mythology of Sleepy Hollow. It’s not the show’s fault: I just have a very limited attention span by this point of the night, and I can never follow what’s going on. It sure looks pretty on screen, but I couldn’t tell you what the horsemen are up to or why Walter Bishop is suddenly evil and gunning for pretty, pretty Ichabod Crane.

However, what I do enjoy very much is the relationship between Ichabod (Tom Mison) and “leftenant” Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), and how they along with Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) and Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) have become a merry band of misfits saving the world from headless bandits and impending doom.

So while I can’t explain what it is that the bad guys are after, or how exactly Ichabod factors into the battle between good and evil, I can talk about how much I love the friendship between Crane and Lieutenant Mills, or how I appreciate how strong all the characters are.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Tonight’s episode opened with Abbie stuck in purgatory, and Ichabod buried alive at the hands of his own son, Henry (John Noble). Only, neither of them realize it at first, which makes their struggle to escape when they do figure it out all the more poignant. What struck me is that even in their hallucinations, their bond is loud and clear. They share cupcakes (!) in a cabin waiting for their next move, trading time-traveling cross-cultural barbs in the process, and loving every minute of it. Ichabod complains about the choice of baked goods to celebrate his 200th birthday, but it is all in jest, because he knows it was a sign of affection. (Well, one he conjured himself, but only because he knows Mills so well that he knew what her reaction would be.)

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Next they go after a headless horseman with machine guns, like they are starring in some sort of Die Hard reboot, covering each other like they do this every day. (Then again, when you’re living in some sort of suspended reality while fighting for your life, I suppose you can do anything.) Following that, they go searching for the one man who holds the key to this whole mess, Henry, but again, they’re always in step with each other, yin to each other’s yang. When Henry shatters their illusion by reaffirming Abbie’s current visit to purgatory, both of their worlds are turned upside down, and it’s that separation that forces them both into action, because they have to get back to one another.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

It’s not just that they’re partners, it’s that they know each other so well that they can anticipate their next moves. It was perfectly evident in each of their alternate realities, but I think it was especially well demonstrated towards the end of the episode, when Abbie fights to escape her purgatory. She is reunited with Ichabod, only to fight him off at the last second as the real Ichabod comes running towards her. When he asks her how she knew the other Ichabod was an impostor sent to harm her, she puts it simply: “He didn’t say ‘leftenant’.” It’s one of the defining facets of their relationship, and after an adorable attempt at a fist bump, they’re back in business, together, for real this time, and it’s even better than cupcakes and machine guns. (Though I still think they deserve to have a legitimate party with actual baked goods for all their hard work, too.)

Like Ichabod says, they must remain together if they want to ensure victory in their mission. Yet it’s not just their defeat of the horsemen that drives them: it’s their shared journey to self-fulfilment that necessitates their connection, too.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Elsewhere in the episode, I’m so glad to see Jenny safe and sound, and ready to take names to boot. She’s another example of what makes Sleepy Hollow so great: much like her sister Abbie, Jenny laughs in the face of prophecy, and is firmly an agent of her own destiny. Sure, some ancient scroll might drive their enemies, but neither of the Mills, nor Crane, are going to let that get in the way of their own lives. Even if it means she has to drive the getaway car for Ichabod because he doesn’t know how to put it in reverse, Jenny won’t stand idly by while waiting to be rescued.

I’m glad to see that Sleepy Hollow is back, and off to such a strong start to boot. The show’s taken everything that makes it so endearing and put it on steroids, so to speak, and I can’t wait to see what happens next to our intrepid gang.

Other random thoughts:

  • How could I forget Timothy Busfield’s turn as Ben Franklin? Also: HA! Of course Ben Franklin was a nudist, much to Crane’s bewilderment. Oh God, they could make a sitcom all about that on its own. (Actually, get on that, FOX. I smell spinoff!) Silly little show, you amuse me so.
  • For any X-Files fans, did this episode remind you of the season 6 episode “Field Trip”? I know I was wondering if they’d found some sort of cave full of magic mushroom spores and waiting for the walls to melt around them.
  • (Echoing that sentiment x 2 when John Noble’s eyes went dark like the infamous black oil in the aforementioned show.)
  • Ichabod couldn’t get any cell service underground: enter your own Verizon joke here.

[If you want to read an actual recap that makes sense of the plot and displays an insightful understanding of the show, head on over to GMMR to read Kelly Connolly’s review of tonight’s episode.]

Nels
Nels knew how to operate a TV remote control before she knew how to talk. As a result, she has spent an inordinate amount of time pretending she actually lives on a soundstage. When she isn’t watching whichever show is currently capturing her heart, she is writing about how said show is currently capturing her heart. She loves pie.

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