SLEEPY HOLLOW Midseason Finale Debriefing: “We end this together.”

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I’ll give Sleepy Hollow this, they certainly don’t pull any punches– especially not in their finales!

So much happened in “The Akeda” that it definitely felt like a season finale. In fact, it left me wondering how exactly they will top themselves in their few remaining episodes of the season, but somehow, they always seem to pull it off, so I’m not worried.

However, the midseason finale last night proved to be a humdinger: horsemen defeated, relationships in jeopardy, our heroes in peril, and the ultimate act of sacrifice for the good of mankind left us bewildered and gutted. Yet, what struck me was just how strongly the bonds between the characters were displayed, and how those bonds allowed our favorite fighters of the apocalypse to vanquish, at least temporarily.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the biggest treat for me in watching Sleepy Hollow is seeing Abbie (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod’s (Tom Mison) friendship deepen with every monster they overcome. Now that their circle has expanded to include Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood), Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Bloom) and Katrina (Katia Winter), there are so many other relationships to play off, and it seems like every week we learn a little something about them all in how they interact with each other.

And nothing brings out the best, and worst, of each other quite like an upcoming battle for the world’s very future.

 

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

All those relationships are put to the test, with varying results. Ichabod and Katrina begin with a united front, but all the unresolved issues of an Abraham kind rear their ugly (invisible) heads under life-and-death pressure. Ichabod placed his faith in Katrina in “Deliverance,” but in the process quelled all of his misgivings about her feelings for Abraham (Neil Jackson). After her obvious affection towards Abraham in their quest for Moloch this week, Ichabod can’t bury his feelings anymore, and it all comes up: he loves Katrina, but he’s not sure he can trust her anymore, because he doesn’t know what else she’s hiding, or what she’ll do to protect herself. It stings, but it’s also a long time coming. On the other hand, Katrina is offended that Ichabod would ever question her loyalty to him, because anything she’s ever done is to protect them both and the world they live in. It was bound to blow up in their faces at some point, and unfortunately it happened to be while they were figuring out how to defeat Moloch and save their son Henry’s (John Noble) soul. They essentially decide to go on a break, because their personal drama interferes with their mission at the moment, but we’re left wondering if there’s anything left to salvage: being separated for centuries will do that to your relationship.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

What I loved most about this episode is how the entire team came together for their singular goal: stop Moloch for good. They all have different ideas about getting there, but when push comes to shove, they demonstrate an “all for one” attitude that is heartwarming, despite their grim circumstances. For instance, Abbie never thinks twice about sacrificing herself as a witness to stop the apocalypse; that is true bravery right there. However, she also doesn’t question that Ichabod should do the same if it comes to it, even when he himself is unsure. Yet, Abbie’s conviction that this is part of their calling persuades him, and like any good general, he rallies his troops. It might not have exactly been “O captain, my captain,” but every one of their circle of friends pledges to sacrifice themselves if their mission requires it. It is both inspiring and devastating, because they all know that fighting the four horsemen of the apocalypse is bound to cause a casualty or two on screen.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

And casualties, there were. (Turn away now if you don’t want to be spoiled.) Jenny and Ichabod convince Frank that he’s the only person that can use their magical sword on the horsemen, because unlike them, his soul is already claimed by Henry, so evil cannot claim his anymore the way they can claim anyone else’s. When he makes Jenny promise to look after his family if he doesn’t make it, you know the fix is in, and if that didn’t convince you, the way the writers made him almost superhero-esque in his slaying of zombie soldiers left and right should have clued you in, because Hollywood loves to make its underdogs heroic before killing them off. To be honest, I’ve been expecting Frank to sacrifice himself in some way ever since he went into the Tarrytown Psychiatric Hospital, and once he took off like a lone wolf into the woods last week, I knew his days were numbered. So I was in no way surprised when he was fatally struck by Henry’s sword this week, and that’s not just because Cassidy texted me last night warning me that I had to watch this episode as soon as possible, because it was pretty epic. Still, though, that doesn’t make his death any less gut-wrenching, for the audience or especially for his friends in Sleepy Hollow. Abbie’s reaction in particular was primal, and it fuels her resolve for the remainder of the episode. (That being said, since Henry claimed Frank’s soul, does that mean we may continue to see Frank around in a different form?)

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Ichabod’s speech, then, really struck a chord with me. Here he’s just lost one of his friends and comrades in battle, admitted his marriage may be over with the woman he’s been yearning for for centuries, and is facing the possibility that he’s going to have to kill his son to conquer his leader, but then Abbie drives the issue home, and he can’t help but take her words to heart. Her unwavering belief that this ends now, and probably with her life along with it, touches him deeply, and he realizes they all have bigger fish to fry. He can’t bear to face that possibility (“I cannot lose another friend by Moloch’s hand”), and attempts to shoulder the responsibility himself, but Abbie won’t hear it. “We end this together. That is how we will win.” She reminds him that they’ve all agreed to fight this, and they’re going to do just that. Ichabod is horrified when he understands what she’s saying: she’s going to give up her life, and she expects each of them to do the same after she is inevitably killed, but seeing their friends immediately agree to it strengthens his own resolve, too, and he renews his commitment to their plan.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

While Nicole Beharie is always enjoyable as Abbie, she was particularly wonderful in this episode; in fact, she might have been even more compelling here than she was a few weeks ago in “Mama.” Abbie runs through the gamut of emotions, but again, it is this confrontation with Ichabod following Frank’s death that really blew me away. Abbie shakes off her grief, and you can see her shell go up in light of their mission. There is no time for wallowing when there is an apocalypse to derail. She is normally understanding of Ichabod’s thought process, even if she doesn’t agree with him (like, for instance, in how to deal with Henry or Katrina), but things have reached a boiling point, and in this scene, she doesn’t even let him begin to counter-argument. She insists she’s never going to let Moloch take another soul, and it’s all Ichabod needs to come back down to earth, so to speak. And he thanks her for it, because it’s what he needed to get back on track. Their friendship as comrades in arms is so touching, and remains the heart of the show, hands down.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Once more, Henry plays them all by feigning remorse in an attempt to get the sword from them, and once more, Ichabod falls for it before finding himself trapped. I have to say, as much as I love watching all the characters play off of John Noble, I’m beginning to tire of Henry’s misdeeds, if only because it seems like we go through the same cycle every week. (Henry does something bad, Ichabod wrestles with what to do, Katrina convinces him he’s not evil, Ichabod relents, Henry prevails. Lather, rinse, repeat.) That is, of course, until Henry pulls the mother of all bait-and-switch acts, and right when he’s about to sacrifice Ichabod to his spiritual father, along with Katrina, Abbie and Jenny, he turns around and uses the sword on Moloch, destroying him and leaving the rest of the gang completely aghast at what just happened.

There's no purpose to this one. I just wanted you all to see the beauty of Ichabod on a motorcycle. We all need a little happy right now. / Courtesy Fox

There’s no purpose to this one. I just wanted you all to see the beauty of Ichabod on a motorcycle. We all need a little happy right now. / Courtesy Fox

So, this begs the question: was Henry suddenly overcome by Moloch’s betrayal? (Since he was essentially told he was nothing but a number to dear old evil dad?) Is he attempting to reconnect to his birth parents? Or is it something altogether different — like Henry deciding to take over Moloch’s reign as Head Evildoer in Sleepy Hollow? The show definitely leaves us with some fascinating questions as another hiatus begins.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Is this the last we see of Moloch? Has Henry changed his ways? Are Ichabod and Katrina doomed, or can they salvage their marriage? (Does anyone really care?) So far, Katrina hasn’t displayed anything but pity and affection for Abraham, but is there something more there to warrant Ichabod’s jealousy? And how will Abbie and Jenny both deal with losing Frank? Plus, can we really call it a midseason finale if there are only two episodes left after this one?

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.

One Response to SLEEPY HOLLOW Midseason Finale Debriefing: “We end this together.”

  1. Cassidy says:

    The death hit me hard, because I really liked Irving and Orlando Jones’ hilarious presence on social media has been great for the show. However, I also saw it coming since the promos for the episode basically teased a death… Pretty sure they also mentioned the soul thing, so I kind of had a feeling he was going to be a goner. (Even if dead isn’t dead on this show, right?)

    I’m sad because Irving had potential and seemed to have been underused this year… and because Katrina is really getting on my nerves.

    The ending seemed so… abrupt for some reason, but still a great cliffhanger – I think it worked better for me than last season finale’s (and that was a great one.

    Still, it was a very good midseason finale. Here’s hoping they can maintain this momentum going forward.

    #stopkillingcharactersIlike2k14

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