SLEEPY HOLLOW Season Finale Debriefing: “Lieutenant, let us change the course of history again”

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You know, I was trying to write an “Ichabod vs. the 21st century” post for the Sleepy Hollow finale, but that’s kind of moot when the episode is all about rewinding two hundred years.

(That being said, Ichabod taking “slide to unlock” from Abbie’s cell phone literally had me howling, but that’s a whole other post.)

When last week’s episode ended with Abbie hitching a ride on the Time Traveler Express with Katrina, I was pumped, because I thought it would be so fun to see Abbie in the fish-out-of-water environment we’ve found Ichabod in for the past two years.

“Tempus Fugit” didn’t disappoint on that front, to me, except for the fact that it was too short, because here we are facing another season’s end, and so many more questions hang in the balance for next year. (Nudge nudge wink wink, FOX.)

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

This episode wasted no time in delving into the action, and watching Abbie navigate a foreign world the way Ichabod has since the show premiered was a welcome change of pace. Though, if I’m being completely honest, I would have expected there to be more repercussions for her actions, given the difference in her social standing in the period in which she found herself, but on the other hand, I’m glad the show didn’t really go there, because I’d hate to see Abbie so unjustly incarcerated; what we saw was already tough enough to swallow.

Abbie always kicks ass, no matter which century she lives in, but I found her particularly brilliant in this week’s finale; it took chutzpah to firstly get her wits about her in the most confusing of predicaments, but then also to figure out how to play the soldiers to lead her to Ichabod. She’s the same Abbie would takes no guff from anyone, but seeing her rely upon her wits even more than her weapons was fun, despite the treatment from those around her.

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

Of course, she needed those wits to convince Ichabod of who she was. It was a bit jarring to see him so completely distrustful of her, given the strength of their bond in present day, but it was also a wonderful demonstration in Abbie’s utmost faith in him as a person. She wasn’t going to let something as trivial as time travel shake her confidence in him, and though it took a while, she was proven right about his character.

What struck me was that Revolutionary!Ichabod would have every reason to be skeptical of Abbie’s claims — she was a complete stranger who purported to know him, she had no identification, and no explanation for what she was doing in town. Yet, he also seemed to recognize her intelligence immediately, and though he believed he was somehow being hustled in this situation, he still allowed her the chance to explain herself, because he was intrigued by this visitor to Sleepy Hollow. He’s a curious fellow in any century, and a truth-seeker above all else.

This is how long Danny Concannon waited for CJ Cregg / Courtesy FOX

This is how long Danny Concannon waited for CJ Cregg / Courtesy FOX

Similarly, I loved that though the story Abbie was selling him was absurd, Ichabod still processed the information she gave him, and changed his course appropriately. He could have sent Abbie to the escaped slaves’ camp, as he was told, but her insistence gave him pause, and he chose to follow through on her tip to go to Franklin, just in case she was right. It may have proven disastrous (RIP Ben Franklin), but it set in motion a chain of events that proves they are the best team, in any era. It’s a testament to Ichabod’s character, in that he is so clearly a good man, and believes in the truth above all else, no matter the century in which he exists. In that same vein, Ichabod could have ignored Abbie’s warnings about Katrina, because unlike Current!Ichabod, he had no proof that she had betrayed him, but as soon as he saw the signs Abbie warned him about, he defected to Team Abbie. Katrina explained away the inconsistencies believably, but the Abbie’s words nagged at him, and he admitted to her that she must have been right, and he’d be a fool to believe Katrina. (If only Current!Ichabod had realized that earlier this season, too.)

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

I confess that I found Ichabod’s complete trust in Abbie a little hard to swallow at first, if only because this Ichabod hasn’t had two years of friendship to counteract a few days’ worth of strange behavior in his present world, but I’m choosing to believe that his confidence in her is proof of the witnesses’ bond. Not to get too sappy, but it doesn’t matter when or where they find themselves, they will always be each other’s better half, so to speak, and I think it’s a beautiful sentiment. It’s Sleepy Hollow’s greatest strength: at its core, this isn’t a show about witches or succubi or headless horsemen. It’s a show about two people who bring out the best in each other, and together save the world through their inherent goodness. That isn’t a newsflash, and has been the core of the series since the pilot, but the greatest asset in this Back to the Future adventure is demonstrating that the time, the place, the clothes — none of those matter. Ichabod and Abbie are always going to rise above and fight the good fight, because it’s just who they are. They never intended to become each other’s greatest ally; Abbie found him in a cave, Ichabod found her in a jail cell. Once they find each other, though, they are unstoppable. Call it luck (like Abbie calling Ichabod away from the battlefield just before the rest of his unit is killed), call it fate (like Grace Dixon would have you believe), but whatever it is, it’s made the world and these people better than they were before.

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

Of course, other people’s true colors were on full display, too. Look, it was obvious from the premiere last fall that this season was going to boil down to Team Katrina vs. Team Abbie, and though the writers may have cheated a little by having the erstwhile Mrs. Crane go full-on evil for the last few episodes, it was a means to an end, namely getting her out of the picture (for now) while not making either of our witnesses the bad guy. It’s funny; I’d been taking notes over the last few episodes, in a futile attempt to maybe someday write a piece about the season’s arc, and one thing I appreciated about Katrina’s presence is that the writers hadn’t pitted the two leading ladies against each other as such yet. While they differed on some issues (i.e. Henry/Jeremy), they were becoming closer, at least on the professional front. I’d even wondered if there’d be any attempt to make them friendly with each other, because neither woman seemed to have any acquaintance outside of their little gang. (Plus, this show is all about the crack fantasies, so why not have them on a Girl’s Night Out and trade stories about Ichabod in a drunken reverie?)

Courtesy FOX

Is it wrong that I almost called this review “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”? Too soon? / Courtesy FOX

Yet, in spite of all the efforts at making Katrina interesting on her own, I found her far more compelling once she gave into her dark side. It was a plot twist that was visible a mile away, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. I must confess, again, that I never cared much for her, aside from being Ichabod’s beloved. All Katrina did this season was mope after Henry or Abraham, and the writers never seemed to fully flesh her out beyond damsel in distress with a shady agenda. So while I don’t want anything to get in Ichabod and Abbie’s way to save the world, I thought exposing Katrina to dark magic and her succumbing to its temptations in her grief not only made perfect sense, but finally gave her a bit of a personality to boot. My sole complaint is that they finally gave me a reason to like Katrina, and just as quickly got rid of her. She could have been a formidable foe to the gang — perhaps even more than Henry, because she has a personal beef with both Ichabod and Abbie — but I’m not necessarily sad to see her go now, either.

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

Which brings me to her ultimate demise: as soon as she vowed to kill Ichabod and Abbie, I knew Katrina would be the one to go, though I didn’t expect it to be in such a haunting fashion. She was on the warpath for the witnesses, destroying absolutely everyone in her wake — again, something Ichabod and Abbie would never fathom, because they are Good People — but Abbie managed to reverse the spell with a little help from her ancestor and sent them all back to 2015. Katrina’s devastation at being foiled again was oddly sad, and highlighted her despair over losing everything so quickly, but she didn’t let up, and went after Abbie one final time. It was a long time coming, but I was nonetheless worried at what more horrors she could inflict on my favorite lieutenant, because getting sent back to the days of slavery was bad enough as it was.

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

Finally, Ichabod was forced to choose, which was a moment that’d been coming all season long. He wanted to choose Katrina, but he couldn’t let her kill Abbie, and came between them — only to accidentally stab Katrina with her own knife. (I’ve gotta say, the flying knife bit made me laugh all episode long. It’s a little too Poltergeist-y for me to take seriously.) It was shocking and unexpected, particularly because while I knew Ichabod would be given an ultimatum, I never expected him to be the one to actually end it — even if it was unintentional. Yet, even in her last breaths, Katrina was consumed by her grief, and it was only when she saw a vision of Jeremy’s spirit (calling her to the dark side?) that she found her peace.

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

However, her demise raises so many questions for our heroes going forward. Abbie sees things as practically as ever: Katrina had to be stopped, and Ichabod killing her was an accident. Maybe a bit of a happy one, if we’re all honest, but the bottom line was that Katrina couldn’t keep staying the course she was on. (And I love Abbie all the more for it.) They’ve all lived to fight another day, and the world is temporarily safe. However, it is now Ichabod who will be in a moral quandary. It’s awful enough to lose your spouse, but it’s going to be especially harrowing for him knowing he’s the reason Katrina is dead. Yes, we all understand he had no choice, and Ichabod probably does too, but that doesn’t make the act itself any easier to process. We saw Katrina’s guilt over “abandoning” Jeremy/Henry as an infant, and blaming herself for what he became; I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Ichabod wrestle with a similar guilt going forward, both for what became of Katrina, and how her life ended. I don’t want to see Ichabod sad, but I do love watching Tom Mison play the nuances in the character, so I welcome the opportunity to see him shine.

All that being said, my one concern over Katrina’s departure is how it now opens the door for a likely-inevitable romantic pairing between Ichabod and Abbie. To be honest, I’ve kind of dreaded that from the start: I love them as friends and comrades, but I don’t want anything to sully that. I’m sure I’m going to lose that battle, but I only hope the writers tread carefully in that respect.

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

As the season comes to a close, I must admit that the end of “Tempus Fugit” felt a lot more like a series finale than a season finale, and that makes me sad. There’s so much joy to be had from Sleepy Hollow, and I don’t feel like the story is over yet. Between some pretty major character deaths — although no one stays dead for long on this show — and the air of finality as Ichabod and Abbie set off into the sunset for their next mission, I’m a little wary that the show knows something we don’t. I give the writers credit for crafting an episode that does tie up some loose ends should this be all we see of our little gang (perish the thought), but I sure hope there’s more to be seen.

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

Though this is probably an unpopular opinion, I enjoyed this season even more than the first, because it seemed to embrace its absurdity, and it’d be a shame not to see more of it. I want to see Ichabod navigate an IKEA. I want to see Abbie rise through the ranks at the sheriff’s department. I want to see Ichabod try the hipster look for five seconds before reverting to his pantaloons. I want to learn more about Abbie’s past — irrespective of her sister or mother — because she’s such a positive female role model who we’ve only just begun to learn about. Hell, I wouldn’t even mind seeing more of Jenny bending the law to save a life or Frank’s return to the world of the living. I need more of this show, period.

How did you like the Sleepy Hollow  finale? Did it satisfy your supernatural thirst, or was it a dud?


 

I was going to include some of the best lines from this episode in this review, but this is long enough. So I’ll write my usual “greatest hits” post shortly! Thanks for reading this year, guys!

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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