Sleepy Hollow: “Blood Moon” Review

hollow1After last week’s fantastic premiere, I was all ready for this episode to be brilliant. And. It. Was. Catch my reactions after the jump.

We open with Ichabod running through a forest, being chased by the four horsemen, when the forest’s roots and branches wrap him up and bury him underground. Katrina, Ichabod’s wife, reminds Ichabod and the rest of us that the four horsemen will bring about the apocalypse—but before they do, Ichabod has to stop a witch who, as Katrina says, will rise and kill again.

hollow4Then he wakes up in a hotel room. While he figures out modern appliances like the shower and the coffee machine, Captain Irving tells Abbie that Ichabod is most likely suffering from “objective transference” and that he’s probably insane. When Abbie brings up the officers who corroborated the headless horseman story of last episode, Irving tells her they recanted their evidence for fear of also sounding insane. However, Irving still believes that Abbie and Ichabod are his best hope for figuring out what’s going on in Sleepy Hollow.

Meanwhile, in the morgue, John Cho Andy Brooks comes back in a horrifying resurrection sequence and is told by a blurry figure to summon the aforementioned witch, high priestess Sarilda of Abaddon. After he summons her, she rises from the ground looking emaciated and covered in ashes. She then proceeds to kill a man named Jeremy Steven Furth by setting his car on fire and collecting some of the ashes from his body.


Sort of like The Mummy. But with a witch.

Abbie and Ichabod figure out, far too easily, that Sarilda is part of a dark coven and is after the descendants of the magistrate who sentenced her to die. The magistrate’s remaining descendants are the unlucky Furth and an already-deceased man named Hemmington. Once Sarilda steals the ashes of the deceased Hemmington from his widow’s house, Brooks digs up her bones (whining all the way), and Sarilda performs the ritual which will bring her fully back to life. Unfortunately, neither Abbie nor Ichabod have learned anything from eight seasons of Supernatural, so neither bring salt or lighter fluid with which to burn her bones before the resulting battle, but they still manage to blow Sarilda up with some conveniently-placed Revolutionary War-era gunpowder. And Brooks escapes to hopefully be in a future episode.

hollow3Like I said, I loved the episode, aside its simplistic plot (and some logical inconsistencies—no one noticed Brooks was missing from the morgue? Where did he get a patrol car?). The cinematography was honestly shout-out-loud terrifying, and all the character development was fantastic: Ichabod sassing it out with Abbie’s ex-boyfriend, Abbie’s touching dream of her deceased mentor, Sheriff August Corbin, and especially the glimpse we got of Abbie’s kickass sister, Jenny. John Cho makes for a surprisingly incredible bad guy after his roles as Lt. Sulu of Star Trek and Harold of Harold and Kumar. And just in general, I love that the show seems like it’s going to be more along the lines of a plot-driven story rather than a monster-of-the-week procedural.

But as we’ve previously mentioned, Ichabod is from the eighteenth century, and so the thing with which the show needs to engage more is his outdated social mores. I laughed when the mere sight of Abbie’s ex turned Ichabod into a gossipy old lady, but the fact remains that in Ichabod’s time, “dating” was far from an acceptable thing and interracial dating was unheard of. Ichabod ought to have been confused that Abbie had dated a white man and even more confused that she seemed to have no problems openly admitting to such a relationship. It’s an odd thing to say that a show needs to be more racist (they’re certainly words I never thought I’d say), but the show did engage with the issue of race far more effectively in the pilot episode:

Ichabod: You’ve been emancipated, I take it?

Abbie: Excuse me?

Ichabod: From enslavement.


Ichabod: How do I remove these damn manacles?

Abbie: You don’t. I do.
Sleepy Hollow 1.01, “Pilot”

By having this conversation while Ichabod is handcuffed and imprisoned and Abbie is the one in power, the producers both showcase Ichabod’s mindset correctly and show how Ichabod is changing his mindset as well, once he realizes his mindset was never the correct one. Race is a touchy subject, but discussion of it does provoke a necessary and hopefully educational conversation. Why does the show think it’s okay for Ichabod to rant about taxes, another touchy political subject, but not race? I mean, what is Ichabod going to say when he finds out about President Obama?

I mean, first he'd be confused as to what a "president" was--but after that.

Well, first he’d be confused about what a “president” is, but—after that.

Other than that, though, it looks like the main problem Sleepy Hollow is going to have is with its portrayal of people with mental disabilities. I mean, first off, I don’t think objective transference is even a real thing, and second, what sort of terrible mental institution is Jenny Mills in? The nurse who gave her her pills taunted her about her supposed disorder and then didn’t even properly check to see if she’d swallowed said pills. (Also, how did Jenny get that metal pipe in her room?) Also, last point: how does Ichabod feel about waking up in a time with new technology, new people, and new social mores? The show plays it for laughs, but I’m sure it’s not at all funny to him.

But I am looking forward to seeing more of Abbie’s sister and more of Ichabod in the current century (and more of Abbie’s personal journey, and more of everything, really)! Supernatural’s coming back in two weeks, but at this point Sleepy Hollow is proving itself to be so entertaining that I’d rather have this show twice a week than any Supernatural at all. Catch you next week for another episode.