Sleepy Hollow: “The Golem” Review

hollow1Last week’s Ichabod-centric episode revealed that Ichabod and Katrina had a son, so this week’s episode looked to be all about Ichabod. In that aspect, at least, it did not disappoint. In others, well.

Spoilers after the jump.

Ichabod decides it’s finally time to go see Katrina in Purgatory and ask her about this whole son business. He calls on the Sin Eater, Henry Parrish, to help them get in contact, and Parrish begrudgingly comes to their aid. Apparently being close to death will make the contact easier, so Parrish strangles Ichabod until he is able to see Katrina. In the brief amount of time they have before they are discovered by Moloch, Katrina tells him that she was targeted by her coven after tying Ichabod’s life to the Horseman’s, and she fled to Lachlan Fredricks’s house as we saw in the last episode to give birth. She left her son, Jeremy, there with Fredricks’s house matron Miss Dixon to be raised, and then fled again. She did, however, leave a tremendously freaky magical doll with Jeremy, so that he would have protection even when she wasn’t there.

sleepy hollow golemAt this point in the story Moloch shows up and Ichabod flees, waking back up in the cottage with Abbie and Parrish. Now that they have a name, they’re off to the library to look further into the story of Jeremy Crane, and even Mr. Sin Eater comes along for the ride after some cajoling. After the gruesome death of the librarian, though, the gang finds out that she was a witch, and that whatever protected Jeremy in the past is still trying to do so. Jeremy had been sent to an orphanage after the deaths of Grace Dixon and her husband, where the cruel priest in charge constantly beat him. At one point during this abuse, he managed to activate the protective magic in the doll, transforming it into a huge and violent golem which killed the priest.

Ichabod tracks down the remainder of Katrina’s coven, and for an enraging second time in two episodes, makes Abbie wait in the car while he goes in to talk to them. The witches, who are all vague and two-dimensionally white and pretty but with weird teeth, tell him only Jeremy’s blood can deactivate the golem. Thankfully, Ichabod is of Jeremy’s blood, so when the golem comes to find them Ichabod is able to use some of his own blood to stop it.

sleepy hollow golem 2In the end, Parrish goes home, with a promise to reappear in later episodes, and Abbie runs off to grab a snack. While she’s gone, Ichabod is visited by a vision of Moloch, who threatens to kill Abbie. Annnd cue cliffhanger ending to midseason finale.

Honestly, this episode was just a little bit boring. Why is this show turning into Ichabod Central? The show actually has two leads, and it’s been criminally neglecting the excellent Abbie Mills of late. The first couple episodes were all about Abbie, to Ichabod’s detriment—if the recent Ichabod Central theme is to compensate for the beginning of the show being Abbie Central, that would be incredibly poor pacing. Characters should develop organically, not in gigantic chunks here and there.

Can I just repeat this? Sleepy Hollow has two leads. How many times have I got to say it? And yet when the show went through its Abbie Central arc, Ichabod still got to be involved—in “For The Triumph Of Evil”, when Abbie was forced to face her demons by the Sandman, Ichabod refused to sit idly by, downing the potion to accompany Abbie to dreamland before anyone could stop him. In “The Lesser Key of Solomon”, when Abbie was trying to track down her sister, Ichabod again insisted on coming along. But when the show turned tail and went Ichabod Central, all of a sudden Ichabod’s telling Abbie to stay in the car for two episodes straight—and she actually does it. If we view Abbie Central and Ichabod Central together, the story can literally be seen changing from a Friends-esque “I’ll be there for you (’cause you’re there for me too)” arc to a “Mystical White Male insists on butting into everyone else’s plotline and keeping everyone shut out of his own” arc. And we get more than enough of that on other TV shows.

sleepy hollow macey irvingAnyway, that aside, this episode really pushed the “be there for your children… or else” message, drawing parallels between Ichabod and his son, Parrish and his father, and Frank Irving and his daughter Macey. But the Frank and Macey stuff came off as anecdotal to the main plotline, and I just really wish Abbie had been given Parrish’s thematic role in this story. Abbie’s talked plenty about her mother in the past; it wouldn’t even have been that much of a stretch. Why can a mother-daughter relationship not be compared to a father-son relationship? The genders are different, but the relationships deal with the same issue, especially if Frank gets to have his father-daughter dialogue in there with Ichabod’s soap opera.

I’m not even really sure why Ichabod’s son was brought up. Hopefully he’s not actually dead, just in some sort of suspended animation like Ichabod was, so that these two episodes don’t come off as “more tragic manpain for Ichabod”. If he does come back, I hope he’s not some sort of evil demon child—Supernatural’s done that to bits. See you when the show returns in January!