Sleepy Hollow: “Go Where I Send Thee…” Review

sleepy hollow season 2 bannerHey Sleepyheads! It’s finally my turn to review the episode of the week, and I’m damn pleased that this was the one I got. “Go Where I Send Thee…” was a solid monster of the week episode with some long-reaching plot consequences, and I enjoyed the heck out of it.

Spoilers below the jump.

Red alert: do not let this man behind the wheel.

Red alert: do not let this man behind the wheel.

The episode opens on our new favorite gag: Ichabod learning how to do future things. This time, Abbie’s looking to teach him how to drive, but it turns out he’s already mastered the skill—at least, as far as getting to one place from another is concerned. Abbie describes his style as “unsafe operation of a vehicle without a license”. She wants to make sure he’ll be okay if she kicks the bucket, but he assures her that neither of them are going down.

That moment over, we get to the meat of the plot: Sarah Lancaster, a girl from a family that’s lived in Sleepy Hollow since the American Revolution, has gone missing. When Abbie and Ichabod go out hunting for her, they stumble across a bone flute that turns out to play a particularly compelling tune. Like, literally—the music compels you to wander off into the forest toward (servant of Moloch) the Pied Piper’s lair. In order to track the Piper, they devise a neat workaround: they record a short clip of the flute being played, and Abbie listens to it over headphones, letting the music lead them closer to the Piper’s lair.

Hawley makes a reappearance in this episode as a convenient information dispenser, and our Witnesses offer him the bone flute in exchange for his help finding and saving Sarah. His knowledge of the Pied Piper (and his fighting skills) come in handy, even if he still refuses for most of the episode to acknowledge that there could be such a thing as real monsters/demons/what have you. After he helps them save Sarah, Abbie breaks the flute in two before handing it over to ensure that it can no longer be used for evil.

sleepy hollow hawley ichabod abbieEven though they’ve saved Sarah, there’s something off about Sarah’s mother when they bring her back. It turns out that the Pied Piper has preyed on the Lancaster family for centuries, taking the firstborn daughter in exchange for the safety of the family’s other children. Abbie and Ichabod then happen on Mrs. Lancaster in the woods, trying to return Sarah to the Piper, and stop her, promising to take him down so the cycle can end.

Using noise-canceling headphones and a sword Ichabod stole from the Lancasters’ house, the duo charge the Piper’s lair and, after a brutal fight and some broken eardrums, Abbie manages to run him through with his own flute-staff-pike-sword thing. Day apparently saved, they head back to town for celebratory fancy coffee.

postapocalyptic frank irvingExcept all is not well. Over in Tarrytown Psych, Irving has been having wild visions of a post-apocalyptic battle on the streets of Sleepy Hollow. Later, he meets with Henry for the first time since he was informed about Henry’s true identity. He’s livid over the deception, but Henry informs him, obliquely, that any attempt to break out of their contract will lead to disaster for both Irving and his family. And, also, Irving kind of signed his soul over to the Horseman of War. Whoops.

And finally, Hawley delivers his broken bone flute to his buyer’s agent. He’s worried the man won’t accept it, but the deal goes off without a hitch. It turns out that the buyer is, yep, Henry Parrish, and it doesn’t matter that the flute is broken, because he grinds it up with a mortar and pestle for what I can only assume will be further nefarious deeds.

So, I quite liked this episode. The episode plot was interesting in and of itself, but the season plot also moved forward. The jokes were both funny and touching—moments like Ichabod’s driving lesson were initially played for laughs but shown to have a deeper emotional motivation as well—and the Piper was a good monster-of-the-week. And while I was sort of disappointed that we didn’t get a furtheration of the backstory about Abbie and Jenny’s mom in this one, I also want them to take the time to do that justice, rather than smushing it in with a bunch of other plots in the same episode.

As this episode didn’t feature the Headless Horseman at all, it also failed to include Katrina, and to be honest, I didn’t really feel the loss. I’m still waiting for the show to give her character something to do besides exist, and I’m not exactly holding my breath for that to happen. I want to like her so much—her character has so much potential—but as of yet she has done very little but be a spooky omen and/or a sexual object for men to argue over.

nick hawley sleepy hollowI’m of slightly mixed feelings about Hawley—I do like him, and he provides a much-needed service to the story, namely, a handy supernatural/occult info source. I also like that he’s more morally grey than the other characters—especially Ichabod, who’s almost too perfect at this point. (I’m still kind of annoyed that Ichabod doesn’t display a single social prejudice of his time; it smacks of the writers not wanting to engage seriously with the consequences of the sexist, homophobic, and racist behavior that he’d be displaying if he did.) If it were any other show I’d be complaining about the inclusion of another straight white male into the cast, but Sleepy Hollow actually does have a pretty excellent diversity record so far. I would like to see some more PoC on the show, though; there’s no such thing as too much representation, and Andy has mostly been written out of the story. And oh, a single queer character would be nice.

My biggest beef with Hawley, I think, is that his character is just recurring, while Jenny and Katrina are series regulars. Despite this, Hawley was a major player in the last two episodes, and Jenny and Katrina have been pushed back to make room for him. The fact that Jenny wasn’t in this episode at all especially makes me feel like she introduced him as her replacement on Team Witness. For a show that’s dealt pretty well with its women and women of color in particular, this is kind of a letdown. Hopefully it’ll be remedied in later episodes.

Next week’s ep looks to be an extra-spooky one, featuring a restless spirit, just in time for Halloween. (Well, a little early for Halloween, but whatever.) Given that the preview said that it was the ghost of a girl who killed herself, I expect we’ll get back into the meat of the Mills sisters’ mom’s storyline with next episode. Until then!

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