Well, as Sleepy Hollow has been getting consistently worse these past few weeks, with only the occasional good episode shoved in with a myriad of bad ones, I had no hopes that “Awakening” would have any redeeming qualities. Even worse, I didn’t care. I literally only watched this episode because I’m the person scheduled to review it. So, was it any good?
Well, yes, actually, it was. “Awakening” had a lot of moments in it that I was happy to see. Unfortunately, it also had a lot of bad moments, too, that had me rolling me eyes. I’m also beginning to question if there’s a single part of American history that Ichabod Crane hasn’t shaped. Did you know he’s the one who cracked the Liberty Bell?
This week’s plot centers around Henry, Katrina, and witches. We discover that all the bells made in the same cast as the Liberty Bell have the ability to awaken latent witch powers in people of certain bloodlines. Henry, being only half witch, is unable to use the bell in Sleepy Hollow to its full capacity. As such, he has to get Katrina to help him, and Katrina more or less readily agrees to go along with his plans because he’s her son, and she would like to have a coven again.
This puts her and Ichabod at odds with each other, and though Ichabod and Abbie manage to stop Henry and Katrina, Henry is killed in the process. Naturally, Katrina is none too happy with Ichabod and regrets ever saving his life. Using Solomon’s book, which Henry gifted to her earlier in the episode, Katrina casts a spell to go back in time. Abbie chases after her and gets caught up in the spell as well. Though Katrina ends up in her past’s body, Abbie finds herself lost in the woods. She figures out pretty quickly what’s happened after seeing a horse drawn carriage, and heads back into town regardless to confirm her suspicions, where she is arrested for not having papers.
Thus far, the whole “Abbie in the past” plotline, what little we’ve seen of it, has progressed exactly the same way as the “Ichabod in the future” plotline. They both wake up in the woods, find a road, are almost run over by a truck/carriage, and are then arrested. We even get the same shot of them walking toward town while a crow sits on top of the “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow” sign. “Awakening” also opens with Abbie and Ichabod talking about time travel, because foreshadowing. It’s too early for me to say whether or not I dislike this direction with the show, and that’s largely going to depend on the next episode. For now, I am intrigued and would like to see how it plays out.
On a more positive note, Katrina finally went to the dark side this episode. Though I question how quickly she decided to team up with Henry, I do like that her motivation to do so, other than reconciling with her son, was to be part of a coven again. Katrina feels out of place in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, and to her, being part of a coven would change that. We also learn that her old coven had been promised the town of Sleepy Hollow for the war efforts—a promise that was never kept—and so to Katrina, ringing the bell is also justified. It would have been nice to know about that before this episode, but hey, at least Katrina did something. And it was fun to see her and Ichabod butting heads and their disagreements about Henry finally blow up. I can’t see them ever fixing their marriage now that Team Witness has killed Henry.
Speaking of Henry, I am both glad that he’s gone and annoyed by it. Henry’s character was never fully developed, and his actions in the midseason finale made no sense because of it. He tells us that he killed Moloch to save Katrina and he wants to reunite with her. Unfortunately, I know so little about him that I literally couldn’t tell whether he was being genuine about wanting to be with his mother, or whether he was just using her. His dying words to Katrina suggest the former—between his two parents, he related to Katrina the most because they’re both witches—but I’m still not sure. His death also conveniently freed Irving from whatever evil demon was living inside him. I would have expected the show to have done more with evil Irving than it did, just like I expected it to develop Henry’s character more. It seems as though both Henry’s and Irving’s plotlines were wrapped up a little too quickly.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next. Part of me doesn’t believe that Irving could possibly be free yet—it just seemed too easy—and another part of me isn’t convinced that Henry’s gone. As Katrina went into the past to find him, we’ll probably see more of his character in the future, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I feel as though I would have enjoyed this episode more had Season 2 been better as a whole, but I’m just so disappointed with the whole story right now. Hopefully next week will continue to improve it.