Sleepy Hollow continues to be charming, even when its plot is less than intense. Honestly, though, I’m so glad we’ve continued to review this series after the trainwreck that was Season 2. If you like your American history flavored with liberal artistic license, along with a heaping helping of cheese, supernatural elements, and romantic subtext, this is the show for you. We’re only two episodes in so far, but hopefully this season continues along this entertaining road. Minor spoilers after the jump!
The episode didn’t give us much in the way of an interesting (or scary) plot. Abbie and Ichabod discover that Pandora (though they don’t know it’s her, at first) is sending a shadowy monster after people who have secrets, and it kills them by sucking the secret out of them. Secrets aren’t exactly an uncommon thing, and we don’t learn much about the people who die other than that they were uncovering an embezzlement scheme, which paints them as Good People. Ichabod’s secret is that once he almost betrayed the Revolution (but he didn’t), and Abbie’s secret is that she’s found her father, who walked out on their family when she was a kid. Out of it all, Abbie’s secret is definitely the most interesting, and I have a lot of hope that it’ll be a good plotline for her going forward.
We’re still feeling out how the season will go, plot-wise, but we can already see Team Witness being fleshed out. Jenny, of course, is our resident Gryffindor asskicker, with Abbie as her Slytherin voice of reason. I’m particularly interested in the return of Joe Corbin, for several reasons. For one, he was actually in Season 2, a rare instance of continuity for this show; for another, he was Sheriff Corbin’s son, giving him a motive for wanting in on the game and a legacy to drive him forward. If the show is intending to add him permanently to the team, they’re doing a far better job with him than they did with Hawley, who appeared to only be around to sleaze over the Mills sisters. Joe also brings a different set of skills to the team—Hawley was a poor man’s Jenny Mills and was often shown tracking down artifacts when Jenny could have done a far better job of things. But Joe doesn’t know anything about treasure hunting or Sleepy Hollow’s associated weirdness; he has military experience and Jenny mentions that he’s now an EMT. This means that Joe won’t be edging anyone out of any of their pre-set roles, and he’ll be bringing some much-needed medical experience to the team.
I’m especially invested in Ichabod’s new role as Outraged Book Researcher. For our first two episodes, Ichabod has taken on the brunt of the research, figuring out about the demons and wraiths and ways to destroy them, all while attempting to keep his beloved archives from being destroyed. It’s a particularly introspective conflict for Ichabod, one for once not involved with his Crane Family Drama™. Ichabod’s research skills aren’t anything new—he says in Season 1 that he has a perfect memory, and the team often relied on him to just know something from the past and save the team. However, the difference is, in these episodes, Ichabod isn’t doing everything. He isn’t telling Abbie to stay in the car and he isn’t constantly monologuing about his manpain or his marital woes; instead, he seems content to be the brains to the Mills sisters’ brawn as he figures out who he is without his Season 2 angst. This all makes Team Witness far more balanced than it was before. (And I could live on Ichabod’s outraged battle squawk, “DAMN YOU, FOUL CREATURE,” for ages.)
By far my favorite part of the episode, though, was the continued awesomeness between Ichabod and Abbie. If the episode’s plot was a little clichéd, then the scenes between Ichabod and Abbie pulled out every cliché in the book—they’re roommates now, and Ichabod was already caught accidentally washing Abbie’s lingerie, failing at making dinner, and finally, making himself extremely obvious around Abbie’s ex-boyfriend. Ichabod and Abbie’s actors have so much chemistry that every scene between them is a delight, and with Katrina gone, their moments take on a new romanticism that they weren’t allowed before. And if you’re particularly invested in Abbie and Ichabod’s relationship, then the tropes aren’t as boring as the plot is—rather, it feels like a natural progression of their continued acquaintance.
Next episode, Ichabod is going to have to figure out what to do to save the archive now that he (as a British citizen) cannot apply to make it a historical landmark—is he going to go the citizenship route, which realistically would take a long time, or are he and Abbie going to go the green card marriage route? (Please, please, please.) I mean, or Abbie could just apply on his behalf, but don’t ruin my dreams like that. See you next week for another review!