Sleepy Hollow: “The Art of War” Review

Sleepy Hollow Season 3Happy Friday the 13th, Sleepyheads! Last night’s episode finally gave us some much-needed plot movement on several fronts, but was it enough to make up for the last few episodes of stagnancy?

Spoilers after the jump. 

We start the episode with Reynolds, showing up at Abbie and Ichabod’s place to hand over the keys to the FBI office to Abbie. He has to go out of town to report on the Nevins case to his boss, and he’s leaving Abbie in charge. The episode goes on to show her not ever actually using this power for any reason except to abuse it to let Ichabod sneak into Nevins’ cabin, so there’s gonna probably be some ugly professional ramifications for that.

berserkers sleepy hollowMeanwhile, Nevins is desperate to get the shard back (or, the stone from inside it) from Team Witness, so he summons some Norse berserkers from Pandora’s box to find and kill them. Sadly, just like in Teen Wolf, they once again avoided the cool mythology about berserkers. They didn’t even have that cool of character designs, to be honest; they just looked like Lord of the Rings orcs. Either way, they come after Team Witness in earnest, and apparently they feed off of violent energy, so the more you attack them the stronger they get.

This would be bad news for Team Witness if they were all at peak performance levels, but Jenny is not doing so well. After Joe catches her glowing red and going into a trance, they do some research and realize that absorbing the stone shoved far too much mystical energy into Jenny’s body, and she’s likely going to die if they can’t get it under control. It also seems to be spurred on by violence, because it recurs most notably when she’s sparring with Joe and when she goes absolutely ham on the berserkers with nothing but a knife. She falls into a trance, yells something in a demonic voice, and collapses.

While Abbie tends to her sister (woo, sisterly bonding) Ichabod and Joe attempt to take down the berserkers with mistletoe arrows, which is what the lore claims will be effective. However, they’re very much not, and even upon sneaking into Nevins’ place to find the spell he used, they’re unsure what to do. Finally, Ichabod turns to a strategy embraced by his Revolutionary contemporary Daniel Boone: let the enemy defeat itself. They draw out the berserkers and trick them into fighting each other, allowing them to finish each other off.

They’re not safe for long, though; Nevins appears on scene with his lackey Sophie, both of them packing heat. He threatens them for the stone Jenny took, warning them that he works for someone who “makes Pandora look like a homeroom teacher”. As he’s holding a gun to Joe’s head, Sophie breaks cover—apparently she’s FBI and has been deep undercover for months working for Reynolds—and shoots Nevins. She accuses Team Witness of sabotaging her work, and takes Nevins into custody. recaps-sleepy-hollowWhen our squad returns to where they’d been keeping Jenny confined, they discover she’s broken free and is missing. As they scramble to figure it out, we cut to Jenny channeling the glowing red energy from the shard into Pandora’s tree, summoning both Pandora and a new dark figure, who, guessing from the previews and the fact that the shard is the shard of Anubis, is a certain Egyptian god of the dead.

I’m wondering how much of next week’s conflict will have to do with Abbie’s professional life. Reynolds spends the episode away, having gone to talk to his boss, and said boss is reluctant to give the Nevins case anymore extensions as it’s high priority in the Bureau and is being watched closely by some mysterious higher-ups. And although Abbie makes some possibly dangerous-to-her-job decisions during the episode, it also doesn’t make sense that Reynolds didn’t brief her on the open cases before he left. He was super cagey about the Nevins case and warned her away from it, and then put her in charge of their office. Sophie tells them that she was working directly for Reynolds, so it would have been nice in his absence for Abbie to know what was going on there so she could avoid doing what she ended up doing: inadvertently messing up the sting because she had no idea there was a sting. Will there potentially be consequences for Abbie gallivanting about in the woods and using her boss powers for morally grey purposes? After all, Sophie caught Ichabod sneaking into Nevins’ place, and now knows that he’s an associate of Abbie’s. I expect so, but Abbie also has a pretty solid case against Reynolds—you don’t just hand over the keys to an FBI district office and then leave without telling the person you handed them to what’s going on with the active cases you’re in charge of.

jenny red glow shardJenny’s definitely in trouble, and I hope that nothing too untoward happens to her next episode. I didn’t realize that the fall finale was already upon us, but the preview reminded me that we are indeed almost to the midseason break. I don’t know if summoning Anubis will have siphoned off some of the energy that’s killing her or whether she’s just going to keep burning up inside as long as she’s in his thrall, and I doubt we’ll see what happens with it before we return in 2016.

With the Nevins side plot finally tied into the main story, some potentially bad-news ramifications for Abbie and Team Witness on the way, and a shiny new villain on the scene, the show’s finally picking back up again, so I hope the fall finale does this turnaround justice. I guess we’ll find out next week whether the writers can keep it going strong. Till then, Sleepyheads!

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2 thoughts on “Sleepy Hollow: “The Art of War” Review

  1. Pingback: Sleepy Hollow: “Novus Ordo Seclorum” Review | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

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