Sleepy Hollow continues to spin off the rails in this second-to-last episode. The writers seem to be throwing plot points at the wall, hoping something will stick hard enough to win them a renewal order, but the events of “Delaware” left me mostly confused and annoyed. Spoilers after the jump.
The last time I wrote a review for Sleepy Hollow was for its “Dark Mirror” episode. In that review, I admitted to not having watched the previous two episodes before writing it. I did this in order to test whether it would actually matter or not if I skipped two full episodes. It didn’t. After all, Sleepy Hollow has dedicated its third season to switching back and forth between not having a plot and not having a plot that makes sense.
Now that we have finally reached its third-to-last episode, “Dawn’s Early Light”, it should come as no surprise to you that once again I skipped two full episodes. This time, though, I can say that it did matter. Important things actually happened in the previous episodes that I missed—such as the Hidden One finding out that Pandora betrayed him. I think I might actually be proud of Sleepy Hollow for doing something.
This week’s episode was interesting, in that we finally got some plot development, but in such a surreal and odd way that I don’t know if it was necessarily better than the plotless episodes. It’s also an excuse for me to use the word antepenultimate, as there are only two more episodes left in the season after this.
I have a confession to make: I have not watched the previous two Sleepy Hollow episodes. Thankfully, I wasn’t completely blind going into “Dark Mirror”, as I looked at both Luce’s and Saika’s posts on “Kindred Spirits” and “Sins of the Father”. I did know that without watching them that “Dark Mirror” would be harder to understand in terms of character development. If there’s one thing Sleepy Hollow has almost always excelled at, it’s the relationships between its main characters. The show is first and foremost character driven.
That said, though, being character driven is no excuse for lack of plot, which is something Season 3 has been struggling with since it first aired. I understand that the plot did progress somewhat in the past two episodes, but not by much. Pandora and the Hidden One have been unimpressive from the start. Their motivations haven’t been explained all that well, and other than summoning random and typically culturally appropriative monsters every week, they haven’t been doing all that much either.
As such, I decided to test a theory: I could skip two full episodes and the plot would still make perfect sense to me.
With a title like “Sins of the Father”, I expected this episode to be heavy on the Mills family angst. While it did get there in the end, it took the long way around, making stops at Villain Backstory Station and Scary Monster Rest Stop in the meantime, and leaving me wondering if the show is starting to run out of gas.
I went into this week’s episode pretty much expecting not to like it (thanks, terrible preview), and while the main plot was just as bad as I thought it would be, there was still something very enjoyable about the characters. I’m not sure why Sleepy Hollow doesn’t want to advance its overarching plot at all, but it really, really doesn’t. Either way, let’s talk about our characters’ attempts at dealing with Frankenstein the Kindred and his search for a bride. Spoilers below the cut!