Okay, let’s get the most important point out of the way: ICHABOD CAN DRIVE! More on that later. This week’s Sleepy Hollow delivered an almost stand alone, case-of-the-week episode that was a welcome “respite,” as Ichabod called it, from the grander war against Moloch’s ascension. Sticking to its tried and true formula, featuring some efficient writing, and offering just enough twists along the way, this episode showcased why this show is smarter than most people were willing to give it credit for.
Ichabod’s opening monologue was near perfect. The camera work was slick and fluid. The writing was concise but punchy. Tom Mison’s delivery was spot on. “How challenging must it be to guide the power of three hundred horses using only one’s right foot?” The reveal that Ichabod was sitting behind the wheel of Abbie’s car was delightful, calling back to the premiere when Ichabod crashed an ambulance in order to save Jenny, Abbie’s sister (whose absence this week was a welcome respite for this Dude).
Our monster of the week this time was a pied piper. Again, the show’s writers went back to its formula. This piper was not based on a fairy tale but a creature that, you guessed it, Ichabod had encountered in some fashion in his past. The piper was in fact a mercenary, hired by a general to lure a garrison of British soldiers to their deaths. However, this week the writers applied their formula of tying the villain not just to Ichabod’s past but to Abbie’s as well. Mrs. Lancaster, whose daughter was kidnapped at the top of the episode by the piper, was in fact Abbie and Jenny’s case officer when they were taken away from their mother. One of my favorite scenes of the episode was Abbie promising Mrs. Lancaster that she would find her daughter simply because I understood why this mission, monster, case, was worth taking a time out for our heroes from the grander design. Kudos to Nicole Beharie’s performance!
Speaking to Ichabod’s growing mastery of modern technology, he can not only drive like a speed demon (thanks to Jenny’s off screen “lessons”), but he figured out how to help track the piper by utilizing Abbie’s iPod. We all love when Ichabod struggles with gizmos but if we’re to believe he’s as brilliant and adaptive as the show needs him to be then we must allow him to grow in this area of his expertise. Fortunately, there are still plenty of things for him to learn. Like, electronic detonators! “The log in ceremony”! Earphones!
While chasing the piper the writers then gave us a nice twist by bringing back Hawley, whom we met last week and who has earned a lot of Han Solo comparisons on the interwebs. He’s a treasure hunter, a collector and seller of rare artifacts linked to the supernatural. Beyond that, his character is still in a building period. I enjoyed his nonchalance at recognizing that the artifacts he’s been searching for are linked to phenomena that are in fact real! “Business is booming.” Why wouldn’t he accept the reality of the situation? For someone to dedicate their life to the studying, collecting, and profiting of the supernatural, it’d be harder for me to accept that he didn’t believe in all that hullabaloo.
Hawley was the writers’ gateway into linking this week’s one dimensional villain to the overarching journey of the season. For the piper, you see, was in fact a demon allied with Moloch. Moloch allowed him to rise once a generation, in order to collect a sacrifice from the Lancaster family. The Lancaster curse stipulated that the piper receive a daughter from each generation after her tenth birthday. The girl’s bones would then be used to create his flute and in exchange for this sacrifice he would allow the rest of the Lancaster children to live. A little far fetched but we’ll roll with it because the piper was this week’s MacGuffin. The flute was, in fact, what Henry, this season’s bigger bad, was after all along. The final scene reveal that Hawley had been hired to retrieve the flute for Henry was a nice way of the writers giving payoff to an otherwise fun but insignificant ride.
All in all, a mostly bottled episode was a welcome reprieve from the season long arc. It was a reminder that at the heart of this show is a team of two: Abbie and Ichabod. They’re tasked with protecting the citizens of Sleepy Hollow against the supernatural phenomena that only they are uniquely qualified to battle. It has to be these two. They need each other. This town needs them. They are what’s at stake this season.
-Poor Frank. While this week’s episode called back to the premiere with Ichabod’s driving, it also revealed that Frank signed away his soul in that episode to Henry. Between Frank and Hawley, Henry continues to prove he is an ever present threat to our heroes.
-I, too, have suffered from the “traitorous” odometer. Have you?
-Speaking of Frank, loved his Rambo look in that post-apocalyptic vision(?).
-Was I the only one who did a small fist pump when Abbie tossed Ichabod the keys to her car “in the interest of speed”?
-Did anybody miss Katrina and her weird domestic partnership with Headless/Abraham? No? Didn’t think so.
Check out previous Sleepy Hollow recaps here!