Conspiracy theories abound, people. I’ve got wackadoo questions, far-fetched hypotheses, and other cray-cray whatnots whiz-banging around my brain. This stuff is important. This stuff informs our beloved characters’ choices … or do the choices actually inform our characters? Either way, attention must be paid.
For example: How has Crane been feeding himself since Abbie vanished into the tree of life? He’s clearly picked up no culinary know-how in that gap of time, seeing as he attempts to prepare dinner by dropping a frozen brick of lasagna into a frying pan. Then he walks away, off to fetch runaway lingerie — side note: what was that all about? Crane still has Abbie’s unmentionables lying about? — encounter a strange mirror demon, and suddenly come to hours later, after apparently resting on said mirror (another wuh? moment).
I’m sure you were all wondering what I was: What happened to the lasagna? HOW IS THE HOUSE NOT BURNED TO THE GROUND?!
I’m trolling Sleepy Hollow right now. (He turned off the stove before he left the kitchen.) I’m trolling it because so little that actually happened in this episode gave me any jolt of excitement. I believe I’ve used this hacky joke once before when recapping a particular episode I disliked, but I’m double-dipping because it’s apt: This episode of Sleepy Hollow is both sleepy and hollow.
It’s been a month since Abbie’s teleportation to a place Crane states is Hades, and he’s driving himself ragged trying to figure a way to summon her back to this mortal coil. His latest stunt, which involves motorcycling off with an ancient jug, seems to get him nowhere. Jenny and Joe tell him to relax, although they’re doing their own bit of scheming to find Abbie with a magical map. Meanwhile, Agent Foster is tailing Crane as a person of interest in Abbie’s disappearance, and then both of them are creepily contacted by a stock-horror-flick girl in a nightgown. As per usual, this culminates with our demon-fighting duo executing a failsafe plan to banish the demon back to the dimension from whence it came … except this time, the duo is Crane and Foster.
Given all that, here’s my next conspiracy theory: The script for “One Life” was just another Sleepy Hollow procedural episode that somehow wound up in the reject pile, but for unknown reasons, it got pressed into service as a midseason premiere even though it offers next to nothing in the way of plot advancement, surprise, or anything else one might hope for in a midseason premiere. Abbie’s obviously not around, so they just executed a find-and-replace function to give Foster all of Abbie’s lines. Whenever Abbie’s dialogue didn’t seem like something that would realistically come out of Foster’s mouth, it was delegated to Crane, who’d introduce it with, “If the leftenant were here, I believe she’d say…”
Then to round the episode out, they tacked on a worthless, wordless epilogue that shows Abbie waking up in another dimension. Where? When? Has she been knocked out for a month? Is she just regaining consciousness now? Or is this just taking a lil’ catnap in another purgatory? (Abbie’s a purgatory frequent flyer, that’s for sure.) Criticize my sarcasm if you wish, but like Crane’s jug or Jenny’s liquid-channeling map, you can’t say it doesn’t hold water.
“One Life” also contains a meager storyline for Pandora and her husband, if only to provide a catalyst for the mirror demon to show up. (I won’t dwell on it, but did anyone else notice the resemblance between Shannyn Sossamon and Vanessa Hudgens? I’ve still got Grease: Live on the brain, I guess.) Anyway, Pandora’s husband is miffed at her for somehow screwing up his chance at a dream life — which was what, exactly? — and tells her, “Because of your inadequacies, we now hide like slaves.” That was way harsh, Tai. More importantly, one of the joys of Sleepy Hollow has been watching Sossamon play with all of Pandora’s delightfully nutty disguises (Techno Clubbing Pandora, Nurse Ratched Pandora, FBI Agent Pandora — collect them all!), so it’s a big letdown that she only portrays the harrumphed-upon wife this week. I hope this isn’t a new trend.
And then there were the gratuitous shots of Nikki Reed’s ample bosom — erm, sorry. What I meant to say was: And then there were the faithfully recreated historical flashbacks.
“What do the flashbacks have to do with this?” I jotted in my notes with all of six-ish minutes left in the episode, after we’d seen Nathan Hale almost mess up a spy mission, then definitely mess up a different spy mission, then get hanged while Crane and Betsy Ross passively watch. Apparently, I had to wait until after Hale’s death to get my answer. “He was our partner and we just let him die,” Crane says. “Not all partners will survive,” Betsy tells him. “The best you can do is continue your mission.” M’kay … except we then see that Abbie has survived, and it’s not like anyone’s gonna watch this show without her, so … can we have her back, please? As my viewing partner declared out loud, verbatim, while we watched “One Life” together, “It’s getting harder and harder to care about this show. It’s getting boring.”
Crane: “Contrary to accounts in colonial pamphlets, British soldiers are not stupid.”
Crane: “I could use a little rest-spite.” [I’ll be pronouncing “respite” as such from now on.]
Crane: “I believe if the leftenant were here, she would urge us to kick some demon ass.” [A good Crane-ism, even if it played into my above-mentioned conspiracy theory.]
Foster: “You were catfished.”
Crane: “If that means I was duped … then yes.”