How nice and cozy it was to start off last night’s Sleepy Hollow episode with a little pillow talk. A little snuggly bed, a little shirtless-Crane beefcake, some sweet-nothing-style affection between Crane and Katrina to remind us that, hey, he really does love the lady, so maybe we should cut her an old-fashioned cubit’s length of slack when it comes to the damsel-in-distress uselessness she so often displays. Ahhhh.
That foreplay was, cleverly, really just a scene full of foreshadowing, with Crane assuring Katrina that “this war will end” and Katrina wondering “what will our children be like?” (Well, there will definitely be a rebellious period, Kat.) Given that Crane’s a few hours away from departing for battle in New York, we can assume that Katrina got knocked up with Jeremy the night before … whoops, except this is a dream sequence, as it ends with Crane coughing up a spider that goes down her throat while she sees flashes of Moloch. I never win when I play “Sleepy Hollow: Dream or Flashback?”
Anyway, let’s keep on the topic of marital communication for a spell, because something came up as my husband and I were watching SH last night that I’d like us to discuss. We’re all familiar by now with the show’s structural and plot devices: IchAbbie discovers Henry’s latest attempt to unleash evil in general or Moloch specifically (a.k.a. the monster of the week); Crane’s arcane historical knowledge serves as a constant source of exposition and/or deus ex machina; episode ends with a scene teasing Henry’s next dastardly plan. So my question is, do these crutches bother you during certain episodes more than others, and if so, why? Since we all know that we have to take these leaps of faith to get down with SH in the first place (Benjamin Franklin infiltrated the Hellfire Club and embedded a prism in a tablet specifically to abort demon babies? Sure!), what other elements matter most in determining your enjoyment of a particular episode, or your lack thereof?
For example, towards the end of last night’s episode, my husband said, “So, at first, it was either ‘Katrina’s going to die’ or ‘Henry’s going to be turned,’ but now it’s, ‘Oh, Benjamin Franklin carved a piece of glass we need to find.’” Ratcheting down the stakes like that really pissed him off, but I was too busy being swept up in other moments to be perturbed. In fact, I think that previous episodes this season have bothered me exactly because the stakes were kept low to begin with and stayed that way throughout. (See the Pied Piper episode, with only tangential relevance to the apocalypse at hand and that random family thrown in that I never bothered to care about.)
Whereas in “Deliverance,” I was kept happily sated by a string of distracting delights. I loved the scene at the polling place, which further fueled my suspicion that the SH writing staff is nothing but a bunch of left-wing populists writing fantasy-sleuth fiction as an allegory for their pro–99 percent ideals. Sleepy Hollow always manages to surprise me in little ways; of course I’d never go into an Election Day Eve episode expecting them to comment on the real-life Election Day — but how cute that they did while lamenting “our nation’s historical lack of universal suffrage.” (Cue swelling, patriotic score.) I was intrigued by the discord between Abraham and Henry when the latter came to take Katrina away, because I’m still banking on the characters feeling compelled to rejigger their alliances as the season goes on. I think my husband is, too, which was probably another reason why he was disappointed that Crane’s attempt to sway Henry later on failed, but I loved that scene just for the chance to see Tom Mison and John Noble go at one another. Intensity-off!
I think that’s another reason why this episode was one of my favorites: It put together characters who rarely inhabit the same room and provided different circumstances for how they would interact. It also gave characters reasons to act differently than they have before. Abbie surprised me by going to Reyes with evidence of the Hellfire Club’s activities, but with photographic evidence in hand (making her case for needing a tactical team seem levelheaded and not the stuff of apocalyptic paranoia), it was the perfect opportunity to finally put a twist in their usual standoffish dynamic. Reyes then surprised me in turn by finally seeing some worth in Crane’s omnipresence.
To quote our heroes’ discussion outside the church after Henry’s attempt to birth an earthly Moloch went belly up (ha-ha), perhaps your enjoyment of this week’s episode comes down to a question of faith. Either we’re watching Sleepy Hollow for the superficial diversions it provides, or we’re believing that a bigger payoff is coming. Maybe we believe both?
- Can two people really not be in a voting booth together? I’ve never voted in an old-fashioned booth, and I’ve never had reason to bring a plus-one.
- Any guesses on whom the veiny corpse at Hellfire HQ might have belonged to? Just a rando they were testing the Jincan on?
- So, when Katrina’s belly is exorcised, we see a red light emanate from her midsection. Then the episode ends with Henry capturing lightning in a bottle, which produces a similar red aura. Do you think that means that even though the pregnancy wasn’t brought to term, Henry has still managed to bring Moloch to this realm in some form? I’ll quote from the last scene again: “You’re wondering how long we can keep up this dance.” Basically, yes.
- “American Idolatry … I know its name, I’m telling you what it should be called.”
- “Proposition 3 on zoning laws is a travesty.”
- “I must internet. Immediately.”
- “Do you really think I cannot see through this chicanery?” (I just love the way he said, and even the mere fact that he uses, the word chicanery.)