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Sleepy Hollow “Indispensable Man/Bad Blood” Review (1×12/1×13)

20 Jan

Sleepy-Hollow-TV-Series-image-sleepy-hollow-tv-series-36428397-595-412This is not what I expected this show to turn out to be.

What I expected was a mediocre, cliched, and utterly silly hour each week, but what I got was a highly entertaining, well-crafted, and downright fantastic show that I look forward to. The finale only cements the show’s reputation.

The first episode is more of a set-up, but it’s still filled with intriguing moments; for example, the show does a great job of showing us that Ichabod and Abbie are different people. Although they’re on a similar mission, they each have people they love. They each can sometimes let their own desires and their own agendas seep into their decision-making process, as we see when Ichabod memorizes the map. There’s a moral complexity to this two-part finale that I find incredibly compelling, and while Ichabod does make up with Abbie later on, it still foreshadows a bit more tension later on.

The character work is fantastic here. Ichabod’s dream is, surprisingly, reuniting with his father rather than reuniting with Katrina, and this parallels Abbie’s. Speaking of, Abbie, an element of the show that I felt was lacking a bit in recent weeks after a very strong start, is better utilized. She felt a bit too peripheral for a main character leading up to this, but these episodes bring her to the forefront. There are emotional stakes for everyone involved, and her storyline here–choosing to remain in Purgatory and face Moloch–reminds us what a strong, well-crafted character she is.

Of course, that all leads up to that intense, shocking, and well-acted final sequence, in which Parrish is revealed to be Jeremy. Sure, I guess it might cheapen a few of the emotional scenes from before, but those last 10 minutes are just basking in awesomeness. I enjoyed Noble underplaying it a bit beforehand, but here, he’s able to let loose. Also, I think this show is ready for a more human villain. The first Horseman and Moloch are both really fun, but with Parish, our villain is going to have more of a personal connection to Ichabod. So far, most of that character exploration has been conveyed through flashbacks, but now, the dynamics are a bit different. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have Tom Mison and John Noble playing your two characters.

But yes, the ending is absolutely thrilling, and all our characters end up trapped in their respective situations; I’m looking forward to seeing where all this will go from here. I trust that the cast and crew will continue to churn out episode after episode of pure entertainment, and I can’t wait for season 2.

GRADE: B+ (B for first half, A- for second half)

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Nice to see John Cho and Clancy Brown back. Man, Cho’s neck (now replaced by a monster of some sort) is really freaky.

-I like how we’re seeing Ichabod try and keep up in the modern world and that his experiences don’t remain one-note; a lesser show would probably go for a cheap “Ooh, Ichabod doesn’t know how to use this thing!” gag each week, and that would bring diminishing returns. It’s funny to see him deal with modern technology, yes, but it makes sense that as he’s growing closer to those around him, he’ll try to live in their world.

-l like the callback to Yolanda.

-“I had only seven close companions. Four of them died. Those were good odds.”

-One of the things I love about this show is that we have George Washington being resurrected from the dead to make a secret map of Purgatory, and it seems like the most normal thing ever. The show’s obviously doing something right.

-“I married a witch. How…cool. It’s a figure of speech.”

-The visual touches are fantastic; Purgatory really looks unsettling here.

-Frank turns himself in. Alright. He’s one of the links I hope the show can improve on next season.

-I like the shorter seasons. 15-16 may have worked a bit better, but I like that FOX is willing to go the cable route with their shows. Sadly, the show that’s replacing this next week is “The Following”.

-I hope to cover more of next season. See you then.

Photo credit: FOX, Sleepy Hollow

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