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SLEEPY HOLLOW Review: Fear is Stalking Sleepy Hollow

By on October 16, 2015

Nicole Beharie as Abbie Mills. Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

By Jennie Bragg

This week Sleepy Hollow episode, “Blood and Fear,” pretty much gives us exactly that.

It opens with Pandora asking her box to reveal the Witnesses’ fear – and out of the box rises a dagger with an elaborately-carved handle… and the ability to possess its possessor. Pandora needs to find a willing host for this possession, someone just sad and dejected enough to be susceptible to any female attention. Naturally she goes to a nightclub.

She lures Nelson, a nondescript office drone who has been rejected by his office crush, into a night of dancing and drinking. He wakes up with the knife on his bedside table and next thing you know, the jerk that Nelson’s crush spent the evening with is dead in an elevator. This leads to revelations about Ichabod’s teenage years at Eton and the true origins of one of the most famous, and compelling, villains in history, Jack the Ripper.

The mousy geek with a futile crush on the popular girl, who naturally is attracted to the good-looking jerk, is an admittedly lazy trope, but it picked up steam when Nelson turned into a knife fetishist with the ability to repel bullets. Ok, having the knife forged onto his hand made him seem like the next laboratory-accident villain for the Spiderman franchise, but he was effectively scary.

Meanwhile, Jenny, with Joe’s assistance, is still tracking down that shard. Which is wildly in demand but who knows why. Ichabod is still trying to save the Archives, the futility of which leads to an important personal decision. And Abbie still hasn’t told Jenny about her father. That family meeting is going to be awkward.

Jack the Ripper Returns

With Ichabod and Abbie realizing last week that Pandora is in the “new player in town,” they are now focused on the why. Ichabod accompanies Abbie to the murder site, and ok two things. First, I’m not totally sure how this is an FBI crime scene. One convenient thing about Abbie being on the Sleepy Hollow police force was that any local crime was by definition, her job. She seems to be spending an awful lot of time right now investigating local murders. Also, I’m still not sure why no one at the crime scene questions the dude in the long coat and boots poking around in a police-protected crime scene. But these are sorts of minor improbabilities that Sleepy Hollow requires you to just go with.

In any case, it’s a good thing Ichabod is there because he recognizes the MO of the murder: deep stab wounds and exsanguination – and yep, I had to google that one. It means the victim was drained of blood. This is the exact way Crane’s best friend at Eton died, bringing back memories for him of living in fear for the remainder of his time there. As Crane also points out, it’s another connection between he and Abbie, having had these childhood confrontations with evil and the long-term effects of that. It’s pretty implausible that we wouldn’t have heard this before, but again, narrative consistency is not always Sleepy Hollow’s strength.

Back at the FBI, the lab has created a computer generated image of what the murder weapon looked like based on the stab wounds. For some reason, they can even figure out what the handle looked like and that’s when they realize this in an ancient weapon that possesses its owners, and has probably been responsible Ripper style killings for a few hundred years. The weapon gains strength by draining the blood of its victims. This leads to a slightly deus ex machina ending, whereby the Ripper can be killed if his victim’s blood is diseased so, in the final showdown, Ichabod injects himself with malaria infected blood and is stabbed by Nelson/Ripper, who dies from the infection.

Meanwhile, we have Jenny chasing down that shard and getting the sense that August Corbin may have had even more secrets than she and Abbie kept for him. Is the shard related to Pandora? This one is a mystery still. And speaking of secrets, Abbie’s looking increasingly guilty about not telling Jenny that she’s found their father. And, in the other parallel story, Ichabod decides to become an American citizen, to “consummate” his allegiance to America. Only Ichabod would make applying for citizenship sound like romantic endeavor. He’s going to get some help on that from a young woman at the Historical Society, while Abbie’s boss, and former flame, Daniels suggests that they can help each other in their career paths. Methinks we have a few ulterior motives floating around.

NEXT: Pandora’s Longer Game

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