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SLEEPY HOLLOW Spring Premiere Review: Sleepy Hollow is Back

By on February 8, 2016
SLEEPY HOLLOW

SLEEPY HOLLOW: L-R: Tom Mison, Lyndie Greenwood, and Zach Appelman. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Tina Rowden/FOX.

By Jennie Bragg

I am happy to say that Sleepy Hollow seems refreshed and well rested after its long mid season hiatus. This week’s episode left me cautiously optimistic about where the show is going for the rest of the season.

Because, I’ll admit, the farther away from Sleepy Hollow’s mid-season finale I got, the less enthused I was about it. I mean, the show tried hard to play up the suspense around Abbie’s disappearance but everyone realized about 2.5 seconds after the ending that Abbie wasn’t dead. And with no clues about where she was, my imagination couldn’t conjure up much to worry about. Remember when she got stuck in Purgatory with the faceless woman and the creepy dollhouse? Now that’s the stuff of nightmares.

Plus, Pandora and The Hidden One as the new big bads…with three months to think over it, the whole concept made less and less sense. The Headless Horseman as a Horseman of the Apocalypse? That’s clever. But what are a pair of Sumerian deities (is that even what they are? I’m still not sure) doing in the legend of Sleepy Hollow? Best not to think about it too much.

Fortunately it worked a lot better in the execution than in the concept.

Crane, Jenny and Joe, Reynolds and Sophie Foster are all looking for Abbie, and while this doesn’t sound that inherently exciting, it allowed them to move in and out of each other’s orbit, forming new alliances (has Sophie officially joined Team Witness?) and deepening relationships (Jenny and Joe…well, more on that later). It all worked surprisingly well to create suspense and reveal more about these characters. Sure it was weird not having Abbie around for most of the episode, but she was a presence throughout, with Crane and Jenny and Reynolds exploring their feelings about her and, in the process, what it meant about themselves. And Pandora and The Hidden One were fun to watch, as they sniped and glowered at each other. The show is still taking its sweet time about revealing their grand plan, and I need to see them terrorizing Sleepy Hollow pretty soon or I may start longing for the Headless Horseman to return again.

All is Not Well With Our Heroes… and Villains

The episode started off with a fun sight gag that, I’ll admit, tricked me: Crane literally riding in on his (iron) horse. Ok, on re-watching, I caught the rider’s boots and the flapping coattail but the first time I was thinking, who is that reckless, motorcycle-riding daredevil? When the motorcyclist pulls off his helmet and Crane shakes out his glorious locks (a scene that’s probably already launched a thousand tumblr gifs), you know he hasn’t been gathering moss in the hiatus. Who knows where Crane got the motorcycle, but…best not to think about that too much either.

This scene brought us into the villain of the week story, as we learned that Crane has recovered the jug that Orpheus used to rescue Eurydice from Hades. Um, Crane, you know how that story ended, right? Jenny and Joe aren’t too impressed with the idea either and are concerned that Crane’s losing it. The rawness of both Crane’s and Jenny’s feelings is palpable. It’s a lovely scene for Lyndie Greenwood and Tom Mison. I was happy to see Mison given much richer material to work with this episode than in much of the first half of the season. When he’s given the chance, Tom Mison is brilliant at showing the emotions roiling beneath Crane’s carefully composed exterior.

In the usual Sleepy Hollow fashion, that ancient artifact doesn’t work as planned. At first, all it appears to do is conjure up Sophie Foster, who’s following Crane around as a ‘person of interest’ in Abbie’s disappearance. Her boss, Daniel Reynolds, has focused the investigation on Crane because “this guy’s wrong, I know it”. Ya got that one right, Agent Reynolds. Why more people around town don’t pause to wonder who Crane is and where he comes from, I don’t know. Aside from questioning his fashion sense, Sophie doesn’t seem that puzzled by Crane’s presence in Sleepy Hollow.

Anyway, Sophie’s dragged into the supernatural and she and Crane accidentally help a demon that looks a little like Linda Blair into Sleepy Hollow and Sophie is pretty ticked at Crane about that but now she’s forced to enlist Crane’s help tracking down the Linda Blair demon-girl, who’s on a murdering spree, and while they’re on the long car ride out to Reynolds’ cabin where the demon-girl is headed, she reveals…wait for it… she’s got a history with the supernatural too. Man, Team Witness is getting pretty crowded.

Crane goes one of his car ride-induced reveries (cars seem to be great therapy for Crane) and tells Sophie that being with Abbie has made him realize what a true partner is: his better half.

That reunion with Abbie is going to be epic.

While all this is happening, Pandora and The Hidden One are stalled in their grand plan to take back the planet from the mortals who’ve “ravaged it like locusts.” Thank goodness, because everyone needs a little breathing room to get Abbie back. They’re hiding out in an old mill and the Hidden One is ticked off with the missus for botching his grand return. He’s reduced to sitting in the dark, listlessly tossing objects about the room with a flick of his finger. It’s the Sumerian deity’s version of slumping in a recliner playing with the remote.

Pandora reveals she has recovered a fragment of her box from the debris and it can still be used to “give him what he needs” which it turns out, is basically a beacon calling all kinds of demons to Sleepy Hollow. The Hidden One tells her that a much faster way to return him to full power is to bring back the witness with the eye. Pandora fakes enthusiasm for hunting down Abbie “to the ends of time” while her loving husband threatens not to suffer alone if she doesn’t. Fun times at the Sumerian Deity household. I see an appearance on Maury Povich in their future.

Meanwhile, Jenny and Joe spend the episode tracking down a map that can help them locate Pandora. And making Randall Martin look silly again. And Joe actually gets to kick some ass for a change, which, yay. He’s supposed to be a former Marine, right? But it’s really all about Jenny’s protective armor and whether she’ll let Joe past it. Lyndie Greenwood beautifully conveys Jenny’s fear that Abbie might be gone forever, her fear of letting anyone close to her again, and her realization that she’s already let Joe in without knowing it.

And Crane comes to the realization that he’s been all-consumed by his search for Abbie and it’s led him to make destructive decisions and neglect his greater mission as a Witness. His revelation is triggered by remembering how he lost a partner in the past – Nathan Hale, a fellow spy in the Revolutionary War. After Hale was captured, Betsy Ross and Ichabod watched him hang rather than risk revealing the presence of other spies. The lesson of this flashback slowly reveals itself: Betsy tells Ichabod that sometimes there won’t be a miracle and you have to keep going on with your mission. It’s a little disturbing if you realize that, in this scenario, Abbie is Nathan Hale…but anyway, Crane is back on mission to hunt down Pandora, and Jenny and Joe have the map showing the demons converging on Sleepy Hollow. And don’t worry, he’s still dedicated to finding Abbie. You don’t wax poetic about your partner as your better half and then just forget about her.

And fortunately, Abbie is there at the end, waking up from her latest jump into the unknown (do you think she’s getting tired of this?), and I don’t think she’s going to just wait around for someone to save her. We’re set up for finding out where she is, what she’s doing there, what Pandora and The Hidden One have planned, and maybe even how the Witnesses have been connected to these two through the centuries.

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