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Strike A Pose: Sleepy Hollow “The Midnight Ride” Review

By on November 12, 2013

Pictured: Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane -- Photo by: Brownie Harris/FOX

Last week was an emotional rollercoaster that resulted in Abbie’s whole acceptance of Crane and her calling. “The Midnight Ride” certainly had emotion, but was on a different spectrum entirely.

This week we watched Ichabod and Abbie working in their new(er) duo dynamic. We begin with Abbie creating a bunker of sorts for Ichabod to hunker down in. It is here that he shares the Mason’s have plans to stop the Horseman. Abbie leaves to help acquire some necessary weapons from the police department and bumps into Luke (Nicholas Gonzalez). She’s not ready to have that conversation, but he assures her that he just wants to talk as friends, so Abbie arranges a coffee date with him.

Abbie isn’t the only one arranging a date with Luke though, as Andy shows up in a dark alley to warn the ex about the impending apocalypse. Oh, and to stay away from Abbie. Apparently in a show full of men who want to protect her Andy believes we have a Highlander situation. Meanwhile, Ichabod goes to the Mason’s to get the dish on how to stop Headless, but those plans fall through after we see our good guy team turned into a house of corpses.

While there Ichabod realizes that the Horseman has come for his head (not much of a shocker), and that they must destroy it to keep him from getting it. Frank is uncomfortable with the idea of destroying evidence, but heads to the Fish and Widlife Services lab to retrieve it. He does acquire it, but not before he and Headless finally meet and a matrix-esque fight out ensues. The Captain manages to get the head out and hands it over to Ichabod and Abbie who, through quite a humorous sequence of scenes, try to destroy it without success.

Before their cartoon-eqsue hijinks, Abbie and Ichabod stumble upon the Mason’s heads – lit up like Jack-o-Lanterns – hanging from a building. They examine them and in these moments we see flashbacks, learn about the silver lining and a symbol that may be the key to putting Headless down. To retrieve the document the symbol is attached to, the duo go on a field trip to a local museum. Here, in a painfully hilarious scene, Ichabod tells off a guide in front of a group of visitors. While Ichabod is firing shots Abbie is busy discovering that the manuscript is uploaded online, and so she drags her cousin away to begin to decipher the document.

Pictured: Nicole Beharie, Tom Mison and John Cho -- Photo by: FOX

Pictured: Nicole Beharie, Tom Mison and John Cho — Photo by: FOX

As they are working, Abbie steps out into the tunnels to cancel her date with Luke. Andy is is doing his creepy shadow thing and as a result she literally knocks the jaw off of him. Ichabod emerges from the room and after a few glares between the two boys, Andy divulges some secrets about the horseman. In the episode’s last scenes we watch as our duo and Frank Irving, play out a masterful plan, successfully setting up Headless and trapping his body in the tunnels. Cue awesome trio formation, light beams shooting from the walls and headless getting crispy.

The early part of the season focused more heavily on unraveling Abbie’s backstory and her hero journey as a witness. The past couple episodes have seemed to concentrate more on illustrating who Ichabod was and his stages of the hero cycle. That was definitely the case for “The Midnight Ride,” as we saw an upswing in the number of Ichabod vs. modernity scenes. During these moments, two things existed that weren’t entirely there before.

The first was that Ichabod felt more confident taking issue with the modern world and the people living in it. Whether it was admitting he had done something catastrophic to Abbie’s macbook or forcing Irving to deal with the reality of their situation, Ichabod was vocal. He also had a few more than passionate moments, giving him a striking singular presence and a more exciting dynamic with the other characters. The second thing is that Ichabod took control… and it was about time. Ichabod is a soldier, scholar and leader who spent a decent amount of time (250 years ago) working to stop the Horseman. He may be a fish out of water, but once you put him back in it he’ll swim better than almost everyone.

To what was probably everyone’s delight, the Witness team got a little bigger. Both additions came from the Sleepy Hollow Police Department in the form of Captain Frank Irving and Moloch henchman Andy Brooks. The entire cast of Sleepy Hollow is talented and are a joy to watch, which is why the lack of screen time for supporting characters has been one of the show’s downfalls. We had needed to develop the duo both together and as individual characters, but it came at the cost of significant (or any) development for others. This episode Frank Irving had to face the reality of the situation in Sleepy Hollow – which itself is faceless – and got to show off some of his fighting skills. His daughter and ex-wife were also name-dropped, so eyes should be pealed for an appearance from them soon.

Andy was back this week, neck rolls and all, and he lost a bit of his creep factor. I would proceed with cautious excitement about his return though. He expressed to both Luke and Ichabod a deep care for Abbie and helped them capture Headless. However, we still don’t know where he’s been all this time. He also has a strong notion that only he can save Abbie, something that might be hard if he doesn’t have the protection powers of the apocalypse bringing demon. Also, Moloch popped his head back like a pez dispenser. He should have had the ability to “retrieve” Andy by now.

Photo: Nicholas Gonzalez and Nicole Beharie -- © 2013 Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo: Nicholas Gonzalez and Nicole Beharie — © 2013 Fox Broadcasting Co.

Admist all the Crane and team ups, this episode was also an Abbie carefest with battles brewing between Ichabod, Andy and Luke that almost certainly turned you into a pile of silly putty. Though Luke has remained mostly on the periphery he swooped in and (should have) stole your heart with his great smile, a dash of sarcasm and a genuine care for Abbie, even if it can only be as friends. Abbie, by the way, dropped that she wasn’t necessarily over Luke, only afraid he might get hurt. Nick Gonzalez brings a charm to his scenes that makes it hard to imagine the character being played by anyone else. In addition, his screen time with Nicole Beharie helped prove she doesn’t only have good chemistry with Tom Mison. She has good chemistry with everyone.

Overall the episode was a thrill ride and featured some great character development for the show’s male characters. It was admittedly a bit odd to see Abbie in the damsel position and she may have seemed sidelined by more than the masons, but Jenny moves in next week and Abbie remains the thread between Crane and everyone else. If next week can bring Abbie back a little more, continue to shade the men of U.S. history and keep all the exhilarating elements of “The Midnight Ride,” Sleepy Hollow may have discovered the formula for a near perfect hour of television.

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