SLEEPY HOLLOW Fall Finale Review “Desperate Times”
By Jennie Bragg
Sleepy Hollow finally showed us what we’ve been waiting for this week: what the big bad has in store for the town.
The episode opened with a deceptively gorgeous autumn morning at the lake. But the camera pans down to show Jenny lying unconscious by the water, and Pandora engaged in what looks like a baptism. She raises a mummified looking figure from the water and we find out what she’s been planning all season. The mummified figure is her husband, and he’s been “reborn” so that he and Pandora can reclaim the earth from the mortals who have ruled it for millennia, fouling and despoiling it. Unfortunately we also now know what role Jenny will be playing in this. Pandora’s husband – who is, as Crane says, an actual living god – must feed on the shard’s energy to be fully renewed, and he and Pandora are happy to use Jenny for that purpose. (A husband whose wife placed him in suspended animation and then revived in the modern world, a world he finds bafflingly changed from the one he knew? That has such a familiar ring to it….)
Meanwhile Abbie’s conflict between the FBI and her role as a witness finally comes to a head, in a big way, with Jenny as the catalyst. Abbie has to make a huge sacrifice not once, but twice in this episode, and it’s not clear where she’s going to be when the Sleepy Hollow returns after its winter break.
The show promised a big send-off and it delivered one.
The First Sacrifice
The first big sacrifice Abbie makes is giving up her FBI job. When she gets called in to Reynolds’ office with Sophie to debrief on last week’s Nevins fiasco, we get the first sign that Abbie is coming a little unraveled. She snaps at Reynolds and Sophie, and wow, it takes some cojones to act like she’s the wronged party when she’s hiding what she knows about Nevins, and what Jenny was looking for, and lied to get the FBI surveillance team away from Nevins’ cabin, and not to mention how her search for Nevins ended up blowing Sophie’s cover on Reynolds’ op.
Either that or she’s starting to lose it a little.
Turns out it’s that second one. Abbie’s cool and collected veneer finally cracks as she becomes increasingly desperate to find Jenny – in a way that mirrors Crane’s unraveling when he wanted to get Katrina out of Purgatory. As an aside, It’s not clear is whether this is intentional or not. In fact, this Fall finale was filled with plots that seemed referential or even repeats of events from the last two seasons. Besides Pandora’s revival of her husband, the other big sacrifice that Abbie makes is … well how else to say it, something we’ve seen before. And not just once, but twice. That didn’t make it less gut wrenching but I wonder if it’s a sign that we’ll revisit some of the past in the second half of the season or if it’s just that Sleepy Hollow loves a good leap into the unknown.
But, back to the first big sacrifice. Abbie impulsively hands over her badge and gun to Reynolds rather than reveal to him the real battle she’s fighting with Crane as a Witness. This comes after she, Crane and Joe have worked out where Jenny is, who the new guy on the scene is, and how to deactivate the shard and save Jenny. The show gallops through solving these mysteries at an even faster pace than usual. Crane, as usual, is central to finding the answers, and the investigation leads us back to the Revolutionary War again, this time to Paul Revere and the masons. Turns out Revere’s nephew also become infused with the shard’s energy and Paul crafted a metal staff that could draw out and contain the shard’s energy. Revere then forged a case from this metal staff to permanently contain the shard. The very same casing that Nevins removed when he received the shard from Joe. This is all after taking a quick trip to Albany to find a rare book housed in the university – where Crane experiences his first (and hopefully only) toga party. By the way, I love how Abbie ends up with a set of Mardi Gras beads around her neck after making her way through the crowd of drunken college students dressed in togas.
Sleepy Hollow got a few nice winks at its own high flying craziness during these scenes, like when Abbie tells Crane “I really hope you’re about to say I think I’ve seen this staff before.” Of course he does. Or when Abbie whispers to Crane, right before they go in for the dramatic showdown with Pandora and the Hidden One, “this plan of ours is crazy, huh?” and Crane says, “Is that a question?” Even Crane can see how far down the rabbit hole of craziness they fall every week. But this time they’re facing a god that looks to even crazier than the other baddies.