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SLEEPY HOLLOW Returns to What Works Best in “Dead Men Tell No Tales”

By on October 30, 2015

L-R: Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in the "Dead Men Tell No Tales" episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW. Co. Cr: Tina Rowden/FOX.

By Jennie Bragg

It’s Halloween AND crossover night at Sleepy Hollow, so we’ve got zombie Redcoats, puzzling Halloween costumes and a meetup with Brennan and Booth from Fox’s Bones.

In “Dead Men Tell No Tales” our gang is busy celebrating Halloween in costume at a bowling alley. Ichabod hasn’t strayed far from his comfort zone as John Adams, but Abbie makes a bold choice with her Beyoncé costume and those Daisy Dukes. Meanwhile Pandora is celebrating Halloween by NOT dressing up. No sexy nurse costumes for her this week. She’s in full-on hair-raising mode, with her eyes glowing and her face morphing into… what is it exactly? A serpent? She’s commandeered the skeleton of General Howe being shipped to Sleepy Hollow from the poor courier, who now has a really good Halloween story to tell. Her plan is to use Gen Howe to bring fear to the town in the form of an army of undead Redcoats. She tells the re-animated Gen Howe that it’s his chance to take revenge on Crane (Well, when you put it that way!) and he’s on board.

Ichabod and Abbie are quickly out of costume – well, Abbie is anyway – and chasing after the missing General Howe, which eventually brings them to Washington, D.C. and the meetup with Brennan and Booth. In the lead up to this crossover episode with Bones, all the talk was about how hard it would be to pull off. Which I didn’t totally understand. I mean, it’s not like they’re trying to merge Sleepy Hollow with Girls. But in fact it was a bit of an oil and water mix, with Bones firmly driven by the Science Is Everything belief system and Sleepy Hollow in the world of the supernatural where nothing’s too crazy to be possible. Thankfully it worked. It was enjoyable to watch, even if it seemed a little forced at times.

Meanwhile, Abbie’s boss, Reynolds, is about to put her in charge of a task force tracking down an antiquities dealer that traffics in stolen goods, and Jenny and Joe are still trying to work out the significance of that very popular shard. At the episode’s end, their story gets looped back to Abbie’s in an intriguing and promising way.

Zombie Armies and Grace Note

Ichabod and Abbie’s search for General Howe first leads them to a mausoleum that was used to house dead British soldiers after the invasion of Manhattan during the Revolutionary War. And to the discovery of zombie Gen. Howe. But before this revelation, Abbie and Ichabod talk about “ghosts from the past” again, this time referring to Katrina. Their conversation had some lovely grace notes, even if it seemed an awfully short way to wrap up an entire marriage and a death. These are scenes that Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison are so good at, when they get the chance to do them. The long shot of them walking side by side was a visual callback to the finale walk to Frederick’s Manor, with Ichabod also ruminating on his crumbling marriage. When they show the pair like this, or Ichabod drawing Abbie out in the porch scene of episode two, Beharie and Mison never fail to take full advantage and these are always some of the best moments of this show.

Meanwhile, General Howe’s return brings up troubling memories for Crane. During the British invasion of Manhattan, Washington sent Crane to kill Howe, but he failed in his mission and the war dragged on. This is the Crane that we’ve come to know from previous seasons – the one driven by honor and duty, not texts and junk food. Anyway, Abbie quickly realizes that the true threat of General Howe was his draugur army of the undead, and a look into one of those handy Archives books reveals that the secret to defeating the army lies in General Howe’s tomb. Abbie and Ichabod are sure that this is another of Pandora’s plots to sow fear in Sleepy Hollow, and unfortunately, her plan looks likely to come to fruition that very night, on Halloween. Obviously. It’s a Halloween episode, folks. This doesn’t leave Ichabod and Abbie much time to make their way to D.C., find the answer in the tomb and return to Sleepy Hollow for Halloween night, but timelines are perhaps not this show’s strong suit.

NEXT: Back at Bones

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