So originally I was going to treat this blog as a place for recaps, but more and more, friends and other bloggers have encouraged me to take a more subjective approach to my blogs as most people that are coming across them will have likely seen the episode I’m reviewing, so in a step further in that direction, here’s my (late) review of last week’s Sleepy Hollow (review of ep 4 to be up tomorrow).
Sleepy Hollow: S1e3 The Triumph of Evil
So this episode further cemented the monster-of-the-week format that several fans were expecting, and while in my last blog I wrote about the fact that I think they tried to offer too much exposition regarding the overall direction of the show (see blogs on episode 1 and episode 2) but I always give a show some latitude when it’s getting it’s start and so did FOX apparently as they already greenlit a second season.
My gut reaction to this past week’s episode is I appreciate how they balanced political correctness, history, and humor when it came to the native American aspect, much in the same way that I think they handled the fact that Ichabod was understandably surprised by black (am I allowed to say black on my own blog?) woman in a position of authority. Anyway the point being, Ichabod’s experience as a man out of time is still tons of fun, even if it feels like his presence at this point is to be a walking encyclopedia.
What I felt like wasn’t handled well though was the skin shown… now don’t get me wrong I’m not squeamish about violence or nudity, if it serves a purpose in a show, however I feel like Sleepy Hollow was just going for the “flesh factor” when Ichabod and Abbie had to be stung by the scorpions to be able to control what occurred as they were dreaming, ( I know most people are just complaining that scorpion venom can’t help someone control their dreams, and it’s illogical and all… but it’s a supernatural show, I can suspend disbelief for scorpion venom= dream control) anyway, the point it, showing the skin was pointless, they could have just rolled up their shirts and still been stung on the belly button.
I also appreciated the scare factor of the monster, The Sandman, and how they presented him/it, and the concept of guilt and how the theme of the episode pushed forward the need for action, and transparency from the characters, but again it makes me wonder, are they doing too much too soon? At first I thought so, and I might have liked it if the sandman stuck around for a couple of episodes, maybe that makes me seem a bit merciless in regards to minor characters dying (thought the direction towards death could be something that was intensified over time), but that sandy eye thing, was pretty creepy,I definitely jumped when it happened (and I LOVE that the show brings the *jump* factor… in ways that American Horror Story sadly did not last season). But hey if they can keep coming up with new takes on creepy monsters then hey bring them on!
I guess my main complaint is things seem too easy for Abbie and Ichabod to keep solving things, I kept thinking back to other shows with a Supernatural element… like Supernatural, and Buffy before it. But then I remembered Buffy always had Giles, and what Giles didn’t know Willow could research, and she’d get help from Spike too as needed. And when we look at Sam and Dean (who if they watched this show would probably get in the impala, and handle everything in Sleepy Hollow… without turning it into a crater… the way Sunnydale ended up) they always had their father’s journal to refer to for anything they weren’t already experienced in, and later would go to, if not travel with Bobby.
I think again I ponder the balance that they’re trying to strike between the story arc and the weekly episodes, maybe I’m expecting too much. And as I’ve said in the previous two posts, just watching Ichabod adapt (to even red bull) is entertaining, and it will keep me watching the show, but will that wear thin after a while? I mean he can only be astonished by various foods, and confused by buttons for so long, especially because he’s written as an intelligent character (his dialogue alone is still a big reason while I’m watching).
The story arc I am primarily interested in though is between Abbie and her sister, because while a show can certainly begin with a concept in mind, if it doesn’t have quality characters and somewhere to take them developmentally then you don’t really have a quality show. And to that end it also makes me wonder what others are looking for this show, considering Den of Geek’s reviewer that posted the review for ep 3 referred to the episode as filler, which I actually disagree with. I think the only filler in this ep was spending any times on Abbie’s ex and the pranks he pulls.
You see Abbie’s sister, isn’t just on the run, which will definitely create conflict and a short story arc, she’s a true believer like Ichabod with no reservations, and while that can produce quality conflict between her and Abbie, in 3 episodes we’ve already gotten Abbie to believe in herself and begin (through that belief) trusting her now missing sister, so when she finds her there will be little conflict left, unless Abbie backtracks again, which would just feel like a poor direction to take the character in. Granted they will have their trust issues based on what we learned this episode, but it was character development and information worth learning.
Now by the end of the episode, by having Captain Irving more on board and by making Crane and Mills a more official team, it did two things, one it eliminated the story arc going in most directions for Mills and Crane to keep what they investigate and the way they investigate things as secretive, and two, it also opened things up perhaps (if you know they save the world) to begin moving out of Sleepy Hollow as time goes on. Fringe ended up not staying in the same region… heck it didn’t even stay in the same universe.
So I look forward to seeing this show develop as it can, I just hope the writers don’t write themselves into a box by running through monsters too quickly and too easily before the apocalypse has to be fought and is over with.
Thanks for reading, on to ep 4!