Now this episode packed a lot more of a punch! After last week’s ever so slightly underwhelming effort (not that there’s anything wrong with gory filler), this is great.
What’s so brilliant about Lieutenant Abbie Mills is that she’s driven by her own actions. A lot of the time, character drive is generated by having something happening to the character, some tragedy — we all know the standard angsty man pain. Sure, something happened to Abbie when she was a kid, but the drama within the narrative results from what she did in reaction to that. Her narrative is defined by her characterisation — and I shouldn’t be emphasising that, but living in the TV world that we have, I have a mighty need. This is Abbie Mills’s story, and it’s a good one. The thing she needs to do in order for this plot to unravel is to overcome her fear. Bit by bit, we learn more about her past, her childhood. Being an orphan and being put through the system taught her to keep her head down, conflicting with her doing things she shouldn’t — like sneaking beers after school. I don’t like her any less for what she did, neither does Ichabod, and it certainly isn’t going to make the audience identify with her less. She was a frightened kid, and she couldn’t help but let the fear and the guilt fester until it guided her actions until now. But now, she’s owned up to it. She’s looking her fear dead in the black, empty eye sockets, and she’s got it. The key wasn’t fearing other people’s judgement, the key was forgiving herself by standing up and making things right.
Ichabod bought her time, and he was ready to give his arm and, apparently, his insides to keep the demon away from her for as long as he could. But in the end, she shattered the glass under her own steam and strength. Her instincts, ingrained into her by years of denying what she saw, are so strong — you saw it. Her first reaction was to say, ‘I didn’t see anything,’ before slapping her hand over her mouth in horror. Years and years of conditioning herself to run away from this, and she got past it. This new peace that she’s found with herself will make her stronger, will make the fight easier. It’s certainly already relaxing her interactions with Ichabod. Whereas before she only dropped her guard when she was so far down the rabbit hole that she didn’t notice, it looks like it’s going to become a permanent fixture. They both need that.
They both need him being a permanently-stuck-in-18th-century-garments nincompoop every now and then, if just to make her laugh.
“I’m certain it will become easier. Once we, uh, become accustomed… (beat, Abbie shooting him a questioning glance)… no, sorry, I’m too tired to lie.”
I’m really hoping that the Captain will turn out to be someone they can really trust. And I’m really, really looking forward to Jenny joining them next week.
Also, the person who came up with this…
wins a jar of cookies.
Next: The Lesser Key of Solomon.