Previously on Sleepy Hollow: The Kindred.
Ichabod isn’t confounded by Americans’ awakening consciousness (and conscience) in the struggle for marriage equality, thanks very much. Wearing hats indoors, however…
The bad seed
This episode is by no means less engaging or more slowly paced than the others, but there’s something different about it in that the stakes seem lower because Abbie and Ichabod are not taking on either of the two Horsemen this time, so it’s less dramatic in the immediate sense of doom and apocalypse. But then, what’s growing over this episode is the threat of the team being ripped apart from the inside, by distrust and betrayal, bad seeds sown by the Horseman of War who, most of all, wants to see his parents suffer, wants them to lose who they love and then themselves. Henry very likely gained more insight from his intrusion into Jenny’s memory than just the location of the key in This is War, he probably also got a lot of her complicated emotions towards her sister; in addition to what he already knew because he was around when Jenny and Abbie were children.
Of course, with the arrival of Sheriff Reyes, who was the case officer who testified to the effect of placing Abbie and Jenny’s mother in psychiatric care rather than prison, Henry immediately uses that opening to place her under the influence of one of the ancient coins. He attempts to poison Ichabod’s mind by suggesting that, whatever people do under the influence of that dark magic, is just an amplification of their inherent desires — this is clearly targeted at Jenny, who in fact got herself arrested time and time again to protect Abbie, since that demon who once possessed her had given her very clear ideas of killing her own sister. At the same time, Henry tries to insinuate himself into Captain Irving’s life, and his aim would naturally be to isolate the man from the team, and then using him for Moloch knows that end. He’s already bound the Captain to him by blood — Irving may at this moment think that he still has a choice, but that signature is going to come back to bite him in the ass sooner rather than later.
The Mills’ family history
Also, we now know that the introduction of Sheriff Reyes is not just one to drive the plot forward, but also to cast a glance back into the past, to provide an impetus for Jenny and Abbie to confront their childhoods and their family history. Coming to terms with why their mother really abandoned them and then tried to “abduct” them must be both upsetting and yet a relief, knowing that she wasn’t just crazy, but that she was already part of Abbie’s identity as a Witness. What’s great to see here is how Abbie is not just defined by being a Witness ever since she met Ichabod, but that she will always first and foremost be a cop, ’cause that’s who she chose to be to get herself back up after nearly hitting rock bottom. She requests back-up and then ventures into the bank alone, ordering Crane to stay back, “police business.” And the best thing: Crane stays where she left him. No hero business, no “you can’t go in there alone!” He’s antsy and worried and he feels like he should be at her side, ’cause that’s where he always is when she walks into danger, but this isn’t Witness crap, this is what she does: keeping Sleepy Hollow safe. And that’s hers, not his.
It also defines her when arguing with Jenny about Reyes and the discovery that she was the one who put her mother in the psych ward. Abbie’s immediate reaction might be anger and hurt, too, but then she remembers that this could happen to her one day, to be confronted with a case like this and the responsibility to act in good conscience and with the best interests of all involved at heart; and she realises that, looking at her mother’s case and what she knows of it like a cop, she can see where Reyes was coming from. Abbie might not have made the same decision, but she gets it. And she can’t keep that from Jenny. Jenny considers herself on the other side of that issue — the issue being police authority — and so shortly after being released and sentenced to community service, she’s not exactly susceptible to that line of argument. The hurt from her sister’s abandonment from years ago still runs deep, and I love that both Abbie and Jenny are being shown making a genuine effort to trust each other and work together, but that the gravity of what it meant when Abbie testified that she didn’t see anything and left her sister in the system is never denied and not forgotten. Abbie owned up to that when she first asked Jenny to help them, and the healing didn’t just happen off-screen at some point, it’s still happening, and it will keep needing time. The scene where she talks Jenny down from assassinating Reyes, the rifle pointed right at her own head the entire time, was class A acting from both of them, but especially Nicole Beharie. These two women are amazing — and meanwhile, the blokes stand there, watching. Brilliant.
Overall, I’m ambivalent towards Reyes — of course I feel irritation with her since she is making things harder for our main four, at the same time I’m loving her brusk manner. Most of all, though, I just wanna know more about her, about what the writers have in store for her, what exactly her having a past in Sleepy Hollow means to her and to her future on the show. Is she going to stay in denial? Is she going to help the team cancel the apocalypse? She’s definitely not just going to fade into the background after dropping the bombshell of Abbie and Jenny’s mother’s records from Terrytown psych ward on them. It’s obvious that she cares, about the town and its people, she tells Jenny to prove to her that she can do better now, and it’s obvious that once all hell breaks loose (ha!), she’s gonna be all over that.
Also, did I detect a sliver of disapproval in Abbie’s voice when Ichabod expressed his certainty that they would hear from Katrina soon? I suppose Abbie isn’t exactly on board with her decision to act as a mole instead of getting herself to safety after the two went to such lengths to help and free her from the Horseman of Death in the first place. I don’t think that Abbie feels distrustful of her just because she is staying… but I guess some of this tension will come up again soon if it’s supposed to come to any fruition at all. It’s also there when Abbie schools Ichabod on the matter of “allowing” Katrina to remain with the Horseman. Like, hello, mate, allowing’s got nothing to do with it. Katrina does as Katrina will, just as she should. What has Abbie worried is whether Katrina will be able to destroy her own child if absolutely necessary, because no-one should ever have to make that call, and no-one should be expected to have a definitive answer to that.
Now, I’d almost forgotten about… what was his name again? For all that he appears to be coming back to annoy Ichabod to the ends of the Earth, I found him immensely grating and I’m not sure I wanna see how the fight against evil persuades him to think about something other than profit for once in his life. Selling the Judas coins, are you bloody serious… but hey, at least he got Crane a fake passport, that’s terribly good of him.
Next on Sleepy Hollow: Go Where I Send Thee…
After a season of this show I find that I still want to like it more than I actually like it. This was definitely a stronger episode than the season opener but something still doesn’t quite gel for me. I’m not sure I even know what. I mean it’s interesting enough I’m still watching… it’s just at the bottom of my to watch pile each week.
I know what you mean — not necessarily re: Sleepy, but I’ve definitely experienced that with other shows, also without being able to pinpoint exactly what it is that’s putting me off.
I suppose it’s unhelpful to ask you a bunch of questions à la “is it the characters or the setting?” 😀 — but maybe we’ll get to the bottom of it 🙂
I don’t think it’s the characters. I actually think they’ve got a good mix there. It may be that the show’s mythology just seems a bit cobbled together from other peoples ideas.
They’re certainly utilising many myths and belief systems to keep stringing it out — after all, the original legend is just a short story — and they’re not keeping to one rule book as, say, Supernatural does. That may make it seem a little fragmented.