Sleepy Hollow “For the Triumph of Evil…”
Story by Phillip Iscove
Teleplay by Jose Molina
Directed by John F. Showalter
“For the Triumph of Evil…” expands the universe of Sleepy Hollow while still giving a mostly contained story. Side characters and back stories are introduced and expanded, and a creepy nightmare villain haunts Abbie Mills. We get more of Abbie’s sister Jenny, who has been in and out of mental institutions thanks to the encounter both girls had as children. Abbie’s lies over the experience literally come back to haunt her.
Overall, this episode was sufficiently creepy, with a dream villain who did disturbing stuff while looking like he stepped out of a Guillermo del Toro film. Ichabod is starting to get some good lines while still getting his required culture shock of the episode. Did I mention people had their eyes turned into exploding sand??? Because that was some freakasaurus rex material right there! Don’t worry, Abbie and Ichabod teaming up with an American Indian used car salesman to go all Dream Warrior on the Sandman is like a low rent Inception.
The largest strengths is on Abbie’s regret over betraying her sister all those years ago, of covering up that she saw a blurry demon in the woods and letting Jenny be taken away by the men in white suits. Abbie lets slip that they were foster kids that finally had a good home, and it is not hard to realize that after all Abbie went through, she did not want to risk losing her new family, even if it meant losing her sister.
Now, is this a cool thing to do? Heck no, it’s downright terrible. At the very least she should have told her sister to deny deny deny. Or maybe said something like being groggy when they woke up so maybe they were seeing things and Jenny isn’t crazy. Though Jenny gets hauled away very quickly by creepy guys, almost like they were waiting for any excuse to throw a kid in an asylum. The repeated shots of Jenny pleading with her sister to agree with her statement was harrowing, and having that as a memory of a loved one pleading with you would be disturbing. It being on repeat thanks to a dream revenge monster is a nightmare I’m glad I don’t have to live with. Because I betrayed all my siblings while I was in a separate room. Ha ha, suckers! No nightmares for Tars!
Abbie’s nightmare begins with an interrogation that turns out to be her own, the weird cuts making it obvious that it is a dream sequence. The sequence also features a new character, psychologist Dr. Maura Vega. Abbie awakens to the phone ringing, as she’s called into work. A jumper is threatening to go, and will only talk to her. Abbie goes up to talk to her, and it’s Dr. Maura Vega! With white eyes! She claims it’s her fault that things happened to Jenny, and then leaps to her death.
As the body is being wheeled away, Abbie tells Ichabod and Captain Irving about the white eyes. This prompts a look at the body..which still has the white eyes! And then one explodes in a sand explosion! Huzzah!
“The last thing we need around here is another episode of The Twilight Zone” – Captain Irving tells the team. It’s fun when someone knows weirdo stuff is going on and doesn’t want to think about it.
Abbie and Ichabod read the notes of Dr. Vega, Vega knew Jenny was telling the truth but kept her in institutions anyway. They don’t say why, which is odd. Abbie mentions the last time she talked to Jenny was years ago, when Jenny was arrested for stealing $4000 in survival gear from a store to prepare for the End of Days.
Abbie finally agrees to go talk to her sister thanks to Ichabod’s prodding, but when they get to the asylum, Jenny refuses to speak to her. But she will talk to Ichabod. After some mild flirting get to the nitty-gritty, where Jenny implies that she’s locked up because of something Abbie did. She does get a bit shocked when Ichabod talks about the end of the world, because she knows it’s going to happen. She also refuses to help.
Abbie reveals she lied about what happened when the two were mysteriously blacked out as kids in the woods, telling the police that she didn’t see anything while Jenny insisted they did. Jenny is dragged away screaming and pleading. Abbie doesn’t want to admit she turned her back on her sister.
Abbie does mention that the guy who found them, Mr. Gilespie, also saw the Blurry Demon From Legend, and he refuses to admit he saw anything, either.
We all know he’s dead, and lo and behold, the Sandman is sanding his way around Mr. Gilespie.
Abbie and Ichabod have a habit of figuring things out too late, and then arriving at the home where the supernatural element has already done it’s bad thing or set up shop to do its bad thing. So if they ever show up at your house, you better be prepared to realize that something horrible already happened and you and your family is probably dead.
In “don’t forget about this character” development, Abbie’s ex-boyfriend Luke Morales left the horse crossing sign that got it’s head shorn off in Captain Irving’s office as a joke. Captain Irving says it is a good joke. That’s all Morales does this episode. Maybe he’ll pay off next episode…
The cops all leave to go to a hostage situation at the Gilespie place, right when Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane arrive. Once again, the guy will only talk to Abbie Mills, so she goes in and Mr. Gilespie goes on about how the Sandman is coming for you, next tim you fall asleep – you’re dead, yada yada yada. Then he blows his brains out like we all knew he would.
So an officer has seen two people kill themselves in front of her in two days, both people asking for her by name and being connected somehow. So she’s still on the case and not even getting an afternoon off! Abbie is even pounding energy drinks. Said energy drinks Ichabod declares “potent” as he coughs after drinking one.
Luckily the secret files of Sheriff August Corbin have all sorts of Wikipedia entries on dream spirits, most are good, some are bad, and there is this 18th century Mohawk story about a dream revenge spirit. But could that info tidbit be useful? Of course!
Ichabod Crane then talks about the Mohawks in 37th Regiment that the Colonials used for scouts — and were his buddies. Professor Mortis of The League of Dead Films reminded me on Twitter that the Mohawks mostly fought on the British side (with only 1 or 2 rare exceptions!) So points for remembering there were Indians 240 years ago, but these are the wrong Indians!
Ichabod tells the story of the Mohawk dream spirit who gets revenge on you if you don’t watch out for your neighbors. He’s like The Golden Rule, except a real jerk about it! Then Ichabod gets a lesson in all the American Indians being dead. He’s upset.
And Abbie points out maybe that murderous revenge dream spirit should be murdering a bunch of other people… Props to Sleepy Hollow for calling out its own plot questions! Luckily there is still one Indian guy left in town…
The Mr. Sandman song! The Indian guy is a used car salesman, who makes a time travel/DeLorean reference. What movie also used Mr. Sandman? Back to the Future! Layers and layers. The Indian guy won’t help them and plays ignorant of all that native stuff until Ichabod guilts/threatens him into helping. So he takes him to his cabin.
He’s all like “Drink this blue tea that looks just like Romulan Ale/blue Kool-Aid that I just happened to have already brewed and sitting in a pitcher in a cabin we drove to. It will put you to sleep so you can fight Sandman/Indian Name I Can’t Begin to Spell!” Somehow this is the plan. Also if you die in your dream, you die. Ichabod drinks the blue tea as well.
Then they’ll have scorpions dropped on them for stings and venom so they can control their dreams. Inception is full of wusses, this is real deal lucid dreaming!
In the dream world, Abbie gets sand in her face – and white eyes! While Ichabod finds a red door in the middle of the forest.
Abbie is now forced to relive the moment when her sister wants her to tell that she saw the Blurry Demon in the woods as well over and over. Jenny asking why is she lying and Sandman is also demanding to know answers (while speaking in Huttese with subtitles!)
Can Abbie read his subtitles in her dream? Or does she have dream understanding of Huttese?
Things get trippy with the jumping back and forth of perspectives and the jumping between kid Abbie and adult Abbie. Sandman points his accusing hand through the glass towards Abbie, obviously going to do something Sandmanny to her, but Ichabod bursts in.
Sandman then crunches Ichabod and turns his eyes white. Sandman says Ichabod’s sins aren’t his to punish, and chops off an arm (which turns to sand!) Hey, good thing losing an arm in a dream doesn’t mean you lose the arm in real life. Only death. Those are the rules.
Abbie admits what she saw and what she did to her sister and says she isn’t afraid any more and won’t betray her sister again, as Sandman turns to glass. Abbie shatters him with a chair and they both wake up.
“No more scorpions, ever!” – Ichabod.
Captain Irving tells them job well done on getting weird stuff to stop happening for a while. He will even get them a key to their secret room. Which I guess isn’t a secret if he knows how to get to it.
Abbie goes to see Jenny, but the room is empty! Jenny’s escaped through ceiling!
Which admittedly is easy if they build a huge escape vent right into the ceiling of your room, but then I’m not a designer of mental institution rooms. Where did she go? Will she return next week? What happened to the dead John Cho zombie? Will Orlando Jones finally realize he’s now the Captain of police in crazy town? Find out next week, when the fourth episode lands.
Until then, don’t lose your heads!