Sleepy Hollow S01E11 – “The Vessel”

Vessel Sleepy Hollow

Turn around, bright eyes!

Sleepy HollowThe Vessel
Story by Mark Goffman and David McMillan
Teleplay by Melissa Blake
Directed by Romeo Tirone
Vessel Sleepy Hollow Lyndie Greenwood

Jenny Mills could win the war of apocalypse and still have time for breakfast!

Sleepy Hollow returns (finally!) for the first episode of 2014, and the last lone hour episode before the two-hour season finale next week! We continue the story straight out of Fallen, with a demon jumping between bodies and threatening Captain Irving and his daughter, Macey (Amandla Stenberg). Then things get horror movie crazy, but not before some cute character moments and Jenny Mills, kicking butt.

The Vessel asks what would you do to protect the people you love, especially if there was a crazy demon chasing after them? It becomes a recurring theme through the episode, as Captain Irving goes to extraordinary lengths to protect his daughter Macey, who is specifically threatened by the body-jumping demon, Ancitif(an actual demon) There is new revelations about Jenny Mills, who was also a possession target for the demon (as hinted in her first appearance), as we discover that she often would commit crimes in order to be incarcerated so she wouldn’t hurt Abbie while possessed. It’s an extreme form of sisterly love, one Abbie wasn’t even aware of (as Jennifer correctly deduced that Abbie wouldn’t have believed her, anyway.) But once Ichabod tells her, the healing process between the sisters is swiffened.

Vessel Sleepy Hollow

Pleased to meet you, don’t you know my name?

One thing Sleepy Hollow has been doing a lot of is using familiar cinema scenes in order to set the tone for certain characters and events. This episode has a glaringly obvious example as parts copy Fallen and parts copy The Exorcist (and related knockoffs!) An argument could be made that producers Orci and Kurtzman have a history of stealing iconic scenes in films to use for their own, most glaringly when used in Star Trek Into Darkness. The difference between the STID use and things happening in Sleepy Hollow, is STID was a transparent attempt to use nostalgia to make up for lack of actual characterization/plot/everything that is essential in telling a story. In Sleepy Hollow, things like Jenny’s introduction being a copy of Sarah Conner in Terminator 2 is a shortcut to let the audience know she’s a complete badass. Jenny’s arc then goes in its own direction, with her character’s tone already established. In Vessel, when things switch over to The Exorcist, an effort is made to make the result play out differently, even subverting an iconic effect.

I actually like when the show references films, because it’s not relying on them to provide the entertainment. The entertainment comes from Ichabod struggling to fit in with modern society. It comes from Abbie coming to grips with her destiny and making amends with her sister. It comes from Captain Irving dealing with his family issues while also holding back the apocalypse in what he thought would be a stress-free assignment. It comes from crazy demon scares and monsters that have their own agendas despite being part of a greater war. It comes from Ichabod’s struggle to save his wife while dealing with everything he knew about her being a lie (and discovering he had a son he never knew!) Sleepy Hollow provides all this, and more. It’s consistently diverse, not filled with token minorities, but characters who are rich and developed. The makeup of the cast of Sleepy Hollow reflects modern America, and it does so without pomp and circumstance, it just IS. And it’s great. I’m still amazed Sleepy Hollow became my favorite new show of the season, and amazed at how it just blows Agents of Shield away.

Vessel Sleepy Hollow


Captain Irving’s paranoia from last week results in one of the possessed threateners being questioned at a lie detector, where he professes to have no idea what is going on. Another witness shows up, who is the current host of Ancitif. Thus, the demon is now jumping around the police station, and calls Irving on his phone to demand the George Washington Bible, or Macey’s gonna get it!
Vessel Sleepy Hollow

He’s seen Carrie Underwood’s The Sound of Music, and he’ll never be the same!

Continue reading

Sleepy Hollow S01E07 – “The Midnight Ride”

Sleepy Hollow Midnight Ride

Abbie prepares Kris Jenner for her photoshoot!

Sleepy Hollow “The Midnight Ride”
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski
Written by Heather V. Regnier
Sleepy Hollow Midnight Ride


Pop the corks and pour yourself a big bubbly glass of crazy awesome, because Sleepy Hollow has raised the bar on how to make awesomely entertaining shows out something that sounds ludicrous!

Case in point is the latest episode – “The Midnight Ride“. We begin with Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride on April 18th, 1775, but did you know he was chased by He Who Would Be the Headless Horseman? Also the Headed Horseman axed the crap out of most of Revere’s fellows.

Sleepy Hollow Midnight Ride

Sleepy Hollow is the bomb!

This historical tinkering isn’t new for Sleepy Hollow, but as they’ve embraced their new mythology for how the Revolutionary War was just one battlefield for the Secret War Between Good and Evil, the historical events will become more entwined into this mythology. Just last week we learned that the Freemasons (of which Ichabod is one, of course!) are secret heroes, and this battle has just been on pause for a bit until Ichabod and the Headless Horseman woke up.

After a few weeks of reprieve, the Horseman is back, and he wants his head! Thus, everyone prepares for battle, Abbie stocking supplies in Sheriff Corbin’s cabin (where Ichabod lives), and Ichabod marveling at her bulk food purchases. He also mocks her for buying water and becomes disgusted with the pollution in modern society. If anything, this episode has opened the floodgates for Ichabod fish out of water scenes, more happen here than in all other episodes prior. It seems like it would be overkill, but they all fit in very well with the tone.

Ichabod is meeting with the Freemasons to discuss Headless Horseman weaknesses (remember: no girls allowed at the Freemasons!) while Abbie is not meeting with them because of said rule. Also they’re meeting at night for some reason despite the fact the Headless Horseman is only active at night (sunlight can kill him!) If you think this means there will be a slaughtering happening soon, you are correct!
Continue reading

Sleepy Hollow S01E05 – “John Doe”

John Doe Sleepy Hollow

Not so sleepy anymore…

Sleepy HollowJohn Doe
Directed by Ernest Dickerson
Written by Melissa Blake
John Doe Sleepy Hollow

This flower is my baby!

It’s Sleepy Hollow time again! After last week topped everything so far, this week’s Sleepy Hollow pulls back while switching gears to do a mysterious disease episode. There is also exploration of more colonial American myths (at this rate they’re going to run out of actual historical stuff to revise by season 2!) and let’s use know that the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse aren’t just sitting around eating pizza. Okay, maybe Famine. That guy’s a jerk!

There are some mysteries hinted at that should pay off later, and Captain Irving and Detective Morales both have moments beyond scenes to remind people they exist. Even Ichabod’s wife shows up again, having barely appeared in the last two episodes (and she even comments on that fact!) The main problem with “John Doe” is it is following a stronger episode, so I’m just being more picky. Will Morales’ partner turn out to be evil? He seems way to nice to not be secretly evil. Also has anyone seen John Cho? Or smelled John Cho? Because he should be pretty rank by now and easy to track down. I’m sure he’ll appear again before too long.

John Doe Sleepy Hollow

Nobody told me I would be in this episode!

The focus on a different Horseman means we might just have episodes dealing with each one of them trying things as the series progresses. Maybe even the Horsemen will grow some brains and team up. Will the War guy have Sleepy Hollow be invaded by foreign powers? Was Red Dawn set in the Sleepy Hollow universe? A mystery to contemplate…

A mystery kid in old timey clothes peeps on a mystery girl in the woods. The girl is collecting flowers and wants to play with the boy once she sees him, running off and daring him to catch her. He does so, but soon she vanishes and is replaced by an armored dude on horseback. The design is familiar because we’ve seen him before, during the shot of all four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Blood Moon. Though we don’t find out right away, this guy is Pestilence and he’s not very nice.

Pestilence chases the kid to the highway, at which point the horseman and his horse vanish into dust. Mystery Kid is confused by the highway and cars, and his old timey dress indicates that he might be a time traveler like Ichabod.

John Doe Sleepy Hollow

Food in the future is weird!

Continue reading

Sleepy Hollow S01E04 – “The Lesser Key of Solomon”

Sleepy Hollow Lesser Key Solomon

My precious!

Sleepy Hollow “The Lesser Key of Solomon”
Written by Damian Kindler
Directed by Paul Edwards
Sleepy Hollow Lesser Key Solomon

Marion, don’t look at it. Shut your eyes, Marion. Don’t look at it!

This was my favorite episode yet of Sleepy Hollow, it had a well-written reconnection of two family members that both loved each other but had very different goals and lives. There was also a conspiracy of evil Germans, historical WTFs, a mystery, police doing actual police work, crazy demonic stuff, and plenty of cute little scenes. If Sleepy Hollow keeps this quality up, it will be an amazing show.

Since last week, Sleepy Hollow has been renewed for a second season, which means there will be at least one more year of me staying up late at night on Mondays furiously typing notes as my family begs for attention and I scream “NO!” Yes, the title of the series is true, I will be sleepy and will be hollow from lack of interaction with loved ones. Kidding! Like most of my writing, it’s all done after everyone else is fast asleep thanks to the power of being an insomniac.

Sleepy Hollow Lesser Key Solomon

We’re totally doing this for Liberty and not because smashing stuff is fun!

Sleepy Hollow has taught us that the only Hessians we should ever trust are the Hessians with no Aggression as seen in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. There being a conspiracy cult of Hessians are great, because it allows Sleepy Hollow to have creepy German villains without making them cliched Nazis.
Sleepy Hollow Lesser Key Solomon

Beam me up, Scotty!

Continue reading

Sleepy Hollow S01E03 – “For the Triumph of Evil…”

For the Triumph of Evil Sleepy Hollow

Why can’t the horse be headless too?

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 Sleepy Hollow

I hate it when I get dirt in my contacts…

“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.

For the Triumph of Evil Sleepy Hollow

Just when you think I’m going full Sarah Conner, I’m only in one scene!

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!

For the Triumph of Evil Sleepy Hollow

From the writers who created those racist Transformers, huh?

Continue reading