Ohh, you said Sandman? My bad. This is an episode about dealing with the past so that we can move on from it, which is funny about a show about a guy from the past fighting a non-ending war with Hell itself, but I love on.
We begin with what I can only assume will be a trend. We are in a dream sequence. I love dream sequences, mostly because you know exactly how they are going to go and it is an excuse to use the funky filters on the cameras. We see Abbie going into the precinct to watch a suspect being interrogated. Looks safe enough, but it gets weird when see that it is Icabad doing the questioning and the person he is questioning is little Abbie! Icabad turns around and his eyes are totally messed up. Abbie goes into the interrogation room, leaving the Captain and Random Lady you know will be important later outside. Instantly she is trapped and Icabad is not Icabad but an escapee from Pan’s Labyrinth who has sand streaming out of his body. Like you and me, this of course wakes Abbie right up, just in time to pick up the phone that is ringing and the chief telling her to get up because shit is happening. So, we now know that Abbie can also have premonition dreams like Icabad, interesting.
Abbie arrives at a building that is surrounded by cops. She discovers that there is a woman on the top floor is who is going to jump unless she can talk to Abbie. Abbie climbs up there, sticks her head out of the window and what should have been clear to her,but wasn’t yet, which was clear to the viewer is that this is the same woman from her dream, a Dr. Mara Vega, who by sheer coincidence, is one of the doctors who have been treating Abbie’s sister. Dr. Vega, whose eyes have gone all irisy says “It’s not her fault. I believed her and I lied.” She tells Abbie that “we” all deserve what is coming and then she throws herself off the building. When Abbie gets down, a little shaken, she and Icabad examine her body. When they check her eyes they explode with sand. Abbie finally makes the connections between this woman, and the woman in her dream, and how it is some how tied up with her sister.
Abbie at first believes that this Doctor killed herself over the guilt of keeping her sister institutionalized, which makes sense if you think about it. But that is not what Sleepy Hollow is for, if the idea is not tied to some kind of demon or fake historical mega-battle than it can get the hell out! Our boy Icabad, after hearing about her dream, brings Abbie out of reality and explains that obviously this is the work of demons (he is the best).
Icabad convinces Abbie that they should talk to her sister, even though the two of them have not spoke in years and Jenni (her sister, why can’t they spell their names normally? What is wrong with Abbie and Jenny? Moving on) is still royally pissed at Abbie. When they get to the Institution it finally dawns on Abbie what the number 49 means, from her other dream/vision with Sheriff Kurgen, it is her sister’s room number. That might be the fastest mystery this show has solved yet and that is saying something, considering each episode so far has been able to wrap up the crazy in the last 5 minutes (more on this later).
As anyone could have predicted, Jenni won’t talk to Abbie, so Icabad goes in. When he introduces himself she asks, “What do you friends call you? Icky?” I like her.
Talking to Jenni, Icabad learns out that Abbie lied about what she saw as child when her and Jenni saw the demon in the woods as children. Jenni tells him this trying to show how crazy she is, but Icabad out-crazies Jenni, it is fantastic to watch, Icky asks for her help, she tells him to shove it.
Abbie tells Icky what she has not told anyone, when they saw the demon they woke up 4 days later, and the guy who found them also saw the demon, but when the cops question them, Abbie said to keep quiet, but Jenni didn’t, she told the cops everything. Abbie was allowed to stay in foster care, but Jenni was in and out of homes, so obviously Jenni is still pissed. Deservedly. So this leads us to Mr. Gillespie! The guy who also saw the Demon! I bet he is going to die.
We meet Mr. G as he is taking a nap in his workshop, we know where this is headed, he hears a noise, grabs his gun (like guns work on demons...well sometimes) sees the demon and we cut to the police station, someone put the headless street sign in the captains office, I want that street sign. If I can pause here for a moment, this show understands how funny that sign is, and I appreciate it.
Back at the man’s house, the cops are there responding to shots being fired, and you guessed it, Mr. Gillespie is going crazy and wants to speak to Abbie.
He’s got the white eyes, and tells her that he is coming for her next, next time she falls asleep. And then he kills himself. As Abbie is filling Icky in on what happened, the idea that it is the Sandman is brought up, apparently Icky does not know who the Sandman is, ironic.
They get energy drinks to stay awake and of course Crane can’t handle it. It’s a dream demon, according to the mohawks, and Crane knows this because he worked with them during the War, because they were great spies and apparently had the good weed as we see in an awesome flashback. He says the name of the demon, but honestly, even with closed captioning on, I could not spell it.
Apparently they need to visit a mohawk shaman says Icky. Slight problem, We have been terrible to the Indians. Abbie knows a guy, he sells cars. This is fantastically terrible. It is called Gerinomotors, Fantastic! He is obviously suspicious of their questions, thinking they want to make fun of him. Icky’s sadness at what is left of the American Indians is why I love this show. He honestly can’t understand what has happened in the meantime, it is an interesting example of all that has changed since the 1770s. Icky convinces him to help by pretty much blackmailing the guy, I mean this is a Demon that kills those who turned the other cheek instead of helping people, so he has a point.
So we got about 7 minutes left in this episode, it is wrap up time!
The Shaman/Car Salesman explains that Abbie must drink a potion and fight the demon on his territory. If she dies there, she dies in the real world. At hearing this, Icky drinks the potion as well , and being awesome describes all the different flavors in it, he wants to help and protect Abbie.
Oh, the Indian Shacarsalesman forget to mention one part, they need venom from a scorpion to control their actions in the dream world.
Into the dream world!
Abbie is back where the episode began, watching the interogating of her younger self. This dream is obviously focusing on the moment she betrayed her sister and when this lie was born, and when the cop turns into the demon, he speaks like all creepy demons speak, and can not be shot, at least in his own dream world. Icky has to find his way to the precinct and has to walk by his own set of creepy things.
Crane shows up in the interrogation room, and since he interrupts his (I am guessing the demon is a dude) terrozinging of Abbie’s psyche, the demon pretty much force chokes him until Abbie finally gets the courage to say what she should have said all those years ago, and how she betrayed her sister and takes the blame and the demon turns from sand to glass and she beats him with a chair. Hooray!
They celebrate their victory (They are a Team!) in the old archives room, where Icky is going to take a nap and Abbie is going to talk to her sister. The Chief shows up for some reason and agrees that maybe they should keep their investigations in this room away from other people.
And with this episode 3 comes to an end.
So we have 3 episodes under our belt and the show is getting stronger, the chemistry between Abbie and Icky feels real and you can see these two characters being friends and allies. With the last two episodes they have been able to not center the episodes on the Horseman, and I like that, I want them to return to that story but I don’t want or need it to be every episode. So let’s see what happens next.
We return for episode 2 which I will call WITCHES! But is actually called “Blood Moon.” Can Sleepy Hollow build on the craziness of its pilot and keep the momentum or will it slide into trying to make sense and taking itself too seriously? We shall soon find out.
We get a brief recount of everything that happened in the first episode, which is always good, because as a viewer I always forget something, and instead of it taking 42 minutes we are done in 5.
Icabod is being chased by all 4 Horseman (Say what? A gif of this perhaps) Luckily it is a dream, because his wife is there and also, one of the Horseman looks like a cross between Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a Nazgul from Lord of the Rings. Not that his appearance is evidence of a dream, I just thought it needed to be pointed out. Well played Fox, well played. Just take a moment and enjoy, obviously he is the one with a head.
His wife tells him that they have to stop a witch from resurrecting herself, because she can set of chain of events leading to the Apocalypse! I am guessing this is going to be a recurring plotline. We, as the viewers, are luckily enough to see the resurrection of Sheriff Sulu, who was murdered in the first episode because he is working with Team Apocalypse, and when he fails he gets his necked JACKED UP! By Jacked Up, I mean pulled all the way back. So we get to see him rise from the dead and successfully snatch his head back into place, Damn. So Mirror Universe Sulu is charged with tracking down the family of the people who burned the witch all those years ago, because she is currently just a kind of ash monster and that just won’t do.
Our heroes are currently trying to get Sheriff Kurgan’s secret files, but oh no! They have been taken somewhere else; I hope this doesn’t take to long for them to….and they find them in a very dusty warehouse. They also discover, or in Icabod’s case remember, that there is a secret passageway from the police office to the archives, which also leads them to the secret passageways where they buried all the witches because you know reasons. Evil Sulu and half McWitch easily find all the decedents and she beginning the process of turning herself back into a full witch. Our heroes need to stop her, so they make their way thru the tunnels and pretty easily kill the witch. Pretty easy conclusion, but still fantastic. This nerdcap is brief because plotwise, it was a very simple story. But…. A couple of things I have issues with.
I am a historian by trade, but as a historian who loves sci-fi and fantasy obviously dates and places and names get moved around and you have to accept that people are going to make stuff up to be able to tell the story properly. I can’t explain why, but sometimes my nerd rage-dar gets set off by something random, and it happened in those tunnels. They are supposed to be a secret and it appears like no one has been there in 200 odd years. So why is their a metal staircase leading from one end to the other, AND HOW DOES THAT OIL STILL WORK? Icabod lights a torch like it is nothing. IT HAS BEEN TWO HUNDRED YEARS!! That is some crazy powerful Hanukkah oil right there, and what powerful super-mason was able to build that walkway? Seriously. I can buy that there was a secret war being fought between Americans and the forces of evil and that Reverends can summon chains to fight demons, and that everyone has moved beyond the fact that Icabod is from the past, all those things are fine. They are the fantastical parts; they just have to be accepted. But a metal staircase and super long lasting oil…Nope.
A couple of small notes:
The actor playing Icabod really is nailing this part. Great jokes about taxes, funny word use when talking about relationships with Abbie, his use of only one bullet in his gun because how is he to know that there are 4 more bullets was great.
This is my favorite scene of the show so far:
The conversation at the end between Ghost Kurgen and Abbie is pretty messed up, even for this show, but he tells her to not worry about number 49, what is this new mystery? The show clears that right up by showing 49 as the room number for her crazy sister, who is getting herself ripped! I just love that they did not spend more than 5 minutes on that one.
I am loving this show more and more. This episode seemed to fly by, hence the much shorter review than before, but that is going to happen.
I let this show sit on my Tivo for a few weeks, letting episodes pile up and waiting to see if 1. Fox cancelled it (as is their want) and 2. If it was as crazy as it seemed. Well I finally got around to watching the Pilot for Sleepy Hollow and I am ALL IN BABY! This show does not waste time and embraces the pure craziness of the premise. Let’s start at the beginning.
Just look at the picture, LOOK AT IT! That is the scariest redcoat in the history of terrible representations of the British in the American Revolution (barely beating out Lucius Malfoy in The Patriot and he was the most brazen evil Brit until you know Lucius Malfoy.) At this point, Icabod Crane has been checking the hands of all the dead redcoats looking for something (we will find out later he is looking for a bow, which for some reason is a thing that evildoers have on their hands) and then he sees what he is looking for, the scary no iris or pupil Redcoat badass. They fight, Icabod gets cut in the chest, and the Redcoat gets beheaded! BOOM! As a fan of the Highlander movie and TV Show (Not Highlander 2, which will get plenty of words on this site later) I love me some beheading! THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE…..Icabod Crane!
Next thing we know we have a few seconds of weird blurry images of Icabod Crane getting medical attention and then BOOM, he wakes up in a cave with weird creatures in jars that all break open when he emerges from the ground. One of the reasons this show is so fantastic is that it does not try to hide its weird love of the occult. It just moves right past it. Icabod stumbles onto a paved road (What is this Demon Road?!) and almost gets hit by a car, before the camera pulls back and we see that we are in Sleepy Hollow, BUM BUM BUM!!
Time to meet our other characters. We move to a diner with Sheriff Victor Kruger (Look it up) and Sheriff Abbie Mills. They exchange words and by words I mean exposition and we find out that she is leaving for the FBI and Sheriff Clancy Brown (Look it up) collects cold cases, and that there is definitely a mentor/mentee relationship between them. They have so much time because nothing ever happens in Sleepy Hollow. At this point the show realizes not enough people have been murdered yet, so the two detectives get a call to check out a farm and find the farmer without a head!
Cut to Sheriff Kurgan running into the Headless Horseman in a barn and THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! His head is gone, and the only thing missing from this scene is the Quickening (insert Youtube clip of the Quickening). Abbie sees the headless horseman but what is she to do, she can’t really tell everyone what she saw without everyone thinking she is crazy. Icabod is discovered as he meanders around town and gets arrested, for you know, looking weird and everyone assuming he is the killer because he speaks with a British accent, and that is enough evidence for me, because as movies and television have taught us, British people are always evil, unless they are in LOTR movies, then it can go either way. Then we get the standard interrogation/exposition scene where Icabod explains where he is from, what he saw and who the Horseman is. Everyone but Abbie assumes he is crazy, but Abbie at least knows that he knows something that might be able to help her solve this case sooooooo…. she asks to escort him to the crazy house.
This is when the show hooked me, these two characters 1. Have to have chemistry and 2. The historical jokes need to work. Check and Check. Let’s get the sexist and racist jokes out of the way, “A Female Lieutenant?” and when her blackness comes up, and he asks if she has been emancipated and we get this great back and forth, “If you’re insinuating I endorse slavery, I’m offended!.” “Wait, back up, you’re offended?” Fantastic. Then we get him fascinated by the automatic windows in the car and a fantastic joke about Starbucks and whether there is a law requiring one every 5 feet. Instead of taking him to the crazy house she wants to know more of his story and he takes her to the cave in which he woke. In the cave he finds George Washington’s Bible (yep, stay with me here) with notes about the Four Horsemen, and as she can no longer take any more of this craziness we cut to the local preacher (who looks exactly like the preacher from Icabod’s time at the beginning) and he is fighting the Headless horseman by summoning the chains from the fences around the church! Fantastic! Of course this plan does not work, and head gone. This is one of the moments when the show tells you how seriously or not it is going to take itself.
Just stare at it for a moment. Deep Sigh, yesssss.
Anyhoo, Abbie shows up with Icabod and gets in a bit of trouble for not doing what she was supposed to do and we get to meet another Sheriff, Sheriff Sulu. I don’t trust him. So to backtrack a little, there is a bird that shows up right when Icabod comes out of the cave and the bird hangs around and shows Icabod his wife’s grave. I feel like this is same bird from the Sherlock Holmes movie a few years back who kept showing up before someone was about to die (insert picture of the two birds), but we shall wait and see. So we are heading back to the crazy house where we finally get Abbie’s back story. To summarize it briefly, when she and her sister were younger they were in the creepy woods for reasons and all of a sudden, creepy trees grow out of nowhere and they see a demon rise out of the ground. So Abbie has an understanding and a sympathy for Icabod because she knows what it is like to see something have no one else believe you, but she has pushed it down while her sister has spent most of her life in and out of institutions. Ok, makes sense. Wait….Ok, I’ll take it.
Our two characters separate and Abbie goes to look in her old mentor’s office and discoveries a secret drawer of folders and audio recordings of all the crazy unsolved mysteries that he had been collecting, which makes Icabod look a lot less crazy….while Icabod and the bird take a trip to the netherworld where his wife, who is stuck between life and death (for you know reasons) tells him that it is the Headless Horseman’s head that is buried in her grave and that he must stop the Horseman from getting his head back, because if he gets his head back then the other 3 Horsemen can come and rain fire down upon us all. Quick Question, why didn’t he bring the other 3 when he had his head? I am just curious. So we get a showdown in the graveyard between Abbie, Icabod, Heady and mirror universe Sulu, and let’s not forget the head in a jar. Obviously the good guys survive, and they had to give the Horseman some weakness because he is pretty indestructible…so lets Spin the Villain Weakness Wheel! Is it going to be water? Is it going to be silver? Sunlight it is! Our heroes live!
The episode makes its way to the end by having John Cho killed for failing to assist the Headless Horseman in retrieving his head, by having his head snapped back by the demon that Abbie saw all those years ago, and Chief “I’m too young for this shit” let’s them keep Icabod around to investigate the weirdness.
For a pilot, this was fantastic and the show has a lot of potential, let’s see what craziness is in store for week 2!