The Super Sleepy Dispatch
Special Edition: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead
By P.S. Griffin
This is not a review. Those that read my Sleepy Hollow reviews know that I stopped after the winter finale. In part this was a result of a medical situation; however mostly I was in shock about the direction that the show had taken. After a glorious and successful first season, TPTB has completely abandoned the plan to write a show about Sleepy Hollow’s most boring, least accomplished and most fickle witch.
Team Witness was all but abandoned in lieu of Katrina and the Crane family drama. Frank Irving waa sidelined in the mental hospital. Miss Jenny Mills waa briefly imprisoned only to become a shadowy barfly once she completed her community service.
Star and Witness Leftenant Abbie Mills was relegated to a witness of every bad decision that the showrunner Mark Goffman made. She and her Fellow Witness Ichabod Crane weren’t on the same page and for some episodes they were barely in the same room. An amazingly poor decision considering that the show was built on the considerable chemistry of the star crossed Witnesses.
The season wasn’t all bad. I didn’t mind the idea the of Hawley, only the execution. He was a great foil for Ichabod and his know-it-all mien. As to why they decided that a man who had history with one sister would become besotted with the other… heaven knows?!!
Things weren’t all bad. We got to see the Headless Horseman kill a frigging gorgon (“Magnum Opus”)!!! For me the monster of the week episodes became truly horrific. “Go Where I Send Thee…”, “The Weeping Lady”, “The Abyss Gazes Back” and “Heartless” were truly horrifying in their imagery and concepts. The fact that they were connected through Henry’s machinations was a boon.
I don’t even object to the idea of a demonic a pregnancy in principle; unfortunately the episode was poorly conceived and seemed like just another excuse to make the show about Katrina, as well as Henry’s infantile attempts to torture his parents. “Deliverance” failed miserably at a trope that is inherently scary; see Rosemary’s Baby and The Devil’s Due for excellent examples of how terrifying this storyline may have been.
Then there were the wasted moments of brilliance. The Headless Horseman was turned into a milquetoast romantic swain who is romancing Katrina and preparing her favorite tea; when this guy was created to decapitate with abandon. He’s Death on a pale horse for goodness sakes… literally!
“The Kindred” was a glorious Frankenstein patriot soldier who is raised to rescue Katrina. The endgame turned out to be a fleeting embrace because she didn’t want to be rescued, leaving the monster to ride off to parts unknown after saving Abbie’s life. I adore Tom Mison’s conceit that he’s off having shwarma like the Easter egg at the end of The Avengers (http://tvline.com/2015/02/18/sleepy-hollow-tom-mison-season-2-the-kindred-avengers/).
Of course the proverbial straw for many fans was the winter finale in which Irving and Team Witness were finally featured in an episode, only to have Irving slaughtered by an empty suit of armor. Then Henry slays Moloch to save his mommy with the great McGuffin sword (“The Akeda”). The show about the Apocalypse and the importance of two witnesses in a seven year struggle to persevere for the greater good was gone.
The most amazing outcome of this turn of events was that fans and critics of the show were united on exactly where the show went wrong. However, the showrunner ignored any and all critical commentary; see for instance the infamous interview by Maureen Ryan with Goffman after “The Akeda” aired (http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6249652).
Happily numbers don’t lie. Viewership tanked and the big wigs at Fox noticed that their star show from 2013-2014 was vulnerable. Word is that the last three episodes of the season were reworked and reshot. They certainly showed a renewed interest in the Witnesses’ roles. Hallelujah!
Team Witness is together again and in agreement to carry the fight against the forces of evil into another season. Ichabod and Abbie renewed their commitment to trust and support each other above all else. Ichabod demonstrated his loyalty and commitment in the most compelling way.
We were told that Abbie’s return to the present corrected the timeline. Time will tell on that front i guess as it is a great way to restart the abruptly aborted Apocalypse.
Last year the show was renewed after three episodes. This year the jury is out; although I suspect that the rewrites were to ensure that the fans come back to the wildest ride in genre television. Hey… I’m a believer!… and a Sleepy head to the bitter end.
The remainder of this season’s reviews will appear anon.
Sleep peacefully Sleepyheads! May speculation on the future keep the demons away.