SLEEPY HOLLOW Recap: “For The Triumph Of Evil”

     September 30, 2013


Another week in the always weird and occasionally wonderful Sleepy Hollow, where nothing makes sense but the people are pretty so let’s just go with it.  “For the Triumph of Evil” set the show up as a weekly monster procedural, which is fine, as long as there are real stakes.  The Sandman (whose shamanic name I will not even hope to spell) comes in judgement, but what does it really mean?  Ichabod says the sandman is part of the tribulation, but do we learn anything from it, or is a monster just a monster?  Hit the jump for more.

Sleepy Hollow seems to have decent personal back stories that relate to the overall plot, great humor (particularly with Ichabod) and fairly freaky weekly demons.  But it can go too far (or not far enough) with its tribulation mythology, magic Washingtonian Bibles, and creature defeats.

sleepy hollow for the triumph of evil 3The Sandman is and was an incredibly creepy concept.  A faceless nightmare figure who haunts your dreams and kills you in them?  We’ve seen this character and motif in horror stories forever.  Things start off promising here in the Hollow with freaky whited out eyes and demon-caused suicides, but then Abbie and Ichabod just so happen to find a shaman and leap into the dream world to battle to the death without pause or consideration.  Can’t someone give them a helpful hint?

If these weekly creatures are so easily defeated, it keeps them from being important harbingers, reducing them to just mere annoyances.  Unlike, say, Grimm or even True Blood, where protagonists begin learning about their own powers as they fight these evil spirits, Abbie and Ichabod don’t seem to have much to gain as far as uncovering more of themselves.

Of course, that could still change and develop, especially as the Jenny storyline comes to the forefront and Abbie starts confronting her past (but are she and her sister special if just any old Mr. Gillespie can see demons as well?)  Ultimately, Sleepy Hollow really just needs to calm down.  It’s a decent show — it’s fun, it’s weird, it has a good cast and a workable premise.  But it doesn’t need to be some completely crazy.  Also, its weekly creatures need to matter.  The Sandman causing Vega and Gillespie to kill themselves was sad, but we also didn’t really know these characters.  The show would do well to go ahead and start expanding its immediate universe before branching out so whole-hog into the mystic realm.  Next week has Ichabod causing the Boston Tea Party, for crying out loud.

This is probably my last week in the Hollow, not because it’s not worth the time, but because it probably doesn’t need a weekly recap.  We’re not meant to think that deeply about what happened, but rather, just let it wash over us as we’re mesmerized by Ichabod’s eyes and Abbie’s bared chest (Katrina wasn’t on hand in this episode to handle that, it seems).  Sleepy Hollow is an ok show, but it could be really good if it invested more in the present and less in the future and past.  “Q.E.D., case closed.”

Episode Rating: B-

Musings and Miscellanea:

sleepy hollow for the triumph of evil— How gross was that eye bursting open?

— I find it worth noting that a show that spends so much time talking about Bibles and demons and tribulation leaves out all mention of God.  Not to mention that the Book of Revelation is predicated on the divinity of Christ.  Even if the show ignored that, which pretty much negates the point of the book and the tribulation itself, the fact that there is absolutely no mention of the “other” (i.e. good side) is a little odd.

— The Sandman has a really low standard for sins, doesn’t he?  Not to belittle betrayal, but, damn.  Not sure anyone could handle that scrutiny.  And Abbie got out of it by admitting something she had already admitted to Ichabod?  If it was such a cathartic moment, she shouldn’t have been casually talking about it earlier.

— I like that Ichabod remains in his 18th century clothing.

— “What do your friends call you, Icky?” – Jenny

— Pretty pointless scene between Irving and Morales.  Hope the office stuff goes somewhere.

— Ichabod went from calling them “mohawk friends” to “Native Americans” in the same anecdote.  In any case, he was really all over the damn place in his former life, wasn’t he?  I did like that the shaman found his and Abbie’s questioning about the Sandman to be insulting … and yet, he had that dream tea on hand, didn’t he?

— Closing out with the Chordettes, which I can’t believe the show actually used.