Sleepy Hollow Review by Henry Tran

Sleepy Hollow 2.12: Paradise Lost

Sleepy Hollow 2.12: Paradise Lost

Written By:
M. Raven Metzler
Directed By:
Russell Fine

When Henry Parrish suddenly plunged a sword into Moloch's midsection in "The Akeda," there was the slightest bit of hope that this show could steer itself out of a tailspin. This episode had all of the indications that improvement was more a work in progress rather than something fully formed coming out of the winter hiatus. I'm skeptical that Moloch is truly gone from this world (this show isn't entirely trustworthy when it comes to the permanence of death) but the episode does attempt to pivot away from Moloch and onto other things.

It's certainly not to the level of possibly bringing about the apocalypse in every episode, but there is more appeal in say, the different kinds of villains that the Witnesses now have to battle. So Moloch's "death" is not an instance where the plot comes to a halt. Instead, it's a springboard for many other types of stories to play out in the future.

This isn't a sterling start though. I found this episode too dependent on scenes which remained static and full of unnecessary exposition. Part of that could be the odd story choice to jump ahead to an arbitrary six weeks' time where Crane is thoroughly convinced that demonic activity is continuing. He can't sit still and enjoy the (relative) peace like Abbie does. While he can still rail against the modern definition of "organic" produce, the more immediate concern is of the demonic variety.

They encounter a trio of shrouded, horned faceless figures who are trying to raise some kind of Master demon. It's not entirely clear what their true objectives are. Compared to Henry Parrish and Moloch, they have the feel of small-time villains. Also showing up on the scene is an angel named Orion. The demons and Orion were apparently former prisoners of Moloch in Purgatory, set free when Moloch was impaled by the Sword of Methuselah.

Initial impressions of Orion were favorable personally, as his presence changed the dynamics of the Abbie-Crane relationship. Abbie has another person with which she can engage in meaningful interactions. I liked that she paused in the action to ask Orion existential questions instead of filling the dialogue with material that moves the plot forward. The show lately hasn't done enough of this kind of thing. So I was a bit miffed by the play near the end of the episode where Jenny questions whether or not Orion is evil.

Here is an opportunity to expand the cast to include a more meaningful character that doesn't feel yet like a cipher who does little of note (looking at you, Hawley, who makes an arguably unnecessary appearance here) and he is immediately undermined by questions of his true motives. The show can't seem to be able to rediscover its mojo enough to allow the audience to build trust in any of the periphery characters.

There is a short time left in the season to properly build a story but there are too many stumbles happening along the way. The writers seem to have given up on what to do with Katrina's character, for example. With Henry temporarily out of the picture, she is left with the sole purpose of saving Abraham's soul. Somehow, this only neuters the once-fearsome character of the Headless Horseman and makes Katrina's character look weak in the process.

Abbie and Ichabod have legitimate arguments for why the Headless Horseman needs to die, each of which completely shuts down Katrina's argument that he can be saved. Only death will follow the Headless Horseman. Why does Katrina fail to realize this while everyone else around her can see it plain as day? Sleepy Hollow is now a series that can't seem to stick to a consistent narrative. The release of Captain Irving from Purgatory should be a welcome sight, but given that he's been gone all of one episode's time, that feeling is replaced with one of wondering where the entire story is going to go from here on out. I don't have any clear answers for that.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Orion could be an interesting addition to the mix
The Bad:
  • The arguments over the fate of the Horseman don't quite hold water
  • Katrina's role is still questionable in the overall structure

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Sleepy Hollow by - 1/9/2015 6:56 AM182 views

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