Sleepy Hollow Review by Henry Tran

Sleepy Hollow 2.14: Kali Yuga

Sleepy Hollow 2.14: Kali Yuga

Written By:
Sam Chalsen, Nelson Greaves, and Heather Regnier
Directed By:
Doug Aarniokoski

Sleepy Hollow is now caught in an odd position for a show. It has done enough episodes for the writers to know where the plot should be going. The problem is that the viewing public soundly rejected that direction and the show is not the hit it once was. During that time, it could get away with hyper-paced plotting and crazy visuals along with a wicked sense of irreverent humor. Very little of that is present in this episode, which is another example of the continued retooling that has suddenly been demanded of the show.

The writers are trying to rectify as many of the mistakes as they can, though that approach also lacks an assuredness that the show desperately needs to find right now. The episode somehow highlights how overcrowded the show feels at times, even as it resides only in one large place. Throwing the focus here on a supporting character that has mostly been rejected by fans doesn't cure the show of what ails it, unfortunately.

That supporting character is Hawley -- whom I'm indifferent to personally -- and the whole business about his "aunt" needing his help. Like the events of "Pittura Infamante," the core idea for the plot isn't bad at first glance. The level of quality lies in the execution of said plot. Carmilla Pines, a.k.a. the woman who raised Hawley as a child (despite the fact that she and Hawley look roughly the same age), was cursed by a Thuggee cult in India to be a vetala. A vetala is a deadly creature with a variety of abilities and strengths which include blurring-fast speed and withstanding most metals.

The thing is, there was no real sustained time where Carmilla was all that fearsome. Perhaps it was because Hawley was involved in the whole thing, but there was no effort to really establish a connection with either him or a member of his "family." This show has always been about Abbie and Ichabod and their various trials and so unless one has had a connection with Hawley, the storyline loses all legitimacy along with tension.

The pursuit of Carmilla does force Ichabod and Abbie together for an extended period of time. There is a mention of Katrina but that's made in passing and the show makes the smart decision to keep the two of them together in order to both solve the case brought to them as well as hash out the myriad of issues that have divided them throughout this season. It is awfully convenient that they pause to do just that while locked inside the Knox vault but it did seem necessary. The show needed to get all of these issues out of the way and for its two lead characters to see that they needed each other once again.

The elongated discussion did feel a bit meta, as if the writers were using the characters as mouthpieces to air out whatever the fans have complained about during the run of the season. But it did its job, Hawley looks like he has permanently exited the show, and all might return to normal again. No mention of Henry or Moloch or any of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse so as to cement the standalone status of this plot.

That is to say that the episode didn't go entirely without mention of the serialized plotline. The problem is that the serialization lay on the shoulders of Captain Irving and his mysterious status in the land of the living. The show wouldn't spend so much time with Irving and his wife if all there was was his exoneration and freedom to return to his normal life. There are still unanswered questions about how exactly he returned from the dead, and the show uses Katrina's witch powers as a possible way of getting some answers. At least it's the show using Katrina in a manner that doesn't involve being awkwardly stuck in a weird love triangle or an over-reliance on Ichabod.

No, it's actually been theorized that Katrina might actually be pure evil, which makes her actions (or, rather, inactions perhaps) here (as well as throughout this season) more intriguing. Was she inadvertently responsible for tearing Frank away from purgatory or wherever he was when he died? Would that explain why he has no reflection at the end? Is he actually dead, but somehow able to maintain a corporeal state through Katrina's witchcraft? I think perhaps we've all been looking at this wrong. It's not Henry and Moloch who were the true threats; It was Katrina all this time. I have to say that any of those possibilities instantly makes Katrina a much more interesting character. What a shame that she has to be put aside in order for the show needed to fix the other things that currently ail it.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Could this be pointing to a much better role for Katrina?
The Bad:
  • The monster-of-the-week was not enough to sustain the episode without the serialized elements

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 - 1/29/2015 8:04 AM172 views

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