Sleepy Hollow Review by Henry Tran

Sleepy Hollow 2.17: Awakening

Sleepy Hollow 2.17: Awakening

Written By:
M. Raven Metzner
Directed By:
Doug Aarniokoski

I actually enjoyed many parts of this episode. The beginning was great, with Ichabod's admission that he had cracked one of the original models of the Liberty Bell being the absolute comedic highlight. The mechanics of the episode's plot gradually working itself to the final goal, which in this case produces a certain alignment of the characters that made everything feel so natural. The end result was so good to see that it made me wonder why the writers didn't do everything they could to get to that point much sooner.

On top of that lack of urgency within the narrative, the writers stick with the arrangement for far too little screen time. It's the penultimate episode of the season after all, and so they need to get to the next narrative complication as soon as possible. Essentially, they needed a hook to run through into the season (possibly series?) finale, where the complication will then either resolve itself within that space, or get to another cliffhanger that probably fails to close off the self-contained story.

Unlike the previous episodes since the show's return from winter hiatus, "Awakening" is a continuation of the show's serialized plot elements. That means a heavy dose of Katrina. Now, I try my best to keep behind-the-scenes occurrences away from these reviews, but this particular bit of news is pertinent to what happens in this episode. I think it's no coincidence that an interview with the actress who plays Katrina, Katia Winter, was published just days before the airing of this episode.

In that interview, Winter acknowledged what this show's fans have been clamoring about since the start of this season: That Katrina is a problem character who has been awkwardly shoehorned in between the best thing the show has going for it: The chemistry between lead characters Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane. The writers haven't demonstrated a keen way to use Katrina's character effectively.

Well, here, Katrina commits to being full-on evil alongside her son, Henry Parish. Surprisingly, this increased involvement from Katrina's character serves as an improvement. She has always been better served by being a more proactive character rather than reactive. The "awakening" involves the use of Sleepy Hollow's bell to call forth those who have witch's blood in them. In effect, Katrina and Henry intend to raise a witch and warlock army of their own. What they plan to do with this army isn't really addressed.

What makes the episode's plot work for me is that this arrangement clearly delineates both sides of the fight at hand. Abbie and Ichabod working together, side-by-side, to stop what Henry and Katrina are doing. Oh, and there's also Jenny fighting Frank off to the side as well. Suffice it to say, both battles proved rather interesting. One side will have the upper hand at a certain moment. Then the other side will get the upper hand. It appears simple from that description, but I think the simple method often yields better results with this show.

It just doesn't last very long. I think the writers realized that the end of the episode was coming near and so they had to throw a lot of surprises and shocks at the viewers. So in the course of the battle, Ichabod shoots Henry, and he dies in his mother's arms. Not much time is spent on the emotional ramifications of Ichabod killing his own son (not to mention the show abruptly ridding itself of one of its best assets in John Noble; If Henry/Jeremy truly is gone, then Noble did all that he could do with the character). He has a much more urgent priority in trying to save Abbie. He wasn't successful, in part because what Abbie did came as a surprise. I would question her wisdom in following Katrina as she wailed in mourning for her son, and then somehow conjured a spell that sent her (and Abbie) back into the past.

Katrina is now pregnant with an unborn Jeremy again, and Abbie is a woman lost in time. The roles have now reversed, with Abbie needing help from the Ichabod of the Revolutionary War era to somehow undo her predicament. It's a rather neat conceit for the show to indulge in, though it has left me wondering what could be done in the space of one episode to keep interest in the show from eroding further than it already has. It may be that this show is on its last legs. Then again, maybe not. Again, there's just no way to know at this time.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • That twist at the end is crazy, but perfect for this series!
The Bad:
  • Katrina's turn seems more out of desperation than advance plotting

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 - 2/20/2015 6:10 AM169 views

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