Sleepy Hollow Review by Henry Tran

Sleepy Hollow 2.18: Tempus Fugit

Sleepy Hollow 2.18: Tempus Fugit

Written By:
Mark Goffman
Directed By:
Paul Edwards

The majority of the second season of Sleepy Hollow has been so uneven. This is a given, so it's a bit of a surprise that the final two episodes of the season have been so straightforward. I think, at least for the finale, the storyline needed to be that way in order to keep the potential for messiness at a minimum. When dealing with time travel in any way, there is always the possibility of completely going off the rails if one isn't careful. Though, caution has hardly been applicable to a show like this.

Where "Awakening" had Ichabod and Abbie facing off against Katrina and Henry, the season finale changes the pairings as well as the time period of the setting. Henry is off the board so he's replaced by Abraham Von Brunt as a demon with a head. Abbie and Ichabod are still together as a fighting team, but Abbie has to explain certain things to a very skeptical Captain Crane in the past.

The episode benefits from this economy of story. It works step by step to show how Abbie talks her way out of the predicament she's in. Some of it is ineffective, at first, and then you can sort of see how her explanations burrow into Captain Crane's head. The first crucial action is that Abbie's presence calls Crane away from the battlefield, thus saving him and an entire regiment from a massacre by the axe of the Horseman of Death. This not only changes the history between the two leads, but also alters the course of history for Katrina as well. Continuing her heel turn from the previous episode, Katrina is set upon permanently changing her destiny so that she may be able to somehow save Jeremy and kill her husband in the same swoop.

Once again, Katrina has a purpose here. It makes her a bit too one-dimensional but at least she's actively pursuing a goal. And it does work for a little while. One of the few surprises in the episode is when the Horseman suddenly shows up at the home of Benjamin Franklin -- a man who too eagerly accepts Abbie's explanation for being a woman out of time -- and then lops off his head before he can throw a makeshift bomb at the demon. One of the nation's Founding Fathers, a man who was supposed to be on the $100 bill (as opposed to Jefferson, who get the $2 bill in a rather amusing bit), is killed before he is able to do anything significant in American history. This is the kind of craziness and irreverence for history that the show used to thrive on, and has been missing in action for an entire season.

That said, the craziness has to be reined in some time. The story has to go somewhere. The episode doesn't allow for developments to breathe, which has been a chief complaint for the second season. Storylines will stop and start with no natural rhythm, like the writers are desperately trying to throw things on a wall to see what might stick. Abbie and Crane plunge ahead, meeting with Grace Dixon to gather a protection spell that can repel both the Horseman of Death and Katrina. It becomes part war of mysticism, part physical battle with the Horseman. 

The show's increasing reliance on witchcraft isn't particularly interesting to me so I did partly tune much of it out. Katrina using the Horseman as an instrument of death and destruction is enough. Her growing powers became secondary, mostly to be ignored. Meanwhile Abbie and Ichabod get most of the good stuff. She beats up Colonel Sutton, using a move that would make Olympic wrestlers or UFC fighters proud. At the same time, Captain Crane discovers the truth through the current practice of taking a selfie. It's the kind of inane thing that cements their friendship, and shows that, even through 200 years of separation, they make the perfect team.

Their relationship has been clearly better than the Crane marriage itself. That fact informs on the final scenes of the episode. Grace and Abbie succeed with the reversal spell, undoing all of the damage Katrina wrought upon the timeline. Abbie and Katrina are thrown forward in time to the present, where Jeremy is still dead and Crane is still reeling from the fact that he pulled the trigger. A struggle between the Cranes ensues, and since Ichabod is conveniently holding the knife last, it plunges into Katrina's gut. Again, this is all too convenient. The story proceeds to this point all too smoothly. All of the action that had come before was just wiped from existence and then they got rid of the chief problem character without much time to dwell on the consequences of that action. It's done purely for shock value.

And I'm not that upset about it. The writers recognized that they had a problem that wasn't going away, and dealt with it in the easiest way possible. All that's left standing is Ichabod and Abbie, the anchors, to carry on as they have been since the beginning. The consequences will be addressed at a later time (if there is a new season). Until then, everyone is stuck in limbo. It's a weird place to be, though not an entirely unexpected one.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Katrina's presence in the story is finally over
  • If this has to be the end of the series, it's not a terrible conclusion
The Bad:
  • What will the fate of this series be?

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 - 2/27/2015 12:09 PM160 views

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