Monday, September 29, 2014

REVIEW: 'Sleepy Hollow' - Ichabod & Abbie Summon a Monster While Irving Deals with the New Sheriff in 'The Kindred'

FOX's Sleepy Hollow - Episode 2.02 "The Kindred"

Ichabod and Abbie concoct a daring plan to try to rescue Katrina from the Headless Horseman by resurrecting a Frankenstein-like monster created by Benjamin Franklin. Meanwhile, Irving faces new trouble after revealing the true details of his encounter with a power, and Jenny finds herself at odds with the new sheriff in town.

"The Kindred" is a little slow-going at first. After the epic season premiere, the series had earned a brief moment to take a breath and truly establish the arc of this season as well as check in on supporting characters the first episode didn't have time for. And yet, the action set piece of the two Horsemen of the Apocalypse battling the newly-raised Kindred is phenomenal. It's a strong central conflict that adds an important factor to the season - the Kindred who is an ally to Ichabod and Abbie - but one that is also quite dangerous and risky. It's in that uncertainty that Sleepy Hollow usually does it's best work.

Ichabod and Abbie raise the creature created by Benjamin Franklin two centuries ago in the hopes of rescuing Katrina from the Headless Horseman. They have no clue if they'll be able to control the creature. After the battle, they don't even know where it has gone off to. They agree that it probably isn't the best to raise monsters just like their enemies have done. However, there is no going back now. The Kindred is here on Earth and he will pop up just when they need him I'm sure. But he's a figure that will be incredibly pivotal as the two continue their battle with Moloch.

The addition of the Kindred really is the only major change to the status quo in this episode. Ichabod and Abbie come up with this plan to break Katrina free from the compound that holds her. Moreover, it works. Ichabod gets to his wife and they have a brief moment of love. But she feels that she could be better served in this war against evil if she stayed where she is. It's a risk like everything else that happens in this episode. But one that could prove invaluable as she'll spy on the Horsemen, try to bring Jeremy back to his senses and report back to Ichabod and Abbie. The hour doesn't really establish how she'll be able to give the information to our leading duo. But that's a question for the next episode. This hour instead goes back and forth teasing whether or not Katrina is Ichabod's weakness and whether or not Katrina actually loves him. She did lie to him for so many years after all. That's a quality the show played up in this episode but then it definitively stated that both do have immense love for each other. That only makes her staying even more of a potentially scary prospect - but a necessary one as well.

And then, there's the arrival of a new sheriff in town - played by House of Cards alum Sakina Jaffrey. She is a no-nonsense leader who doesn't believe in the supernatural world. She pops up just to be another thorn in Ichabod, Abbie, Jenny and Irving's collective lives. But I want to know why the show thought it would be a good idea to incorporate this character to the narrative this season. She makes an impact - arresting Jenny and sending Irving to the psych hospital. But it's the exact same position Irving was in at the start of the series and he became much better after being brought in on the crazy supernatural happenings in the town. She has a connection to the Mills' sisters as she also knew their mother. But that's really the only thing that strongly connects her to the arc of this season. Unless she'll play a bigger part in Henry's plan as a lawyer with ulterior motives. Other than that, this was yet another great episode of Sleepy Hollow.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Kindred" was written by Mark Goffman & Albert Kim and directed by Paul Edwards.
  • The show is really having fun this season with opening each episode with a dream sequence. It works again here because it is much shorter but it's not a strategy the show should become obsessed with using.
  • This week in Ichabod reacts to the modern world - Martha Stewart and the wedding industry and the current banking system. Both were awesome.
  • Benjamin Franklin once winked at Katrina.
  • Sheriff Reyes: "We are gonna bring some sanity back to this town." Good luck with that.