Monday, October 6, 2014

REVIEW: 'Sleepy Hollow' - A Powerful Coin Enters Circulation as Jenny Points a Gun at Abbie in 'Root of All Evil'

FOX's Sleepy Hollow - Episode 2.03 "Root of All Evil"

After a bank robbery turns violent, Abbie and Ichabod embark on a hunt for a mysterious silver coin that has more power than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Irving is put in a position where he must choose between his family and the greater good and the Mills' sisterly bond is put to the utmost test.

This was a weird episode of Sleepy Hollow. It's another episodic plot where Ichabod and Abbie learn and deal with an artifact that holds historic and supernatural importance. This time it's a coin that brings out the dark side of whomever is holding it. We get demonstrations of the power it holds by having the loyal bank employee turn a gun on her co-workers and a responsible son making a bomb that will kill his father and his business. It ultimately finds itself in the hands of Jenny and that's where the emotional climax of the episode takes place. Jenny aims a gun at Sheriff Reyes - who was actually the officer to send her and Abbie's mother to the psych ward - with Abbie and Ichabod pleading with her inner good to stop her from making this big mistake. It's a clever twist that Jenny would go after Reyes instead of Abbie considering the sisters had a big fight early in the episode. However, that sisterly bond is a very strong dynamic. The series has put the effort into developing it and it can't just be easily destroyed due to one argument.

Everyone ends up being fine. Ichabod manages to knock the gun out of Jenny's hands and the coin away from anyone else. But it sure did feel like an episode that enjoyed using the "Ichabod tells the audience his opinion of important historical figures" trope a bit too much. The coin also apparently had once been held by Benedict Arnold - and before that Judas Iscariot. That means Ichabod gets to explain things to Abbie and the audience. It's not even until the halfway mark when the coin winds up in Jenny's hands. And then, the conflict in the episode's final half feels way too rushed.

The hour also introduces us to new recurring character Nick Hawley - played by Matt Barr. Yes, he is attractive. And yet, I'm unsure of the character's importance. He's a hunter of a rare artifacts. But he's also solely motivated for monetary compensation. He gets thrown by the way Ichabod speaks and carries himself. But he's also intrigued. I don't think it's a necessary character. Ichabod and Abbie could easily have figured out how to deal with the coin by consulting one of their many books on the supernatural - like they have been for the past 15 episodes. But I also understand the show's desire to give the two of them another ally in this battle with Moloch and the Horsemen - especially one whose motivation and allegiance is unclear. I just wish I was more intrigued in what he may offer the show and the leads.

And yet, this was an entertaining episode of Sleepy Hollow. It's fascinating watching Henry slyly wreck havoc throughout town. He is the Horsemen of War but that doesn't mean he has to be in his suit causing the destruction firsthand. He could just as easily be motivating people to understand their true feelings towards society. The coin was a major benefit in doing so - and apparently there are 29 more of them out there in the world! Henry has a long con that he is slowly setting up. Ichabod and Abbie are on the defensive. But they are also aware of what Henry is doing. Even Irving is let in on the fact that his new lawyer is also the Horseman of War and Ichabod's son. That means none of the characters will be complicit in Henry's plans out of ignorance - which is a very smart move the show has taken. 

Some more thoughts:
  • "Root of All Evil" was written by Melissa Blake & Donald Todd and directed by Jeffrey Hunt.
  • Ichabod watched the last season finale of Glee. Gotta get that crossover FOX promotion in! Even with the risk of people losing respect for Ichabod for watching what the musical dramedy has become.
  • Reyes still isn't a great addition to the season. She's still mostly just someone that Ichabod and Abbie have to deal with that they just shouldn't have to. And yet, she does come across as smart and capable by looking into the fact that there is no record of Ichabod anywhere else.
  • We also get confirmation that Abbie and Jenny's mother didn't go insane but was being haunted by demons. Something that everyone is now willing to accept as real and not fiction she created in her own head. That should prove to be more interesting as the season progresses.
  • And then, there's the stuff going on between Katrina, Abraham and Henry as she is trying to get Abraham to question why Henry isn't letting him in on Moloch's elaborate plan. That didn't feel quite as important during this episode.