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'Sleepy Hollow' Review: Episode 'The Lesser Key Of Solomon'

Alyssa Landau Alyssa Landau
October 8th, 2013 8:54am EDT

Sleepy HollowIs every episode going to begin with a cheesy flashback or dream? The show is already bordering on the ridiculous. It doesn’t need any help from these lame opening segments. It’d be one thing if the constant reminders of Ichabod’s Revolutionary War connection and witchy wife amounted to something within the episode. However, so far they’ve mostly felt like time fillers. They’re nothing that can’t be explained in two lines of exposition. I’ll eat crow if, when looking back at the season as a whole, the scenes held clues to something bigger coming or if they mirror future scenes. Thus far they’ve felt like nothing but tacked on scenes to fill time.

The show works best when it mixes the campy reminders of Ichabod’s past with humor. Take one of the first scenes in this episode for example. Ichabod rambles on about his love for his annoyingly mysterious wife, a voice over that made my eyes roll so hard I had a headache. But then it’s revealed that he’s talking to a North Star, Sleepy Hollow’s version of On Star, operative. She’s told him how to work the car’s entertainment system and in exchange he’s brought her to tears with his tale of woe. It works because it lets the viewer know that they’re in on the joke, of Ichabod’s overwrought stories. More of that, less of the constant flashbacks of nothingness.

The major plot of the episode is yet another one of those convoluted supernatural cases that intersect with Ichabod’s past. There’s a super special compass, a book that can has a spell to release 72 demons from Hell, and German Hessians who are also sleeper agents. It’s a lot of characters and components that likely won’t be mentioned to much in the future, especially if Ichabod and Abbie find a new Key of Something Special and Spooky Book of Evil every other episode.

The German Hessian/ music teacher reveals that Sleepy Hollow is filled with sleeper agents, who nobody knows about and will randomly show up at any given time. It’s yet another way to make room for future plots without spoiling continuity. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future we find out that everybody in town except for Ichabod and Abbie are sleeper agents. The teachers, the cops, the shop keepers, the postal workers, the children, and even the sweet puppy dogs are all sleeper agents. It’s a boring way to ensure that the drama stays within Sleepy Hollow’s borders.

Although the supernatural plot is essentially a dud, the real meet lies in the interactions between Jenny, Abbie, and Ichabod. Jenny, it turns out, is a freedom fighting warrior with a connection to the dearly departed Sherriff Corbin. She’s managed to get all this weapons and fighting experience while in and out of mental institutions, like a poor man’s Sarah Conner. Jenny essentially worked as an errand girl for Corbin, finding rare objects.

So then why was she in a mental hospital the last few months? If she had a partner this whole time, and one who was in law enforcement no less, why would she be dumb enough to tell people she was fighting evil? Wouldn’t she be smart enough to keep her mouth shut and hope her Sherriff buddy could get her out of trouble? Basically nothing about Jenny makes any sense. Maybe the writer’s came up with her new background on the fly or they’re trying to make us think she’s got the strength and the know-how but none of the street smarts like her sister.

While I highly doubt the faulty logic of Jenny’s character is on purpose, I still like her and her place on the show. It’s far too early for Abbie and Jenny’s relationship to get back on track. If they continue to antagonize each other, they’ll be fun characters to watch together. I’m definitely on Abbie’s side, since she seems like the smarter character and more willing to empathize with her sister. Will Jenny ever see her sister’s side of things? That keeping things under wraps isn’t cowardice, it’s smart? Probably not. Will she enjoy being under Abbie’s conservatorship? Hell no. But it’ll be fun to watch anyway.

Other Musings:

  • Sorry to harp on the same point over and over but Jenny is really terrible at a lot of things. After escaping from the mental hospital, with police on her tail, she dons a black hoodie and dark glasses like a big sign over her head reading, “I’m on the lam! Look at me! Look at me!”
  • Abbie got rid of Magoffin 37 by throwing it into a pit of demon faces. Okay.
  • “Go to hell.” “No need for that. In due time, hell will come to us.”
  • Historically accurate: Ichabod has never heard of Somalia.
  • Decapitation! Drink.
  • Abbie confronts Jenny’s former foster mother in yet another ridiculous moment. The woman explains that she took care of the troubled Jenny for a whole year. Even when Jenny got into a lot of trouble, she talked to police officers and school principals for her, which is a lot more than most foster parents would ever do. Abbie tries to shame her anyway and even implies that because a foster kid had itchy skin she was malnutrition. Am I a horrible person for not buying that this woman was bad?
  • “How fortuitous. An officer of the law with a criminal past. Imagine the delinquency we could perpetrate if we really put our minds to it.” The way Ichabod said that made me completely understand avid shippers who read into everything, if even for a brief moment.
  • Leftenant!
  • Sherriff Corbin had a relationship with Jenny…she looked for rare objects for him, he came to visit her before he died
  • Ichabod takes credit for the Boston Tea Party. Bitch please.
  • How dare Ichabod accuse somebody else of being dramatic. Pot. Kettle. 
Photo Credits: Fox Broadcasting Company