As of tonight’s episode, Andy Brooks will no longer be referred to as JOHN CHO! He’s now a fully fledged, fleshed out character. And boy is his characterization tragic. You’d think that by the concept of Sleepy Hollow alone that the most heartbreaking aspect of the show would be the man who wakes up to find everybody he ever cared about dead while he’s forced to take in a whole new world. Likewise, Abbie’s background, as woman who lost her mentor and has irrevocably damaged her relationship with her sister, is sad.

However, the show’s use of humor makes their characters far less shrouded in darkness. Even as the episode begins, with Abbie and Ichabod trapping the Headless Horseman, rather than fret about what to do next, they fist bump and joke around. The show takes every chance possible to make these characters seem less dark than the facts would suggest. But Andy Brooks is a whole different story.

The character has been unexpected since the pilot. The revelation that he was somehow connected to the Horseman was a shocking twist. Then after his gruesome death, his messy, neck-fold resurrection was another unanticipated moment. But it’s his transformation into this sad, complex character that is the most compelling. Brooks clearly holds some sort of unrequited love for Abbie (and can you blame him?) which makes his predicament all the more tragic. His soul doesn’t belong to him anymore. As much as he wants to help Abbie out in any way he can, he knows he won’t be able to help it when it eventually has to betray her.

Brooks, it’s revealed, is a necromancer. Since the Headless Horseman doesn’t have a mouth, interrogating him is a difficult task. They need Brooks’ dead ass to talk for the Horseman. Although Brooks warns them that he can’t be trusted now that his soul belongs to the creepy demon from the pilot, they take the chance. Hearing the creepy demon voice come from Cho’s mouth is terrifying, but opens up a world of possibilities for both characters, Brooks and the Horseman.

The mystery surrounding Brooks is far more interesting than anything involving Katrina. Why did Brooks originally give up his soul? Is his crush on Abbie somehow connected to how he got involved in this business?

Speaking of Katarina, her purpose on the show has become more critical than ever. Yet, the new developments actually make her less likeable. Way back when he was engaged to Abraham, a friend of Ichabod, despite not being remotely interested in him. From what little we know about Katarina, it doesn’t make much sense that she’d get involved with a man so clearly arrogant and boring, but that’s what Katarina’s character is about: making decisions that further the plot but make her look dumb.

After she breaks off things with Abraham, Ichabod reveals to him that they want to be together. (Apparently Bros Before Hos is a fairly new development.) Abraham is understandably pissed and tries to kill Ichabod. He fails, gets diced himself, and dies. But then it turns out that Abraham sold his soul to the creepy demon to get the chance at revenge. Yep, the Headless Horseman aka Death is basically just a dude who’s mad about getting dumped.

I don’t know how I feel about this revelation. It makes the character seem less scary and pettier. However, it gives the show a reason to bring Katarina to the forefront. In order to lure the Horseman into a fight, Abbie and Ichabod need to use Katarina as bait. She becomes a more pivotal character, sure. But at what cost? The Horseman goes from being an admirable adversary to yet another lovesick villain who just needs a little romance.

Other Musings:

  • Abbie starts the episode by showing Ichabod a fist bump. Amazing moment, amazing friendship. “Makes no sense.”-Ichabod
  • Abbie makes a kryptonite reference but Ichabod doesn’t react. I want someone to explain Superman to him.
  • Irving: “You wanna interrogate the horseman? I don’t think he’s gonna talk.”
  • Jenny and Irving is a good pairing because it’s unexpected and therefore fun. Their scenes tonight felt straight out of an action film, rather than a supernatural horror TV show.
  • Ichabod has discovered Twain and Faulkner so he’s not just staying in a hotel room prodding new technology every night.
  • Ichabod to Abraham about Katarina: “We wish for your blessing.” Ichabod, are you dumb?