Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sleepy Hollow Review - Episode 2 - Blood Moon - "Aren't you dead?" *UPDATED*

Hey! Did you get the Star Trek reference in the title?
NOBODY CARES! (Shh. I do. I'm the only one that gets you...)

Abbie has no time for your
But more or less seriously, time for another review, to see how Sleepy Hollow holds up as it enters it's season proper. And, hey, it's still the same week as the episode came out! (Wait? Is it? ...Kind of.) Pretty snazzy. It would have been out quicker...but I feel into a deep sleep. Buying it? Oh, you bought me procrastinapping? Thanks, you guys are all heart. (...Even if I did actually take a 6 hour nap today.)

Before we get into that I wanted to point to a Tumblr post I made earlier this week. It's in regards to relationships in shows. I just wanted to remake the point, I don't fault people for shipping characters on a show. Enjoy it. I will try to stick to what looks to me like the narrative in front of me, on the screen, and not say anything about your personal fun.

But the fact that some people are giving the character of Abbie Miller crap for her race. Never acceptable. If you are the type of person who gripes when a nonwhite actor gets a led role, leave now. Just go.

The second episode starts with a recap of everything up to now…Or the last episode.

Ichabod was a cop who only knew how to break all the rules. The Headless Horseman was joker, whose jokes always fell flat. Abbie was a nun who kept to her vow, to kick some ass. And when they got together, it was mathematical.

See? We’re all caught up. (Or look at the last review.)

Crane is either dreaming about the prophecy,
or he's finally discovered Metal.
Now back to the show. As the actual show starts, Ichabod is having a dream. (You can usually tell it’s a dream by the fact you’re either in public walking around in your underpants, or being chased down by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.) So Ichabod’s running, and running, and running. Then he gets trapped against some tough vines blocking his way.

Mario always makes this look
easier...and cleaner.
As the horsemen get closer the vines grab Ichabod…If this is going Evil Dead on us, I am outta here. But, no, they just drag him into the ground, and to Katrina. Who has drawn him to her.

Based on what occurred last episode I am a little confused about what is up. Is this that vision world? Did he get pulled there again? Is it just a dream/vision being sent to him? Was he having a nightmare and Katrina just inserted herself in it to talk to him? Was he in actual danger in the dream then And why does your wife only pop up in your nightmares?

As we will see a few times this episode this is another recap of things we already know (if you watched the pilot). It is to be expected, they want people who heard about the show between episodes to not feel too lost, and get caught up. You would think they could start the show with a link to my last review, but they went the more conventional route.

So, yes, Ichabod is on a quest. It's his duty. He has to stop the Headless Horseman. Otherwise dire things will happen. Then she chooses to get vague, before he awakens. There is an evil army rising to await the Headless Horseman finishing his task. The first of this army is coming. It comes at the Blood Moon. It's "one of us". Thanks...More information would be nice.

When Ichabod awakens, he's in a motel. Ichabod is still being observed by the sheriff's department, as a witness. (Is there a new sheriff yet, or a temporary one?) So they won't let him leave the room he's been put in. This makes him pouty.

"So...are you my boss? Because you
do boss me around a lot."
Meanwhile Abbie is dealing with bureaucracy and Orlando Jones...who is her boss...? (As I noted in the last review, his character's name is Frank Irving. And thanks to I am certain, as imdb can make you, that he is a the police department? As well, I don't want it thought I'm taking the piss out of him, or don't respect his work here. Rather I knew he was bemused that people conflate him with other actors because of his name. For the record, from now on I'm calling him Irving.) How does law enforcement work here? Is he police? Because she's in the sheriff's office. The guy guarding Ichabod is with the sheriff's office. But Irving seems to be in charge. I know, this shouldn't bug me, but it does.

Still, as bugged as I am, Abbie is worse off. The cops from the end of the last episode now say they didn't see anyone of the headless variety shooting up a street. This leaves her as the lone on record witness (and her with a checkered past). Also, dearly departed (from this show) John Cho seems to have had a grisly but relatively benign end. While it looked to her like he was murdered in his cell. The cell block video says he committed suicide.

Capt. Frank Irving is...
in charge?
This is not good for Abbie. She knows what it's like in this town when you are alone saying something supernatural happened. But all the facts now deny the truth Abbie thinks she knows. (Like the fact she saw her childhood demon in the cell's mirror, before it broke.) The pressure is on her to recant and deny what's happening.

And still unclear is what is Irving's motive? Baddie? Honest cop? Corrupt cop? It could go any which way still. But I hope he's on their side, a Director Skinner character.

He's giving them latitude to move around the city and check out the Headless Horseman. This may be because he's worried about it being real. Or it maybe to put them in harms way, or to discredit them further.

But with this scene, Irving is out of the episode. Off on a trip to request additional resources...for evil? Or, maybe good.

"Argh! Stop!
You are stealing my filth!"
Meanwhile, back with Rip Van Crane, more of the man out of time fun. Okay, a lot of people do like this stuff. And it isn't horrible, in measure. But, let's not go crazy with it.

I do like the various lists put up around the room though (how to use the lights, the shower, the coffee maker, etc.). Clearly Abbie took the time to write those up for him, so he could function. And it has to be Abbie, as no one else in the city would bother to help him out in that way.

"I bring you donut holes, and
you give me visions? ...I want
the donut holes back."
Speaking of Abbie, she comes to check on him and he's eager to share with her the vision his wife from 250 years in the past shared with him about an end of the world prophecy...And you wonder why she has her doubts. Still, she brought the donut holes.

He notes as well the Headless Horseman seems to be gone for now. ...Still not looking for his head? Or are the chess players busier moving some other pieces on to the board? So he gets to sit at the bottom of the river until needed. (He is so Jason.) Or does he head (...Sorry!) off to the spa to chill out? Get some shiatsu, pedicure, and have a scalp…Nevermind. What does his horse do during this downtime, I wonder?

Anyway, new threat! (a.k.a. Monster of the Week)

And what else is new? Ichabod has a pithy line:
"It appears evil has found a new Sleepy Hollow."
Does a line like that work without putting on some shades? Maybe if he says stuff like that and then puts on tri cornered hat it'll work.

Yup. This always happens when
you get drawn into Hollywood's
latest exercise or religious craze.


"Hey! Turn that frown upside...
Oh, you did that already."
Meanwhile, at the morgue. Hey! It's John Cho! ...Ahhh! Wow! ...John? You're looking a little..hangdog? Still, John Cho's back. I wasn't expecting that.

And as off-putting as he is to see, the big bad pops up and snaps him back into shape. (The TV captions tell me the big bad is speaking Greek...Not sure what to make of that.) And he tells John Cho (No character name, John Cho! You earn that.) that he has a mission. He's given a medallion and told he's off to resurrect someone.

So what will John Cho be in this show? Will he be staying on the whole season? Is he a Renfield character, getting stuck with the lousy jobs for the villains? Or will he prove to be more of a Jim Steele character? (You know, the reoccurring baddie on Dark Skies...the 90's show...? Isn't it a little late for you kids to be up?) Guess we'll see how he develops.

And with that we get the first showing of the title sequence for the show.

"What do you mean I don't get special mention
in the title sequence?!"

It's nice, it's moody, it's darkly lit, with images, old and new, from the Sleepy Hollow region.

Plus it indicates our leading cast: Ichabod Crane. Abbie Miller. Frank Irving. Katrina Crane. (No love for the Headless Horseman? That's got to sting.)

Still, he does permeate the sequence. Like in the show, his presence is felt.

Also I do like the theme music. Creepy and ominous. Have to get a copy of it. You can listen to the theme on this video.

"Please don't poke hole in the
plot that is my life."
Back in the show proper, Ichabod is back getting grilled by Abbie on his wife. He's a little evasive about how he met and never knew she was a witch. But he also seems a little embarrassed about the first meeting (I smell a cute meet story!). It could point to some secret about their marriage. (Maybe like how Abbie was marked from early on with a destiny, so was he.) Or, it could be a red herring, and Ichabod is dealing with being separated and confused about his wife.

"No taxation, without
This gets cut short as Ichabod deviates into more man out of time shtick. Ichabod rants about taxes, and now the Revolutionary War started over the fact taxes where too high. ...Who is doing the historic research for this show? Grover Norquist? The contention that lead to war wasn't about being taxed (in and of itself). It was about taxation without representation (You may have heard that phrase before.). Also about high taxes being levied specifically to price out colonial merchandise so British goods (like tea) would sell better. Being taxed at all wasn't an issue. It was about it being excessive, and about how it represented that the American colonies were not treated as equal members of the British Empire. (Of course this isn't the only historical issue in the show.)

Still it may be drawn out of the fact his character is unaccustomed to modern pricing, currency, and taxes relative to in his time. And he is trying to get out of an awkward topic. But it just seems such a cheap way to go for a joke. It relies on bad history, bad modern politics, and the, as already mentioned, much disliked fish out of temporal waters shtick. Long way to go for a dumb ill informed joke. (Yes if I was around when other shows you like were originally on, I’d be griping about their dumb jokes  -- Even in all of Whedon's work.)

Still interesting new information about this world is laid out in this conversation. Ichabod notes that by the Revolutionary War, there were still witch trials going on. Historically, this really isn't true. But if we consider this to be a world with an alternate history, it makes sense. There and then, they had real evil magical beings going around and attacking people (Though no doubt many innocent people were killed as well.) and some were caught and tried. (Still, it just feels awkward set beside our world and it's mass of witch burnings and hangings.) It would also "justify" saying witches were burned in the American colonies (Even though it never happen.). In that world they did. (And with that we have an out for almost any historical flub.)

They head back to the cemetery. (Starting to be their place.) There Abbie goes to Sheriff Clancy Brown's funeral. She is still dealing with the loss of her mentor and friend.

Ichabod visits Katrina's "grave" (which seems to have been restored) and tries to suss out what Katrina had meant in her vision. And he determines that she meant the danger comes from a witch. (And, I may be wrong, but the cemetery looks a lot different this episode. Maybe it's just because it's daytime. But it seems a lot bigger now.)

Of course on this world,
this Sleepy Hollow is...
Back with John Cho, he's got his squad car back, and heads to Historic Sleepy Hollow (Yeah. They have one of those. Doesn't your village?). There, he summons forth...the witch.

And she is...Well, I don't want to go quoting Army of Darkness. But she is not looking good. She's all burned and heavy on the hissing (Though that may just be a leak.). And the captioning on my TV was quite helpful. It told me when she first appears and hisses, that the sound I was hearing was a witch hiss. Good to know for whenever I'm out. Hate to mistake it for something else's hiss.

She isn't too happy. But John Cho puts on his undead charm, and tells her that he's been sent to help her get revenge on those that wronged her, which will restore her. Granted those people died awhile back. Luckily when evil wants revenge it's never been that picky.

And that leads to victim #1. A guy driving home. John Cho pulls him over. And the guy can see there is something wrong with him, but, hey. John Cho gets his name (Jeremy Firth) and then apologizes to him, letting him drive on. (Aw. Could he have some regret at what he's a party to? Okay, John Cho. I dub thee, Undead Andy. ...Cause that's your character's name.)

As Undead Andy drives off, our victim finds that his car won't start. Then his radio goes crazy. Then a strange figure appears in silhouette in front of his car. He's about to be brutally killed by a witch...or be abducted by an alien.

Nope! It's a witch.
Isn't it just tragic when a witch hits your window?

And in moments, the vehicle explodes...Cause witches do that? (Eh. Last episode we had a witch doing chain fu, let's just roll with this.)

"...and that's when Tom
Jefferson asked me if I was a
good writer..."
Meanwhile, Abbie has to deal with Ichabod trying to explain how witches work. He also brings up for the hundredth time how he was a trusted confident of George Washington. He is finding it frustrating to get her to go with what they are seeing and pursue the cause.
I lost my heart in Sleepy Hollow.

This leads them to the scene of victim #1's death. There they have a charred car and corpse, a corpse that has had it's chests clawed open, and the heart removed.

This is a clue that gives Ichabod a name for the menace they are facing.

Back at the start of the Revolutionary War (When he and the Founding Fathers were all drinking buddies.), he came across a military encampment of colonial forces. They were all dead. Burnt to death.

Welcome back to Assassin's Creed III: Sleepy Hollow DLC

 When he searched the camp he had a sense of some danger.

How To Spot A Witch.
These attacks continued, and rumors spread of a coven of witches attacking them, lead by one Serilda of Abaddon. (I'll have more an Serilda at the end of the post.) (More rumors, Crane? I'm taking away your donut holes again!) Then we learn that George Washington (Crane's buddy) was convinced a dark coven has allied with the British against America...So Washington was a paranoid conspiracy theorist? (Yes. It turns out to be true in that world...and our own. Shh.) But that's what happens when you listen to Right Wing Talk Criers.

"Ichabod! Wait until you hear what I've heard about
the FEMA camps!"
They decide to return to Sheriff Clancy Brown's secret files on the occult going's on of the city, to see if they can learn more about Serilda.

Now I will note that I've learned that their is a YouTube page that's been set up to called The Corbin Files (Corbin being Clancy Brown's character.). It has a short video for the first two episodes, so far. With additional audio tidbits for eager fans (Like the fact the evil coven may be called The Order of the Blood Moon. Check it out if you are curious. I am assuming the production company is making the videos and will continue to add more as the show progresses. And it's more Clancy Brown for you fans.

When they get to Clancy Brown's office, they find it has been emptied. Damn you, Cigarette Smoking Man!!!

They learn that all the stuff was moved to the archives, across the street. But Irving, who could give them access, isn't answering his phone.

So, what to do?

How about an odd meet up with Abbie's old boyfriend. ...He's a peach. No idea why she's still not with him...Maybe he's just having a bad day... But they are going out of their way to make him antagonistic in our first sighting.

But rhe meeting gives Ichabod a chance to come up with his cover finally. He's a visiting Oxford professor who specializes in the American Revolution. Has the advantage of being largely true. And Abbie pops up to say Ichabod is consulting with the sheriff's office.

"Oh, Ichabod, you take me
to the most interesting places."
Back to the plot. Without a direct way in, Ichabod comes up with an alternative route. Through old tunnels under the street that Continental Army built for moving munitions. Thankfully, they are still there, or the episode would go differently.

 And in the tunnels they find 250 year old munitions, the bones of convicted witches, and rats.

And finally, they reach the old armory turned modern archive.

Witches fly, without brooms?
Eh. I guess so do nuns.
There they find the sheriff's files and records of Serilda's death. She was weakened by the spellcraft of the good witches (Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart) and then captured and tried. At her burning (You know, good guys really shouldn't burn people.) she vowed to take the ashes of the one that convicted her as her own and live again.

They discover that victim #1 was the first of two she needs, the last of the family line. (They shared the same last name.) Also, per Katrina's warning, Serilda has to the end of that night, the night of the Blood Moon.

Though, it is odd what she said at her burning. She says she will take the ashes of the magistrate's ancestors. But she's after the ashes of their descendants. I don't know if that is a goof, or poetry, or just the wording required in her curse.

We also learn she spoke Romani Greek (Maybe that is what the big bad is supposed to speak to.).

While they research, Undead Andy checks out a kid at a playground, (Andy, Andy, you're already Evil...) Being his sad creepy self, he gets the kid's name and leaves. Then the witch breaks into the kid's house that night.

She grabs the kid.

And Abbie and Ichabod race in. What they find is that the kid was left unharmed. Seems he's adopted. But his step dad is dead, and in an urn...which is now missing. How convenient for the witch on the go.

So now Serilda has all the ashes she needs. Next up, her bones.

If only we knew a place full of the remains of witches...

"Summon a witch. Gather the ashes.
Dig up the bones. When is it
Andy's turn, man!"
Back to the tunnels under the sheriff's office!

There Undead Andy is digging up her bones.

By the time Abbie and Ichabod arrive, the undead duo are off again. Abbie and Ichabod split up and search for her. Oh, good plan.

"Hey, Abbie. You smell real
As Abbie moves through this somewhat modern (with some lights set up and running) place (Okay, I wonder how it was used over the centuries since the tunnels were built.), Undead Andy pops up behind her and reminds us he was kind of creepy around Abbie in the pilot.

Jumping Your Own Bones
Joke Here.
Now Serilda enacts her ritual to restore herself. And it is a little cool when she lies down in her bones, and rises from them whole again.

Ichabod finds her at this point. And she is pissed (Is she ever not?). He fires a shot with a gun Abbie gave him. She catches it Superman style and crushes it. Ichabod drops the gun and runs.

Abbie catches up and chastises him for dropping the gun. And he says he didn't know it'd carry more than one shot. (But, come on. He panicked and ran.)

Ichabod moves to Plan B. B as in bomb. And sets to pile the old Revolutionary War munitions he finds together.

You know how they say
sometimes meaning gets
lost in translation?
Then the reborn Serilda approaches. And tells Ichabod that he can smell the one who caused her death on him (In his heart. ,,,Wait she likes to rip people's hearts out. Heh. Double meaning.). The one who had weakened her. The leader of the Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart. Katrina Crane.

Suffice to say. She wants to do him ill. Though she does reveal that Katrina is trapped between worlds...Whatever that means. But it is some more information.

Serilda gets close, and Abbie and Ichabod duck down. Ichabod throws a torch into the munitions and...
Well you can't be surprised when you're dealing with
centuries old explosives...


She gets taken out by fire once again. And a big boom.

I wonder how people reacted to an explosion going off under the city, near the police station... Eh.

"Use the Force, Abbie."
Abbie takes a breather at the station afterwards, and gets an unreal surprise. Clancy Brown is back!

Looks like Ichabod isn't the only one getting visions now. (I'd hoped we'd get the audio with The Corbin Files, but this is a nice addition to.)

For the moment, he just seems to want to bolster her and reassure. But she's pissed he kept her in the dark. And he tells her she wouldn't have believed him. She has to find a way to deal with her path. And to not be afraid of number 49.

And then he's gone. Hopefully he'll pop up again...But this may be a onetime thing (seeing as she just went to his funeral that day).

"I hear Sarah Connors been talking
smack over in East Wing."
Still, following his words we go to a psychiatric hospital, and Room 49.

In it we find a patient. One, Jennifer Mills. Abbie's sister.

She's working out hard, taking on a very serious controlled demeanor, and not taking her meds.

As she continues working out, we see out big bad appear behind her for a moment.

Is she in trouble? Well, yeah. But is the big bad affecting her, using her, or just watching her? I guess we'll have to find out, when the sisters are reunited.


The Sandman visits Sleepy Hollow (Hey!) and the family reunion commences.

But the Sandman...
doesn't come off
like this, ...
or this, ...

or this, ...

or even this.

He does come off a little like this though.

 Okay. He especially seems like this...

This is in the opening for the show. So I wonder if he plays a larger role, or just looks cool enough to be deemed show opening credits worthy.

What other clues have I missed in the opening? Hmm.


It's another good episode for the show. A few things that bugged me. But so much more that kept me interested and enjoying myself, that I can't help bur tune back in next week...Well, watch my DVR's copy the next day, most likely.

And now that they've gotten a start they should be able to move away from recapping the show concept and go after their tales. It will be interesting to see what kinds of threats will get thrown at our heroes, and how they all fit together in an agenda to bring about the Four Horsemen.

We will also get Jennifer Mills emerging. Hopefully she is another strong character, who will stay around, much like John Cho and Clancy Brown are hanging on (...wait). It would be nice to have the sisterly dynamic. But I am not sure how she would fit into the show, episode to episode. So I am worried for her fate. But we will see.


Looking closely at the badge on Frank Irving, it does say SHERIFF. So I'm guessing he is with the sheriff's department. Okay. I feel better. ...But I would have thought a city of over 100,000 people would have a police department to. ...I just want to nitpick, don't I?


Also, living on an alternate Earth answers every one of life's questions. What's wrong with DC Comics these days? I'm just on an alternate Earth. Why did my toast burn? Alternate Earth. Why are Republicans so crazy? Damn alt Earth.


Now, Serilda of Abaddon. Introducing this villain, they point out that she's a Romani Greek.

By Romani, if you don't know, you can also mean Gypsy (maybe, somehow, that word has passed into history for you), which carries a lot of bad history with it.

The gypsy long ago became a go to mystic or boogey man. They could be used in a tale to read a dark fortune. Or they could be coming through a window with a knife in hand. They were an other, like other groups in Europe, to be feared and hated.

And Sleepy Hollow is looking to make use of many Gothic and old school horror tropes. Like the witch. Like the magical Romani.

And it is worthwhile to be aware of the history that does carry in our world.

Both Romani and people called witch have died in large numbers. They were feared and hated. They were hung, burned, and even sent to the camps.

It is something you can often find in horror tales.

I would write more on this now. But it would be better as a post of it's own, which I'll do later.


I wanted to note that at least via iTunes, you can download the pilot. They also have a few very short documentary pieces for the shows making.

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