Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sleepy Hollow Review - Episode 8 - Necromancer - "Ichabod. I am your..."

It's late, but...yeah it's late in coming. Let's hope for a Thanksgiving miracle with Episode 9...That's a thing, right?

This week's episode closes out the attempt to contain the Horseman.

It's been a three episode run. We've learned about Ichabod's history. We've got to see Ichabod's flight from the Horseman by horse. We've brought our heroes into the open and united.

"...I think he's trying to sing a
Meatloaf ballad."
And, now, the Horseman has been humbled.

So what's next? ...Ah. What do you do with him? When they tried to get rid of his skulls, it proved seemingly impossible. And the Horseman seems hard to keep down.

And now they are relying on magic candles (holding him in place, and keep others out) and the electrical supply to their UV lights...not to mention those bulbs. But they seem kind of transitory.

....Really, this feels like a ticking time bomb.

I know this is just me, but, based on some different movies and shows, I'd fill the room with quick drying cement. But that's probably a mad idea to me.

"You better not leave me hanging, Ichabod. We're going to
fist bump, or I'm going to deck."
Still, he's down for now. And Abbie wants to have a moment, so she engages Ichabod in a fist bump. He has no idea what to make of it. (He should just be glad it isn't the 90's and he's teamed with a bro. It'd be all High Fives and chest bumping.)

But they need to figure what to do now. He can't go to prison. He can't die. But Ichabod has an idea. Question him. Question...the headless guy? (Abbie? Punch him for me.)

Meanwhile we see the forests outside Sleepy Hollow. Two hunters are out, when a horse appears. A white horse...Is this becoming a Rob Zombie movie? No! It's the Horseman's horse, and it's doing the whole Lassie thing. One of the hunters approach it and then pulls out a phone.

"No, the horse isn't explaining. It's mostly
complaining about back pay."
Then the hunter begins talking in German (German baddies! Again!). Seems the Hessians are being activated again. The Hessian than turns around and shoots his fellow hunter.

Meanwhile, Ichabod has a plan to find a way to communicate with the Horseman. Undead Andy. Searching around the underground, they find a place they think Undead Andy has been nesting. And soon they are rifling through his stuff, looking for answers or information. As they search through, Ichabod finds an ancient tablet. It has a magic symbol on it, and also Egyptian hieroglyphics.

"Oh god! Stop reading my diary!"
This is when Undead Andy chooses to pop up. He's frantic to find them there. Not pleased at all. No doubt he's scared that they've found his doll with Abbie's picture on it.

They explain that they've come looking for him. He hates the idea.

Then Ichabod posits that Undead Andy is a necromancer. The tablet Ichabod found is about communicating with the dead. And he figures that Undead Andy has been acting as a go between for the Horseman. So he has the ability to be the Horseman's mouth and voice.

Undead Andy really hates this. He explains that he is in the thrall of Moloch. He has no control, when Moloch commands him. So he could turn on them at any moment. He says he doesn't want to, but he knows that he is a liability. Only bad can come from them relying on him.

Finally he agrees. They approach the room, and Undead Andy warns them once again against what they plan. But the Horseman awaits his moment on the stage. So they pat him down, to be assured he's no threat, and take him in.

And, title sequence! Really, 15 minute in before the title. I respect that.

Back with Irving, he has called in Jenny at Abbie's request. Well, he has her brought in by squad car, which only ticks her off, and places her on the defensive. But he explains that Abbie wanted her brought in so she could learn what had happened. But Irving wants to see if she can be a team player.

It's interesting, I guess Abbie decided to keep Jenny in the dark up to now. Maybe she was bring protective, not wanting her put in harm's way. Or let her have a chance to get used to being out of the hospital, and free. But it all only annoys Jenny. She wants in on the fight.

"What, Captain? Didn't you make your Sense Hidden
Door check?"
But before she can go, they get interrupted. A local antique show was robbed. Jenny knows the place. So she ends up coming along.

There, she sees the obvious staged robbery. Also, she quickly points to a hidden door, where the shop's owner kept valuables. Inside they find the owner, badly injured.

He tells them the attackers spoke German, meaning they know where the attackers came from. He also tells them that the Hessians took, an item in an old wooden box. On the box are ancient druidic markings. The box held an ancient relic that could be used to break hex spells. And hex spells are partially what are holding the Horseman in check (via the magic candles).

So now they know that the Hessians have a means to break the holding room's protection. But that still leaves the UV lights holding the Horseman down. And the easiest means to disable them is to knock out the town's power. (You know, the team could just get a backup generator and take it into the tunnels as a backup. Heck, if I was holding Death at bay I'd have wanted a backup from the start.)

1 to Nil for Team Mills/Irving...
So Jenny and Irving head to the key power station. And there Irving takes out one Hessian brutally. And Jenny, disobeying orders, jumps a number of Hessians. But they surround her. And then Irving appears. Then the Sleepy Hollow SWAT team appears. (It kind of reminds me of a good moment from near the end of the Star Trek:: The Next Generation episode, The Defector.)

Its seems every thing will be fine now. No way anything could go wrong...

...Okay. We'll just call it a draw.
Then the power station goes up. Seems the Hessians set up some explosives before they got caught.

"Abbie? This counts as a date., right?"
Back with Abbie and Ichabod, they begin interrogating the Horseman. They cuff up Undead Andy in front of the Horseman. I wonder if this is needed because of Moloch's influence, or can the Horseman control his body when they are in contact?

It takes a while, then the Horseman drops a necklace, which Ichabod recognizes, and Undead Andy starts acting as the Horseman's mouth. (Black eyes again. When did that become the go to effect for magic?)

...Was Moloch a Vorlon?

...And everyone began praying for the birth of the jug band.
He explains that he, the Horseman, is out for vengeance. Not against the forces of Good. Not against the Masons. But against Ichabod. And not for taking his head. It's for his crime of murder.

The necklace offers a clue to Ichabod about what is meant. The necklace was owned by his wife, Katrina. But it came from a confusing period.

"This will surely lool great around someone's neck. Ha!
...You don't get it?"
At that time she was engaged to another, Abraham Van Brunt. (Ah. Brahm Bones. Wondered if the character would appear in the show.) He was close friends with Ichabod.

...I guess this is in the year after Ichabod changed sides. And I guess shortly after Ichabod and Katrina embraced in the earlier story, she took him to meet with the Masons and he learned she was betrothed.

So now, he works with Abraham, and helps him out. Like helping him pick a necklace to give Katrina.

"So you're getting married. Kind of like Bewitched." "Yes.
Sadly, it'll be like the movie version."
While he talks with Katrina at one party, she reveals that she is not in love with Abraham, and will be ending the engagement. Ichabod tries to dissuade her. She also tells him that she loves him. ..Awkward.

"You fools! This mood lighting only strengthens my
In the present, the power goes out, and the UV lights fail. The Horseman stirs, testing the chains holding him. He begins biding his time.

Abbie tells Ichabod that it will take a couple of hours to get the power up again. (I tell you, emergency generators.) But Hessians are moving, and may know just where they are.

We learn, while they wait, that later Ichabod and Abraham were sent on a mission together. They were delivering the Declaration of Resolves (Hey. At least it's not the Declaration of Independence.). Abraham was troubled the whole time. He doesn't understand why he was dumped. Wasn't he awesome? And why is see such a...jerk face? Yeah, Abraham isn't coming off too well.

Why did they send him? He clearly wasn't the best choice. Perks of being a Mason, I guess.

But a bigger odd choice is why does Ichabod choses now to tell him why Katrina broke up with him? Because once he admits that it's over Ichabod, Abraham wants to kill him, in a duel. ...And that's why you don't bring this stuff up when a guy like Abraham is armed...Or while you are on a vital secret mission for George Washington...

They fight, and Abraham gets the advantage. Then he's shot.

It's the British...Hessians...in weird masks...Not good. They are dressed a lot like the Horseman, so they must be tied to him. Still, they prove to be susceptible to being stabbed.

Abraham drops. And Ichabod tries to get him up to move with him. But Abraham pushes him away. You might think this was a noble last act...But it seems more like a big F.U. ...in my opinion.

So Ichabod runs. Looking back he sees the red coats pounce on Abraham. (...Why am I flashing to the movie House?)

Abbie finally has to leaveIChabod, and join up with Irving and Jenny to search the tunnels for Hessians. She isn't thrilled to see Jenny down there, wanting her clear of the trouble. But, come on. Team Mills?

This leaves Ichabod to sit and ponder the Horseman's secrets.

And that's why you don't sleep with ancient magic relics
on the bed.
...Oh! That also leaves Undead Andy. Poor helpless Andy. Sure he's chained up, but he also is a pawn and puppet of Moloch. And he begins to do the bidding of Moloch, by first yanking a large medallion out of a wound in his side. ...Perk of being undead, I guess.

It's the relic for the antique shop! He begins speaking a spell to break the rooms protection, and summon Moloch's minions.

Meanwhile, Irving, Abbie, and Jenny survey the dark underground. Slowly they being to realize that they are being hunted.

Dark figures are quietly leaping around and fading into the background. Creepy. Nice.

I like these minions. They seem dangerous and tricky. A real threat. BUT, they aren't unbalanced. When the trio shoot any of them, it causes them to shatter. (Some show overpower their minions, so later on it gets ridiculous when the heroes cleave through them.)

Ichabod comes to realize that Undead Andy is at work too late. And, the Horseman is freed.

"Oh yeah!"

But he doesn't want to just kill Ichabod. He wants to defeat and humiliate him. So they duel. And it is in the fight that Ichabod recognizes the style. Abraham Van Brunt.

So we flashback now and see that the Hessians took him aside. And then Moloch appeared to him.

They then prepared him. They put a red coat on his dying body. They shaved his head (apparently that isn't a wig -- Lost that bet.). They put the mask on. And he goes all clear eyes. And then they brand him.

But that isn't it. He hold onto the necklace that he once gave Katrina. It's a promise. When the apocalypse comes, Katrina will be given to him.

Now, with Ichabod informed of what the Horseman is, his grievance with Ichabod, and what he intends to take for his prize, he prepares to kill Ichabod.

But while the Horseman may try to act as a free agent, he's a pawn of Moloch. And Undead Andy warns him off. Ichabod is not for him. And when he ignores that, the minions for the tunnels appear and restrain him.

Undead Andy apologizes to Ichabod, and he and the Horseman disappear.

In the aftermath, Abbie and Ichabod talk, and try to figure what will come. One thing seems clear, the Horseman (I...I hate to call him Abraham, or Brahms, or anything else.) is obessessed with Katrina. So she may be the key to bringing the Horseman down.

"...So you sat there while Andy pulled a medallion out of his body and
cast a spell?"

NEXT TIME! Haunted houses! Katrina's secrets! Don't look in the closet! ...Wait, I really am getting a House vibe now...

And with that the Horseman is out and free again...Well, I wonder if Moloch will be giving him a time out? There was a lot of hubris on display. Ichabod's and Abraham's.

Abraham was an ass. He could be nice enough, when it suited him, but he didn't seem to handle people following their own paths.

And Ichabod. You brought Undead Andy in. Then you left him without any supervision. Also, in the past, you told Abraham about Katrina right in the middle of a mission? Why? Because honor demanded it? How'd that work out for everyone?

But the quandary that comes from this episode is, "Wait? Did they just humanize the show's Boogeyman?" And that is a good question. We now have a name for the Horseman. We now have a history. We now have a view into his view that he's been wronged. Is this too much?

Some are saying it makes him sympathetic. No. He was a possessive ass, then he became a demonic mass murderer. I don't sympathize with him at all. It's like Undead Andy. He has a sad tale, being undead and a mere puppet forced to act against his will. But he's also a creepy stalker who joined up to side with evil from the start. Both characters are not likable. And I don't think they are meant to be. We are just seeing them being given some depth.

And for some that is a deal breaker. But not for me. I am not opposed to added depth for villains.


But how did Abraham become Death's host? Did he agree to Moloch's offer? Or, did Moloch read his dying mind, and remake him based on his dying hatreds and desires? I have to think the idea is that the former is the answer.


Also, it's a pretty tight timeline this show. Irving hears about the robbery. Then Abbie finds Undead Andy. So how quickly did they get that phial into him? And how did they know Ichabod would want to get Undead Andy? Does Moloch just know all (when convenient)?

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