Monday, December 09, 2013

Sleepy Hollow Review - Episode 9 - Sanctuary - "We've replace Abbie Mills normal crime scene with a haunted house. Let's see if she notices."

Last week we had our awkward Maury Povich experience with the Horseman. Thankfully there was no pregnancy tests to be found. This week may not be so fortunate.

We return to Sleepy Hollow with a Haunted House tale. Not an anthology story, what with the tight season the show has, it keeps us firmly in the mysteries of Sleepy Hollow and Ichabod Crane. While we had a focus more in unwrapping the mysteries of the Mills in earlier episodes we are a little more focused on Ichabod now. And with this episode we learn just a bit more about his and Katrina's connections.

It's an interesting episode. I am all for a good haunted house. But being trapped in the house, and that being the main focus of the episode, makes the story rather straight forward. They run around. They evade attack. They find secret passages. It's fun to watch. Just not interesting to have lain out in brief.

But that part of the story is not alone. In the midst we get revelation. It comes with Abbie getting visions and ghostly support. Through this, she leads the way to safety, and reveals things from the past that Ichabod was not privy to.

We also get a B-Plot, with Jenny wandering around the sheriff's office, and pestering Irving. It offers more insight into both characters, but not the best use of them. So let's look at these threads that come together to make this tale of spectral woe.

It's Thanksgiving, as it was when the show actually aired...apologizes. Families are getting together. And in some spots, people are reconnecting with their distant past ties. No, not Ichabod, a wealthy woman, Lena Gilbert, travelling to an old manor house near Sleepy Hollow. It once was the home of her family, long ago, before the American Revolution, and she has recently bought it

When she gets there, she sees it's in disrepair. But she's eager to look at it. She plans to restore it to former glory, and learn why her family abandoned the house centuries back. She is eager to unlock the places secrets, and complete her research.

Fredericks Manor, stately home of Gruesome Deaths and Bitter Revelations.

"Oh! An en suite vine room. This will affect my review."
Inside the house, the mess continues. And as the lady wanders the house, she finds thick vines. They are rigid and sharp. So sharp that when she touches them, they slice into her hands.

If this is about to go Evil Dead, I am out of her.
Then the vines begin grabbing her arms and legs. And then more vines reach out to grab her. And she is trapped.

Back inside Sleepy Hollow, Abbie and Ichabod consider the looming Thanksgiving. Abbie is on her own, thinking Jenny may want to do her own thing. And Ichabod is moody about how alienated he still feels. His wife and his old life are out of his reach.

"Why have this century created so many new types of fat?
What about good healthy lard?"
To comfort himself, Ichabod seems to be enjoying some fries. He keeps up with his indulging in America's new foods, he will look nothing like that beanpole of Disney's cartoon...

That has me thinking. With Once Upon A Time on the air, is there any chance we could cross over shows? ...If only.

They are met by Irving. He tells them about the rich lady. She came to the area, and hasn't been seen since. She's a philanthropist and author, and friends with powerful people in Washington D.C. So people are bothering Irving about where she is. And that means Irving wants Abbie to check into it. Ichabod joins in, as the shows plot and prophecy points to Abbie's business always tying into evil plotting. Of course, Irving also notes that Lena Gilbert had left a notes in her home that include "Ichabod's wife's name". I use quotes as the note says, "Katrina C.". That is quite an intuitive leap. I guess Irving is embracing the shows truth that all roads lead to the Cranes.

Abbie and Ichabod begin looking into her ties to Sleepy Hollow. And they find a familial one. Lachlan Fredericks. (Another founding father.) This was an ancestor of Lena. One that lived in the town back in the days of Ichabod. In fact, Ichabod knew him, and visited his home. And, yes, it's the home we've already seen. They quickly see that it stands to reason that this would be a place she may have visited. So they look for signs of her there.

"Grace Dixon. Don't forget the name."
Ichabod's ties to the house come from when he and Katrina went to the home for sanctuary. They took refuge thereat one point. The manor acted as sanctuary for many. Often slaves escaping capivity. (How progressive for the time.) They found the house to be quite lovely. It was run largely by freed slaves that Fredericks hired as employees, and were friends. In fact, the house Matron, in charge of the house, was one Grace Dixon.

Ichabod considers now, that Fredericks may have acted as a supernatural protector as well. In fact, Ichabod has to consider if Fredericks was actually a member of Katrina's coven. There are many questions about the past and present that need answering.

"You think I'm deadly with a gun?
Wait until you try my turkey."
Now, let's break from the A-Plot to go to the B-Plot. Jenny has been called in by Irving. Seems she walked away with 2 guns after the fight with the creatures in the underground. Irving wants the police weapons back.

Jenny puts on a friendly smirky demeanor as she grudgingly returns the guns. She's playing nice. And she finally explains that she wants him to come to Thanksgiving Dinner. Jenny wants him to come over and eat with her, Abbie, and Ichabod. (Guess Abbie is underestimating how much her sister wants to reconnect.) Irving is showing some interests to have a normal moment with the team.

"Freaking Hunger Games, man."
Then his actual family arrives. This includes his ex-wife, and is his daughter. Jenny quickly extricates herself.

His wife is cordial enough, for an ex. She greets him. And we also can see that is daughter, Macy, is in a wheelchair. (It's not clear in this episode why she is in the wheelchair, but it seems it likely is a result of an accident.)

Alone, his ex-wife explains that she and Macy are at their wits end with his distance from them. He isn't visiting, and he's put off Macy moving to Sleepy Hollow. All this makes sense, seeing as what is happening in the town. But for his ex, in the dark, it means that she is looking at a failed father. And she is considering removing his custodial rights to their daughter. Irving is being given one more chance.

...Geez. Not sure who has the edge here.
Meanwhile, Macy rolls around the station. She seeks out Jenny, while Jenny seeks to avoid her.

Macy is interested to get to know her. At first she assumes that she is her dad's girlfriend. But as they talk they connect. She admits to her frustration with dealing with Irving. He's strict, and distant. Jenny suggests that she give him a chance.

I guess/hope we'll be seeing more of Macy. Of interest to some, she's played by Amandla Stenberg. She appeared in the Hunger Games as Rue, a fan favorite. It's nice to see more of her work. And it will be interesting to see how she fits into the show. As it is, heritage and family are key to this show. As we'll see with Abbie and Ichabod.

"This house isn't giving off a welcoming vibe."
Abbie and Ichabod arrive at Frederick's Manor, the home is, to Ichabod's suprise, a mess. (The centuries will do that.) They find Lena's car outside, and check in the house. There they find Lena's bodyguard torn apart.

They then find a bloody handprint.

You may think this would be a good time to call in support. Phones don't work. Then they should go where they can get a signal. And the doors won't open. They are trapped and isolated.

As Abbie notes, "We are in a damned haunted house."

Yes. Yes you are.

"I think I want to see another house."
And this goes as you would expect. They search around, and can't find a way out. But they do discover Lena, ensnared in vines. With some struggle they pull her free. But the vines that they cut seem to bleed.

They also find a book that Katrina owned, with a letter that Ichabod wrote to her when he was chasing the Horseman. It cements her connection to the place.

Hey. Treebeard has to make money between Tolkien
Also, when they freed Lena, something awoke in front of the house. Some wooden thing starts to move. Guess we can guess who created the vines.

As they try to find a way out of the house, the creature enters. and chases them.

Along the way, Abbie begins seeing things. A woman. As she starts seeing this woman, she also starts having visions of the past.

She sees Katrina return to the house. She sees her then give birth to a child. Ichabod's kid. Now we can guess why she returned to the house.

Also, once the child was born, the creature, now attacking them, first attacked the house. It killed Fredericks and then entered the house. This led Grace Dixon, the figure that Abbie is seeing, to take Katrina and the child out a secret passage.

This gives Abbie the way out of the house.

groot groot groot
But things aren't done. Ichabod goes and gets an ax, and goes back into a house. There he finds the creature, and hacks it to death. ...That was kind of easy. Honestly, it was stunningly easy. (And it felt like an oddly macho moment.)

...Are we sure this isn't Evil Dead.
But Ichabod finishes the creature off, for daring to threaten the life of his family. And he exits victorious. And, very very bloody.

With that done, Lena gives them the research that she'd been compiling on the house and it's residence. They add it to their large collection.

But of interest, they learn more about Grace Dixon. She had kids, and so did they. The end result was the Mills family. Abbie is a descendant.

I guess this in part explains why she could see the spirit. Though, this isn't the first spirit she's met (Sheriff Clancy Brown, Katrina, etc.). Maybe Abbie and Jenny are part of a heritage they never knew? Maybe for generations her family has been tied to magic, or just fighting the good fight against evil. Maybe it ties to what happen to their mom. I guess we will be learning more about this.

"Freaking family, right."


The Sin Easter is back! Yeah! Ichabod is pissy! Eh. And there will be consequences when you meddle in the affairs of the dead! Ya think?!

What do you say about this show? Last time we learned that the Horseman was a romantic rival of Ichabod. Now we learn that Ichabod had a son, after he "died". It's a dangerous balance. A show can easily slip into the bad soap opera realm. (See Downton Abbey. -- Yeah, I went there.) And Sleepy Hollow is inching up that line. But it may be a measured plan that will pay off. We'll see.

The expansion of the Irving story is a good side of this. I am always happy to see this show expand it's list of secondary characters. I just wish more of them were actually reoccurring. At least the Sin Eater returns.

More Mills Time was appreciated. The addition to the Mills family history is nice. I trust it will lead to new revelations about the family. Also seeing Jenny try yo assimilate into the team is good to see. I hope it means more of her.

"Haunted house. Why'd it have to be a haunted house."
And Abbie's issues with being in a haunted house were amusing. But it also nicely fit with her character's history. After everything she went through as a kid, a place where creatures can pop out at you, and you can't just turn and leave, must hit some buttons.

And now we have a kid. Granted it was centuries ago, but what will it mean?

As you watch the episode you could imagine that, maybe, we'll learn that Abbie is Ichabod's descendant (And we may still. Maybe.). That gets quashed. The Cranes went another way.

Are we going to learn about his life after Katrina was taken? Or, will he have been hidden away, like Ichabod was? The bad guys seemed to be after the child (I am assuming.). Did they get and make him a pawn for today?

Personally, I would prefer to see that he has a family line, or a remaining descendant to connect to, like in Dark Shadows. That could be fun. Perhaps some person that's been dealing with stories of Ichabod their whole life.

But we will see.

No comments: