Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sleepy Hollow, Season One, Episode Three: For the Triumph of Evil...

When Abbie arrives at the police station she learns that Ichabod is interrogating a suspect. I guess this week we are going to get a bit of fast and loose with the law. The doctor watching the interview suggests that the suspect is building an insanity defense. Abbie learns that they are interrogating Abigail Mills and when she walks into the room, she notices that Ichabod has no pupils and she is unable to leave the room. A monster approaches Abbie and she wakes to her phone ringing. Abbie is told that emergency response has requested her.

When Abbie arrives at the scene she briefly discusses the dream with Ichabod before learning Dr. Vega is on a rooftop and refusing to speak to anyone except her.  Dr. Vega says that what Jenny saw was real and says that she should have told the truth.  Dr. Vega is the woman that appeared in Abbie's dream. Vega then jumps to her death.

The next morning Abbie is asked what happened and she says that Vega's eyes were glazed over white and that it was like she was sleep walking. Ichabod marches off to check the body and when he opens the eye it bursts into sand. Abbie reveals to Frank that Vega mentioned her sister Jenny and surmises that this is how she knew about her. When Frank walks away Ichabod asks if there is information that Abbie didn't share with Frank.  Abbie becomes resistant once again to the idea that she is a Witness but Ichabod points out that the creature in her nightmare is the true cause of Vegas death.  Abbie suggests that they stick with regular detective work.

Abbie looks through Vegas notes where she states that she didn't believe that Jenny was crazy. Abbie says that Vega felt guilty for keep Jenny hospitalised and calls the case closed. Ichabod refuses to give up and brings up Abbie's dream and wonders why Abbie is still doubting. Ichabod believes that Jenny and Abbie are a threat to the demon; Abbie resists because she does not talk to her sister but Ichabod is insistent.

They arrive at the hospital and Abbie says that Jenny won't help them because she is a cop and Jenny is a criminal.  Ichabod questions whether or not their current legal system incarcerates all thieves in sanatoriums and Abbie reveals that Jenny told the cops that she needed the money because she was preparing for the end of the world. Ichabod decrees that Jenny is perfectly sane.  While they are waiting to see Jenny Abbie remembers the vision of her partner, the sheriff saying not to be afraid of number 49. The nurse the tells Abbie that Jenny does not want to see her, which surprises Ichabod because he  believes that Jenny should have no choice because Abbie is a cop.  Ichabod then asks Abbie's permission to see Jenny.

Jenny admits that she agreed to see Ichabod because she was curious. Ichabod tells her that he has seen the demon in the woods and Jenny instructs him to be quiet because they lock people up when they act crazy  Jenny tells Ichabod to get Abbie to tell him the dirty details.  Ichabod grabs a seat and tells Jenny that Vegas is dead and that the doctor said that they all have it coming.  He adds that the four horsemen are coming and that the first is already here.  Jenny stands and tells Ichabod that if he means what he says that there isn't much she can do and that her conscience is clear.  Jenny questions whether Abbie can say the same.

Ichabod and Abbie are leaving the institution and he asks about the rift between Abbie and Jenny. Abbie says that it's complicated but Ichabod points out that the consequences of keeping the secret could be dire.  Abbie agrees to trust Ichabod and says that when she and Jenny saw that thing in the woods that she remembers waking and realising that it had been four days and the entire town had been looking for them. The people asked questions she didn't want to answer and so she told Jenny not to say anything but Jenny told them about what she saw. When Abbie was asked what she saw, Abbie said that she didn't see anything.  The cops then dragged Jenny away as she begged Abbie to tell the truth. Abbie felt that if they started talking about demons they would have been put back into the foster system.  Ichabod tells her that she was frightened but there is no reason to be afraid today.  Abbie says that what is between her and Jenny is between her and Jenny.  Ichabod suggests that they go and see Gillespie - the man who also saw the demon when he found Abbie and Jenny.

Gillespie is sitting in a chair when he hears a sound.  He rips his leg open on a wound and wipes up the blood.  He walks through his woodshop calling out for Paige, his wife and quietly grabbing his gun. When he turns, he is face to face with the demon.

Back at the station and Frank is busy trying dismiss rumors of a headless horseman. Morales admits to pulling a prank and Frank questions whether Morales is the man who used to date Abbie.  Why is this his business? They get a call of shots fired and head out. Ichabod and Mills arrive at the scene and find Frank there. Apparently, Gillespie is holding his wife hostage and asking to speak to Abbie.  Abbie suits up and heads in.  Inside the house, Abbie finds a cracked mirror and more damage as she continues to walk through the house calling for Gillespie.  Abbie finds Gillespie sitting on the floor of the kitchen holding a gun. When Gillespie looks up, Abbie sees that his eye have one all white, just like Dr. Vega. The demon walks behind Abbie and Gillespie shoots. Gillespie tells Abbie that she can't help him and that the sandman is coming to kill her the next time she falls asleep. Gillespie then commits suicide.

Later that night Ichabod tries to console Abbie and Abbie admits that he was right about Jenny.  Abbie says that Gillespie is dead the next time she comes to sleep. Ichabod asks who the Sandman is and what he looks like.  Ichabod believes the sandman is the one from her dream. Abbie is now drinking energy drinks and Ichabod chokes on his.  Abbie reveals that dream spirits are mostly easy going but there are others who are less friendly and vengeful.  Abbie shows him an 18th century Mohawk story. Ichabod says that he heard a story from Mohawks who were colonialist spies and were invaluable to the cause.

We see another flashback where Ichabod is talking to Indigenous people about a farmer who turned a blind eye on his neighbour's plight and was attacked by a creature in his dreams. Abbie asks if she should carve the symbol on her doorstep and Ichabod suggests they visit a Native American Shaman.  Abbie informs him that this might be impossible because there aren't very many shamans left. When Ichabod questions this, Abbie explains how U.S. colonialism impacted Native Peoples. Ichabod is shocked and says that they were his friends and that they wanted to base U.S. government on Native Societies.

Abbie and Ichabod head off to a used car lot to see the shaman.  Ichabod tells him that they need help combating the dream spirit but the car salesman is not impressed and asks Ichabod if they expect him to "go all kemosabe and cast a rain dance."  The saleman tells them to get out and says that he doesn't know what they are talking about before walking away.  Ichabod follows and accuses the salesman of understanding what he said and lectures him about honour. The salesman gives in and takes them to a new location.  The salesman says that the demon doesn't just want to kill but to drive the victim to the point where they willingly take their own life. He then gives Abbie tea to enter the demons dream world where the fight begins.  He instructs Abbie that once she enters the dream world that the spirit chooses the battle she has to fight.  Ichabod drinks down the potion when he realises that if Abbie dies in the dream world that she will die.  They are told that the tea will put them to sleep and that venom (from a scorpion on their chests) will allow them to control their actions.

Ichabod and Abbie are strapped down so they won't hurt themselves.  Abbie and Ichabod end up in the dream world but they are separated from each other. The demon finds Abbie and sprays sand in her eyes as Ichabod continues to wander.  Ichabod finds an open red door.  The demon approaches and Abbie starts to shoot but it is not affected.  Abbie is taken back to the day where she and her sister are being interrogated and watches as her younger self struggles.  Ichabod walks through the red door where he finds a corridor of people hanging by a noose.  The demon has now taken the place of the officer in the interrogation room and young Abbie again denies seeing a demon as her sister is dragged off.  When Ichabod approaches the demon in Abbie's defense the demon says that Ichabod's sins are not his to deal with. Abbie admits that she saw a demon in the wood and that she lied to protect herself.  Abbie says that she was a coward and that she will not turn her back again and challenges the demon to come at her. The demon then calcifies and Abbie breaks it with a chair.  Both Ichabod and Abbie wake.

Ichabod and Abbie are talking about the seven years of tribulation.  Abbie stands and tells Ichabod to stay and that she has unfinished business. Frank finds them and wants to know what they are doing there.  Frank tells them not to break anymore walls and promises to get them a key.  Ichabod asks if Frank wants to know what is going on.  When Ichabod says that it's all over Frank says that this is all he needs to hear. Abbie then thanks Ichabod for his help and suggests that Abbie needs to see Jenny.

Abbie heads off the hospital and asks to see Jenny. When they enter Jenny's room they find it empty. The nurse is shocked and Abbie instructs her to get the administrator and to lock the building down. Abbie checks the ceiling and sees a possible method.

Okay, I'm still very uncertain about how I feel about Sleepy Hollow.  On one hand, it's a really innovative story and on the other it seems to be falling prey to tried and true tropes.  I suppose it was only a matter of time before they decided to borrow from a culture of colour for horror.  I didn't like that we didn't even get to know the Shaman's name and though he initially provided resistance, he was still very quick to get magical for Abbie and Ichabod.  I was particularly disgusted that Ichabod decided that he had the right to lecture this man about morality. There was also the bit of revisionist history. Yes, Native Americans participated in the revolutionary war but to say that there was a lovefest between Indigenous Peoples and White settlers is an absolute lie.

Ichabod continues to lead Abbie and though they are supposedly partners, it's clear that he is the moral force.  It's always Ichabod who is coaxing Abbie to do right.  They still have the true believer / doubter narrative going on and while I understand the model, it makes less and less sense each week that Abbie does not believe what she has seen. Ichabod is almost condescending in his belief which makes him quite irritating in my view.

I did like the further discussion of Abbie and Jenny's experience and how it reveals what happens when one is deemed "crazy."  There was also a great commentary about the foster care system.  I get the sense that we are going to learn more about Jenny and Abbie's past, I simply wish that it wasn't so very tragic.