Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sleepy Hollow, Season 2, Episode 2: The Kindred

Ichabod has a nightmare about Katrina which is basically a useful illustration of what one of his books says the horsemen intend to do to her – some kind of weird, nasty supernatural wedding between the Headless Horseman and Katrina. We get some hefty info dumps reminding us who the horseman of death was, a little nice anachronistic snarking from Ichabod before he sits down to figure out where Katrina’s being held

While Abbie has to go meet the new sheriff, appointed since Captain Irving is, presumably, still in prison after confessing to murder to protect his possessed daughter. Sheriff Reyes knew Abbie’s mother and was there to help when Abbie was young – and she’s here to help Sleepy Hollow because she thinks fear and hysteria is consuming the town. She intends to stop it, as she previously worked against drug cartels.

Sounds promising, now to see how she intends to do this.

Ichabod does get an idea of where Katrina is being held and they do address whether they’re being distracted or not – Abbie is concerned that Henry’s out there while Ichabod justifies his Katrina focus by pointing out she’s a powerful witch (apparently. I mean, so people tell us – not that we’ve seen a lot of evidence of this powerful witchcraft). When they get there they confirm that the horseman and Katrina are there – and Abbie is the voice of reason pulling Ichabod away from a suicidal attack

In the cabin, Abbie, Jenny and Ichabod make plans and in one of the books they find reference to “The Kindred”. Which is basically Frankenstein’s monster – using magic and made by Katrina’s coven and Benjamin Franklin. Franklinstein’s monster; it’s supposed to be a match for the horseman of death. They never finished it because it needed a body part from the horseman of death to animate – luckily Ichabod & co have the Horseman’s head.

Ichabod is eager, Abbie thinks raising an undead monster may not be a great idea. Jenny thinks risking giving the head back to the Headless Horseman is also not a great plan. Lots and lots of excellent eye-action going on here. They finally agree to raise Franklinstein which means finding where Irving hid the head and where Franklin hid the preserved body.

Meanwhile, the not-so-headless-horseman is trying to bring Katrina on side by telling her how much Ichabod cares for Abbie instead of her.

Abbie goes to see Irving in prison – where he’s not having a great time as a former cop – he tells them where he hid the head; in a bank. Where else would you put something to keep it safe. We also recap on why he’s in prison and whether telling the truth – and being deemed insane – would be better (he would be harder to visit if he were in a psychiatric institution).

To the bank! Ichabod doesn’t like banks and is bemused by pens that are chained up, unsecured credit and the ominous wedding industry and Abbie saves the poor bank teller from his rant.

Now a problem – Jennie brings weapons to Abbie for their preparations – and is found by Reyes (wait, did Abbie bring them to the police station?! Whyyyyy?!) and arrested. Abbie and Ichabod arrive and Reyes is not only keeping Jenny locked up – but doesn’t really see why they’re keeping Ichabod around. Reyes is still pretty pleasant to Abbie, but also professional (also wonderful - she realises she made a comment about bringing sanity back to Sleepy Hollow which could be seen as a dig at Abbie's mentally ill mother, so apologised).

Meanwhile, Frank Irving is also giving Reyes grey hairs by talking about demons killing people. She thinks he’s making it up to dodge the charge (which isn’t that realistic – since being found “unfit to plead” is hardly a happy joy time) and promises a terrible time for him in the psych ward.

Abbie and Ichabod go looking for Franklinstein and have a powerful discussion about how Moloch in Purgatory tried to use Abbie’s trust and faith in Ichabod against her – nearly convincing her to drink when she knew she shouldn’t. This is turned round to Ichabod – who is going after Katrina rather than focusing on Henry both out of care for his wife and unwillingness to confront his son.

They do finally find Franklinstein – and I wish to note that I came up with “Franklinstein” before I heard Abbie call it that (though it was fairly obvious).

They prepare to raise the monster outside of Henry’s cabin where Katrina is being held and Henry evilly gloating that he knows they’re coming – especially since Ichabod and Abbie don’t know about Henry’s War armour. At least Katrina seems to be finally trying to manipulate the Horseman of death, which is guess comes close to actually doing something

The spell finally works and Franklinstein rises as the Horseman of death attacks. While they fight, Ichabod runs for the cabin He tries to rescue Katrina but she decides she needs to stay – she can manipulating him into delaying and if she leaves Death will just rampage to try and get her back. Also she can be a totally awesome spy. See, she’s heard Moloch and Henry and they’re PLOTTING EVIL. Unspecified evil. But EVIL. Also she insists on trying to redeem her evil son who is evil because TWU LUB and FAMILY

Outside, Abbie provides fire support to stop Franklinstein being overwhelmed by Death and War – and Franklinstein defeats and pins Death before fighting War.

Abbie, Ichabod and Franklinstein flee. Death returns to Katrina and she continues to try and convince him how she truly loves him, honest.

Bonus, when Abbie and Ichabod return to the cabin, Franklinstein doesn’t follow them – who knows where he’s gone. Abbie tries to spin this bullshit as a victory – I think it’s the worst defeat the witnesses have ever suffered.

Abbie visits Jenny and they discuss trying to get her out, which may take a while. And Reyes goes to see Irving, restrained in a psych ward, to ask what is going on which won’t help because she won’t believe anyway – and Irving gets a lawyer. Henry. Which is not good even if he does do a good job. Of course Frank doesn’t realise who Henry is – and signs the document Henry gives him. In blood – because the pen has a sharp edge.

Katrina’s noble self-sacrifice. I call bullshit. She must stay a prisoner because Death will go slicing and dicing to get her back? It’s not like he’s spending his time flower arranging and kitten petting when he’s not looking for her! In fact, this is an argument for rescuing her since one of Moloch’s main tools, Death, is now distracted looking for his lady love rather than doing whatever nefarious scheme he’s up to. Free Katrina, put her on a plane to Azerbaijan and let Death go rumbling after her (good look getting on a plane without a head).

And spying? “MOLOCH AND HENRY ARE PLOTTING!” That’s not spying, that’s a basic inference. I mean, if she hadn’t have told them would they all think that Moloch and Henry had taken up line dancing?! Of course they’re plotting evil! She was supposed to be a spy for the Revolution, how can she possibly mistake this for useful knowledge?

And if she does discover useful knowledge? She has no means to pass this knowledge to Ichabod and Abbie. None at all! There’s no point in Katrina knowing if she can’t pass it on. How is a spy, learning vague nothings and unable to pass it on even remotely more useful to Ichabod and Abbie than having an active, powerful witch on their side?! AND they’ve left a hostage in enemy hands that they KNOW can be used to manipulate Ichabod as has been shown time and time again. THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!! Why does Katrina have to be so constantly useless?! Why do these people who fought a war have the tactical sense of a concussed mongoose?!

This also means that this entire episode, including the sacrifice of Jenny and the loss of the horseman’s head and the use of a major weapon (Franklinstein – which may not come back and if it does they’ve lost the surprise of it) has been a complete and utter waste of damn time. They’ve thrown in resources rescuing someone who doesn’t have the damn sense to come inside out of the rain! Katrina is a freaking liability and this episode the witnesses squandered resources proving just how useless she is

Ok to Reyes. I’m torn. On the one hand I like Frank a lot and I also quite liked having a police chief who was in on the secret rather than being someone they had to work around all the time. It was different because covering it up and the hostile boss they have to work round are both common tropes that are tiresome (and rarely done well). But Reyes doesn’t appear to be hostile, genuinely wants to find the truth and maybe, just maybe, she will step into the role and not be a hostile, difficult obstacle. Frank is also getting his own storyline, albeit one that is not going to fun places.

I love the character interactions but I just can’t give this episode a high fang rating, the sheer absurdity of the Katrina storyline is too annoying for it.