Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sleepy Hollow, Season 3, Episode 2: Whispers in the Dark

Ichabod is doing housework and seems to have mastered a few of the modern tools for that – until he runs into Abbie’s underwear while doing the washing and is completely derailed. Much to Abbie’s amusement. He’s being domestic because he’s staying with Abbie at the moment – I think there is immense amusement potential with these two as room mates.

Abbie continues to think on her future – balancing the supernatural with her job and how, unlike Ichabod, she doesn’t want that to be a permanent thing.

Pandora is still growing evil trees with fear in her evil box. She also takes it for an evil walk and unleashes it on a passing human, Paul Everett (with a terrible secret) trying to contact the FBI about something

With him dead, of course Abbie is called in (bringing a civilian to the crime scene because why not). The man is assumed to be a heart attack which seems to be the Abbie’s new boss’s theory, Agent Reynolds. He’s also an old colleague of Abbie’s and Ichabod is predictably jealous. Abbie tells him to mind his business

Ichabod does decide on woo-woo after brief glances of darkness so hits the books (in between deciding to try and preserve the archive while also his usual angst over his purpose and place in the modern world). A recording of the call Paul Everett made to the FBI also picks up spook ominous whispering. This leads to more research and more demonic history from the Revolutionary War (honestly is there any British soldier from that time who wasn’t all demonic and monstrous?) which leads to more flashbacks and more of Ichabod and Betsy Ross as Ichabod tries to extract spies which are being exposed due to evil shadowy-demon-ness. And lots of flirty chemistry between Ichabod and Betsy.

Anyway this shadow-monster creature that was rooting out and killing spies by exposing their secrets is probably the evil monster Pandora has unleashed. Time to leap to Everett’s co-workers to see if there’s more murderous secrets out there.

They get to a Mr. William’s address at the same time as the scary shadowy wraith which uses its woo-woo on Abbie and Ichabod until Williams conveniently distracts it by running away and getting himself killed.

Strike two – time for more research. Ichabod into the woo-woo and Abbie into the victims to see what deep, dark secrets they had. And more awkward but mature interactions between Abbie and Reynolds, dealing with the fact her old flame is now her boss.

Abbie discovers that these guys are trying to expose some terrible embezzlement (because the evil shadow creature can’t be preying on bad guys’ secrets without ruining Ichabod’s narrative). Ichabod is especially emotional because the shadowy spectre has exposed a sorta-secret of his (personally I think it’s a cop out because it’s such a pathetic secret)

Anyway, on to the third person who knows the secret, Susan James. Though, as Ichabod points out, they two now know the secrets as well. They gather Susan and get her to a “safe house” surrounded by fluorescent light. Ichabod’s ominous pronouncements don’t help reassure her (though she does seem quite happy to accept that the seriously cheap DIY tanning bed will keep her alive.)

Time for a confrontation in which Ichabod tries to kill the bad thing with a stick. Abbie uses a flash-bang grenade. Abbie demands Ichabod remember why Betsy wasn’t that affected by the deep dark – and realises that knowing the creature’s name grants you power over it. Now the stick works.

Bad guy defeated. Now Ichabod can angst about the fact he totally didn’t betray his fellows but had a brief moment when he almost did which is, seriously, his big shaky guilt-fest. He also tries to poke Abbie to reveal her secret – she found who her father was and that he’s alive. The man she hasn’t seen since she was 6 and she has started kinda stalking him but can’t bring herself to actually speak to him or tell Jenny.

Susan James also testifies, exposing the embezzlement and making them all look kind of awesome much to Reynold’s happiness. He also continues to encourage Abbie’s ambition – and working together for that. Abbie is, of course, torn between ambition and the whole supernatural stuff

Ichabod also tries to get the Archive declared historical interest and to get funding and stumbles on the problem they won’t release funds to him because he isn’t an American citizen, he’s a British one (an assumption, I presume, is based entirely on his accent since I doubt he has any paperwork for any citizenship at all).

He and Abbie also put together some clues and realise Pandora is the big scary bad. (as she waters her scary scary tree). Of course they assume Pandora and her box are literally real.

Meanwhile Jenny is in touch with Joe Corbin – old Sheriff Corbin’s son (who looks at Jenny as something of her sister figure). Someone has broke into Jenny’s caravan and ransacked it and Joe is super unhappy that his dad shared all his big dark secrets with the Mills’ sisters, but not him. He’s a bit bitter about that – especially since his dad died because of these secrets. Jenny wants to keep him out of all of the chaos and to just focus on being an EMT.

Not much luck of that – he ends up being kidnapped by a guy called Randal who wants something from Jenny. He’s an old associate who wants something Jenny has gathered over the years for Sheriff Corbin – the Shard of Anubis. Jenny doesn’t responds well to intimidation but has to give it up because he has a hostage to threaten.

Joe is even less happy about being kept in the dark. She continues to warn him that he may get in waaaaay over his head.

Not only do I think Ichabod and Abbie as room-mates has immense amusement potential, I am actually glad to see him feeling the need to work and add something to the household. For a long time it has been implied when not outright stated that Abbie has been keeping Ichabod. Sure he had a few months of ill-defined income and self-support, but when it comes down to it he has no job and no source of money – it’s reasonable to assume Abbie is supporting him. This is finally some acknowledgement of what he owes her.

However I’m not impressed with the wasted potential of secret creature that doesn’t actually reveal damning secrets. Ichabod’s dire secret is that he didn’t give up his compatriots? Really? C’mon everyone has deep dark secrets, he was involved in a brutal war – he never did anything shameful? Get him down off that pedestal and take the chance to actually develop some humanity!

Jenny and Joe – I always hate the whole narrative of keeping secrets for someone’s own good, yet at the same time it’s quite refreshing to have a woman decide that a man needs to be kept safe from the big bad secrets. This narrative usually (but not always, of course) has a distinctly patriarchal edge – the male father figure deciding something is too dangerous for the ladybrains.

Now I wonder how Abbie and Reynolds will develop – I’m curious. It could go well. It could lead to Ichabod and Reynolds snarling at each other. It could also lead to him being killed off.