Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sleepy Hollow, Season 3, Episode 3: Blood and Fear

Pandora is still being all creepy and evil playing with her devil foliage, evil box and wicked well – now focusing on the Witnesses directly. Get gets a knife. She could have just gone down to the shops.
Now to Ichabod who is doing another of his rants, Abbie looks almost as bored by it as I am. This is tiresome, Abbie’s snark is not, thankfully. Nor is the office worker he’s bothering. Honestly I may just screen capture her perfect look and just hold up the picture when certain people talk to me. In fact that needs to be meme, it really does. Yes he still wants to preserve the archives and, yes, he needs to be a US citizen to do it.

Abbie suggests using her name but he’s decided he won’t because it is so very important for him to do it himself – he intends to become a full citizen. They also discuss her father issues – reconciliation or moving on (as he did). He also has a random encounter with his friend from the historical society whose name I will remember if she becomes relevant.

Now we’re checking on a guy stalking his co-worker who is involved with someone else and not interested. Pandora decides to step in and dance with him. Next he wakes up, woozy and with her new shiny knife.

Jenny tells Abbie all about the Shard of Anubis and having to give it up to save Joe. And that Joe is pushing for a full reveal which she intends to do because, very maturely, she decides she doesn’t have the right to prevent Joe making his own decisions and following his father’s path (oh for this wisdom to be more common). Anyway Reynolds shows up with a case – a stabbing with no blood (I guess it’s weird enough to make it a federal case?)

Of course Ichabod gets invited on as well with no-one questioning because in the world of crime fiction, crime scenes need to have bleachers to seat all the visitors. It looks like stalker guy has decided to brutally stab someone to death (we only saw the guy making sexist comments about a woman. Alas, I don’t think this is going to be an anti-misogyny stabber so much as a “you’re having sex with a woman and I’m not RAWWWR” killer which is a disturbing element of far too many mass-murderers who feel women are their property and owe them something).

And, of course, Ichabod remembers this from the past – not from the war though, this is from his childhood. Jack the Ripper – because he has recurred many times because we can’t have a time-shifting show without Jack the Ripper appearing somewhere. It’s a rule.

Abbie points out how the time line is completely broken and Ichabod quickly flashbacks as to why the Ripper was also killing his friend when he was a teenager. Ichabod also has research pointing to many similar killings over the years going all the way back to 1066 and, yes, it’s all Pandora’s fault which shows she has power and access to Ichabod’s memories.

Investigation time! Using forensic technology studying the wounds of the victim, they now know what the knife looks like. All of the knife. Not just the blade but the distinctive hilt pattern as well. Of course Ichabod recognises it as a magical serial-killer-creating knife. Because why wouldn’t he know all about ancient Byzantine daggers?

And Reynolds invites Abbie to dinner. And Ms. Corinth the historical society lady to tell him how her dad became an American citizen and how she would like to help him with her super useful connections.

The stabby guy tries to throw the knife away, but the woo-woo blade won’t have it and actually welds itself to his hand while Pandora watches and later expounds on how amazing it is that he has become a serial killer.

Ichabod and Abbie catch up with Nelson and find he has happily embraced his stabby nature. They try to talk him down and end shooting him and pushing him out of a high story window. Nether kills him or even injures him

Just once it’d be amusing to see Abbie shoot someone and it actually work.

More research and Abbie and Ichabod put together enough detail to make the deducation that the historical wielders of the blade were all stopped because they stabbed someone who had a disease, the knife absorbed diseased blood and that’s totally bad for supernatural weapons

Personally I would have thought that an equally valid theory is the killer caught one of these diseases and died, but that’s just me. (And don’t tell me that Nelson just survived a fall and a bullet – a man dying to disease while succumbing to physical injury is no more ridiculous than a magic knife being defeated by cholera. Can cholera even be spread by blood? Or hey, maybe the knife charges up on death and then unleashes plague?).

Anyway they discover the woman, Emily, who Nelson has been stalking and get her into protective custody. Then they load up a gun with needles of “tainted blood” – which they have a limited supply of because… actually I have no clue why blood from sick people is that hard to come by, I guess it’s just  for dramatic tension.

Protective custody gets the cop protecting Emily killed (and no-one predicted this because it’s not like they knew Nelson was immune to bullets and… oh wait…)

Dramatic show down complete with the dagger giving Nelson magical armour (but only against darts and not the bullets earlier because… oh let’s just go with a power up after killing the cop. Quite why someone with uber regeneration needs armour we’ll just leave). Anyway Nelson stabs Ichabod who has already injected himself with the tainted blood – Nelson collapses, Ichabod is dying and Pandora shows up to poke Abbie about her fellow Witness totally dying in her arms.

Abbie checks in with Reynolds to ask to pass on the dinner for another time given that life and death fights against serial killers are bad for the appetite (Nelson is in the psychiatric ward so I guess the dagger didn’t kill him). He pours the booze and Abbie and Reynolds poke their relationship – they always used to push each other to be better which was cool before but now he’s her boss so it’s a bit shakier. He also mentions that she’s just as good as him which kind of begs the question where she would be if she hadn’t stumbled into becoming a Witness

Surprising no-one, Ichabod isn’t dead – he’s even been allowed back to Abbie’s house recovering from both a stab wound and Malaria. They do decide that Pandora is trying to scare people.

Jenny and Joe go looking for Randall who took the Shard of Anubis only to find that a woman has already conned him and stolen the Shard from him. They leave him tied in the shower while Jenny reflects that the female thief had played them both using tactics she’d learned off Sheriff Corbin.

They catch up with her and reclaim the Shard – again hidden where Sheriff Corbin would have. Jenny tries to talk her out of the treasure hunting game and coming up against her – the lady, (Dani I think?) probably won’t listen.

Jenny and Joe go back to the Sheriff’s stuff to figure out what’s so special about the Shard of Anubis and now it’s Jenny’s turn to feel left out like Joe – because it looks like the Sherriff had an uber special rock and was training another agent like her and didn’t bother to mention it. This is very true and poignant though I have to say saying “hey my father figure didn’t tell me everything, that’s awful!” when his son is right there and was told absolutely nothing kind of amuses me.

Ok Ichabod doesn’t have the paperwork to be a US citizen, understandably. But does he have the paperwork as a British national and a legal immigrant as well? It seems odd that his lack of American citizenship seems to be tripping him up with his history project but throwing around his undocumented status among all these officials isn’t causing him any more problems.

And isn’t some of that paperwork and proof of residence required to become American?

I am so very very tired of Jack the Ripper being shoe-horned in to just about any and all crime dramas or time shifting. Did this even need to be Jack the Ripper? Couldn’t it have been any other kind of boggling monster? Hey with the exsanguination he could even claim that this is what the legend of vampires is based on.

And do we really need to state that Jack the Ripper was a real man, that serial killers are real people, not demons, not supernatural monsters. Don’t attribute human evil to supernatural cause.

Apart from anything else the whole research is weak. We’ve found similar killings throughout the centuries? Well, yeah because serial killers – Abbie works for the FBI “someone has been slicing and dicing people to death over the centuries” shouldn’t make her think the same killer – it should make her think several serial killers. Don’t the FBI estimate that there are between 25-50 serial killers operating in the US? And it’s not like the MO of the killers even fits – stabbing a male office worker and leaving him exsanguinated is a huge leap from slicing up female sex-workers and taking parts of their organs. Why would Ichabod even make the link?

And that’s aside from the fact all these serial killers apparently went on long killing sprees and were uncaught despite having a huge knife magically grafted to their HAND AND speaking with creepy echo-reverb “Oh Robert Knife-hand, who could have killed these people?!”

Ok, maybe I’m being unduly harsh because I am so UTTERLY SICK of Jack the Ripper, it’s not like Sleepy Hollow has ever considered coherence and logic to be a high priority.

I do like Abbie and Reynolds working carefully through their complicated relationship and recognising the power differentials and how it makes things less easy.