Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sleepy Hollow, Season 3, Episode 8: Novus Ordo Seclorum

Pandora washes and unbandages they newly arrived man who does not look well. He’s not a happy guy, angry at extinction and pollution. His Mouldy Hippiness is enraged. Yes, he is the Mummy Hippy! Apparently Pandora and His Mouldy Hippiness have romantic history and they have being bothered by the Witnesses before. He then uses her for the “eye” which comes with a big glowy light

Meanwhile Reynolds, Sophie and Abbie are having an… awkward conversation. Atticus has been arrested but isn’t talking and the whole investigation may be crumbling while Abbie is not at all amused that no-one told her Sophie was an undercover cop with added issues with Abbie not wanting to tell them why Atticus is after Jenny. She’s also far more focused on finding her sister than the police investigation.

She goes to join Ichabod and Joe instead

His Mouldy Hippiness also has Jenny, all consumed by red glowyness.  – and His Mouldy Hippiness drains that red energy into himself, though he can’t take it all too quickly apparently. They run to Jenny – but she, Pandora and the Hippy Mummy all disappear in a flash of light, leaving only a Convenient Clue in the form of a Sumerian parchment (hey, did the Sumerians have parchment? Or were we on clay tablets back then?)

Looking at it, Ichabod declares they are not just facing a Mummy Hippy, but the God of Mummy Hippies

He’s known as the Hidden One and Ichabod has books connecting to the shiny gem that Jenny absorbed – known as the All Seeing Eye, which is what caused Jenny’s visions and scrawled messages. Which basically say The Hidden One is going to take over the world. This is, apparently why the all seeing eye is printed on American money as a warning – because of Ben Franklin (who Ichabod didn’t like much). It’s also a masonic symbol which Franklin was also behind – so they need to get a special Mason book from Albany in some revered place of learning.

Which is a college frat party complete with togas, alcohol and a random fight. They find the book and Joe nicely snarks at Ichabod’s constant name dropping, as he reads the book and drags up another convoluted flashback into how Washington also tried to harness the glowy red gem of doom which a guy then absorbed like Jenny did then used as a mini-nuke, killing him in the process.

So now they need to study Paul Revere, arcane expert’s, notes which tells them that the staff the gem is connected to can draw the gem into it – it’s a magical magnet. That staff was turned into a casing they had – which both seals the eye and hides it. They just need to get it out of evidence where it is currently being kept.

The Hidden One keeps sucking red energy from Jenny and tells us his plan to basically wipe out humanity. Never trust a being that speaks Echo Reverb.

Sophie interviews Atticus with lots of threats of acronyms and attempts to be friendly. Atticus doesn’t care, he’s going to die. Instead he offers info for Abbie. So Sophie, despite Abbie and her not being great fans of each other, grabs Abbie while she’s busy stealing evidence to go talk to him

Except Pandora’s already got to him first and made him disappear. Possibly turning him into a bloody smear in between killing several agents. Abbie confronts Pandora even while Pandora tries to recruit her.

Reynolds calls Abbie back in and again demands she tell him what she knows about Jenny and what was going on between her and Atticus. Especially since when Reynolds was out and about Ichabod and Abbie were all sneaky. She tries to imply it’s a personal beef driving him which is a little silly and then says she can’t tell him and he’s going to have to tryst that which is a lot silly.

When he says no – she hands him her gun and her badge and leaves. Reynolds then makes a call to a mysterious ominous someone to say that they just lost their “asset.” He then leaves calls on her answer machine basically trying to ask her to come back.

Then Sophie reveals that before she handed in her security pass, Abbie withdrew a not-so-small arsenal. Reynolds asks – asks – Sophie to find her.

Back in the archive, Joe considers turning himself back into a Wendigo to help save Jenny. Ichabod politely tells him not to do something so ridiculously foolish.

Abbie arms Ichabod and Joe and prepares to go in with everything – including a scary book of norse summoning. Though Ichabod is not that hopeful of their chances – but he and Abbie compare their awesome record of awesomeness. Abbie also worries that she may be distracted by her overwhelming fear for her sister – but Ichabod denies that along with the episode theme.

They use their shiny new toys to go in and Pandora decides to take them out while The Hidden One continues to drain Jenny.

Abbie shoots Pandora. And like every other time she has ever used a gun since the first episode of season 1, it fails (seriously, every episode she shoots something. Every episode the bullets do nothing. She doesn’t even look surprised any more). Instead she uses grenades on the tree and Ichabod tases Pandora. Immune to bullets, but not tasers. The Hidden one is also at least distracted by grenades.

While Abbie removes the gem from Jenny (I’m never leaving you again – go sisters Mills!), Ichabod summons some nasties from Pandora’s Box.

The Hidden One Crushes the seal meant to hold the gem but, thankfully, it works when shattered as well, still pulling the red light from Jenny while the Hidden One is distracted being all immune to every armament Joe can fire at him. Thankfully he follows narrative convention and slowly stalks towards Joe rather than moving quickly and/or using the telekinesis he already used on Abbie (they really should just use a computer game voice over “that spell is not ready yet.” “you are out of mana!” at least it would try to explain it when they do this)

We then get an Earthquake (curse your dramatic narrative tectonics) and then Abbie then enters the tree portal into Hell to protect Jenny (expressly Jenny). When she does there’s an explosion – destroying the Tree and Pandora’s box

+100 points for calling out Ichabod’s name dropping.

So we have an Ancient Sumerian artefact and they could study that with Sumerian texts or experts in Sumerian mythology or even anything vaguely from Mesopotamia. But no, we continue this show’s absolute raging fetish for the Revolutionary War and dredge up a ludicrous number of arcane experts and name dropping from that era. Did everything from every mythology in the entire plant manage to arrive in this battle, stopped only by the omni-present and all knowing founding fathers and plucky Betsy Ross (who is everywhere now but completely non-existent for two seasons). It’s ridiculous, it’s reductive of all the world’s mythology to make it all about America and, yes, I say again, it’s fetishistic. And kind of dully and unimaginative. But, of course, the only way to make Ichabod’s man-out-of-time aspect remotely relevant.

Ok, I like Abbie and Reynolds together – but let’s be serious here, there’s no way Abbie can honestly act like Reynolds is being unreasonable here. And this is a police investigation “I can’t tell you because REASONS” is not now nor has ever been an acceptable response.

But it does raise that question we’ve been asking from the beginning – does Abbie choose her job or her mission? And if she were going to put aside her career, her job, her dreams for anything then THIS is the best way to do it – because she’s not doing it for Crane, she’s not doing it for magic or to be a Witness – she’s doing it for Jenny. And while being an FBI agent is her fondest dream above and beyond nearly everything, I’m so glad it’s her sister that is set above it. Up to and including sacrificing her own life (which we know she hasn’t but still).

I also quite like the episode theme – gently touched on: the idea that if you fear loss you will lose in way where loss is inevitable. You can’t fight if you fear to lose something to much to actually do battle – but nicely countered by Ichabod’s firm statement that they are so effective because they care. And you can’t care without fearing loss.