Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sleepy Hollow, Season 3, Episode 11: Kindred Spirits

We have a return of an old monster/ally this week – the Kindred. On the good side he starts out by brutally murdering a rapist. But then he murders the rapist’s victim as well so definitely killing spree here.

Abbie is still recovering a little from her experiences (on the plus side she hasn’t changed her hair so we may actually be getting choice to follow last week’s episode) struggling with sleeping and reminding us all that she and Ichabod work so very well for each other. Even when he has killed her house plants – they’re just so very excellent together.

There are other issues from Abbie’s long vanishing. Reynolds is pushing for her to return to the FBI asap, having not actually passed on her resignation when she gave it at the end of last season. But she’s not ready to return and it’s all kind of tense and unresolved.

While Ichabod runs into Zoe Corinth, the woman who he almost, kind of, sort of dated and then didn’t speak to for the several weeks while searching for Abbie. She is, unsurprisingly, more than a little annoyed that he just vanished without bothering to contact her. Very much not amused.

Back to the case, Ichabod and Abbie quickly realise that the new serial killer is the Kindred which they are responsible for raising. More, they realise he’s not just a random killer, but is driven by feelings of bitterness and anger because he is becoming human, feeling human and being pretty bitter about how isolated he is and how humans have all these fluffy things he can’t have.

This causes no small amount of angst because Abbie and Ichabod recognise their own responsibility – and that just killing the Kindred for existing and lashing out in pain they caused is not exactly just. But Sophie is much more practical – just or not, it’s killing people

Time for a Plan B – luring him into a trap using a convenient invention of Franklin (yes Betsy Ross was involved, she was involved in absolutely everything, it’s a rule) which Jenny and Joe go grab. Unfortunately while the lure kind of works, Ichabod and Zoe arguing attracts him further – and he runs off with Zoe?

Why? Because he wants a wife. Thankfully for the gang, Franklin prepared for this eventuality and between fighting and black magic they raise Bride-of-Kindred and we all get to see two zombie courtiers without lips kiss. Because we all needed to see that.

I don’t like this. I’ve never liked any iteration of the whole “bride of Frankenstein” ideal. In a way it’s just a version of what Feminist Frequency calls the Ms. Male Character, but more toxic. We have a female character who is, basically, just a female mirror of a previous male character – but more, she exists only for his sake and expressly to be her love interest. The idea that Mrs. Kindred would have absolutely no interest in the Kindred or have any kind of plots of her own. I know this a bit part, but is an overwhelming trope and very much connected to many of the Frankenstein stories – the man/monster/whoever needs a woman; that is her existence – to be the love interest, the prize to sooth the savage beast.

On a better line, Zoe and Ichabod make their peace after all of this – it’s clear they’re not going to be in a relationship but that they both like and respect each other. We see something similar with Reynolds and Abbie – him acknowledging his past love and current respect (and she saying she intends to return to work). I see the two romances being snipped – just as Abbie and Ichabod are set to get closer. Is this happening? I don’t usually root for straight romance (because you don’t need to it, it’s an inevitable, omnipresent thing) but I’m watching this with interest

Jenny and Joe also have a nice side plot line looking at Jenny’s issue with her dad. She’s kept his lighter, she clearly has some unresolved thoughts and Joe draws on both his experience with being estranged from his own dad and nicely (and respectfully) pokes at whether Jenny’s antipathy from her dad is her own – or a reflection of Abbie’s. I’m interested to see where it goes from here.

Over to team bad guy, The Nameless One continues to keep stomping his feet and wanting all the power now, rawr, rawr, rawr. He’s super hacked off that the Kindred is not ready to become his evil lieutenant of death and carnage (and then kills them both in a fit of pique – because damn it, random monsters are not allowed to escape Sleepy Holllow’s eternal monster plot box. I like to think they’re all rampaging around, say, Iowa and the gang just doesn’t care). Pandora continues to be dismissed and depowered by him. She’s upset by her loss of power, upset by losing the box she has possessed for generations and, despite some vague attempts at sympathy, he’s clearly uncaring of her emotions or loss. But at least I have some tiny hope that we’re beginning to see some rejection of that from Pandora. Maybe one day she will stab him while he’s not looking.