Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sleepy Hollow, Season 3, Episode 16: Dawn's Early Light

Underpinning the story this week is Pandora officially being Done with the Hidden One. She’s sick of his bullshit especially since he’s taken to torturing her after last week’s revelations.

She’s done with this. She abandons him with a hard hitting speech about how they’re supposed to be lovers and partners like Ichabod and Abbie are (well, they’re partners) and he treats her as a slave, or (as he puts it) a pet – she’s now going to work against him

Ok, interval to parse this. The Hidden One and Pandora has always been deeply problematic on two levels: it was grossly misogynist with Pandora being this subservient, servile, cringing follower who called that cringing love and affection despite endless abuse. She constantly begged for any kind of affection or attention and never received any respect. On this level, Pandora telling him she’s Done is excellent

But it’s also deeply problematic on a racial angle – with the dark skinned Black men being this savage, anti-technology, domineering monster who has then enslaved (his and her own words) a white woman. (And that is something else to address – why this thousand year old woman from an ancient civilisation which apparently isn’t Greece had to be a White woman). We have a dark skinned Black man not only enslaving a White woman (which is cringeworthy to begin with) but also being the big scary menacing abuser of her. Pandora breaking free does not change the racial tropes that have dogged this toxic “relationship.”

Fleeing this hot mess, Pandora goes to the Witnesses, she wants to reforge her box which has the power to contain the Hidden One. But to do that they need to go back to the catacombs where Abbie was locked away for so long – which she isn’t exactly super thrilled about this.

So this requires tracking down how to get into the catacombs – this includes lots of history, lots of name dropped, Betsy Ross (who was EVERYWHERE), Masons, visiting historical sites and accidentally waking up a tar covered fire-throwing zombie soldier.


Hijinks ensure involving American Flags, National anthems and lots of dodging fireballs until Jenny covers the big bad in liquid nitrogen which isn’t good for immortal tar fire zombies.

With Betsy’s original flag, they now have a guide on how to return to the Catacombs – which will be next week

Between all this we had some major personal issues though:

Least of which is Ezra Mills, Jenny and Abbie’s father coming round for photo albums, memories and a whole lot of conflicted emotion from Jenny in particular. I like this – I like the mixed emotion – the wanting to move forwards, the being angry, willing to try but not being willing to forget – reconciliation but reconciliation which needs to be worked for. I like it

Far bigger is Danny Reynolds, Abbie’s boss who is impatient about all her secrets. He also loved (loves?) her and she seems to return the feeling (a thousand Ichabod/Abbie shippers cried out in pain and were suddenly silenced). Abbie senses this as well and want to find a way to tell him the big truth – but is spared that by Reynolds nearly being incinerated by the fire-throwing-bullet-proof-tar-zombie. He can’t really ignore that and is now part of the big secret!

Not only do I love that he is now part of this (and that Reynolds and Abbie can now have a relationship without the Big Secret), but I love how it was done. I love how Abbie takes a moment to tell Danny and then just turns around and says, basically “don’t worry, I got this.” Her settled confidence that they can handle this is just so perfect even as Danny is gasping in shock. It was exceptionally well done and I’m really looking forward to seeing where we go from here. Especially since I hate “we have to hide what we do from our boss” storylines. I really really do.

I’m curious about this because Danny seems legitimately surprised – but in the past we’ve seen him working with shadowy organisation that seemed to know all about Abbie? So, I’m curious what is happening there – how much was he in the know before.