Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 5: Blood from a Stone

There’s another magic item – a rock - to be collected by Dryfuss’s demon minion (it’s being used as a prop by charlatan faith healer who ends up properly dead which I am unreasonably happy about. Or reasonably given he was bilking people with fake cures)

Then everything goes a bit off – because another figure appears with superior woo-woo and promptly burns and murders the demon assistant (apparently called Job) and steals his magic rock.

Ichabod and Diana have some bonding, dubious soccer history knowledge and introducing the new themes of the episode: i.e. Diana has accepted that her daughter Molly is a Witness but what does that actually mean for her. It’s a nice moment because “witness” is very very ill defined. It doesn’t come with super powers, nor does it make you a demon magnet. Nor does it remove her free will – all of which are things Diana has been worried about. This is the theme – what does being a witness mean to Diana and Molly and what should Diana be worried about.

The gang meets for a strategy meeting – brief time out. I’m actually surprised that Jenny is still hanging around; I felt sure she’d be shuffled off so they could concentrate on the main cast. But she seems to be hanging around and is still a major part of the plot. At this stage maybe even as prominent as Diana.

The gang has finally realised that Dryfuss is doing evil things of evil and this needs to be investigates. This involves Jake, Alex and Jenny doing Research. This is good because they all have their own awesome specialties and all work really well together. Except that Jake is still all over Jenny despite her repeatedly telling him that she’s not interested, despite Alex telling him she’s not interested, despite it being obvious to everyone else that she’s not interested

This is turned into a huge ongoing joke but it’s really not funny. Jake asking Alex to basically work on Jenny for his sake is creepy and wrong. She’s made her no very very clear at this point. The response to “no” should not be “try harder.” Persistence is not a virtue when it comes to romance despite vast chunks of paranormal romance, romance in general any every bit of fiction with a romance. Please stop this.

While Jenny heads up the research crew, Diana and Ichabod decide to go use the pretext of a missing security guard as an excuse to question Dryfuss. Because Diana, homeland security, can totally investigate missing persons cases and it not be weird or anything

While there we’re told about Dryfuss’s success story and he totally had a much more charismatic partner called Ansel who tragically died. But Dryfuss was totally jealous of him because everyone ignore him the inventory in favour of paying attention to Ansel. Which definitely could happen if Ansel had lots of charisma but wow that’s rarely how racial dynamics work in, well, any context and certainly a business/tech/investment one.

Ichabod uses his patented interrogation method – telling Dryfuss everything they know, exposing what they don’t know, not actually asking any questions and just getting flat denials to any accusations because ye gods is this actually supposed to work? Diana, why are you letting him do this? Whyyyyy?!

During this the robed demon-killing figure shows up, breaks into Dryfuss’s hyper-secure compound and uses the sigils branded all over his body to slaughter a lot of Dryfuss’s people. Dryfuss, not being the most courageous of people, decides the best thing to do is hide in his office and maybe whimper a little while Diana and Ichabod being bona fide heroes, march to save the minions from their inevitable fate. They fail because minions die, it’s what they do.

They also plug in Team Research who can try to hack through the computer security system which has completely locked every one out. Jake also sees the sigils on Ansel’s skin – each of which has a nasty spell on it. Usually these are one shot spells before burning up and weird for him to burn into his skin. But still, Jenny and Jake can figure out a counter to them as soon as Alex hacks them a way past the security system

We also have a continuation of Diana’s worry about Molly- seeing magically massacred people she really doesn’t want to get her child involved in this. Time for Ichabod to give an awesome encouraging speech.

The figure turns out to be Ansel (surprise!). Ansel didn’t die – Dryfuss made a deal with the devil way back when and part of that was to remove the competition of the charismatic Ansel. So his little demon minion captured Ansel and took him to a demon dimension where demons branded their names into his skin every day

Quick note – do not decide to deal with your enemies by branding super powers into their skin because… whyyyyyy would you do this?!

He wants the rock that Dryfuss is assembling – which is the philospher’s stone. Ansel wants it so he can be reborn or something. Dryfuss wants it because then he doesn’t have to pay up on his selling his soul thing. If he makes himself immortal with the stone then he never has to pay up his soul

Problem is that there’s still a piece missing

Big confrontation time and before Ansel gets to kill everyone, Jenny Mills manages to drop in and use Jake’s research to disrupt his lethal sigils giving Ichabod chance to stab him and Diana chance to stop he bomb Ansel planted from destroying everything as this wuld be bad

Somehow in the fight Dryfuss escapes with the philosopher’s stone

HOW?! The damn thing was huge – could he even lift all the pieces?! What is it the philiospher’s pumice?

He promptly disappears but I guess that means he’s not part of his business empire any more. But the race is on using a leyline map to find the last piece of the stone – in Sleepy Hollow

Though I do question why it’s necessarily a priority to prevent him retrieving the stone. I mean sure he’s not the nicest of guys and shouldn’t have sold his soul but stopping a soul ending up going to hll is surely a plus, yes?

And why was the demon helping Dryfuss get the stone? And taking orders? There must be more to this. Also kind of not amused by how little acknowledgement there was of Ansel as a victim - he was so set up as a villain. He could have at least singed Dryfuss a little

Aftermath we also have Diana telling Molly a little about what it means to be a Witness. And burning quesadillas. Which is criminal