Monday, February 13, 2017

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 6: Homecoming

Time for a road trip to Sleepy Hollow which means lots of complex memories about Abbie and all their memories.

Which would be time for lots of explorations of Abbie an what she meant and how important she was and how she could never be replaced and how this show is just a thin, desperate shadow of what it could be with her absence.

But instead it seems to be another episode focusing on solidifying the new team. And I get that that’s necessary to go forwards – but this is how this whole series has dealt with the desperate absence of Abbie. There has been little mourning for Abbie – it’s the general feel of reboot that consumes this season – this really unseemly feeling that the show is trying to draw a line under Abbie, trying to move as fast away from Abbie as it can. Yes, it needs to move forwards (if it must continue) but it can do that by treating its past and Abbie’s memory with respect, rather than as something briefly referenced only to emphasise this as a distant past.

In Sleepy Hollow they are determined to find the last shard of the Philosopher’s Stone before Dryfuss. We also drop the knowledge that the Philosopher’s stone one person immortal by killing a thousand or so others – just to make sure we don’t all just let Dryfuss get on with it. Dryfuss has also got his Demon Jobe back – I still don’t know why Jobe is supporting him in this? I mean, isn’t he literally letting Dryfuss find a big loop hole in his soul contract?

In Sleepy Hollow they show off Ichabod’s archives as well as some letters from Washington that conveniently contain info that Ichabod missed before. Basically it confirms that Banneker also knew that Ichabod was the Witness – and he was the one who planned to divide the stone. Ichabod tries to put a brave, good-soldier face on things but he’s clearly bothered by the fact that just about everyone in colonial times knew he was a witness but no-one told him. That’s definitely something he doesn’t want to happen with Molly

They go looking for the Stone using one of Jenny’s Artefacts after Alex does some technical tinkering to enhance it (see the roles all being drawn on again. It’s trite but it’s nice that everyone is being involved on some level) and run right into the guardian of the Philosopher’s stone. Well damn, shame the others didn’t have one of them. It’s apparently a sphinx but basically an archer.

Deciding that going through the archer is a bad idea they split up – Ichabod and Diana can get to the stone through the many many many tunnels while Jenny, Alex and Jake distract the archer

And this comes to one of the team-building moments I mentioned. Jenny would rather go it alone because she has lost so many people and because Alex and Jake are so shiny and new. They’re so enthusiastic and haven’t spent the best part of their lives training and fighting the supernatural. Jenny has all kinds of issues about putting them in danger and it takes Alex and Jake calling her out on that, that they are capable, informed adults able to make their own decisions – and Jenny having a really awesome response to being called out (thanking them and acknowledging she has an issue)

While they do their thing Ichabod and Diana manage to get the last piece of the philosopher’s stone and banish the guardian.

And then things fall apart because Jobe arrives to take the stone and Ichabod

With the stone reassembled they plan to make Dryfuss immortal (again, why does Jobe want this?). And have some more information for Ichabod – while Washington and Banneker did, indeed, destroy the stone, first Washington insisted it be used to kill the Horseman –much to Banneker’s disgust. How? By having Ichabod and the horseman fight on the stone

Apparently the horseman is vulnerable on the stone? But only to Ichabod? Or Ichabod needed to be sacrificed? Or his witnessnyness needed to be part of it (or why not just use anyone in the army)? And on the shifting battlefield Washington managed to ensure Ichabod and the horseman ran into each other on the stone by… what? How? Naaaaah, Sleepy Hollow this has waaaay too many holes. I’m going to need some of this explaining, a whole lot more. At the moment it isn’t making a lot of sense (why is the philosopher’s stone a horseman killy thing? Now I thought they were going to say they used it to make Ichabod immortal – that would have made sense) and it relied on vast coincidences

Of course, this means Ichabod is doing the whole “I believe what the bad guys tell me for REASONS” thing that heroes do all the freaking time. Honestly why would you believe Dryfuss?

Still, Dryfuss now intends to use the blood of Ichabod, the blood of the horseman (who is onside) and a few thousand Sleepy Hollow residents to become immortal

Which is when Jenny and crew interrupt, with a nifty magical artefact to take out Jobe and a lot of explosives to take out the stone.  Ichabod uses the stone’s specialness to shoot the horseman and take him out of the picture. They leave, with Dryfuss left behind on the Stone trying to absorb the woo-woo when the gang escapes and blows it all up

Druyfus and the horseman are nowhere to be found and the stone is shattered again. Sounds like a victory for team Witness and for Ichabod for having a touching moment with Abbie’s grave. It’s nice – but it should have happened earlier and more often. As it is, with Ichabod ending talking about his move to DC, it feels like a firm goodbye and thorough burying of the Abbie era as anything.

And Dryfuss is still alive. Of course he is. And immortal.

So that whole thousand people have to die for immortality thing was wrong?

And is this automatically bad? I mean Dryfuss was evil but he was evil in pursuit of ambition and to save himself – that doesn’t follow he’ll be demonic and evil now he’s achieved his goals.