Monday, March 6, 2017

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 9: Child's Play

This episode has a surprisingly excellent unified theme – people coming to terms with what fighting monsters means, especially Molly.

Molly is having trouble in school, she’s angry, she’s upset and a little stroppy. Diana is rightly concerned and tries to jolly Molly out of it: but Molly is looking at a world that has monsters in it, a world where her dad is just a monster in disguise where she’s plagued by depressing and terrifying visions of the future and everything is scary and awful. She’s not jollyable.

Diana decides to take her to the Vault where she can see the cool toys and legacy there – by exposing Molly to the good/cool/interesting part of the job at least she can show an upside. It’s a nice idea which ends up with Ichabod and Molly being locked in by the security system being tripped. Oops

Meanwhile Diana has other things to worry about – a monster attacked Molly’s teacher and is now attacking her. The monster is Molly’s childhood imaginary friend given life by Molly’s will – something we have seen before with Ichabod’s son Henry creating a golam. Yes it normally takes more than this but we’ll get to that

The creature is attacking Diana because Molly is mad with her – which causes all the parental angst. But the star of this goes to Jenny – who has obviously had the difficult childhood of knowing monsters exist, having the confront that, be scarred by that etc. Molly can’t talk to her mother about her angst? Well she’s hardly the first child to do so. And here Diana should take the opportunity of knowing what Molly’s feeling rather than having to guess

Jenny is awesome and has a really interesting role this season as one-who-went-before. The flip side to that is that that’s crystalised all of her roles. She’s more of a mentor to Alex and Jake coupled with therapy/advice for Diana while removing any of her own actual storylines, wants, needs or grief. This would have been vastly improved if she had someone with which to address her own personal issues with – like Abbie.

Ichabod tries to talk to Molly through this and teases out that she’s angry – with Diana’s attempt to spin everything to be nice, with her lying to her and hiding things and trying to protect her.

Ichabod gets Molly out through a small hatch he can’t follow and she manages to arrive on scene before her imaginary friend squishes Diana. We have a nice little moment of Molly saying she should have spoken to Diana about her issues rather than bottling them up and saying the problems she’s been having while Diana does the parent thing and says she’ll always be there to listen

I don’t think it’s the details that matter so much in this episode as it is to show there are underlying issues with exposing new people to the monsters and them having to deal with it. Especially laying the ground for another threat – Malcolm has had visions of the future and he and Molly together. He even makes friendly overtures to Molly – and planted a hex on her to make the monster manifest. Malcolm is trying to convert Molly.

Another side plot to this is Jake and Alex. Having learned about the previous agents Jake is stoked and training and determined to be the best he can be - because they have such an awesome legacy which was amazing and super and they’ve got to live up to it

But over the course of this episode they found what happened to the last agents in their job – dead, paranoid, on the run, forgotten, lost. Alex sees the inheriting not an awesome legacy but an extremely dangerous, thankless job which will end with them dead or fleeing, haunted by the words of their predecessor “evil always wins”

This becomes a dedication to them sticking together in a “we know they’re going to have a relationship” way.