Sleepy Hollow Recap

This week’s episode was easily the best of the season. Sleepy Hollow’s writers seem to be working from a checklist of what Sleepy Heads enjoy (e.g., Abbie-Ichabod rapport, Mills Sister Moments, Ichabod vs. 21st Century). And for that we say, thank you!

If only the writers could overcome their addiction to a few creative elements that add nothing to the show:

  • Sexualized White Ladies in Corsets
  • Everybody Loves Crane

Ah well. For now, this Sleepy Head is rolling with Sexy Betsy and all the crazy Crane Love, because there are hints the Pandora plot could have a decent payoff to make up for the eye strain I’ve suffered due to some pretty extensive eye rolling when a Sexy Betsy scene or unrealistic instance of Crane Thirst detracts from an otherwise good episode.

Ichabod, a Junk Food Eating Slacker With Bad Teeth, Still Wants You To Get Off His Lawn!

Ichabod and Abbie are still playing house. The newness of their arrangement has clearly worn off. Instead of keeping up with his Mary Poppins game  — cleaning and cooking, while singing — this episode opens with Ichabod eating junk food and playing video games instead of studying for his citizenship test. Ichabod’s embrace of 21st Century comforts like smart phones and video games punctuated with periodic outbursts about all the ways the modern era disappoints him, never fails to entertain. Mison makes it fresh and funny each time.

The one aspect of their living arrangement that could become tiresome would be if they descend into a bickering sitcom couple routine with Abbie in the role of nagging shrew and Ichabod as the hapless man-child. This week had Abbie nagging Ichabod about studying for his citizenship test and getting his teeth cleaned, before being pulled away to deal with the monster-of-the-week. A little of the Bickersons’ routine goes a long way.

Monster-of-the Week: This Ain’t Your Mama’s Tooth Fairy

You will regret ever putting a tooth under your pillow, when you see Sleepy Hollow’s version of the Tooth Fairy enter the bedroom of two sisters, one of whom just lost her tooth. This is truly the Tooth Fairy from Hell.

It looks a little like the first version of Moloch we saw in Season 1 (thin, lanky, chalky white skin with odd jerky movements). It walks on all fours, but not like a mammal, more like a spider. And, it has a long, lizard tongue and long black stringy hair (the wig left over from the Weeping Lady episode). It’s the kind of monster that had me feeling grateful I have all my big girl teeth.

The Tooth Fairy sucks the little girl’s life force from her, leaving her in a coma, as her sister watches in horror. Joe Corbin’s role as an EMT becomes quite useful in this episode. He’s the first responder on the scene. After taking the girl to the hospital, he calls Abbie to tell her there’s a new monster in town.

It’s a Sexy Betsy Flashback

As the team begins its research regarding the Tooth Fairy from Hell, Ichabod remembers that Sexy Betsy’s niece and other children in their community, fell into a coma immediately after losing one of their baby teeth. Betsy called Paul Revere (a dentist and a silversmith) for help, as Ichabod stood woodenly on the sidelines wanting to console until Sexy Betsy. Kicked out of the room, Ichabod didn’t see exactly how Revere cured the niece (he’s aware it involved a silver coin and a tool Revere pulled from his dentist’s bag).

Their research reveals that the Sleepy Hollow Tooth Fairy is an Abyzou monster, visible only to children, repelled by silver, it’s attracted by the open wound created by the lost tooth, and uses that opening to suck the life force from the child, a process that takes 48 hours to complete. How convenient.

Welcome Back, Mr. Crane

The show is moving forward with its plan to have Ichabod become the curator of the Hudson Valley Historical Society. Too bad, another career option could have been to have him take a job as a substitute teacher! (Ugh, but not if every kid’s mom ends up with a crush on Ichabod. There’s only so much of that nonsense we can handle, more on that below.).

As a ruse to find the next kid with a loose tooth, Ichabod gives a guest lecture at an elementary school. It was a fun scene that I hope will be repeated. After all, the original Ichabod Crane from the Washington Irving tale was, in fact, a school teacher who did not believe in sparing the rod.

Ichabod Crane . . . “tarried,” in Sleepy Hollow, for the purpose of instructing the children of the vicinity. . . He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield . . . Truth to say, he was a conscientious man, and ever bore in mind the golden maxim, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” Ichabod Crane’s scholars certainly were not spoiled.

To Catch a Tooth Predator

After locating Revere’s old dentistry bag, the team figure out that it included a weapon Revere likely used to destroy the Tooth Fairy/Abyzou. Armed with their research and weapon, the team have a stakeout at the home of the sole child with a loose tooth in the area (Joe and Ichabod in one car; Abbie and Jenny in another).

Time together in a car gives the Mills sisters a chance to talk about their father. Abbie reveals that she’s found their father only to learn that Jenny found him 5 years ago. Let’s all hope there’s a great pay-off associated with all this discussion of Mr. Mills. I’m hoping he’ll have a featured recurring role (a la Papa Pope on Scandal) as a leader (good or evil) in supernatural shenanigans, rather than ending up a one-episode victim, like Mama Mills.  (Apologies for the Scandal reference, but that IS what the show’s up against).

Their revelations are interrupted by the Tooth Fairy from Hell who ends up injuring Abbie badly enough she ends up in the hospital. Ichabod and Jenny eventually destroy the monster with a weapon from Paul Revere’s bag.

Pandora

Pandora pays a visit to Abbie in the hospital. Pandora seems to have some healing powers, when her eyes flash a different color as she caresses Abbie’s pulse, previously-unconscious Abbie wakes up to find Pandora standing over her with the greeting – Hello, Sleepy Head.

Lots to unpack in a short scene:

  • Pandora refers to Abbie as a member of the Napatulu, which Crane later learns is the Sumerian word for “destroyers.”
  • Pandora says Abbie doesn’t “crave mortality.” Well, who does? Was that a mistake? Should she have said immortality? Pandora goes on to say “you fight like you have something to lose.” Well, yeah, given that she doesn’t crave mortality she could lose her life. The scene implies that the thing, Abbie cannot bear to lose is her father (her heart rate goes up when Pandora mentions him).
  • Pandora reveals that her own father beat her until she “forgot all language” and then he sold Pandora into slavery. Eventually, Pandora convinced her owner to feed her father to a lion. Uh oh, with a sob story like that, will Pandora end up being another Big Bad one of the witnesses will try to redeem, rather than destroy?

I’m intrigued by the Pandora storyline. Are you?

Other Sleepy Tidbits

Everybody Loves Crane

Enough already! She’s not seen in this episode, but there are multiple discussions of Zoe Corinth’s relentless pursuit of Crane, with 20+ flirty, emoji-filled texts a day. Let’s hope Zoe is working with Pandora or otherwise up to no good. Otherwise, having every woman go nuts over Crane is beyond ridiculous.

We Tried, But . . . Sexy Betsy Is a Stupid, Sexist Contrivance

Remember, when we first heard about Betsy Ross last season? Ichabod complained that she pursued him so ardently that he hid in a closet to escape her. Now, they’re telling us she’s the woman who populates his anesthesia-enhanced fantasies. We’re treated to a Sexy Betsy fantasy segment which ends with Betsy planting another unsolicited and initially non-consensual kiss on Ichabod until he decides to “go with it” and kisses her back.

Not only is adding an aggressive corset wearing-spy to the show unnecessary for plot purposes (her scenes always feel tacked on), the timeline doesn’t work. During the time period when the Sexy Betsy-Ichabod flirtation is claimed to have occurred, Ichabod either would have been betrothed to the woman who would end up becoming the Weeping Lady monster in Season 2 or Katrina. Sleepy Heads across Tumblr and Twitter collectively scratch their heads. It only makes sense in the writer’s room.

Here’s what really doesn’t make sense and starts to feel offensive if you think about it too long, why are the writers willing to disrupt continuity so completely just to add all these random Crane kisses, but seem content to leave their lead female with nothing but a string of former romances?

Even after the #AbbieMillsMatters campaign, there remains some blind spot in the writers’ room. They seem incapable of seeing Abbie the same way they see Crane (the thirst is real). As result, here we are in the 3rd season, Crane has shared uninspiring kisses with Katrina and Sexy Betsy. Jenny has locked lips with Hawley, but the spectacularly gorgeous lead female character, Abbie Mills, remains unkissed (Tumblr Sleepy Heads never disappoint):

http://tvsaurus.tumblr.com/post/131740381846/for-abbiehollowdays

What grade would you give this week’s episode?

Sleepy Hollow

Thursdays 9 pm / 8 pm on Fox

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Harvard-trained attorney and long-time TV super fan, Terri James (TV Juriste) has worked at E!, NBCUniversal, BBC and for a TV personality, for television shows including, E! News, The Daily Ten, Live From the Red Carpet, Life in the Fab Lane, The Soup, Americans in Bed, Chicago PD, and Royal Pains, among others.Terri's All-Time Favorite TV Shows: The Wire, Seinfeld, Colbert Report, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, 30 Rock, SNL, Homeland (first season), Breaking Bad (final season), My So Called Life, Meet the Press (Tim Russert Years), and Lil Bush.

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