Sleepy Hollow Recap

This week’s episode was not the equivalent of Ambien in high definition, like last week, but there’s no getting around what’s obvious to any long-time fan, Sleepy Hollow has abandoned or destroyed everything that made it unique and fun and replaced those elements with things we’ve seen a million times before, but done better.

While not a complete disaster like Season 2, the Sleepy Heads who have not abandoned the show are bored like me, but are holding out hope that the Pandora storyline has an exciting, unexpected payoff. Even if there’s a mind-blowing mid-season finale, the journey through the various monster of the week episodes has been only tolerable with sporadic moments of amusement – it’s a hard knock life for Sleepy Heads.

This week’s episode, The Red Lady of Caribee, had some interesting moments. So, let’s focus on those . . . Or, to paraphrase Nikki Minaj, the most famous Trinidadian on the pop culture scene, Sleepy Hollow, what’s good?

Monster of the Week – The Red Lady of Caribee

This week’s monster wasn’t Tooth Fairy from Hell great, but it was good.

Our lovely riddle speaking gardener, Pandora, brings the Red Lady of Caribee to Sleepy Hollow by reciting one of her ominous nursery rhymes:

“There is a Red Lady from Caribee whose sting brings the nightmare of insanity. One kiss and you’ll flee most all you can see. This comely Red Lady of Caribee.

The Red Lady of Caribee appears out of a swarm of bugs to stand before Pandora, looking a little like Jenny in a bug costume. Pandora instructs the Red Lady to bring her the final type of fear she needs for her fear tree, which they describe as fear of fear itself, but the episode presents it as paranoia. Those aren’t the same things, but okay.

We’re first able to see the monster’s handiwork when we meet the judge handling Ichabod’s immigration proceedings. The normally reasonable judge launches into a series of paranoid rants sending people running from his courtroom, before he collapses, covered in a rash. He later dies of a brain aneurysm.

Abbie and Icahbod’s research lead them to figure out the monster of the week is a soucouyant, of Trinidadian origin, the bugs’ venom causes people to become feverish and paranoid before killing them.

Abbie learns more about the monster from Grace Dixon’s journal, which leads us to a completely unnecessary Sexy Betsy flashback. The clue to the tonic Abbie and Ichabod use to help victims of the Red Lady is right there in Grace Dixon’s journal. But, you know, one can never get enough of Sexy Betsy, she’s the ultimate woman, dontcha know.

In the midst of their research, Daniel calls Abbie to investigate another death. While driving away from the scene, Daniel begins acting increasingly paranoid and hostile. Abbie notices a bite on his neck. She manages to tackle and handcuff him (yeah, ok, we’ll roll with it). With the assistance of Baby Joe Corbin, they sedate and restrain Daniel in the underground lair previously used for storing Headless. Thankfully, Daniel hasn’t succumbed (yet) to the death sentence that usually comes with being assigned to be Abbie’s boss.  More on Daniel Reynolds below.

You Better Werk that White Goddess Dress, Pandora.

Another good thing in this episode – Pandora looked grown lady gorgeous  in her lovely white dress and drop earrings. That should count for something. (Not much, I know).

On the Pandora front, the best thing about this episode is that we’re inching closer to learning more about whether she’s anything more than a creepy gardener who talks in riddles. The show revealed a connection between Pandora’s fear tree and a design engraved in the tablet Ichabod smuggled into the U.S. from Europe.

Pandora also gave us a helpful recap of the six types of fear blossoms she’s been cultivating:

  • Secrets
  • Chaos
  • Loneliness
  • Death
  • Lost Innocence
  • Fear of fear/paranoia

Before walking into her fear tree, Pandora confirms that during their battles with the various monsters of the week, Abbie and Ichabod were inadvertently helping her. Pandora says she simply retrieved the terrors from her Pier 1 Box, Abbie and Ichabod helped her cultivate the fears.This was all left intentionally mysterious, which is fine. It’s a stylistic approach. We’ll need to quickly learn more about Pandora’s plans to recapture the sense of urgency from Season 1.

Hot Potato Shard Adventures With Joe and Jenny

Abbie asks Jenny to back off of their investigation into the hunk of crap Shard of Anubis, because of Daniel’s FBI investigation of Atticus Nevins.

Jenny agrees to back off. Baby Joe Corbin is not as compliant. He meets with Atticus, who tells Baby Joe, “you’re drawn to the darkness and you can’t look away.” Atticus claims Big Daddy Joe Corbin was not the mild-mannered apple pie eating sheriff we met in the pilot. “He knew there is no good, no evil, just power.”  Intriguing!

Apparently, Jenny isn’t compliant either. She and Joe manage to get the red gem that was inside the Shard of Anubis, but they don’t leave with it. It evaporates in Jenny’s hand!

J & J are also brought into the A-storyline this week. The two of them visit a store to get chadon beni, a herb used in Caribbean dishes, that’s necessary for the tonic used to slow down the spread of the illness from the Red Lady of Caribee. When Jenny pays the store clerk, a demon possesses him briefly and he says: “A shadow older than time falls over your soul. You shall be claimed.” When he comes back to himself, he says, “watch yourself, sis. your fate has changed.” As the episode ends, we’re not sure whether Big Daddy Corbin had an evil side and it looks like Jenny, once again, may be possessed.

All Aboard the Danabbie Ship, This is Not a Drill

Ichabbie fans, let’s think this through a bit. Ichabod is way too old for Abbie. His baby mama’s drama put Abbie’s life at risk. And, after all they went through, Ichabod took off for nine months, without calling, and then only called when he needed Abbie to get him out of jail. Ichabod is NOT a catch. And, in quiet moments, when you’re not in sista fan-activist mode, you and I both know Abbie and Ichabod/Beharie and Mison do NOT have the chemistry they had in Season 1. It’s over. Slow burn has become no burn, not even a flicker. Admit it!!

Enter Daniel Reynolds. He’s as handsome as Ichabod, but with muscles and a good job. More importantly, as revealed after he’s stung by one of the Red Lady’s bugs, Daniel still carries a torch for Miss Mills. While under the sway of the Red Lady of Caribee’s venom, Daniel tells Abbie, “you just don’t see what you do to people.” He then refers to time they spent together in a little shack on the beach.” FLASHBACK, WHERE’S A FLASHBACK WHEN YOU NEED ONE. He goes on to say that she’s put their time in that beach shack behind her, but he’s still there.

Daniel had Sleepy Heads thinking some thoughts and feeling some feelings!

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I’m not a shipper, but the Pandora story is not nearly as interesting as the apocalypse storyline. I generally don’t like procedurals as a matter of principle, so all aboard the #Danabbie ship.

Danabbie can be the new Mulder and Scully. The show still needs Ichabod, of course. But, Sleepy Hollow’s writers have turned him primarily into the show’s comic relief, so why not have him function like The X-Files’ Lone Gunmen — thoroughly entrenched in their various conspiracy theories, lacking day jobs, and useful as a source of research for the crime fighting duo. Ichabod would be present in more episodes than the Lone Gunmen, but use him as the quirky, researcher and leave the monster fighting to Danabbie.

It’s time to get over Ichabbie, Sleepy Heads. If it helps you abandon your ship, think of it as a bit of reverse psychology. If Ichabbie fans start clamoring for Danabbie, you know Sleepy Hollow writers will not stand for any sidelining of their leading man, which might end up ushering in Ichabbie, because the only thing that is clear about this show is that  . . .

Sleepy Hollow Writers Still Suffer From Crane on the Brain

Still desperate to focus on Ichabod’s love life, the episode opens with Ichabod on a date with Caroline 2.0/Zoe and near the end of the episode we get to see them on a second date.

Unless Caroline 2.0 is connected to Pandora in some way, it’s just weird that we’re seeing all these random sitcom-like dates. Mulder never went on repeated dates with ciphers in the midst of investigating all things spooky and supernatural.

Sleepy Hollow

Thursdays 9 pm / 8 pm on Fox

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TV Juriste
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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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  • BAM

    Excellent analysis of the problems this show refuses to correct.

    • Thanks! I’m working on a meta-analysis about how I think race-gender issues are impacting some of the choices on a subconscious level. I hoped to have it up this week, but I want to get it right. I think everyone involved wants to do what’s best for the show. But, each person’s analysis of what’s best is influenced by entrenched gender/racial perceptions.

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