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Heads Will Roll: Sleepy Hollow ‘Midnight Ride’ Review

Tonight’s episode of Sleepy Hollow was everything I’d hoped last week’s to be, an all-around good time with loads of action (chases on horseback, shots fired in Fish and Wildlife Services), some gore (beheaded Freemasons and their lantern-converted skulls), lots of Ichabod versus 2013 moments (including encounters with internet porn, voicemail, filtered water, ill-informed museum tour guides and Thomas Jefferson being terrible), some Abbie and Ichabod bonding plus screen time for Luke and Andy.  “Midnight Ride” was a fun and satisfying episode that pushed Sleepy Hollow into the last leg of its freshmen season, kicking the apocalypse up a notch with the Horseman’s renewed quest for his head. 

The Horseman’s return was a little wobbly because the explanation for it was a bit “duh“.  The Horseman’s been absent for a while, but when we first met him he was on the hunt for his head.  Why he stopped searching and went on vacation was never explained, but Ichabod and Abbie’s confusion about the Horseman’s motivations for returning were silly.  Why did they forget about the Horseman really wanting his head back and need to be reminded?  But that was such a small hiccup in an overall enjoyable episode that it’s easily overlooked. 

“Midnight Ride” was possibly the most epic episode of Sleepy Hollow we’ve had since the pilot, and most of this was due to the Horseman’s presence.  Is there a more formidable opponent than Death himself? The guy can’t even be truly killed.  After the slaughter of the Freemasons (James Frain’s Rutledge didn’t appear to be there at the time so he may reprise his role later), it was clear the Horseman was back to his behead first, ask questions later tricks so Ichabod and Abbie had to get to work on destroying the skull.

Which was impossible. We got a cute little montage of Abbie and Ichabod trying various ways of destroying the skull and failing before Andy (John Cho) made a creepy appearance to tell them they could at least trap the Horseman.

 

Andy and Abbie hadn’t shared a scene together since the pilot (in which they actually spoke to each other at least) so I was thrilled to see them interacting tonight.  Their history hasn’t been expanded upon. So far all we know is that Andy is very clearly obsessed with Abbie.  What triggered this creepy affection is on the top of my list of Things I Want Sleepy Hollow to Explain to Me because it’s seriously interesting.  Even though Andy’s certain he picked the right side by allying himself with the Pro-Apocalypse crowd, he still needs to protect Abbie.  John Cho does a great job of portraying Andy’s creepy obsessiveness and reverence for Abbie as well as the dangerousness simmering right below the surface in all of Andy’s scenes.  Though he’s certainly enamored with Abbie, who was stuck between empathy and horror throughout their scene, Andy doesn’t have any concern for others.  Ichabod’s authoritative voice and sincere threat only annoyed him, and it was Abbie who Andy looked to for cues on how to proceed.  

So here I am waiting patiently for Sleepy Hollow to tell me all about their history.

Also getting really interesting this episode was Luke (Nicholas Gonzalez) who had a really bad time.  The episode seemed to begin promisingly for him with Abbie’s agreement to go to coffee and attempt to reconnect as friends, but it was all downhill from there because Luke’s closeness to Abbie threw up all kind of red flags for Andy who’s determined to be the only person looking out for Abbie (hide the bunnies, Sleepy Hollow).  Andy’s resurrection and promises of there being others like him had Luke in the beginnings of a downward spiral.  I’ve been itching for Luke to have something to do other than snark about Ichabod’s existence, and here it is.  The relationship between Luke and Abbie is intriguing, especially with Abbie’s confession that she doubts she and Luke can be real friends – or anything else – again because she’ll never be able to share the Witness aspect of her life with him.  But now that Luke’s aware something‘s happening in Sleepy Hollow perhaps Abbie won’t need to keep anything from him.  In fact, it’s probably a good idea if someone tells Luke the truth before he loses it completely or sides with the wrong team. 

Also moving further into the spotlight this week was Irving who had his own brush with the Headless Horseman.  After weeks of hopeful denials about the Horseman’s existence and the coming apocalypse, Irving got a rude awakening with a firefight over the Horseman’s skull in which he barely escaped in one piece.  Now that Irving’s been thoroughly briefed,  he’s a real part of the team.  He assisted Abbie and Ichabod in their lure of the Horseman and got to flex his Matrix hero muscles, too.  Also Grade A was the mention of Irving’s ex-wife and daughter who will soon be cropping up in town (to be played by Jill Marie Jones and Amandla Stenberg). 

“Midnight Ride” was far lower on the emotional meter than last week’s episode though Ichabod and Abbie had one good, emotionally defining moment together.  Reminded of the difficulty of sharing their responsibilities of Witnesses with others (lest they end up like Katrina in Purgatory), Ichabod pointed out that they only have each other. Cue the aww’s and a charmingly touched but also slightly embarrassed Abbie.  Also a good one: Abbie’s whispered “I’ll cover you” which wouldn’t have seemed half as erotic if not for the camera – and Ichabod’s eyes –  lingering on Nicole Beharie’s  face long after she was done speaking.

Next week’s episode will see Abbie and Ichabod interrogating the Horseman (how exactly does that work if the dude doesn’t have a mouth?) with the help of Irving and Jenny.  Join me in crossing my fingers that Luke doesn’t go all Andy Brooks on us.

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