Ravenswood / Screen

Ravenswood‘s ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’ Was An Effective Sleep Aid

It’s a good thing most of this episode was about Remy who has yet to be knocked from her top slot on the List of the Most Interesting Thing About This Show, and every scene that wasn’t about her in tonight’s “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” struggled to demand even a modicum of my attention.   Everyone was boring.   Even people who have deviated from their hum-drum script as of late, like Olivia, were boring.  Luke managed to remain compelling through his close proximity to Remy, but  I can’t even tell you what Miranda and Caleb were doing because it bored me so much.  After nearly stabbing Luke last week, Remy was checked into the Ravenswood Hospital for 24-hour observation at the sleep clinic where she learned that the man going in and out of her dreams, dubbed the Boogeyman, came to her once before as a seven-year old, and Remy vowed to get answers despite the danger.

Though Remy’s dreamscape was a nice place to spend some time, as it gave some back story to Remy and allowed for some one-on-one time with both her dad and Luke, not much about her conversation with the Boogeyman was very new.   There was never any doubt that the pact’s victims weren’t random or that “the town played its part” with everyone knowing everybody and weird gatherings at cemeteries in the middle of the day.  The only unknown factor were the debts to be considered in the selection of the victims and the Boogeyman’s role in collecting those debts.  More significant were the reasons given for the Boogeyman’s selection of Remy: she’s filled with fear.  She’s worried that Luke wants to be with someone else, that her dad thinks she’s losing her mind and that her mom would be dead if not for the curse.  If Ravenswood paid a little more attention to its characters and less with trying to ramp up the mystery so much, it would make for a more successful show.

The mystery aspect is important surely, but instead of trying for character development, the show throws characters into the supernatural and hopes that’ll take the place of any real growth in those characters.  Springer and Dillon are large examples of this (and at this point I hope Tess gets dragged in as well because she’s not doing anything else).  With Springer, Ravenswood gave us a crash course in his and his family’s reasons for hating the Mathesons.   Apparently they’re all bent out of shape because Charles was an attorney before he became mayor, and Mr. Springer was a criminal of some sort so he went to prison and this was Charles’ fault.  Whatever.   This tepid and unasked for revelation at least gave a better reason for Springer’s hatred of the Mathesons than unproven rumors that Rochelle killed her husband.  On a brighter note, Springer (first name: Zachary) told Olivia who made him do everything he did, including planting the knife at the Matheson house: Dillon.

Perhaps Luke Benward is dealing with some schedule conflicts, but it’s hard to care about this news when Dillon’s offscreen and all we heard of him were Olivia’s many phone calls to him.   Even now that he’s been revealed to be evil to his girlfriend, Dillon’s fallen off the face of the earth and now there’s even less of a reason to care about his betrayal and Olivia’s reaction than there was before.   We don’t even have any fake-boyfriend moments with Olivia to juxtapose this supposedly shocking news she received.  At the very least, this moment should be an exciting one since Olivia now knows the truth and can act on it, but it’s only been a few episodes since we found out about Dillon, and since then everything about him and his creepy, adolescent sidekick has lacked urgency.  

Also unexciting is anything Caleb related.  If anything this show has proven how effective Caleb was as a side character and love interest who only popped up to be concerned for his girlfriend and her friends.  Anything more is just too much.  The only thing I can say for certain about Caleb is that he has a troubled past with his family and went through the foster system a bunch.  With only a few episodes with the rest of Ravenswood‘s core characters, there’s more to be said about all of them.  Maybe the writers thought they did decent work with Caleb when he was over on Pretty Little Liars, but they would be wrong.  Putting Caleb in a leading role here should have led to a more thorough exploration of him and his motivations, but at this point he appears more as a necessary vehicle through which to introduce everyone else.

In contrast, Miranda’s overflowing with potential.  She’s had strong scenes with Olivia, and tonight she and Remy got to work together to escape the Boogeyman.  If Ravenswood gave her more room to work away from Caleb, instead of latching her onto his side at every available opportunity so they can exchange semi-longing looks and not admit their changing feelings for one another, Miranda could be a high-point of the show. 

You hear all the time that the worst thing a show can be is boring.  Ravenswood is falling into that trap, but it shouldn’t be.  There’s plenty here to spin into something fun and interesting, but it keeps missing the mark.  I’m not a fan of shows throwing everything they’ve got at their final episodes (since that usually leads to strange and uneven storytelling) but there are only two episodes left before the first season officially concludes.  At this point, I could miss those next two episodes and Ravenswood could even get cancelled, and it would have zero effect because very little of this show has stuck with me since I started watching.

Random observations

  • I don’t know who or what Mr. Price is supposed to be to this show, but just because he’s onscreen so little I’m going to call him as the mastermind behind this whole thing.
  • Tess is so painfully boring.
  • Sometimes I think about what a better show Ravenswood could have been if it hadn’t been a spin-off, but its own entity.  It could have easily focused on Miranda as the new person in town, even given her the same story she has now with a new character in Caleb’s place as her past self’s true love and all.

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