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Sleepy Hollow: “Awakening”

One more episode left in the season, and what a relief that is. This season has been a mess. A complete and total mess, and the change of pace didn’t do much for it. “Awakening” is meant to be the culmination of the past few episodes, with Katrina leaning toward evil and Henry’s return, along with Frank’s lost soul. It’s an episode that makes the show’s course correction very apparent, which also has the effect of making it all seem very anticlimactic. All the revelations and plot points don’t feel important so much as a long time coming. 

With Henry performing an awakening ritual to give various town residents their suppressed magical powers, Ichabod and Abbie are there to try and stop him. This has something to do with the Liberty Bell, but it’s all very frivolous and doesn’t seem to matter much in the grand scheme, though we’re treated to another boring flashback to Ichabod’s Revolutionary War days.

A witch problem means tapping Katrina for help, but we all know how that will go. Even if Katrina wasn’t struggling with right and wrong, the show would find some way to make her absolutely useless. In this case she’s turned against Abbie and Ichabod, and allied herself with Henry, who needs her help with the ritual.  Even when the show’s trying to give Katrina some agency, it screws it up. Katrina goes along with Henry’s suggestion with a dazed look on her face, breathlessly explaining that she wants to right long ago wrongs, like George Washington going back on a deal with the covens.There’s also something or other about her now being with her son and making up for not being with him before plus some nonsense about Henry giving her back her soul as if that makes any sense.

Katrina’s powers are at least better when she’s fighting on the side of evil. She’s a lot more capable then, though she also ends up seemingly killing Abbie, but she doesn’t. Though her answer to that happening is enough to make sure Katrina enters fandom hell for that particular decision, and there’s not even enough behind that to make it somewhat understandable. If Katrina wants to be evil, that’s all fine and good but more should be there besides some other character told her this was the best way her storyline could unfold. If the show cares about developing Katrina, it has a weird way of showing it, but it’s always been that way which only makes it more annoying that it hasn’t figured out a way to make her more than a plot device yet.

The only silver lining is that putting Abbie and Ichabod up against people they know could present a more interesting conflict. Ichabod has to grapple with his wife being all trigger happy for no good reason, and his attempts at making her see reason have more depth than any of their tries with Henry. At least we’ve seen Katrina’s capacity for good. And Jenny’s dealing with Frank, full evil now and helping Henry with the ritual in the hopes that Cynthia and Macey will be among the awoken. There’s no reasoning with a soulless person however, and it’s a relief Jenny doesn’t waste time trying. There’s a bit more to care about here at least, even if this season has neglected Frank as much as it possibly could without cutting him from the show completely, and Frank getting his soul back finally brings an end to the season’s blah storyline of him maybe not having one.

We’ve had enough of the whole friends/family being evil thing with the Cranes however. With their uncertain responses to Henry’s evil, we don’t need much else.  Though Katrina’s content with letting this continue, Ichabod finally tells Henry about himself and his childish hatred of his parents, which is semi-cathartic because at least someone says it. But Henry’s death feels like nothing much, even as Katrina sobs over his dying body in the most unaffecting scene ever. It means nothing other than that it’s over, which should have been the case a long time ago.

If Sleepy Hollow does get its season three (which is looking like a no), Henry’s death at least frees them from this particular albatross. And now Irving’s soul is his own, so there’s that as well. Katrina’s still evil, which at least makes for a lasting consequence, even though it’s a stupid one. Katrina decides everything is Ichabod’s fault, becaus she saved him when the Horseman killed him and goes back in time so she can not do that. And Abbie ends up going with her.

Though Abbie finds herself nearly being run over like Ichabod was in the pilot episode (though by a horsedrawn carriage) is a nice bit of symmetry, I highly doubt this is going to be at all good. First of all, Abbie’s back in 1781 and assumed to be an escaped slave, and knowing Sleepy Hollow, I’m not convinced they have any idea how to present this as respectfully as they should. But hey, after next week Sleepy Hollow‘s terrible second season will be over, and we’ll all be free.

Stray Observations

  • Let’s take bets on how offensive next week’s episode could end up being.

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