I can no longer tell if Sleepy Hollow tries when it comes to linking present day shenanigans to Ichabod’s past. The connections become less and less resonant every episode. This one goes back to the days of teen Ichabod away at school when his friend is murdered (for some reason this related to Jack the Ripper), and the only saving grace is that there’s no sign of Betsy Ross. Fingers crossed that the next time she makes an appearance, it will be way better than her last two. But I digress. Sleepy Hollow‘s forays into the past have always been a bit ridiculous, though they use to take on an amusing quality. There’s something interesting in seeing how the show seeks to twist history to meet its ends, but it’s become less amusing and more tiring the longer we go.
Pandora summons more trouble for Sleepy Hollow, apparently just around to cause trouble when the mood strikes. Her motivations are still nonexistent, and the monster she summons ends up being some weird curse. It transforms some Average Joe (with an unrequited crush on a woman he works with) into a casual killer. He’s got a new wardrobe and a blade for a hand, and he’s looking to drain the blood from just about anyone who gets on his nerves. But especially that woman he has a thing for (because shes doesn’t like him and therefore deserves to die). Eventually (who knows how, there are flashbacks involved) Ichabod and Abbie realize that the monster will succumb to infected plague. Enter a strain of malaria.
As annoying as the monster may be, it’s dispatching ends up being decently interesting. Abbie and Ichabod have quite the showdown with him, trying to protect his intended victim. When all else fails, his skin impervious to any penetration, Ichabod injects himself with malaria and allows himself to be stabbed. It’s still confusing why he ends up at Abbie’s house instead of the hospital (malaria+stabbing=at home medication?), but it’s a much better end than last week’s problems resolving themselves with the utterance of the bad guy’s name. The monsters at this point, I’m sure are supposed to be important and interesting, but with Pandora doing all this for no apparent reason, I’m less invested in them.
I am, however (and as always), invested in Abbie and Ichabod. These episode is spattered with great scenes between the two, Abbe watching Ichabod being positively ridiculous about saving the Archives. I’m even more invested in Abbie and seeing the show do right by her this time around. She’s still deciding what to do about her father, and there’s some more information given on her relationship with Agent Reynolds. They were obviously involved back at Quantico, and with the new change in their relationship (how did he go on to outrank her exactly?) they’ve got some adjustments to make, and if Sleepy Hollow proceeds as expected then Abbie may finally get to make out with someone too.
Jenny and Joe are still doing their own thing, and while it’s a great opportunity for the show to throw its weight behind Lyndie Greenwood, I’m still struggling to care about what they’re doing. It all goes back to August Corbin, who we didn’t know well enough to warrant this new attention. This kind of storyline, Jenny uncovering more of his closely held secrets, would have been fine in season one or maybe even season two, but this late in the game there’s not a lot of interest still remaining in Corbin. Whatever secrets he has could happily stay hidden and I wouldn’t feel like I was missing anything. Though it’s nice to see Jenny with her own storyline, I’d like to see her back in the fold. The premiere was more fun because Jenny was working alongside Ichabod and Abbie, but her on her own now and contemplating introducing Joe to Corbin’s real hobbies, she feels disconnected.
All that being said, “Blood and Fear” isn’t that great of an episode. At least not when we look at the main arc. It’s smaller bits are what make it good. Abbie and Ichabod spending loads of time together, Abbie having the beginnings of her own storylines, etc. Even if the procedural elements still leave a lot to be desired, at least Sleepy Hollow has located a major part of its own failings and is trying to fix them.
- Ichabod always has a speech prepared.
- Abbie talked Jenny up to Reynolds. Bless her heart.
- When are Abbie and Reynolds going to make out?