“Sleepy Hollow” Recap: “I, Witness” Recaptures Show’s Magic

If you loved the premiere, come talk about it with me on Periscope (@moniqueblognet) today, Oct. 2, at 5 pm CT! 

Sleepy Hollow is back! WHOO! And by “back,” I really mean that it’s back with a Season 1 vengeance! Thank you, Season 3 opener, “I Witness”!All summer long, fans have been gnawing at the bit for information on the season, and all summer long, most of the Sleepy Hollow crew was silent. No word at Comic-Con. No big word on Twitter. Heck, when I interviewed Leigh Dana Jackson, one of the writers and producers of the show, some fans even started coming for me and him! Well, I’m glad to say that the season is what I expected it to be and, honestly, proved to be what Jackson could (or couldn’t) say. In short, the fans wanted stuff to go back to Season 1, and it did. It is Season 1 and then some. It’s what Season 2 probably should have been. It’s what Sleepy Hollow should always be.

We meet Ichabod and Abbie after the Lost Year between Season 2 and Season 3. Abbie has since gone and graduated from Quantico and Ichabod has gone back to his ancestral motherland, Scotland, to find his purpose as a human being and a Witness. The two meet up when Ichabod’s had five full days in jail after trying to smuggle his very precious tablet back from his family’s Scottish catacombs to the States. By the way, this means Crane has flown before, which makes him braver than me, since even though I hate flying just two hours from state to state, I really dread the day I’ll have to fly across the ocean. I’m not about multiple hour flights because planes are already like flying CAT scan machines to me.

As soon as they meet, it’s just like old times. Well, maybe not exactly like old times; they both have cut hair, Abbie’s no longer “leftentant,” and Ichabod’s still trying to find his place without Katrina and Henry/Jeremy. But even still, Abbie and Ichabod instantly find their connection. Ichabod is still holding a candle for Abbie even though he doesn’t know it.

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) in the "I, Witness" season three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Monday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
SLEEPY HOLLOW: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) in the “I, Witness” season three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Monday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

Sure, he’s sorrowful that he didn’t keep in contact with his friend, particularly after he came back to the U.S., but what was really fascinating is that after he got out, he brought up the concept of partners. To paraphrase him, he said, “We’re compatriots, we’re friends, but we’re not…partners.” The question that he seemed to be asking was, “Can we be partners? Can we mean something more to each other?” Like, they need to work together because, regardless of how much Abbie wants to will the Apocalypse into completion, they need to remain Team Witness. But as to why Ichabod’s hounding her about being “partners,” in his mysterious meaning of the word, is almost confusing to me.

Equally confusing is when, after we re-meet Jenny(!) and the archives(now shrouded in cloth and ready for demolition), Ichabod re-invokes the “partners” thing during his Betsy Ross flashback. During the story, he once again uses the term “partners” to describe his relationship with Betsy, but we see him slyly look in Abbie’s direction and in the flashback, we see Betsy kissing Ichabod. What does “partners” mean to Ichabod? Apparently, he has a mind to start putting some serious moves on Abbie if his idea of partnership is to eventually get in bed with them.

SLEEPY Betsy Ross (Nikki Reed) in the "I, Witness" season two premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Monday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
SLEEPY Betsy Ross (Nikki Reed) in the “I, Witness” season two premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Monday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

Enough about Ichabod’s machinations to become Mr. Ichabod Mills. Let’s talk about Ichabod’s machinations to become Mr. Ichabod Mills, husband of Jenny. Yes, I’m throwing it out there. If you’re of a shipping mind, did it seem like there could definitely be some breadcrumbs of an Ichabod/Jenny thing happening? IDK, because I like them as friends, but if Abbie wasn’t in the picture, Ichabod definitely seems like he’d hit it off with Jenny. Heck, if Abbie is in the picture, he could hit it off with Jenny, since Abbie doesn’t seem to be about relationships right now (she’s about that hustle!). Anyways, just wanted to throw a monkey wrench in there since I can. They do work great together; they’re both scrappy rogues in life, trying to find their way while they battle demons.

Seriously, though, let’s stop talking about relationships. There’s actual evil afoot! Evil by Pandora! (But I thought she made jewelry!) Pandora, the witch, not the charm bracelet line, is just as evil as I’d hoped. There’s nothing about her that once reconciliation or friendship or anything good. All she wants is sweet, sweet, horrible domination. Heck, she put the Horseman and his horse in her evil magic box for crying out loud! She doesn’t play around.

Her demons also don’t play around. That fear demon she conjured? Pretty scary (and some of the best creature makeup we’ve seen since the first season). Although her most scariest face is when she acts like a normal person, wearing normal clothes and whatnot. That last scene of her interacting with Abbie at the bar was great. I hope she becomes “friends” with Abbie, so we can see exactly how conniving she can be.

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) in the "I, Witness" season three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Monday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
SLEEPY HOLLOW: Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) in the “I, Witness” season three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Monday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

Pandora also brings up a fact I’ve started analyzing in a recent post. Pandora is exactly what I wanted Katrina to be. In fact, Betsy and Pandora are the two different versions of Katrina the show tried to pass off as the Real Katrina in seasons past. The hard-as-nails tough woman she was supposed to be in the first season? That’s Betsy. The evil witch bent on nothing but destruction? That’s Pandora. Katrina could have been all of these things if she was properly taken care of by the writing team in the past two seasons. But her character is now like that accursed necklace of hers that’s now cracked due to the Horseman’s boxed captivity—cracked and useless.

Pandora’s fear monster might have been stopped by a kick-butt-and-take-names-later Abbie (who had to talk down her perp, rescue hostages, save the perp and then save Ichabod and Jenny from the monster), but the monster managed to take out Abbie’s latest mentor, the guy who was riding her butt about acting like a small town lieutenant. He was a good guy, Abbie said, and I believe her; I had a journalism teacher who got in my craw, but it was only because he saw my potential and I was a better writer for it (and earned his respect). It was sad to see him go, and from something as horrible as a sliced neck. Gruesome. The death toll is already beginning.

The show ends on Ichabod getting his tablet back, a Sumerian tablet that fortells the trials of Sleepy Hollow and has some interesting figures etched into it. Figures that look like Ichabod and Abbie. Figures labeled as the “Destroyers.” The Destroyers of Worlds? The Destroyers of Evil? The Destroyers of Angels (like the evil angel that should still be out there somewhere)? Destroyers of Earth? What are they destroyers of? One of the season’s many mysteries. But Abbie, God’s still holding you on the hook as a Witness. Don’t try to wriggle out of your destiny.

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, L) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie, R) in the "I, Witness" Season Three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Thursday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
SLEEPY HOLLOW: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, L) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie, R) in the “I, Witness” Season Three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Thursday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

Overall, a great first episode for a rebooted series. Yep, don’t call it a comeback, but it’s definitely call it a wake up call for the series. There was so much anticipation and build-up (and, frankly anger-fueled worry) happening in the fandom that, at times, I had to check out because it was just getting to be too much, if I’m being honest. But from the lack of stuff at Comic Con to the lack of people revealing trade secrets online, I could feel that something big was in store for us this season. I’m immensely glad to see that I’m was right.

 

Some final notes:

• Irving’s send-off was all I needed. Just a few sentences told by Jenny. Through those expertly-crafted sentences, we learned that Jenny helped Irving and his family escape Sleepy Hollow so they could be a family unit again. If I never see Irving again, I’ll be fine, since those sentences closed everything up nicely and believably. But I would love to see Irving again in the future, for one scene where they’re all together once again, fighting evil. Irving can be the Murtaugh of the group.

• I’m invoking the Ichabbie talk once more because finally, we see exactly what Ichabod likes in a woman. Someone he can be a “partner” with is someone who is take charge, bold, defiant, and is also someone who scares him a little. He likes to be thrilled. He’s a bit kinky that way. His attraction to Betsy is the same attraction he has to Abbie, which is the same reason he can be such good friends with Jenny. In fact, Jenny and Ichabod were the only actual partners in the episode, since Abbie was doing her FBI thing and Jenny and Ichabod had to corner the fear monster together in some random part of whatever warehouse they were in. It kinda makes sense why he liked Katrina, too; he sensed some edge there. But like with a lot of men who like edgy women, sometimes their instincts mistakenly pick up “unhinged” instead of “edgy.”

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, L) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie, R) in the "I, Witness" Season Three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Thursday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
SLEEPY HOLLOW: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, L) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie, R) in the “I, Witness” Season Three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Thursday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

 

• Ichabod’s talk with Jesus (the inmate) was hilarious. Very much echoing his famous Yolanda scene.  I’m thinking there will be more moments like this, as well as more moments like the Colonial Times restaurant, in which Ichabod is genuinely confounded and irritated by America’s penchant for capitalizing on everything. These moments are what made the first season so fun and unexpected.

• How strange was it that Abbie couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that the Bible said seven years of tribulation!? The Apocalypse was never over, Abbie! Just because Ichabod’s family is dead and Moloch was killed doesn’t mean the Apocalypse is officially done! And she still thinks there’s no Apocalypse after she just killed a fear monster? AND after Ichabod showed her the tablet that had both of them etched in it? Come on, girl; I thought you had your epiphany as you were talking the criminal down! I’d want the Apocalypse to be over as soon as possible too, if I was her, but you can tell when something you’re involved in isn’t over. If God says it’s not over, then it’s not over. Sorry Abbie.

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Abbie (Nicole Beharie) in the "I, Witness" Season Three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Thursday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
SLEEPY HOLLOW: Abbie (Nicole Beharie) in the “I, Witness” Season Three premiere episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Thursday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

• I’ve said it before in this recap, but just to reiterate how great this episode was, let me say that Clifton Campbell and co. really did their homework. They really studied what worked, what didn’t, and they’ve made everything come back full circle. You could literally not watch any of Season 2 and come back into this season without having missed much. And, judging from the online reaction, the show has not only re-won its original fans again, but has also added new ones. I’m proud of what Sleepy Hollow has become.

What did you think of the premiere? Let me know below!

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Photo credit: Tina Rowden/FOX
  • Khalil Iglesias

    Great post! I was really pleased about the season premiere. I mean, you could obviously tell it was a reboot and while I admittedly didn’t enjoy it as much as last season’s (including doll house plotline), it was quite enjoyable. I think I’m going to really enjoy Pandora. I am not, however, enjoying the numbers from the premiere but I place that blame on FOX not promoting the show until the week of in addition to “fans” refusing to watch The Blacklist and Scandal at a later date. I do hope the demo figures improve week to week.