Edited to properly reflect Joe Corbin’s career
Sleepy Hollow’s latest episode, “The Sisters Mills,” was the best one of the season so far. It really captured the Season One feel of drama, action, and genuine horror that has eluded the show in recent times. But, at least for this episode, the horror was back! Whoever wrote this episode, let me commend you and hope that you and/or others will continue to keep the horror quotient up, because that’s been sorely missed.
So what happened during this episode? For starters, we have a demonic tooth fairy! The tooth fairy has a real name—it’s some type of Assyrian whose-it-what’s-it called an Abyzou. But what you need to know is that the monster is one of the scariest things since the influx of Japanese horror films with little girls in TVs and wells. If I was a kid having to face off against that in my room, I think I would die of shock. The contortionist, Samantha Ann, hired to create the kind of gangly, other-worldly walk/crawl/backbend of the monster needs to get special commendation. Ann really inhabited the character and, just with her flexibility, brought the production values of that character up to feature film status. (Yes, the makeup helped, too, but makeup can only go so far if the actor’s not invested.)
Pandora was equally as creepy, but in a very different way. Unfortunately, Abbie got taken out of action by the monster and landed in the hospital in a magical coma. But Pandora—posing as a nurse—wakes Abbie up to tell her her horrible life story. Man, what a bedtime horror story that was. Being beaten by her father until she wasn’t able to talk, getting sold into slavery, killing her dad after getting freed, and, I believe, Pandora blames all of her woes on God. As she said, it was God who supposedly commanded her father to beat her senseless. I have to say that out of all of the villains we’ve had so far, Pandora is the only one with a legitimate axe to grind against the Witnesses (aka the Destroyers). Headless just hated Ichabod for stealing his woman. Henry was mad with the wrong parent for no reason. Katrina was pointless. Pandora, though, wants to kill the Witnesses so she can, in a way, kill God and Its plans for the world. That’s a villain for ya. Also, we see at the end of the episode that Pandora’s daytime look isn’t even her real look. After she sees that her scary tree is finally blooming scary roses (even though trees don’t grow roses), she gets so gleeful that she revels her true form, which looks like a big snake. Can’t wait to see more of that.
There were a lot of great character moments in this episode, with the overall theme of the show being sisters protecting sisters. I’m glad that they reminded us how important the bond of sisterhood is to the show, which is part of what the fans wanted from last season. Abbie and Jenny helping the young girls affected by the monster was nice.
It was equally as nice to see Joe as an EMT! I’m highly familiar to that world from my dad, who also works with the fire and rescue service. The stakeout was also very interesting; we finally got to see Joe interact with the team on a mission. Joe hung out with Ichabod while the sisters Mills sat together in their own car. Both car scenes delved deeper into some side stories that had been going on throughout the episode—Ichabod’s developing relationship with Zoe Corinth (aka New Caroline) and Abbie finally telling Jenny about their dad. The first conversation was a big WTF for me; maybe I didn’t hear things right, but it sounded like Ichabod said that he’s had issues with reconciling his partnership with Abbie and his growing desire for a closer relationship, to which Joe says that Ichabod’s overthinking it. Of course, Ichabod never explicitly names Abbie as the reason for pursuing a relationship with Zoe or anything, but that’s what I heard in Ichabod’s worries. Or, was Ichabod just talking about how weird he feels to have two relationships going on at the same time? Was his problem reconciling his friendship and roommate-ship with Abbie and his personal life? I don’t know, but I’m sure all of this will be cleared up in later episodes (maybe even the Bones/Sleepy Hollow crossover I’ve been dreading since the summer).
But what I do know is that the whole situation and my look at the Twitterings online about Betsy Ross (whom I’m getting to) made me think about why we want Abbie to get with Ichabod in the first place. I mean, I get the argument that black women need to be at the center of main-tier relationships in TV shows. That’s a completely valid thing and I get behind that so don’t misunderstand me. BUT, is there a dangerous element of wanting a black woman to be “validated” as it were, by the white male gaze, after centuries of being denied and/or wrongfully exoticized by it? I’ll write more on this in the coming days, but I just want to throw that out there, because sometimes, certain discussions about Ichabbie makes me slightly uncomfortable, to be frank, and because Danabbie is still a very real possibility as well. If Ichabod can have his woman for the moment, then Abbie can certainly have Danny for a moment as well. We all know that since Abbie and Ichabod are basically destiny, neither of these relationships are going to last and if faced with the horrible opportunity, Abbie and Ichabod would choose each other over their love interests, whether or not Abbie and Ichabod get together in the end . (Although, it seems pretty impossible that they wouldn’t get together, seeing how much everything rides on their relationship staying strong and what significant other wants to put up with Abbie and Ichabod constantly making proclamations to each other?)
Anyways, let’s get into Betsy Ross. I’ve been an advocate of Betsy, just like I’ve been an advocate of wanting Katrina to get better characterization. Up until this episode, Betsy’s characterization has been good in my eyes. It was this episode that made Betsy falter. It was the first time I began to wonder what Betsy’s purpose in the show even is. At first, I thought it was to act as an 18th century Abbie, and to an extent, that could still be true, since in this episode, Ichabod was jilted by Betsy for Paul Revere (a dentist-turned-demon hunter), and the scene went with Ichabod’s present day worries about mixing business with pleasure. But this time around, Betsy seemed to suffer from Ichabod-itis, as in she experiences everything ever so she can conveniently help with the storyline. The fact that Ichabod has experienced everything there could ever be is unrealistic enough, but now Betsy, too? I mean, I feel like I should give her some slack since she’s still a new character, but something about the writing of that scene just felt off to me.
Also off was the inclusion of Ichabod’s happy gas-fueled dream. First of all, do people get laughing gas just for teeth cleanings? Just wondering. Second, was the dream necessary? Did it add to anything? Does it even matter to get annoyed with the scene? It’s inconsequential, and I’m annoyed at myself for even thinking about it. But, it also raises some questions. Does Ichabod really want a business-and-pleasure relationship and his hallucination was a way for him to live out that fantasy? Betsy was the closest thing he’d gotten to a business-and-pleasure relationship, a relationship with someone who knows him both on and off the clock. Are we going to see this particular dream again? In what form could we see it? I’m apt to think that what could have been considered a one-off unnecessary item of non-information could reverberate later on, since it’s very clear what’s on Ichabod’s mind now.
The final thing to talk about is how Jenny dropped the bomb on Abbie about their father. Apparently, she knew many years before and only hated him because Abbie said they should! Right when Abbie thought she’d have to break it gently to Jenny to their dad, Jenny comes with the proverbial one-two punch like she always does. Just like how we see how important a romantic relationship is to Ichabod, we’re beginning to see how important reconnecting family bonds are to the Mills sisters. There’s no question we’re going to see Papa Mills soon. He might even have something to do with the lead Jenny and Joe have been chasing. Maybe the woman Jenny encountered with Joe works for Papa Mills. Who knows.
What did you think of this episode? Give your opinions in the comments section below!