SLEEPY HOLLOW Makes the Villain Less Interesting


Season 4, Episode 5 “Blood from a Stone”
Written by Theo Travers
Directed by Marc Roskin

As promised, we learn a lot more about Malcolm Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies). One thing we learn is that he’s a coward. We also learn that he has been familiar with magic and the supernatural for quite some time.

At a tent revival, a preacher uses a piece of one of the disks that Dreyfuss seeks to heal people. It turns out it’s not healing people because the guy in the wheelchair is a shill. Jobe (Kamar De Los Reyes) shows up and takes the disk only to have it taken by a shrouded figure.

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) tells a grisly story about the origins of soccer to Molly’s (Oona Yaffe) soccer team. The girls are bloodthirsty and not at all frightened by the tale. Diana (Janina Gavankar) is allowing Molly to see Crane in a normal, casual way. Crane points out to Diana that Molly still needs to know what she is.

The shrouded figure, who can drive, shows up at Dreyfuss’s place and kills the security guard with magic taken from sigils on his body. The gang is starting to realize that Dreyfuss is connected to all of the monsters of the week, at least by circumstance. The most interesting connection is what Alex (Rachel Melvin) and Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) saw: Jobe disintegrating the museum guard. Diana wants to use the disappeared guard as a reason to investigate Dreyfuss. They get to see Dreyfuss give the shortest TED talk on record. He also has a short clip of himself and the partner (Bjorn DuPaty) he started out with that we’ve never seen before.

They go to Dreyfuss’s office and talk. Crane is abrupt. He tells it like he sees it, magic and all. All hell breaks loose in the building, and Crane and Diana are suddenly in the position of defending Dreyfuss from a monster.

Nice lair you have here. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

The monster is, of course, his former partner. Their partnership was not going well, as Ansel was getting all the credit. Dreyfuss sold his soul to the devil after running off with all their work, crashing his car against a tree, and watching all their information burn in the car. The devil obligingly sent his partner to Hell, where he was marked by torture. Now Ansel’s back for revenge.

I want my share of the stocks! (Tina Rowden/FOX)

The histerns and Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) learn the words to stop his spells and Jenny runs to join Crane and Diana. Jenny speaks the words and they stop the monster, not just his spells. Dreyfuss disappears with the pieces of the disk, which Crane recognizes as the Philosopher’s Stone, the most powerful artifact in magic. Dreyfuss wants to use it to avoid death so he never has to give the devil his soul.

Diana tells her daughter about being a Witness in a very motherly, calm way. Molly takes it well.

I’m not sure what the revelations about Dreyfuss were for, because they didn’t serve to make me more empathetic towards him. He seems like a snivelly little guy who was jealous of his partner instead of enjoying their success. Was it even true that it was all his work? He wasn’t overtly evil to start with but he was jealous and thieving. Dreyfuss wasn’t violent or proactively trying to harm people, but sort of slid into bad guy status sideways. It didn’t solidify his status as being someone not worth empathizing with, either.

He also showed himself to be a coward. Dreyfuss was quite willing to let his security walk into a problem that they couldn’t handle. He was callous about the lives of his employees. But besides getting to see him express other emotions than a smug superiority, there’s not a lot here that’s new.

We did not need spelled out to us what was easily surmised. We knew he had sold his soul to the devil. It seemed likely that collecting the disks was about immortality. Frankly, his back story was not that interesting.

What I do want to know is why Jobe is helping him with a project that’s meant to cheat Hell. Jobe is obviously demonic, but he follows Dreyfuss’s orders.

Once again, Sleepy Hollow showed its monster in broad daylight. They shouldn’t do that. Most monsters don’t hold up in the light of day. Compare this guy to the very few glimpses of the spider monster we got. It was much creepier. But this one drives, and sets bombs made out of Greek fire. I guess it makes sense that he would create chaos in a human way, since he started out as human.

For that matter, what was his descent into evil? We don’t get his story to see what happened to make him evil. He is, because he shows no respect for the others he will kill taking down Dreyfuss, but there’s nothing to show that he was evil before being dragged to Hell. I suppose we don’t have to see it because he has plenty of motive for revenge.

Alright, children, just let Mommy work and this will be finished a lot sooner. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Jake continues with his cute but unrequited crush on Jenny. He attempts to get Alex to talk him up to Jenny, but Alex is the last person that you would want to tell someone good things about you. She rats him out to Jenny and makes her smile at him so it looks like she did what he wants.

I am thankful for the short bits of humor that are always in this show. I loved Crane talking to the soccer players and that, when Diana was injured and thought she might die, she told Crane to tell Molly to quit hanging around a particular friend or she would end up with a tramp stamp and a life full of regrets.

If I die, don’t let her fall in with a bad crowd! (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Overall, the last two episodes have not been good at entertaining me or building up tension. Maybe a little LESS foreshadowing would help. The revelations in this episode were new to the characters but not to the audience.

In the next episode, we are going back to Sleepy Hollow, because of course it’s on a conjunction of ley lines and may have the missing piece of the stone.

 

Sleepy Hollow airs on Fridays at 9pm/8c on FOX.

Teresa Wickersham

Teresa Wickersham has dabbled in fanfic, gone to a few conventions, created some award-winning (and not so award winning) masquerade costumes, worked on the Save Farscape campaign, and occasionally presents herself as a fluffy bunny or a Krampus.

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