Episode 301 “I, Witness”
[photos: Tina Rowden/FOX]
What do you do when you’ve prevented the end of the world and have changed history back to its original setting, lost your wife and son, or in Abbie’s case, her captain, and no longer have a purpose in life? That’s right, you get a makeover!
This episode is all about the hair. Abbie is sporting a messy bob, a style seen on several actresses lately, instead of the long straight hair she wore last season. Jennifer Love Hewitt wore a similar style on Criminal Minds last year: Agent Brody on NCIS:New Orleans grew her hair out to wear it this year. Of those actresses, Abbie wears it the best. Ichabod Crane has a much shorter ‘do. Too long for a duck tail, he is sporting a swan tail, with a lot of feathers in the back. He also looks like he has a few highlights in the front.
I have to say I am going to miss the ponytail, although I am sure we will see it in flashbacks. His clothes are not as anachronistic as they once were, although he still has his own quaint style.
Sleepy Hollow opens a year into the future. Ichabod has spent time away from Sleepy Hollow to grieve the loss of his family, and has failed to keep in touch. Abbie has decided to go on with her life in the absence of any imminent apocalypse, and achieved a speed record going through Qauntico. She is now an FBI agent, with C. Thomas Howell as a boss and a large, sharp looking office. Even her sister Jenny has relaxed and is spending time doing honest work.
Abbie’s former boss, Captain Irving, has disappeared to keep his family safe. Abbie appears to be happy that she has achieved a dream and is chasing down mundane miscreants. Crane, on the other hand, has gone to Scotland to look for any family he might have and to see what trouble he can get into. He finds none except for an ancient artifact and being held by customs for smuggling the artifact into the country. It is apparent that he doesn’t know what to do with the rest of his life. Abbie has barely sprung him from jail when an “animal attack” occurs and they are soon on the track of a demon.
The demon is conjured by a new character, a sorceress-like figure (played by Shannyn Sossamon) who quickly stuffs the Headless Horseman into a magic box the first time we see her. It is a Chinese demon, Yaoguai, who is attracted to anger and gunpowder. Yaoguai kills Abbie’s new boss (a very short job for C. Thomas Howell) and the drug dealer gets away while Abbie tries to save his life.
The Chinese drug dealer takes several people hostage. Abbie confronts the drug dealer and tells him the absolute truth, that she also saw the demon and that she is a Witness and it’s her job to kill the demons. She motions to the hostages to flee – when the drug dealer sees them go, he fires his automatic weapon in their general direction, attracting the demon.
Crane and Jenny have a plan, however, to draw the demon to them with gunpowder and shoot it. They have discovered that the demon is vulnerable only when its eyes are white, thus the phrase “don’t shoot until you see the whites of its eyes.” Their plans don’t go as planned, the demon chases Crane, and Abbie kills it.
The sorceress uses the fear from the victims of the demon to water her plant. She also may have been using the demon to draw Abbie and Crane out, as she introduces herself to Abbie in a bar and says that she would like to meet her friend some time. Her name is Pandora.
During the episode, Crane keeps trying to convince Abbie that he has made a discovery about their destiny. She isn’t interested and brushes off his discovery as wishful thinking since he is so at loose ends. At the end when he receives his property from customs his artifact opens up to reveal a frieze that looks like the two of them, which does get Abbie’s interest.
There are some new elements introduced in this show. Betsy Ross is introduced as a freedom fighter and flirtation of Ichabod’s in his flashbacks. I’m sure we will be seeing more of her. I don’t know why they are using Betsy Ross when they could have used Sybil Ludington, who made a ride similar to Paul Revere’s. Maybe they were going for name recognition.
The humor is ramped up a bit. Ichabod telling stories about flying, Ichabod in jail, Ichabod at a theme restaurant named Colonial Times. A woman from the lab at the FBI reacts to Ichabod the way that they really would; she can’t keep her eyes off him, much to his discomfort. Tom Mison is very funny, whether he is being a fish out of water or an indignant historian.
Even though the show has divested itself of the heavy and slow load of Moloch, Katrina and Henry, and characters have gone on with their lives, the new seems like more of the same. The witch with designs on Ichabod Crane brings back shadows of Katrina. The demon was very ordinary and not particularly frightening. The archives are still there even if the furniture is covered with sheets and it is scheduled for demolition. This could be seen as good or bad depending on how much change you wanted to see this season.
Abbie’s new boss, Daniel Reynolds (played by Lance Gross), who replaces the luckless C. Thomas Howell, could bring some fresh blood to the show. The previews hint that they have had a previous relationship. Her new job in the FBI could bring a lot of tension. So far it’s been a help rather than a hindrance to her greater mission, such as when she was able to persuade customs to release Crane’s smuggled antiquity. In the future, however, it’s bound to cause problems and pull Abbie in two separate directions.
Something to look forward to is the crossover episode with Bones on Oct. 29th. I don’t know how they are going to pull it off, since Bones is entirely science based and Sleepy Hollow is entirely based on magic, but it should be interesting. I’m also looking forward to seeing where the show is going now that they have resolved Crane’s unusual and supernatural family issues which have dominated the first two seasons.
Unfortunately for Sleepy Hollow, Variety reports that the third season premiere’s ratings were a series low.