SLEEPY HOLLOW: L-R: Janina Gavankar and Oona Yaffe in the ÒChildÕs PlayÓ episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Friday, March 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
ReviewsTelevision & Film

SLEEPY HOLLOW Imitates Itself

Season 4, Episode 9 “Child’s Play”
Written by Francisca X. Hu
Directed by Michael Goi

This episode is creepy, and not in a good way. Like the episode where Molly’s father is not Molly’s father, but a monster, this is nightmare fuel for kids. Molly (Oona Yaffe) would be spending a lot more time in therapy than the show seems to think.

It’s also similar to a first season episode in which they encounter a monster from the same source. Crane (Tom Mison) mentions it to forestall the audience saying it, because it’s always better if the show itself mentions any strange coincidences or obvious flaws before the people watching catch on to them.

The histerns are practicing on a kid’s obstacle course. Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) wants to be in shape in case he’s needed. Alex (Rachel Melvin) points out that he saved a lot of lives, including hers. I may be imagining it, but it looks like their dynamic has changed. She appears to have developed a little hero worship for Jake. She’s impressed, anyway.

I think I’m doing this trick wrong. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Molly is having trouble in art. The teacher asks if she is having trouble at home, which is an understatement. She appears to be most distressed by the vision she had of Crane. Her mom decides to cheer her up by taking her to the vault. Jake is beautifully enthusiastic showing her things. This goes wrong, however, and the first part of the episode is taken up with Molly and Crane being trapped in the library.

Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) goes to extremes to prompt another vision, and he has one of himself and Molly having a delightful time in his post-apocalyptic Dreyfuss-ruled world.

The histerns and Diana (Janina Gavankar) find an employee ID number on the barrier trapping Crane and Molly and go look up the employee. Diana goes to her meeting with Molly’s teacher. Kid trapped in a magical vault? Still have to go to the parent-teacher conference. She finds the art teacher beaten up but not dead. Molly’s imaginary friend, Mr. Stitch, was brought to life by her talking about and drawing him in the vault. Diana recognizes it by a piece of baby blanket.

Alex and Jake find the former employee’s dead body and a video of her in full tinfoil hat mode. I’m not sure what the purpose is other than to make the episode more frightening.

Mr. Stitch attacks Diana and Jenny but they escape into the warded house. They talk about an amusement park Molly liked as a (younger) child and think Mr. Stitch may go to bed there.

Crane and Molly find an opening that’s too small for Crane but Molly can fit through. Molly gets out only to find herself in the alley and with Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss introduces himself and lays some propaganda on her. Jake and Alex find her quickly.

(Tina Rowden/FOX)

Somehow they end up at the amusement park. I wonder whose decision it was to rush Molly to the place where her mother and Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) are trying to dispel Mr. Stitch. It’s a good thing, because they failed and Mr. Stitch is knocking them around. Molly stops him and confesses some of her negative feelings towards her mother. Jenny finishes the spell and he goes up in cinders.

Alex is afraid that they will someday end up like Claudia, their predecessor. Jake is comforting her. It might get romantic but at that moment the vault opens and Crane is freed.

Alex finds a witch’s hex in an e-reader Molly was carrying, donated by Dreyfuss industries, which is why her imaginary friend came to life.

Dreyfuss shuts down his company and fires all of his workers. He tells Jobe (Kamar de los Reyes) about how much he, Dreyfuss, will mean to Molly and how Molly needs a father figure. It’s creepy.

Using blood is SO three seasons ago. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

When I say Sleepy Hollow imitates itself it’s because we already saw this episode. Crane’s son Jeremy had a doll given to him by his mother Katrina and it came to life because blood was spilled on it when he was being beaten at the orphanage. When Crane mentions this, he sounds like he was there, but in fact at the time that this happened to Jeremy he didn’t even know his son existed. In the present time, he didn’t know yet that Jeremy was Henry. As they have been doing lately, they fail to explain that Crane did not get his knowledge first hand.

The golem pursued the witch coven, the Four Who Speak as One, after Crane involuntarily brought him back from purgatory with him. Crane tries to talk him down, like Molly stops the golem, since Jeremy is no longer there to protect (he thinks). Crane uses his blood to render the golem powerless, since the same blood flows through his veins. The first time it happened, the golem was destroyed in a carnival. This time, the golem was destroyed in a defunct amusement park.

They changed the rules, though. The golem was raised by blood and destroyed by blood. In modern times, it was raised by an electronic witch’s hex and destroyed by burning a baby blanket. If you are going to reuse a monster, it should adhere to the same rules. It doesn’t have to adhere to the same plot or the same location.

But worse of all, the first time it was a better episode because it was actually tense and mysterious. It reminded me of the first season, when Sleepy Hollow was new and different. And that reminds me of how predictable and old it is now.


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


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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