SLEEPY HOLLOW: L-R: Rachel Melvin, Lyndie Greenwood, Jerry MacKinnon, Tom Mison and Janina Gavankar in the“Sick Burn” episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Friday, Feb. 24 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
ReviewsTelevision & Film


Season 4, Episode 8 “Sick Burn”
Written by Joey Falco
Directed by Darnell Martin

I think I will keep naming the reviews after the shows that Sleepy Hollow has ripped off until they start doing something more original. I’m not particularly fond of the plot device of media spreading a ghostly evil around. It seems to me a confusion between the term viral and viral. Viral is a description of how something spreads; it does not mean that the thing spreading is actually an illness or harmful in any way. I didn’t like it much in this episode either, but it did give me a chuckle when it spread by pamphlets nailed to trees in 1812. Unfortunately, this is not the only problem with this episode.

We get treated to a bizarre vision of grandiosity where Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) is lording it over a defeated Crane (Tom Mison). Crane is obviously the rebellion while Dreyfuss is the worst of demagogues. This is a vision that Dreyfuss has of the future. Whether it’s wish fulfillment, precognition, or a push towards a certain future from somewhere else is impossible to tell. Dreyfuss claims to have set something in motion that will change the U.S.

And then her date just caught on fire. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

Molly (Oona Yaffe), her mom (Janina Gavankar), and Crane go to a public appearance of an internet sensation, Logan Mcdonald (Robbie Kay). Molly is lucky enough to get a selfie with him, but then he faints and falls to the ground. He has burning symbols in his arm.

Alex (Rachel Melvin) is on a very bad date. Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) is supposed to be her backup if things go wrong, but he’s having too much fun flirting with the bartender. He does pay attention when Alex’s date collapses. They rush him off to the hospital. Alex’s Tinder date bursts into flames.

Because Alex was talked into watching the viral video by her date, she is now infected. She has runes burning under her skin. The team decides that the monster is a djinn.

Alex runs off into the tunnels and they let her go. Crane postulates that keeping the others from the djinn is what caused them to catch on fire.

And this is where we have another problem with this episode. The British sacked and burned the White House in 1814, well after Crane’s time. In the story, they think that the fires in Washington D.C. were due to the djinn. Crane describes the scenes and the battle with the djinn as if he was there, including a perfectly ludicrous scene with Davy Crockett (Daniel Parvis), Paul Jennings (Zae Jordan) and Sacagawea (Dayana Rincon), lead by Sam Wilson (Rick Espaillat), facing the djinn together. For a minute I thought, did the writers forget that he didn’t actually live through all of that history? Then I realized that he read it in the files. But who has been sitting around reading all of the files? That’s Jake’s job. In this episode, all Jake gets to do is pace the floor and hand Crane books while Crane recites the twistory.

If I don’t get any exposition in this episode, I’ll just have to set myself on fire. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

Also, when learning the history of the fire flu, the group appears more concerned with the possibility of Washington burning again than they are with the fact that people are spontaneously combusting.

The djinn is calling the victims to himself so that he can consume their life energy. Jake gives himself the virus so they can find Alex, and Diana injects her with an herbal antidote that lowers her body temperature. Crane electrocutes the genie and saves everyone.

In the meantime, Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) spends the day with Molly and Molly chooses the path of the oracle. Molly sees a vision of Crane, imprisoned, facing Dreyfuss’s flag, and as old and scarred as he was in the vision that Dreyfuss had. It scares her and makes her feel bad for Crane, but more importantly, it confirms the other vision.

The djinn was in Dreyfuss’ server farm. Crane and team are aware of this. Even though the virus was contained, Dreyfuss got the famous internet sensation, Logan McDonald, on his side.

I’m not at all sure how Logan McDonald became a follower of Dreyfuss. He said he felt better, and different, so I’m not sure what happened to him. Dreyfuss his putting together his own team to counter Crane’s team.

Was there anything good about this thoroughly bad episode? The djinn and zombies in the server building were sort of cool. Jake infecting himself and going after Alex was great, as was her saving him back. It makes you think that their bond may be more than it seems.

We need a lot more story in order to believe that such disparate historical figures as Davy Crockett, Paul Jennings, Sacagawea and Sam Wilson were the forerunners of Ichabod Crane and his band. That just sort of came out of left field. Even for Sleepy Hollow.

C’mon, people. You can (and have) done better than this.


Sleepy Hollow airs on FOX on Fridays 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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