ReviewsTelevision & Film

SLEEPY HOLLOW Finds the Witness

Season 4, Episode 2 “In Plain Sight”
Directed by Marc Roskin
Written by Bryan Q. Miller

There’s a sense of deja vu with that title. Why do they have to use the same term in two of the shows I’m recapping? But the Witnesses of Sleepy Hollow and 12 Monkeys are very different. On Sleepy Hollow, there are two Witnesses and they are there to fight paranormal evil. Those two Witnesses are Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie). At the end of last season, Abbie Mills sacrificed herself to save everyone else and they gave a vague and probably ill thought out explanation that her soul would fly to someone else to keep going with her mission in another life. The new Witness is who we suspected it was in the season premiere.

Crane is in a spooky place with thunder and lightning. He’s calling for Abbie. I know he’s dreaming because he wouldn’t be calling for Abbie in real life. He knows she’s gone. He sees Molly (Oona Yaffe), Diana’s (Janina Gavankar) daughter, although he doesn’t know who she is. When he wakes, it turns out that Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) has been ringing a Tibetan singing bowl, in a trance-like state, while he slept. Her hand is really sore. She thinks the child is a metaphor. Jenny has moved to D.C. and lives in a trailer in a junkyard. Crane goes off to the library to do research. George Washington intended that information for him and he intends to use it.

I think I stirred these brownies too long. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

We see a bit with Diana’s domestic life, which mostly establishes that her daughter is still mute and that Diana can’t cook pancakes.

Meanwhile, Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) is talking to three lovely young women. Witches. There are three of them, of course, because witches come in threes. He wants something they guard. He tells the younger two that the dominant witch lied to them and that the treasure they protect has nothing to do with witches. They are not happy to hear it.

Yes, I want you to hand over the treasure you’ve been guarding for 240 years for no reason at all. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Alex (Rachel Melvin) and Jake discuss the tunnels, which Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) wants to map. They also discuss Crane, who they have noticed certain oddities about. Jake comes to the conclusion that he’s a time traveler (why not?) while Alex doesn’t come to a conclusion, just notes the anomalies. They hear someone in the tunnels and Alex instantly makes a weapon out of a lamp while Jake gets a book ready to throw. Jake has the better weapon, at least if he were on Doctor Who. Crane enters and asks for books on dreams and visions, and Jake instantly gets him a stack. It’s good to have histerns.

Diana asks Crane to look at a body near a swamp. It looks old when viewed through her camera but young when viewed by eye. He knows the witches. They are the Dire sisters, Marg(Courtney Lakin), Malligo (Kelley Missal) and Moll (Sarah Sanderson) . I’m guessing Dire sisters are worse than weird sisters or weyward sisters, which is what the three witches are called in MacBeth. George Washington used them for unpleasant tasks. A little research and they find that they have been given the swampland in perpetuity for protecting something. The other two have gone amuck in public, where they can see that they are also old in the surveillance video.

Crane sees Molly’s picture on Diana’s phone, and realizes that the girl in his dreams is Molly’s daughter. He tells Jenny about it on the phone and by the time they go to pick Molly up at school Jenny is there watching her.

Jenny protects Molly from some bullies and therefore blows her cover. Diana is understandably freaked out to see Jenny there and goes all mama bear on them. Jenny uses the excuse that she wanted to check out Molly’s school to see if there are any bad guys around. Crane and Molly meet. They are instantly enthralled with each other, and Molly says hello. Diana is so thrilled to hear her daughter speak that she forgets to be freaked out about everything else.

Jenny, Crane and Diana go back to the swamp. Crane looks through his cell phone camera and sees a house that was previously hidden by a glamour. It’s gorgeous, old and spooky and colonial gothic. Diana asks Jenny if she has any experience with security, because of the excuse she used at the school. Jenny says she has experience with security systems. Diana is like, great, I’m in an invisible witch’s house with a B&E artist and a guy in knee boots and puffy pants with a crossbow. (not the exact quote, but it was funny).

Better than a trailer in a junkyard. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

The witches aren’t home and they look for an ensorcelled item, since they need that to keep the glamour up. It’s a clock, which has mystical stuff all over it. They can’t break the clock and the witches show up. There’s a big battle and one witch is killed by a knife that kills you even with the smallest cut, and other by excessive gunfire. They search the house for the item that they were protecting but don’t find it, which is not surprising since they don’t know what it is.

Beware-I am unarmed and dangerous. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Dreyfuss has the item, which is a broken one of the discs he’s seeking.

Molly makes her mom pancakes and they catch up a bit.

Speaking of breaking and entering, I don’t know how they can possibly reconcile this little adventure with the real world. It was perfectly justified to kill the witches. They left a trail of chaos behind them, and attacked when confronted. But they didn’t get a search warrant for the invisible witch house, and they would have a hard time explaining what the witches attacked them with that caused them to have to defend themselves. The house probably isn’t under a glamour anymore. If it is, it would be discovered by the first person who took a picture of the swamp. Is their sister going to stay an unsolved murder?

I’m still liking the addition of Jake and Alex. They didn’t make it out of the library this time, but I am sure they will add a lot in the future.

I think the writing has improved and is a lot tighter, even if they aren’t particularly concerned with tidying up loose ends.

But now to the big reveal. Jenny and Crane now know who the new Witness is. They are shocked that it’s a child. I think they should consider themselves lucky that it’s not a newborn baby. Whatever part of Abbie that moved on is a walk-in. Whether that means that Molly’s soul left, or they are both cohabiting in Molly, I don’t know. Diana is being coy about who Molly’s father is, but according to what they said last season, Molly should be a blood relative of Abbie’s.

I am uncomfortable with the Witnesses being a grown man and a small girl. Crane and Abbie had a close relationship tinged with unresolved sexual tension. I’m sure the powers that be decided that they didn’t want that in this incarnation. People who believe in reincarnation say that we come back as friends and relatives of people we were connected to before, so they probably wouldn’t find this development to surprising. Just a change in relationship. Perhaps they will develop a father/daughter bond.

Another problem is that you can’t send a ten year old out to fight monsters. Well,maybe on Stranger Things, but I just don’t think Mom is going to go for that. And if she’s raised in preparation to grow up and fight monsters, it’s likely to ruin her life, the way it did for Abbie and Jenny. They should send her off to boarding school so that she will be an adult by the end of the season. It works every time on soap operas.

This one’s here just because he looks SO good. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

So far, so good. They are handling the transition well and are honoring what has gone before. Jenny is being used appropriately for her talents and I’m enjoying the new characters immensely. Crane is his same old self, being played with the same grace, humor, and nuance that he has always brought to the character. Having a skeptic deal with Crane’s world, and the enthusiasm and suspicions of the histerns, gives fresh eyes for the viewer to look through.


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


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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