The Horsemen Will Ride Again: Sleepy Hollow Season One Review

There are little to no spoilers in this review.

I will always remember some advice a professor told me. No matter how great a story is, the ending is what sticks to you. Even if you loved the beginning and you loved the middle, if the ending wasn’t up to par, you begin to regard the media less highly than you did before. Although I found most of the season of Fox’s new show, Sleepy Hollow to be quite enjoyable, it unfortunately followed a similar pattern of having a disappointing ending.

But is the rest of the season still enjoyable? Yes! While the beginning of the show is little far-fetched (as in, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are planning to destroy the world as foretold by George Washington to Ichabod Crane of Sleepy Hollow), everyone within this production really gave it their all. The main reason that this show was able to sell its story was because of how much effort the actors put into the show and the great rapport between the characters.

Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills, solving crimes and looking awesome doing so. | Promotional still from http://www.fox.com/sleepy-hollow/
Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), solving crimes and looking awesome doing so. | Promotional photo courtesy of http://www.fox.com/sleepy-hollow/

The lead character, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), grows from being wary of everything around him to a general acceptance of the 21st century. Watching him go from thinking showers are the work of the devil to using the phrase “That’s so cool” in a normal conversation shows a subtle adaption to his new surroundings that has been incredibly fun to watch. Also, his chemistry with Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is probably one of the reasons that this show is so successful. The two actors play off each other incredibly well, both using their very noticeable height differences and differences in every other way (from her being from the present and him being from the past to their physical differences), and it allows the audience to see a friendship that so rarely happens on network television.

Abbie’s boss, Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) began the show as a man willing to put his job before his family, disbelieving that anything of a supernatural nature could happen within his town. But by the end of the season, he not only believes in it, but is willing to sacrifice himself for the cause and his family. Andy Brooks (John Cho) may not be in every episode, but when he’s there, he carries a mixture of sad, pleading desperation to be released from his eternal torment that causes the viewer to feel so bad for him. Jenny Mills (Lyndie Greenwood), Abbie Mills’ sister, is a female character I haven’t seen the likes of since Sarah Conner from Terminator 2 (but maybe not as intense). She is this strange mixture of anger, hatred, and mistrust towards her sister that is developed incredibly well. Watching the two of them dance around the issues in their lives, only to slowly have to work to make up to each other was sad and really cathartic to see.

Her job is to wait for Ichabod and give him exposition for the current issue. That's all. | Promotional still from http://www.fox.com/sleepy-hollow/
Katrina’s job is to wait for Ichabod and give him exposition for the current problem. | Promotional photo courtesy of http://www.fox.com/sleepy-hollow/

We have one character who exemplifies the main issues within this show. Katrina Crane (Katia Winter), Ichabod’s wife, is a witch trapped in Purgatory, who appears in the show to give warnings, advice, or explanations for things. Unfortunately, she does very little else. What’s also  strange is when Ichabod speaks highly of her, but when the two characters are put together, there is little to no chemistry between the two. Perhaps it is the abundance of chemistry between the two leads that drowns them out?

Either way, by having Katrina’s character serving mostly as an expository device is important considering how convoluted some of the plots in this show are. It’s not as though the writers are not working their hardest—connecting George Washington and the Revolutionary War, the original Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the ideology of the Freemasons, and much of the information from the book of Revelations is not an easy task. But the story still seems all over the place. Not to spoil the ending, but when the mastermind behind what’s happened all season is revealed, it’s incredibly surprising because it seemed as though there was no build up for him.

The final few episodes felt very rushed. Although many of the earlier episodes were  focused on the characters, considering how well done the character development is in this show, is that really an problem? If the show could just continue with the incredible character development, but maybe insert the plot threads a little earlier within the season, so when a surprise pops up, the viewers aren’t confused—just shocked that they didn’t see it all along.

If you’re a fan of shows dealing with the supernatural, really awesome partners solving cases, or watching a guy from the 18th century fit into skinny jeans, then this is for you. Hopefully, by the time the show starts up again in the fall, they’ll have worked out the plot issues so they deliver us a tighter, stronger show.

Brie Garcia

Brie Garcia

Brie Garcia (COM/SMG '14) originally hails from Pennsylvania (where there is a cornfield behind her house) so forgive her if she is a little too obsessed with all things film and television. She can be found scribbling story ideas on notepads around campus and ignoring responsible things like "being an adult."

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