Fan Review: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Sleepy Hollow)

I have an uneven history with Sleepy Hollow. One Saturday last year, I binge watched the first half of season one.  I remember being interested enough to keep watching, but not enough, apparently, to continue on, at least right then.  That’s not a slap at the show, particularly. I have lots of shows in various stages of watching, and often get behind. (Case in point: I’m only watching four shows from the current season, and the only one I’m current on is Bones. To be fair, I was out of town for two weeks, but still, there’s no telling when I’ll get caught up.)

One of those four shows is Sleepy Hollow. When the crossover was announced, and the writers started talking about the ways in which the shows are similar, it intrigued me enough to start watching again.

All of this means that I watched the crossover with a fairly solid foundation for who most of the characters are (or were in S1, at least), a sense of where things are now, and no idea at all what happened between mid-S1 and the start of S3. (Beyond that the world seems not to have ended, and Katrina is dead.)

It also means that I’m approaching the show sort of on its own terms, since I did have some history with it prior to the crossover, and sort of as a Bones fan. We’ll see how well that works.

For what it’s worth, I have an agenda here: I want to like this show. And why not? The people who make it see similarities between it and the show I love; I’m not averse to supernatural-themed stories, and now, I’m always going to see these characters as existing in the same world as the Bones crew.

With that in mind, here’s a break down of the things I enjoyed, and the one thing that didn’t quite work for me:

The Big Bad:

Due to the eps I’ve missed this season, I don’t have all the pieces on Pandora, but so far, she’s thoroughly creeping me out. For me, the scariest monsters are the ones who are unpredictable, and she is. She lets the courier live, takes April’s candy but doesn’t otherwise harm her, and then gives the order to ‘go forth and slaughter.’

That’s a lot more unnerving than if she’d just killed everyone in sight from the first moment.

General Howe:

I can take or leave – mostly leave – zombies, but Ichabod’s connection to General Howe, and the way they told that story, impressed me. He wasn’t just a monster of the week, he was part of Ichabod’s past, and that made the whole thing a lot more interesting. Also – way cool effects.

Ichabod:

I said in my earlier post about the crossover that I thought they did a better job of introducing Ichabod than Abbie, at least in terms of interesting new viewers.  That’s not a major criticism, by the way, because there’s only so much they can do in a limited amount of time, and Bones did the same thing, focusing more on Brennan than Booth.

I don’t know what Sleepy Hollow fans made of Brennan, but I really like what I saw of Ichabod. (What I remember from the first season is mostly Abbie and Jenny, another reason why it’s good that this balanced that in some ways.)

The interesting thing is that, as a Bones fan, and despite the comparisons to Brennan, it’s Booth who I think of while watching Ichabod.  They’re both soldiers, with some fairly horrific battle experiences behind them; both are honorable men who fought because they believed it was the right thing to do, and believed in their country; both carry burdens resulting from those experiences. Being ordered to kill a man he respected, missing the opportunity to do so, feeling guilt over that failure and the other lives it cost? Oh, yeah. I have a soft spot for such characters, so that’s a pretty major hook for me in terms of the show.

Ichabod/Abbie:

Where potential couples are concerned, it turns out that I am forever influenced by Booth and Brennan. Here’s what I mean: I like Ichabod and Abbie together. I like their friendship, like the bond that clearly exists between them, and the way the show highlights it. Her concern for him, his openness with her, the way they hunt together…I can see the potential for them to become more to each other, and think that would be fun to watch develop.

But I’m also aware – because Bones – that when a show is willing to give you a relationship like that, a solid friendship slowly growing into whatever it’s going to be, there’s something to be said for simply enjoying the journey.

Booth and Brennan work as a couple because they’ve got such a long history together, and because we got to see them grow into the people who belong together, despite their considerable differences.

I don’t know how long it’s been in the Sleepy Hollow world since Katrina died, and beyond knowing that she turned out to be evil, I don’t know the circumstances of her death. But I do know that rushing into a new relationship not long after one ends is never a good idea, so having him date someone else strikes me as a good move for the character. (Put bluntly? I’d rather someone else be the rebound, and not Abbie.) Ichabod needs time to figure out who he is, post-Katrina, not to mention sorting out the whole 21st century relationship thing.

I don’t have a clue what the writers have in mind for them, but for now, I’m content to watch their relationship be what it is, and what it’s becoming.

Bowling:

Yay, team!  I’m a romantic, yes, but the bottom line for me is always relationships, of a wide and varied sort. Friends, family, lovers…(the relationship which hooked me on The Flash, for example, is the father/adopted son dynamic between Barry and Joe. Everything else is secondary.) So seeing these people simply having fun together has a lot of appeal for me.

Washington’s Tomb:

Okay, yeah, part of why I like this is Booth and Brennan – I love his shooting the mechanism as a solution, love the way Brennan runs to him when the wall goes up – but I also like the scene as a whole. Although I thought the sequels crap, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of my favorite films, and this reminded me of that.

So what didn’t work for me?

The Jenny and Joe story. My lack of interest isn’t that big a deal, though, because it’s mostly indicative of what I don’t know: I don’t really know who Joe is (Corbin’s son, obviously, but I don’t know his story at all, beyond what we see here, of a young man desperate to understand his father), don’t know what Jenny and Joe’s relationship is, and don’t know why they’re investigating on their own.

Not a big deal, because I assume that if I continue watching – and I plan to – I’ll figure it out. But during my re-watch of the episode, I found myself impatient during those scenes, wanting to get back to Abbie and Ichabod.

Hooked? Yeah, I’d say so.

Bonus Quotes:

“You still think Halloween isn’t fun?”
“The Celts believed All Hallows’ Eve to be a sacred time when the souls of lost loved ones walked the earth and were honored with prayer, not face paint and molasses-based faux blood.”
“But miniskirts and blue eyes get a pass.”
“When in Rome.” (Abbie, Ichabod)

*SH*

“Six years. We were husband and wife for six years. She taught me strength, resilience…how to properly iron my vests.” (Ichabod)

*SH*

“Faith results from our fear of death. Art from our ability to discern an attractive mate. And love from our need to procreate.”
“Dr. Brennan. The way you look at Agent Booth is far more than just procreation.”
“Actually, procreation plays a significant part in our relationship.” (Ichabod, Brennan)

*SH*

“This is astonishing.”
“And yet only this morning, it was questionable.” (Brennan, Ichabod, about the tomb)

*SH*

“You’re not worried about them?”
“Hardly. Her skepticism’s interminable. She’d dismiss Moloch as a tall man with a skin condition.” (Abbie, Ichabod)

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3 thoughts on “Fan Review: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Sleepy Hollow)

  1. Excellent review! I also enjoyed this episode and just love the idea that the remains of General Howe sat around in the Jeffersonian for a while only to be reanimated into a Zombie in Sleepy Hollow. Regarding Joe Corbin, if you have access, watch S2E6. It was a one off but fans loved his character so much, they decided to bring him in as a series regular. While it is true that we don’t know what the shard is, I have really dug the scenes with Joe and Jenny. More about the characters and becoming acquainted than anything else. Also with the cliffhanger, that storyline is about to intersect with Abbie and the F.B.I. so this coming episode may have some fireworks. However, when I was watching it, I was thinking first time viewers would be confused as some of that plot had been revealed over the last couple episodes. Bones actually had no story arcs which would have been helpful to first time Sleepy Hollow viewers. But overall, I enjoy a show that employs both episodic elements and story arc.

    I loved your comparison of Ichabod Crane and Booth. I would argue Abbie is the more logical one. I really enjoyed the philosophical discussions between Crane and Brennan!

    • Thanks for that hint about Joe. Maybe this weekend, I’ll hunt down that ep.

      Overall, I think they did a fairly good job (both shows) of not confusing people. And leaving out all story arc pieces would have still sent a false message about the shows. 🙂

  2. I have been a follower of Bones since the pilot episode, but had never been that interested in seeing Sleepy Hollow. However, when I heard about the planned crossover, I decided to watch a few episodes of season 1 just so that I would be familiar with the main characters. Turns out, Sleepy Hollow episodes are kind of like pringles – you can’t have just one. 4 episodes in I was invested enough in the storyline that I finished the season over the next 3 days. By the time the crossover aired, I had seen all of season 1 and the first episode of season 2.

    [Side note, apparently, A LOT happened in the Sleepy Hollow universe between the beginning of season 2 and the 5th episode of season 3 – for example, My son was quite upset about the revelation that Katrina was both dead and evil : ) I was lost in the overall storyline of the SH half of the crossover. I look forward to watching it again when I know what is going on.]

    I am now halfway through season 2, and I am pretty sure that I will finish “catching up” and then continue to follow SH in real time. So, at least with me, Fox did what they set out to do – they took a fan of one show and “hooked” them on the other.

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