Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recapturing Sleepy Hollow: Sympathy for the Silly

Hudson Valley, New York 1781 – we are dropped into the midst of battle in the America Revolutionary War. I’ve never studied America history so I’m not 100% on what’s happening but I gather the ones in the red coats are the bad guys (in this story anyway). People are shooting things, it’s very epic and rather grander than I would have expected from a show like Sleepy Hollow. The colours are slightly muted just to make it super obvious that we are in fact in the past.

Hello handsome hero!
Close up on a handsome soldier – he’s our hero – he’s checking he dead redcoats for a mark on their hands. Enter a mysterious rider with metal mask covering his face. Very creepy, so understandably the handsome soldier shoots the mysterious rider in the head but like all good nightmare monsters the mysterious riders right back on up like he gets shot all the time. So the handsome soldier cuts his head off, which seems to do the trick, but not before being mortally wounded himself.

Fave screencap of this whole Sleepy Hollow experience.
Black out: voice over… Ichabod. 

The handsome soldier aka Ichabod wakes up in a tomb of mud surrounded by witchy things like frogs in jars and such. He’s a bit groggy and confused but he manages to push the right button and open the entrance to the cave. He makes a note of the fact that he parked the cave next to some kind of water feature in the middle of the woods and then walks off in search of answers.

Dirty men, how did you know my weakness?
Ichabod is very confused when he reaches the road – and then in time honoured time traveller tradition he is almost hit by a truck as it speed along the road. He’s then sideswiped by a car but runs off before the driver can yell at him I wonder how many time travellers are killed on the road every year?

Birds: signs of creepy Supernatural things to come.
Sign: Village of Sleepy Hollow, p. 140, 000.
Music: Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones

Establishing shots, Sleepy Hollow. Lots of establishing shots. Literally a 1/3 of this episode is establishing shots. Sleepy Hollow looks a lot like the suburbs.  

His face IS expressive!
There’s a man, eating pie in a diner (aww how quant). It’s Clancy Brown! Hi Clancy! Anyway Clancy – who probably has a name that we will learn later – is reading the paper while he eats his pie, which I think is pretty rude consider he’s not alone at the diner. He’s sitting with a very pretty young woman, oh and they are both in police uniforms. She wants to know what’s wrong with Clancy’s face.

Clancy: My face is expressive, age is the price of wisdom.

Be prepared for the love affair I am having with this woman's facial expressions.
She thinks this is funny but she also thinks he should relax and stop looking through the paper for unsolved crimes to solve in his spare time. He ignores her ripping an article out of the paper (I hope it’s his paper and it doesn’t belong to the diner).

Clancy is annoyed because the woman – called Abbie – is running away to join Quantico. Also in the background there is a very dodgy looking priest watching them. As they leave, Clancy – who is the Sheriff – and the dodgy priest greet each other and I’m starting to realise that this is the kind of show where you trust no one.

Small town secrets! 
Abbie and the Sheriff get a call about the horses being spooked. The Sheriff can’t believe Abbie is giving up this kind of excitement for a shot at the FBI.

More establishing shots. It’s night and if they had ever seen a horror movie they would know that if something spooked the horses in a town that is full of mysterious happens then you’re probably going to die. They should probably run, or they could split up when the reach the creepy farm house, that’s also an idea.

Manning the flashlight.

Abbie goes to check the house, there’s no answer. That’s probably because Mr. random farm owner is lying by his truck, well most of him is. He’s also missing his head.

Well this is going to end well.
Inside the barn, Sheriff Corbin has more or less luck depending on how you look at it. He finds out what spooked the horses, unfortunately it was a headless redcoat wielding a hot ache with a fetish for decapitation. It’s the same guy from the battle at the beginning so shooting him doesn’t do any good. Sheriff Corbin tries to remain cool but in the end he loses his head… literally (RIP Clancy).

Abbie watches the horseman ride away on a white horse (he stole a horse – poor horse) and then finds her partner’s body. All in all she’s having a bad day.  She calls for back up but they couldn’t put Sheriff Corbin together again.

JOHN CHO! He’s also a cop in Sleepy Hollow. He hears Abbie’s call but gets distracted when he almost runs Ichabod down in the middle of the street so he arrests him because when you almost hit someone the next logical step is to arrest them.

Same John Cho, same.
In a jail cell Abbie insists that Ichabod is not the one that decapitated Sheriff Corbin… he’s at least a head too tall (lol so many headless puns to come). As she is describing the man she saw Ichabod jumps in – he knows the man she speaks of.

Abbie: Who is he? When was the last time you saw him?
Ichabod: When I cut off his head.

Actual drama queen: Ichabod Crane.
Well someone has a flair for the dramatics. Zoom of doom x 3. (John Cho is there too).

Cut to Ichabod being interviewed – he’s attached to a polygraph, which is does not understand. He’s very upset by everything that is happening, as you would be if you woke up 250 years into the future (it’s actually closer to 230 but what’s 20 years between friends). His name is Ichabod Crane and he’s a suspect in Sheriff Corbin’s murder. He was a professor of history at Oxford. During the war he defected and became a spy under the command of General Washington… as in George. The last thing he remembers is beheading that guy and passing out in triage with his wife – Katrina – by his side. Now what he really wants to know is where he is?

These two... pinches cheeks. 
Random Detective: The question isn’t where, but when.

He saw the chance, he took it. Well done Sleepy Hollow, well done.

Ichabod passes the polygraph, which is very confusing for everyone involved because there is no way he’s actually a revolutionary soldier so he must be legitimately crazy. The only person that doesn’t think he’s completely crazy is Abbie and that’s only because she actually saw a headless horseman.

Happens to the best of us dude.
Abbie begs the Captain to let her interrogate Ichabod but he says no. Then she pulls out the puppy dog eyes and he doesn’t stand a chance, he folds like crate paper in an origami class. Abbie is allowed to transport Ichabod to the mental institution but that’s all she gets.

Abbie – 1. Captain – 0.

Abbie heads for the jail cell to find Ichabod and set down a few ground rules before they begin their journey. I’m just going to post this conversation because everything about it is perfect and wonderful.

I'm no longer going to make facial expressions. I am just going to carry screencaps and hold them up.
Abbie: Mr Crane. I’m Lieutenant Abbie Mills.
Ichabod: A female Leftenant… in whose army?
Abbie: You’re not gonna break character huh?
Ichabod: You’ve been emancipated I take it?
Abbie: Excuse me?
Ichabod: From enslavement?
Abbie: Okay I’ll play along here. I am a black female Lieutenant for the Westchester County Police Department. Do you see this gun? I am authorised to use it… on you.
Ichabod: If you’re insinuating I endorse slavery, I’m offended.
Abbie: Wait back up – you’re offended.
Ichabod: I’ll have you know I was a proponent of the abolition act in front of the New York assembly.
Abbie: Congratulations, slavery has been abolished 150 years. It’s a whole new day in America.

That's a man falling in love with Abbie Mills. 
Ichabod is pleased by this revelation and as such decides to move on to more pressing matters, like the fact that he remains locked up. Abbie reminds Ichabod that she is in charge and they head off on their adventure together.

Ichabod knows that Abbie needs his help because he knows that she saw the headless horseman and that she hasn’t told any of her colleagues. Abbie thinks the whole thing is impossible.

Ichabod: Oh really? Oh well that’s wonderful news thank you for the clarification. Here I thought I’d actually awoken in the future and that my wife had been dead for 250 years. I’m glad that everything I’m seeing and hearing and touching impossible because that means it isn’t actually happening.

Go girl. 
Ichabod is a sarcastic bastard and I love him almost as much as the expression on Abbie’s face whenever he speaks (it’s this cross between complete annoyance and utter awe at his existence – coincidently that’s exactly how I feel when I look at Abbie).

A whole episode of them just driving around please.
In the car Ichabod is impressed by the power windows (Abbie is annoyed) and upset by the fact that the town he loved has been overtaken by Starbucks. Abbie makes fun of Ichabod being a heavy sleeper and Ichabod does not think it’s funny because he can’t understand anything she’s saying and why since when did ladies wear trousers. Abbie ignore him and asks him where the cave he woke up in is. Ichabod is very aroused by Abbie's blatant violation of direct orders (same Ichabod, same). Also the priest is there again (Ichabod recognises him).

The answers are in the BIBLE! 
They find the cave pretty easily – on account of Ichabod noting the water feature. Abbie gives Ichabod a torch tells him to point and shoot. NGL I would watch a whole series of Abbie trying to help Ichabod negotiate modern life. Ichabod finds a dirty bible with a passage marked. It’s from the book of Revelations (not to be confused with the book of Revelation). The gist is the headless horseman is not just any horseman but actually one of THE four horseman, specifically death. Basically, it’s the end of the world.

Again Abbie does not believe him because it’s her job to be the skeptical realistic one in this relationship. A handsome man with fantastical ideas that believes there is something more is paired with a straight wheeling but tough female law enforcement… that sounds awfully familiar.

OTP: Ichabod/George
That’s not all though because Ichabod was chatting with George Washington, as you do, and it turns out the revolutionary war wasn’t just about America – they were fighting for the world. NGL, I’m pretty sure that’s what most US citizens believe. But sure, why not? Let’s go with the fact that the US of A saved the world by throwing off the British oppressors. Something something FREEDOM!

Where's your god now?
Meanwhile the horseman has found the creepy priest who is looking particularly dodgy carrying a shovel. Turns out the priest has magic, but the horseman has a hot axe. The priest will never tell the horseman where it is, he’s prepared to die for it. That’s good because he gets his wish (RIP creepy priest).

Ichabod and Abbie arrive at the scene – Abbie tells Ichabod to wait in the car. Ichabod is not really down with that plan but can’t do anything about it because he can’t work the door handle yet.

The Captain is having none of Mills shit. The bird/raven/crow/whatever is back and Ichabod got out of the car but that’s not even the craziest thing that is happening right now because three POC are having a conversation with each other! Three POC with names and ranks and stories. I don’t know what this show is but I like it.

Abbie really wants to keep Ichabod but the Captain says no and John Cho REALLY thinks Abbie should just walk away. Please.

Ichabod has found his wife’s grave. She was burned for witch craft.

That's how you urst!
Abbie: I told you to stay in the car.
Ichabod: And as you know I’m insane and therefore impervious to simple commands.

Abbie needs proof or she’s going to end up in a mental institution with Ichabod and that would put a damper on her Quantico dreams. The way Ichabod’s face falls when he realises Abbie is leaving town is my new favourite thing ever. His response is no. No Abbie is not leaving town. The end. Abbie leaving town is the most unacceptable thing that has ever been suggested and Ichabod will not stand for it.

Abbie just doesn’t want to be along AGAIN arguing a case that she cannot understand. And so the plot thickens, something happened to Abbie in the past that made her doubt herself. What could it be?

If you were thinking they would draw this mysterious out you would be wrong because as soon as they arrive at the institution (Abbie got Ichabod a private room) she tells him her secret. When she was in high school Abbie and her sister were walking through the forest – they saw four white trees and heard a strange voice. Then they blacked out. Everyone said they were crazy and her sister Jenny believed them. She’s been in and out of institutions, she’s battling demons (it’s funny because it’s supposed to be metaphorical demons but it’s actually literal demons).

Just. Amazing.
They’ve bonded. Ichabod is sorry for Abbie’s lost and they have reached a first name basis. Louis, I think this is begging of a beautiful friendship (or URST filled will-they-wont-they romance but you never know).

Abbie sneaks into the Sheriff’s office. There are photo’s all very sentimental but wait hidden plot device – taped to the back of Abbie’s picture is a key. She searches the room to figure out what it opens. Obviously it opens the super heavy duty file cabinet in the corner.

This show has witches you know.
Inside it’s filled files detailing all the mysterious happenings in Sleepy Hollow including the existence of two witch covens – one good one evil. Montage of Abbie going through the files until she finds the one about her and her sister. Apparently they were not the first to see the four white trees. Also Sheriff Corbin was getting paranoid – he didn’t know who to trust.

Research montage!
That’s when the Captain turns up – suspicious but then maybe he’s too obvious to be bad or maybe this show is just that cheesy. I can’t tell yet because sometimes this show seems extremely tongue and cheek at other times it takes itself way too seriously. Especially at this moment because after Abbie leaves the Captains does a soap-opera turn to camera and look suspicious. I half expected him to stroke his chin and laugh.

Plotting good or evil? 
Ichabod wakes up – but not really because of all the soft focus and white. It’s his wife, Katrina. She’s in the mirror. She’s got a bunch of exposition to give him so there’s no time for romantic reunions.

Bad things are happening... cryptic bad things. Also the apocalypse. 
The horseman’s skull is in her grave. She is a witch, supposedly a good one. Ichabod and the horseman are bound together by blood. A lot of blood. Like how did he survive the loss of that much blood. Oh right, magic. The horseman cannot survive the sunrise (vampire horseman, cool). Ichabod is the first witness. He has to prevent the horseman from reclaim his head and if he has any spare time she could use a rescue.

Actual hero Abbie Mills.
He wakes up in his hospital bed just as the doctors are trying to sedate him. Luckily Abbie Mills to the rescue. She pulls rank and forces the doctors to release him into her custody – they have to work fast because the court order she handed the doctor is actually a practice sheet from her academy exam – Abbie Mills is better than you.

Exasperated yet aroused. 
They got this – Ichabod knows what the horseman is after and Abbie has a map. Ichabod has seen the map before, you know when he was hanging out with his good friend George… George Washington. Oh and Ichabod saw the trees Abbie saw, she’s only as crazy as he is, which is not particularly reassuring.

Abbie calls John Cho for back up – because the Captain wont believe her on account of her BFF is a dude who thinks he’s a revolutionary soldier that is destined to prevent the biblical apocalypse. Too bad the horseman is already waiting for John Cho PLOT TWIST John Cho is in cahoots with death.

I like that the headless horseman is just casually sitting on the chair waiting. 

Ichabod digs up the grave, Abbie keeps watch. They find a skull in a jar – lovely. Well this is a horror show after all – which is especially evident when the skulls eyes open. No time to celebrate though because the horseman has arrives thanks to the information provided by John Cho who broke everyone’s heart by being evil.

Run! The bad guy has arrived! 
The horseman shoots at them with a shotgun but it’s okay because he’s not a very good shot. There’s a reason his weapon of choice is an axe. Abbie runs, Ichabod hides in the grave. Just as it looks like the horseman is going to get Ichabod Abbie shoots him, a lot, giving Ichabod the chance to fight back with a shovel – which is pretty effective actually. Horseman is not so good at hand to hand combat apparently.

That's not cool dude.
John Cho arrives and Abbie still thinks he’s good so she trusts him until he knocks her out, after that it’s pretty clear he’s not on team Ichabbie. Then he starts to get really creepy, stroking Abbie’s face and whispering about how he’s going to protect her. Abbie Mills is having none of that – she bites him on the hand and gets his gun pointing it at his face.

Second favourite screencap.
Abbie – 1. John Cho – 0.

That’s when back up arrives – jumping out of their car to point a gun at the guy in the red coat standing in the middle of the road.

Random Cop #1: Put the weapon down, put your hands on your…
Random Cop #2: Can he even hear us?

Get it, he can’t put his hands on his head because he’s got no head – I’m telling you it’s the gift that just keeps on giving. This show is completely bonkers and I love it.

Ichabod calls for his Leftenant but there is no need to fear because the sun is rising and as we were informed but the great exposition witch – the headless horseman is in fact a vampire. The horseman rides off into the sunset to fight another day. My favourite thing about things that go bump is that they only do it at night.

*heart eyes*
Then the two random police dudes almost shoot Abbie and actually shoot at poor Ichabod. Someone should fire those dudes before they decide to wear red one day. Abbie and Ichabod walk towards each other in slow motion, smiling and happy because they have a skull in a jar. Awwww.

Back at the station the Captain wants to through Abbie in jail but not really because they have two terrible cops that confirm her story and John Cho confessed. So yay. A win for the good guys. The Captain refers to Ichabod as Captain America so I’m going to assume he’s a good guy because only good guys make marvel references.

The. Best.
Abbie decides that she is not going to Quantico and Ichabod looks like he’s about to burst rainbows he’s so proud. Then he tells Abbie that he thinks they are the two witness that have to spend seven years fighting evil or something. Abbie is not impressed, they need to talk to John Cho.

Too bad a demon just arrive in his cell. John Cho begs for his life but the demon doesn’t listen because it’s a demon. The demon breaks his neck and it’s super gross (RIP John Cho). Like so gross that it’s making my neck feel all weird just thinking about it.

Go team Icabbie! 

Ichabod and Abbie arrive but it’s too late – he’s already dead. They do see the demon disappear into the mirror though… Sympathy for the Devil starts playing again and that’s all for this week folks.