Monday, February 2, 2015


Article originally written for Seat42F.

“Kali Yuga,” the title of last night’s installment of FOX’s SLEEPY HOLLOW, is, according to Sanskrit scriptures, the final stage the world goes through and is associated with the demon Kali. This seems appropriate, given that in the hour Hawley’s godmother, Carmilla Pines (Jaime Murray, Defiance, Warehouse 13), shows up and tries to use a statue of Kali to turn him into the same type of demon she is. It’s yet another end-of-the-world scenario trying to force its way into the not-so-sleepy hollow.

Murray is a fantastic actress, and I’m excited to see her join the cast, hopefully in a recurring capacity. She is brilliant at playing characters that are hard to relate to, seeming alien to the average person. Carmilla Pines, a female Indiana Jones now cursed, is just such a person. She loves Hawley (Matt Barr), whom she raised after his parents died, but she’s selfish and bent on power of some sort. This makes for a villain who’s not 100% detestable and may one day be redeemed, but who still deserves to be stopped.

Stop her, they do, though this is complicated by the fact that Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) are still at odds over the Orion fiasco. Together, the witnesses make quite a team. Separated, they leave themselves vulnerable, and it’s that much harder to save the day. They do manage to get past their troubles, while locked in a deadly vault of course, in time to save Hawley, but not before Carmilla escapes. Had they been more on their game, they likely would have at least captured Carmilla, too, as while Hawley doesn’t want her around, I’m not positive he wants her dead, either, hesitating to murder her, as anyone likely would in his situation.

SLEEPY HOLLOW’s biggest strength is in the dynamic between the two leads, and while last week’s individual romps are fun with limited interaction between them, as the show should be able to do from time to time, the scenes in “Kali Yuga” serving this duo are great. From karaoke to Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) playing couple’s counselor, there are numerous funny and sweet moments. They do resolve things perhaps a bit too easily in a vault that is entirely too simple to escape from (they have plenty of time to keep pushing buttons until they find the correct one), but it’s satisfying to see them back on the same page.

There are weaknesses in “Kali Yuga,” too, besides the vault buttons. For one, SLEEPY HOLLOW has been building an Abbie / Hawley chemistry, which is suddenly ditched this week in favor of an immediate implied Jenny / Hawley relationship. What the hell is up with that? I see Abbie isn’t OK with it, but how did it even come about when Hawley has been paying more attention to Abbie? Even if he spends time with Jenny, we don’t see the shift. Secondly, if Carmilla and her minions are super-fast, why do they tussle with our heroes at all? Why not just rip away their weapons before they can be used? The fight scene doesn’t make any sense.

A mystery is teased in “Kali Yuga” when all charges against Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) are dropped and he returns home to his wife, Cynthia (Jill Marie Jones). Cynthia is suspicious, as she should be. Who let Frank go free? A visit to Katrina (Katia Winter) assures Cynthia that Frank is no longer being controlled by Henry (too-long-missing John Noble), but that last shot showing Irving doesn’t have a reflection is weird. I wish a little more running time were devoted to this, but am excited about where it might be going.

Overall, I like, not love, “Kali Yuga.” Some glaring plot weaknesses, mentioned above, bring it down, while character chemistry and mythology is well served. Tossing in Henry Knox (Ron Rogge, Obsessed) as yet another historical figure Ichabod knows is tiresome, but at least SLEEPY HOLLOW doesn’t beat us over the head with flashbacks this time, so it seems more natural to the story. Season two hasn’t lived up to expectations set in season one yet, but there’s still time to fix that as the series builds towards its season (possibly series) finale next month.

SLEEPY HOLLOW airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.

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