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Thursday, October 15, 2015

SLEEPY HOLLOW's Prospects "Dark"

Article originally written for Seat42F.

On last night’s SLEEPY HOLLOW on FOX, “Whispers in the Dark,” Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) try to protect some people being hunted by a shadow. Said shadow has been unleashed by Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon), whom the two begin to realize has been hanging around. Thankfully, they have Ichabod’s memories of an encounter Betsy Ross (Nikki Reed) had with the creature, so they are able to defeat it by the end of the hour.

I am very glad I took notes while watching last night’s installment, something I don’t normally do, because otherwise, I’m not sure I’d remember enough to write about it this morning. The episode had a few fun bits with our heroes, but was mostly a forgettable mess of plot holes and inconsistencies. The hope sparked last week that the third season of SLEEPY HOLLOW would get past the mistakes of the dreadful second year is dying out quickly.

Let’s start with Daniel Reynolds (Lance Gross, House of Payne). He is a mysterious man from Abbie’s past whom she attended Quantico with. Somehow, Abbie attended Quantico and became an agent in the single year between seasons two and three, met an older man who also happened to be in the same program, and that man is now a boss, her boss? None of that sounds the least bit believable.

Abbie’s problems with the FBI don’t end there. Abbie frequently neglects her normal cop duties during the first two seasons of SLEEPY HOLLOW because she’s fighting the supernatural, but this is forgivable because her boss is in on her secret and knows what she’s up to. Now, Abbie is doing the same thing as an FBI agent without that same level of protection from above. There’s no way she can get away with doing what she does and still keep her job, even if somehow, by chance, this shadow is her actual assigned case, which is far-fetched itself. Where are her fellow agents? Who is she working with? She’s a brand new agent, there’s no way she’s given this much freedom.

Also, how did Abbie afford such a nice house as the one she is living in in “Whispers in the Dark?” You can’t tell me her salary as a local cop paid for that, and she certainly isn’t making that kind of money as a newly-graduated federal agent. We know Ichabod doesn’t have any money to help her pay the mortgage (which makes one wonder how he funded his year abroad). Again, the writers fail to think through what is realistic in this situation.

Then, Abbie and Ichabod supposedly defeat the creature the same way Betsy Ross did back in colonial times. Except they don’t. The scene we see with Betsy looks quite different from what they are facing. Why make this parallel if you’re not going to follow through and connect them?
In the ‘B’ plot of “Whispers in the Dark,” Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) runs into Joe Corbin (Zach Appelman) who apparently has been just waiting around to join the team all this time. She turns down his application, and he is immediately kidnapped and gets drawn in any way. That seems way too big a coincidence to me. Why didn’t we see Joe approach sooner? Why is he kidnapped if he’s not connected? None of it makes sense.

I liked SLEEPY HOLLOW’s first season a lot, especially once the show got going. Now, it seems like a typical crime drama that just happens to have mystical elements, and one in which settings and character relationships are created purely to serve the formula for that genre without any regard as to what makes sense for this world. It’s disrespectful to the fans and lazy for the production to put this type of product forward. The ratings have been poor enough that a fourth season seems unlikely for SLEEPY HOLLOW, which only narrowly got a third run. In my opinion, it cannot be pulled off the air soon enough.

Oh, and since Joe is here for Jenny and Daniel is flirting with Abbie, I guess we won’t get Hawley back any time soon. That’s a shame because he was a cool character with potential. It’s a waste to disappear him.

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

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