Sleepy Hollow - Enter The Sandman


Sleepy Hollow took a step back in the right direction with Monday night's episode "For The Triumph of Evil" but I'm still not convinced it knows where it is going.  A case in point being another freak of the week episode. 

To further drive home that point Abbie once again made it clear that seven years of this are ahead of them.  Really?  Seven years of one demon at a time?  What kind of army is this?  Who's in charge?


If it is our mirror demon buddy, then he has a lot to learn about evil hordes.  Is this really what the writers have in store for us?  At least Katrina wasn't around to drop cryptic clues.  And speaking of the absent Katrina, Katia Winter who portrays Katrina has now been demoted to fourth place in the new, new opening.

I liked the new opening.  It was stylistically cool, neatly paced and very informative.  Too bad the "previously on Sleepy Hollow" bit told us the same thing just seconds later.



So before I turn this into another b*tch fest about what I didn't like, let's talk about the good stuff.

The Sandman himself was very well conceived and it also had roots in American Indian mythology as, "Ro' kenhrontyes".  Well played.  The Producers said they would dig deep into mythology and they succeeded here.  The Sandman reminded me of the "Pale Man" of Pan's Labyrinth fame.  A ghoul with a capital G. 

His power was also well adapted to the story.  It seems if you deny your past or someone you love or trusted then your betrayal has earthly consequences that first plays out in a dream. Turning a blind eye does not serve you well and Abbie's denial of her sister's childhood claims finally came back to haunt her.

(During that final fight with the Sandman when Crane lost his arm to the sand I thought he was going to draw out the ancient Indian symbol in it to ward off the demon.  A missed opportunity there.)



If there is another thing that Sleepy Hollow does well it is the inclusion of minorities.  The American Indian got representation in this episode and theirs is a culture rich in mysticism, faith in their forebears and a healthy respect of nature.  There is much to be mined here.

I thought Tom Mison did an excellent job expressing his pain when he learned of the fate of the Mohawks.  He was stunned.  They were the model of what was to be the structure of their newborn nation.  How could such a rich culture be just cast away?



Anyone that reads this blog can tell you I am a big fan of symbolism.  The mirror makes it return to Sleepy Hollow and I always find this an effective device.  Mirrors are literally and figuratively a reflection of our selves.  They are evocative of portals and they often expose a side of us we would rather not see.


To have demons pass through them or invoke them as dark reflections of our past is always bonus time for me.  (It must be the Fringe fanatic in me.)


Doors are good too!

Especially the kind of door that beckons you in a dream state.  Red doors are especially forbidding as their mythology goes all the way back to the Old Testament.  Fans of the TV show, "Being Human" know what kind of importance doors can pllay.

Once again, Sleepy Hollow used the Dream State as a device.  Some may find this tiresome but I don't think it's worn out it's welcome yet.  It better not, it seems the only way Katrina can communicate with Crane.  Dreams are rich in symbolism and their use should provide a worthy mechanism for this show.  Hopefully other culture's dream lore will find a way into this show.




 Anyone else get an X-Files vibe when the car rolled into the scene?  Mulder and Scully were always arriving at the scene in a car, especially after a commercial break.  To have the car enter upside down was a treat.  Not subverting but inverting our expectations!


 Are we to understand that everything hangs in the balance with our two main characters?


 The "Batcave" of Ichabod and Abbie is a treasure trove of clues and symbology.  I wonder ifit will remain static or will new things be sprinkled in every week?  I think I saw a Raven and definitely a bust of George Washington.  Was there a mirror or is that just asking demons to walk in


 Here's a gripe to close out this post.  How the heck did Irving find the Batcave so quickly?  I think we all can assume he knows more than he is letting on.  The sign gag was funny but seeing the ex-boyfriend was "ugh" worthy.

So, like I said, a step in the right direction.  Richer mythology, funny gags, cool symbolism and minority inclusion.  Just lose the freak of the week thing! 


(Unless it is the Headless Horseman, I love that guy.  Can't wait till he gets his head back!)

Comments

  1. Hi Dave,
    I liked this episode, the Fringiest yet. How many episodes into Fringe was it that Olivia went into the sensory deprivation tank (dream state) wearing her black bra? Then there’s a ghoul with no mouth, a Walter’s lab-like bat cave, a mirror world, Irving as the Broyles figure, and even sweets (doughnut holes!). Ichabod’s reaction to the energy drink was hilarious and reminded me of Walter. For now I like the parallels, but obviously there will have to be some departures going forward.

    I liked the shaman/car salesman too. I hope he is a recurring character. It seems like our heroes will need some mystical consultants to aid their missions from time to time, especially if they are going to tackle beasties from a variety of religious and folklore sources.

    The upside-down camera shot of the car was cool. There were a couple of other interesting shots I liked in this episode: the view up through the car windshield as the psychiatrist’s body fell on it and the shot of Ichabod’s face framed by the loop of a noose. Going back to the pilot the camera work of the priest’s eye view as his head was lopped off and fell to the ground was very cool. The show is visually interesting for sure.

    The Sandman as freak of the week fit in much better in terms of directly relating to the character’s back-stories. My take is that Jenny somehow called him forth, but perhaps not intentionally. He was focused on tormenting people who wronged her, not just random guilty people. She’s obviously been preparing for a jailbreak and perhaps focusing her mind on vengeance to strengthen her resolve? Did it tap into that? Or is she in league with the demon(s) since the town rejected her and locked her up?

    One last thing, the white eyes. We’ve seen a lot of mirror symbolism, mirrors being portholes to another world. “The eyes are the mirrors to the soul.” Here we saw eyes go opaque as the victims succumbed to the “other side” and even burst on the dead woman, like the several broken mirrors on the show. Just throwing it out there, it could just be that the white eyes look super creepy :) I did think it was strange that the Sandman’s eyes were black or void, not white like the victims.

    Thanks for the post! Lynne

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    1. The "Fringiest" episode yet? Well, if you have a winning formula then stick with it, right? I can't blame them but I hope they eventually cut their own trail.

      Glad you like the shaman too (Michael Teh). You never know what connects with the audience or the producers. Felicity on "Arrow" was supposed to be a one shot deal now she is a series regular. Great work if you can get it! Should we start a campaign to get Teh on the show by sending Fox scorpions?

      So you think Jenny summoned the Sandman and not the "Blurry Man"? (As he is credited as.) That would mean Sleepy Hollow is some sort of confluence of evil much like Sunnydale was the Hellmouth on Buffy. That would be interesting. We'll have to keep an eye on that.

      Nice catch with the Sandman's eyes being black while the rest had cloudy eyes. I'm not sure what that means but now I remember the Headless Horseman's eyes being clouded over also. He seems to be a soulless creature as did the Sandman. So maybe it is just a device. That would be too bad.

      Thanks for the feedback Lynne!

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    2. Yes on the Hellmouth idea, that is what I was getting at. OK so let's say the blurry demon sent Sandman. He knows Jenny saw him (blurry demon) and yet attacks her detractors, not her. Trying to win her over?

      So the headless horseman wore a mask and we can't see blurry demon's face. Do you think at some point we will see either face and it will be Ichabod's? -Lynne

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    3. Perhaps he is trying to win her over or at least defeat his most dangerous opponents. Blurry didn't fear Jenny because no one believed her. Maybe now he has reason to.

      Ooooh, you should write for the show. Ichabod's face? Maybe maybe not. We got to see the horseman's face in a jar. I'm going to link to a picture and I hope it works. If not, Jar Head is at the bottom of my first blog post for "Sleepy".

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-X8kSCwarhJg/UjyJVpTjx0I/AAAAAAAAC44/KX6igsPoHPw/s400/normal_sleepyhollow0101-2598.jpg

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    4. It worked but you have to copy and paste to your browser.

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    5. Yeah OK I remember the face in the jar, not Crane. I'll hold out for blurry dude :)

      PS YAY FOR A SEASON 2 RENEWAL ALREADY!!!!

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  2. Hi Dave,
    I actually thought that this was the best ep of Sleepy Hollow thus far.

    My one main gripe .... and ive mentioned it before ... is the almost 'blink and you miss it' disposal of the enemy / freak of the week ...at the end.

    I thought that the build up to the ultimate confrontation with the Sandman was really good .... and I expected a little more when it came to his ultimate demise. I'm not sure if its written this way or it happens during the editing. Either way ... I don't like it. If the build up to a confrontation is important ...then the outcome should have more effort placed into it. It seems like our heroes victory or triumph is quickly dismissed in order to move the show along. I find this really frustrating!

    Apart from this one gripe I did really enjoy this ep. I really hope they delve deeply into the mysticism of the American Indian culture. This could add a lot to the mythology of the story.

    I hope we get to see our friend the Headless Horseman next week because i missed him in this ep. He cuts a fine figure on that horse ..... even without his head!

    Lyn (runpaceyrun)

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    1. Hi Lyn,

      "Best yet?" Okay. I agree the defeat of evil is a bit too easy. Remember how many setback and defeats they suffered on Fringe? It made the victories all the more sweeter and added a lot more to the drama.

      I 'd prefer the defeat of the evil to be commensurate with the challenge also. But I can understand that once you make peace with your past it all goes away. From a psychological point of view I guess it is like facing your fears and the nightmares dissipate.

      Lynne (duckyislost) and really liked the Indian mysticism also. The actor that played Seamus Duncan is named Michael Teh. His IMDB page says he is from Sydney, Australia. Are you familiar with him and his work at all?

      I hope to the see "Cranial Challenged" rider too. So evil it's good!

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    2. Dave....my 'best yet' comment refers to the fact that out of the eps screened so far, I thought this was the best. I was more engaged as a viewer and didn't question anything until we got to the defeat of the Sandman. Just too quick for me.

      As for aussie actor (jeez aren't they popping up everywhere!) Michael Teh ... embarrassed to say ive never heard of him. Mind you, id never heard of Anna Torv until Fringe (but had in fact already seen her in a movie and on tv ....just hadn't put a name to the face) - oops! I will do some further investigation on him ... maybe ive also seen him on before.

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    3. OK detective the case is yours.

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    4. While you're at it, find out when that new Torv vehicle airs!

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  3. Agree on the Fringiest episode yet post above. Hoping this show can find it's footing.

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    1. Good to hear from you Bonita, Sleepy has a lot of supporters and apparently the network loves it too. Don't be a stranger!

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