9.29.2013

Black Girls' Night Out: Abbie Mills


***Warning:  Spoilers ahead.***

This week on Sleepy Hollow, we get more character development for Abbie (!), John Cho comes back from the dead and we meet the first of Death's evil minions.  There was also the unveiling of a new Super Secret HQ, relationship talk between our two leads (and relationship talk evading between our two leads), and donut tax outrage.  Yes, I said donut tax outrage.  Man, I love this show.

Before I get started on the recap, let's talk about the show's copious amounts of diversity for a minute.  There are characters of color galore and all of them are still alive.  We've already met three and were introduced to two more in this episode.  Is it just me, or has anyone else felt the need to repeatedly pinch yourself as you watch to make sure you aren't seeing things? 

For the moment, there are now more POC characters on the show than there are white ones, which is unheard of on a network TV genre show.  There's a pattern of inclusion developing here, and I hope it continues.  I also hope the other networks see the success of this show, realize part of the reason for that success and play follow the leader like they're so apt to do when there's money involved.  But since keeping the status quo intact seems more important than earning money for them right now, I'm not going to hold my breath.  I'm just going to love the hell out of the jewel we've been given and continue to revel in the awesome that is Sleepy Hollow.

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The show opens with Abbie trying to convince Captain Irving that there is some weird stuff going on in town and he needs to stop ignoring it.  Okay, okay.  The episode really starts with a beautifully shot scene of Ichabod running through the darkened forest being chased by the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse and one of Katrina's cryptic warnings.  But for us, it's all about Abbie so that's where we begin.  (As an aside, I like how we got to see the Four Horseman right away.  In most shows of this type, the other Horseman would've been teased for multiple seasons before we even got a glimpse of them, so I'm glad they didn't make us wait.)

Ichabod's sticky notes
As Abbie valiantly tries to stand up for Ichabod, we're treated to a mash-up of scenes showing Crane reluctantly becoming acquainted with modern technology with a multitude of Abbie-written sticky notes to help guide him.  (The jury's still out on whether he's repulsed or in awe of all that we've been able to accomplish in 250 years.) 

The captain tells Abbie that she's basically on an island all by herself when it comes to the events from the pilot because no one wants to corroborate her story.  He then shows her a rather disturbing video of John Cho snapping his own neck in his cell to further discourage her.  After spending the better part of an entire scene shooting holes in every one of her points, he negates his entire tirade by telling her that he's leaving town for a few days and gives her permission to do her thing.  As long as she doesn't embarrass him, that is.  Yeah, good luck with that, Captain.

Cut to Abbie knocking on Crane's motel room door where we immediately find out that Ichabod is definitely not a morning person.  The second she arrives, he begins to complain about everything from being held captive by the police to Abbie's seeming reversal of her belief in his veracity (I love Ichabod-speak).  She finally manages to shut up him with that little slice of heaven known as the donut hole.

In one of the creepiest scenes I've seen on TV (and I've watched Supernatural from the beginning, so...), John Cho bursts from his body bag, head still hanging backward like an open Pez dispenser.  Seems that the Blurry Man has resurrected our favorite psycho cop (fixing his neck in the process....kind of) and wants him to pay it forward.  He's not so much afraid as "WTF" and that made me love Andy Brooks all the more.  I hope this character isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Captain Irving and Abbie
After a bit of priceless squad car banter, in which Ichabod rails against the American tax code and clumsily avoids talking about his wife Katrina despite Abbie's gleeful prodding, the tone dramatically shifts in their next scene from playful to poignant.  As Abbie struggles--and fails--to hold back tears at Sheriff Corbin's funeral, we see Ichabod standing at a distance watching her raptly as his hair gently blows in the wind. 

It takes a visit to Katrina's grave and a not-so-gentle reminder via voiceover that the dark force they're looking for is "one of us" and the lightbulb finally clicks on over Ichabod's head.  The coming evil is a witch.  Come on, Katrina, why couldn't you just say that in the first place?  Next time, try to be a little less cryptic, please and thank you.

Back at the station house, Abbie and Crane (who are suddenly sporting strikingly similar hairstyles and wardrobes) go back and forth some because Abbie still needs a moment to breathe after all the craziness that's been thrown her way lately.  This is where we get our first moment of Abbie-related character development as Ichabod practically begs her to open up to him.  (And it couldn't have been a coincidence that he used the same words with her that he just had at his wife's grave.  "Please, help me understand.")

Haltingly, Abbie tells Crane that after her incident in the woods with the four white trees, she began to get into trouble.  After an incident involving breaking into a pharmacy looking to score, Sheriff Corbin decided to take her under his wing instead of arresting her.  By the end of her story (which involved a wonderful flashback of a younger Abbie and Corbin), she is nearly in tears and so am I.  Ichabod looks like he wants to hug her, and I can understand the urge.  It's so refreshing to see a black woman being allowed to be vulnerable, to cry, to show normal human emotions just like any other woman.  It's something we're not usually allowed to do on TV, so I applaud the writers here.

John Cho
Andy Brooks and his neck
An incoming call interrupts the moment and our heroes go off to view the charred remains of poor Jeremy Firth, the unfortunate product of an earlier John Cho police stop.  The dark spirit that he helped release earlier, a creepy looking witch who was burned at the stake centuries ago, is already killing folks and Crane has an idea of who it might be.  Cue handy Ichabod flashback.  (By the way, how is John Cho's no-longer-quite-dead body stealing uniforms and squad cars and running around town doing traffic stops and no one has noticed?  The town's not that big.  I'm just sayin'.)

It's back to the station house for Corbin's file and here the writer's play on one of my favorite TV tropes:  The new man in Abbie's life and the old man in Abbie's life meet and instantly sparks fly.  They don't like each other, and it's apparent from the outset.  As they meanly snark at each other, we learn that Ichabod's cover story is that he's a visiting professor from Oxford, which Luke seems to find hilarious.  Abbie makes a sudden appearance (who didn't see that one coming?), and much to Ichabod's gloating delight and Luke's confused dismay, she quickly pulls Crane out of there.  Before they even cut the corner however, Ichabod begins to shamelessly grill Abbie about her relationship with Luke.  He wants to know why they broke up, if they're going to get back together and straight up tells her that he feels entitled to know since she'd interrogated him about Katrina earlier.  Of course, much like he did, Abbie deflects and the game is suddenly afoot. 

Um-hm...we see you, show.

Crane bashes in a wall in the station's basement which leads to the bowels of the armory across the street and their new Super Secret HQ.  It's loaded to the brim with old stuff and luckily, that includes all of Corbin's files.  After some Winchester-style research, we learn that the Big Bad of the week is Serilda of Abbadon and she's back to seek revenge on the ancestors of those who killed her.  We also learn in a bit of throwaway dialogue that Ichabod has an eidetic memory and can remember sights, sounds and smells with perfect clarity. 

Luke Morales and Ichabod hating each other intensely
The Dynamic Duo rushes off to save her next intended victim, a cute little kid that had been harassed by John Cho a few scenes earlier.  However, when they arrive they discover that the kid is adopted and therefore doesn't qualify for the Serilda Sweepstakes of Doom.  Instead, she took the dead father's ashes, which had conveniently been perched on a shelf near the door.  (Who keeps an urn on the shelf near the front door?  Is that really a thing?  Somehow, I don't think so.)

Before they rush off to the tunnels to burn the witche's bones, Abbie impersonates Ichabad badly but hilariously, and John Cho gets sassy with Serilda as the camera cuts to him digging up said bones.  Unfortunately, they're too late as Serilda uses her ill-gotten gains to bring herself back to the land of the living.  Fortunately, she doesn't stay that way for long.  After some exposition by way of subtitles, Ichabod has the great idea to use the old gunpowder chests to blow Serilda to kingdom come.

The music swells, the day is saved and back at the precinct, Abbie laments that she wishes things could go back to the way they were.  For his part, Ichabod isn't trying to hear it.  He butters her up by telling her that he takes comfort knowing that they have to walk their path together.  Judging by the small smile she gives him, the buttering worked.  I don't blame you, Abbie.  It probably would've worked on me too.

Oh, and in this same scene we learn that Ichabod wants to try to free his wife after learning from Serilda's subtitled exposition that she's trapped in "a world between worlds."  Whatever that means.  I take it to mean limbo or Purgatory, but what do I know?  On this show, it could mean the corner convenience store, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Jenny Mills - BAMF
In what was probably one of my favorite scenes, Abbie goes into Corbin's office and is confronted with his ghost.  Or vision.  Or...something.  I don't care which it was, I was just happy to see him again.  He does his best to comfort her, imploring her to stop being afraid of what she doesn't understand so that she can see who she really is and what she's meant to do.  She tearfully tells him that she misses him, and he tells her not to be afraid of number 49.  She looks perplexed, both by his words and the fact that he disappears right after.

The last epic scene of the night is the BAMF entrance of Sarah Conner Jenny Mills, Abbie's sister.  She's in a psychiatric facility in room number 49, stealthily not taking her medicine (always check under the tongue!) and doing push-ups and chin-ups like a boss.  The Blurry Man makes a brief appearance while her back is turned and scares the bejeebers out of everyone (is this going to be a weekly thing?) before the screen turns black and we all have to wait until next week to get another fix. 

Yep...only two episodes in, and I'm already addicted (damn you, show!).  I love the characters, the setting, the story that's being told and the set up for what's to come.

Fox, you have a winner on your hands.  Now don't screw it up.


8 comments:

  1. I cannot wait to see more of Jen.

    And I like the Ichabod/Abbie/Luke triangle they appear to be hinting at. I hope they are not just teasing us and planning to make Katrina more important. I really love this show for the POC.

    That Naked Demon is so creepy.

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  2. For the moment, there are now more POC characters on the show than there are white ones, which is unheard of on a network TV genre show.

    Didn't realize this until you mentioned it; wonder how long it's gonna last.

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  3. I really liked the fact that John Cho isn't some 2d baddie. He constantly has regret and remorse. He was trying to protect Abbie in the first episode by keeping her out of the fight and he was apologetic to each of the victims he had to find. I'm rooting for him a bit. Not gonna lie.

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  4. Andy's invisible. When he was digging up ol' girl's grave when Ichy came around the corner, Ichy couldn't see him. The Forces of Darkness are adept at hiding, covering up, and misdirection. So darling Pez-Head Andy can walk around instigating all kinds of fuckery and no one will ever suspect that it's him.

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  5. So far,so good.Though I'm still cautious about Sleepy Hollow.

    Now this is a picture with a lot of great character chemistry and definitely lots of scary scenes..those sand people were something..eck!

    I was reading about Miller's bio and understandably,she was surprised about the I trial across of SH.Being AA,she didn't think that she would get the job and the far out storyline,but its working more than she imagined.Another thing that I'm liking about this show is that it it has become a hit without(so far) a love scene.Don't get me wrong ,I like looking at shows like Scandal and Twisted..maybe and their love scenes but SH is proving that a Black female lead can be successful with/without it. I bet that some critics have that negative thought about Black female leads.

    I was happy to read that SH was the highest rated show in seven years and is 2nd behind Dancing With The Stars.That's a really great honor. As I mentioned,so far so good. I also find it interesting,as llama brought up,the number of POCS on that show.That's all good. I'm just hope that the producers/writer of that show let anybody /anything mess this show up.

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    1. Now this is a picture with a lot of great character chemistry and definitely lots of scary scenes

      *nods* #johnchosneck

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  6. Well looks like FOX said let's hurry up and renew for a second season:

    Fox gives 'Sleepy Hollow' early renewal for Season 2- http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2013/10/03/fox-gives-sleepy-hollow-early-renewal-for-season-2/2916095/

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