***Warning: Spoilers ahead.***
Sleepy Hollow gave us an honest to goodness haunted house this week, and instead of my eyeballs being glued to the screen, I found my attention wandering a bit. Okay, more than a bit. Which is a pretty new phenomena for me when it comes to this show. One that I hope isn't going to be a recurring theme.
Hear that, writers? Get it together please.
Abbie and Ichabod
For the second week in a row, the two witnesses' relationship feels off to me. Yes, they're working together to get out of the haunted house they find themselves trapped in, but it's almost as if they're working at cross purposes. Technically, I realize that they aren't, but that's not how it feels. And once again, Crane's habit of becoming unhinged at the most inconvenient of times gives Abbie pause and causes her to give him a well-deserved side-eye.
The disappearance of a lady billionaire gets the ball rolling, but that was just the plot-device-of-the-week to get them where they needed to be to be for everything else that goes down in this episode. The haunted house is admittedly creepy and atmospheric, and Abbie is suitably freaked out. It doesn't take long before they find the missing socialite and rescue her from a closet-full of overly-friendly vines; it takes even less time for the monster-of-the-week (a tree monster that gives me the shivers) to make an appearance and come after them.
In true horror movie fashion, the team is split up and as Abbie runs for her life with just her gun for company, she has several run-ins with an actual helpful ghost for a change in the form of Grace Dixon, the mansion's former house matron.
Eventually, Abbie is shown a vision of Katrina giving birth to Ichabod's son (sigh) before she's reunited with him. Although I am in no way crazy about this storyline, I'm glad that she tells Crane about his child right away and doesn't drag it out until the end of the season. But now we have no idea what happened to Ichabod's son and that's probably going to become the next Big Thing. Until it's not.
We also learn that Abbie is related to Grace Dixon and I've got to say...it didn't come as a shock to me at all. All they needed was a blinking neon sign and some blaring horns to point the way to that reveal because I saw it coming a mile away. I mean, who didn't see that one coming? And would they admit it if they hadn't?
So because Grace birthed Ichabod's son, it's explained to us that Abbie and Crane's entwined fates have been destined from the start. Okay. Right.
Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this either. Like the Headless Horseman, I liked the fact that Abbie and Crane's coming together was a bit of a mystery. Other than the fact that they were the two witnesses, we didn't know exactly why they had such a strong connection, we just knew that they did. And that was good enough. But now that we've been told why, the intrigue behind their relationship is gone. And of course, their connection leads back to Katrina. Abbie can't even have that on her own.
If the writers have a plan in all this, they'd better let us in on it quick. The ending might be great, but the journey to get there is becoming tedious. And that's a problem.
Abbie and Grace
Since Abbie's given name is really Grace, I guess we are to assume that's she's named after her ancestor. Even though we didn't get to see much of Grace, I do hope we'll get to see more of her. I'd like to know more about her other than her being a friendly ghost to Abbie or acting as Katrina's midwife.
Bonus #1: Irving, Jenny, Cynthia and Macey
I have a confession to make: the most interesting part of this entire episode to me was watching Captain Irving deal with the ladies in his life. I felt kind of bad for him. He obviously loves his daughter to pieces and would spend every waking second with her if he could, but of course, all the craziness in Sleepy Hollow won't allow it.
TV 101 tells us that despite his ex-wife's threat to go after full custody if he cancels on Macey again, it's going to happen. It's not a matter of if, but a matter of how and when. I loved seeing the fabulous Jill Marie Jones again, and Amandla Stenberg was an adorable addition whose character can effortlessly keep up with Jenny Mills' epic snark.
And if I wasn't fully convinced that the show wants us to ship Irving and Jenny, I am now. The unresolved sexual tension was flying fast and thick this week with even Irving's daughter mistaking Jenny for his girlfriend. That is one development I will definitely be keeping an eye on.
Bonus #2: Katrina
I apologize in advance that this portion of my post is going to be longer than Abbie's, but it needs to be said.
I've had occasional flashes of disinterest this season and upon reflection they've all centered around one thing: Katrina. I haven't said much about her because I wanted my posts to focus solely on Abbie and her interactions with the other characters on the show. This being the Black Girls' Club after all, it's all about her. But I find that I can't ignore the Katrina problem any longer. And it is a problem. In fact, it's become such a big problem that it's threatening to engulf the entire premise of what promises to be an awesome show.
Katrina has been an issue since the first episode and with the season finale looming on the horizon, that hasn't changed. In fact, it's only gotten worse. Her entire relationship with Ichabod has been the very definition of show versus tell. Everything we know about her and her "great love" with Crane has been told to us in weird time jumps, strained leaps of logic and tiresome exposition that makes me care less and less about her character as the season wears on. It should be the opposite. And on that front, the show is failing and failing hard.
I don't buy the fact that Katrina and Ichabod are soul mates no matter how much the showrunners and actors tell us they are. I don't buy that their relationship is the greatest love story ever told. And I certainly don't buy that Katrina is the most Important Person Ever and thus needs to be injected into every storyline on the show no matter how flimsy the connection is. Her presence hasn't felt organic. It's felt shoehorned into the plot by the writers as a way to make her character stay relevant while they figure out what it is they want to do with her.
So is the show really asking us to just take on faith the fact that she lied to Ichabod about being a witch, won't give him a straight answer on why she's in trapped in Purgatory and still has failed to tell him that he has a son despite all the times that she's "seen" him since he came back from the dead because she really means well? Sorry, but no. Why should we? The character hasn't earned our trust, and the writers don't seem to be making an effort to hurry that along.
Maybe her character would have made more sense if she was Crane's sister or aunt or cousin, but what they're doing now isn't working. For whatever reason (and I have my suspicions on why), the creators decided to make her his wife, and all it's doing is hurting the show. Whatever her purpose is, it's taking too long to come to light, and I've lost my patience. I'm tired of waiting for her to become more than a convenient plot device. At this point, I don't want to know more about her nor do I care.
It's interesting to note that this week's episode was the show's lowest-rated to date, and I doubt that the questionable plot decisions in the last two episodes are a coincidence. It seems like the more they focus the storyline on Katrina, the lower the ratings sink.
I hope the bigwigs over at Fox are paying attention, because the viewers are speaking loud and clear. The writers had better course correct quickly. They already got their second season, but if they keep this up they might not get a third.