Sleepy Hollow is the only new series I picked up this season, and it was a gamble for me to take a chance on a FOX show because in the years since The X-Files ended, very few things I latched on to lived long on the network. I am so glad Sleepy Hollow has done well, and has already been renewed. I really, really hope all the viewers who were loving it in October come back tomorrow night after the mini baseball break.
Let’s catch you up on “John Doe.”
This was the first episode I rewatched, and I enjoyed it even more the second time around. It became more apparent on the second viewing, though, how much dialogue they’re dropping in the edit because there were a handful of lines that were closed captioned and never spoken aloud. WUWT I wonder.
We begin in the forest as a young boy about ten and garbed in old-timey clothes spies a girl among the trees. She entices him to play then and he runs after her and then she disappears. Then one of the Horseman appears and chases the boy to the edge of the highway where he ends up almost in the road.
Cut to Corbin’s cabin as Abbie is moving The Bod in and they chat a bit about faith and trusting things that you cannot see. The Bod says he’ll be quite happy there and Abbie wonders if it was all part of Corbin’s plan.
They’re called into town, where the boy from the forest is being loaded into an ambulance and when he speaks to The Bod in Middle English, which The Bod recognizes from his Oxford days, they realize this is no ordinary missing child case.
Back at the station, The Bod is startled to learn enough children go missing to require a database. He’s intrigued by the language issue with their boy, and they debrief the captain, who allow the Bod to interview him over a webcam. The plot thickens when the boy tells The Bod he’s from Roanoke. The police start looking at Virgina but The Bod retreats to the libralair and lets Abbie in that he thinks the boy is instead from the lost settlement of Roanoke several hundred years prior. She’s OK to hear him out but doesn’t share that with Irving.
Also at the station, Morales is snooping around about The Bod and Irving tells him he’s there for him so get back to work. Morales calls Oxford anyway and somebody calls him back and confirms that Professor Crane is on leave and loan to Westchester County, NY. Hmmm.
Abbie and The Bod head back out to the woods and after some nifty fox hound tracking mojo (where we learn that The Bod came from old money and nobleman blood) and some banter about wicked 19th century puns, they find a water bridge to a remote island that’s completely inhabited by the settlers of Roanoke. Tom Mison’s expression when they realize what they’ve found is just perfect.
The head of the community tells The Bod they were driven out by the Horseman of Pestilence and led to the island by the ghost of the youngest victim. They’re all infected but her ghost watches over them and keeps their symptoms at bay. When the boy, Thomas, was led into the modern day world, he took the plague to the outside. The only way to turn it around is to get Thomas back to Roanoke.
Abbie and The Bod return to the hospital, where the plague is spreading. The Bod starts showing symptoms and drops to the floor after they tranq him. Abbie tries to tell Irving they need to get The Bod and Thomas back to Roanoke but he’s more concerned about the building panic in town. An increasingly frantic Abbie ducks out of the hall and finds herself in the chapel, where she has an incredulous chat with God before a woman (who ay or may not be real) comes in and dips her fingers in the baptismal font and Abbie realizes Roanoke’s water is the key.
Meanwhile. The Bod hovers in a dream state where he visits Katrina and she tell him she’s in Purgatory and that if he’s there his death is imminent. People move in the shadows behind her and she tells him they’re also doomed. She starts to tell him she knows why she’s trapped there and then he’s sucked back into his body and startles awake before she can confess.
Abbie tells Irving her theory about the water and he believes her. He helps her hijack The Bod and Thomas. Abbie leads them into the woods, and when The Bod is ready to give up, she injects him with adrenaline and they keep moving. They get to the village to find the Horseman bearing down on the villagers. Abbie yells at the Bod to get in the water and he drops into the fountain with Thomas in his arms and submerges both of them.
Abbie screams at him to hurry and when he re-emerges the Horseman dissipates into smoke. Then a flash comes over them and The Bod sees Thomas and his dad waking away into the fog and when the flash recedes Abbie and The Bod are left standing in the ruins and realize Roanoke has been gone for years but the Horseman tried to bring the plague back to reunite with the other Horseman.
Abbie confides in The Bod that she was worried he would stay behind with the villagers and he doesn’t correct her. She tells him he belongs in Sleepy Hollow here and now. He suggest they go home then and she smiles at him. Out on the river bank, we see the Headless Horseman’s horse waiting for him to rise from the water.
I am so digging this show. And I finally figured out that the music is sort a kicky monster movie/Tim Burton/Goonies mashup that is the perfect tone for the show. I love the look of North Carolina standing in for upstate New York, too.
I love their friendship between Abbie and The Bod and that she’s come to rely on him as much as he does her. The unsaid piece of her statement at the end there that was that he belongs in Sleepy Hollow with her. I don’t think there’s any romance being floated there because Abbie knows full well Katrina is alive and well somewhere, but I think she’s finding the kindred friendship with The Bod that she lost when Corbin was killed. That they’re foretold to be buddied up is beside the point to their growing genuine fondness for each other.
This week’s fun with technology has several references to plastic when The Bod can’t get into a shrink wrapped razor and Abbie explains that plastic is what’s used for quarantine. He tuts facetiously that it’s any wonder they ever lived without it. There’s also a cute moment where he finally look sin a mirror and asks if he looks out of place. Abbie teases that he looks good for 200 but he could maybe do with new clothes. Thankfully they don’t attend to that yet. (Whatever they do, he needs to keep the waistcoat).
I’m still not sure we’re supposed to trust Irving. I hope we get to the bottom of whatever that is soon.
Tomorrow we’re back with a run of all new episodes. Here’s a sneak peek of “The Sin Eater” with Fringe‘s John Noble guest starring:
Photo courtesy of Brownie Harris/FOX.