Sleepy Hollow: Paradise Lost

Posted on January 06, 2015

Sleepy-Hollow-Television-Review-Season2-Episode-12-Tom-Lorenzo-SiteTom Mison and Nicole Beharie in FOX’s “Sleepy Hollow”

 

Well, that was one giant *headdesk* of an episode. Once again, we find ourselves wishing there’d been a camera trained on us while we watched this. Not because we like seeing ourselves on camera, but because our horrified/disgusted expressions would have been hilarious to watch – if we weren’t so horrified and disgusted that is.

We’re calling it now: season 2 of Sleepy Hollow is a total bust, we’re sorry to say. The only thing that’s saving it from becoming a “season 2 of Heroes“-level disaster is the fact that it was never as popular as Heroes originally was. Our only hope was that the creators got whatever it is they needed to get out of their systems with that silly fall finale and we’d be getting back to what made this show great in the first place. But what did we get? Katrina in a sheer top, acting like an even bigger lying pain in the ass than she ever was, the Mopey Horseman, and more Crane marriage drama, as a Supernatural reject with a Frisbee gets treated like a threat – or even mildly interesting (SPOILER: He wasn’t either.).

Less than halfway through the show’s first full season is NOT the time to do a “Well, everything we thought we stood for is now behind us. What to do?” That’s something you save for season 5, when you run out of ideas. And it still feels like the creators want to work against the one unassailably good thing about the show: the insane chemistry between Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison, who spent about twice as much time away from each other, talking nonsense to nonsense characters as they did together, kicking ass and being the Witnesses we all tuned in to watch. Sorry, but Jenny and Beardy’s relationship history is so very not what the audience wants to be hearing about right now, and it speaks to the tin ear the show’s creators have with regards to what made the show appealing in the first place.

They had this great apocalyptic story with story roots stretching back centuries and a buttload of historical figures in its background. Now, it’s generic demon-hunting and Crane family drama. It’s Katrina constantly arguing to save her son and former lover with people who’ve had to bury several of their victims – over and over again. And the truly weird part is, all of the characters are written to be as annoyed by the way things have shaken out as we are; as if they’d all much rather be dealing with the Apocalypse than arguing over domestic dramas.

And what annoys us the most is that it could have been an entirely different – and much better – episode if the creators really had the courage to push these characters. The only real interest came when Abbie started getting angry with Katrina, and by extension, with Ichabod. We wanted to see this long-simmering disagreement on tactics (not to mention the long-simmering UTTER USELESSNESS of Katrina to their cause) really explode, with consequences. But once again, everyone retreated to their corners, with nothing resolved and little of importance said. Oh, and the Headless Horseman is free and living in the woods again, with a restraining order against the Cranes. That’s JUST where we all wanted the story that gave us “The secret is in Washington’s diary” and FRANKLINSTEIN’S FREAKING MONSTER to wind up. It’s almost stunning how badly the creators have bungled this show. John Noble is pretty much a fantasy and speculative fiction icon at this point (and one with a well-deserved reputation for great acting), and they couldn’t figure out anything to do with him to make him interesting. We were actually relieved that he wasn’t in this episode.

But because we’re, y’know, us, there was one thing that really set us off last night; one aspect of this episode that had us throwing our hands up in despair and all but declaring the glory days over.

“What the hell is he even wearing?!?” we said, aghast at Orion’s (and can we all just agree to collectively “Oh, please” that name?) sub-Game of Thrones leather tunic. What happened to all the powdered wigs and waistcoats the monsters on this show used to wear? Why this rush to take a show with both a distinct hook and a distinct look and turn it into the blandest Supernatural/Buffy knockoff? The wings, people. The silly, Birdman-esque, feathers-hot-glued-to-a-wire frame WINGS. We groaned so loud at the sight of them that it was more like a sustained yell that petered out. You have a chance to define an angel’s look in a gothic horror story and you give him feathers and leather. We want the whole art direction department fired just for that one letdown alone. Castiel’s trenchcoat is something of a cliche itself (especially if you’ve seen Wings of Desire, which you should), but at least they never literally showed him flapping his feather wings and taking off.

This was just some straight-up bad TV.

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX]

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