Tom Mison in FOX’s “Sleepy Hollow.”
Ding-dong, the witch is dead.
And if countless people have already made that joke regarding the developments in this episode, we apologize. We’ve been busy with Oscars stuff, which is why this one’s gotta be short and sweet. Truth be told, there was a huge part of us that just wanted to skip it, but since this episode ended the season (and possibly even the series, but we doubt that) by giving us quite a bit of what we’ve been asking for for months (in that charming whine of ours), we felt compelled to opinionate. We so often do.
First, let’s say that, though enjoyable at parts and with a very welcome outcome, this wasn’t exactly a perfect episode. So much of the action revolved around a take-backsies magic spell that we knew was going to be undone before the episode ended. “How will Abbie get back to the present?” quickly turned into “Oh. They just beheaded Ben Franklin.” *checks watch* “Abbie’ll be home in ten minutes, probably.”
Okay, we lied. We don’t wear watches.
But our point remains. This was obviously a deal-with episode, as in, “Let’s deal with all the stuff that’s not working on this show.” It seemed pretty clear to us from very early on that Katrina was going to wind up dead by the end of it, just as it seemed obvious that Abbie would get home and history would be re-righted. Personally, we’d have loved a screwed-up timeline and still-living evil Katrina ruling over it by the end, just as we would have loved a slightly deeper dive on a 21st Century black woman showing up in Colonial New York. But if there’s one thing this season has sadly proven to us, it’s that this show doesn’t make bold moves. Katrina spends all season useless and then within 3 episodes goes evil and dies. Abbie winds up in chains in pre-Civil War America and man, that’s just really annoying to her. Positively eyeroll-worthy. We don’t even know what it is we’re asking for here, but if you’re going to put a black woman in chains at the height of American slavery, you better be prepared to say something about it.
Unfortunately, the show has a history of making these sudden turns or failing to explore things that are screaming out to be explored, both of which made this episode in particular feel like a rush patch job. Let’s just get Katrina good and dead and move on. Which is great, we guess. Like we said, we’d have liked a slightly different direction for this finale, but at least one of the show’s biggest problems has been dealt with.
The Crane family drama is done, Hawley’s gone, and Frank is no longer the annoying pain in the ass he’s been ever since he signed that contract. At the end, our team of heroes consisted of one white colonialist and three black people – and that is exactly one of the reasons why we first started watching the show. Unlike the moment Abbie was put in chains, the fact of this combination of people doesn’t need to be commented upon or explored deeply. It just needs to be. Ben Franklin quite astutely and accurately noted that Abbie Mills, as a free-born black woman serving as an officer of the law, is the living embodiment of the American dream. It was a lovely moment in a very rushed episode but it reminded us why the racial component of this show is such a huge part of its appeal and uniqueness. Having Ichabod Crane’s closest compatriots and friends all be people of color tells you something about what kind of revolutionary he was and offers a statement both on how this country has changed and what the promise of this country can be.
Not to put too fine a point on it.
So even though it was rushed and not nearly as emotionally compelling as it should have been (Show of hands: who teared up at Katrina’s death? Anyone?), the decks have been cleared of detritus and the final image of the season says to us that the people in charge realize what makes this show a pleasure and are ready to focus on those things.
[Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/Fox]
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