REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 11

MAIN CAST

Emily Deschanel (Easy)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Enchanted)
T.J. Thyne (Ghost World)
Tamara Taylor (Serenity)
John Boyd (Lady In The Water)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Patricia Belcher (Jeeprs Creepers)
Pej Vahdat (Lie To Me)
Roger Cross (Arrow)
Dilshad Vadsaria (Second Chance)
Kim Raver (24)
Matthew Holmes (Blue Heelers)
Dan Hildebrand (Game of Thrones)
Michael Grant Terry (Grimm)
Gil Darnell (Reign)
Betty White (The Proposal)
Brian Klugman (Cloverfield)
Erin Chaill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Paul Johansson (Van Helsing)
Tom Lenk (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow)
Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Ringer)
Malcolm David Kelley (Lost)
Laura Spencer (The Big Bang Theory)
Brenda Strong (Supergirl)
Nicholas Gonzales (The Flash)
Eugene Byrd (Arrow)
Kevin Fonteyne (Melissa & Joey)
Ignacio Serricchio  (The Wedding Ringer)
Callard Harris (The Originals)
Rachel Melvin (Zombeavers)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Gavin MacIntosh (The FOsters)
Carla Gallo (Superbad)
Sara Lafleur (Ugly Betty)
Michael Reilly Burke (The Vampire Diaries)
Andy Milder (Seven Pounds)
Skyler Vallo (The A-List)
Eddie Shin (That 80s Show)
Sara Rue (Mom)
Alyssa Diaz (Army Wives)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Nishi Munshi (The Originals)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Lou Ferrigno Jr. (How I Met Your Mother)
John Shea (Mutant X)
Jim Pirri (Lois & Clark)
Bridgett Newton (Man of Steel)
Nicole Bilderback (Dark Angel)
Sebastian Roche (The Originals)
Gilles Marini (2 Broke Girls)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Eric Millegan (On_Line)

At the end of season 10, Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) both decided to quit their jobs at the Jeffersonian and the FBI respectively. Now, six months later, their daughter Christine (Sunnie Pelant) has a little baby brother, and Booth is training new FBI recruits for a living. They seem to be happy in their new situation, and today seems like no other when Booth takes off to work. Meanwhile at the Jeffersonian, Cam (Tamara Taylor), Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) are called out to a crime scene, where they find a body in a burnt car. The team fear the worst when they find out that the gun that was found with the victim belongs to Booth. Also the initial examination of the bones makes it appear that he is the victim. Dr. Brennan decides to come to the Jeffersonian herself, as the situation is driving her crazy, and she eventually finds out that the remains aren’t Booth’s, but his brother’s, Jared. The question remains where Booth is, and how his brother ended up dead.

Eventually, everything turns back to normal by episode three, and Bones and Booth are back at their old jobs, just like they used to be. Murders keep on happening, and Booth and Aubrey (John Boyd) work closely together with the team of the Jeffersonian to bring the killers to justice. While the season focuses foremost on the cases themselves, there are some developments in the personal lives of the characters as well.006-1-m
Each episode has a good flow to it, where many suspects are considered along the way, and the outcome is often unpredictable. The format remains the same as in the previous seasons, namely a focus on the cases, where reexamining the bones over and over will eventually prove to be vital in finding the murderer.
While the flow of the individual cases is quite enjoyable, the personal story of the characters gets to the background quite a lot. Every now and then you will find out more about Cam’s love life, Angela and Hodgins’ marriage or Aubrey’s new crush, but nothing major steps out until halfway the season. There have been no major changes to the cast since last season, and it’s safe to say that the current team of actors all did well.

Bones has been one of my all time favourite series and season 11 is no exception! with a great cliffhanger leaving you hanging for Season 12 (the final season) .

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31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE SMURFS: THE LEGEND OF SMURFY HOLLOW

CAST (VOICES)

Jack Angel (A.I.)
Fred Armisen (Anchorman)
Hank Azaria (The Simpsons)
Gary Basaraba (Boomtown)
Alan Cumming (Tin Man)
Tom Kane (9)
Melissa Sturm (The Lego Movie)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Adam Wylie (Picket Fences)
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek)

As the story begins, Hefty, Clumsy, and Panicky are out in the forest at night with a cart full of smurfberries that has a broken wheel. Unable to fix the wheel, the three of them sit together around a campfire roasting smurfberries when Clumsy has the idea of telling a ghost story to pass the time. Narrator then joins the three Smurfs to tell his own kind of ghost story. In Narrator’s story, the Smurfs gather around for Papa Smurf to announce the Smurfberry Harvest contest in which the Smurfs who collect the most smurfberries will be awarded a medal. Brainy shows up at the gathering wearing multiple medals that he has won over the past years, gloating about how he’s going to win this year’s medal as well. As the Smurfs collect their buckets and then go out into the forest to pick smurfberries, Gutsy follows Brainy to find out where he’s been getting all the smurfberries for winning the contest. He discovers that it’s in a place called Smurfy Hollow, an area where the legendary Headless Horseman resides, where there’s a secret patch of smurfberries growing plentifully. Gutsy decides to give Brainy a scare by creating a shadow figure of the Headless Horseman, which sends the bespectacled Smurf running in fear. However, while Gutsy uses this opportunity to collect the smurfberries in the secret patch, Brainy finds himself walking into a trap set up by the evil wizard Gargamel.

By the time the contest ends and the Smurfs have appeared with their buckets for Papa Smurf to judge the winner, Gutsy shows up with a bucket overloaded with smurfberries and thus is declared the winner. However, Suspicious Smurf begins to wonder where Brainy is, since he hasn’t shown up with his bucket of smurfberries. Realizing that he may be found out for cheating, Gutsy goes out into the forest alone to find Brainy, but is soon joined by Smurfette, who finds out from Gutsy that Brainy is in Smurfy Hollow. They both go together and find Brainy in a cage trap set up by Gargamel, only to soon join him in cage traps of their own. Azrael, who was prowling the forest by himself, is soon alerted to the Smurfs’ presence and goes to get his master to inform him of the captured Smurfs. Gutsy, Brainy, and Smurfette work on a plan to get themselves out of their cages, and soon Gutsy swings his cage repeatedly until it bumps into Brainy’s, which then bumps into Smurfette’s, and the cages continue to bump into each other until Gutsy’s and Brainy’s cages break, freeing them. However, Smurfette is still stuck in her cage, and Gutsy and Brainy try to figure out how to get her out of there when Gargamel appears with Azrael, and so they go into hiding while the evil wizard opens the cage to deal with the one Smurf that is still captured.

But soon the five of them have a new problem to deal with—the presence of the Headless Horseman, who rides around looking for his next victims. They start running for their lives toward the covered bridge, which legends say is the only thing that keeps the Headless Horseman trapped in Smurfy Hollow. But as the Smurfs see that they would not get to the covered bridge in time to escape from the Headless Horseman, they hitch a ride on the back of a bat and fly to the top of the covered bridge, safe from the spectral rider’s grasp. Gargamel and Azrael soon reach the bridge that the Headless Horseman cannot pass through, and safe inside the bridge, the evil wizard taunts the ghost, who then responds by throwing a flaming pumpkin that causes the floor beneath him and his cat to break, sending them down the river and over the waterfalls. With the three Smurfs returning safely home, Gutsy and Brainy begin to apologize to each other for what they did, with Gutsy admitting that he was jealous about Brainy always winning and Brainy admitting that he was selfish in keeping the secret patch of smurfberries all to himself. Glad to see that two of his little Smurfs have learned their lesson, Papa Smurf proceeds to reward Gutsy with the medal, but Gutsy decides to give it to Brainy instead, who then insists that Gutsy should have it, and so the two Smurfs fight over who should get the medal when it flies out of their hands and lands looped around Lazy’s neck, thereby declaring him to be the winner. As the Smurfs gather around the stage to see Gutsy and Brainy dance with each other, Papa Smurf goes out into the forest to thank the Headless Horseman, who turns out to be a goat that he used his magic on to make him appear as a ghost.

With Narrator Smurf’s ghost story now over, Hefty claims that he wasn’t scared, but finds himself jumping into Narrator Smurf’s arms at the sound of a bat screeching. Panicky sees that they are now surrounded by bats, which scares all four Smurfs and sends them running back to the village.

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The animation was great, the story is really well adapted (even if it’s slightly different from the Sleepy Hollow story, it had some elements from it too) and the characters are great to see too.So overall, I’ll recommend this to those who are a huge fans of the smurfs.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW – THE GOLEM

CAST

Tom Mison (venus)
Nicole Beharie (The Good Wife)
Orlando Jones (Bedazzled)
Katia Winter (Arena)

GUEST CAST

John Noble (Lord of The Rings)
Jill Marie Jones (Ash vs Evil Dead)

“The Golem” had some deeply unsettling moments, a running undercurrent of humor, answers to vital questions and some straight-ahead scares.   All these disparate elements mixed together comfortably, as they have since the pilot, and it looks so simple.  But the fact of the matter is that what Sleepy Hollow has been able to pull off in this first season is remarkable, as it has kept its high-degree-of-difficulty tone while never losing sight of the characters that make us come back each week.  As if there were any doubt, it began and ended with the most important relationship on the show, as Abbie and Ichabod worked through his emotions about having a son and shared the anxiety about Moloch coming for them.   The groundwork that the writers and actors have done made these two characters seem naturally close as they get to know one another better with every week.  The wonderful opening scene (and Crane’s explanation of the origins of eggnog) served as a lovely reminder that even as their team might expand it’s all about the two of them.

Of course, in between those bookends we had the marvelous John Noble returning as Henry the Sin Eater.  You would think that Noble showing up to guest star would overwhelm the proceedings and be desperately missed when he’s gone, but instead he fits right in with this show.  Here we found out that Henry isn’t just a one-trick pony, as his talents extend to sensing sin and providing valuable exposition on the miserable childhood of Ichabod and Katrina’s son.  Still, the coolest bit for me was his making the librarian with ease: “Lying is a sin. I can sense a sin a mile away.”

Meanwhile, Frank went back to the city to visit his daughter.  It might be that his story seems drab compared to the wild stuff going on elsewhere, but at the moment his ex-wife and daughter feel more like plot devices than actual characters.  It’s not something I’m all that concerned about, given this show’s brief track record, but tonight they were simply time-fillers to get us to that super creepy vendor in the park.  That last “we have one, too” delivered by the possessed woman might have been the freakiest thing in an episode that also featured a gigantic killer doll. As for the doll itself, they did a great job showing the violence he was capable of, and tying it into Jeremy’s rage made it all the more disturbing.


This was a Sleepy Hollow episode that covered a lot of ground and also managed to be alternately creepy, disturbing, scary and funny.

REVIEW: THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999)

CAST

Brent Carver (Ararat)
Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight)
Vlasta Vrana (Secret Window)
Kathleen Fee (The Words)
Dawn Ford (Mirror Mirror)
Richard Jutras (The Whole Nine Yards)

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This film arguably is nearer to the plotline of Washington Irving’s short story, but Tim Burton’s film seems to be more popular. Pierre Gang here directs a great drama. More based on the life people led in the days of the story the legend is just that, or could there really be a ghost? Two men are fighting over the hand of the beautiful and wealthy Katrina Van Tassle (Rachelle Lefevre), but are they both really in love with her, or her money? One of these suitors is Ichabod Crane (Brent Carver) who excels in his role. Transplanted from his position in the original tale, Crane appears here as a schoolteacher. Crane is very good at hiding his fears and pretends not to be superstitious, but realy he is just like everyone else in the area at that time.
Told as a tale to a travelling writer who is looking for such things, at the local tavern, this seamlessly moves between the men in the pub and the actual tale. This is probably something you have overlooked before, but it is worth watching. Personally, I have watched this and prefer to the more famous Tim Burton version.

REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW – SEASON 1 & 2

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MAIN CAST

Tom Mison (One Day)
Nicole Beharie (American Violet)
Orlando Jones (Evolution)
Katia Winter (Arena)
Lyndie Greenwood (Nikita)
John Noble (Fringe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

John Cho (American Pie)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Nicholas Gonzalez (The Flash)
Monique Ganderton (Mutant X)
Carsten Norgaard (The Three Musketeers)
James Frain (Gotham)
Craig Parker (Reign)
Neil Jackson (Blade: The Series)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Jill Marie Jones (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Laura Spencer (Bones)
Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards)
Matt Barr (7 Below)
Zach Appelman (Beaut yand The Beast)
Cynthia Stevenson (Dead Like Me)
Aunjanue Ellis (The Help)
Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Jaime Murray (The Finder)
Steven Weber (Izombie)
Shelby Steel (Powers)

To say that I was skeptical about Sleepy Hollow as a series would be an understatement. After all, how could Ichabod Crane vs. the Headless Horseman get dragged out far enough to fill all those hours and remain watchable? But in the most delightful surprise of the fall season, Sleepy Hollow quickly proved to be more than up to the task. With a perfectly matched pair of leads, the show hit the ground running and never looked back.
From their first scene together Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison displayed an easy chemistry that only grew stronger as the weeks went by, aided immensely by sharp writing that understood these two were the most essential ingredient for Sleepy Hollow’s success. In the first half of the season the small supporting cast suffered in comparison, as it took time for characters like Jenny and Frank to be brought into the fold and have us get to know them. But by the finale all the time spent with Abbie and Ichabod paid off beautifully in scenes where the emotions ran deep without having to spell everything out to the audience. By the time they had to dive into Purgatory together and eventually part ways all the decisions they made were believable since they were character-based and not simply the writers forcing them in directions for the sake of the plot.
 This attention to character was particularly impressive, since the show trades in some wild plots: Headless Horseman, George Washington’s secret war, Crane’s witch wife in Purgatory, etc. The creative team behind Sleepy Hollow seems to have an instinctive understanding that if the audience doesn’t care about these people, it doesn’t matter how cool it might be to see the Horseman with an automatic weapon. That being said, it is really cool to see the Headless Horseman blazing away, and when he showed up it was always a show-stopper. The season also had more than its share of other great effects as well, whether it was whatever was happening to poor Andy (head knocked backwards, cocooned and turned into a slithery bald dude) or some of Moloch’s freaky, fast-moving minions.
With all of the insanity going on it would have been easy to fall into the trap of letting the humor undercut the stakes, but Sleepy Hollow’s very difficult tone was maintained throughout the season. Oddly enough for a show about a British Revolutionary War soldier who wakes up in 2013 and partners up with an overqualified police lieutenant to fight a war against evil, the key to maintaining that tone has been restraint. Nothing overstayed its welcome on Sleepy Hollow. The Headless Horseman was a remarkably intimidating physical presence who immediately gave a jolt to any episode he rode into – he’s an ace in the hole that could have become all too familiar very quickly. But aside from the brief time that our heroes imprisoned him we rarely got a glimpse of him. His absence, sometimes for weeks, made his appearances carry far more weight and dread than if we had gotten a weekly dose of him riding around the forest.
The same goes for the show’s keen sense of humor. The comedic opportunities presented by Crane waking up in the 21st century are a rich vein, one that they’ve managed to tap each week without being repetitive or overwhelming. Instead it came in bite-sized portions while informing the character – Mison’s bemused reactions from everything from OnStar agents to dry cleaning were wonderfully understated and telling as Ichabod became more accustomed to life in the modern age. By the end of the season he was complaining about his apps failing to load in the middle of the forest, which was both hysterical and showed how much he had changed.
This attention to detail when it comes to Abbie and Ichabod was marvelous, but it didn’t leave much room for anybody else. It took awhile, but Frank and Jenny were eventually brought up to speed with their troubled histories and joined the team. Unfortunately Katrina remained in limbo in every sense – Ichabod longed for her (it’s a credit to Mison that this was always believable) but she never registered as anything other than a plot device/exposition delivery system. And while the Horseman and Moloch were scary, larger-than-life enemies they couldn’t do much more than occasionally show up and threaten everybody. There were few real, flesh-and-blood villains here and when there were it was usually because somebody has been possessed or otherwise coerced. The Hessians were a potentially far-reaching group that could provide all kinds of problems for our heroes, but they were largely forgotten in the stretch run of the season- hopefully they’ll return next year. Happily, the last 15 minutes or so of the finale signaled a change in all this, as Katrina was freed ( and a fantastic bad guy was introduced… …or was unmasked, to be more accurate. John Noble dropped by enough for me to stop questioning what secrets he might have – he had simply become loveable Henry, always welcome and able to help our heroes out of a jam. So when he finally revealed himself to be Ichabod’s son Jeremy and the Second friggin’ Horseman, it landed like a thunderclap. It was the rarest of things in today’s television landscape: a well-earned plot twist. It also doesn’t hurt that Noble seems to be able to do anything.
In addition to Noble, the guest star MVPs were Clancy Brown and John Cho. While their characters couldn’t have been more different, both had parallels in their relationship to Abbie. Brown was wonderful in his role as Abbie’s mentor and every time he showed up, whether it was a flashback or archival footage or a dream, his loss was felt. His quick exit was both disappointing and perfect, since his absence leaves Abbie without a safety net, personally and professionally. And Andy was the polar opposite: a weak-willed servant of Moloch who never stopped pining for her.

Of course it all comes down to Abbie and Ichabod in the end. Their relationship was so carefully constructed by the writers and actors over the course of the year that by the end they were able to have whole conversations with just a couple of looks. This can be one of the craziest shows on TV and it’s such a blast when it is, and yet when I look back on the season as a whole I keep coming back to their quiet scenes in the cabin, teasing each other about plastic or finding hidden messages from George Washington. All of this has added up to a thoroughly entertaining show which is, after all, the whole point. Sleepy Hollow’s freshman season set the bar high with the expected scares, unexpected humor, and impressive lead performances. And a Headless Horseman wielding automatic weapons, which is always nice.
Making the balance between humor, horror and action look easy, season 1 of Sleepy Hollow set the bar high. An expanded season 2 (jumping to 18 episodes from 13) more than met that standard in the first half, throttling though the high-stakes plot of Moloch trying to escape Purgatory and the Witnesses gaining more allies. And while the series struggled to find itself after that story came to end—likely due to the network-mandated order to become less serialized—the show always remained worthwhile and very enjoyable due to the solid characters and relationships that had been established.
 This season felt inspired from the start, with the terrific premiere episode “This is War” displaying sly storytelling as Abbie and Ichabod struggled to escape Purgatory. The later introduction of Benjamin Franklin (in flashbacks), more revelations about the Mills family history and the remarkable episodes leading up to the midseason finale all made for a rollicking first half. Despite meandering with the back half standalone episodes, the finale more than made up for any aimlessness by giving us what we watch for in the first place: Abbie and Ichabod, BFFs.
With Abbie and Ichabod already firmly entrenched as partners in the war against evil, the show was able to widen its focus to other characters. The best results were with Jenny, who became better-rounded and an integral part of the team. But Abraham/Headless benefitted from more attention as well, as we got to know his motivations. Even the risky addition of Hawley paid off better than expected, and by the time he got his send-off episode his connection to Jenny and the Witnesses felt earned and real. Irving also wound up being a bit shortchanged, as the show had written him into the corner of the psych ward for murdering cops. When he was tricked into signing over his soul to Henry it looked like a rich storyline in the making but nothing much ever came of it and everything involving him seemed made up on the fly, almost as an afterthought (for instance, the cloudy reason behind him being released but not exonerated—I’ll admit I glided past that as a viewer, but the more you pay attention to his story over the season, the shakier it gets). Despite this I was glad to see him get some terrific moments, both big and small—his sacrifice (which wound up being temporary) in the midseason finale and his intimate scenes with Jenny towards the end.
 John Noble continued to be a tremendous presence whenever he appeared. The reveal at the end of season 1 that he was the Crane’s son gave him plenty to dig into this year and Noble made Henry’s bitterness and hurt come through with intensity. Once he dispatched Moloch, though, the show didn’t seem to know what to do with him and his death wound up being pretty anticlimactic, even it did serve to set off the season endgame for the marvelous “Tempus Fugit”. More problematic was the character of Katrina. She simply never worked. Not as a damsel in distress, not as the third wheel and not as an abruptly-turned villain. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying, as the writers tried to integrate her into Team Witness several times with lukewarm results. I didn’t buy her sudden shift from ally to enemy, but it was a quick and painless way to give her character a good exit in service of the story. The trouble was that Beharie and Mison had established such rare buddy chemistry that Ichabod finally getting his lost love out of Purgatory threw a wrench into it. Even at her best, as in “Pittura Infamante”, it wasn’t enough to match any given scene between Abbie and Ichabod. That pretty much left the show with few options; either relegate her to the sidelines or kill her off.
But the biggest stumbling block this season came down from on high: FOX wanted to series to become less serialized, and Sleepy Hollow tried hard to accommodate the order. The result was an awkward stop-and-start second half, with several scenes of Abbie and Ichabod wondering out loud what their purpose was now that Moloch had been defeated. I had no problem with the death of Moloch, since he wasn’t much of a bad guy, but the absence of a Big Bad was immediately felt. Knowing full well that this might have been it for the series, the show rallied and came up with a very satisfying ending that conclusively wrapped up loose ends while leaving the door wide open for a possible return. Sleepy Hollow’s best hours have been the ones dealing with ongoing stories while the self-contained episodes were much more hit-and-miss, but this is a creative team that’s proven it knows how to put together a great show I’m hopeful that they get a chance to find that balance because when this series is in a groove it’s a joy to watch. Despite any problems Sleepy Hollow ran into, though, Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison were the rocks at the center the show. Their extraordinary chemistry has been the single greatest asset of an awfully good series from the start, able to shift gracefully from easygoing humor to partners in lockstep to dear friends dealing with life and death stakes in a single hour. They’re a microcosm of the show itself, one that at its best could deliver laughs and thrills side by side with terrific characters we cared about throughout.
Despite difficulty adjusting to less-serialized storytelling in the back half, season 2 of Sleepy Hollow started and ended strong enough to measure up well with its stellar first year.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

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MAIN CAST

Tom Mison (Venus)
Nicole Beharie (Shame)
Lyndie Greenwood (Nikita)
Nikki Reed (Twilight)
Zach Appleman (Kil Your Darlings)
Lance Gross (House of Payne)
Shannyn Sossamon (A Kngiht’s Tale)

GUEST CAST

Emily Deschanel (Bones)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Jessica Camacho (Longmire)
Nicholas Guest (Frozen)

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Pandora reanimated the body of General Howe and unleashed him and his troops on Sleepy Hollow. They didn’t exactly call the General and his men zombies, but that’s what they were. I couldn’t really tell whether the men became zombies after they joined the General’s command or whether these were simply the men that were under his command at the time he died. Whatever the case, Pandora sent General Howe and his zombies to wreak havoc on Sleepy Hollow. They didn’t really get the chance to do much damage though. Howe’s personal grudge against Ichabod proved to be his undoing though, since Ichabod and Abbie were ultimately able to use it to lure him into their trap.

While Ichabod and Abbie were working the zombie case, Jenny and Joe were tracking some guy named Nivens. Apparently, Nivens is the guy who wanted to procure the Shard of Anubis. It also turns out that Sheriff Corbin and Nivens were in the army together. Joe immediately jumped to the conclusion that Sheriff Corbin was somehow helping Nivens in his criminal activities, but I’m not sure why he jumped to that conclusion. Yes, Sheriff Corbin kept a lot of things a secret, but I can’t say I blame him. If he had shared his theories with other people, they would’ve locked him away in the crazy house and thrown away the key. Joe knows that Sheriff Corbin had knowledge of the war against evil, and a lot of what he’d done was in preparation for fighting that war.

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I’m still not sure what Pandora’s end game is. It seems like everything she’s unleashed thus far has been to bring up Ichabod and Abbie’s worst fears. At least that’s what it sounded like she said about the blossom at the end of the episode. I’m wondering whether she knew that Ichabod and Abbie were going to triumph over all of the monsters she’s unleashed thus far, and maybe that was the point. Maybe none of the blossoms could bloom if the monster wasn’t defeated first. Maybe her plan all along has been to send these less powerful creatures after The Witnesses to see how they work and figure out what kind of resources they have. I say that because she hasn’t looked disappointed at the outcome of any of these confrontations. If that’s the case, then she’s been using all of these things as cannon fodder for something much worse. That doesn’t bode well for our heroes.

Jenny and Joe’s side investigation may now cause some friction for Abbie at work. Reynolds is apparently investigating Nivens as well, and now he’s giving Abbie heat over Jenny possibly being involved with Nivens. I don’t know what it’s going to take for them to realize that failing to keep each other apprised of their side projects is always going to cause them trouble. I don’t know what part Nivens has to play in everything, but I have a feeling there’s more to it meets the eye. It also looks like Ichabod and Zoe might take a few more steps in their relationship, but I don’t know how well that’s going to work out for Zoe. Ichabod doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to women. A strange crossover with Bones, but it actually works.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999)

CAST

Johnny Depp (From Hell)
Christina Ricci (Monster)
Miranda Richardson (The Hours)
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter)
Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers)
Jeffrey Jones (Howard The Duck)
Richard Griffiths (Venus)
Ian McDiarmid (Star wars)
Michael Gough (Batman)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Lisa Marie (Ed Wood)
Christopher Lee (The Hobbit)
Peter Guinness (Alien 3)
Martin Landau (9)

In 1799, New York City police constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is facing imprisonment for going against traditional methods and favoring forensic investigation techniques, such as autopsies, considered unorthodox and unimportant at the time. Ichabod submits to deployment with his bag of tools to the Westchester County hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, New York, which has been plagued by a series of brutal slayings in which the victims have been found decapitated: Peter Van Garrett (Martin Landau), a wealthy farmer and landowner; his son Dirk; and the widow Emily Winship. Arriving in Sleepy Hollow, Crane is informed by the town’s elders that the killer is not of flesh and blood, but rather an undead headless Hessian mercenary from the American Revolutionary War who rides at night on a massive black steed in search of his missing head.

Crane begins his investigation, remaining highly skeptical about the supernatural elements in the case until he actually encounters the Headless Horseman himself, who kills the town magistrate, Samuel Phillipse (Richard Griffiths), on sight. Boarding in a room at the home of the town’s richest family and the Van Garretts’ next of kin, the Van Tassels, Crane develops an attraction to their daughter Katrina (Christina Ricci), while he is plagued by nightmares of his mother’s horrific torture when he was a child. This attraction is deeply resented by Brom van Brunt (Casper Van Dien), a suitor to Katrina, who scares Crane in a prank by posing as the Headless Horseman. Riding into the Western Woods with the orphaned Young Masbath, son of the Horseman’s fifth victim Johnathan Masbath(before Magistrate Phillipse), Crane and Young Masbath come across the cave dwelling of a reclusive sorceress. She reveals the location of the gnarled Tree of the Dead, which marks the Horseman’s grave, as well as his portal into the natural world from the supernatural.

Crane discovers that the ground is freshly disturbed and, digging through, discovers the Horseman’s skeleton and that the skull is missing. He realizes that whoever dug up and stole the skull is the person controlling the Horseman. Just then, the Horseman’s ghost bursts out of the tree and gallops towards Sleepy Hollow. Crane attempts to follow but winds up lost. The Killian family are taken by the Horseman and Brom is killed — cut in half — when trying to stop the Horseman.

Crane starts to believe that a conspiracy links all the deaths together, so he goes to the town notary James Hardenbrook (Michael Gough) to look into Van Garrett’s Last Will. Hardenbrook confesses Van Garrett had made a new will just before he died, leaving all his possessions to his new bride, Emily Winship, who Crane had learned from the late Magistrate Phillipse was pregnant at the time of her death (and thought that initially the father of the child might have killed Emily to keep the secret hidden). Crane deduces that all who knew about the new will were the victims of Horseman and that Katrina’s father Baltus Van Tassel (Michael Gambon), who would have inherited the fortune, is the person holding the skull. Katrina, finding out that Crane suspects her father, burns the evidence that Crane has accumulated and tells him that she doesn’t love him anymore.
In fear of the Horseman, Hardenbrook hangs himself and a town council is held in the town church. The Horseman seemingly kills Katrina’s stepmother, Lady Van Tassel, and heads off to the church to get Baltus, with the townspeople filing in just as the he arrives. With the men firing muskets as he circles the church, Crane realizes the Horseman can’t enter the church grounds due to it being consecrated and therefore holy. A massive fight breaks out in the church when Dr. Thomas Lancaster (Ian McDiarmid) suggests confessing for forgiveness, and is killed by Reverend Steenwyck (Jeffrey Jones), who is in turn shot by a frightened Baltus. The chaos ends only when the Horseman harpoons Baltus through a church window using a pointed church fence post attached to a rope, dragging him out and acquiring his head. The next day, Crane believes Katrina to be one who controls the Headless Horsemen and left while she was still unconscious.
As Crane is leaving Sleepy Hollow, he becomes suspicious when the hand of the corpse of Lady Van Tassel has a wound which shows signs of having been caused post-mortem. His suspicions are confirmed to be right when the real Lady Van Tassel (Miranda Richardson) emerges, alive, from the dark and shocks her step-daughter Katrina into a faint. Katrina awakens and eventually uncovers a plot revolving around revenge on the Van Garretts and land rights with the Horseman controlled by Lady Van Tassel, who sends the supernatural killer after Katrina now to solidify her hold on what she considers her property, a piece of land unjustly claimed by Baltus. She explains that the body believed to be her corpse actually belonged to the family’s servant, Sarah, whom she had murdered. She also reveals that she had just murdered the mysterious witch in the Western Woods, her own sister, for her role in helping Crane and Young Masbath.

Following a fight in the local windmill and a stagecoach chase through the woods, Crane eventually thwarts Lady Van Tassel by throwing the skull to the Horseman, breaking the curse. The Horseman, no longer under Lady Van Tassel’s control, simultaneously kisses and bites her, and he hoists her up on his horse, then rides to Hell taking her with him, fulfilling her end of the deal with the Devil. With the Headless Horseman menace eradicated, Crane returns home to New York with Katrina and Young Masbath, just in time for the new century.A triumph of design; sets that are spooky down to the last detail, and a cast of well-written characters to populate this creepy little town. There’s a few little things about “Sleepy Hollow” that didn’t work, but for the most part, I found this to be a great film