REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW – SEASON 3

MAIN CAST

Tom Mison (One Day)
Nicole Beharie (Jacob’s Ladder)
Lyndie Greenwood (Nikita)
Nikki reed (Thirteen)
Shannyn Sossamon (Sinister 2)
Zach Appelman (Beauty and The Beast 2012)
Lance Gross (The Finder)
Jessica Camacho (The Flash)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

C. Thomas Howell (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Maya Kazan (Night Stalker)
Charlene Amoia (How I Met Yoru Mother)
Nicholas Guest (Big Hero 6)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Bill Irwin (Interstellar)
Peter Mensah (Spartacus)
James McDaniel (Malcolm X)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)

Months have passed since the tragic events where Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) lost his wife and son, as they both turned to the dark side. While averting the apocalypse, the loss of his family caused Ichabod to need some time for himself to process all that has transpired. When he finds himself locked in a prison cell for trying to import undocumented relics, he calls Abbie (Nicole Beharie) to come bail him out. Abbie has also moved on from the events, as she traded her job at the local law enforcement for a more exciting job at the FBI. Even though she misses the bond she had with Crane, she hopes she can leave the past behind her, as she has seen more than enough monsters for an entire lifetime. Sadly, Ichabod has not been sitting by idly, and has discovered that their role as ‘witnesses’, did not stop when they stopped the spawn of hell, Moloch.
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As expected, there’s a new demonic presence lurking in the shadows, namely Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon), who we know from Pandora’s box, the box that contains all the evil of the world. She indeed follows the main concept of this legendary tale, and has a box, which contains the world’s most vile demons, who she then slowly starts to unleash upon Sleepy Hollow. The horrible incidents that unfolds may involve the witnesses, but in reality Pandora is trying to revive her love, an omnipotent god named ‘The Hidden One’ (Peter Mensah), a deity that was known for its cruel behavior. Fending off demons is one thing, tampering with the divine will prove to be a different task altogether.
The series follows the typical formula like the first two seasons, where one red thread runs through all episodes, while the witnesses and their allies tackle cases which are usually cracked in the course of one episode. In many ways this means you’ll get to see a new monster per episode, which is often based on legendary figures or demons we have seen for the umpteenth time, with an original Sleepy Hollow twist added to them.960
Overall the cast hasn’t gone through any considerable changes, thus you can expect more of the same, guaranteeing you a qualitative experience. Tom and Nicole still play the perfect counterparts, with enough natural chemistry between them to make you wish they would just let their characters come to terms with their feelings. This season has a few new faces, namely Shannyn Sossamon, who plays Pandora, and Peter Mensah, who plays ‘The Hidden One’. Both play their supernatural roles quite good, and play out the role as the new nemeses of the forces of good perfectly.  Sleepy Hollow: Season 3 will still be a delight for fans of the first two seasons. The finale is still shokcing to fans and will bring about major changes when Season 4 arrives on our screens. Seepy Hollow is still a fun show and recommend this to fans of the first two seasons.

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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) .

REVIEW: ONE DAY

CAST

Anne Hathaway (Interstellar)
Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas)
Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow)
Jodie Whittaker (Venus)
Rafe Spall (Prometheus)
Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island)
Ken Stott (The Hobbit)
Georgia King (The Duchess)
Romala Gaai (Atonement)
Toby Regbo (Reign)
Emilia Jones (Utopia)

The film opens with a short scene from the “current” day in 2006, which appears later on, before going back 18 years.

Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) and Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) meet on 14 July 1988 after their graduation from the University of Edinburgh. They spend the night together but agree to be just friends, and plan to spend the following day together, the 15th, St. Swithun’s day. The film chronologically reconnects Dexter, Emma or both of them on that one day over the next 18 years after they go their separate ways.
One year later in 1989, Dexter helps Emma move into a flat in London where she plans to pursue a career as a writer. However, after little success, she ends up working as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant by 1990, and meets Ian (Rafe Spall), an aspiring comedian who is hired soon after. Dexter is travelling the world while drinking and having sex promiscuously with a succession of girlfriends, but they keep in contact via phonecalls and letters. He then visits Emma on 15 July 1991 and, to get her out of her rut, suggests they go away for the weekend. They flirt back and forth and it’s made clear that Emma may have deeper feelings for him, but since she knows that Dexter is not boyfriend material, nothing comes of it and two more years fly by. Dexter is now a wealthy and successful television presenter on a raucous late-night television show, where he meets Suki (Georgia King), who later becomes his new girlfriend.

Dexter visits his parents on 15 July 1994 after his mother (Patricia Clarkson) has been diagnosed with cancer and is terminally ill. He arrives at the family home still under the influence of drugs and alcohol from heavy partying the night before, which his father (Ken Stott) notices and is furious about, telling Dexter he will ban him from visiting again if he keeps it up. Also, his mother appears very unimpressed with the nature of his television show and reveals that she no longer believes he is a nice man. On the same day, Emma goes out on a date with Ian. Although there appears to be no romantic spark between them, she knows he means well and so they continue to date anyway.

By 1995, Emma is now a school teacher and has moved in with Ian. However, she grows more and more irritated with him because of his lack of ambition and failure to contribute to maintaining their household. Dexter is the presenter of another television show, which isn’t doing so well, making him “the most annoying man on telly”. On 15 July 1996, he and Emma meet for dinner. He turns up high on cocaine, leaves the table every thirty minutes, flirts with another woman down the hall, and insults Emma. She storms off and, out in the street, decides that they must break off their friendship due to them outgrowing each other. She tells him that although she loves him, she no longer likes him anymore.

Two years later, Dexter’s television career has gone into a steep decline because he is 32 years old and television executives prefer presenters in their early 20s. Meanwhile, Emma and Ian have split up and she becomes a published author of children’s books. By 1999, Dexter is in a long-term relationship with Sylvie (Romola Garai). On 15 July 2000, Emma’s former university roommate and Dexter’s old best friend get married, and both Emma and Dexter are invited to the wedding. There, Dexter receives a job offer from Calum, his old roommate who has since become a multimillionaire from owning a chain of organic food restaurants. Dexter and Emma leave the party to talk on the rooftop, where he tells her about Sylvie, who is now his fiancée, and is on his way to becoming a father. Emma tries to hide the fact that she is upset and they share a very brief but meaningful kiss.

By 2001, Dexter is a father but later learns that Sylvie is having an affair with Calum and they divorce. Two years pass and Emma has moved to Paris, where Dexter visits her on 15 July in the hope that they will get together again, this time for good. It is revealed that they had a one-night stand after his marriage to Sylvie broke down. However, Emma reveals that she has a new boyfriend (Sébastien Dupuis), a French musician who plays piano in a jazz band. Smitten with Emma but taken aback by the revelation that she has moved on, Dexter decides to leave. Suddenly, she has second thoughts and chases after him, exclaiming that she thought she had gotten rid of him. He promises to never hurt, lie to or cheat on her, and they share a passionate kiss and finally start a full relationship together.

Emma and Dexter become engaged in 2004 and eventually marry. Parlaying his restaurant experience into a new career, Dexter opens his own cafe in England, which proves to be very lucrative, and he and Emma start trying to have their own baby. However, they are unsuccessful and become frustrated with one another. On 15 July 2006 (the scene from the very beginning of the movie), Emma is hit by a truck while riding her bicycle out of a blind alley, and she dies. Dexter becomes inconsolable and self-destructive, and is particularly desolate each year on their day. Over the years, he gets support from his ex-wife, their daughter Jasmine, his widowed father, and even Ian, who also mourns Emma every year. Ian has since married and had children, but he visits Dexter and tells him that Emma was never the same with him as she was with Dexter, that she “lit up” whenever Dexter was around, and that “she made you decent and you made her so happy”.

On 15 July 2011, Dexter visits Arthur’s Seat in Scotland with Jasmine. The movie flashbacks to 1988 when they met and reveals they spent their day together at the same place. At the top, Dexter and Emma promise to always be best friends.
The juxtaposition of the present with the past near the end of this film makes the events even more potent than they would have been. Audience members who do not fall into the “half-wit” category can follow the story.

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: VENUS

CAST

Peter O’ Toole (Lawrence of Arabia)
Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch)
Leslie Phillips (The Jackal)
Vanessa Redgrave (Nip/Tuck)
Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter)
Cathryn Bradshaw (Like Minds)
Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow)

The plot concerns Maurice (Peter O’Toole), an elderly actor who finds himself increasingly attracted to his friend Ian’s great-niece Jessie (Jodie Whittaker) while simultaneously finding himself in deteriorating health due to prostate cancer. Maurice’s friend describes the great-niece as a trouble maker and a nuisance, but Maurice discovers that Jessie warms up to him when he starts interacting with her. He takes her to the National Gallery in London to view his favourite painting, the Rokeby Venus, by the Spanish artist Diego Velázquez.
Jessie had expressed interest in modelling (Maurice initially mis-hears this as “yodelling”) and Maurice arranges for Jessie to model nude for an art class. As a result of Jessie posing for the art class, and inspired by his favourite painting, Maurice decides to give Jessie the nickname “Venus”. Maurice and Jessie develop a passive/aggressive relationship over the course of the film. Maurice is forward in terms of his attraction towards Jessie while Jessie occasionally indulges his whims to a limited extent, such as touching her hand and smelling her neck, but also retracts the indulgences when she feels that he has gone too far. The plot of the film revolves around the evolving friendship or relationship between the two characters. For Maurice, this appears to be the last attempt at something approaching a love life, as his prostate operation has left him impotent. For Jessie, it is less clear what she sees in Maurice. During the course of the film we see her do everything from exploiting him (trying to get him to buy her presents, trying to use his flat to have sex with a boy), taking care of him, flirting with him, and rejecting him sexually to engaging with him as a friend. During the course of the film we learn that she has been rejected by her mother and great-uncle for her promiscuous life style; it is implied that she is drawn to Maurice because he does not judge her as harshly as her family members have.
The plot comes to a head when Jessie becomes involved with a boy. The two young lovers convince Maurice to take a walk so that they can have sex. Maurice initially obliges, but returns to kick them out of his flat. A scuffle ensues and the boy knocks down Maurice, injuring him. Jessie leaves with the boy but she later returns to check on Maurice. When the paramedics arrive, Maurice claims he cannot remember who attacked him, much to Jessie’s surprise. Then Maurice calls for “Venus” to take care of him. Jessie, remorseful, agrees to look after Maurice. Some time later, after Maurice has at least partly recovered, he takes Jessie to the seaside at Whitstable in Kent.[2] As they sit down by the water Maurice says to Jessie “Now, we can really talk”, and dies, leaning on her. At the memorial services, Jessie meets Maurice’s ex-wife Valerie (Vanessa Redgrave), who could not find satisfaction in Maurice’s love life either. The last scene shows Jessie and others posing as models for the Venus character.
This film is amazing. The acting is superb and story very moving. It manages to be happy, sad, funny and uplifting all at once. The ‘disturbing’ moments work and are integral to the story.

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.

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.

Sleepy Hollow

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.