Snooty reviews Sleepy Hollow: “Vessel”

Demon-hunters riding around in a car? How fresh and new! *coughSupernaturalcough* Excuse me.

Demon-hunters riding around in a car? How fresh and new!
*coughSupernaturalcough*
Excuse me.

Next week is the two-hour season finale of Sleepy Hollow. At first, I was overjoyed at the news, secure in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to watch this show for at least a few months, if ever again. But then I realized I would have to watch two consecutive hours of Sleepy Hollow and come up with something insightful to say about it. And that made me cry. There was lacrimation, people. The very thought of that much Sleepy Hollow makes my guts pucker.

But let’s talk about tonight’s episode: the demon who made Irving attack an innocent ice cream man in the park is now gunning for Irving’s daughter. To protect mini-Irving, the Captain takes his daughter and ex-wife to a secluded woods safehouse. Never mind that, if anything actually happens, police backup is relegated to the two assholes and the priest he brings with him as opposed to, oh, say, an entire police force. Never mind that, if you know you’re dealing with one body jumper, the easiest thing to do is have two people in the know guard your daughter—say, yourself and one of the Witnesses or Jenny. My real question is much simpler and cuts more to the heart of why I have a problem with this show:

WHY DID THE DEMON NEVER POSSESS CAPTAIN IRVING?

At no point does the episode address this really obvious question. There’s no mention of why the demon can’t just take over Irving, wear him like a suit, trick Crane and Mills into showing him George Washington’s Secret Bible—WHICH THEY DO ANYWAY—and then taking it with demon-strength. There’s no reason for the monster of the week, a demon named Ancitif, to not do this. It’s the most obvious play, but at no point do our Witnesses talk about a means of preventing a demon from entering them. The one and only reason the demon takes over a string of cops and, ultimately, little Macey is to drag out the episode and demonstrate all the ways the show can blatantly steal from The Exorcist.

Two standout parts of the episode deserve mention, and that’s Lyndie Greenwood and Amandla Stenberg sharing a portrayal of Ancitif. Both actresses are dubbed when possessed, because the network obviously thought that a generic reverb pitched low would be scarier than the protagonists’ loved ones speaking horrible demon thoughts with their normal voice. Because okay. But the body language employed in giving the demon life made for something that approached a genuinely scary part of the episode. The men possessed didn’t get much room to do the same, instead lurking about the cabin with growly faces. But Greenwood and Stenberg, occasional guest stars who I feel far more empathy for than any of the regular secondary characters, make the episode almost fun.

Otherwise, this episode is not only a wasteland of incomprehensible plot holes—like, why does no one notice when Jock Detective goes on a three-hour coffee break after Morales snaps his neck—and utter faffery. The only real consequence of the episode is that Irving’s ex and daughter now know of his real night job, and frankly, I’m just not that invested in Irving. The show introduced him as a stubborn authority figure, waffled on his involvement in the supernatural aspect of the show for most of the season, and now expects us to feel compelled by his emotional journey. It isn’t working. The show needs to stick with the Mills’ troubled relationship, which is fantastic, or with Crane’s time-traveling family troubles, which are unbearable.

I have a really hard time talking about anything else in this episode. My mind keeps coming back to this notion of the demon possessing Irving. The writers in this show oscillate between lazy and incompetent, and I still can’t figure out why people like it so much. But it’s coming back for at least one more season. Please, God, let it be its last. I’m a Witness too, and I can’t last another six years.

 

Musings…

  • Fish out of water joke: Ichabod updates his wardrobe. He should never wear skinny jeans ever again. EVER. AGAIN. Although it was worth it to hear someone else mention how unutterably smelly that coat of his must be.
  • Man, how much better would this show have been if it was Jenny Mills and Sheriff Clancy Brown fighting evil instead, without all this sideways history bullshit?
  • Goodbye, Jock Detective. We hardly knew ye. Or cared.
  • Maybe this is just the extreme geek in me, but who the fuck doesn’t know about salt keeping evil at bay? It symbolizes purity, ass-hats. Read a book.
  • Why does the demon speak Aramaic? I mean, I know it’s a demon, so it can speak pretty much anything. But why Aramaic?
  • Aaaaaand goodbye priest guy.
  • Why is Crane going along on the mission to steal the lantern? Two people are twice as easy to spot as one. I know he’s the protagonist and all, but what the hell does he know about larceny? He’s a gentleman.
  • “Never could say no to you.” Maybe Jenny should have mentioned that kind of relationship with her lunatic fringe apocalypse militia before Abby and Crane robbed them.
  • How the fuck did Ancitif not see the line of salt? It was right fucking in front of the Mills sisters!
  • I have no idea if the invisible ink trick at the end has any real scientific basis, but I don’t care.
  • Why, exactly, couldn’t Washington write down a future date before he died? And if not, why would he write down the date of his death in invisible ink on the day he died? This show makes no sense.
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About snootyfilms

A tormented genius in a world that doesn't deserve him.

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