Sleepy Hollow: Team Crane 2.0

Sleepy Hollow is about halfway through its season, and I admit that I’m enjoying it much more than I enjoyed last season. I don’t know whether the shorter season has forced the show to focus the story a bit more, but it seems much less all over the place now than it did at this point last season. I’m also liking most of the new characters we’ve got this season, but something occurred to me during last week’s episode. It appears the show split Abbie’s character up across four different characters. It’s not actually a bad thing. Let me show you what I mean.

First, and most obviously, is Molly as the new witness. The show went in a bit of a different direction than I thought they would with the new witness because I didn’t expect them to make her a minor. After giving the show some time to flesh that out a bit more, it’s actually a pretty smart way to go. Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship was one-of-a- kind. It would be difficult and distracting if the show were to try and have Ichabod form the same kind of bond with the new witness that he had with Abbie. Although, it seems to me that’s more of the powers that be trying to walk back some of what they said about Abbie at the end of last season. The show essentially made the argument that Ichabod would’ve formed that bond with whoever the other witness was, but I don’t believe that, and apparently I’m not the only one. So the show has spent a lot of time this season emphasizing that the bond of the witnesses is strong and will always be strong no matter who they are, but that doesn’t negate the unique and intimate nature of Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship. Also, having the new witness be a child allows the show to explore a different perspective in the war between good and evil. Children always tend to see things from a different perspective than adults, and sometimes it takes a child to make an adult see that there’s another, better way to do something. So I’m looking forward to finding out how the relationship between Ichabod and Molly develops.

Diana is much more like Abbie than any of the other characters we’ve met so far. She’s tough. She’s smart. She’s got a complicated past. And, despite her better judgment, she’s chosen to trust Ichabod Crane. Diana has to walk a very fine line, and I think both the actress Janina Gavankar and the writers have done a pretty good job thus far of giving Diana many of the qualities Ichabod admired in Abbie while also allowing her to be her own character. Much like Abbie in the beginning, Diana was very reluctant to accept that the supernatural was real. She wanted to believe there was a logical explanation for everything, but more and more evidence piled up and she was forced to concede that everything she dismissed as fiction was actually real. She handled it rather well, all things considered. Although, I must admit I was left scratching my head a bit when she got ticked off at Ichabod for not telling her was 250 years old and that he believed her daughter to be the new witness. At the time, she had only barely begun to accept that monsters are real. Would she have believed him if he had told her the truth about himself and what he believed her daughter to be? I sincerely doubt it. That storypoint stumble aside, I’m actually enjoying watching the developing relationship between Ichabod and Diana.

Then there’s Alex Norwood. In addition to loving the blow things up, she’s in Diana’s camp of being a skeptic. But her skepticism seems based more in the fact that she wants to experience life from the relative safety of The Vault. She thinks it’s cool that she gets to make bombs and so forth, but she really didn’t have a desire to be on the front lines of the fight. Neither did Abbie. Abbie spent the first part of the first season skeptical of everything Ichabod was saying not just because it sounded insane (which, let’s face it, it totally did) but because she had already had an encounter with the supernatural and she had no desire to be back on the front lines. Alex seems to be going along with the whole thing because Jake is her friend and he’s chosen to be involved in it, but we haven’t really heard her actually choose the fight for herself. As a matter of fact, she seems to be trying to convince Jake to back off a bit because it’s all so crazy, but I have a feeling that, just like Abbie, she’s going to realize that there’s really no going back now. She knows the truth of what’s going on in the world, and she doesn’t seem like she’s the type that will sit idly by while her friends get hurt.

Finally, there’s Jake Wells. We’re still fleshing out Jake’s character, but one of the things we learned in ‘The People vs Ichabod Crane,’ is that Jake feels like he’s been marking time for most of his life. He’s been in The Vault for years, and he wants to move on to bigger and better things. That’s exactly where Abbie was when we met her in season one. She had gone as far as she felt she could go with the Sleepy Hollow PD, and she had been accepted into the FBI. She believed she was capable of more and she wanted to do more with her life than spend it in Sleepy Hollow. Jake has expressed the same thought and, much like Abbie, just when he thought it was time for him to move up and move on, something drops in his lap that keeps him exactly where he is but still provides him with the opportunity he was seeking.

So that’s my random thought. Sleepy Hollow will never be able to truly replace Abbie, but at least the characters they added this season are interesting. This is a new version of Team Crane, and I’m kind of digging it. I’m also digging the fact that Jenny is back to being more of the awesome chick she was in the first season. The show didn’t seem to know what to do with her for most of seasons two and three, but it seems they’ve suddenly remembered that she’s got very useful skills and contacts. Also, as one of the original members of Team Crane, she and Ichabod have history now and I want to see that relationship continue to develop. Here’s hoping the season continues to build momentum as the season progresses.

  • zagsfan

    I’m right with you. I’m liking this season way more than I expected to. I was so upset over Abbie’s death last season, that I had planned to drop the show altogether, and watched the season premier out of curiosity. And dang it, I was hooked. So glad to see Jenny being better utilized and part of the team this year.

  • bigref

    I was deeply disappointed that Nicole Beharie was leaving and doubted the show would survive the loss of the second most important character. I was delighted when it was announced that Janina Gavankar signed on. She was seriously underutilized in “the Mysteries of Laura” and is finally getting a meatier role. The show has not only survive, but excelled. It is the writing and the quality of Tom Mison’s acting that brings so much of real American history to life along with the imagined history.