Sleepy Hollow: Why I Love Frank Irving

Sleepy Hollow Orlando Jones thumb

Hello my fellow Sleepyheads. As we get further into this season, things are beginning to heat up for our heroes. They’ve already faced some seemingly insurmountable odds thus far, but it looks like it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Something that has come from all the turmoil in the characters’ lives is that I have stopped to consider why I’m so interested in these character’s struggles. I’ve already talked about why I love Abbie and Ichabod, so let’s take a minute to talk about why I love Frank Irving.


I know saying a character is brave seems to be a recurring theme in these articles, but I must speak the truth. Frank, Abbie and Ichabod are attempting to stop the Apocalypse and save the world. On a regular basis they face scary, powerful beings that are trying to kill them. Basically, they are the only thing standing between the human race and utter destruction. That requires quite a bit of bravery, and Frank Irving has it in spades. He’s come face to face with all manner of evil, and he’s held his own. He’s sacrificed his freedom and (for the moment at least) his soul in order to bring down the forces of evil and save the world. That’s not to say that he hasn’t been afraid. He’s actually been pretty terrified, but he still figures out how to push forward and get the job done in spite of being afraid. That’s brave if you ask me.


Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Episode 11 The Vessel (3)

This is perhaps my favorite thing about Frank. He allows for the possibility that there are things in the universe that he doesn’t understand. It bothers me when characters dismiss what they don’t know or don’t understand simply because it doesn’t fall within their realm of understanding. When Frank first came to Sleepy Hollow to replace Sheriff Corbin, he sincerely believed that there was a reasonable, logical explanation for all the beheadings and for Ichabod’s presence. However, as time went on and more and more things just didn’t add up, Frank began to accept that there was something more going on, and whatever was going on may not have a logical explanation. That’s not to say that he wasn’t skeptical about all of it, but he at least gave Ichabod and Abbie the benefit of the doubt. It’s always bothered me when characters assume that the only things that are real in the universe are those things that they have personal knowledge of. The universe is so vast, that it doesn’t make sense not to allow for the possibility that there are beings in it that you may not know about.


One of my favorite Frank Irving scenes thus far was when the Hessians thought they had him surrounded at the power plant. And I must admit, for a minute there, it looked pretty bad. But then Frank whips out his peacemakers and goes to work. It was then that I realized that Frank may not know very much about the supernatural, but he ain’t going out like no punk. It’s always refreshing to see a character who may be out of their depth, but they still put up a good fight. In the more personal sense of him not being a sucka, Irving seemed to realize almost from the get go that Abbie and Ichabod were not being entirely forthcoming with them. However, instead of just shutting them down, he played along with them, but he let them know that he is no fool. He just didn’t ask so he could truthfully deny knowing anything if someone were to ask. Like I said, Frank ain’t no sucka.


Unlike with Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison, I was actually familiar with some of Orlando Jones’s work before he joined the Sleepy Hollow cast and I was kind of a fan. The first time I saw him was on the 7 up commercials, and I still think those commercials are hilarious. I saw him in another comedic role on the short-lived and wonderfully eccentric TV show Pushing Daisies, and he was once again very funny. The first time I saw him take a more dramatic turn was in the remake of The Time Machine and then again in Drumline. So, when I heard that Jones was going to be playing Frank Irving, I really had no idea whether to expect a more comedic turn or a more dramatic one. The answer is, it’s a little of both. Although the role is a more dramatic one, the way Jones delivers some of his lines and his facial expressions tend to be funny. In truth, the Frank character needed to be very nuanced and subtle because for the first half of the first season, I wasn’t really sure where Frank’s loyalties lay. And that was due in no small part to Jones’s fantastic portrayal. He’s given us a very interesting, layered, and nuanced performance and I am loving it.

So there you have it folks. I’m still very concerned about Frank’s current predicament, but I have faith that Frank is gonna figure out how to get his soul back. Or at least with the help of the rest of Team Crane he’s going to figure out how to get it back.