Sleepy Hollow “Tempus Fugit” Review (Season 2, Episode 18)

Time travel is always a very sticky business. Just ask Marty McFly. You change one little thing, and you end up changing the course of history (and the future) not just for you, but for the whole world. That’s the situation Abbie found herself in in this week’s Sleepy Hollow.

I was trying to work out how I felt about the Sleepy Hollow season finale, and all I could come up with is underwhelmed. That’s not to say I didn’t like it. I did. But it felt like the show was trying to make sure they wrapped everything up in a nice little bow just in case the show doesn’t get renewed next season. On the one hand, I can see why they’d want to do that because they don’t want to leave the audience hanging if they’re not certain they’re coming back. On the other hand, it made the end of the episode fall kind of flat because everything was too neat. Abbie was returned safely to her own time. The two main villains met their demise. The good guys gained control of the Grimoire. Frank’s got his soul back, and none of the good guys died. Writing the “safe” ending of everything working out in the good guy’s favor took away the elements of suspense, urgency and surprise that were ever present in last season’s finale.

I did like the time we spent back in 1791. Abbie’s meeting with Grace was nicely done. I imagine it would be a lot to take in to meet someone who influenced your life so greatly even though you never had the opportunity to get to know them. But what I mostly liked were the interactions between Ichabod and Abbie. It was kind of odd to watch the dynamic between 18th century Ichabod and Abbie. He was much more formal than they’ve been for quite some time, and it was clear that he didn’t want to trust her. That’s totally understandable. It was also almost an exact mirror of the internal argument Abbie had with herself over Ichabod at the beginning of the series. Because Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship has become so intimate and layered, it’s sometimes easy to forget how crazy their first meeting was. Ichbod sincerely believed everything he spouted off to Abbie at their first meeting, and the same was true of Abbie here. The primary difference being that she and Ichabod had developed a friendship upon which Abbie could draw to bring Ichabod around. That’s not to say that each of them didn’t have to have a little faith though. One other thing Abbie’s trip to the past shows is that on some level she and Ichabod were meant to find each other. Even before Ichabod finally decided to trust Abbie, he knew deep down that she was telling the truth, and he knew he needed to help her. Perhaps it was their destiny making sure that they found their way back to each other. Or perhaps it’s that the bond they’ve developed is stronger than time and space. Whatever the reasons, it seems that the bond between Ichabod and Abbie will not be easily broken.

I mentioned in my review of last week’s episode that I felt like Katrina’s turn to evil was done entirely too quickly. It was even more of a problem in this episode. Even Ichabod’s throwaway line about the seeds for darkness always being in Katrina didn’t do anything to make her turn any more believable. One of my primary gripes this season was the show forcing Katrina down our collective throats. They didn’t let her organically weave herself into the story so much as they shoved her to the forefront and tried to make her much more important to the overall story than she really was. It wasn’t until after the mid-season finale that they seemed to realize that they wanted her to go dark, so they started trying to drop hints throughout the latter half of the season that Katrina wasn’t as good as she pretended to be. That would’ve been all well and good if I cared about Katrina. However, the show never gave me an opportunity to develop anything other than feelings of annoyance and frustration toward Katrina. I didn’t care about her as a character, so I wasn’t emotionally invested in her turn to darkness other than how it hurt Ichabod so badly. Because I do, in fact, care about Ichabod. Basically, Katrina going darkside and her subsequent death felt like a much less satisfying payoff than it could have (and should have) been. It’s pretty clear that the writers didn’t know what they wanted to do with Katrina other have her running around in a corset with her constantly heaving breasts (seriously, does the chick have asthma or something) just barely contained. And just as an aside, was anyone else rolling their eyes at the fact that all season long Katrina’s powers have been pretty much useless but now all of a sudden she’s whammying people left and right? Seriously?! Where were these awesome powers when Team Crane was facing off against Moloch or when they were fighting for their lives against other evil things?

So what does it all boil down to? I would give this episode a B- and this season overall a C- and that’s being generous. The episode in particular didn’t feel like a season finale to me. There was no cliffhanger. There was no sense of urgency. There was nothing that left me on the edge of my seat desperately wanting to know what happens next. I don’t know whether the show will be renewed for a third season, but if they are, they’re going to have a lot of heavy lifting to do based upon how everything played out in the finale. Headless is still out there and so is Orion. Not to mention they still haven’t told us what happened to the Kindred after he rode off into the night. Perhaps Henry and Katrina aren’t dead, but their bodies turning to dust and blowing away on the inexplicable breeze kind of leads me to believe they’re gone. Although, with a little bit of magic, who knows what could happen. This season overall was kind of wobbly because the show lost it’s focus and what’s even worse, it started taking itself entirely too seriously. Part of the reason I fell in love with the show in the first place was that it was completely ridiculous and everyone knew it. Even though they were dealing with majorly scary stuff, there was always an element of humor running through. Not so much this season. I sincerely hope the show gets renewed for another season because I know Sleepy Hollow is capable of so much more than they gave us this season and I want them to get the chance to make it up to us.