Sleepy Hollow “I, Witness” Review (Season 3, Episode 1)

Sleepy Hollow 211 The Akeda 05

President John F. Kennedy once said that efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. That’s a sentiment Ichabod Crane would no doubt share. Poor Ichabod. At any rate, Sleepy Hollow had some fairly heavy lifting to do with this season’s premiere, and I’m not convinced they were completely successful. That’s not to say there weren’t some things I liked, but a few things bothered me that I hope won’t become prevalent throughout the season.

The story picked up approximately nine months from the events of the season two finale. Apparently Ichabod and Abbie went their separate ways during that time and didn’t stay in contact at all. That was the first thing that rubbed me the wrong way. Ichabod needed some time after Katrina and Henry’s deaths to deal. I get that and it makes perfect sense. What bothers me, though, is the fact that neither Ichabod nor Abbie attempted to stay in contact afterwards. I get that Abbie didn’t want to keep her life in a holding pattern, but supposedly Ichabod is her friend and she couldn’t pick up a phone to check on him? Especially after he went radio silent long enough for her to have completed her training at Quantico. I’m going to ignore the fact that nine months isn’t even close to being long enough to complete training and get assigned to an extremely high profile task force. This is television after all. But anyway, it bothered me that neither of them tried to check in with the other. And Abbie’s passive-aggressiveness about Ichabod dropping off the map didn’t work for me either. The phone works both ways. Hopefully, the show has gotten that out of their system and we won’t have to see too much of that over the course of the season.

The other major thing that rubbed me the wrong way was Abbie’s complete dismissal of Ichabod’s belief that the trials of The Witnesses aren’t over. Especially after he shared that he found a tablet from the Sumerian times detailing the trials of The Witnesses. I get that after everything they’ve been through Abbie would be eager to put all that behind her and get her life back on the path she started. However, it’s BECAUSE of everything she’s been through that it didn’t make sense for her to dismiss Ichabod’s discovery so quickly. If anyone should understand that things aren’t always what they seem, it should be Abbie. How many times did they think things were done with Henry and Mulock before they were violently reminded that the war was still raging on? I suppose the purpose of that aspect of the story was to help Abbie get her head back into the apocalypse game, but there were other (and better) ways to accomplish the same thing. Abbie’s behavior in that regard just didn’t ring true for me which made her speech to the drug lord at the end fall flat.

I did enjoy Pandora. She has potential be an interesting character, and I’m looking forward to finding out what havoc she plans to wreak in Sleepy Hollow. It appears that Pandora has some sort of personal connection to Sleepy Hollow, and I have to wonder whether she was a part of Katrina’s coven or something. Or maybe she’s just a witch who somehow found the box and figured out how to wield its power. Or maybe she’s another class of demon from Hell. I don’t know. Whatever she turns out to be, it looks like she’s going to be quite the adversary for our heroes. But one thing I do know is that I sincerely hope whatever Pandora’s connection to Sleepy Hollow is, it doesn’t mean we’re going to be subjected to more of Katrina Crane. No. Just no. However, if Pandora has some sort of personal connection to either Ichabod or Abbie, that could make things even more interesting. I also like the actress they’ve chosen for that role. I’ve always thought Shannyn Sossamon does a good job playing kind of creepy, so I’m kind of excited to see what she can do with Pandora.

I was also pleased to see Jenny Mills have a more prominent role. One of last season’s major missteps was sidelining Jenny and Frank in favor of Katrina and Hawley. It seemed at times that she show completely forgot that Abbie even had a sister, and that was disappointing. Especially considering how awesome (and helpful) Jenny was during the first season. I’m hoping the powers that be recognized their mistake last season and Jenny will be a more essential part of the story this season. She and Ichabod were both left adrift after stopping Henry and Mulock. The first season spent some time dealing with the fact that much of Jenny’s travels and “acquisitions” over the previous years were done at the behest of Sheriff Corbin because he knew about the coming storm. After seemingly stopping the apocalypse, I can see her having a hard time fitting into civilian life. The fact that she appeared to be going through all of that alone would make it even more difficult. Just like Ichabod, Jenny was trying to find a place where she fit and she wasn’t having any more success in that regard than Ichabod. Hopefully, now that it seems like a new chapter has been opened on the apocalypse, Jenny will find a place for herself. I’m looking forward to that journey.

I felt kind of bad for Ichabod. He was more lost and adrift than we’ve seen him in a while. Last season saw Ichabod doing a lot of reflecting on his life. He lamented some of the choices he made and (more often) the choices that were made for him. But even through all of that self-reflection, he felt he had a mission and a purpose. So even if he was walking a path that he wouldn’t have necessarily chosen for himself, he felt like the cause was just and he had to be courageous. However, after it appeared that his mission was completed; his family was all dead; and his friend had moved on with her life, Ichabod was left to drift alone on a sea of uncertainty. He’s always been a man out of time, but this episode had him feeling it to a much more severe degree. He went to visit his ancestral home and found all of his relatives gone. He saw all of the heroes he admired during his time turned into bobbleheads and tourist attractions in the present. He even said at one point that this America isn’t the one he hoped for, but it’s the one he’s got. To top it all off, he no longer had a mission which is why he was so desperate to believe that the Sumerian tablet meant that the war was still on. It’s not so much that Ichabod necessarily craves all of the death and destruction the apocalypse will bring, but if he doesn’t have that, then what does he have? Why is he here? What is he supposed to do? Those are questions Ichabod struggled with in this episode, and I don’t think he done with it just yet. It may have been pushed to the side for the moment, but I suspect he will revisit that discussion in the near future.

This wasn’t the most spectacular season premiere, but it wasn’t the worst either. It amused me (and not necessarily in a good way) how the show dealt with Frank Irving’s (aka Orlando Jones’) sudden departure. On the one hand, I’m glad they didn’t just ignore it. But on the other hand, it was a reminder of how wrong that did him. On the plus side, they did leave the door open for him to be able to return, so I guess that’s something. They also did a pretty good job of introducing Pandora and giving us a little taste of her power. Fingers crossed that she’s as good a villain as she has the potential to be. I also liked the brief intro of Betsy Ross. I’ve always loved how Sleepy Hollow takes historical situations and/or characters and turns them completely on their head. Betsy Ross is no exception. Plus, any time you have a butt-kicking, sword-wielding, smart-mouthed chick on screen, I am all about it. It’s always nice to see women portrayed as the smart, strong, capable individuals that we are. As an aside, I literally laughed out loud when Ichabod threw up two fingers to his ICE cellmate when Abbie came to bail him out. Yet another reason I love Ichabod Crane. He is completely adorkable. So what did y’all think of this week’s episode?