Sleepy Hollow “The Art of War” Review (Season 3, Episode 7)

Sleepy Hollow The Art of War

I was cautiously optimistic when Sleepy Hollow got renewed for a third season because there were so many problems with season two. The show was much less fun than it originally started out. The story was a jumbled mess of individual moments that didn’t seem to fit together or add up to anything. And the characters they tried to add felt forced into the story and therefore never worked well. I’m glad to say that so far this season, none of those things have been as big of an issue. Although this episode wasn’t as exciting as some of the past episodes have been, I will say that it brought the different threads of the story together in an organic and believable way.

It’s bothered me that for the most part this season, Ichabod and Abbie seem to be working completely independent of Joe and Jenny. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing except for the fact that it means they haven’t been communicating with each other. The lack of communication has led to some problems within Team Crane and some narrative problems for the show. For example, I was happy that Joe and Jenny got their own side-story about the Shard of Anubis, but I wasn’t happy that they didn’t share anything about their mission when they found out someone else was after it. So I was very much pleased that Jenny and Joe immediately went to Ichabod and Abbie when Jenny started glowing like Rudolph’s nose. That was definitely not something they needed to try to handle on their own, and doing that brought the entire team together which is what should have been happening in the first place.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” The important thing is figuring out where to plant your feet. The other important thing is realizing that you cannot stand firm if you’re straddling the fence. Ever since Ichabod showed up and Abbie was thrust into the apocalypse fight, she has tried to have one foot in and one foot out when it comes to her responsibilities as a witness. I understand the need to maintain some sense of order and normalcy in one’s life, especially when dealing with the kind of unpredictable situations Abbie has faced. However, it should be pretty clear to Abbie by now that the evil stuff is not going to stop coming, and it’s not going to stop upsetting the delicate balance she’s created in her life. Does that mean she should stop trying to do normal things like have a satisfying career or attempt dating? Of course not. However, perhaps re-evaluating her responsibilities and her priorities would be a good idea. Basically, maybe working in an agency the size and scope of the FBI isn’t a good fit for her anymore. Working in a smaller agency like the Sleepy Hollow PD afforded her much more flexibility than the FBI ever could, and there are significantly less prying eyes. There’s also much less red tape at a smaller agency which, let’s be honest, is always a good thing when you’re trying to stop hellspawn from taking over the world. Abbie has mentioned several times that she kept putting her life on hold because of the supernatural, but maybe she should stop to consider that maybe her life doesn’t need to be placed on hold. Maybe her life needs to take an altogether different path than the one she originally planned for herself.

Ichabod also had to face the fact that his life has taken an entirely different path than the one he planned for himself. That change actually began back when he decided to ditch the British and join the Americans, but there’s no way he could’ve known his choice that day would lead to him being tossed into the 21st century. He’s had an understandably difficult time adjusting, but I don’t think all of that would matter to him so much if he weren’t in danger of losing everything yet again. Ichabod spent a lot of time last season lamenting the fact that everyone and everything he knew was long gone, and he was having difficulty figuring out where he fit. Now that he’s carved out a place for himself and developed solid relationships, the thought that he could lose all of that now terrifies him. Because Ichabod is who he is, he had a difficult time admitting that to Abbie. He probably had a difficult time admitting it to himself. It was also probably difficult for him to talk to Abbie about because he didn’t want to make it seem like he was trying to guilt trip her into not pursuing her own dreams. Ichabod is nothing if not adaptable, and Abbie tried to remind him of that. She also assured him that she’s not going anywhere, and that probably went a very long way in relieving some of Ichabod’s stress.

Like I said before, this episode did a good job of bringing all of this season’s story threads together and setting up for next week’s mid-season finale. The monster of the weak wasn’t all that terrifying, but that wasn’t really the point anyway. The point was to show us how all of the puzzle pieces we’ve received thus far fit into whatever is coming in the next half of the season. Even Reynold’s trip to DC to talk to his boss revealed that some of the higher ups within the FBI are looking at Abbie. That fact also means that what she did to get Crane into Niven’s office is not going to sit well with Reynolds or Reynolds’ bosses. I also got the sense that there’s much more to “other people” keeping an eye on Abbie than what the boss told Reynolds. Evil has used strategically placed individuals before to thwart the witnesses, and I wouldn’t put it past them to try it again. Joe and Jenny finally admitted that they’re totally into each other. I’m not overly surprised by that revelation though. That’s been coming for a little while now. Joe and Jenny are both enjoyable characters though and they fit together much better than Hawley and Jenny did. Next week is the winter finale, and I’m glad to say I’m actually looking forward to it. So what did y’all think of this week’s Sleepy Hollow?