Sleepy Hollow “Incident at Stone Manor” Review (Season 3, Episode 10)

Sleepy Hollow Incident at Stone Manor

The great science fiction author Jules Verne once said that solitude and isolation are painful things and beyond human endurance. He wasn’t wrong. While I do believe that a certain amount of solitude can be beneficial, scientists have conducted studies that prove human beings are not designed to be alone all the time. We need human interaction. We need companionship. Compound isolation with monotony and you’ve got a recipe for insanity. At least, that’s pretty much what it looked like in this week’s Sleepy Hollow.

Last week’s episode showed us what Ichabod has been doing since their showdown with Pandora and The Hidden One. This week, we got a chance to see exactly where Abbie has been the whole time and it wasn’t exactly Las Vegas. She was stuck in what appeared to be some sort of version of limbo. I’m thinking it was probably The Hidden One’s palace at one time and he was cursed to live in limbo for eternity. I couldn’t really tell, and the show didn’t really elaborate on it. At any rate, the palace was on a different plane and could only be reached via astral projection. Abbie was stuck there (for ten months by her count) slowly going insane. I do wish the episode had spent a bit more time focusing on things from Abbie’s perspective. What exactly was she doing for ten months besides drawing a map of the area? Did she find anything else while she was exploring the area? When did she find a chess board? I would’ve liked to spend a little more time watching Abbie be awesome. As it is, we got a chance to see her show Pandora who’s boss. Pandora showed up all smug because she thought she had Abbie figured out. As it turns out, Pandora didn’t know just how much of a BAMF Abbie is. Willing to sacrifice her freedom and sanity to save the world. That’s just downright heroic.

The show’s decision to bring Abbie back relatively quickly was a good move. Sometimes a show tends to stretch out storylines like this much longer than they should just to draw out every ounce of dramatic tension. Inevitably, they stretch the story out too long and the audience either loses interest or becomes frustrated with the show. Thankfully, Sleepy Hollow didn’t go that route. It’s not that the supporting players aren’t interesting. It’s just that the heart of the show is Ichabod and Abbie, and without that core relationship, everything seems slightly off. That being said, bringing Abbie back so quickly does sacrifice some of the dramatic effect, but dragging out her absence any longer would’ve been too much for the narrative to sustain. Although, I will say that I’d hoped for Abbie and Ichabod’s reunion to be a bit more emotional than it was. Not that they didn’t look thrilled to see each other in the flesh again, but it just felt like it was a bit lacking.

While Ichabod and Abbie were hanging out on another plane, Joe, Jenny, and Foster were trying to handle a gargoyle. In the interest of full disclosure, those things have always freaked me out. I used to watch the cartoon Gargoyles when I was a kid, so I was convinced those things came to life at night while we weren’t looking. Then I started watching Doctor Who and learned about the Weeping Angels, and now I don’t trust any statutes. So this gargoyle creeped me out mostly because they already creep me out, not necessarily because it was all that scary. This part of the story was mostly to show Joe, Jenny, and Foster working together anyway. I like Joe and Jenny. Foster is ok, but I don’t like the fact that the narrative dumbed down Jenny and Joe in an effort to give us more background on Foster. Yes, Jenny and Joe rely a lot on Ichabod and Abbie’s talents, but Joe and Jenny aren’t idiots. Joe was a marine and Jenny was a stealth procurer of unique items for a select clientele. They aren’t exactly new to this, and to pretend that they couldn’t come up with a plan without Foster was disappointing. It also felt like the show was working too hard to show us Jenny is having a hard time adjusting to having a relationship with Joe. She picked the most inopportune moments to have heartfelt discussions with Joe about her difficulties trusting people. Jenny’s trust issues aren’t going to resolve themselves quickly, nor should they. It’s a fundamental part of who Jenny is, and Joe recognizes that. Just maybe pick a time to discuss it when you’re not in the middle of fighting a supernatural creature.

I’m kind of starting to lose interest in Pandora and The Hidden One. During the first half of the season, Pandora was creepy and intriguing. Partially because of the way Shannyn Sossamon plays her, but also because she seemed to have so much power and a plan. Now that she’s executed her plan and her husband is here, they’re much less interesting. The Hidden One spends all of his time whining about the fact that he no longer has the power he once had and the world has gone to crap because he wasn’t here to rule everything and blah blah blah. Pandora spends all of her time placating her whiny husband. The powers that be really need to figure out how to make these two more intriguing and a more legitimate threat.

All in all, this was an ok episode. The whole gang is back together and more or less in one piece. Pandora doesn’t look like she’s faring as well though. Her husband is kind of a narcissistic jerk. I guess that’s one of the hazards of being a god though. We got our first glimpse of Abbie and Jenny’s father, Ezra. I’m interested to see how he fits into the story and whether there’s more to his leaving than the Mills sisters know. My guess is the answer is yes. I have my fingers (and toes) crossed that they don’t waste James McDaniel the way they wasted John Noble. I don’t know if I could take it. When the show comes back, it looks like they’re going to deal with the major hanging threat of The Kindred. Finally! I’m looking forward to it. So what did y’all think of this week’s Sleepy Hollow?