Sleepy Hollow establishes with this episode that Satan doesn’t just have demons at his beck and call: He’s got German terrorists. So, basically, Satan is a fan of Die Hard. Hey, we’re not complaining.
This episode actually manages to be a lot more creepy and threatening than it has any right to be, because on paper it’s ridiculous. The Hessians, German mercenaries during the Revolutionary War, have apparently infiltrated America as the sleeper cell ninjas of Moloch, a demon who likes to eat children. It’s helped substantially that the actors they cast are simultaneously corn-fed American-looking and dead-eyed serial killers at the same time.
They’re looking for The Lesser Key of Solomon, something that will unleash seventy-two of Hell’s worst onto the Earth. Needless to say, the clock is ticking, and having some crazy Germans on your ass can really be distracting.
Meanwhile Abby and her sister Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood of Nikita) have a couple of decades of issues to work through, largely moderated by Ichabod. It doesn’t help that Jenny is pretty blatantly Sarah Connor with the serial numbers filed off and an even bigger chip on her shoulder about authority, if that’s even possible. Nicole Beharie and Greenwood actually make a pretty convincing pair of squabbling sisters, and Tom Mison really plays the cranky mediator between the two for all it’s worth.
Again, a big part of what sells this episode is the friendly chemistry between Mison and Beharie; they crack jokes, needle each other, and make each other admit awkward truths. And the action is well-choreographed; there’s a surprisingly well-done gunfight that features Abby having to teach Ichabod how modern firearms work that’s simultaneously clever and amusing.
It’s a bit small scale compared to previous episodes, but it’s engaging, funny, and it moves. No wonder it already got renewed.
A few more thoughts:
- The monologue about love that opens this show is rather heartwarming… and then it becomes absolutely hilarious once you find out who Ichabod is talking to.
- Somebody in the art department is having a lot of fun; check out what’s on the toilet paper dispenser as Jenny Mills riffles through her stuff.
- They’re being pretty… interesting with the research. Their depiction of Moloch as a god of child sacrifice is actually correct insofar as Wikipedia knows, but that “painting” of him? That would be William Blake.
Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments.