Sleepy Hollow "Blood Moon" Review: Evil's Found a New Home

By Kaitlin Thomas

Sep 24, 2013

Sleepy Hollow S01E02: Blood Moon


Well, there you have it. The second episode of Sleepy Hollow. Did it pass the test? Did it live up to last week's insane pilot? In many ways, I'd say that it was a pretty good second outing for the series. 

"Blood Moon" jumped right in after a very brief recounting of what transpired last week. It was more focused and less jam-packed than the premiere, which had a lot to do and a relatively short amount of time to do it. The centralized stand-alone story that fits like a puzzle piece into the larger season-long arc is probably what future episodes of Sleepy Hollow will be like. It's similar to Supernatural and other genres shows in that way, and that's definitely not a bad thing. If it risks becoming too serialized, it could lose viewers who fall behind, or it could keep new viewers from jumping in mid-way through. If it becomes too much of a procedural, where Abbie and Ike (Ichabod is a horribly annoying name to type) run around Sleepy Hollow solving random crimes with no larger purpose, the series risks losing viewers who want character development and serialized storytelling rather than just filler plot.

This episode proved that the series can do a mixture of the two and still remain highly entertaining, even if a bit ridiculous. The opening scene in which Ike was being chased by the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse was clearly a dream, made even more obvious by Katrina's presence, as she's trapped in the world between worlds. But it was also the only time we saw Steve (the Horseman) in this hour. As Ike was quick to tell us, once he trotted away on his horse at the end of the premiere, Steve has been MIA. Which answers the question of how the series would tackle cases of the week, Steve's presence, and the secret history of the United States every week, and the answer was simply: it's not going to.

The case of the week, as provided by Katrina, was to track down and destroy the remains of a witch who was burned at the stake before she could return and set off a chain reaction of evil. Or something. But before Abbie and Ike could do that, that scary demon thing that scared the bejusus out of all of us, brought Evil John Cho back to life! And gave us a scene even worse than the neck snapping scene from last week!

    

While I'm glad they didn't actually kill Evil John Cho off in the premiere (what a waste of talent that would have been), HOLY SHIT. WHAT. THE. CRAP. IS. THAT. So far this series has really found a way to balance the humor and the horror aspects, and for that I am grateful. But man, that scene was creepy.

So Evil John Cho was charged with finding the descendants of the men who were responsible for Witchy Woman's death in the first place, so she could use their ashes to return to her own body. Which was kind of cool with me, because the burned carcass she was walking around in was half the First Slayer and half Clara's charred remains from Season 7 of Doctor Who, and it was 100 percent not attractive. It's unclear to me how no one in town noticed that A) Evil John Cho's body was missing from the morgue, B) Evil John Cho was just strolling the streets of Sleepy Hollow, and C) Evil John Cho had stolen a police car and was using it for his own personal use. But you know, whatever. I guess Abbie's the only cop who works in Sleepy Hollow.

After Abbie and Ike recovered the Sheriff's secret files (and discovered—or remembered if you're Ike—the secret tunnel system below the streets of Sleepy Hollow), they made easy work of Witchy Woman by lighting her on fire (simple bullets did no good because Magick and Stuff). But Evil John Cho is still out there, and still doing the bidding of that creepy demon guy, so it's kind of like winning the race but finding out you accidentally signed up for the evil decathlon instead and now have to fight nine other supernatural battles.

Also returning this week despite having met the business end of Mr. Slashy (the Horseman's broad axe, of course), was Clancy Brown! Guess this show really is taking its cues from Supernatural, because no one's really staying all that dead. Okay, that's not really true. The Sheriff really is dead, but that didn't stop Abbie from chatting him up in his office, where he offered her this advice: "Don't be afraid of Number 49. That's where you'll find you're not alone." Number 49, of course, meant Room 49, the room in which Abbie's sister Jennifer Mills lives at the local nuthouse. And creepy demon guy is coming for her, which is most definitely not a good sign.

This episode was more streamlined and less batshit crazy than the premiere, but it still had the elements that made the pilot so damn appealing. The easy chemistry and banter between Abbie and Ike continued, Ike's confusion regarding modern technology (and outrage at the doughnut tax) was still funny, there was plenty of supernatural hijinks to go around, and some truly startling moments to keep us on our toes. If the show keeps up this pace, solving immediate threats to thwart the larger threat of the apocalypse while also building and diving deeper into the supernatural world, I can see it having a pretty good run. 


NOTES


— Decapitations this week: 0 ... Steve's on vacation. But one guy did die at the hands of Witchy Woman, so there was still a body count.

— Things that confused Ichabod this week: how electricity works, showers, hairdryers, the outrageous price and tax on doughnuts (we all feel this outrage, Ike), fluorescent lights, and guns being able to hold more than one round.

— I enjoyed seeing all the Post-Its in Ike's hotel room to tell him what everything was and how it worked. It looks oddly similar to my desk right now.

— So the Sheriff was like a father to Abbie, which explains a lot. I do hope Clancy Brown keeps popping up in the future as her sort of spirit guide, or something.

— For the record, Guy Who Burned Alive, I am sorry you died. But if you'd have watched Supernatural (or any horror/supernatural movie ever), you'd know that the first signs of trouble are always flickering lights and weird music being played out of your radio. Always. 

— "I will literally pay you to stop talking." 

— "Her remains ... remain a mystery." Nice one, Ichabod.

— "We burn her to the ground?" / "Oh, with great enthusiasm." 


thekaitling:list:sleepy-hollow-what-did-you-think-of-blood-moon/

 

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  • atsevis Oct 15, 2013

    that was terrible Greek... I wonder how difficult is to hire someone who really speaks the language to help them with it. I am sure they can afford it

  • ElenaTrikou Oct 02, 2013

    I'm Greek and i love it when they speak greek :)
    (even though i have to read the subtitles to realize what they're saying)

  • claudia40 Oct 01, 2013

    Just found this yesterday...I love it it humor,horror, bit of history fact/fiction. It reminds me of Supernatural. I hope it sticks around for sometime.

  • pashao Sep 30, 2013

    I love this show. Ike is cute and funny and the banter and chemistry with Abbie adds helps with the creepy aspects.

    I hope they keep Evil John Cho around, I haven't' seem him in anything since FlashForward. However, I do hope that his missing body is commented on eventually otherwise, I'll have to wonder at the effectiveness of the police department.

  • claudia40 Oct 01, 2013

    lol , ahh... Tv police departments.

  • bleumystique Sep 29, 2013

    I LOVE this show. It has just the right amount of crazy, just the right amount of horror, and the perfect amount of humor and witticisms. Plus, I'm in love with Crane and Mills. I love Ichabod on his own. I love Abbie on her own, but I especially love them together. Together they are the best, and I love it when a show thrives because the leads just have that natural chemistry. The chemistry between the two of them is fabulous, you can't fake or force chemistry and they had it easily in the pilot, and I'm beyond happy to see that it continues. I love a good platonic bond. I really do. Give me a platonic bond with amazing chemistry and I'm in heaven. I'll ship the platonic more than I'll ship anything romantic. So much more you can do with. So these two, and it has only been two episodes mind you, are already one of my favorite platonic bonds on television right now. So much loves.

  • AdamCetnerowski Sep 28, 2013

    Again, I wouldn't say he was confused by modern stuff - maybe the shower. He figured out how to use the hairdryer and found a reasonable explanation. As to the tax and cost of food? People complain about prices from ten years ago or are shocked when they see price tags on items they rarely purchase.

  • MirelaPilipo Sep 28, 2013

    When Abbie said: "....I just want to go back to how it was before." and Ichabod answer was along the lines of: "I don't think you can."
    The 54th eye-roll moment of the show. Seriously former "Fringe" creators? Recycling lines straight out of the "Fringe" pilot? Why oh why?
    And what does Abby want to go back to exactly? Eating Apple Pie?
    Just NO!

  • thekaitling Sep 29, 2013

    That's exactly what she wants to go back to. She wants to go back to living her life unaware of the danger that really exists. She wants her friend and mentor back. She doesn't want to spend her time hunting down witches.

  • MirelaPilipo Oct 01, 2013

    That apple-pie bit was obviously a joke. I know what she wants to go back to and hell, who could blame her? I am just referring to the fact that they recycled the line from the Fringe pilot.

  • Lefin Sep 27, 2013

    I really want to like this show. The leads have good chemistry and some snappy dialogue, and the mystery/horror vibe is well executed (like that scary demon thing). The writing, though...

    I can tell that the show's lackluster writing is going to persistently annoy me and take me out of the show, as it did at times during the first two episodes. There is no reason that a goofy fun show and good writing should be mutually exclusive.

    A few random examples of shoddy writing that caught my eye:

    1> Ichabod claiming that he has photographic memory. At this point, it has essentially been proven as a hoax in the real world. Which isn't to say that you can't have a really GOOD memory (see: various savants), but photographic memory in particular is little but a lazy writing cliche at this point, up there with the generic, overwrought TV version of amnesia.

    2> No one notices that Evil John Cho is alive and walking around (or, for that matter, driving a stolen police car). This, in a small town where people generally know each other...

    3> Ichabod grabs a pickaxe out of a fire extinguisher case to break open the wall blocking the entrance to the tunnels. How is it he instantly knew something like that would be there when he's constantly pulling the "fish out of water" routine on far smaller things for sake of comic relief? Pretty sure they didn't have fire extinguishers during the Revolutionary War!

    4> The tunnels still being accessible. Conveniently, they also led to the exact room they wanted to sneak into. I guess the police department hasn't moved or renovated in 225+ years?

    5> As far as I know, the shelf life of gunpowder caps out at about 80 years or so. Not especially plausible that they could still use it to kill the witch.

    6> For that matter, why was that enough to kill the witch? She had returned to her full power and it was still during the blood moon. They were only able to kill her in the past because of the weakening ritual executed by Katrina. I guess we could assume that witches are naturally weak to fire (when dumb enough to walk into it of their own volition, anyway) and give the show a pass on this one.

    Really though, that's just the tip of the iceberg with the writing mistakes that I noticed this episode. Lots of little stuff, but it adds up to take me out of the show at times.

    Still, it has a certain cheesy charm to it (mostly because of the leads, but it's nice to see ghost Clancy Brown hanging around). I'll give it a few more episodes.

  • MiraTellia Sep 28, 2013

    I feel the exact same way - I want to like the show, but it's demanding too great a suspension of disbelief - like the people that put in the clearly modern metal structures in the tunnels, didn't notice the boxes of antique gun powder laying around?
    I will be giving it another chance, because I like the characters, and it has some good things going for it, but if it keeps relying on these ridiculous contrivances I'm abandoning it.

  • mdoz34 Sep 27, 2013

    i am liking this show, of course i had dvr'd it, but i got to see it tonight. This has great potential to keep the humor with ike and abbie chemistry and his lack of knowledge of the modern world. The supernatural creatures could prove to be interesting and moving the overall story along while also not bogging us down with drawn out story line where we watch 20 episodes to get one answer -- a mistake i think a lot of serial shows make. We want to be entertained but also have an overall story, this show and supernatural are good at doing that.

  • CaitlinRice Sep 26, 2013

    It survived the second episode test. I was happy things slowed down a little although I was a bit upset to not see Steve and his machine gun. Can't win em all I suppose. Although, Evil John Cho getting his neck snapped back was pretty cool (is it wrong that I wasn't weirded out or creeped out by that at all?)

    The balance is nice so far. And they lucked out having the leads be as strong as they are. I'm honestly still a little concerned about how well this show will hold up over the long term but it's crazy enough to keep me happy for the immediate future.

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