Television Review – Sleepy Hollow: “For the Triumph of Evil…”

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Hey, it’s now October and we’ve heard “Mr. Sandman” in something that is not Halloween II! Sleepy Hollow‘s “For the Triumph of Evil…” finds Abbie and Ichabod battling a sandman demon with blank eyes, a “skin veil,” and the ability to punish those who he finds guilty. That means Abbie, because back when she was a teenager tromping through the woods with her sister Jenny, she lied to the police about seeing a demon and got her sister sent to asylum.

Last time, Ichabod was our guide to the occult – he seemed to know way too much about witches, and that struck me as a little too unrealistic. Sleepy Hollow can’t continually rely on Ichabod’s strange knowledge of the paranormal, because there hasn’t been any reason for the audience to suspect him of knowing more about his wife’s witch studies than he lets on. But “For the Triumph of Evil…” gets around this, sort of, by allowing Abbie to find out for herself what the sandman demon wants. He targets her in his dreams, and it’s obvious that he wants her to realize that his predatory advances have to do with Abbie’s terrible secret about being the reason Jenny’s stuck in an asylum; but how she can stop the sandman’s continual progress must come out in time, and with a couple of deaths.

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That means that Ichabod’s Tom Mison is sort of along for the ride in this episode, figuring out what energy drinks are and watching videos on a television screen. He’s a good protagonist because he provides some of the only comic relief in the show; the rest is sort of dramatic and over-the-top, but in a genre TV show sort of way. Mison is still my favorite out of all the cast, although Sleepy Hollow really has tried to give Abbie some more characterization, especially in this episode.

However, it’s not too much of a twist to find Abbie is the reason why Jenny has been forced to live in a mental hospital all of these years. To be honest, the secret she divulges was sort of hinted at all along, and although it still makes Abbie seem like a crappy person, it’s not really much of a shock. “For the Triumph of Evil…” relies on this twist throughout, and for whatever reason the sandman decides to target her and those who were also part of Jenny’s incarceration now, but this could have happened any time during this first season and it wouldn’t have felt out of place.

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It’s pretty funny, though, that when Abbie and Ichabod have to find a Native American from the Mohawk tribe to walk them through the process of getting rid of the sandman, they stumble upon the only Mohawk they know who is also a shaman master. You could call it lucky, or you could just sum it up to what it is – Sleepy Hollow needed this for the plot, and it didn’t really matter if it seems super unrealistic.

But that’s mostly how Sleepy Hollow works: there are many instances where “the fates align” for Ichabod and Abbie, even if it doesn’t make sense. This is part of the many flaws in the show, but it’s also sort of why it’s fun to tune into the show each week. You never know what’s going to happen, and even if Sleepy Hollow can’t be considered good in the same sense a quality drama like Breaking Bad is, it’s such an entertaining hour of television that it’s pretty easy to overlook the headless horseman in the room.

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