Last week, “Sleepy Hollow” pulled itself out of the lore quagmire it had gotten bogged down in for the first half of Season 2. Sure, Pittura Infamante sagged in the middle, but there was no sign of impending doomsday and/or teen angst love octagons, so I’m calling it a win.
Can the show carry the momentum into this week’s episode, “Kali Yuga”? Let’s find out!
Last week, Ichabod went on a date with his estranged witch wife who was trapped in Purgatory until recently and still thinks their son is salvageable from evil, so I guess it’s par for the Crazy™ that this week he would go on a platonic date with his hetero-life partner, her sister, and the supernatural antiquities thief friend who has attempted to sleep with both women. Oh, and karaoke. While I will forever feel cheated to not hear Ichabod Crane sing the iconic Britney Spears song “Oops, I Did It Again,” it was nice to watch Jenny and Abbie behave like actual siblings. Complete with all the hypocrisy and ill-fated attempts at giving relationship advice to each other.
There’s a rule against people in supernatural dramas being in happy, functional relationships though. Just as quickly as Jenny and Hawley seem to have the beginnings of a real go at things, an old flame/caretaker shows to be the Big Bad of the week. With heels that high, lipstick that dark, and a name like Carmella Pines, Hawley’s lady Indiana Jones (no, not Lara Croft) teen guardian is legally obligated to be a vampire. She instantly acquiesces to expectations, but with a Hindu twist: she’s here to find the Kali MacGuffin and by God, Southern Gentleman Aquaman is going to help her.
Why, you ask? Well, the answer the show GIVES us is because Carmella is the only family SGA has left — Hawley took the traditional “my parents died in an accident days before Christmas” route to becoming an orphan — and he feels semi-responsible for her being turned into monster while looking for his runaway teenage ass in Mumbai. The SUBTEXT says it’s because she clearly Mrs. Robinson’d him and they’re swimming in a miasma of unresolved feelings.
Hawley’s shenanigans pit him against the group for most of the episode. He breaks into the Library of Exposition and steals the blueprints to the Kali statue MacGuffin, he points a gun at Ichabod (momentarily severing their man bond and breaking my shipper heart), he manipulates and tricks Jenny, and he locks Abbie and Ichabod in a vault so he can run off with Carmella. Of course, Hawley’s also desperately hoping to save his surrogate mother and doesn’t have time to debate the merits of loving a shitty family member (I mean, who DOESN’T have a murderous vampire loved one?) with his friends, and what does SGA get for his loyalty? Played by Carmella, who has been pining (zing!) after him. Exactly zero people can believe she just wanted Hawley to be a platonic companion post Hindu-vampire ritual. I mean, she even took his shirt off while her man-harem looked on.
While Abbie and Ichabod take Hawley’s bizarre behavior in stride — after all, thieves tend to be Chaotic Neutral and can’t be trusted to make sense — the depth of Jenny’s feelings for SGA become even more painfully obvious. She repeatedly runs after him, despite his warnings to stay away. If Carmella was even remotely competent with her venom claws, Jenny Mills would be dead twice over. Once in the Sleepy Hollow underground, and again during the climatic battle. Luckily, being an immortal being doesn’t immediately grant you competence, and Jenny escapes unscathed. Of course, even putting her in danger is reason enough for Hawley to throw in the towel and flee both the relationship and the town, under the guise of hunting down Carmella of course. Ugh.
Speaking of incompetent immortal beings, I had literally forgotten that Orion the angel even existed until Ichabod had a fit over finding Xena’s mini-chakram necklace. Take that for what you will.
Jenny and Hawley aren’t the only ones having relationship problems, though. Being trapped in vault with no cell signal forces Ichabod and Abbie to hash out their issues. Things get a little meta as the writers use them as a mouthpiece to basically apologize for veering away from what works — Ichabod and Abbie solving mysteries and stopping the end of the world together.
Off in the C-plot, Frank and Cynthia Irving spend the entire episode dealing with their own relationship issues. Despite being mysteriously exonerated for his crimes, Frank’s wife can’t reconcile her marriage until he agrees to a metaphysical exam. Of course, this means a trip to the Cabin in the Woods and Katrina, who had been delightfully absent from this episode. Katrina instantly starts harping on about her son Henry and the inflection of her voice says she still thinks the Horseman of War is A) alive and B) still has good in him.
I want to shake her.
Much to Katrina’s dismay, Irving is free of Henry’s influence. But if the Horseman of War didn’t resurrect the Captain, it leaves the door open to other possibilities. My money is on Orion.
“Kali Yuga” continues to get “Sleepy Hollow” back on the right track. For me, branching out beyond Christian mythology both extends the lifespan of the show, and makes for more interesting story options. Letting the Headless Horseman plot languish while focusing on the relationship between Ichabod/Abbie, Abbie/Jenny, and, sigh, even Ichabod/Katrina is a step in the right direction. Oddly, the Irving family storyline at this point is so disconnected from the group that it seems out of place. But I’ll take small hiccups over series-shattering missteps any day.
Odd & Ends
• Katrina not finding Mary Poppins “very progressive” actively offended me
• If Carmella has venom-hands, why not just dissolve her way into the vault?
• So, how were the Hindu-vampires converting people to their cult before they got the statue back? Did Knox just recently acquire it?
• Hopefully one day, we get to the hear the story of who Carmella murdered when Hawley was 18 and why she felt she was doing it to protect him. I smell a “your parents didn’t really have an ‘accident’” reveal
• I really, REALLY enjoyed Ichabod’s reaction to getting the emergency exit puzzle wrong
• Exactly what KIND of yoga classes was Abbie taking and where can I sign up?
• Did Irving have no reflection in the cabin window? If not, did he have one in the police station one-way mirror? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?