Sleepy Hollow, S2 Ep3 — The Root of All Evil

Second seasons can be rough, and while Sleepy Hollow is doing a pretty good job of maintaining the feel that hooked viewers, it seems like it’s also becoming more formulaic. Plus, it’s a show where you know that the leads belong together (the show can customarily deny it all they want, unless it gets a sudden cancellation, Abbie and Ichabod are going to end up together, as they should). Season 2 is too soon to take it there, so they get different love interests — in Ichabod’s case, his kind-of dead wife — and, maybe it’s just me, I can’t muster the energy to care. And I’m not even into the Ichabbie fandom.

sleepyhollows2e3ichabbieAnyway. With “Root of All Evil,” Sleepy Hollow has brought in its second new character of the season, Nick Hawley, a grifter who shares a past with Jenny. You might have heard about him, he’s the blonde hunk everyone’s making a fuss over, especially on Sleepy Hollow’s Facebook (I’m sure they’ll find a correlation between more white guys and higher ratings, so I expect Hawley’s sticking around for a love triangle or two). Hawley isn’t all THAT interesting yet, but he’s OK. Ichabod pretty much hates him, so he adds some tension.

This week, the baddie is an old coin called the Tyrian Shekel — the same coin that turned Benedict Arnold into a traitor (wait, Ichabod, you know Benedict Arnold?!). It turns up on a popular Sleepy Hollow bank teller, who very uncharacteristically holds up the bank and kills a security guard. As Abbie tries to talk her down, not knowing that she had been possessed by the coin, Sheriff Reyes shoots her dead. Like I said before, Reyes doesn’t mess around.

Speaking of Reyes, now that Jenny has been released from jail, she decides to do some research on her, using Abbie’s password to access personnel files. She learns that, years ago, it was Reyes who had their mother committed. Which, as far as Jenny is concerned, directly led to their mother’s suicide. Abbie tries to be on Reyes’ side when she heard the news, but it’s tough to hear.

Abbie and Ichabod go to visit Irving at Tarrytown Mental Hospital, but find that they’ve been barred from seeing him by his lawyer — Henry, The Sin Eater-slash-Ichabod’s son-slash-Horseman of War. They figure out the lawyer is Henry because he gives everyone his real name. Well, I guess his real name is Jeremy Crane, but you know what I mean.

sleepyhollows2e2arnoldThe coin eventually falls into Jenny’s hands, with the help of Henry, The Sin Eater-slash-Ichabod’s son-slash-Horseman of War. Abbie is convinced that the possessed Jenny is coming after her.

Abbie and Ichabod find Hawley, who knows about the coins. They go to a bar, where Ichabod is told he can’t drink without ID. There’s a weird scene in a church. Finally, they track down Jenny in the woods. She’s not going after Abbie — she’s going after Reyes, who is out hunting. Abbie and Jenny have a moment, as Abbie tries to take the gun by telling her she wants to shoot Reyes herself. After a struggle, the coin falls from Jenny’s pocket. Abbie spots in on the ground and reaches for it (the Tyrian Shekel cause a sort of “One Ring” reaction where people can’t resist it). Ichabod kicks the coin away into the air, and Hawley safely catches it between two pieces of leaded stained glass he’d stolen from the church. Meanwhile, Reyes and her hunting partner leave unharmed.

Hawley, in appreciation for helping him obtain the coin (which is just one of many), gives Ichabod a fake ID. Ichabod has to admit that Hawley is a useful ally.

Ichabod manages to get in to Tarrytown Mental Hospital by visiting a patient he briefly met there before. Irving spots him, and they’re able to talk. Irving is disturbed to learn the identity of his lawyer, but is determined to get back to his family by any means necessary.

The episode has its memorable moments, but it’s feeling more and more procedural. There’s the designated “fish out of water” moment, this time a typically heavy-handed reinforcement of Ichabod’s spotless progressiveness when Abbie mistakes his shock at a man wearing a hat indoors for shock that the man is holding hands with his male partner. He’s been on the same-sex marriage train since the 18th Century, apparently. Honestly, I think I’d believe his progressiveness more if he accepted same sex marriage as a change he wasn’t used to and saw it as a step forward. And, of course, there’s the “you knew [insert Founding Father here]?” moment in just about every episode, followed by some revelation that what we thought we knew about them is wrong. Usually, it’s something supernatural. Which is fine, but it works better when the truths Ichabod drops are actually true, like how Paul Revere actually said “The Regulars are coming,” not “The British are coming.” There’s not much of that anymore.

Next week is a takeoff on The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and episode I’ve been looking forward to since I heard the Pied Piper was going to be a Sleepy Hollow monster-of-the-week.