Sleepy Hollow Episode 5 “John Doe” Review

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Gender Role Reversal

Ichabod’s and Abbie’s relationship is very unique and interesting. He’s the brains and she’s the brawn when it’s typically the other way around gender wise. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both very intelligent and strong characters. On many occasions they’ve flip flopped those roles, but Ichabod is the one that supplies most of the historical knowledge primarily because he came from the time period as well as being Washington’s foot solider, and Abbie is usually the one to step in and save the day not just because she’s a cop, but because when she allows faith to rule her instead of fear, nothing is able to stop her from pulling through which is a primary theme throughout the series, especially in this episode. At the beginning, she readily admits that she has a hard time believing what she can’t physically see and that she’s not ready to let go of her “better judgment.” As usual, it takes her till right before the end to let go of that better judgment so she can save Ichabod’s butt. She’s slowly beginning to realize that the more she stops running from her fate and the more faith she puts in God, the more able they are to solve their cases and keep evil at bay.

Everything continually hinges on Abbie’s willingness to submerge herself along with Ichabod into the war between heaven and hell. Whenever she’s resisted, it only put the two of them in more danger, but the moment she lets go of her fear and previous thinking, she ends up saving the day. It’s the reason why she’s the one to constantly rescue Ichabod whenever they’re in dire situations like this episode when Crane got the plague. It was only after she prayed in the hospital chapel that she got the idea that it was the water that was keeping the sickness at bay. She was reluctant to do it, as usual, but once she did, everything ended up working out and Ichabod, yet again, will live to tell the tale.

This episodes main theme for Ichabod, however, was does he belong in the past or the present. Upon entering the cabin, he easily slips into complaining about how things have changed. He’s always remarking on it because nothing was as it used to be. So much is different that he’d rather be in that old rustic cabin because it’s much more familiar than that dratted motel, which is understandable because no one (not even the Winchester brothers) want to live in a motel. They’re kind of gross. Abbie, like any close friend or family member, is always quick to tease him about it because not only is funny to see him encountering the unknown, it gives her a bit of an ego boost because it seems like Ichabod knows everything. Every case, he always comes up with some little known fact about history or mythology or language. He’s like the teacher’s pet/know it all that’s in everyone’s class, so whenever you know something that they don’t, it makes you want to savor that moment just a little bit, even if you’re close friends with that person. Abbie still cares for him and wants to help him, as evidenced by her helping him move in and by supplying him with definitions to words he doesn’t know, but sometimes the good natured ribbing can make people second guess themselves.

Even though they know that they’re important and that they belong, we sometimes doubt it because of the teasing or the unfamiliarity of a new environment. Ichabod knows that he has to be there, but everything is so different that he feels like he does fit, and it takes Abbie to reaffirm that he belongs in the here and now before he can accept it. If it wasn’t for him being connected to the Horseman of Death, the entire world would be lost. It was also because of Ichabod that Abbie got that final push to face her fears as well as to reconnect with her sister. He was Abbie’s inciting incident in this new chapter of her life. She needs him as much as he needs her. He isn’t just some crazy person that needs to be shipped off to a home. He’s vital to the cause, and adorable to boot. You’d be crazy not to keep him around. Now what I want to know is with Ichabod acclimating himself to present day living, are we going to get him to go clothes shopping? He’s already been to the grocery store as evidenced by the grocery bags that they walked in with, why can’t he get a new outfit too? Don’t get me wrong, his clothes suit him perfectly, but you can only keep clothes so long, and he’s had them for over 200 years, and he was buried in the ground in them. How are they not falling apart right now? Besides, I think it would be hilarious for Abbie to take Ichabod shopping.

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Ugh, Luke disgusts me. Abbie clearly isn’t interested in getting back with him, but he keeps trying to push the issue, not by being an adult and saying, “hey since you’re not leaving can we get back together,” but by saying “ditch the crazy guy and hang with me,” typical jealous behavior. Grow up. So far he’s proven himself to be immature, or could it be a cover for a more sinister plan? Why is he so against Ichabod? At this point, there’s nothing to suggest that he’s evil incarnate. He just appears to be the jealous ex-boyfriend that doesn’t know when to quit especially with the fact that he’s digging around into Ichabod’s history when he was explicitly told by two people, one of them being his captain and the other his partner (whom he should be able to trust), to leave things alone. Through this, however, we’ve learned a very vital piece of information.

Someone from high places is apparently helping out with Ichabod’s cover story of being an Oxford professor on leave to help the police as a consultant. There’s no other way that it could be confirmed that he’s a current professor that’s on leave. Based on what Ichabod’s said in the past before the war broke out, he was a professor of history at Oxford. There should be records of that somewhere, but what are the odds that there is currently a professor teaching there that goes by the name of Ichabod Crane and is currently on sabbatical and consulting with the police in the town of Westchester County, NY? Not very likely at all. Could it be that Irving is this higher power with those connections available or is someone else involved that we don’t yet know about? Luke’s partner did say that Irving knows more about what’s going on than they do, and it’s also interesting how just as Luke is finishing up his call from Oxford, Irving walks in on him and asks him if everything is okay whilst giving him suspicious looks. At the very least it’s becoming clearer that Irving is most likely on the side of good. He’s doing everything in his power to help Ichabod and Abbie. From the beginning, he’s had his doubts, but it’s almost been a complete 180 since the very first episode. Yes, he still has his doubts, but he’s given them freer reign to do whatever it is they have to do to solve the case, even if it’s something as crazy as to sneak two victims of an unknown and highly contagious sickness out of quarantine to be baptized in a well.

If it were still episode one Irving, he would have had Abbie locked up as well, but now he just seems to go with it. If he was evil, wouldn’t he do everything possible to make sure that they fail at every turn? At the very least he’d want to make things more difficult for them to do their jobs like keeping Ichabod locked up in the psych ward and getting Abbie to leave town for her job at the FBI. I really want to know how Irving fits into everything. His character is so mysterious. When will we finally get our answers about him?

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A Love That Never Dies

Finally Katrina is back and they’re both still very much in love. That kiss proves it. Sorry Ichabod/Abbie shippers. Maybe if Katrina can’t be saved those two will get together. Anyway, now we know she’s in purgatory, and we sort of know why. Moloch has been keeping Kat prisoner there and only allows certain people to go on to whatever after life he chooses for them. Kat seems to know why she’s being kept, but is very reluctant to share and doesn’t get the chance to before Ichabod wakes up. Why won’t she tell him? It apparently must be horrible. At least we’ve learned more about how purgatory works, and how Ichabod is able to be in contact with her as well as why we haven’t seen her for a few weeks. This notion of purgatory is growing into a much larger role as it’s how the Roanoke Colony remained in existence. With that knowledge, it helps to distinguish between the real world and this other world. It’s interesting that the closer they got to the colony, the more the pigmentation of their surroundings became muted. Usually that only happens when they go into the dream/spirit world which is proven to be true by the end of the episode. It was quite the twist that the colony is actually dead and not just being held in a stasis that Victoria Dare created.

I initially questioned whether or not they were entering into another dimension because of the change in the color tones of their environment, but to officially know that they died and their ghosts were being held in a sort of purgatory all along helps to give us clues as to where our heroes are located. Anything not in the present time seems to have muted colors along with specific signifiers telling us what kind of picture is being seen. The flashbacks seem to be fuzzy around the edges, visions seem to have a warped or angular camera effects depending on the evil character being seen, and regular purgatory is just the plain muted colors as well as being very dark . Has anyone else noticed any other commonalities for these moments?

Sleepy Hollow John Doe 1We also now know that because the horseman had the beginnings of the plague initiated, but was stopped by the ghost of Virginia Dare, he still has a foot hold in our realm as long as one of the colony members dies outside of their protection of the island. It seems safe to say that if any of the other horsemen have a remaining hold on anything that just so happens to be under holy protection, and it leaves that protection, it’ll give them the chance to reenter into the world. That doesn’t sound so good for our heroes. It’s interesting that when this horseman disappears he bursts into tiny particles like how sickness is transmuted through the air when people cough or sneeze. If I remember it correctly, the Horseman of Death just rides off and fades into a fog, like how people fade out from life. It’ll be interesting to see how to other horsemen appear and disappear. In speaking of the other horsemen, the Horseman of Death is back, but not for 3 weeks due to a break. Does this mean Brookes is going to be back as well? And why has no one from the morgue reported his body has gone missing? Does the precinct even know or are they just ignoring it for TV magic sake? Hopefully when they get to an explanation for their reasoning behind there no being a big deal over his disappearance it will be plausible.

Also this was the first episode that didn’t open with a dream or a flashback. It’s important to mention because this show heavily relies on them. It gives us context of where each episode is going, but because Katrina was being kept from being able to communicate, and Ichabod wasn’t there during the events that took place at Roanoke, there was no way for there to be either mode of their main way of delivering information. It goes to so that the writers are able to work within the constraints of the world they created and that they won’t just arbitrarily throw something in without strong justification. Hopefully they’ll stay that way.

See you in three weeks, and happy watching!