Sleepy Hollow Episode 6 – Sin Eaters Review
Welcome back everyone after Sleepy Hollow’s brief hiatus. I was so glad that I could finally watch the show after those few weeks of waiting, and they definitely didn’t disappoint. I love the fact that they eliminated to the full opening credits after Ichabod’s preamble to the show as well as blending in clips from previous relevant episodes into that sequence. It just speeds up and streamlines the process of getting into the episode.
I also loved that instead of opening with a case they opened with a baseball game. At first, it was jarring. What does baseball have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing, but what it did was show that Abbie and Ichabod can just hang out, relax, and be normal despite their abnormal circumstances. It shows how much Ichabod is adjusting to life in this century. He still hasn’t gone clothes shopping, but he’s coming into his own, and has become more comfortable in his own skin despite the fact that he doesn’t really belong. This show revels in doing the unexpected, and it constantly keeps you on your toes.
To go along with the change in the opening of the show, this episode was very different from the previous ones. The other episodes were more about solving the cases and eradicating the current evil featured in the episode. They also focused on Abbie dealing with her demons and coming to terms with her fate. In this episode, however, there was no case or some big bad evil that needed to be immediately dealt with, and we finally got to deal with Ichabod’s sin that was previously hinted at by the Sandman in the episode “For the Triumph of Evil”.
Along with the episode being Ichabod centric, it also featured a more religious overtone than previous episodes. Yes, the show is about the apocalypse, and deals with Christian beliefs to an extent, but prior to this episode, the religious undertones of the show were kept to a minimum. There were just enough of mentions from Revelations and the Bible to tie into the story line and nothing really beyond that. With this episode, we delve into the concepts of sin and forgiveness, which are at the core of Christianity, something that most mainstream shows wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole
The process that the Sin Eater, aptly named because he literally eats the sins of sinners, took Ichabod through to relieve himself of his sin is actually very reminiscent of what someone has to do in order to become a Christian. The words are very different and there are other things that are required to be said, but the process is still the same with repeating words and renouncing your previous sins. That was a very bold move that Fox did in an age where being overtly religious is frowned upon. Then again this whole show is a very bold move.
By taking a popular story, mixing it with historical events and the Christian Bible, Fox set themselves up for failure. ABC tried to do something similar earlier this year with their failed Zero Hour, a show that mixed the history of WWII with clones and Catholicism. The only show that I can think of that has succeeded with mixing religion and fiction is Supernatural, but even then the show doesn’t really delve into religious overtones as much as it could. Yes, the show features angels and demons and dealt with its own threat of apocalypse, but that was only after they had a few seasons under its belt. They had the time to build a following to sustain them, whereas Sleepy Hollow is still in its first season. Despite this, the show has amassed a devoted following, and gained a second season in the process. . Luck and an amazing team of writers were definitely on their side
With the addition of the Free Masons to the side of Team Two Witnesses, they bring up the theme of sacrificing one for the many. They spent the whole episode verifying Ichabod’s identity just so they could convince him to commit suicide for the good of mankind because with his death comes the death of Death. The thought process behind their actions is noble and valid, but sort of flawed because couldn’t the side of evil use dark magic to perform necromancy to bring either Ichabod or the Horseman of Death back to life? Also you can’t permanently kill Death because Death is already dead. Ichabod tried to kill him in the beginning and was only able to take him out by chopping off his head.
Now that Death was resurrected, he’s running around without a head (how can he see?), and so far no one has been able to take him out. It can be argued that due to the fact that he’s linked to Ichabod, he can’t die unless Ichabod dies which makes sense, but now that their link has been severed, how are they going to kill someone that has the ability to walk around without a head? The head is pretty much necessary for someone to actually live. Couldn’t it also be argued that once he and Ichabod were separated, that Death would just drop dead seeing as how the only reason he was able to be resurrected and continue to “live” is because of Ichabod? How are they going to make that work? It will definitely be an episode to watch.
My favorite scene of the entire episode was when the Sin Eater took Ichabod through the ritual to eat his sin. It was beautifully done and very heart warming and thought provoking. The only reason why Ichabod and the Horseman if Death remained connected was because Ichabod refused to let go of the fact that it was his fault that Arthur Bernard died. In all honesty, he wasn’t the one that killed him, and he didn’t know that he was being followed, but he took on that blame and carried it around with him as a weight and he couldn’t forgive himself for allowing that to happen. It’s sad that his only sin was that lack of self-forgiveness, and it was that sin kept that link going. It was only the act of “facing Arthur” and having him point out that it wasn’t his fault that he was finally able to forgive himself. So often people walk around with the burden of guilt over something that they believe was their fault when in reality it never was (or it could actually be their fault), and that can’t move past it because they can’t forgive themselves for what they’ve done. It leads to them living a miserable life because they can’t face what they did or didn’t do, when something so simple yet so hard could eradicate that burden. Just that release that Ichabod felt in that moment of clarity after the deed was done felt powerful. It just goes to show that we need to forgive ourselves more often for the misdeeds we may have committed.
I also loved how much vulnerability Abbie shows. She is a very strong black woman working in a very male dominated world in a high ranking position. She takes mess from no one, and does what’s necessary to get the job done. At the very beginning of this series, she was very hardened and only really showed a softer side when dealing with someone she cared about which were limited to Sheriff Corbin and her sister. Now, she’s added Ichabod to that group and has allowed herself to open up more to new possibilities. She’s allowing herself to feel, something she never allowed herself to do because of her foster care upbringing. As she said in the episode, she felt she was a scrap that didn’t fit in and Ichabod was the one that made her feel like she belonged. Here is a strong woman showing that it’s ok to cry and to feel, and that she’s stronger because of it. It’s great to see this show cased on TV. We need to see more women featured in this light because so often the strong women we see can kick some serious butt, but they never really shed any tears or allow themselves to be vulnerable because it’s considered a weakness and in a male dominated world, any sign of weakness is seen as a detriment when in reality it just shows how strong you actually are. What makes you weak is not admitting your faults and closing yourself off from feeling.
The moment that Ichabod drank the poison and was telling Abbie good bye was the strongest she’s ever been on the show. Tears were cascading down her face as she was about to lose the one person that made her feel like she belonged, but she refused to leave him in what was thought to be his last moments with a hint smile on her face. A weaker person would have knocked the poison out of his hand or would have run from the room to leave him with his fate, but she accepted his decision and faced that moment head on in spite of her tears. That takes a lot of courage and strength, and the fact that this show is highlighting that makes it even better. Sleepy Hollow has been taking stereotypes, flipping them on their heads then completely obliterating them, and it’s about time that someone’s doing that.
I have a few questions and issues with this episode and the series in general, however. First, how was Katrina able to pull Abbie into a vision? She explained it away as that she can contact any of the two witnesses which is valid. However, wasn’t it just in the last episode that she told Ichabod that the reason she wasn’t able to contact him for a while because Moloch was keeping her from being able to make contact?
How was she able to evade him when he’s the one that’s in control of her forced stay in purgatory, and will they actually explain how she was able to do it? For the most part, it seems like Kat is only being used as a tool to pass along information. While it’s very useful for them to have a character that functions in this manner, it’s slowly becoming a scapegoat. I I actually love Katrina’s character, and I want to see more of her and Ichabod’s history. I was glad that we got a glimpse of how they met, and I can totally understand why she hated him at first, he was a bit of a jerk, but I want more. So far the show has been more focused on Abbie’s past, which was necessary, but now I want to know more about Ichabod’s history.
Second, I question the show’s uses for deceased Officer Brooks and Captain Irving. With Brooks, he was tasked by Moloch to aid the oncoming storm of evil, but since Serilda of Abbadon was taken out, we haven’t seen him, and no one has questioned his body’s disappearance from the morgue. Where has he gone, why has no one freaked out about the missing body, why was there no funeral, and why has no one from his family made a stink about it? Yes, according to the surveillance video he committed suicide, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that his body left the morgue, and spent a few days wandering around town with no one recognizing who he is or the fact that he should be dead
Also, will he come back now that the Horseman of Death has made his return or will his character just fade into the ether? I seriously need answers about him. In regards to Captain Irving, he’s really only seen for a few minutes each episode, and in the beginning, he just turns up out of nowhere as the precinct’s new captain. We have no clue who he is or where he came from. At first, he questioned everything that Ichabod and Abbie would tell him about their cases, now he just goes with it without wanting to really know any details, which if it was any other head of any organization he’d be all over the rash of mysterious cases and wouldn’t let up until he had all of the answers. He’s also exhibited, in my opinion, suspicious behavior.
At one point, he wanders into Sheriff Corbin’s old office just as Abbie is putting the files back questions her on why she was in there, then waits until she leaves before he gives an odd look back into the room. He also has the contents of the office moved to a guarded location, and later goes to that location, where Abbie and Ichabod are just hanging out after the case, but he never gives an explanation as to why he was there in the first place, and he leaves without wanting to know what happened with their case. He even defended Ichabod’s presence to Luke, when he himself never actually listens to Ichabod, and told Luke not to look into Ichabod’s history. Oh, and lets not forget that he leaves at the beginning of the second episode to acquire more help with their situation, but there’s no evidence suggesting what help he actually gained. What is his deal? He’s obviously a key player of some sort otherwise he wouldn’t be in every episode, but why is he so mysterious?
Hopefully we’ll get some of the answers next week!