‘Sleepy Hollow’ Discussion – Why ‘Sanctuary’ is a “Hinge Episode”

This week’s episode of Sleepy Hollow went in a new direction after last week’s Headless confrontation. We were given a few new threads to work with for the remaining episodes of the season.

This episode acted as a hinge between the last few episodes and ones to come; a bit of a squeaky hinge that needs some oil but still got the job done. We’ll talk about the mysteries the episode gave us and which ones you are looking forward to solving the most.

I think the only time I’ve had a problem with the serial, yet “because it’s on network tv” episodic format of the show was tonight. I think a combination of things got in the way of me truly enjoying this episode like I normally do–though there were moments and revelations that were great.

I think the fact that it is Thanksgiving week allowed for a slower, softer episode, especially compared to the November sweeps epic that was last week’s story. We’re basically starting again after a major Horseman capturing, identifying moment, and those kinds of episodes are usually slower. So it’s appropriate that it comes the week of a major holiday, when fewer people are watching TV and more are packing or traveling.

I think I was also thrown by Captain Irving’s family storyline. I have been looking forward to them arriving since the press release of their castings, but felt like it may have been a bit shoehorned into the episode, only because we haven’t seen a story like it on this show before. Most B and C stories on this show have a supernatural element to it, so it was a bit odd to introduce the family and not have them fighting a demon or planning an exorcism or something. Again, the serial nature of the show means this is just exposition for a future involvement (I’m sure Macy’s accident has something to do with Irving’s job in NY and I doubt it’s non-mystical), but we didn’t get to any of that in this episode, so I was a little disappointed. But I am excited for the story to come and glad for the pieces we did get.

The theme of the episode was most obviously family (as most episodes of most shows will be this week), but we’re learning about the Dads on our show: Captain Irving and (as I predicted) Ichabod Crane himself. I had a feeling Katrina might have had a child after he died; though his immediate assumption she kept it from him seems quick–she may not have known herself. I think I wish the moment he found out had been better–there were some awkward body angles due to their hiding–but I thought Tom did a wonderful job portraying shock and then escalating it until the climax of the episode (more on that below). For an episode that focused on family, I’m glad we got some Mills ancestry backstory, but wish there’d been more interaction between Jenny and Abbie–I feel like they’ve barely interacted since she got out of the asylum. We know they’ve been together, but we don’t get to see it. I hope when we return in two weeks, we get more sibling interaction and relationship growth. I didn’t care too much about the monster of the week, except that they reminded me of Ents from Lord of the Rings.

I applaud Ichabod for his ax-wielding. He’s needed a good thrashing since he’s arrived in this century, the pressure of being locked out of your own era, estranged from your wife and everything that is familiar, and being thrown into a world of both cars, water for sale, and demons is enough to drive one mad. Then find out you had a son? Ichabod needed to bash that tree into as many bloody pieces as he could, just to hold on to his sanity. He’s barely holding on, but it’s very sweet that he is allowing Abbie to help him and be there for him as much as he allows. Their moment at the end of the episode was very sweet and gave me tingles. I really like how their friendship is developing (I ship them, but not yet), which will make for a better romantic relationship when (if?) the time is right.

I am anxious to see the Mills ancestry explored. I’ve been saying from the start that the Mills’ sisters have witchy relatives and now that their ancestors lived in a sanctuary with all sorts of magic and protection spells around them, I can’t wait to see how that influences Jenny and Abbie. Abbie clearly has some sort of clairvoyant powers; I think we were led to believe it was the house showing Abbie the past, but she’s had visions before. I am not over my theory on Abbie and Jenny being the two Witnesses (despite an earlier episodes continued claims that Ichabod was one) and I think that fact is related to their magical bloodline. We shall see where this story goes.

Other moments I loved:

-Jenny and Macy bonding. Like I said, I felt the Irvings were shoehorned in a bit, I wish they’d gotten in on the supernatural fun a bit, but I love them themselves and can’t wait to see the storyline unfold. What happened to Macy? How has it changed her relationship with her dad? What is Jenny going to become to the Irving family? I hope we get more bonding moments between them (and between the Mills girls’ themselves).

-“I mean no disrespect. Your company holds the greatest value to me.”

– It’s a time to “embrace what’s in front of you.” I know many fans were anxious to see Ichabod do exactly that!

-“Treasures from the Amazon.”

While the plot didn’t grip me as much as it has in the last few weeks, there are a couple of reasons for that, so I excuse the sort of filler episode–I’m hesitant to call it that due to the familial reveals for Abbie and Ichabod, but I stand by it for now considering the time of year it aired and the episode that preceded it, classic filler spot in any show’s year calendar. But we were given three story threads to work with, which are the ones you are most looking forward to finding out more about: The Crane Baby Boy, Macy’s Mysterious Accident, or the Mills’ Maternal Line?

When Sleepy Hollow returns in two weeks, the Sin Eater is back! I think that episode looks to bring us back into the serial story once again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Connie (@ConStar24ConStar Studies TV) loves television more than most things and aspires be a TV writer. You can find her in the Hufflepuff basement watching Disney movies and getting lost on the internet well into the night.

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