Sleepy Hollow 2×11 Review: “The Akeda”
Sleepy Hollow has gotten sadly repetitive in recent months. There are long scenes featuring Henry and Moloch, Katrina looking worried and stupidly modern in her sexy!goth look (complete with shaved armpits, which are totally historically inaccurate), Ichabod bemoaning the state of his marriage, and Abbie trying to save the world as her sidekick focuses on his bland wife. The mid-season finale was no different and it’s truly a shame because at one point, this was a show that was fast, fresh, and exciting. For the first time since last season, I find myself indifferent to the break until new episodes next month.
Continuing directly from last week’s episode where Ichabod and Abbie collect a magic sword to help them in their battle against Moloch, “The Akeda” focused on the team working together: Abbie, Ichabod, Katrina, Jenny, and Irving. That, I enjoyed. The addition of Jenny and Irving helped distract me from how utterly boring and bland Katrina is, not to mention an entirely inaccurate portrayal of a colonial and/or Quaker woman. I love Sleepy Hollow best when these characters are given the chance to actually be fleshed out and engaging, solving some spooky supernatural mystery or another. That said, “The Akeda” attempted to be more than a monster of the week episode; it featured twists and turns and the shocking death of a beloved character.
Before using the magic sword to kill Abraham and get them closer to destroying Moloch, Katrina steps in and reasons for Abraham and Henry’s redemption (again. This woman is a broken record), thus setting in motion the events that lead to the unfair death of Irving. The entire lead-up, featuring a whiny Katrina, a useless Hawley, and convoluted supernatural rules lifted straight from other shows (Supernatural and Once Upon a Time spring to mind) was overlong, though it did feature Ichabod and Katrina sort of kind of breaking up (THANK YOU, TV GODS). Perhaps if Irving had to die for that to happen, then it’s all worth it.
I’m kidding. Irving spent the entire first season being dryly funny and stealing scenes. He’s spent this season locked up in a mental health facility and basically forgotten for episodes at a time. He returns for a few brief moments of badass sword-wielding glory, the only one sans-soul and therefore able to safely take on the avatar of War. Well, safely until he bleeds out from a wound that apparently Katrina, for all her magic powers, can’t heal. Great. Awesome. Let’s just add that to the list of reasons why we should dislike this character. The writers are really not doing her any favors.
The rest of the episode featured several more twists and turns that I’d rather not divulge here. Suffice it to say, for all my complaints, “The Akeda” still managed to surprise me and the conclusion (if you can even call it that) was satisfying, once the initial shock and question of, “How does this make any sense?” wore off. If the writers were only attempting to craft an episode that’ll make you want to tune in for the rest of the season in January, then they succeeded. If they were also attempting to write a well-executed and engaging story, then they fell a bit short. They also fall a bit short in portraying Moloch as a dangerous big baddie. There’s a great deal of talk about how horrible and devastatingly evil he is but he never seems to actually do anything. If he is capable of bringing about the end of the world, he certainly doesn’t seem it.
Suffice it to say, “The Akeda” did what it had to do: surprise you and make you curious about the rest of season two. Shippers, I’m sure, will be happy with the turn of events in the Crane marriage and Irving fans, you have my sympathies. Of course, in a show as supernaturally complex as this one, I doubt very much that Irving will stay dead forever. If Crane can come back looking pretty fresh after 200 years, Irving can handle a few weeks.
Did you watch the mid-season finale? Do you think Irving is officially dead? Are you as done with Katrina as Ichabod and Abbie are? Tell us below!
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