I review the first six episodes of Fox’s new 2013 show starring Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, Sleepy Hollow. This review may contain spoilers.
This is a collective review of the first six episodes of Fox’s 2013 show, Sleepy Hollow. The reviewed episodes are as follows: S1x01: “Pilot”, S1x02: “Blood Moon”, S1x03: “For the Triumph of Evil”, S1x04: “The Lesser Key of Solomon”, S1x05: “John Doe”, S1x06: “The Sin Eater”, and as a result of multiple episodes being reviewed as a whole there may be spoilers for individual episodes.
I mentioned in my review of The Blacklist’s first episode that Sleepy Hollow, along with the aforementioned show, Peaky Blinders, The Escape Artist and Orphan Black will probably end up being my favourite new shows of 2013, so I thought I should probably keep you up to date with what I thought of each episode. Normally, I do episode-by-episode rundowns but that’s kind of hard when I’ve already seen six episodes of the show already –so what way would be better than to review all six of these currently aired episodes at once, with the first Pilot episode all the way up to the latest, titled The Sin Eater?
Considered a modern day retelling of Washington Irving’s 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Sleepy Hollow is a show that sees its main character, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), killed in the middle of a Revolutionary War battle against a nameless English mercenary, shortly after decapitating him. Crane promptly wakes up in 2013, where he finds that the Mercenary has been revealed to be none other than Death, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse – now the Headless Horseman. As a result, Crane has to team up with Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), who is investigating the horseman following the death of her mentor and partner, Sherriff August Corbin. As a result, a partnership between Abbie and Crane unfolds as they battle against a different evil each week.
The biggest strength that Sleepy Hollow has over these six episodes so far is the chemistry between the two leads. Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison both have some excellent chemistry and are one of the things that keep me watching this show. It does suffer from several problems though – dialogue is weak in places, and there are some anachronisms in various episodes. Also, fairly early on – Crane seems to adapt to his 2013 surroundings with little difficulty, with both lead characters seeming a little too eager to accept each other for the sake of the plot. But once the plot gets moving, Sleepy Hollow is a cracker – the pilot episode is mostly a strong one even if like The Blacklist, the best bits were spoiled during the trailer – and a great scene in particular comes when Crane sees a building that he once knew has now become a Starbucks – and it’s not the only one in town. The humour that comes with Crane being effectively a man further out of time than even Captain America is another strength of this show, with another notable element being Crane learning to use the shower in the second episode.
It’s easy to compare their dynamic with Elementary, seeing a sarcastic, out of their depth British Male lead being compared to a down to earth American woman with a dark past, but these two shows couldn’t be any more different – and Sleepy Hollow is easily a lot more enjoyable than Elementary – partly because it doesn’t have to deal with the fact that Elementary seems like a direct Americanized version of the always-superior Sherlock at times.
Like it or not, you’ve got to admire the show’s ambitions. It starts off with the Apocalypse and works up from there – We get appearances of a wider range of monsters of the week than even the similar Supernatural dealt with in its first season. The pilot dealt with the Headless Horseman, Blood Moon dealt with a witch – Episode 3 pitted Abbie and Crane against the Sandman of all things – with The Lesser Key of Solomon focused mainly on Abbie’s past whilst John Doe deals with disease. The latest episode even featured the Freemasons, proving that Sleepy Hollow has a lot of diversity in its monsters to bring to the table each week – with each episode promising something that’s fresh and engaging.
I liked how they dealt with Abbie’s past fairly on in the Season – certainly earlier on than I was expecting – and felt that this was where Nicole Beharie really got to impress. She’s been a great addition to the show, portraying a strong female lead – working really well with the brilliant Tom Mison. Again, the characters really help save the show from a mess that it could have been otherwise – much like Castle could have been an ordinary cop show without the brilliant pair of Katic and Fillion, and even The Blacklist probably would have suffered if it hadn’t have cast Spader and Boone in the two roles respectively.
Overall then, Sleepy Hollow is a success. I’m glad it’s getting a second series because like Supernatural, it has the potential to grow and become even better over time – and despite all its flaws that it may have, it continues to remain very entertaining mainly due to the excellent leads and the strong humour elements – as well as its diverse ‘monsters of the week’. This is a show that’s certainly recommended for you to catch up on if you can. I can’t wait for Episode 7, The Midnight Ride, to air soon – this show is just that fun.