Recap: Sleepy Hollow, “What Lies Beneath” (2×16)
I was on board with “What Lies Beneath” until the last ten minutes or so, when the plot holes opened wide and swallowed all logic within the town limits of Sleepy Hollow. Of course, the Fenestella couldn’t survive the episode. It was a panacea that would remove the need for hours spent in the police archive, and Steven Weber’s turn as Thomas Jefferson was strictly a guest starring gig. But… why couldn’t they just kill all the Reavers away from the power source? As far as I can tell, they rescued the engineers and shot a bundle of the deranged sentries without disturbing the glowy blue wires. There were a finite number of Reavers; it may not be easy, sure, but Abbie and Ichabod have killed worse. Or, barring saving the Fenestella, why not – I dunno – take some books out with them? None of this makes any sense.
Maybe I’m just bitter because a Sleepy Hollow with a permanent holographic Thomas Jefferson acting as a Giles-like mentor to the Witness Scooby-gang would be 100% bloody amazing.
Besides the absurdly large (even by Sleepy Hollow standards) gaps in logic, the pieces of this episode didn’t fit together well. The introduction of Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Calvin Riggs (Sharif Atkins, White Collar), whose brother was one of the engineers trapped in the Reaver pit, is promising if only because it’s about time someone non-mystical in Sleepy Hollow picked up on the weird shit that goes on there. Riggs brings out Abbie’s “propaganda face” and all of her smoothest handling techniques – the ones she needed to use on Ichabod at the beginning of their relationship. My guess is that the writers are building up a stable of characters that could recur in a potential season three, so count Calvin in with Orion and Carmella as folks we haven’t seen for the last time.
But, aside from Calvin’s fraternal connection, he didn’t do much for the case. Neither Abbie nor Ichabod did anything differently due to his presence, and he didn’t complicate their investigation. Whether or not the men trapped in the Reaver nest had an outside advocate, Abbie and Ichabod would have opted to save the men over the books. Riggs was just…extra.
The brightest spot in the episode was when Jenny figured out that Frank was outright lying to her about why he needed help breaking into the precinct. I almost leapt off my couch with glee when she pulled a gun on him as he dug through the evidence box for the Hellfire Club ledger and flash drive. Then, it got bogged down in all the Frank’s evil/Frank’s not evil hooey. So Frank put an ancient rune on his hand that gave him Temporary Salvation before he fought the Horseman of War, and that keeps him a tiny bit human? And now he’s embezzling from the Hellfire Club for Cynthia and Macy? SIGH. I liked it better when he went all-in evil last week.
Meanwhile, Katrina took a really long nap and dreamed that Henry came back and gave her a three-headed rose. Then, she wakes up, and the rose is there, and she is just a baby step closer to going full-on Wicked Witch of the Past.
It looks like the next two weeks involve fireballs and the Liberty Bell, so sure. I’m in this far, and my goodwill towards Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie hasn’t run out. Yet.
Odds & Ends
– These Reavers are scarier.
– Ichabod doesn’t like the “Instant Gram,” but the engineer’s desire to film everything led to he and Abby seeing the Reavers pull the men into the hatch. Ichabod has assimilated into the 21st century, yes, but he still sounds like my dad at his most curmudgeonly talking about those darned kids today.
– This week in revising American history: Thomas Jefferson really was into octagonal versions of neo-Palladian architecture, so good job there. On the other hand, George Washington’s guards were called the Life Guards, not Reavers, but that doesn’t sound nearly as scary.