Sleepy Hollow: Season 3
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Sleepy Hollow: Season 3

Whenever I have to watch a television series that consists of a mélange of several established genres by Nick that I go into it with a bit of trepidation. It is usually difficult to a single category straight as the series progresses but when the showrunner faced with balancing several distinct themes the chances of the show failing increase significantly. One series that has been dodging the odds has become a mainstay on the Fox network, ‘Sleepy Hollow.' On the surface, it is an unusual mixture of police procedural, time travel, the supernatural and good measure, inclusion of real-life distorted figures. One aspect of the series that has confused some people is that the title of the show in the name of the main male character, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) was involved with hunting the headless horseman. If this sounds more than vaguely familiar it should, it is one of the best-known stories from the American author, Washington Irving. You time travel aspect has become more direct during the second season but initially it balk for another one of Mr. Irving’s stories, Rip Van Winkle with Crane sleeping from the Revolutionary War to the year 2013. When I first started watching his three years ago was hopeful but felt that juggling such a significant number of highly popular themes the overwhelming. One ray of light that they pervade the experience was that one of the showrunners is was Alex Kurtzman was involved with such successful series as ‘Fringe ‘and ‘Alias’ as well as writing the screenplay and providing the story for the 2014 ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’. His partner in this endeavor, Roberto Orci was behind the current series ‘Scorpion in the brilliant but canceled ‘Limitless.' At least this demonstrated he had experienced unusual and often complex stories. ‘Sleepy Hollow’ soon became one of my favorite shows.

One of the major pitfalls facing any serialized story is that what happens after the hero conquers his office nemesis? In the case of the series Ichabod and his modern-day partner, Detective Lieut. Abby Mills (Nicole Beharie) have been battling the forces of evil, the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As it turns out the Headless Horseman, actually a contemporary of Crain’s Abraham Van Brunt (Neil Jackson), was liable for his wife back in the 19th century, Katrina (Katia Winter). Horseman of war is none other than the sun of the Ichabod and Katrina, Henry Parrish / Jeremy Crane (John Noble). As a result of supernatural influences Jeremy is still alive and an adult in the 21st century. Magic seems to be part of this family since Katrina is a very powerful witch. I know this may sound a bit confusing but the awful fashion in which it is presented combined with the superb acting provided by the entire cast, the shoulder captivate you and pull you in. After Abby and Ichabod vanquished the Horsemen in the demonic master Moloch (Derek Mears) writers had to come up with some reason to keep Ichabod around still fighting supernatural evil. Fortunately, the producers acquire the services of writers more than capable for this task.

There is sufficient evil in the world chronologically challenged duo quite busy. A mythological figure, Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon), makes a deal with the Horsemen adding them to the infamous box containing all the evils of humanity providing a basis for the inclusion of a plethora of supernatural villains. For example, the first to make an appearance is a demon that causes his victims to experience unimaginable beer before the. Ichabod had been working as a professor of history, lauded for his ability to convey the material to his students in realistic terms. When he discovers that this demon is hunting to get back in touch with Abby was moved on to become an agent of the FBI. The continued success significantly depends upon allowing the characters grow in an organic fashion. The detective as successful as Abby would naturally want to join the FBI. As for Ichabod, a lot of the first season addressed his need to become acclimated to 200 years of history and technology. It was established that he was a highly intelligent man, a contemporary of such historical figures as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. To have Crane continue to be perplexed by this new period would become increasingly contrived. The writers do justice to the character by having him embrace the new technology although still longing for the old ways. It is the even method the use of a smartphone.

Extending the principal cast was achieved by promoting Abby’s sister, Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) recurring character to the main cast. The extensive backstory had been talked up between the two sisters allowing there was some emotional involvement to permeate the storylines. A new character added to the cast, Joe Corbin (Zach Appelman), lauded the logical means to introduce various artifacts helpful to their battles and as objects that must be retrieved that all cost. Initially, he is a supernatural creature, a wedding, an evil creature that is part of the mythology of many members of the First Nation. In keeping with the methodology of the series this character is not overused or become a panacea when a plot point is required. Among the most significant strong points of the series relied on this use of second tier characters. The writers can properly utilize their characters never shying or having to kill or replace anyone, principles of excluded all course. As life continues within the context series individuals are introduced and depart in a very natural manner.

One of the most entertaining aspects of the series is the involvement of real individuals from the American Revolution. It is a historical fact that Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were both extraordinary polymaths with expertise in an eclectic range of subjects. Many of the founding fathers, as well as Ichabod Crane, were members of the Freemasons. By leveraging the mystical and occult aspects of the society, the stories can introduce just a grain of truth regarding the men and women created our country as involved in an ongoing fight against supernatural evil. I realize that a lot of this comes across as affected but once again is the execution and presentation that makes all the difference. During the season time, travel is introduced allowing for historical figures from overtime periods to be included. Daniel Boone (Robin Strauss) and Francis Scott Key (Brad Ashten) find their way into the storyline. One of the only elements of the series that I found to forced was a healthy contrived crossover episode with another popular series on Fox, ‘Bones.' Thankfully, that was confined to the hosting series and did not affect ‘Sleepy Hollow.' It would’ve been disastrous to try to consolidate the ‘universes’ of both series into one. It appeared to have been just a one-off ploy by the marketing department of Fox as a sweep week stunt. I did have some concern that the search and acquisition of supernatural artifacts would overwhelm the carefully planned character development that has been crucial to the success of the show. There was a point that I felt that it was becoming too similar to the syndicated series ‘Friday the 13th: the Series’. Fortuitously, this never came to pass. The use of supernatural artifacts became a type of plot coupon that loosely combined to move the season’s story forward. The fourth season is about to start I’ve already added a season pass my streaming service.

Posted 01/07/2017

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