FOX

Sleepy Hollow Heads Into A New Era

Will a semi-reboot in the capital give the show new life?

The more I think about it, the more I think Sleepy Hollow: The New Class is a smart idea, and it's because of an exchange in the season premiere. It's not a particularly elegant sequence -- a cosplaying eventgoer clocks Crane's customary stand-collar coat and period boots as "so 2000" before clumsily braying that it's all about Hamilton "these days" -- but it made explicit something I, the last remaining adult who still hasn't seen Hamilton, hadn't thought about consciously before, namely that Sleepy Hollow is going to have enough challenges to its survival without confining itself to an era whose lunch Mr. Miranda has already eaten down to the last crust. It's not as though American history doesn't have any other existential legends to mine; why not leave the musical in possession of the field, and move on to spookier pastures?

So, I can hang with the relocation to the super-scary Washington, DC (...hee/sigh) in theory -- but how do the new kids hold up in practice?

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So far, I'm cautiously optimistic. It's kind of hard to say whether I'll like Alex and Jake, given how much obligatory exposition and say-WHAAAAT-ing they had to do in what amounted to a semi-pilot for...The X-Filef, I guess; at least Agent Thomas didn't take long to get on board, and while we've got yet another boss who's not trying to hear about demons in an incident report, he's played by James Kyson, one of the only elements of the original Heroes I remember fondly.

Is this the same Sleepy Hollow we know and love, or is the loss of Nicole Beharie too great? Lord knows they didn't spend her leftover salary on special effects. Let's crank up the Show-o-Matic and see how "Columbia" rates.

Sleepy Hollow-ish Element Present?
Headless Horseman 2020 It's not a horseman,

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but it's headless, and the "archvillain, please" look Abe's missing head is giving the guys who are fixing to blow him to smithereens is right on brand.

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Counting it, sorry not sorry.

FOX props Various subtle nods to Friday-night sci-fi properties The X-Files and Fringe, plus you gotta love that they found a way to recycle the library and catacombs sets.
Underused guest star Not applicable this week.
Twisted history HA HA HA, of course John Wilkes Booth was in fact "a Confederate occultist" possessed by a demon. Actors, amirite? I hope the show makes all kinds of hay with the Civil War; Crane won't have as many effortless asides to toss off as those afforded by, for example, Ben Franklin's nudism, but he's a quick study. I also liked that Mary Todd Lincoln's interest in seances and the beyond -- usually cast in a pitiable light at best -- is here deployed as a veil of protection for her husband. And Agency 355, basically an archival backwater only slightly better lit and organized than Fox Mulder's office, is an invention of George Washington.
Aspects of the present create bafflement Crane saves an initial failure to recall what kryptonite does with a hilarious "yes! right: Syooperm'n."
Overacting Janina Gavankar is doing a lot of baffled gawking in that first dust-up, but brings it online, and while I don't love that scene at the end with the kid, or that...there is a kid, who is probably The Witness if her Jack Torrance-ing of Crane's portrait in her artisanal Trapper Keeper is any indication, but given that Molly's "transitional aphasia" and fainting at school don't prompt the necessary and obvious conclusion, the way it's portrayed by the actors isn't their fault.

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Let's hope this doesn't devolve into a lot of Agent Thomas wailing "MOLLEEEEEE" down various dank corridors.

…Aw! Jenny!

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Related: Mison looks like he gives great hugs.

…Ew. Love the casting of Jeremy Davies as the evil man's Richard Branson, especially the eccentric hair. Could have done without his licking a gaping wound on his hand.

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Wig/Wardrobe Constable Not a hundred on Mison's new swoopy do, and I just don't understand what TV hair wranglers think goes on at the FBI that the lady agents always leave their hair down, the better to show off their beachy waves.

Mostly it's props and SFX that look budge this week. The Booth demon's manky wig makes sense, but that seal Dreyfuss finds in the rubble from Lincoln's head looks like a rock from the set of Star Trek: TOS.

The Chrissie Snow Memorial "You Just Missed Her" Award I assumed we wouldn't get any Lyndie Greenwood this week when Crane left her that voicemail, but she shows up in the last act.
6 / 10
Final Score
60%
Sleepy Hollow
40%
Houfe Of Cardf
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