Whereas Haven has nearly gone the way of the dodo after a very bad start to season 5 Sleepy Hollow seems able to learn from its first season mistakes. Slowly this show is finding solid ground. Characters such as Henry, the Horseman of War, as well as Katrina Crane and Abraham Van Brunt have been given more screen time to flesh out their character. Suddenly it feels like the stakes have become all that more real. While Sleepy Hollow is still undeniable a light-hearted horror fantasy show with a good dose of humor it does try to create a at least partly believable world. That is an aspect Haven completely lost after season 3.
Pied Piper of…. Sleepy Hollow?
When 10 year old Sarah Lancaster is abducted by a demonic Pied Piper, Ichabod and Abbie discover a bone flute in the woods while searching for the girl, when Ichabod plays the flute it sends Abbie into a trance. Believing this is how the Pied Piper abducted the girl, they decide to use a recording of the flute and venture back out into the woods where they come across Nick Hawley and enlist his help in locating the girl in exchange for the flute. Now at the Pied Pipers lair Abbie and Ichabod locate the girl and unchain her while Nick deals with the Piper, they then plant some charges to slow it down while they escape. Nick however demands the flute, telling them that the job is done and that they should live up to their promise.
She gives it to him, but breaks it telling him they can’t give him that kind of power. Meanwhile Irving meets with Henry to terminate his services and learns a horrifying truth, that when he signed the contract he signed away his soul. With Sarah reunited with her parents, Ichabod and Abbie are faced with a horrifying truth when the curse strikes Sarah’s brothers which forces her mother to take Sarah into the woods to use as bait against the Piper. When Abbie talks her down, they however are interrupted when the Piper attacks, as Ichabod engages it in a swordfight, Abbie finishes it off. With the curse now broken, Nick sells the broken flute unknowingly to Henry who then grinds it up into dust.
This episode was perhaps not the best of Sleepy Hollow, but it was still more than decent. I love it how the jokes about Ichabod Crane’s struggles with the modern world are made effortlessly by Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. It is often a more powerful bonding mechanism than the fight against Moloch or Henry Parrish. This week the humor definitely bolsters the experience against the shortcomings of the plot. Sadly the main plot surrounding the demonic pied piper feels too much like a ‘monster of the week’, before long we will be going down the list of all legendary evils from folklore. Sleepy Hollow may be a fantasy horror show but grounding the story in history and scaling back on the monsters would be better. Despite such concerns the episode is still effective in drawing the audience into Abbie’s and Ichabod’s struggles against Henry, and the show has the production quality to match its ambitions.
Score; 7.3 / 10. An OK episode that does jump the shark when it comes to yet another evil conjured up by Henry.
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