Sleepy Hollow episode 5 review: John Doe
Sleepy Hollow continues to impress. Here's Caroline's review of John Doe...
This review contains spoilers.
1.5 John Doe
The promos for this week's Sleepy Hollow made it look for than a little like some sort of paranormal medical drama, with a young boy with a scary black vein disease crossing the path of Abbie and Ichabod. Only Ichabod can solve the case given that Thomas speaks Middle English, and they have to uncover where the boy, and his affliction, came from before it spreads around Sleepy Hollow and beyond.
He's from the lost colony of Roanoke, which I'm assured US students learn about at school, and this is where the first American - Virginia Dale - was born. With the help of the first horseman, Conquest, the ghost of Virginia has led Thomas out of the town's safe purgatory and into modern day America. Because we aren't used to dealing with plagues and such, the disease he's carrying quickly threatens to become a full-on epidemic. The real mystery is why people from the sixteenth century are still hanging around, but a little death hanging over Abbie and Ichabod's heads doesn't hurt.
This episode could easily have been another filler episode, but Sleepy Hollow has so far done really well dropping its mythology into the otherwise standalone episodes. This is another case involving children, and we know that Moloch specialises in child sacrifices, and we get introduced to another horseman while his headless brother is MIA. Ichabod also had much more to do this week, allowing Abbie to play a supporting role, and it'll be nice to see these positions switch around depending on the nature of each case. Here, Ichabod needed to translate the language and, for once, knew more about the victims than Abbie.
His tracking skills learned during a regal English upbringing also coming handy, and I have no doubt will again at some point. As of this week, Ichabod has moved out of the motel and into Corbin's cabin. Will he discover some previously missed clues? And will Jenny move in there with him once she's released? There are still so many unanswered questions about Corbin, and I hope we don't have to wait until the finale to get the answers. When the standalone episodes of Sleepy Hollow are this solid, however, it doesn't particularly matter. It's been a while since a show managed to balance short and long form storytelling this well.
Irving is still acting suspiciously, thinking nothing of Abbie and Ichabod's request to move Thomas to a random location in the woods, and I wonder how long it'll be before somebody stumbles upon his secrets. The choice to have him named after the author of Sleepy Hollow is a curious one, so I'd wager he's going to be an important player. Someone the show could do very well without, however, is Abbie's ex-boyfriend, who this week annoyed us all by calling Oxford for confirmation on Ichabod's identity. He got a very posh response, too, but was this just someone covering for him or something a little more mystical?
Abbie's spiritual awakening probably won't be revisited, but at least the show is bothering to examine how belief systems are rocked when you find out about things like demons, headless horsemen and purgatory. Why is Katrina stuck in purgatory and, if someone reaches a point close to death again does that mean they can finish that revealing conversation? There's still lots to get through and not a lot of time to do it, which means the pace is unlikely to let up over the next few weeks.
Next week John Cho makes a reappearance and John Noble makes his debut - yay! See you there.
Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, The Lesser Key Of Solomon, here.
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