Sleepy Hollow episode 9 review: Sanctuary

Review Caroline Preece 27 Nov 2013 - 12:19

Sleepy Hollow's Thanksgiving episode is a ghostly affair. Here's Caroline's review of Sanctuary...

This review contains spoilers.

1.9 Sanctuary

This week's Sleepy Hollow gave us the best of both worlds - lots of information and mythology teases along with a pretty nifty haunted house episode. I generally like haunted house episodes and, although it wasn't very Thanksgiving-y for the most part, it still managed to be quite a warming hour of television. Most crucially, Ichabod discovered that Katrina had a son after he had been locked away, and we'll most likely see some descendants of his pop up across the series. A previously unknown child is the quickest way to introduce new characters with ties to our main cast, after all.

The main adventure involves a socialite who has bought Lachlan Frederick's old house and gone missing shortly afterwards. Seeing that Lena Gilbert was a present day relative of Katrina, Ichabod and Abbie are tasked with finding out what happened to her, uncovering her connection to the Crane family and stopping whatever malevolent force currently resides in the house. As soon as they pull up, Ichabod recounts how the Fredericks' house was once a safe haven for emancipated slaves and the like, but now it's just your standard creepy haunted house - and Ichabod and Abbie inevitably get trapped inside with a creepy tree monster that Ichabod proceeds to destroy. But why did it want the baby in the first place?

And this episode is where we get back into witchcraft, which has been an element of the Sleepy Hollow mythology that has been hanging around in the background without much to do all season. They need Katrina to solve the Horseman riddle, but that's on ice since Andy whisked him away at the end of last week's episode, and for now we have to make do with the show only answering the little questions - all while adding a few more. The pace of the show is still exciting and, frankly, refreshing, but I'm starting to get the feeling that we're just dancing around the mysteries introduced in week one, rather than addressing them head on. This is absolutely fine, as long as the finale moves things forward a bit more.

And that's not to say we didn't get a lot of juicy information this week, Ichabod and Katrina's son included. In an episode that dealt with festive ideas of family and lineage, it seems fitting that the show should add another reason for Ichabod to grieve his life and the life he could have had. It doesn't take away from his bond with Abbie, and watching a character mourn for a family he never knew while also dealing with the impending apocalypse makes great television. I wonder whether they'll ever be reunited and, if they are, whether Katrina could ever become part of the main cast? We're already developing a nice little team, with Jenny and Irving included, and a witch on hand would definitely be useful.

If a secret child wasn't enough, it also comes to light that Ichabod and Abbie's connection may have began a long time ago. Abbie's ancestor was the one who actually delivered Ichabod's son, and the pair discover this fact just as they are enjoying their private, rum-soaked Thanksgiving dinner. Their friendship really is the strength of this show, and it was lovely to see this moment strengthen their bond in a way that isn't romantic. That would have been such an easy way for the show to go, and I'm sincerely glad they resisted. Now we get to concentrate on stopping the rise of the four horsemen for the remaining three weeks, and there's never been more at stake. See you in two weeks for the mid season finale!

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, Necromancer, here.

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I am loving Sleepy Hollow, think it's probably the best new show of the year. :)

And please they should never move beyond the friendship of Abbie and Ichabod. It simply would not feel true, given Ichabod's old world sense of honor.

Absolutely. I hoped when it seemed clear that Katrina was a co-star (she is in the credits after all) that there would not be a love triangle. Crane is so obviously devoted to his wife that it would be contradictory to his character to have him fall for Mills. Let them just be close friends and no more, please.

I loved the tree monster in this ep, it was delightfully creepy and extremely well realised. The combination of the nighttime setting, outstanding prosthetics and clever camerawork made it seem fantastical yet believable at the same time.

Oh and slight error in the review - Lena Gilbert was not a relative of Katrina's, she was a relative of Lochland Fredericks, the original owner of the house, a friend of Ichabod and Katrina's and a member of Katrina's coven of light witches.

I saw the burgeoning romance of the Captain and Jenny Mills coming last week so it is good to see that being taken to the next step, I like the chemistry those two have. It also seems realistic that he has an ex-wife and a daughter, but the whole custody issue seemed a little cliche. And what was the point of having her be a paraplegic? The only saving grace from that was the acting skill of the actress playing the daughter.

Speaking of acting skill, I am continually drawn in by the Crane character. Whether it is his way of leaving a voicemail like the last episode "I hope this aural missive finds you well..." or his habit of shooting holes in common historical myths "the pilgrims had no sugar for cranberry sauce!" he is definitely the best thing about this show.

I think they made the daughter a paraplegic in order to set up a story line with the Captain (Irving) making a deal with the devil creature to help his daughter walk....or we find out that the devil had something to do with it.....or, it always seems that kids with disabilities have special powers, maybe she is no excpetion...
Love this show!

Could it be (all right, this will be unlikely) that she happens to be a great actor, who also happens to be in a chair? SH is playing diversity pretty strongly on primetime TV, maybe this is just another example.

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