Sleepy Hollow episode 11 review: The Vessel

Review Caroline Preece
15 Jan 2014 - 09:14

Sleepy Hollow develops Jenny and Abbie's relationship in a genuinely creepy episode. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.11 The Vessel

With only three weeks left until the season finale of Sleepy Hollow (and who knows how long it will be before we return for season two), The Vessel was a surprisingly laid-back (relatively speaking, of course) hour that opted not to delve into either our unfinished business with the horseman or Ichabod’s trauma over his son. Don’t get me wrong – the possession scenes featuring both Jenny and Macy were genuinely creepy and up to the standard of any found footage/exorcism movie of the last few years – but it was hard to shake the feeling that none of it mattered very much in terms of the bigger picture. I could be proven wrong of course, but still would have preferred to return in the thick of things rather than with a standalone adventure.

One of the many great things about the episode, however, was how much it fleshed out the relationship between Abbie and Jenny. We’ve already learnt a fair amount about their experiences as children, and the resentment Jenny held on to after Abbie refused to acknowledge their face-to-face with Moloch, but here we learnt that it’s Jenny who has actually been keeping her sister safe all of these years. Plagued with murderous thoughts even when she wasn’t possessed, she decided it was safer for everyone if she was locked up in either prison or an institution whenever the voices got too loud.

And this is what makes even filler episodes of Sleepy Hollow so great – they tie their monsters of the week into the season or series arc and relate everything back to our central characters. With this, we had an excuse to welcome back Corbin for a video-taped exorcism, a reason to get Irving and his family involved, and even something for Abbie’s ex-boyfriend to do besides remind everyone of who he used to date. And with Macy being in danger so soon after she was introduced and, you know, a kid, I genuinely thought that the show would let Ancitef take her over and wreak havoc. There’s nothing creepier than a demon child, after all.

But the demon was driven out of her by Ichabod in the nick of time, and it was hugs all around for our gang. Now that the actress is free from Nikita duties and the character is free from her demon possession worries (for now, at least), does that mean that Jenny can become a bigger part of the show? I really hope so and, with Irving also now fully aware of all the crazy stuff occurring around him, we now have a nice little gang of Headless Horseman-fighters going into the finale. As much as we like Abbie and Ichabod’s close relationship, it doesn’t hurt to have some backup.

Other great moments, which had the double effect of making me glad the show is back and making me sad that we only have another couple of hours to enjoy it, included Ichabod’s brief wardrobe change and dismay at the invention of skinny jeans, The Exorcist referencing death of the priest, and the reveal of ‘December 18th 1799’ written in invisible ink in Washington’s bible. Though it’s entirely possible that he simply wrote down a future date before he died on December 14th (a possibility that neither Abbie nor Ichabod seemed to have considered), we’re obviously supposed to ignore that logic and ponder how he could have written it after he was supposed to have died.

I might have to start brushing up on my history before the show returns for its second season, but for now I’ll just take their word on things like this. Next week’s penultimate and ultimate instalments will delve more into Washington’s bible and sees the war between good and evil reach a head. See you there!

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

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