Sleepy Hollow: Heartless Review

This week's Sleepy Hollow is all about love...and the succubi who feed on it. And we're not just talking about Lilith making a guest spot...

I have often said that Sleepy Hollow has relied (overly so) on the “your princess is another castle” trope with regards to Ichabod and Katrina. But after last week’s blockbuster Rosemary’s Baby passion play, it all seemed done, and there are no more narrative dead ends for Katrina to go down. She was with Ichabod to stay. And what will they do together after centuries apart, longing for each other’s touch and company, separated by oceans of time and endless heartache?

…They watch reality television. Talk about adjusting to 21st century problems and quickly. At least it wasn’t Honey Boo Boo or anything with a Kardashian in it…

Seeing Ichabod and Katrina bond over their hypnotic disdain toward reality television is almost as good as the immediate boundaries set up between Katrina and Abbie Mills this week, because despite being ostensibly about stopping a succubus, the hour is really about their kooky love triangle. And I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. While having them fight over whose plans or “catch monster” methods were superior felt predictably rote, seeing Katia Winter and Nicole Beharie be allowed to butt heads in lieu of Henry had a special kind of appeal.

Ichabod, for his part, tried to keep the parties together, but he should listen to the returning Hawley for more tips, as his love side street detour with Abbie heats up. She invites him to help with this week’s case in a bar, but he only has interest in grabbing a drink. Abbie sure didn’t have the time of day for Hawley, but after he went over to speak to two other female patrons, he certainly had Abbie’s attention for the rest of the night—as she brought up to Ichabod repeatedly. Well played, Hawley.

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At the center of this quadrilateral of romance, however, was indeed a succubus demon that was summoned up from the pits of Hell by Henry for more nefarious deeds. Essentially playing the role of the ‘demon lover,’ ‘wanton vampire monster,’ or whatever other potentially gender-cliché role, she still had a lot of fun stirring things up as Lilith (cool ancient mythological reference), aka the Heartless (less so). Albeit, the best part is when actress Caroline Ford gets to do a Nicole Beharie impression when she comes onto Hawley with faux-passive aggressive insults. She is of course there to steal men’s souls by literally consuming them through the mouth—giving a whole new meaning of sucking face.

Our newly formed triumvirate of heroes figure this out quickly, but with more long lasting impact is how first Ichabod figures out that Hawley has a thing for Abbie, and second why Henry summoned his succubus. While Lilith takes the guise of whatever her nearest soul desires (which raises some questions about Henry when they’re onscreen together…), what Henry truly desires is to use those souls or “lifeforce” to feed wee baby Moloch. Yep, the demon seed survived, and in a cool twist, Henry is nurturing him one condemned poor soul into the pits of fiery torment at a time. Aaah, it’s so adorable.

When learning this information, it is also causes Katrina to do something that simultaneously surprised me and confirmed my expected disappointment in the Sleepy Hollow writing team: she went back to the Headless Horseman to “kill Moloch.” Bah! I say “humbug” to such lazy plotting! We’ve been down this narrative cul de sac before.

First of all, the Headless Horseman has no sway in getting her anywhere. While formidable in literature, folklore, and last season, “Abraham” has turned into the laughing stock of the netherworlds on this series. I bet the other demons make fun of him while he walks down the river of flames, not letting him take part in any of the demon games. And none of them sit with him in the cafeteria of lost souls. This guy has putz written all over his brow. Granted, that brow is not attached to his body, but that just proves my point that it’s still obvious!

No, the only reason Katrina “using” Abraham (because he was such a fountain of secrets last time she stayed with him…) leads to Moloch is because Henry allows it. And why not? Her amulet doesn’t show her the devil, but a cute little baby. When I started making Rosemary’s Baby comparisons last week, I had no idea how on the tannis root that I was.

Overcome with motherly affection, Katrina ain’t putting that baby in the ground. It looks like Abbie was a bit early in conceding that she adds something to the team. Actually, she did. But now the status quo has retaken its charge. At least Moloch is getting somewhere in this story.

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Still, it was an enjoyable week by and large and showed the promise of a new chapter for the series. It’s just too bad that somewhere along the process, the writers lost their place, and we’re now back on the first page.

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3.5 out of 5