Starring: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Lyndie Greenwood, Nikki Reed, Zach Appleman, Lance Gross and Shannyn Sossamon
Guest Starring: Jessica Camacho, Bill Irwin, Peter Mensah, Mark Campbell
Going into this season of Sleepy Hollow I was a little leery for several reasons: the first half of last season was a hot mess that I got through by the skin of my teeth; we lost Orlando Jones; the addition of 4 new cast members and romances especially after the epic, tragic fail of Katrina and Ichabod, all made me deeply, deeply concerned.
I’m happy to say that most, but not all, of those concerns were unfounded.
First let’s look at what’s not working: the pacing. Sleepy Hollow, in previous seasons was almost break neck in its pacing, to the point where it felt like too many things were happening with too many people too quickly. That changed this year, and while in some respects the slowing down of the pacing has led to great character work/interactions, in others it felt like we were taking too long to get to the point. That being said I love how the last two episodes before the break started to bring all the varying threads together into a more cohesive whole.
And that’s it. Seriously. That’s my biggest issue with this season. Why? Because the good has heavily outweighed everything else.
First there’s the awesome Shannyn Sossamon as Pandora, whose quiet almost maternal menace is a wonderful change of pace from the scenery chewing of Henry and the murder, murder, MURDER of Moloch. She’s dangerous because she seems so reasonable and kind all while she’s setting eldritch abominations on you and screwing with your head. It’s fantastic and I hope that we see more of what she’s about in the back half of the season and what exactly was her endgame beyond cleansing the world of the human parasite.
The additions of Nikki Reed, Lance Gross and Zach Appleman have all been successful to varying degrees. It was a smart play to use Reed sparingly: she shows up when her story is germane to the plot and helps further develop Ichabod outside of being a Witness, Katrina’s husband or Henry’s father. Through her we see a side of Ichabod, the ruthless spy, that we really haven’t seen up until this point and it brings new facets to the character.
Lance Gross is charming as the tough but fair Daniel Reynolds, Abbie’s boss at the FBI and former lover. He genuinely seems good at his job, which is a nice change from other shows where the police/FBI are just there to be plot points and obstacles. That fact makes his increasing suspicions about Abbie, Ichabod, Jenny and Joe not only reasonable but actually interesting because he’s either going to end up being their greatest asset or a very dangerous enemy.
Finally there’s Joe Corbin, the son of the beloved and still missed August Corbin. We saw Joe briefly last year when he was cursed by Henry to become a Wendigo and he made a fantastic impression. Fans immediately wanted more Joe, especially after we were force fed a season of Hawley that no one wanted. Thanks to Zach Appleman’s performance and chemistry with every single cast member, Joe turned out to be everything we wanted and more. Appleman brings an empathy and adorableness to the part that makes you instantly like Joe and root for him but at the same time you believe that this man was a marine and saw war up close and personal. Joe seamlessly blended into the core group bringing out the protective big brother in Ichabod and the bossy sister in Abbie. It also set up a believable love interest for Jenny that was completely organic and watching them fall in love, and be in complete denial about it, has been a subtle treat. It feels like he’s always been on the show and that’s a rare feat to pull off on a show that’s three years in, something that only Supernatural has managed to do so well.
So there you have it, I will definitely be on board for Sleepy Hollow towards the end of the season and if it lives up to the potential of this first half going forward, I’ll be there for many more to come.
I give this season 4 out of 5 Pandora’s Boxes.