Friday, November 6, 2015

Sleepy Hollow 3x06 "This Red Lady from Caribee" (What's the Buzz?) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]

"This Red Lady from Caribee"
Original Airdate: November 5, 2015

After last week's universe-melding crossover with Bones, it's nice to be back in a regular old episode of Sleepy Hollow. Yep. Things are back on track and completely normal this week: small town of 144,000 people, a tree of evil, Abbie and Ichabod traipsing through a dark evil lair, mysterious stones of dangerous and untold power, and a bug-eyed woman in red who turns into a swarm of insects that cause extreme, deadly paranoia in the people unlucky enough to get stung by them. Like I said –– normal!


Even though we've been through five episodes of our Witnesses thwarting Pandora's attacks on Sleepy Hollow, it appears that the Lady with the Box's fiendish machinations are only just getting started. At the beginning of the episode (excluding the introduction, which involved Ichabod's bad date with Zoe Corinth –– more on that later) Pandora recited her tree poetry and awaited the blooming of its final flower, which she claimed was "fear of fear itself." I understand that Franklin D. Roosevelt once maintained that that was all we should fear. Me, I'm going to keep on fearing other things –– like, you know, bug-eyed bee ladies wearing red gowns. Those are pretty worthy of fearing, especially if they also turn into deadly, paranoia-inducing swarms of stinging insects.

The first victim of Pandora's attack is, of course, someone connected to one of the Witnesses: the judge overseeing Ichabod's case (his "tried importing relics into the United States and got thrown in jail for a few days" case, not his American citizenship case). The guy acts completely crazy and paranoid of everyone –– even going so far as to order a bailiff to shoot one of the lawyers –– before dying.

One thing about Sleepy Hollow that I really love and appreciate is the fact that it ventures outside of the supernatural beasties we see often on television and in movies, taking inspiration instead from mythologies that are lesser-known (or lesser-utilized) in American media. For this week's episode, the inspiration came from the Caribbean, right down to the usage of the Jack Spaniard insect instead of your common, unspecified wasp or bee. The Witnesses decide that the Jack Spaniard swarm-lady is what they call a soucouyant, but apparently it's a mix of two different folklore creatures and I haven't figured out the other one. So, soucouyant it is!

The soucouyant showed up in Revolutionary times as well, but it’s not Ichabod who knew about it –– it’s Grace Dixon! Yay, I like her. And Grace Dixon was helped by Betsy Ross! Eh, she’s... Um, moving on. Thanks to the Mills Sisters' ancestor, who manages to be incredibly helpful even though she’s been dead for hundreds of years, Team Witness learns of a potion they can use to stave off the paranoia and death in the soucouyant’s victims long enough to kill the creature itself and cure everyone affected.

Which is very lucky, because Daniel Reynolds is stung and starts going mad over everything from Jenny’s involvement with Nevins, to Abbie’s relationship with “that damn Crane guy,” to their unseen past together at in a shack on the beach and how he’s not over her and Sleepy Hollow you are going to show all this stuff eventually, right? RIGHT? But anyway, Abbie took down a crazed Agent Reynolds and it was awesome, so here’s that moment in GIF form:

The Witnesses defeat the monster of the week, but not the Big Bad because Pandora gets away via tree. It looks like the monsters this season were just sacrifices for her primary goal of “cultivating terror,” so I guess that explains why she never seemed to bothered by Abbie and Ichabod killing them off. But now she's completed whatever she'd needed to complete, so big, evil things are probably afoot. Ruh-roh!


After last week’s revelation that the Atticus Nevins person they were dealing with was actually someone being investigated by the FBI, Abbie talked to Jenny and asked her to drop it for Daniel’s sake, since it’s his big important case. And also because it’s probably best if Jenny, the often jailed, stays away from an active FBI investigation, regardless of how interested she is in August Corbin’s shady past.

It seems like Jenny convinces Joe to leave the Anubis Shard, Atticus Nevins, and the questions about his father well enough alone but, alas! He meets with Nevins anyway and receives a particularly vague, foreboding monologue from the man about how Corbin used to live in a pretty grey area as far as good and evil goes, and Joe is drawn to the darkness and power like the former Sheriff was. When Nevins takes Joe outside, Jenny shows up and pulls a gun on Nevins, then takes the Anubis Shard which –– and here’s the important bit –– disappears.

The end of the episode has Jenny suffering through a nightmare, glowy veins, and, I can only assume, foreshadowing something terrible happening to her. Terrible things were also foreshadowed when a not-a-Caribbean-witch-doctor dealing in strange ingredients went into a white-eyed trance and told Jenny that her fate had changed and that she’s going to be claimed by “a shadow older than time.” Hey, Sleepy Hollow: if bad things happen to Jenny I will not be happy.


I love this show to pieces and this episode was great and explored a kind of supernatural creature from a mythology that we don't often see on television, so it gets bonus points for that. However, it also brought to the forefront an issue: I don’t really care about Ichabod Crane’s romantic entanglements. It seems like Sleepy Hollow thinks a romantic subplot for Ichabod is necessary for a successful season (or series) and that just is not the case.

Season three has made this error on both its timelines, with 18th century Ichabod romancing Betsy Ross during a nebulous period between him meeting and marrying Katrina and Ichabod of the 21st century trying to date Zoe Corinth –– a woman with zero (clear) connection to the Apocalypse, time travel, or fighting the forces of evil and, therefore, zero chance of successfully carrying on a romance with Crane. Because he will have to lie to her constantly, about everything from his past and childhood to his current occupation and what he does in his free time. That's not the makings of a successful relationship, which means watching them eat at teppanyaki restaurants and go for walks is just a waste of time.

Sleepy Hollow, you don't need to have Ichabod awkwardly flirting with women to make worthwhile TV. I get that a part of this plot is because he's trying to get over the fact that his wife turned evil and then died, but please stop trying to make the Ichabod/Zoe thing seem like it has any chance of long-term success. We don't watch the show for Ichabod's attempts to get with the ladies, we watch it for Abbie and Ichabod being awesome (with the help of Jenny and Joe) and conquering evil, ooky-spooky creatures of darkness. I'm not sure who decided that the season could only work if we spent a bunch of time on Ichabod with some woman we don't care about –– in two different time periods –– but that person was wrong.

Also, for the record, if you did think a romance was necessary for the show –– to add some humanity to all the weirdness, perhaps –– why didn't you just pick Abbie for the romantic subplot this time around? She's not only far better at compartmentalizing the different parts of her life and wouldn't have to lie nearly as much as Ichabod does, but she's gotten nothing (on screen) since season one's thing between her and Luke Morales. I suppose they're going for something slow and intriguing between Daniel and Abbie –– and this episode did have some really good stuff for the couple –– but it feels more like an afterthought than any real attempt to add something to Abbie's story.

Other Things:
  • A teppanyaki chef and we didn't get to see the "egg roll" joke? or the ONION VOLCANO? Pfft! What’s even the point?
  • Also, I love that Ichabod’s got a thing for fruity drinks and it's a consistent character trait now.
  • The camera work on this show has always been creative and interesting, but I especially liked the upside-down shot as Pandora summoned the soucouyant.
  • “Don’t acronym, Lieutenant.” Haha, I love that that’s clearly something he says often.
  • “He was stung by a Trinidadian Paranoia Monster.” “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow.”
  • Yay, the old “mistaken for dating” trope with a Jenny/Joe twist!
  • Abbie with a makeshift flamethrower is my favorite Abbie.
  • Abbie called Pandora "the bitch with the box." Hee.
  • “That’s prussic acid. Very unstable.” “Right now, so am I.” I love how Nicole Beharie whispered that line.
  • I kind of like that Zoe gave Ichabod flowers. That’s the only good thing I can say about their relationship.
  • “If she wants a rematch, I say bring it on.” “Oh, Lieutenant. That is a quote we can live by.”


  1. Would be happy if they just skip the romantic crap and let the witnesses have their chem back. They are too busy writing Ichabod as a buffoon. He used to be soulful and you saw his vulnerability. Abbie is so closed off that I don't feel her connection with him at all (because they decided to create a subplot where he abandons her to further their anyone by Abbie/Ichabod scenarios). I don't want to see Danabbie. I don't care about him. Ugh. I'm just on my last thread with this show. If they can't show the witnesses really caring for each other authentically like S1, then why should I care about them?

    1. I agree with you for the most part, Anon. There is a difference from the Ichabod of season one and Ichabod now, but I haven't gotten to touch on that much in any of my reviews. In season one, Ichabod seemed much more sly and self-assured (in spite of the fact that, since he was new to the 21st Century, he should have been way more awkward then than he is now). He went from a self-righteous person unwilling to admit his shortcomings - with an underlying anger to him, which I particularly enjoyed because it was a very subtle character trait and you don't see that kind of subtlety in TV very often - to someone who is way more comedic. I wouldn't go so far as to call him a buffoon (although his deep bows to Zoe are getting into that territory) but he's lost some of the subtlety I liked about the character in season one.

      I am interested in Danabbie because, jeez - give Abbie something personal, won't you, writers? Like I said in the review, ichabod's got two romances going in two time periods while Abbie's got nothing, and it's just ridiculous how unbalanced it is. But for the most part, yeah, I agree - I watch the show for the chemistry between the leads and the fun creepiness, not whatever's going on between Ichabod and Zoe. I can't figure out what the writers are thinking by even introducing a new romance for Ichabod when it's completely unnecessary.

  2. I think that Zoe is Betsy Ross!!! Hahahahaha, I'm crazy with this show! Good review! :D

    Sorry if I don't comment more, but I don't know english very well! :)