Hello, this is OnStar, may I help you? No, but Ichabod Crane can.
Sleepy Hollow’s fourth episode, “The Lesser Key of Solomon,” begins with a charming dialogue between Dr. Crane and a representative from a fictional company similar to our present day OnStar car service. Crane is a romantic. His love for his wife has traversed both space and time. It is undying and something Yolanda, the female on the other line of the car phone, eats up. These types of moments where the writers get playful with Ichabod’s wonderment of our lives in 2013 have not become tiring. Strategically, these moments are used sparingly and give a nice levity to the darkness surrounding the citizens of Sleepy Hollow. It is clearly Tom Mison, playing Ichabod, who makes these scenes work. He is polished; his comedic timing is impeccable. He carries a sense of bewilderment throughout the sleepy American town, amazed and confused with what has happened over the past 250 years.
At times, “The Lesser Key of Solomon” left me wanting – a reflection of the season on a whole thus far. It started with much interest, namely the escape of Abbie’s sister, Jenny, from a psychiatric institution, and the aforementioned humor. Plus, quality torture and a beheading – how could I forget that? This all keeps the interest high, but there a lull halfway through as Abbie and Crane go on search for Jenny and the Lost Key of Solomon. The mystery gets sullied by Abbie and Jenny’s typical sibling bickering. It’s not enough to have me lose interest in watching, but it’s been done before, and the writers had already established the sister’s dislike for one another. Luckily, “The Lesser Key of Solomon” ends by pulling itself out of the slight malaise, dipping further into the disturbing, and brought on the sinister – demons swirling in a fiery soup. It’s terrifically dark stuff and an interesting indictment on how times have changed for network TV at 9pm. I can’t remember anything coming close to that when I was a kid. That was saved for the movies. Oh, how times have changed.
The crescendo at the end of “The Lesser Key of Solomon” provides us with the name and background to the creepy horned demon that showed up in the pilot. His name is Moloch and he has a smart connection to Milton’s Paradise Lost. This little tidbit of information is enough to lure me in deeper. But Fox’s new show, doing quite well in the ratings war, isn’t beyond reproach.
Sleepy Hollow gets a 2nd season, but is it worthy? Yes. While the show isn’t as of yet ground breaking, nor completely riveting, it is enjoyable. My major concern with Sleepy Hollow is that it has fallen into a formulaic pattern that will need to be broken, if even for a few episodes, if it’s to ascend its present course. What I’m meaning is, in each episode, there is a new evil threat pitted toward our two heroes. By episode’s end, they solve the problem and thwart the threat. What I’m hoping is that, for at least one episode, evil isn’t vanquished that easily. This could either be done as a two-parter or even that evil wins one round. It just seems unrealistic that the good guys will win every round since we know evil does exist and persist with victories the globe over. Heck, Darth Vader and the Empire kicked the Rebellion’s cans in The Empire Strikes Back. This would raise the stakes. Killing off two high profile actors in the first episode, although John Cho did return from the dead, gave Sleepy Hollow an edge. A lightening bolt was struck – no one is safe. But that electric charge has waned. Hopefully, delving deeper into Moloch is just what the good Dr. Crane has ordered to enable Sleepy Hollow to fire on all cylinders.