Tune In/Tune Out: March 23-30, 2014

I need a new word for ‘oops’ because that word? It’s not cutting it, but here we are at the end of another week, and as the self-appointed person doing these posts, I am back on schedule. On the other hand, one of my mad compatriots here has lost her mind – but, y’know what? I’ll let her tell y’all about it, below in the lists!

TUNE IN

Marathon of The Walking Dead: Due to me being susceptible to ships, I fell down the rabbit hole this past week with Daryl Dixon and Beth Greene, and I am now obsessed with this show. It is great to marathon, especially since the finale of season four is upon us. The character development is amazing. – Becca

Psych: The series finale was perfect. Everything was perfect. I’m only sad that it’s over, but I’m definitely not sad about how it ended. –Kerry

Brooklyn 99: I’m sad this show has wrapped its first season so early, but I’m curious now the next season will open now that Jake’s been fired from the NYPD. His confession to Amy was glorious. –Kerry

NCIS: I don’t know whether it was the addition of Scott Bakula or that the production trucked out to Nawlins for the actual filming, but I was actually really into this episode as a back-door pilot for a spin-off of this long-running crime procedural. – Moff

TUNE OUT

Arrow: It pains me to do this, and I hope this show never lands on the “Tune Out” list again, but this week’s episode had odd beats, an odd placement, and inconsistent characterization. Hopefully they recover next week. –Kerry

Advertisements

Tune In/Tune Out: March 2-9, 2014

Geez. OK, well so much for the rerun hinterlands of March. ABC has been packing in a string of high-profile episodes and premiering several new series, while other networks have been slipping in new episodes, considering they no longer have to contend with the Winter Olympics. And, as Kerry said earlier today, “so many duds, so many great ones.” Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

TUNE IN

NCIS: I’m a fan of Robert Wagner’s portrayal of Anthony DiNozzo, Sr., mainly because he often serves as comic relief. But I especially liked his guest spot in this week’s episode because his reason for being in town put his son’s new-found enlightenment to the test. – Moff

Brooklyn Nine Nine: I love when this show gets to be action-y, and the tactical village was a really cool way to see the characters in a true police setting. Jake seemed primed to take a big step forward with Amy, only to be beaten to the punch, while Rosa finally found out the true reason Boyle didn’t invite her to his wedding. I never thought I’d say this about this show, but it looks like we’re ramping up for an emotional conclusion to the season! (And congrats to this show and <i>The Mindy Project</i> on their renewals!) –Kerry

Trophy Wife: Two words: Bert Day. It’s as amazing as it sounds. –Kerry

Joe Punjsd

You know the rhyme.

Community: Visually, it was weird, and the story was a lot more depressing than it seemed on the surface, but it was still a fantastic episode. It left me really excited to see where the rest of the season is going. – Moff

Lereyo

How have we never had an ‘Andy = Kool-Aid guy’ joke before now?

Parks and Recreation: Ron Swanson hangs out with his newborn son for the entire episode, a swarm of bees attacks mostly Eagletonians, and everyone is insanely quotable. (“Hey Ron, cool baby.”) –Kerry

Elementary Gifed

So many dirty jokes, so little time.

Elementary: If you don’t tune in just to see roosters hanging out in the Brownstone, then maybe the case of the week, which is twisty with a weird conclusion, will appeal to you. Ears to you! –Kerry

Sherlocked Mind Palace

Arrow: Comes for the abs, stay for the acting

Arrow: Slade Wilson hangs out at the Queen mansion, freaking out Oliver as he charms his mother and sister, while back on the island, Oliver goes and lets the bad guy monologue. Never let the bad guy monologue! But it still made for a seriously good hour of television. –Kerry

Multiprises

And this drawing is actually *less* creepy.

Grimm: We got a little bit of the larger, Royal-related arc, and we got a creepy new creature. And Sgt. Wu finally got a first name and some back story! Of course, it didn’t end particularly well for him, but it’s been a long time coming. – Moff

TUNE OUT

How I Met Your Mother: this week’s episode made me regret recommending this show to everyone who would listen. Even if the show ends with a miraculous (spoiler), the entire narrative of the show has been cheapened. My instinct is to tune out the show for the rest of the series, but curiosity may get the better of me. –Kerry

Suits: The stakes have never been more… the same as ever. Louis re-realized Mike was a fraud, Rachel walked around two apartments in lingerie, and Harvey bickered with Scotty over her contract and buy-in at Pearson Specter. The episode <i>is</i> worth the precious few scenes we get of Donna and Jessica (they both get two separate scenes, each) but since it amounts to about seven minutes of screentime, just skip this one. Maybe tune in next week, though it’s possible nothing will happen then, either. –Kerry

About a Boy: I really wanted to like this show, because the premise is right up my alley. The kid is unbelievably cute and hits all his marks like a veteran, but there’s still something missing from the show as a whole. While the pilot was fine, I didn’t expect the second episode to be so formulaic (guy doesn’t want to watch kid, kid really likes guy, guy has to watch kid, guy takes kid to grown-up party, guy neglects kid, guy learns exact same lesson he just learned in the pilot) and the whole thing ended up feeling flat to me. Hopefully the third episode’s the charm! –Kerry

Tune In/Tune Out: Feb. 23 – March 2, 2014

Wow. So, that was an awfully long week, wasn’t it? (Why, yes, I am pretending to ignore the rules of space and time. Thanks for noticing!)

While not all our shows are back yet – and we’re heading into the hinterland of March reruns, which means I’ve queued up a bunch of IFC movies from the last two years – but there were some real stand-outs this week. And a couple stinkers, too. But lets not dally any longer, shall we?

TUNE IN

 

Person of Interest: This week’s ‘number’ wasn’t part of a larger arc, but it was still poignant, tensely paced and gripping: All the things POI does best and has done since the latter part of season one. – Moff

Brooklyn Nine Nine: – Did you know Jake and Gina have known each other since grade school? Neither did we until this week’s episode! Their storyline gave the department some surprising depth, while the self-evaluations held by Holt and Jeffords were downright hilarious. Poor Santiago. –Kerry

image

Arrow: The ensembles on Arrow were amazing in this episode. The Diggle and Felicity friendship gives me constant feels, and I hope this was the beginning of a wonderful friendship between Felicity and Sara – Becca

Community: I’ve liked Britta for a long time, even when she was The Worst. As much as this episode was about Abed finding his footing post-Troy, and Jeff and Ian Duncan’s friendship, Gillian Jacobs shone in this episode, fleshing out Britta’s character in bits and pieces. – Moff

 

Grimm: It’s fun when a show has finally established enough of its world that it can spend time character building, which this week’s second-half of the pre-Winter Olympics cliffhanger did. But it also managed to add new elements to Adalind’s pregnancy arc, and the resolution of Monroe’s falling out with his father even hinted at what the season’s remaining episodes will bring. – Moff

Psych: – This show really is firing on all cylinders as it heads into its last block of episodes. If seeing everyone in sixties costumes doesn’t appeal to you (notably Tim Omundson and Dule Hill, with Maggie Lawson as my favorite) then the last scene between Lassiter and Juliet is sure to tug your heartstrings. (What are we going to do without this show?) –Kerry

TUNE OUT

NCIS:LA: It’s difficult not to feel like the writers were simply scraping the bottom of the barrel as they tried to prolong the ‘Kensi in Afghanistan’ storyline. While it was an unexpected – and clever – way of throwing a wrench into the Kensi/Deeks partnership, it’s starting to feel confusing and unnecessary at this point. After all, the writers aren’t taking the same tact as they did with Tony/Ziva on NCIS, so why continue to keep Kensi and Deeks apart? – Moff

Saturday Night Live: Admittedly, I only tuned in to catch Weekend Update, as I was excited to see Cecily Strong anchor the desk on her own. But, in the grand tradition of SNL setting high expectations and then failing to meet them spectacularly, Strong is now partnered with a newer member of the cast, who I have spent the last 12 hours referring to as ‘Generic White Dude.’ Strong was clearly picked to take over from Seth Myers because she had the chops, and I’m disappointed the show isn’t going to let her show it. – Moff

“There’s no one funnier than Ray Holt.”

Brooklyn Nine-Nine won the coveted post-Super Bowl spot this past Sunday (after an all new New Girl, brought to you by Prince and the Ford Fusion, apparently) less than a month after the show won two Golden Globes. That kind of means that if you’re not watching this show by now, you’re really missing out.

This post contains spoilers for episode 1.16 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “The Party.”

While the post-Super Bowl episode, entitled “Operation: Broken Feather,” gave us a cameos by Adam Sandler and football great Joe Theismann, the focus was mostly on the budding relationship between Jake and Amy. Amy was considering interviewing for Major Crimes, the department where Jake’s archnemesis, The Vulture, works, which offended Jake on a personal level. Ultimately, he admitted to Amy that he’s at his best when he works with her, and we inch ever closer to the inevitable romance between the two detectives. There was also a B-plot involving Captain Holt and Sergeant Jeffords attempting to manipulate the staff into working more efficiently to make quotas, which ended up backfiring. It was a very funny episode, but it wasn’t exactly daring in plot construction or characterization (and note to Adam Sandler: less is more).

Tuesday’s episode, “The Party,” was arguably Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s best episode. It’s Captain Holt’s birthday, and his husband is throwing him a party, and some of the detectives are on a mission: Jake, to get the Captain’s husband, Kevin, to like him; Amy, to do recon on the Captain for future bonding purposes; and Terry, to make sure all of the detectives don’t embarrass himself and Holt in a social gathering. Spoiler alert: none of their missions go well. But they’re all hilarious.

Terry forces everyone into an “Adult Parties” meeting (Jake: “Adult parties? Sergeant, I believe they’re called ‘orgies.’”) where he gives them a set of basic rules: no staring at their phones, be on time, and no sweatpants, jeans, or shorts. “And everyone bring a bottle of wine.”

Cut to that night, as the group waits for Jake across the street from Holt’s house. Amy’s waxing poetic about the neighborhood (Terry: “Keep it in your pants, Santiago!”) when Jake runs up, thirty-five minutes late, because he was buying a bottle of wine.

It turns out, they all brought Arkansas’s finest wine to the party. Scully also wore shorts. (“Sarge, it’s not my fault, you said so many things about shorts, I got confused!”)

 

Amy gets awkward as soon as they get into the party. She takes pictures in Holt’s kitchen, making note that he has ingredients for hummus, but Jeffords confiscates her phone. Her recon proves to be fruitless: later, when she asks Holt’s opinions on hummus, he says he has no thoughts about it. She’s crushed, but she’s so determined to get some inside info that she sneaks into Holt’s bedroom.

That’s not nearly as bad as Jake’s attempts to get into Kevin’s good graces. All police talk is banned in the house, and as Jake later tells Amy, “Gruesome murders are the cornerstone of my charm!” He recalls reading an article in The New Yorker when he was in the dentists chair, so he uses that to try to start a conversation with Kevin, but it becomes clear that Jake didn’t really read the article about human trafficking. He ends up on a quest to find a copy of The New Yorker, which he is convinced is in the master bathroom, aka “the crap library!”

Jeffords fails on his mission too. Boyle spills food on himself in the first four minutes of the party, so he holds an impromptu meeting in the corner of the party, where he gives everyone assignments. Boyle is instructed to talk about food (“That’s great stuff, so boring!”) while Amy is told to talk about art history. Scully, “Opera,” with no further explanation, and Hitchcock: “Nothing. Talk about nothing.” Rosa is to stick with Gina to make sure she doesn’t say anything crazy or steal, and Jake: “Keep a low profile, chuckle at anecdotes, try not to start any conversations.” Jake’s outraged that he’s getting Hitchcocked, so of course he ignores that.

 

Jeffords then goes around the party trying to keep everyone in line (“Stop eating crab wrong!”) before he’s caught hiding in the master bathroom with Jake and Amy. While hiding, they find out the real point of contention between Holt and his husband: Kevin didn’t want to invite any cops to the party, and Raymond had made Kevin invite his employees. Unfortunately, that’s when Gina has an allergic reaction to Holt’s pet corgi.

The only person who actually excels at being a party guest is Boyle, who falls in love with a cookbook author named Vivian. He ends up making out with her in a closet. Who would’ve guessed?

The next day, Jake uses his detective skills to figure out that Kevin resents all cops because of how his husband has been treated by the NYPD over the years. After sixteen episodes of us taking the precinct’s acceptance of Holt for granted, it’s a subtle but poignant reminder that Holt hasn’t had it easy. This new crop of detectives don’t bat an eye at Holt’s sexual orientation (in fact, Jake’s relentless teasing of Holt usually focuses on his stoicism, and no one else takes those sorts of shots at the Captain) but as Raymond’s husband, Kevin’s got a long memory. He dislikes cops, because Raymond has been “marginalized, underappreciated, and disrespected by the NYPD.”

Jake gets the team together to give Holt the birthday he deserved: a nice dinner out at a restaurant with his husband. (Amy picked the restaurant, Boyle picked the menu, Terry picked the champagne, Gina returns the silverware she stole at the party the night before, Scully serenades them with opera music, and Jake promises not to talk about The New Yorker ever again.) It’s good, in hindsight, that Kevin was so relentless with his “needling” of Peralta, because it didn’t come from a place of elitism or derision, it was simply his way of vetting his husband’s top employee. Similarly, it’s nice of Jake to smooth things over for his team and for his captain, because it has to be hard on Holt to love his job and the people he works with, and then go home to someone who has nothing but contempt for it. Hopefully this makes his life just a little bit easier.

Other highlights:

“Oh, man! All the orange soda spilled out of my cereal!”

“In high school, I was voted Most Appropriate.” “Ooh, self-burn! Those are rare!”

Everything regarding how funny everyone finds Holt. “There’s no one funnier than Ray Holt.” / “Needling him a new suit? Even when we’re arguing, you’re hilarious! Stop it!”

“I am flummoxed! That’s a word I learned for this party, and I am it!”

And finally:

 

Tune In / Tune Out: Jan. 26 – Feb. 2, 2014

I’d be lying if I said we three of WWFTP weren’t spending some portion of this Sunday watching the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey. I grew up in Seattle (Well, in one of the suburbs, anyway.) and Kerry has a familial connection to Washington state, so interpret our allegiances as you will. Still, a week of TV can’t be watched in a day, so here are our picks for the shows that ran for the end zone this week, and the ones that came up short.

TUNE IN

How I Met Your Mother: Finally, an episode worth watching! The story of “How Your Mother Met Me” was so reminiscent of the first three seasons of this once-great show that one has to wonder why she didn’t get more material in this final season. In only 22 minutes, she managed to capture our hearts with her cheeriness, grief, and perfect-for-Ted quirkiness (she made her breakfast food sing showtunes!) Here’s hoping we see more of her before the finale! — Kerry

Bones: Sometimes, introducing a heretofore secret sibling is a desperate attempt to reignite interest. Just think of all the times characters had babies on sitcoms because the existing kids were aging out of their cute/funny or high school years. But this episode was heart-breaking and sweet, and the introduction of Hodgin’s brother gave all the characters a chance to show their best selves. – Moff

Enlisted: Keith David continues to steal all of his scenes, and we got to see more of the squadron as they faced off against the Marines in a flag football game. The brothers share a very sweet storyline about surprise homecomings between fathers and sons, and Pete runs around in a ridiculous half-shirt for most of the episode. –Kerry

Community: A slightly weird structure aside, there were so many things to love about this episode. And who doesn’t love a chance to Fat Dog for Mid-terms? – Moff

Elementary: I really liked how the non-case part of this episode focused on Sherlock being a sponsor, and seeing him deal with that. – Becca

TUNE OUT

Nothing from us this week. There were episodes that were only so-so, and there were an awful lot of reruns this week, but nothing that felt like a complete waste of time. And the second quarter started a couple minutes ago, so excuse me while I go pay more attention to football than I do the rest of the year. (GO SEAHAWKS! LOUDER!)

Tune In/Tune Out: Jan. 19-26, 2014

OK. So, it’s cold. It doesn’t matter if you live north of the Mason-Dixon, like Becca and I do, or to the south, like Kerry. It’s varying degrees of cold, and ‘freezing’ has both a scientific and relative definitions, but I’ve spent most of the week unable to feel my toes properly. When it’s awful outside, cold like it is here or rainy, there’s not much to do but hunker down in front of one screen or another and escape to someplace, anyplace, else. With that in mind, here are our picks for what swept us away, and what merely swept us off our feet before dumping us in a cold puddle of disappointment.

TUNE IN

Shut Up and Bounce

Y’all didn’t think we were going to put a GIF of *that* scene in here, right?

The Mindy Project: It was a big episode, and hopefully it’s enough to hold us over until April. Thanks a lot, Fox. –Kerry

Courtesy of Julieta Colas. All Rights Reserved.

You guys, you know I never cry.

Community: What is there to say about “Geothermal Escapism”? (Other than what Becca said, that is.) It was a brilliant action episode, up there with “Modern Warfare,” “A Fistful of Paintballs/For a Few Paintballs More,” and “Pillows and Blankets.” But more importantly, it was the send-off Troy, and Donald Glover, deserved. – Moff

Bonjour Clarice

So, clearly I missed the memo that I even *had* a time. Bummer.

Enlisted: After last week’s stumble, this show recovered nicely with a brother-centric episode that shed light on Pete’s difficulties with adjusting to civilian life. The scene that Geoff Stults and Keith David shared was unexpectedly touching, and if this show has more moments like that mixed in with the absurdities of the oddball squadron, this show might actually stand a chance in the vast wasteland of Friday night scheduling. –Kerry

Frankenreich

Ichabod Crane: Human-size anachronistic puppy.

Sleepy Hollow: It was a hell of a ride for the two-hour finale, and I can’t quite fathom having to wait till the autumn to find out what happens next. – Moff

TUNE OUT

Parks & Recreation: Ann spent her penultimate episode complaining about her boyfriend/baby daddy to a bunch of former coworkers who didn’t care about her First World Pregnancy Problems. It’s been weeks since we’ve seen her interact with Leslie, and watching her spend this episode screeching to everyone except her best friend was very frustrating. (Ron and his noise-cancelling headphones marginally picked up this storyline, as did Donna with her Cuban cigar and yellowfin sushi.) –Kerry

 

Nice Guys (and Dolls)

This post contains spoilers for episodes 1.12 and 1.13, “The Indispensable Man” and “Bad Blood” of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow.

I guess I was exceptionally lucky in college: I only came across two actual Nice Guys in the five years I was working to put myself through school and complete my degree. The first was by far the worst: After all, how exactly am I supposed to respond when a young man I’m not even dating asks if I’m a virgin when we’ve only spent a grand total of five or six hours together?

I certainly never was faced with a Nice Guy who claims he’s the only one who can save me from the coming apocalypse, then willingly turned himself into a demon when I turned him down; nor did I ever run across a guy who wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, even after two centuries and his beheading. And I never met a man so incapable of empathy that he orchestrated a ridiculously elaborate revenge plot to prove his own worth and superiority. Then again, I’ve never spent much time in upstate New York. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first season finale picks up a couple days after the events of last week’s episode, where Capt. Irving’s daughter was possessed by a demon after George Washington’s bible, killed a priest, and was then defeated by a magic lantern. (Frankly, if the pacing wasn’t as tight or the performances as engaging, I wouldn’t believe this was a real show sometimes.) But a dead cop, let alone a dead priest, isn’t something that can be overlooked, and Irving and his daughter are both facing some pointed questions.

Meanwhile, Abbie and Ichabod are still figuring out how George Washington could have written a message in his bible in invisible ink four days after his historical death. (Although, considering how much the show has cribbed from the school of ‘wave hands, shout Freemasons’ thus far, I wondered at their focus on the ‘how’ versus the ‘why.’) However, not even our intrepid Witnesses – and, yes, there is finally a line about it being with a capital ‘w’ – can research 24/7, and so Abbie heads home to putter about in her kitchen, which is really a convenient excuse for Deputy Andy (Sadly, not the robotic one.) to creep on her in her home.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Second verse, same as the first.

They have a little tete-a-tete, wherein Andy explains his ‘in’ with Moloch, the Big Demon on Purgatory, means he gets a plus-one to the Apocalypse, and he’s inviting Abby. She’ll have none of it, or him, and Andy hares off back to his sewer hidey hole-slash-bachelor pad.

In the first of the evening’s homages to the National Treasure franchise, Ichabod and Abbie discover a letter from Zombie!George Washington to Future!Ichabod about where to find a map to Purgatory.

Lydia Got Stiles

Zombie Washington: The hottest costume of Halloween 2014.

Our Friendly Neighborhood Sin Eater, Henry Parrish, arrives to help the Witnesses discover the map’s final resting place. Their search takes them to the grave of the priest killed in the pilot, who happens to have been an equally well-preserved relic of the colonial era, but while there, Parrish, Ichabod and Abbie are attacked by a particularly violent reject from a Cirque du Soleil production. They return to the archives, where they then realize the map is buried with George Washington, and head off to retrieve the map.

In the second homage to National Treasure, the Witnesses and Parrish discover Washington’s Mason-fied underground tomb, where they are joined by a newly demon-enhanced Deputy Andy. They manage to retrieve the Map to Purgatory, but they also destroy Washington’s tomb in an attempt to trap Andy while they escape.

Nobody Leaves Without Singing the Blues

How to make John Cho Even Less Attractive: 1) Remove wrinkly neck skin; 2) Add veins. Lots and lots of veins.

(Side Note: I think that destruction counts as a fake felony? Because it’s destruction of federal property? Second Side Note: I have no formal legal education.) However, as the prophecy/rumor that Ichabod will betray Abbie continues to circle, Ichabod destroys the map to both prevent Moloch from getting ahold of it, and himself from using it to rescue his wife and condemning his partner.

The tomb raiders separate for the night, with Abbie heading home, Parrish retreating to his motel, and Ichabod sitting down in the cabin to recreate the map, thanks to his eidetic memory. Meanwhile, to save his daughter from punishment, Capt. Irving confesses to the murders of the cop and the priest, then is frog-marched out through the throngs of shocked Sleepy Hollow PD staff.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Anyone else remember when Orlando Jones was best known for “MAD TV”? Cause, man, he was underused when he’s capable of this.

(And encapsulating this relatively major plot point in one sentence is not even as abrupt as the show handled it, frankly.)

The following morning, Parrish informs Abbie and Ichabod that he had a vision of the second horseman, War, being awakened sometime that day. Ichabod reveals he redrew the map, down to the special incantation needed to open the Hellmouth door to Purgatory. While annoyed, Abbie agrees that if the timeline has been moved up, they must use the map to go to Purgatory, find Katrina and bring her back, as she is the only one capable of stopping War from arriving. Jenny Mills appears and begs Abbie not to go messing around with these grand cosmic powers, worried Moloch will be particularly unkind to the elder Mills sister. (The entire exchange prompted me to start referring to him as Old Man Moloch, who keeps yelling at those darn witnesses to git off his lawn.)

Doe Eyed Cat

As a sister, Jenny and Abbie’s relationship feels mostly realistic to me. Y’know, demons aside.

Abbie promises to return to Jenny, and Jenny agrees to stay close to the archives, where it is safe, which Jenny takes as orders from her big sister to comb through Sheriff Corbin’s collection of x-files, looking for further information to help their fight.

Ichabod and Abbie recite the incantation and cross into Purgatory, with a final warning from Parrish not to eat or drink anything they’re offered. (Now we can add the Persephone story to the various myths the show has used.) He also reminds them not to forget each other, as they will offered what they want the most.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Don’t try this one at home, kids.

Abbie’s deepest desire is up first, as she awakens in the cabin, calling for Ichabod but finding Corbin, Andy and fresh pie. She’s confused, but is all too willing to accept a reality in which her pseudo-father figure and good friend are both alive and whole. But when they all sit down for a slice of pie, she realizes it’s an illusion and refuses to eat her pie. The illusion shatters, and the scene shifts to Ichabod’s temptation: The love and admiration of his father, who actually renounced him when he switched sides after meeting Katrina. As they’re about to toast Ichabod receiving a full professorship, Ichabod realizes he’s trapped in an illusion, and his father does an excellent Walking Dead impression as ye olde teacher’s lounge explodes.

Meanwhile, Jenny has discovered in one of Corbin’s x-files information about an unnamed church, which, when she tracks it down and discovers the church’s name, sets her on a collision course with the Headless Horseman – literally.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Dead? Or merely unconscious?

The last shot of her is hanging unconscious and suspended from a seatbelt in an overturned truck as the Headless Horseman rides in the opposite direction.

As a dazed and disheveled Ichabod wanders among extras from Pan’s Labyrinth, he nearly stumbles over Abbie. Both are reluctant to believe the other is real, until what was a throw-away moment six episodes ago becomes integral to proving to each other they are who they say they are.

Fucky Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Fist bumps: They’re the new shibboleth.

From there, it’s a race to the last five minutes: Abbie and Ichabod find Katrina, who says she cannot leave without destroying the veil between the real world and Purgatory unless someone stays in her stead. Katrina and Ichabod return to the real world while Abbie is left behind, and promptly faces off against Moloch.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

I’m not one to shout “FACES” about characters, but: HER FACE.

She’s unsuccessful and soon finds herself trapped inside a facsimile of the dollhouse she and Jenny had as children, unable to escape and with only teenage versions of herself and her sister for company. In the real world, Ichabod introduces Katrina to Parrish, and the three hike through the woods to Chekov’s Four White Trees, which have cropped up nearly every other episode. Unsure of how to proceed, Katrina and Ichabod dither until they are abruptly thrown against two of the trees and secured with vines as Parrish is, in fact, their own magically inclined son, all growed up and in cahoots with the forces of Evil. Jeremy ‘Henry Parrish’ Crane explains he did not die when his mother’s former coven trapped him in a grave for more than 200 years, but instead lay aware but unable to free himself until he was freed by Moloch. The Headless Horseman arrives and Jeremy/Parrish gives Katrina to the Horseman, in fulfillment of their long-broken engagement, then throws Ichabod into his own former grave and buries Ichabod alive.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Not gonna lie: This scene did remind me of Angel and Connor more than a smidge. And The Woods are as desolate as the Pacific.

Early in the season, Katrina tells Ichabod that Evil wins when good men do nothing, and his decision to disown his commission in the King’s army and join the colonists is driven, in large part, by his belief in two things: His own inherent goodness, and his desire to do something when confronted by the possibility of something worse than corruption and injustice. These two beliefs are what connect most of the main characters, to varying degrees: Abbie went into law enforcement to be a force for good, even though she came from a troubled background; Jenny risked life and limb to track and retrieve artifacts that could be useful in case of Armageddon; and Katrina aligned herself with questionable forces in an attempt to secure safety for her husband and child. While Ichabod and Irving began as skeptics, their shared belief in truth and justice were enough to carry them through events that strained the suspension of their disbelief. In the two-hour finale, the faith and trust these characters have in their cause, themselves and each other was severely tested. And as it wavered in the face of deeply held desires, they were weakened.

But here’s why I was so excited at the prospect of Abbie and Ichabod trapped, helpless and alone; by Jenny hovering on the edge of death; by Irving sacrificing his freedom; and by Katrina carried off by her former fiancé, now the embodiment of Death: They believe in their own goodness, but they aren’t arrogant about it. Where Moloch, the Headless Horseman, Parrish and Deputy Andy are certain they cannot be stopped, the show illustrates how the White Hats are plagued with self-doubt. Ichabod, Abbie, Jenny, Katrina and Irving never assume their plans will work, or that those plans will work exactly as they hope, especially as there isn’t exactly a “World Saving for Dummies” they can reference.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Yes, because telling Abbie Mills what to do is generally quite effective.

Furthermore, the agents of Evil assume the women involved in this story are less of a threat, that they are helpless without a man or backup. While the show has never shied away from killing anyone, Abbie, Jenny, and Katrina are not traditional Final Girls: They may be punished, but not for behaving in an unladylike way. They are not forced to run from the demons that chase them; most of the time, they don’t run at all, choosing instead to stand and fight. They are post-Final Girl heroines, embracing their flaws and femininity, and using their wits to defeat their enemies, rather than a well-placed pitchfork to the sternum.

In the same way Nice Guys underestimate the women they alternately fetishize and belittle, Sleepy Hollow‘s forces of Evil are focused on stripping Ichabod and Irving of their power and authority, believing it is enough to frighten, threaten and shame Abbie, Jenny and Katrina into submission.

 

Evil has grown arrogant, and that is its greatest weakness, as it assumes Abbie, Jenny and Katrina are no more than pawns, dolls which can be moved about arbitrarily without consequence. The finale elegantly sets up what will surely be a firecracker of a season two premiere, and I, for one, cannot wait to see the forces of Evil crumple under the weight of its own smug self-satisfaction.