Sleepy Hollow S01E08 Recap: "Necromancer"

Throughout the season there have been plenty of crazy twists, unpredictable turns, and inexplicable developments. This week's episode, "Necromancer", went full throttle providing a story line that was head scratching but delightfully entertaining.

The show's biggest asset is the fantiscism it employs to explain the unfathomable situations. This week began where last week ended - the Horseman is imprisoned in a fully lit cell built by Thomas Jefferson. The two witnesses plan to interview the Horseman and understand his motives. But how does one interrogate a body without a head? There's where the human escape valve Andy Brooks comes in.

Brooks is the eponymous "necromancer", which is in fact a real word. The definition from dictionary.com reads "a method of divination through alleged communication with the dead." John Cho's performance in the show is the glue holding the story line together. His appearances are rare - and in my opinion should be more frequent - but they connect the dots and set an ominous mood, something that can be lost in the show's silliness.

This week's Brooks performance was the best scene of the episode. We learn through Brooks that Crane isn't as flawless as he seems. The Horseman is actually Crane's best friend named, Abraham, who was engaged with Katrina before Crane stole her away from him. This revelation was shocking to say the least - not necessarily because of the melodrama of love but because the horseman's identity isn't what we'd expect.

"Sleepy Hollow" authorizes its creative license with reckless abandon - which is why the show is great. Every other rendition of the Headless Horseman depicts the character as a blood thirsty Hessian with a decapitation fetish. Giving the Horseman not only a completely different back story but a name makes the Horseman feel so more human. And what's more human than a story of betrayal?

All of a sudden the blood drunk Horseman becomes, relatively, sympathetic (I'm not completely justifying his actions because Ichobad wasn't completely responsible for his death). Identifying the Horseman as Abraham was a bold move by the writers that could open up a lot of doors and should be commended.

Another interesting development in tonight's episode is the identity of Andy Brooks. While Abraham has a set plan and motive, Brooks is caught in a situation even more precarious than the two witnesses. Since he is quite literally the mouthpiece for the Horseman he is split in two between reality and fantasy. Brooks pleads with Crane and Abbie about the danger of using him and is the one who ultimately sets the Horseman free by summoning an enchantment.

Always the bridge, Brooks' role and involvement in the story becomes hazier with every episode. It will be entertaining to see how Brooks is used throughout the series and if he ultimately ends up on one side or the other.

Notes

  • The downside of this episode was the minor story line between Irving and Jenny. The two team up to stop the Hessians. There's something too fictitious about a woman going in and out of a mental hospital. Have to draw a line at some point and this is it.
  • Nice reversal between Crane and Abbie. Crane becomes flustered when the Horseman/Abraham/Brooks brings up Katrina while Abbie remains even keeled.
  • This week's "Welcome to the 21st Century" Moment: Crane is introduced to a fist bump.

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