By now you’ve already heard from everyone and their Twitter followers about Sleepy Hollow – if you haven’t watched it yourself, that is – but ALL THE PILOTS means ALL THE PILOTS. Anyway, bigger spoilers than usual in this one.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison are SUPERB, and Abbie and Ichabod are going to be delightful together. IF YOU’RE NOT INTO THEM AS A COUPLE, GET OUT OF MY HOUSE. We don’t take kindly to people like you around here.
With that out of the way: I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SHOW DREW BARRYMORE’D ME WITH JOHN CHO. “John Cho probably just wasn’t in the trailer much because at the time they weren’t sure if Go On would be renewed,” I said. “This show is probably going to be delightful anyway, but also, John Cho!” I said. “Hi, John Cho!” I said. “Oh man, is John Cho into Abbie?” I said. “John Cho, what are you DOING?” I said. “Oh my god, is she going to bite his thumb off?” I said. “JOHN CHO, I DON’T THINK YOUR NECK IS SUPPOSED TO BEND THAT WAY,” I said. “WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?” I said.
Oh, John Cho. We hardly knew ye.
Um, plot? I don’t know. Watch the episode. Something something Bible something something apocalypse something something ICHABOD AND ABBIE ARE BOUND TOGETHER FOR THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS TO SAVE THE WORLD. I don’t know what else. Stuff. Witch wife who’s maybe been dead for two hundred years but also probably now, Magic smart birds. Buried skulls. Things with “spooky” eyes rendered in Goosebumps-level CGI.
LOOK: The bottom line is that I am always bitching about ~MYTHOLOGY~ shows that are so focused on being the next Lost that they forget that in the very beginning moments, before it got even the slightest bit weird or mysterious, Lost was a show that appealed on a character level. Is Sleepy Hollow the next Lost? NO. Is it super appealing on a character level, at least as far as Abbie and Ichabod are concerned? YES. SO MUCH YES. I like that he’s generally sort of serene about the fact that he’s in the future until he’s confronted with the details – how does the machine know if I’m lying? What’s a Starbucks and why do you need so many? What kind of witchcraft are child locks? Since he knew going in that there was mysterious good vs. evil COSMIC BATTLE FOR THE FATE OF MANKIND stuff going on, the writers have the luxury of making him more accepting than he would be otherwise, which means that they can pick and choose the specific things that Ichabod would find noteworthy rather than a constant state of “WHAT’S THAT MONSTER?”/”It’s a vacuum” time traveler shock.
They’ve also done a pretty nice job with Abbie’s background – they’ve given her a number of formative and motivating experiences (the demon encounter, how people treated her after, what happened to her sister, her relationship with Corbin, her desire to do more and how it almost took her to Quantico, her discovery of what Corbin was looking into), establishing some GREAT character background without a) overwhelming with exposition or b) relying too heavily on any one tragic wrong that must be avenged. I have NO IDEA if people who are really serious about plot and mythology are going to be satisfied by this in the long term, but the character stuff looks really, really promising.
AND THOSE FACES. COME ON. If they don’t end up being roommates there’s no justice in the world. (ROOMMATES WHO MAKE OUT.)