Everyone has it coming this week, the audience and the characters. So without rehearsing the series plot so far this episode seems like another of the X-Files' self-described "Monster of the Week" episode although the relation between sisters Abbie and Jenny becomes clearer as a failed disclosure of affirming or disconfirming the presence of demons that determined Jenny's institutionalization. One presumes we'll get back to the central Horsemen of the Apocalypse next Monday as this seems to be its regular time slot at 9pm.
This episode begins with the suicide of Jenny's shrink preceded by Abbies premonition of her encounter with the shrink whom she has not met. The shrink jumps to her death with this episodes' signature pupil-less eyes a surrealist eyeball filled with sand that releases the grains upon death; these referents to some recent Egyptian Mummy films with Brendan Frazier continue our themes of the undead and their reanimation but this week fills out the relationship between the sisters. Abbie dreams of faceless nightmare monsters a "sandman" that historically connects to Ichabod Crane's narrative in terms of locating a connection to an 18th Century Mohawk dream demon. Sleepy Hollow does have an actual Mohawk shaman who for comic effect runs a used car dealership but also does shamanism on the side complete with vision quest-like elements. Echoes of Star Trek Voyager as well as Eureka enter here although the way in which Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills interact often leaves out some of the dialogic quirkiness that makes other "buddy" television crime series work better such as Bones, Castle, or The Mentalist.
On more metaphoric notes, the filling of one's eyes with the sands of time seems pretty interesting as a theme: "what time doesn't change death will" while filling out some of the lesser elements of Abbie and Jenny's teenage encounter with this episode's demon whose demise or at least retreat seems predicated on what the Captain sardonically describes as another episode of The Twilight Zone. Abbie's sister Jenny does not forgive a betrayal of sibling trust because Abbie refuses to corroborate Jenny's account when they were lost for four days as teenagers and Jenny is institutionalized. Dream sequences do intercut reality and perhaps they will become more artful as we proceed.
The Voldemort-like figure of The Sandman represents "the next time you fall asleep, you're dead" plot reminiscent of invasion of the Body Snatchers where loss of consciousness when falling sleep allows alien forces to appropriate your body and hence your soul. Sexy sequences seem a bit gratuitous and even erotic with scorpion stings but even now the plot lags slightly if only because a larger sense of narrative structure is not being fully integrated and there are even fewer moments of dissonance between the 18th Century Crane's sense of being alienated in the present time or Abbie's ability to phenomenologically assess the sedimented history seemingly focused on the Village of Sleepy Hollow. It was better than watching Miami play New Orleans on Monday Night Football, but it appears that we're not going to go to some more interesting places in terms of direction, editing or even special effects. I haven't given up but like with most criticism, one is spoiled by better versions of pathos offered by the end of the Breaking Bad series.