[This is a review for Sleepy Hollow season 1, episode 6. It contains SPOILERS.]
After an agonizing three-week absence, Sleepy Hollow returns with its most emotionally-gripping episode yet, titled 'The Sin Eater.' Abbie's sister (Jenny) joins the fight, but it's Ichabod's tale of woe that steals the show.
Before delving into the more somber moments found within 'The Sin Eater,' let's talk about baseball. Ichabod's first encounter with America's pastime was a delight. The 18th century born Englishman had no idea what he was witnessing, but Abbie's explanation of the sport mirrored their relationship. Ichabod learned that baseball represents "The spirit of democracy" as well as "teamwork," which involves having faith in one another.
Since Ichabod and Abbie's fist encounter, there was always the question of what their relationship would evolve into. Would they develop a kind of awkward sexual tension like Mulder and Scully in The X-Files, or would creators Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) ignore it all together?
Even though the series is still in its early stages, it appears that the writers are going for a much deeper connection than mere lust or physical attraction, and are instead leaning toward more of a brother/sister dynamic that works perfectly. After all, Ichabod is a married man.
Speaking of Katrina, Abbie finally gets to meet the witch trapped between life and death. Katrina continues to be vague and mysterious while still giving advice, but it's good to see her playing a larger role this week. Abbie learns that only a Sin Eater can break the curse linking the hessian and Ichabod. Accomplishing this task requires backup, so who better to call than her sister, Jenny Mills.
The lovely Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny) is always a joy to behold, but this would have been a great time to learn more about one of the show's lesser developed characters. Perhaps officer Morales or even Captain Frank Irving could have joined her on this journey? These two men have been used as talking heads in previous episodes - it's a shame, because Orlando Jones is capable of so much more. In the future, there needs to be more time spent with the supporting cast.
The lack of character development for Sleepy Hollow's supporting cast in no way hindered Tom Mison's standout performance. As the former Oxford professor recounts his tale of serving in the British military, it wasn't difficult to see the pain and guilt plastered over his expression. This is no easy task for an actor to pull off, for even though these emotions are powerful, the skill to make the moment feel genuine takes subtlety. Mison may never receive the recognition for his portrayal of Ichabod Crane that Bryan Cranston did for his iconic role as Walter White on Breaking Bad, yet this young actor deserves to be applauded for his efforts.
After Ichabod's confession to the Free Masons, it seems that the team has some new allies to help with the fight against the headless horseman and his brothers. The Sin Eeater himself, played by the talented John Noble (Fringe), will hopefully be a recurring character.
Sleepy Hollow has reached the halfway point before the season finale, but it feels as if we've only scratched the surface. Now that Ichabod has been "sanctified" by letting go of his guilt, what is the next step for he and Abbie on the road to Armageddon? Will the two witnesses defeat the headless horseman is the coming weeks, or will it be Moloch that is taken down first? Keep watching to find out.
Sleepy Hollow continues with 'The Tempest' on November 18, @9pm on Fox.