Sleepy Hollow Review: “I, Witness”

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Here’s my review of Sleepy Hollow season three premiere episode “I, Witness.” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.

After how off-kilter this show had gotten last season, I was a bit wary about how this new one would begin. But during the summer they got a new showrunner, some new regular characters, and a new place to film (I will still miss Wilmington though). There was definite improvement here in “I, Witness.” Crane and Abbie slipped back into their roles as partners/witnesses like they were putting on a nice pair of well-used gloves. While the plot was pretty standard, the character work was still great. “I, Witness” works as a nice reboot to the series.

Despite the changes over the summer (both in and outside of the show), the charm of watching the characters interact isn’t lost. Even after nine months apart and a career change for Abbie, it feels as though they were never away. The banter is fun and easy, and their interactions comfortable as old friends. Just as it should be. The writers could have chosen to put some tension between them, make things awkward. But they didn’t, which is good because that was already done last season anyway. Instead we get to see the two of them pulled back into their roles as “witnesses,” ready for the next tribulation.

As for the plot of the episode, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. It was a typical monster of the week story: monster wreaks havoc, our main characters search to find a way to stop it, and then they do. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this sort of thing but it can get predictable after a while. But it was good to open the season with an episode like this to show what we’ll be dealing with as we tune in each week. It was like reassurance that they still have stories to tell even after the mess of last season.

But the good thing about this episode was that it still managed to set up ongoing stories for the season. The tablet is a good object to focus on so that it’ll kick future plots into motion. And there were introductions to both new characters, Betsy Ross and Pandora. Pandora’s scenes were very separate from the rest of the story, but since she’s the new villain that’s okay for now. Betsy Ross is a flashback character so I’m not sure how they’ll manage to add her in each week. But I’m curious to find out.

All in all, this episode hit all the right notes for me. It was fun just to see my favorite characters again saving the world from the forces of darkness. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything will grow and change as the season continues.

Additional Archive Notes

  • I love how dedicated this show is to twisting the events of American history. It’s so hilarious to me that “don’t shoot ’til you see the whites of their eyes” referred to a demon. LOL (That’s almost as good as Thomas Jefferson’s holographic library)
  • Looks like Jenny will have a bigger role this season. I wholeheartedly approve. She has a lot of potential to develop as a character if she gets the chance to shine.
  • It doesn’t really feel like Sleepy Hollow without the Headless Horseman. How long before you think they’ll bring him back somehow (perhaps as an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” plot which could be fun)? Or maybe they’ll bring in a new headless rider?
  • Speaking of bringing things back, what are the odds we’ll ever get to see The Kindred again? Legit question: is he just chilling in the countryside somewhere? That’s the only thing from season two I’d like to see again.
  • I particularly liked Crane incarcerated and his righteous indignation at the Colonial Times restaurant/store. The humor was really on point in both those scenes. And Nicole Beharie plays Abbie’s reactions to Crane’s reactions perfectly.
  • “Can you hear me, Jesus?” followed by the bunkmate seriously quoting Annie was hysterical. The few notes of the song playing distorted at the end of the episode was a wonderful touch. It really made it feel like early season one.

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Excited about the new season or still a little worried? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.


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