Sleepy Hollow Review: “Whispers in the Dark”

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Here’s my review of Sleepy Hollow season three episode “Whispers in the Dark.” 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.

The pacing on this show never ceases to amaze me. Each episode is packed with action and we race through a lot of it, but there are at least a few places where the story slows down so we can take a breather. “Whispers in the Dark” is a good example of both the crazy fast pace and the brief slow moments in between, reminding me of the good episodes from season one.

What I always find fun about Sleepy Hollow is how much they manage to pack into the episode before the opening credits, which usually appear anywhere from twelve to fifteen minutes into our hour-long episode. Most of the time, the credits begin and I’m shocked, thinking that we’re already halfway through the episode. In this particular episode, the writers managed to cram in the introduction of Pandora’s evil shadow wraith monster, a dead body, Abbie’s new boss/ex-boyfriend, along with Crane and Abbie figuring out it’s probably a shadow month. Oh, and Crane cleaned some windows. That’s a crazy amount of stuff in just a quarter of the episode. Normally, I’d say this isn’t good for an episode because moving too fast isn’t always good for the audience. But Sleepy Hollow really commits to this way of doing things. Basically every episode is this fast-paced. If you’re not ready for a crazy rollercoaster ride when you strap in for Sleepy Hollow by now, then you’re probably never gonna like the show.

But another thing I like about fast pacing is that nothing is really drawn out. Since they pretty much had an idea about what the monster was so early on, they had a chance to focus on other mysteries, such as working out who the next victim was. It also gave the episode time to focus on Crane and Abbie’s secrets which reveal interesting things about themselves. In one of those slower scenes, near the end of the episode, they talk about those secrets. Crane gets the chance to open up about his feelings over almost betraying America. It’s a good moment for him to reflect (although it does make him seem more like a goody-two-shoes than ever before). But even better is Abbie’s admission of stalking her dad who left the family when she was six. I felt torn over feeling creeped out by her stalking and sympathy because she wanted to know him but couldn’t bring herself to say hi yet. That mix of emotions make Abbie more human and more real in my eyes. Plus, it’s nice to focus on Abbie’s emotions for a change because sometimes it’s a bit too much on Crane. But this episode felt more balanced.

The slower moments in this episode were mostly the scenes featuring Jenny and Joe Corbin (returning from his guest appearance last season to become a regular). While I liked having a slower pace for some parts of the episode, I was disappointed by how disconnected they were from the main storyline. It would be great if Jenny could get a chance to participate more than just “let me google the solution” (which she didn’t even do in this episode). Other than when she kicked that bad dude in the face, there really wasn’t much happening in their story. Perhaps soon, they’ll find a way to balance the character with the other main ones.

Although this was another pretty typical monster/case of the week, the fast pace keep it exciting and keep the momentum moving forward. But it didn’t sacrifice time for the main characters either. So “Whispers in the Dark” turned out as an okay, fun episode.

Additional Archive Notes

  • Please find a better way to use Betsy Ross instead of having her appear in all of Crane’s flashbacks. Just like it’s kinda ridiculous Crane knew everyone in Colonial America, it’s also kinda silly to now suddenly have all of his memories feature Betsy.
  • Speaking of fast pace, they’ve already figured out Pandora is evil. I definitely like that they didn’t spend all season without a clue.
  • Isn’t it a bit cliché that Reynolds is Abbie’s ex-boyfriend? Couldn’t they have known each other for a different reason?
  • Can Jenny kick people in the face more often?
  • Any theories on Pandora’s crazy magic tree?
  • Crane: good at washing windows, bad at cooking edible things.

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


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