Sleepy Hollow Review: “The Sisters Mills”

Photo credit: ew.com

Photo credit: ew.com

Here’s my review of Sleepy Hollow season three episode “The Sisters Mills.” 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.

This episode was probably one of the best so far this season. The weakness of last week’s episode came from putting Jenny and Joe in a separate storyline, but “The Sisters Mills” remedies that problem by making Jenny an important player in this episode. (Joe still didn’t get to do much. Sorry, man. Maybe next time). The whole episode was a good mix of humor, seriousness, and character development.

Crane and Abbie’s friendship may be the core of Sleepy Hollow, but the relationship between sisters Abbie and Jenny is just as important. It was a good idea to shift the focus to them for a bit. Last week in “Blood and Fear“, I said there should be more tension between them because of their previous disagreements of the past, but I’ll accept Jenny’s reasoning that they’ve moved past the mistakes of the past and have a stronger relationship now. I was wrong. We need tension to keep the story interesting but it doesn’t have to stem from the time in the past when they weren’t speaking to each other. Their deadbeat dad was a good source of disagreement in this episode, with Jenny having found him five years previously and never got around to telling Abbie. Another bit of tension is added when Abbie gets hurt. Both of these things give the sisters opportunity to grow and change as characters. Static characters who are always happy do not make for exciting television. The story of this episode brought out the interesting parts of our main characters, particularly Jenny who was in need of some attention.

Not only do our protagonists require character development to make a good story, but our villain does too. While Pandora has certainly been quite evil so far, she’s too mysterious to be a compelling antagonist yet. But this episode gave us a taste with the hospital scene when she visits Abbie. The story about her father beating her, selling her, and then ultimately being eaten by a lion (!!) may not be true. You never can tell for sure when villains suddenly begin telling you their life story. But it still fleshes out her character more. If it’s true, then that adds a facet of sympathy (or disgust?) to her character, and if it’s not, then we still get to see the depths of her manipulation skills. The more we know about Pandora little by little, the more interesting her character becomes.

The effects during Pandora’s chat with Abbie were a highlight as well. The effect of her face going partially out of focus coupled with the spooky voice-effects made that whole scene delightfully eerie. It’s a good reminder of how otherworldly our villain really is. (It’s like back in the good ole days of season one when Moloch never appeared in focus on camera.) The monster this week was also wonderfully terrifying, and most fascinatingly, it was not the costume design but the movements that made the creepiness shine through. The Abyzou Tooth Fairy thing was the best monster they’ve had since that evil painting episode from last season, in my opinion.

Even though this was another routine monster of the week, the added character moments gave the episode enough substance to keep it entertaining. It’s so good, I’ll even forgive the pointless inclusion of Betsy Ross again.

Additional Archive Notes

  • I liked that they were wrong about the silver being fatal. It would be boring if they always figured  it out on the first try.
  • Crane lecturing schoolchildren was quite amusing. So was his casual playing Call of Duty at the beginning of the episode
  • The parallel between the two sets of sisters was a nice touch
  • Paul Revere having the materials to put together a gun from his dentistry kit is almost as great as hologram Jefferson from last season.
  • Will Abbie and Joe ever have an actual scene together? I mean, actually standing in the same room together.
  • I like the idea that “The Sisters Mills” is supposed to be a play on “The Brothers Grimm” but in execution, it doesn’t work as well when you say it out loud.
  • “I’m………. adorable.” -One of Tom Mison’s best line deliveries ever
  • The Sleepy Hollow/Bones crossover things is next week, so I might not actually write a review on that. I don’t really care about Bones that much.

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

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