Sleepy Hollow: “Novus Ordo Seclorum”

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Here’s my review of Sleepy Hollow season three episode “Novus Ordo Seclorum.” 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.

Well last week seemed promising, but this week Sleepy Hollow’s crazy train fell off the rails again. A majority of this episode just felt like set up for the next episode and that made things drag instead of the usual break-neck pace we are accustomed to. There was also just a surprising lack of urgency to finding Jenny, and a surprising lack of… well, anything on the part of Pandora and her evil mummy husband. With the exception of the last five minutes, nothing really happened in this episode at all.

If the writers wanted tension and excitement by kidnapping Jenny, they ruined it by making Pandora and The Hidden One (here on referred to as THO for laziness sake) reliant on her. THO needed to use the energy of the Eye so he wasn’t going to kill her or use her as a weapon. And then Pandora wanted to keep her around anyway, so it was a moot point. As such, there really isn’t a race against time feel here, no matter how many weapons they try to gather up. The audience pretty much knows Jenny will be okay because the villains have no reason to hurt her.

While it’s nice for Jenny to get more screentime, this really isn’t the best scenario for it. It doesn’t do anything for her character development and she only gets to lie down and scream for this one. Characters are more interesting when they have choices for their actions. Jenny doesn’t have any choice so she doesn’t get to make any decisions. She just has to wait to be rescued even though she’s probably the most capable of all the characters in the show.

Another thing was that Pandora and THO don’t put any plans into motion once he returns. I realize that THO has to regain his strength since he’s a mummy and all, but you’d think they would already have some sort of plan in place to get things moving. Instead they just chill in Pandora’s evil lair until our team comes to ruin that while they’re rescuing Jenny. Without action though, these people don’t seem like very compelling villains. From previous episodes, we know that Pandora can be menacing, and she showed a tiny bit of it here when she threatened Abbie in the parking lot, but the rest of the time, she and THO did not seem like a threat. It makes me wonder why Crane and Abbie and Joe were stocking up on weapons when their opponents didn’t seem any more terrifying than the usual monster of the week. (Actually, they seemed less terrifying than the tooth fairy monster)

The only real thing of consequence here was Abbie’s sacrifice in the last moments (which actually seemed dumb to me because why didn’t she just throw it inside the tree and be done with it?). Unlike Jenny’s storyline, at least this sacrifice was a good moment of character development for Abbie. Pandora pointed it out herself when she confronted Abbie. She still feels guilty about how she abandoned Jenny in the past so she doesn’t want to fail her sister again. The sad thing though is that once Abbie has fully committed to helping Jenny, it results in her apparent death.

This dramatic moment where Abbie disappears reminded me of the penultimate episode last season when Abbie was transported to the past. This is a rehash of the same dramatic tension as before. If Pandora’s tree is some sort of portal to the underworld, then I assume the rest of the season might focus on rescuing her from there if that’s possible. Just like Crane needed to rescue Katrina from purgatory. I think it’s probably a bad idea to reuse ideas like this over and over again, but there are other elements of the show which might prove to be interesting. We still have Agent Reynolds and Agent Sophie after all to flesh out and expand.

All in all, I was not very impressed with this episode. The writers could do better and on many occasions, they have. But if the writers continue to avoid giving our main characters worthwhile storylines and they also cannot make the antagonists more threatening, I’m not going to continue tuning in each week.

Additional Archive Notes

  • The episode title is “Novus Ordo Seclorum” which no one is ever going to remember.
  • Since this is the “fall finale,” we’ll have to wait a while to find out what actually happened to Abbie. When the show returns, it’ll be airing on Fridays apparently. I’m not sure whether I’ll continue writing reviews for the show.
  • The best part of this episode was that Betsy Ross didn’t appear.
  • I did like that Pandora’s secret plan the whole time was to raise her husband from the dead and not like some evil monster she was a servant too or something cliched like that.
  • I miss the Headless Horseman a lot and I never thought I’d say that.

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


3 thoughts on “Sleepy Hollow: “Novus Ordo Seclorum”

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