I just finished watching the Sleepy Hollw season finale and I just have to say, HOW AWESOME WAS THAT! Kudos to the producers for at least broaching the topic of race in the context of Abbie being transported back to the 1700s. I also love the fact that Crane wasn’t all that sympathetic to Abbie either; he eventually had to warm up to her only because she had compelling information for him. If you recall in the series premiere, Crane was akin to an abolitionist, if not one himself. I thought that characterization was born of politically correct convenience. Here, when Crane is informed that he’s been requested by a black female who has been captured and shall be sent to a camp for runaway slaves, he’s very dismissive. He really doesn’t care. Granted, he’s in the middle of fighting a war, but his demeanor is far more close to what I imagine would be the norm, given the time period.
I must say I’m just glad that the show went out on such a high note and that people are talking about it again, at least on Twitter. I thought I was the only one still watching. I constantly read reviews claiming the show had lost its way, the Katrina/horseman storyline in Purgatory was a drag, seeing the headless horseman with a head became tiresome…all the reviews were correct, the show had become muddled in only its second season. The plots became increasingly ludicrous; it seemed the writers were making it up as they went along, throwing anything into the pot to move the stories along. Any mystery that would crop up, Crane would just look in some book and find the answer instantly. If the writers created a foe too difficult for the heroes to defeat, just create some ancient weapon for them to use against said foe. If the writers felt they had exhausted the demon quota, then hey, go the opposite route and create an angel who wants to perform evil deeds. Seriously, how cynical have we become when angels are portrayed as dark? I blame Christopher Nolan.
A great example of how silly the show had become took place in one of the final episodes of this season. Crane and Abbie are fighting some evil being in the middle of a forest (it was either the warlock priest or Hawley’s Indian demon woman) and Crane delivers a line of dialogue that took me back to the infamous line from Halle Berry’s Storm in the first X-Men, you remember, “What happens to a toad struck by lightning?” Crane says, “Here, we make our OWN lightning!” And with that, Abbie throws the switch on a generator that appears out of nowhere and electrocutes the villain. Oy.
Having said all that, despite the silliness, the show was still fun. The episodes all played like a Raimi film. I don’t mean Spider-Man 3 Raimi, I mean Army Of Darkness/Darkman/Drag Me To Hell Raimi. But this episode gave me the fun, while also discarding all the silly elements. This episode was tightly plotted, the score was on point, everything flowed organically from scene to scene; for the most part, there were no deus ex machina moments…well, except for Abbie’s ancestor who happened to be a witch or a sorceror or whatever. But hey, everything up to that point was so pitch perfect, I went with it. By the way, Abbie at first seems really concerned about polluting the timeline, but then seems to have no problem running her mouth about the future. Hey, I guess when you’re a black person stuck in the 1700s being asked to show your papers, the rules goes out the window.
The ending reminded me of X-Men: The Last Stand. In both cases, you have a red-headed witch floating people around and killing them and a long-haired guy stabs the witch with a knife of some sort, then weeps over her death. The major difference between the two is that I really didn’t give a damn about the Phoenix death scene in X:TLS. Here, I was completely invested. I didn’t understand why Katrina was so pissed at Crane when Henry died, but if that plot point was the only means for the writers to kill her off, I’m not mad about it. I thought her character was a diversion or an interference to the developing camaraderie between Abbie and Crane. And while I usually eschew characters hooking up too quickly on a series (with the exception of Ross and Rachel, that was enough already), I sincerely hope to see a pairing of Abbie and Crane. They’re so cute together! Well, Nicole Beharie is cute just sitting on a bench, but I digress. Abbie hugging Crane before he goes out to fight the horseman was just perfect. She downplayed it by saying she was just “hugging it out,” but I hope there was more behind that embrace that will be revealed next season. I nearly pulled the plug with the introduction of Hawley, yet another distraction from the chemistry between Abbie and Crane. All of a sudden, I felt like I was watching Shaggy from Scooby Doo. And there were implications that Hawley and Abbie might hook up, in which case I would’ve definitely pulled the plug; then there were hints that Abbie’s sister was hot for Hawley. I always saw his inclusion as the writers fearing their show was becoming too “black,” what with Abbie, her sister, and Frank Irving being three of the lead protagonists on the show.
Which leads me to the final scene. Correct me if I’m wrong but going into next season, four of our main characters are black, with Crane being the only white character. No Katrina, no Hawley (seemingly–any bets that he may appear in a spinoff?). I find that intriguing; I wonder if 12 million viewers watching Empire played a part in making three quarters of the main cast black. Not only that, but the way the last scene was shot, they came off like the Avengers or something; I mean, for whatever reason, Frank was strapped with a katana! If that’s the case, thanks to Cookie and Tony Stark (or thanks to Ultron). I can only hope that the bar which was set by this episode is maintained in the series’ third season.