Sleepy Hollow: Review of the episode “Sanctuary”- A damned haunted house indeed

sleepy hollowWARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE EPISODE WILL FOLLOW.

Following last week’s episode “Necromancer”, this week’s episode felt a little bit like filler, where the overall plot really wasn’t moved forward. That’s not to say “Sanctuary” was a bad episode. It was decent for what it was, and it did add a little bit of information on Crane and Katrina’s backstory. But it was also a bit odd, as it ‘s framed as your obligatory holiday themed episode (in this case Thanksgiving). In the end, while this episode itself didn’t move things forward, it did provide a basis for the next upcoming episode. It sounds a bit confusing, and yet the show’s stars once again make things work with a haunted house story that occasionally got sidetracked by typical domestic issues.

Things started off a little interesting as Lena Gilbert arrives at a colonial-style manor she’s inherited, along with bodyguard Sam. Crows watch the arrival, giving things an ominous feel. As they go through the house, Lena is abducted by some vines and roots a la Evil Dead, and becomes the mystery of the week for Abbie and Crane to solve. No sooner than the two arrive at the house, which Crane recognizes from hSHis past as the home of Lachlan Fredericks, a man who provided sanctuary for runaway slaves, the house locks them in. This doesn’t make Abbie too thrilled (“We are in a damned haunted house.”), and she tells Crane that “haunted houses do not work for me.” In a flashback, we see Katrina and Ichabod meeting Lachlan and the manor’s matron, Grace Dixon, and Ichabod explains the house’s history. As the two move about, trying to find a way out, they make a couple of discoveries.

The first of these is the corpse of the bodyguard Sam, along with fresh blood on the floor. The second is Katrina’s copy of the novel Gulliver’s Travels with a letter from Crane inserted into the pages. They learn that Katrina had sought sanctuary at the house, and that Lachlan was a warlock, who offered refuge from supernatural forces as well as human threats. They eventually find Lena, trapped in place by roots in a closet. They free her, and the house comes under attack by a demon that resembles a far less benevolent Swamp Thing. Or a nastier version of Groot. Abbie becomes separated from Crane and Lena as they all dive into secret passages to escape the demonic creature. This leads to the episode’s biggest revelation, care of the ghost of Grace Dixon. Abbie is shown a vision of Katrina giving birth to Crane’s son. Shortly after Katrina has the baby, the house is attacked and the plant demon kills Lachlan. Back in the present, Abbie is reunited with Crane and Lena, and Grace’s ghost shows them how to escape the house. Abbie tells Crane what she has seen, and Crane goes back in and kills the demon.

While all of the haunted house bits are going on, we get a little bit of holiday drama as Jenny brings Frank’s gun back to him and Frank’s ex-wife Cynthia and daughter Macy show up at the precinct. For the most part, though it’s decently acted, it feels like an unnecessary distraction from Abbie and Crane’s adventures at the haunted manor. Thankfully, the producers of the show kept this segment brief, focusing more on the creepy goings on at the Fredericks manor and the revelation that Crane has a son. The show leaves us with the question of what happened to Katrina and the baby, though there’s a none too subtle hint that Moloch is behind their disappearance. It all ends with Abbie and Ichabod sharing a drink and toasting to the finding of family. Sadly, we must wait two weeks to see how this revelation will affect the overall plot line.SH2a

“Sanctuary” had its moments. The haunted house segments were suitably creepy, and the creature was nicely menacing. The episode was a bit derailed by the holiday melodrama between Frank and his ex-wife, but it’s a testament to the show’s overall strength that it was still enjoyable to watch. It was a slower pace from the last two episodes, but it laid some interesting groundwork for the series going forward.

 

 

 

 

7.5/10

Thomas Juretus

Born in 1963. Enjoy videogames, movies, comics- anything that tells a story. Have written three novels (The Zarchler Chronicles Book One: The Cassandra Crisis, Shalgroth The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Two, Madman's War The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Three) all published and available through PublishAmerica. Currently working on my fourth book, a sci-fi/murder mystery.

Thomas Juretus

Born in 1963. Enjoy videogames, movies, comics- anything that tells a story. Have written three novels (The Zarchler Chronicles Book One: The Cassandra Crisis, Shalgroth The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Two, Madman's War The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Three) all published and available through PublishAmerica. Currently working on my fourth book, a sci-fi/murder mystery.

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