I’ll just go ahead and say it: Shannyn Sossamon is going to save Sleepy Hollow,
even though she’s clearly hell-bent on destruction. Episode 1 of Sleepy Hollow, I, Witness, marked the return of some of our beloved characters, but we still felt the absence of others throughout the episode. When the episode begins, we find out that nine months have passed and that Abbie has become a full-fledged FBI agent, Jennie was a paralegal, and Ichabod was traveling aimlessly, recovering from the losses of his deranged wife and son. We also got a robust introduction to Pandora, which started with the first scene where she sucked the Horseman into her little box of tricks. Of course, I think this first episode has confirmed my suspicion that Pandora could definitely be the season’s Big Bad.
I had some issues with this episode; mostly because I felt is sacrificed quality and subtlety for exposition. We had to accept that Ichabod would leave and not contact Abbie for an extended period of time (and somehow he got his hands on a passport), and that Abbie would not find him—a fact even harder to accept once she was able to use the resources available to her as an FBI Agent. Surely, it couldn’t have been that difficult to find a man out of time, who wears colonial era clothing and has no current day identification. But alas, we suspend our disbelief and deal with the fact that these two have become temporarily estranged. The effect of the estrangement was visible through Ichabbie’s interactions too. They could not seem to generate the kind of chemistry they had during the first two seasons, and I wasn’t sure if that was intentional or a product of the seemingly strained and awkward dialogue.
Despite my feelings about the dialogue, and well, the weird ill-conceived speech Abbie delivers in front of a bunch of hostages and a wussy drug-lord, I felt that Pandora’s scenes were strong and the mystery surrounding her as we approached the premiere was further played up in episode 1. I still have no idea what she is, why she is there, and what her intentions are. Even though she comes off entirely evil, I am not sure the answer is that she is simply evil for evil’s sake. We see her suck the Horseman into her box, we see her slinking around in her cape in darkness acting all creepy, and yeah, she summoned what I assume was the Yaoguai demon. But, we need to know more.
Shannyn Sossamon was an excellent choice for this type of role, from what we have seen so far. She is subtle, but charismatic, as we see in her scene with Abbie at the bar. She came off innocent even though we know she wasn’t being truthful with Abbie. She is a move away from the type of villain in Sleepy Hollow that is driven by pain and grief, like we saw in Abraham, Jeremy, and eventually Katrina. That emotional instability that made them vulnerable to manipulation doesn’t seem to be the case for Pandora. She seems more powerful, calmer, and more calculated than the others. Even Moloch was kind of a spazz if you think about it. I already feel like the choice of Shannyn Sossamon for a role like Pandora is going to be one of the reasons I keep watching this show, especially if it takes a while for Ichabbie to get back on track. Oh and Sleepy writers should feel free to make Jennie Mills a bad-ass again because THAT is always awesome.
Check out Sleepy Hollow on Thursdays at 9/8C on Fox.
Also, if you want to hear more about our take on Sleepy Hollow, Season 3: Episode 1, check out Episode 6 of the Double Win Twins Podcast!