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Sleepy Hollow Review/Recap: "John Doe"

Alysha Boynton ‘17/Emertainment Monthly Staff

This week’s episode of Sleepy Hollow opens on what appears to be yet another eerie dream sequence set in the woods, and the scene seems to be of our heroes, Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) as children, being chased by an unfamiliar horseman. When the “dream” shatters and we’re brought back to the real world, Abbie and Ichabod are settling into the dearly departed Sheriff Corbin’s (Clancy Brown) old cabin by the lake, exchanging their usual fond banter and jokes about Ichabod’s lack of modern-day knowledge.

When Abbie receives a routine call from Captain Irving (Orlando Jones), she and Ichabod go straight to the crime scene. They arrive only to find the boy from the opening sequence, showing us in just one of the many twists of the episode that it was not a dream sequence at all, but very real. The boy, dressed in Colonial style clothing, is laid out on a stretcher, muttering in what Ichabod identifies as being Middle English, and clearly suffering from a strange disease that has him covered in black veins.

Orlando Jones, Nicole Beharie, and Tom Mison in the Sleepy Hollow episode "John Doe." Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX.
Orlando Jones, Nicole Beharie, and Tom Mison in the Sleepy Hollow episode “John Doe.” Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX.

When Abbie and Ichabod arrive back at the station, their investigation into the missing children logs proves fruitless, and they must classify him as a John Doe. Ichabod is forced by the captain to question the boy though a webcam, because his sickness has been deemed extremely dangerous, and the Center for Disease Control has been brought in to control the spread of it. While the spread of the disease escalates all around them, Ichabod is able to extract crucial information from the boy. His name is Thomas, and he comes from a place called Roanoke, which Ichabod knows to be the first British colony of the new world, which was mysteriously lost hundreds of years ago.

It becomes clear that Thomas’ ( Matthew Lintz ) disease, later classified as a plague, needs a cure, and Abbie and Ichabod are the only ones who can find out what it is. They venture out into the woods, only to discover that the entire colony, in some sort of time lock, has been relocated to Sleepy Hollow, and is still very much stuck as a 17th century colony.

Tom Mison and Katia Winter in the Sleepy Hollow episode "John Doe." Photo Credit: Brownine Harris/FOX.
Tom Mison and Katia Winter in the Sleepy Hollow episode “John Doe.” Photo Credit: Brownine Harris/FOX.

The entire episode has an air of ephemerality to it, and almost nothing is as it appears to be at first glance. The impossible lost colony, the mysterious disease, the horseman from the opening sequence who we later learn to be Pestilence; everything is deceptive, and that’s what makes it such fun to watch.

The episode is fast paced, but not overly so. There’s just enough suspense to keep the viewer engaged, but it never feels rushed. This newbie supernatural drama continues to get everything right, from refreshingly new and interesting creatures and plotlines to the racially diverse cast, Sleepy Hollow seems as if it can do no wrong.

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