Fall TV 2014RecapReviewTV

‘Sleepy Hollow’ Review/Recap: “Mama”

Maria Millage ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Matt Barr in the Sleepy Hollow episode "Mama." Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX.
Matt Barr in the Sleepy Hollow episode “Mama.” Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX.

This week on Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod (Tom Mison) dealt with the flu; Abbie (Nicole Beharie), Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood), and Hawley (Matt Barr) battled with the ghost of an Angel of Mercy; Katrina (Katia Winter) held a baby, and Captain Irving (Orlando Jones) escaped from the psych ward.

Abbie was called in to investigate three suicides at Tarrytown Psychiatric, the same hospital where Jenny was institutionalized in season one and where Irving has been for the entirety of season two as well as where Abbie and Jenny’s mother committed suicide when they were still teenagers.  Oh, and speaking of Abbie’s mother, she popped up in this episode as well.  Or at least her ghost did.

It turned out that the ghost of a nurse from the early twentieth century (who had been a so-called “Angel of Mercy” or a doctor/nurse who killed their patients because they viewed it as putting them out of their misery) was wreaking havoc again with Tarrytown’s patients and Mama Mills had come back to stop her.

Nicole Beharie in the Sleepy Hollow episode "Mama." Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX.
Nicole Beharie in the Sleepy Hollow episode “Mama.” Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX.

While Ichabod sat at home knocked out with a handy dose of sleeping pills (administered because he wouldn’t go take a nap), the Mills sisters and Hawley banished the malignant ghost using Abbie and Jenny’s mom’s notebook, handed down from her ancestors, that contained an ancient West African spell that could banish vengeful spirits.  And just in time, too, because the ghost was trying to kill Abbie. At the same time, as was revealed at the end of the episode, Irving used the disturbance caused by this to escape Tarrytown (finally, as most fans were probably saying) and is now once again a member of Team Anti-Apocalypse.

Meanwhile, Katrina finally figured out that the baby that Henry (John Noble) showed her last episode is in fact the demon Moloch, summoned to carry out the Apocalypse.  She created some kind of potion, likely meant to banish or kill Moloch, only to find that the cute baby she had been looking at only hours before had grown into a boy of probably about eight or nine.  A few too many upsetting Twilight: Breaking Dawn flashbacks were inspired during that particular scene for this writer’s liking but then again who doesn’t want a freakishly fast-growing demon baby on their television show?

This episode was a tad outside the norm for Sleepy Hollow because it was a slow with the plot at times.  However, it more than made up for the lapses in story with some extremely well-written dialogues that really got down to business in exposing the characters’ inner psyches.  As is to be expected, fans got Ichabod’s weekly confusion with modern conventions (his struggle with child safety lids on pill bottles was particularly entertaining) as well as an incredibly awkward Ichabod/Hawley interaction.  It certainly is going to be interesting to see how that relationship develops as Hawley becomes more and more integrated into the team.

Aunjanue Ellis in the Sleepy Hollow episode "Mama." Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX.
Aunjanue Ellis in the Sleepy Hollow episode “Mama.” Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/FOX.

The real emotional meat of this episode, however, came from Abbie and Jenny and their conflicting memories of their mother.  It has been revealed in previous episodes that their mother was mentally troubled, feelings that come directly from being tormented by Moloch, years before he would shift his attention to Abbie.

Abbie and Jenny had very differing views about their mother, with Abbie being a bit more forgiving and Jenny finding it very difficult to cope with the truth about her condition.  The two struggled through coping with their mother’s return together and that is something that was both excellently written and acted in this episode. The two women very clearly did all the emotional lifting themselves, with Ichabod at home sick and Hawley taking a backseat role, stepping forward when he was necessary but otherwise sticking to the back and letting the two sisters muddle their way through.

In conclusion, the character development in this episode was flawlessly done, giving readers a look into the emotional states of Abbie and Jenny, two characters that haven’t really been explored much yet this season as so much of the focus thus far has been given to Ichabod and Katrina.  Jenny has also been absent lately and it was good to see her included in the swing of things again.  Now that Irving has escaped Tarrytown, the ranks of Team Anti-Apocalypse are positively full to the breaking point and everyone is more than ready to take down Henry and anything else he manages to throw in their path.

Overall Episode Grade: A

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