1 Oct 2013

'Sleepy Hollow' Episode 1.03 "For the Triumph of Evil" Review

Sleepy Hollow continued this week on Fox in the US (hitting Universal soon in the UK), so I sat myself down and flicked on the latest and third episode from the intriguing show that takes the shape of the Sleepy Hollow tale: you know, the film with Johnny Depp in it. Well anyways, this week was about the dream maker that is the Sandman, a once childs tale of a spirit that makes them go to sleep, now a freaky bleach shape with gaping black eyes and a lust for sandy eyeballs; there's my childhood out the window.

Stronger than Blood Moon, less focused than the Pilot, For the Triumph of Evil is a successfully haunting episode that strikes out some fresh ideas despite making a habit of its Scooby-Doo formula. If you're like me, then you would have been wondering why there is a distinct lack on headless horsemen so far, and the point of Sleepy Hollow revolving around them, but since Blood Moon they have been nowhere to be found, and instead we are introduced to a bunch of nightmare characters that look as if they fell right out of American Horror Story or The Cabin in the Woods. Don't get me wrong, the Sandman is frightening, but he is a hurdle that only dilutes the focus of the programme, and the burning woman from the previous episode doesn't help either. Whether or not Sleepy Hollow will be able to overcome this formulaic display is completely up to them, I'm not complaining, but a little more head-chopping would be great.

We start to get a better incite into the main characters which is refreshing, so its balance of horror and depth combines to make an engaging episode that knows how to make an audience lust for more. We get to see the story behind Abigail's sister, and the emotion to this thin character is alarmingly good, and with that ending, it only makes us want to know more. Who is she really? What is she capable of? Will she reunite with her sister? Is she dangerous? These are all the sort of unanswered questions Episode 3 leaves lying around, and finding them is a delightful television experience.

A lot scarier than the previous episodes, Ep. 3 will have you dreading the tale, and finding more reasons to find "Mr. Sandman, yeeesssss, bring me a treat; bum bum bum bum" an eerie little tune. The Sandman theme works, it's scary, haunting and very unsettling, but it's just too unfocused that it subtracts from what Sleepy Hollow really is; by one point you will just realize how unnecessary it all is, but none-the-less, it's still a fun ride. Let's just hope that next week with be more straight-forward whilst managing to maintain the atmospheric elements already established with the previous two episodes.

VERDICT: Episode 3 "For the Triumph of Evil" works well with the overall style to deliver a genuinely haunting and scary episode that bravely steps foot into fresh material. Though falling a little more off topic and fearing were Sleepy Hollow may take us, it is still a stable show that will without a doubt strengthen with progression.

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