Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episodes 17 and 18 Recap

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This season has been a rough one for Sleepy Hollow. I will admit that at a certain point, my enthusiasm for the show was so low that it broke my heart. That’s because I knew what the show could be, and it wasn’t being its best anymore. I fell in love with this show at a point in my life in which I was very depressed, and it provided me with an outlet and a distraction that was amazing, fun, and filled with outstanding acting and storylines. Season 2 took that amazing show and made it something nearly unrecognizable, and I felt hurt.

HOWEVER, Sleepy Hollow’s fandom gathered around and decided to fight for this show–to fight for what it was and could be again. Eventually, the showrunners listened (when ratings plummeted). They did an abrupt about-face and started to turn the show around. In the two part season finale, “The Awakening” and “Tempus Fugit,” they fully brought back the show that I fell in love with in 2013.

SPOILERS

Episode 17, “The Awakening,” sees Katrina Crane finally go completely evil. This was the character she was meant to be. Being evil, she had a purpose. While I think the episode rushed her turn to evil (and based it on wanting to be with her son…sigh), I am glad it happened.

This episode also brought the end of Henry Parrish/Jeremy Crane/the apocalyptic Horseman of War. When Abbie Mills shot and killed Henry, Frank Irving’s soul was released from his grasp, and he and Jenny Mills shared one of the sweetest hugs I’ve ever seen. (Team BAMF!) Henry’s death also meant that evil Katrina was now also completely batshit insane. She hastily performed the traveler’s spell to go back to 1781 and kill her husband, Ichabod Crane, before he could “ruin her life.” At the last minute, Abbie jumped into the portal that Katrina created and was sent back to the 18th century as well. She was not well-received in that era and was quickly thrown in jail. (While I loved the parallels to season one’s pilot in Abbie’s visit to the 1700s, my fear for her was intense. A black woman going back in time and a white man coming forward in time are NOT the same thing, and the implications of that literally made my stomach hurt.)

Episode 18, “Tempus Fugit,” then picked up where “The Awakening” left off. Ichabod is called off the battlefield to go see Abbie in her holding cell, and this action prevents him from falling at the hands of the Horseman of Death. Ichabod is skeptical of everything Abbie is trying to convince him of–that she’s from the future, that they are partners in a supernatural war, that they’ve taken selfies together…(squee!) This episode is so full of Ichabbie goodness, and it is just absolutely insane (in the best way possible) from start to finish with Ben Franklin’s beheading, Ichabod’s hilarious encounter with Abbie’s iPhone, Abbie meeting her ancestor Grace Dixon (so many feelings!), Katrina killing lots of people and leading Abraham/the Horseman of Death around like a little puppy, Abbie beating the crap out of a Colonial douche bag twice her size, Abbie “hugging it out” with Ichabod before he faces the Horseman, and Abbie and Grace reversing the traveler’s spell to bring Katrina and Abbie back to the exact moment they left in 2015.

When they come back to the present, everything that happened during the spell was conveniently undone so that the future remained unaltered. (Nice, yet lazy, save, writers!) Obviously, Katrina becomes upset that her plan didn’t work, and she tries to kill Abbie. Ichabod won’t stand for this, and he reaches for a knife before Katrina then turns on him. In the following scuffle, Ichabod stabs Katrina. THAT’S RIGHT. KATRINA IS DEAD!!! Not only that, but Ichabod is the one who killed her! I screamed with joy at that moment–it was so glorious. The character who almost destroyed this show is GONE! Needless to say, I am very happy.

The episode ends with the original Team Witness–Ichabod, Abbie, Jenny, and Frank–reunited and ready to fight another day. The show really turned it around and made Sleepy Hollow something I love again. This episode focused on the bond between the Witnesses and what that bond can do–it can overcome any obstacle, in any era, at any location, posed by anyone or anything.

Now we must wait to see if there will be a third season of Sleepy Hollow. After this finale, I certainly hope there is. I must see Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie acting together on my television screen again! In the meantime, I will ride out the high of the end of season two.

LONG LIVE ICHABBIE! 

sh ready captain sh ready lieutenant

 

[GIFs from the wonderful world of tumblr]

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Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episodes 15 and 16 Recap

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Episodes 15 and 16 of this season of Sleepy Hollow, “Spellcaster” and “What Lies Beneath” respectively, are the first episodes that underwent serious changes after (negative) fan reaction earlier in the season. They are a full-on course correction so to speak, and that makes them both a little bit wobbly in some places. The stories mostly make sense, but only if you don’t think about them too hard. (Of course, Sleepy Hollow is a science fiction show, so I am all for suspending my belief for its story line, but some things just don’t make sense in any reality.)

“Spellcaster” went into the origins of the Salem Witch Trials (which began because a warlock was friend-zoned apparently), and it laid the groundwork for Katrina becoming evil. (Yay!) It was an okay episode despite the major focus on Katrina once again (only because it made her look worse than ever before, if you can imagine that possibility). “What Lies Beneath” featured great Ichabbie moments and focused almost entirely on their relationship with a great side story for Frank (who, sadly, is at least partly evil now) and Jenny. The episode felt a little strange and rushed though, almost just like a filler episode in order to make it to the finale.

The finale will be broken into two episodes over the next two weeks, and the showrunners have promised a return to what works (Ichabod and Abbie front and center, of course) in addition to a character death (or maybe a few character deaths). Hopefully one of those deaths is the now evil (and always terrible) Katrina. *FINGERS CROSSED* The last two episodes promise to be really great ones, so let’s hope that the ratings can bounce back and that this show can get renewed!

ichabbie have faith

Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 14 Recap

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Last night’s episode of Sleepy Hollow, “Kali Yuga,” was a much-needed breath of fresh air for this series. While the premise of the episode focused on Nick Hawley, a good looking but somewhat (well, very) useless character, the core of the show was all about Ichabod, Abbie, and making repairs to their relationship. It didn’t hurt that these repairs featured singing karaoke, either!

“Kali Yuga” was an episode that really let all of the characters shine: we got to see Jenny Mills being a total badass once again; we saw Ichabod glowing with pride over Abbie’s singing, and we finally were able to see him be WRONG about a hunch (about time!); we saw Abbie let down her guard for her partner while still getting the job done; we saw Hawley go away finally; we saw Irving struggle with his new, undead yet “exonerated” life status; we saw minimal, yet very, very shady Katrina (which is how she is best utilized until she can be done away with permanently).

This episode definitely takes season 2 into a new and much better direction. Hopefully the episodes will continue to improve from this point so that we will get a season 3.

ichabbie duet

THIS is why I watch Sleepy Hollow.

 

Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 13 Recap

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The most recent episode of Sleepy Hollow, “Pittura Infamante,” was a perfect example of what I do not want to see in a TV show. The leading actress (Nicole Beharie) was given a B-plot, the A-plot was a dragging, boring mess, and the show’s worst character (Katrina) was meant to look like a hero but once again came out as a dimwit in the end. (Honestly, what the show’s writers have done to her character is a complete travesty. The only thing that could partially redeem the situation is if she becomes evil, which I hope for EVERY. DAY.)

What I did like about this episode were the interactions between Abbie, Jenny, Frank Irving, and Cynthia Irving. This B-plot should have been the A-plot of the episode–it was much more interesting and much better acted than the mess that was Ichabod and Katrina on a “date” that turned into a murder mystery. Of course, at the end of the episode, Ichabod and Katrina are completely defenseless against their foe, and Abbie comes in at the last minute and saves the day. This show would be nothing and go nowhere without Abbie Mills.

This show is in trouble. FOX hasn’t decided if it’s going to renew Sleepy Hollow for a third season, and the ratings continue to plummet. If this show has a chance, the writers and producers have to get back to what works–the relationship between Ichabod and Abbie. Hopefully by the end of this season, we can begin to see a new direction in the show, but based on last night’s episode, I just don’t know what will happen.

Abbie done with it

Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 12 Recap

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We’re back from the winter hiatus on Sleepy Hollow, which means we’re also back in the middle of some Crane family drama and Katrina bs (oh, joy). Tonight’s episode, “Paradise Lost,” wasn’t as bad as the worst of the season (i.e., Deliverance), but it also wasn’t great for many reasons.

Reason one is the fact that Ichabod absolutely cannot side with his partner and fellow Witness whenever his shady wife is around. (Freeing the Headless Horseman?! Seriously…WTF?!) However, Abbie did go off on Ichabod and Katrina again this episode, and that is always worth watching. Reason two as to why this episode wasn’t great was the return of a jealous Nick Hawley. Sorry, but no one gets to lay claim to Jenny Mills–she is a goddess and belongs to no one, especially someone like him. Reason three as to why this episode really wasn’t great was the fact that Abbie came to the defense of Katrina and even apologized for doubting her at the end. Abbie had every right to doubt the witch, even if the angel Orion wasn’t 100% on the side of good. Mark my words: Katrina will end up being evil. She absolutely has to turn out that way. Nothing else would explain her shifty behavior.

In all, this episode didn’t make me want to pull out my hair, punch the TV, or just cry from how sad and boring it was, so it’s an improvement over some of season 2. It’s still not on the level of season 1 of Sleepy Hollow, but I am willing to wait it out and continue watching in the meantime.

ichabbie 2.12

If there’s ever any doubt as to why I keep watching, it’s this. #ichabbie

 

Historic Everyday Eats – Duchess Loaves

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Today is a special day, my friends. It is Downton Day! That’s right, Downton Abbey, season 5 comes to U.S. television screens this very evening! I love, love, love this show (the romances, the drama, the scandal, the costumes), and since it is set in England in the early 1900s, I decided to make my first “Historic Everyday Eats” post of the new year come from an English cookbook written in 1908. That book is Sweets and Supper Dishes A La Mode by Harriet Ann De Salis.

Sweet and Savory Cookbook 1908

Any cookbook that starts off with a quote by Shakespeare is fine by me!

After perusing the pages of this book, I came across a recipe that I thought would be absolutely perfect for Downton Day — Duchess Loaves (or should I call them Dowager Countess Loaves?). These are sweet biscuit-like “loaves” filled with jelly, aka a perfect little finger food for throwing a multimillion-dollar party or for sitting on your couch watching other people do that.

The recipe for “Duchess Loaves” reads:

Duchess Loaves

“Put half a pint of milk into a stewpan with five ounces of flour, four ounces of butter, two ounces of sugar, two ounces of chopped almonds, and a little lemon juice. Place the pan upon the fire and stir it until it boils for about three minutes. Mix in three eggs one at a time. Divide the mixture into small round balls the size of a pigeon’s egg; place them on a baking sheet spread with butter, and bake to a light brown colour. When cold make an incision down the sides and fill the loaves with strawberry jam, sprinkle with desiccated cocoa-nut, dish up, and send to table.”

(Side note: “Desiccated” coconut is coconut meat that has been shredded then dried to remove as much moisture as possible. So it is okay to get coconut that just says “dried” on the package, but don’t get frozen coconut.)

Let’s see how my “loaves” turned out!

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The ingredients and measurements: 1 cup whole milk, 2/3 cup flour, 1 stick butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup chopped almonds, juice from 1/2 a lemon, 3 eggs, strawberry jam, and dried coconut.

 

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I first chopped the almonds into very small pieces. I bought slivered almonds at the store for the sole purpose that they were cheaper than the whole almonds, but as long as they are chopped when they go into the mixture, you can start with whatever you like!

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I then mixed together the milk, butter, flour, sugar, almonds, and lemon in a pan on medium-high heat. This became a dough almost immediately, so I do not understand the instruction for stirring until it boils, but I did stir it for about three minutes on the stove top.

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I then removed the mixture from the heat and mixed in the three eggs one at a time. I made sure to not let the eggs touch the bottom of the pan so they would not cook (aka scramble) immediately on the hot surface.

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The end result was a sticky but solid dough with a very wet texture.

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Since I don’t know what exactly the author meant by balls the size of a “pigeon’s egg,” I used my tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop out somewhat-uniform dough balls. (It’s never completely uniform when I’m involved, however!)

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I then evened out the dough balls by hand and placed them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil coated in butter.

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I ended up needing two sheet pans for the loaves, but this is still a more acceptable amount of dough than some of the other historic recipes I’ve made. 😉 Since there were absolutely no temperature or time specifications for baking these in the recipe, I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Check them often while baking if you decide to make these, but I believe anywhere from 20-25 minutes will get these done!

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After baking, I let the loaves cool on a wire rack for about an hour.

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After the loaves thoroughly cooled, I cut them in half, spread them with strawberry jelly, topped the jelly with dried coconut, and topped them with the other half of the loaves.

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To finish them, I sprinkled more dried coconut on the tops of the loaves. The end result is a little snack that is sweet, but not overly so. The loaves are dense and intensely nutty in flavor. Certainly this is a dessert that the entire Crawley family would have enjoyed!

This recipe for Duchess Loaves turned out better than I could have imagined, and I can only hope that they have lived up to the standards of Mrs. Patmore.

Mrs. Patmore

I am looking forward to eating the rest of my Duchess Loaves during the season 5 premiere of Downton Abbey tonight, and I hope you all will join me on the crazy ride that this season will surely prove to be!

 

Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episodes 10 and 11 Recap

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SPOILERS AHEAD

This two-part mid-season finale of Sleepy Hollow did little to restore my faith in the show. Both episodes were lackluster in their storytelling, and the episode 11 only served to show the fans that Abbie means next to nothing to the showrunners. Her thoughts and actions were invalidated by Ichabod and his no-good wife on an incomprehensible level. This is unforgivable.

Also, THEY KILLED FRANK IRVING. After sidelining him for almost the entire season, the writers had him die of a side wound before he could see his family again! I know that he’ll probably come back in the second half of the season in some sort of undead fashion, but this was a very low blow. He deserved so much better.

AND after all of the evidence showing how terrible Henry, the Horseman of War, truly is, he turns around and kills his master (Moloch) at the last minute, effectively proving that the Cranes were right to think their son could be redeemed. What is so wrong about just having someone be evil? That would have been a much better way to go for Henry.

On top of everything else, these episodes just didn’t have the spark that I love about Sleepy Hollow. They were slow, boring, and did practically nothing to move the plot forward. We’re essentially still at square one, which is a bad place to be at half way through the second season of a show.

This is just incredibly sad because this show means so much to me. It was my rock during a hard time, and I clung to it for escape. I can still escape while watching it, but not in a purely enjoyable way as when I first started watching it. I will continue to watch the rest of season 2, but I can’t call this my favorite show anymore. So until January (when the show returns), here’s to clinging to hope that things may eventually get better…

Midseason Finale

Abbie says, “Let me escape this mess.”