Sleepy Hollow: “The Lesser Key of Solomon” (2013).

One of the perils of writing these weekly blog entry squibs is that one ends up paying more critical attention to narrative logic — not necessarily a virtue compatible with something as loony as Sleepy Hollow. I have no doubt that subjecting some of my other favorite shows, like Grimm, to closer scrutiny would make it fall apart as Sleepy Hollow has — but still, it’s a total hoot, isn’t it? Even if I can’t figure out what’s going on anymore.

“The Lesser Key of Solomon” — something familiar from my days when I thought I was interested in magic with a K — finally gives us viewers more of the historical conspiracy promised in the pilot. The Boston Tea Party, it turns out, was more of a ruse to find the Lesser Key of Solomon, a grimoire filled with handy instructions for summoning 72 (!) demons. Flash forward to 2013, where a sleeper cell of Hessians is summoned to find the book and, in turn, to summon the demons and bring about hell on earth. (They could have simply gone on Amazon and purchased it for the Kindle, but oh well.)

Rather disappointingly, the book is thrown into the infernal goop bubbling out from the baptismal font. Another demonic portal closed forever, another week in Sleepy Hollow. And there I was hoping the 72 demons would make their cameos in the following episodes, but I guess this was a narrative dead end.

What is nicely opened up, however, is the relationship between the Mills sisters. Crane takes a bit of a back seat in this episode, as we find out more about Jenny Mills, her ass-kicking past as a freedom-fighting Lara Croft-type, and her filial relationship with Corbin, the latter a surprise to Abbie Mills. Why all this esoteric knowledge about the Knights Templar et cetera was revealed to Jenny but not to Abbie isn’t quite clear. The effect though is that the writers run the risk of having Abbie be overshadowed by her sister, since they’re making Jenny seem awfully cooler — something not lost on Crane.

Logic aside — and really, I should have thrown it aside a long time ago, “The Lesser Key of Solomon” was a welcome change of direction in the series. And the pasty naked demon now has a name, Moloch (though I don’t think that Blake painting of the Great Red Dragon was one he did for Paradise Lost). So here’s looking forward to the next episodes, now that we’ve got more fuel in the mythology engine.


Random observations:

  • That conversation with NorthStar customer service? Hilarious. Next: Tom Mison narrates the audiobook version of some bodice-ripper.
  • Nicole Beharie can roll her eyes like nobody’s business, as Jenny’s foster mother is put in her place.
  • “Imagine the delinquencies we can perpetrate, if we really put our minds to it.” Funny, but please don’t encourage the shippers.


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