Television: Sleepy Hollow, "John Doe"

A little boy in old-fashioned clothing runs through the woods, first following a girl who had been gathering flowers, then trying to escape what looks like a samurai on a horse . . .

And Ichabod moves into Corbin's old cabin.

The boy is found and evidently speaks Middle English. You know, like from the Middle Ages. Luckily, Ichabod learned Middle English while at Oxford. The boy (for those lagging behind here) is the titular John Doe. (Can't he tell the people his name? Even in Middle English?)

Ichabod is learning about plastic. Specifically its property of containing things.

Ah! The boy's name is Thomas. So why title the episode "John Doe?"

Roanoke. The kid is from the lost colony of Roanoke.

Also, Thomas seems to be carrying some kind of plague. At the very least he is sick, with dark veins spreading throughout his body. While Abbie and Ichabod go hiking through the woods, Thomas suffers an attack that brings on the vision of the samurai horseman (for lack of better description).

Other people are getting sick too now. It's an epidemic in the making.

Abbie and Ichabod arrive in an old village (after walking on water, mind). Roanoke. And every villager is infected with whatever Thomas is carrying. Black veins. But they don't act as if it ails them any. They left the original site of Roanoke because the spirit of Pestilence (= guy on the horse) stalked them there. Pestilence killed Virginia Dare, but her spirit led them to this new site, a place where the illness would not harm them.

Pestilence is also known as Conquest, btw.

It seems they'll need to return Thomas to Roanoke to save him. And . . . Will Roanoke be taking in a bunch of new townspeople in the form of others who have become infected?

Uh-oh. Ichabod has black veins!

Oh, God, and now Katrina is back. Sigh. I can do without her or any of the terrible music that accompanies her.

Katrina tells Ichabod she's trapped by Moloch. It's a kind of purgatory.

Oh, and Morales is starting to dig into Ichabod's past, trying to figure out the truth about him.

Abbie hits on the water at the Roanoke site as being purifying; it seems to be the answer to saving everyone who is sick. (Duh, Abbie, water you can walk on . . . Should've been your first clue.)

Anyway, Abbie gets Ichabod and Thomas to the woods. They run from Pestilence and dunk themselves in the village's spring. Pestilence dissolves into a whole lotta nothing. And the village disappears.

Turns out Thomas was already dead; the girl he'd chased had lured him back into the world, but once "sent back" by his baptism, everyone in Sleepy Hollow is miraculously cured.

My singular issue with this show is that the payoff at the end of each episode is always very weak compared to all the build. Each week I walk away unimpressed with the dénouement. I also see how carefully the writers are trying to construct their mythology while maintaining an episodic format . . . It's a little too obvious, not nearly organic enough. I do like the show, but I think there's room for improvement.

Note: no new episodes until November 4.

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