Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Legend Sleepy Hollow S1E01 Pilot

We open with history, which gives us a good sense of how much that history will impact the present-day events. We also open on a battlefield, which sets the story of what-will-be pretty damn emphatically. And we open with Ichabod Crane, the revolutionary soldier, no more a schoolteacher who's scared of his own shadow than anyone else on that field. Sure, he flinches at gunshots. That's what you do when people are shooting at you. So right away we've established some points of congruity but also some significant points of discrepancy between this and the story we (all? what do they teach them in schools these days, anyway) grew up with. I can't venture a guess offhand as to why Crane is checking pulses on the redcoats aside from ensuring that they're really dead and can't be used as POWs; there's nothing to imply he's a medic in any case. More common battlefield practice would be an extra stab or slice to ensure they're dead and not going to attack you, but I suppose that would conflict with our image of Ichabod as Our Hero. Oh, and here comes the Horseman. Who is not at the moment headless, but he is indeed faceless, wearing something that looks like a reject from Man in the Iron Mask. (K: Or any Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie.) Oh goodie. That's always a positive sign, doncha know. Combat! Combat combat and there's something even now about the Horseman's attitude and body language pointed toward Crane that suggests familiarity or at least recognition, meaning that yes, Ichy, you're the target. Judging by the shout from one of his compatriots, safe money is that they expected this on some level, even if it's just Murphy's Law level. (Why nobody has introduced Crane to Murphy's Law onscreen, I do not know. I think he'd get a kick out of it.) So we have the Horseman taking one shot somewhere in the torso, Crane taking an axe to the chest and that is not something you recover from on an 18th century battlefield, generally speaking, and oh, there goes the head.

All of which happens in a bit more than a minute, and gives us a series of impressions of Crane as warrior, probably patriot, embroiled in the Revolutionary War albeit late in that war, so who knows how far back he started with it. And then we have the Horseman, and you'll note that despite usual filming techniques they actually shot Crane in the sinister position in this opening? Yeah. Not everything is quite as simple or straightforward as we might like to believe. With that setup done, let's move to the present, after a fashion! I say after a fashion because Crane damn sure doesn't know what year it is right now. Just a sense of passage of time, last words between him and the as-yet-unnamed Katrina, and oh hey, that's a lot of jars. Full of unnameable liquids and... snakes and frogs? So, witches, then. And a grave that's no longer full of an Ichabod! Nice little visual analogy they've got going here, he is sort of buried in a hollow, light shining down from above and stairs leading up out of it. Okay, it's a cave, but still. A cave is like a big hollow. All Rip Van Winkle jokes may be directed to the nearest skeptical police captain. King Arthur jokes are the police captain in Portland/on the other coast. Also that's a damn clumsy mechanism to control the door at the top of the stairs and they're either very lucky or very careful to maintain the mechanism as well as the air of "nobody's been here in fuckall forever fuckoff." (If someone's maintaining it, can I place my bets on the poor priest who dies this ep? Because really.) Tom Mison is fucking amazing at playing things that would be pratfalls under any other circumstance as serious and kind of heartrending. You wouldn't be too coordinated after taking an axe to the chest and then hauling ass out of a grave either. We've also got some camerawork to indicate how foggy Crane's mind is still, that out of focus but for the center of the lens trick whose name I cannot for the life of me remember. (I think it's an extreme version of selective focus?) Pay attention to this, because it means a couple things on this show: a) your mind isn't all there and b) supernatural shenanigans are taking place. Often c) both at once!

Through the woods, therefore, we follow Crane, at least for a little bit. Do I need to go into all the folklore and fairy tale resonances of this? (We'll ignore the potential for giardia infection from drinking from that stream. I'm reasonably certain that Crane would've known it was a potential, though not the modern name for it, and didn't care. You'd wake up thirsty enough not to care too.) Because there's a lot of them oh look, a road. Which Crane can no doubt identify as a road, path of some sort, but the material would indeed be unfamiliar to him, and for damn sure the cars would. It's a simple enough trick to indicate to us the time period Crane is in while not including a datestamp, but the acting and directing plays it off very well. Oh, and a hawk with the second car, just to start the bird imagery early and often. And then we kick into Sympathy for the Devil, and everyone facepalmed. I have to admit that I was, despite the attention to detail in the rest of it, not expecting much from Crane encountering the 21st century, because that song. But no, that's the first indication that they're taking all the ridiculous, over the top, campy elements and rolling around in them. And then treating them seriously in the places they merit serious consideration. Note that the lyrics to Sympathy for the Devil do span a considerable amount of time and drop many historical references.

The high-speed rail and panover of the town itself carries us from Crane to the people in the present who will have the most effect on his existence here. Yes, even though poor Clancy Brown gets beheaded (and how many Highlander jokes did they make on set? I want gag reels yesterday), he's also the one who raised up Abbie and Jenny from perdition to be able to deal with events. Alright. Diner it is! Those of us having Supernatural flashbacks can, I think, be forgiven for that, because in so, so many ways this is the culmination of people wishing for a less White Dudes version of Supernatural and we got it. Anyway. The other reason is that late night diners are where the spooky stuff gets talked about, going all the way back to X-Files and popularized in Twin Peaks if not before. We're not given names, just two cops in a diner, one with apple pie and the local paper, the other looks like she's studying for a federal something or another. So right away we have the old mentor figure who's settled into his position, is happy to be there, doesn't plan on going anywhere anytime soon, and the young protegee who wants to get out of town and make good. Their banter tells us that they're very comfortable with each other, possible to a degree deeper than usual for a probie and her partner, and in many respects it's familial. So. The sheriff, despite every indication that he should be relaxing, isn't so much, has found an unsolved homicide in a neighboring town and wants to run some things. His deputy views this as a normal occurrence, if mildly exasperating in that it looks like she wants him to relax. Maybe that she thinks he works too hard, and coming from someone who's apparently leaving town to go join the FBI that's saying something, even if it's in a daughter-father sense more than a coworker sense. Well, he'll needle her a little about not needing to worry about it because she's leaving, but also that's almost certainly designed to keep Abbie from thinking too hard about what he might really be hauling out. Corbin, you evasive fuck. With the skill of long experience, he proceeds to turn it back on her about Quantico: is she running away? Well… yes. Actually. Kind of. Not that it's clear what she's running from, but he seems to have a pretty good idea! It might involve the priest over there, who might or might not be evil but is definitely connected to Corbin somehow. Seriously, in this kind of setup priests are often evil or at least misguided, and it's kind of refreshing that they didn't pull that one. (Dead, on the other hand, we've had HOW many times? Yeah, we'll get to the parallels by the end of the season.) Not only is Abbie running away from whatever Corbin thinks she's running away from, she's running away from this conversation plskthx. Straight to a callout about some restless horses and it's probably just some coyotes again, cue needling about how she's gonna miss these boring callouts. Which is a safer form of needling than the one about whatever she's running from. We close out of that scene with a travel shot that gets… flipped. Upside down. Just like Abbie's world is about to be. Subtle, guys. I think that anvil landed straight on my head. Along with the show's theme music.

They don't keep us waiting long for the first action sequence, either. We get some standard build-up of tension, which is only tension because can you believe they're killing a) Clancy Brown b) the white guy instead of the black woman first? Yeah, neither could we, despite the obvious mentor has to die so the protegee can get on with it trope. Bets on whether or not Corbin recognized that horse's whinny as being Death's horse, even if he didn't quite believe it until he saw the Horseman himself? Because I'd bet he did and put himself in harm's way, sent Abbie up to the house where it was safer. Of course, it's possible he did that on general principle anyway, but we know that August Corbin knew a lot more about what was going on in Sleepy Hollow than anyone thought. Especially Abbie. Poor Abbie. Some nice characterization with Corbin being good with the horses, who calm to a degree even with the Horseman right there in the barn, it makes him more clearly one of the Good Guys. Cryptic, secretive good guy, but nonetheless. (Though the show does make some clear exceptions for Supernatural Evil Horse. That horse is the creepiest.) Abbie finds the house empty and door locked, a rifle on the grass, an empty truck, and oh look there's the headless body. And there's the Headless Horseman! Abbie is a good cop who runs toward gunshots, Corbin is not surviving this, and despite the campy nature of the death lead-up, Clancy Brown and Nicole Beharie have such good chemistry that in their whole two minutes of present-day screentime we feel sorry for her loss. The Horseman also has a flair for the dramatic, as is, frankly, only right and proper when you're playing with the original story and adding the apocalypse on top of it. And we see in another flash of characterization that takes about two seconds that while Abbie may lack the training to do more than freeze in terror when confronted by this kind of opponent, she both believes what she sees and is moving on to cataloguing other identifying marks. Like a good cop. She also follows protocol, out of lack of knowing anything else to do, even though it's a safe bet that pulling in backup will only get that backup killed. If the Horseman's still hanging out somewhere and hasn't just ridden off into the, uh, moonset.

Backup will come in the form of John Cho! Who is not yet dead but is about to almost run over Ichabod Crane in the middle of downtown Sleepy Hollow. I have no idea how far he's supposed to have walked in how long, but I'll buy it on the grounds of shock and Crane being incredibly determined. Also, while he looks like a vagrant of some kind I definitely don't buy that he needs to be shouted at and threatened. Unless there's something they're not telling us about the distance between the Ogilvie farm and downtown? (K: Actually, in mild extremis I could walk from farmland into downtown, it could only be 4-6 miles, which would be eminently do-able for Crane.) It seems like a helluva leap for Andy to be making that this guy is responsible for Corbin's death, is what I'm saying, making him either driven by plotstick or in cahoots. I do appreciate that they opted to skip over the procedural bits other shows might have focused on, getting backup to the farm, an aftermath shot of Abbie looking vulnerable and frightened. Instead we move straight to the holding cells, where she gets to positively identify Crane as not the guy who chopped off her partner's head. Good news for him! And she's keeping the part where he was headless to herself, a sensible choice, but she does look defensive, self-protective. Touching her throat is arguably overdone but hey, I'd be kind of twitchy about the position of my head on my shoulders after two beheadings in one night, too. Crane is also no wilting flower about to shut up and assess his situation at any kind of length, he's going to pop in with information that only someone who's seen the Horseman could know! As Abbie knows, because he definitely isn't helping her story with the whole "when I cut off his head" line, except, well. There wasn't a head there, you know? So yes, she's shocked and afraid and wants some goddamn answers. So do we! Cut to commercial, of course.

We skip over yet more of the procedural aspects that we might expect in another show, at which point it's become obvious that this is not a procedural. Or at least not your typical supernatural-flavored procedural. We're ignoring everything that doesn't have to do with a) building up the characters b) building up the metaplot or c) both. Preferably both. And it's not ignoring for the sake of pretending it doesn't exist; these are genuine steps that could be taken by the police when dealing with something this hinky, but they're trusting us to understand how they got from holding cell to interrogation room with polygraph setup. And that they've given Crane a chance to clean up just a little bit, which is a nice touch, it means someone advocated to allow him that much human decency. Or they were playing good cop. Or they just couldn't stand the smell. Tom Mison continues to do a remarkable job with both lack of adjusting to the 21st century (while still trying very hard to keep from giving up the entire game and keep from having a psychotic break in front of the cops) and the righteous indignation that comes from being a soldier and spy and aristocracy before that. Oh, hello Captain Irving. Looming and being wary his own damn self, I swear he and Renard should start a club. Ahem. (Also, seriously, Irving? I cannot wait for that one to come back and bite them in-universe instead of just causing infinite facepalming in the audience.) Crane spins us a story not too different from what we know, he used to teach at Oxford, came over to the colonies, started fighting for the redcoats, defected to the colonists and became a spy for Washington. Whoops, what? Though it sticks to the bare bones (pun intended) of the story while fleshing it out into something more than the caricatured schoolteacher we get in Washington Irving's original. And oh the hope in Crane's voice when he asks if they know Washington. Oh honey. We get to see that the polygraph isn't changing position a damn bit throughout this interrogation; if I had to guess I'd say there's a steady low- to mid-grade state of anxiety represented on that screen, because it's not quite flat enough otherwise. But there's no spikes. At any rate, we get the story of the Horseman's death from Crane's POV, which is a nice bit of catching up anyone who came in after the first minute of the show while giving the rest of us some of Crane's soon-to-be-typical dry snark. Which, I will note, Irving and Abbie both appreciate by those little smirks. We get a bit of flashback, hard to say how much of this is really what happened and how much is Ichabod's unreliable narrator at work. I would like to note at the outset that given the memory-fuckery both internal repression and external whammying going on, as well as Crane's apparent desire to paint himself in the best possible light to all and sundry in the present day, that this show may well be a masterclass in How To Do Two Unreliable Narrators. Not that they're necessarily bad guys (which is the most extreme version of this), just that they don't know everything they think they do or want to acknowledge all of what they actually do. Sometimes both at once! In other words, they're human. The battlefield hospital, though fogged over with that same This Is Memory focus, is pretty accurate. Hello, Katrina! It's another nice touch that he refers to her and her position in the present tense (indeed, to anything he feels should be in present tense that way); some shows might have left that out but here they left it in and it emphasizes the extent to which Crane is adrift and clinging to what he can anchor on. (Crane and Steve Rogers either really need to meet and have a club or never need to meet for fear of what happens to the universe. I'm not sure which.) At any rate, no, you did not just pass out, you died, Crane, and even on first watch his attempt to skirt around that was painfully obvious. The thousand yard stare just punctuates it. And now the polygraph tech (who is Nestor Serrano, a That Guy who's been in I swear every procedural known to man but only as a guest star) will take some degree of pity on him, or at least try to crack him further, by… yes! Hauling out a $1 bill and tossing it at Crane. Poor Crane.

We get a little bit of the procedural aspects we've been missing as a way to introduce Frank Irving some more, who receives the one-sentence summary of the test and orders a psych eval… so that Abbie can chase him down! With all due deference of a pair of relative strangers, no less; it's clear that this is the first time they've interacted beyond Abbie being at a group briefing, or maybe Abbie standing in the Captain's office with Corbin while he did most of the talking as senior partner. Irving has no time for this shit! Irving has paperwork and a dead officer to deal with, and no doubt is figuring out how to tell next-of-kin, assuming there is any. (There was a wedding ring in the diner, which might imply biological children, or there might be siblings, or even parents, depending on how old they intended Clancy Brown to be playing. Either way, Irving's not looking forward to that.) So! Abbie has a rather unusual off-book request, and can I just flail again over how this does not feel like a pilot? Everyone's clicking in this cast, we're getting a lot of groundwork laid for us but it's not at the cost of pacing, and just to give us yet another bit of cast chemistry, Orlando Jones plays the harried by-the-book captain to the hilt while Nicole Beharie manages to convey deference to him and hiding something to us. (Actually, if Irving picks up on the hiding something, he probably assumes she's concealing the extent of her emotional turmoil, in keeping with the tradition of both TV and real life cops who Never Show Weakness.) To her credit, she follows him into the bullpen to plead her case with facts that can't be denied! Namely, the wounds were cauterized, and that's weird, right? What's the harm in letting Crane try and explain the weird, Cap'n? No, and hell no, and go home and get some sleep, Lieutenant. THREE TIMES ASKED, thank you ever so much show, actually very much thank you. Because that's one of the original rules of three, that you have to ask three times to be really sure someone means it, and if they say no, or yes, or whatever they're supposed to say three times, that's as good as a binding oath. But Irving doesn't say no three times! Abbie gives him a graceful way out by asking to be the one to transport Crane, and since presumably she's never come up as being an off-book cop before now, Irving can't find it in him to be a dick and say no to that. Particularly when she's breaking out the blatant emotional manipulation about getting some closure, which everyone knows is manipulative but hey, sometimes that's what works. Even with very knowledgeable people. Abbie, you are a bad, bad woman and I like you already.

The scene that launched a thousand ships! Or at least got people to start looking around for the rigging lines. Honestly, this is the place where I think most people started picking up their heads and really believing that not only was this a campy, hilarious show, but it was a campy, hilarious show that could tackle real issues and not fuck them up. Because if you can't hear the tinge of sarcasm that's not all directed at Crane in Abbie's "a whole new day in America," then maybe I need my ears adjusted. But that's all she lets herself have while she establishes that whatever this guy is, he really really believes in what he's telling her. She's also not letting herself believe Crane might be telling the truth, certainly not to any degree of showing it in front of the other cop, because that would be weakness. And where a white female cop will have had to prove herself ten times over, Abbie will have had to do so twenty times. At least. And that's all done by implication. Because Nicole fucking Beharie, y'all. So we clear the hurdle of yes, Crane still believes that things are the way he left them - mostly because he hasn't had time to process yet - and that whatever his well-meaning beliefs are, they can't compare to lived experience. I kind of love this scene more every time I watch it. "You're offended?" Love. Plus the look of "I'm gonna laugh at this asshole because otherwise I'm gonna punch him and I should probably not get brought up on charges before I go to Quantico." Note also in the blocking that they put them both more or less in the center of the screen as we flip back and forth, but overall Ichy's slightly left-of-center, left and maybe a little skewed, whereas Abbie's right of center and they're managing to shoot Beharie so she doesn't look as tiny as she is. Despite that, we're getting more Crane POV than Abbie, because in the second half of the scene we go to interior shots of Ichy but shots of Abbie through the bars, putting us (a presumably majority-white viewing audience) in that cell with Crane and forcing us to actually consider the prospect of a black woman with power over us. As she so clearly and unequivocally states in her last four words inside the holding cells, she is the one with both power and knowledge in this situation, at least until Crane gets his bearings in this brave new world, and that? That's meant to shock the part of the audience expecting yet another white man's story, I'm pretty sure. It's subtle, but definitely there.

Subsequent to this we get the exterior scene, where Crane now feels safe to freak right the fuck out. It starts remarkably gradually, considering Crane's decided that he can trust Abbie at least a little, and escalates rapidly when she doesn't give him an inch. Which, can I note that this is damn impressive, the gender role reversal they've laid out? It's a less marked one than it would've been years ago, but he's the intuitive goes with his gut one and she's the logical, methodical, give me some goddamn evidence one. Or rather, that's what they're set up as being at the outset. That is not where they stay, and the fact that they each can act as a check on each other's respective buttons when one of them's inclined to hare off and do something monumentally idiotic is one of our sources of great joy on this show. At any rate! Crane's pretty good at reading people even when he's trying to establish whether he's in the middle of a psychotic break, his life is exactly as fucked up as it appears to be, or both. We'll go with both, because there's no good way for someone to handle these kinds of changes without at least wavering in their grasp on reality. So, yes, Abbie's keeping what she really saw under wraps, Crane would like her to be more of an ally, Abbie would like him to be less of a crazy person because you know, it'd be nice if her only ally wasn't to all appearances fucking batshit. I can't blame her for that, particularly given what we learn shortly. Crane is I think incidentally and convenient-to-the-plot right about her importance in meeting him, not right by virtue of his own intuition, and I think that mostly because Tom Mison does such an excellent job of conveying a man coming apart at the seams and clinging to the thinnest of circumstantial evidence to make sense of his life. Poor fucker. He snarks off! Abbie counters with calm authority! It's Super Effective. Also effective is the utter weird of being in a car and who else wants the gag reel clip of Tom Mison sticking his head out the window? I swear he's like a puppy with opposable thumbs right here. Abbie's reaction to him is not helping, though it's telling that for all her abrasive, self-defensive attitude she put Crane in the front seat rather than the back. Whatever else she thinks of him as, it's not as a criminal or a potential enemy. And then we have a bit of the epic comedy banter that makes Sleepy Hollow livable. Without it, we'd be mourning with Crane, terrified with Abbie, swearing at creepy stalker Andy, all manner of things, and there wouldn't be anything to relieve the dramatic tension. With it, we have the serious moments underscored and are shown that these are real characters, who use humor (sometimes unintentional, though I don't think anyone should underestimate Crane's ability to deadpan) as a coping mechanism. A really good coping mechanism, in a lot of cases. You know the thing about how we laugh that we do not cry? Yeah, that. Oh everyone. The other purpose this will serve, really blatantly in the pilot but consistently over the show, is it allows Crane to highlight the absurdity of a lot of things in our modern culture that we take as Serious Business, without being offensive. Because he does it in a funny way! In a way it also makes Crane the Fool, Shakespeare's Fool to appeal to the most common literary denomination, but that's a whole other essay. Finally we get down to it, rather than having Abbie attempt to catch up Crane on 250+ years of history: she wants to see this purported cave. Crane would love to show her said cave! I'm amazed he can navigate them back there, but pleased they didn't feel the need to include a scene with that bit of snark and banter. Rather, we get a Significant Look Of Recognition between Crane and the priest (actually probably either a bishop or an honorary prelate, by that cassock; yes, I have a perpetual running list of Catholic vestments and what the assorted colors means saved in my bookmarks don't look at me like that) and a flashback to someone who looks an awful lot like the same priest lingering over Crane's near-deathbed. Abbie notices. Abbie is keeping her damn mouth shut until such time as she has something more to go on than a gut feeling and weird looks. Everything Crane does is weird right now anyway.

The cave! Hello, cave. Look at all the Plato references I'm not making, you guys, and be proud. Okay, okay, I'll give you a brief synopsis: Plato's got this hypothetical cave in which the shadows on the wall are the closest thing to reality that the inhabitants of said cave can ever see, and then one (the "freed one") gets let out to see the really real world (look, if I can't include The Crow references here where can I, I ask you) and slowly adjusts to it. But then the people still stuck in the cave - the metaphorical one - are terrified of the world their former cohabitant describes, so he (this is Plato, they're all hes) has to lead them by the hand and coax and persuade and yadda. You know how this goes. And, well, I have a theory and it's totally a demon, that whether or not the writers were consciously playing up the staging for Plato, they damn well succeeded in achieving exactly that. We have our two Witnesses going back into the cave - the literal one this time - in pursuit of more knowledge (let's just go ahead and call those the "carried things" because really guys I could not make up these parallels any better if I tried) and let's combine that with the truism that you can't go home again. What they find here, after all, isn't so much knowledge that will let Abbie go home and sleep and declare herself still going to Quantico next week and the lunatic from the forest is someone else's problem now, but knowledge that binds her and Ichabod to a quest that will, in all likelihood, kill them both. At any rate, we get some more of Mison's fantastic physical comedy with the flashlight while Abbie goes forth to be a good cop and dictate her findings into a tape recorder? Really? Corbin's old-fashioned techniques got pretty ingrained there, unless that's her phone; it's hard to tell in the dark. I'll proceed to twitch violently about the things that you should not do to 250 year old documents oh my god why is there mud twitch. Yeah, there's gonna be a lot of twitching in this direction; we both come from anthro/archaeology backgrounds, which means it's by sheer desensitization that we don't spend half our time shrieking about white cotton gloves. You don't want to know what happened when the boy made me watch National Treasure. Alright, alright, Abbie has some mighty skepticism all over the place (and all over her face) as Crane starts reading from the passage of Revelation that was marked. I would, too, if someone started in on the apocalyptic imagery with me. Then I'd start schooling them on all the other possible meanings of Revelation, because I was a Bible nerd for awhile. I can do that. It's a superpower. Also, and doubtless the kind of thing that Abbie has running through her head, prophecy is just a metaphor that comes true. You can fit damn near anything to vague prophetic bullshit, is what I'm saying. There are entire sections of eschatologically-oriented Christians who make their way in this world coming up with new and exciting interpretations. (See also: the entire Left Behind franchise. Or don't. I highly recommend don't, unless you've got Patheos to hand.) Aaanyway. We know and Crane believes that it's a lot more than that, because without it we wouldn't have a story; I'm just saying, Abbie's skepticism even at this point is well-founded, no matter the story Crane spins for her. I wouldn't believe that General Washington was giving out personal missions either! He's passed into legend and myth to such a degree that it seems equally implausible to her (no matter the degree of verisimilitude in Crane's memory gaps and clothing) that he should have taken orders direct from Washington about a war for the fate of humanity as that there's anything to Revelation as an actual prophecy. Plus, you know, repression. I hear that's the worst. And can I just mention I love how much we have unreliable narration at work here but it's the part that we have no reason to believe is unreliable that's untrue? Death totally used to be a man! It's plausible that he took another form prior to this one, but yes, he used to be a man, Ichy, and you're bound by more than blood, and in conclusion you are so fucked.

Just to punctuate that, let's have creepy white horse with terrifying red eyes galloping out of the sunset with Death! I don't think I've ever been so disturbing by a horse horsing around. (You knew that was coming. Admit it.) Luckily we also get the signal here that it's sunset, although I still question just how long the trip to and examination of the cave took. Eh. Close enough, I think. So! Sunset comes on quickly, either this time of year or this geographic location (I will grant, it does come on faster in the mountains, be they Adirondacks or Appalachians - the former where it's roughly supposed to be set, the latter where they're filming) and the Notable Priest (prelate. bishop. whatever. probably prelate) looks duly freaked out. Like you do when you're a member of a secret society we know nothing about that's evidently been preparing for the end of the world for the last 250 years. In fact, it's the prelate in the graveyard with a shovel! Look, if they can make the worst visual puns ever, I can make Clue jokes. No, sorry, heading for the Illuminati Katrina's headstone to dig up the head is not the best idea right now. Misdirect! Confuse! Inveigle! Obfuscate! Oh my god I'm old, half of you aren't going to get that. Anyway. We all know what's coming, including the priest, because while he has a certain amount of magic he is not trained for combat with Death himself, so they play this one straight-up campy. So campy. I think this is the scene where I started capslocking about DID THEY REALLY JUST and yes, yes they did just. I'm not even going to bother to try translating the mock-Latin for you, either. Off with his head! Near the welcome sign, no less. That's gonna leave a mark. The camera angle on this has got to be an Evil Dead tribute (the original, you heathens), and I'll just cackle all the way to the crime scene. Kudos, by the way, to them for playing it for good old-fashioned camp, because there's no way this scene could have had heavy emotional weight. Corbin's gets weight because of what it means to the overall narrative and to Abbie, but the priest doesn't have emotional ties to any of our characters, just intellectual ones, and therefore they just don't try to make us care. It serves up a dual purpose of relief that we're not being needlessly yanked around by the narrative followed by, if you're like us, a subtler sucker punch of "yeah, but a person just died and you laughed." Mostly because a lot of people are going to die from here on out, and we're having our noses rubbed in our defense mechanisms for such things early and often as an audience. Gently, but nonetheless.

Recurrence of theme music which also seems to be the cop music, and a panover of the city to emphasize, I think dark times for dark deeds. Lightened in the macabre sense by the aforementioned worst visual pun ever. There are insufficient photoshops of the beheaded sign in the Captain's office, you guys, I'm just saying. The establishing shot of the crime scene is as much for Crane's benefit as it is ours, since presumably anyone watching this has even the barest glimmer of how procedurals look, yes? Yes. Crane not so much. Crane also doesn't know how to get out of a car, though he's a bright lad, he'll figure it out sooner or later. But it buys Abbie time! And us some more cackling. Irving would like his headache to go away. Honey, you want the industrial-sized bottle of aspirin. Make that a pallet of them. You're gonna need it by the time this show ends. Whenever that happens; not for a good long while yet, we hope. Meanwhile, Crane's not-quite-dead wife (mostly dead is partly alive! yeah, you're gonna get real sick of us cracking Miracle Max and his wife jokes but they're all right there and so convenient) seems to like this bird a lot. Yes, Crane. Follow the flapping bird. I'm not sure if that's on purpose or not, but Tom Mison is a bit stork-like, isn't he? La de da big magic bird leading the way, this can't possibly end badly. Irving's tone about this being a nice quiet town is downright accusatory. Hello, voice of someone fleeing something he doesn't want to talk about! He's pissed off enough to be hypervigilant and disinclined to be distracted by Abbie's description of the body, too. What follows is the classic Boss Cop schooling a subordinate who happens to be right but can't prove it at this time scene, notable for two main reasons. One is the height differential, and if I were feeling like a real masochist I'd start counting all the times I suspect they had to get Nicole Beharie a box to stand on. Two is that this is a scene with two black people, moderately to very unusual in procedural-type media, and it is scripted absolutely no differently than if they'd been white. And you know, after 13 episodes that doesn't feel like a big deal anymore, but it was absolutely incredible when we first watched it. And there are still moments where we sit there marveling at the fact that there is only one white man on screen. Also that it's all his fault. Sorry, Crane, but it is. Anyway, moving from the meta social commentary back to the ep proper, here comes Andy to be creepy! Dammit, Andy, why are you creepy no matter what kind of living, dead, or undead you happen to be? It's a skill, isn't it. We know, because this pilot is so tightly written and the music is cuing us on top of that, that this is much more than a simple mildly stalkery interest in Abbie's well-being, but Abbie doesn't. Yet. Though she clearly knows he has a thing for her, by that look on her face, and Does Not Like It. I'll pass you the taser clips, Lieutenant.

What's this? The glow from the streetlights and/or squad cars creates a hellish red tint to this scene? Why that is in NO way significant. They would never. (They totally would.) Ichy, if you keep saying shit like "a bird led me here," Abbie's going to absolutely believe in your insanity. Maybe not about all things, but more than he'd like! Lucky for him he's not crazy, just a little unwell, and wouldn't you be if you were staring at the grave of a loved one who was burned for witchcraft when the last you saw her she was weeping over your presumed deathbed? Yeah. Oh honey. Graveyards are also highly traditional locations for heavy conversations and/or major character reveals, and though these aren't reveals to us (or not big ones), they do greatly affect Abbie and Ichy. Any data he could get out of his flashbacks to Katrina at his hospital bed are put away by virtue of Abbie intending to drag him off to the asylum, because while Crane may be unstuck in time and, frankly, probably too enmeshed in his grief to be aware of basic life necessities, Abbie is all too aware that she doesn't have protection anymore. Corbin's dead, Irving could end her career, and she needs a roof over her head, food on the table, the satisfaction of a job well done, so yes, she's leaving Sleepy Hollow for Quantico. That's the theory, at any rate. She's also fucking terrified of more than just the crazy shit she's seen in the last 24 hours, and it's some damn fine acting that Nicole Beharie's pulling off to layer righteous indignation with authority with fear with horrified hope. Because yes, Abbie also, somewhere  under there, hopes for someone to believe her. She just can't bring herself to let it be Crane yet. Have I mentioned how awesome this cast is in the last two paragraphs? Imma do that again. Speaking of again, that's an awfully key word she let slip, and Ichy's perceptive enough - since it falls under his tunnel-visioned purview - to pick up on it. This is something she's spent years protecting, though, and she's damn good at it. Best defense is a good offense, after all; and I can't fault her for saying she needs more to go on than the ravings of a supposed Revolutionary War veteran. Oh everyone.

Over to the sanitarium we go! I want this to be the same one Jenny's currently at just for the thematic weight that would carry, though I'll leave the checking until we get to the relevant episode. Even if it's not the same place, it's certainly a place like that, and that's one of the (many) things weighing on Abbie's mind right now. Knowing that getting Ichabod his own cell is a good step forward is already a sign not just that she's got experience putting people in places like this, but that it's probably personal. There's a detachment that many cops learn or have innately, because it is an emotionally draining job if you're doing it for ideals and principles rather than just a paycheck and getting to be a bully. And right now Abbie doesn't have it, even though she's trying to grab for it with the "talk soothingly to the crazy person" voice. Yeah, that works about as long as it takes Ichabod to go all tiny and hunched in that coat of his. Tom Mison is not as much of a tree as some actors we've watched, but he's not tiny, so there's both some nice acting and nice camerawork to make him look that tiny. So let's get down to what happened to Abbie! Short version: nothing good. Long version: this is all about family. From the very, very beginning, and not just family but about the things we do to ourselves, mentally and emotionally, to survive trauma. It's obvious from the way Abbie's eliding details, moving on from the terror of those four white trees, the voice, and the figure, that there are things she remembers or guesses but doesn't want to talk about or think about or much of anything about. But she's opening up about this for the first time quite possibly since high school to someone, so it doesn't come across as a classic case of unreliable narrator so much as self-protective. As does her stance, arms across her chest, trying not to show she's crying. Not looking directly at Crane. I'm also kind of amazed at how young and small Nicole Beharie manages to look (I mean, yes, she is both of those things, but she does something that makes her face go a little slack and hopeless and then we can see 14-year-old Abbie looking out and it's awesome) when Abbie answers where Jenny is these days. Oh honey. That's such a look of guilt, and we don't get to know what it's about yet, and the consistency of characterization and growth on the show gives me great glee. Alright. Enough squeeing for the moment; Abbie allows as how she knows how Ichabod feels, people saying he's crazy all the time, let's get out of here before the feelings lead her to say even more than she intended. Crane, you being kind and sympathetic to her is not helping her maintain decorum stop that. I will also say, I love that we have a pretty clear idea that the scene with Moloch and Jenny and Abbie (and Henry) is incomplete at the outset, but not the extent to which it is. It's a very, very nice bait-and-switch that's hidden beneath valid character-driven reasons for hiding memories.

Ahem. Abbie, did you sleep at all last night? I would be surprised if she had. This, by the way, is the point at which we started swearing about August Corbin because Corbin sounds a lot like corvid which means fucking Raven and while I don't expect them to get into First Nations much more than they already have, Raven is the perennial trickster who knows more than he's telling. And unlike Coyote, is capable of not looking like a fool while doing so. Most of the time. So on the one hand we have the traditional mentor figure who has to be killed off so the hero (hi Abbie!) can figure shit out on her own, and on the other hand we have some Trickster associations, which are borne out by his raising Jenny in the cabin and keeping his mentorship of the Mills sisters secret from each of them. Corbin, you ass. Well, at least she went home long enough to change into plainclothes. We don't get a particularly good look at the office, just the impression of lots of natural wood, heavy desk furniture backed by a wooden filing cabinet with pictures on it, some of them presumably Corbin's kids? grandkids? nieces and nephews? and one of Abbie upon graduation from police academy. Awwww. Naturally this is where he hides the secret! key! to all the mysterious goings-on! Okay, to some of them. Cue Abbie's deep annoyance as she tries to figure out what the fuck it even goes to. There's a metric fuckton of filing cabinets in this room. Apparently Corbin's never heard of going digital. Though paper is harder to search and harder to carry off with you. Can I have a secret filing cabinet like that? I want one. I think Abbie wants one too. So, let's list off the things I can see and hear, because this is the important part!

Witch burnings, check. Folder labeled Occultism and sadly some things I can't make out (my kingdom for a CSI enhance button), also check. Two covens who integrated into the populace, check, though I'm side-eying the show for a better representation of actual integration. More up and down the coast, that's to be expected, no idea if they moved west at any point nor any idea if they'll show us a coven that's moved west. I'm guessing not, or at least not right now. The papers are irritatingly blurry, but I see something that looks like a modified? hamsa (Jewish and Muslim symbol of protection against evil), writing that's labeled "the writing called the palsing of the River" but which to me looks like Kabbalistic symbols, maybe? It looks like it goes to the Seal of Solomon and other such things which are best known these days for being repurposed by the Golden Dawn at the end of the 19th century. Lots of maps, one with a triangle of locations and dates marked and though I can't make out the third date the other two are Samhain 2008 and autumnal equinox 2002, so someone's paying attention there. I will now be distracted from the discussion of disappearances all up and down the coast and good covens and evil covens because FUCK YOU GUYS that is the fucking Kabbalah. Dalesh, Gimel, Koph (or Coph as they have it here), Tesh, yeah, that's the Kabbalah and you may all be grateful that a) I know anything whereof I speak and b) am not linking you to any Kabbalah sites because that way lies at least a week of productivity lost. At least it does if you're me. Though I should review, it's been a few years. I'm intrigued by the number of typos and grammatical errors on the clipping about the Mills sisters' encounter with the four white trees, but I'm not sure if that means anything other than an incompetent intern. Maybe a jab at bad daily newspapers? I don't get anything when I pull the misspelled words specifically, nor the letters that were reversed, no vowels to play with, so if there's a code here I am, frankly, too lazy to bother cracking it. We have correlation to 1882 oh hey look a note about nine bodies DRINK for Rule of Three, it looks like all were age 14 but that note is incompletely in-frame, so it could be something else. Still, 14 is a significant age here. And now Corbin will confirm in a roundabout fashion what Crane told her before: it's the apocalypse! Yay! No, wait, the other thing. Bonus manipulation points from beyond the grave, you old fucker, for leaving that tape for Abbie to find and saying you wish you could tell her. Yadda yadda no idea who to trust, yadda yadda standard conspiracy paranoia is standard and in this case entirely justified. Oh hello there Captain Shady. Except I'm not convinced, given later events, that he's intended to be as disturbing as he comes across here; I think the disturbing is entirely because we're identifying with Abbie at this point and she doesn't want him to know what she's found before she wraps her mind around it and corroborates the evidence, and even if she did want to tell him she wouldn't expect to be believed. See also: knows what it's like to be called crazy. Given what she went through 13 years ago, eventually agreeing to play sane to get them to stop asking the girls questions, we can also safely say this is why she's such a good liar. The tells are miniscule and only there because we know what to look for, though Irving appears to have an excellent bullshit detector of his own. Hey Irving. What do you know? What do you not know that you know? 'cause I'm betting it's gonna be that second one again. Sadly, not right now it won't be.

From expository Corbin to expository Katrina! Sadly, expository Corbin is much better done because we can feel Abbie's desire to learn more, her mixed feelings and motives as she pores over Corbin's documents, and her grief at losing Corbin. We get much less of that with Katrina and Ichabod, and at first we chalked a lot of that up to the archaic language which both audience and actors aren't as accustomed to? But frankly it's just that Katia Winters and Tom Mison don't have chemistry that's as powerful as Mison does with… well, the entire rest of the cast. And that may be on purpose, all things considered: 250 years in purgatory and you wouldn't be as attached to much of anything except this one mission, either. At any rate: a flapping of wings! That damn bird! Warm-but-diffuse lighting! Is Ichy in That Darn Barn? Nah, he's in Purgatory. Which is sort of like That Darn Barn, but wrong show. Ooh, hey, mirror magic time. They're not stinting on the supernatural tropes, here, but I'm pretty okay with that. I'm on board with everyone who has no idea what she's doing in this Ren Faire escapee dress instead of a proper period dress for Quaker women, but they are playing this for camp value, I must say. It's unclear how much of the flashes of memory are shared between them and how much they're there for audience benefit; I'm gonna go with the latter on the grounds that mind-sharing would be a thing that I'm pretty confident Ichabod would take immediate advantage of. Also you should all be impressed by how many old-school White Wolf jokes about blood bonds I am not making here. Fucking Tremere, I swear, this is ALL THEIR FAULT. (K: Graveyard. Shovel. Just saying.) So no, nobody woke Ichabod to get him to come save the world, the Horseman woke up which woke Ichy up which set off another round of this whole fucking mess. Katrina claims it's Moloch's doing! All of it! Yeah, given what we learn about Henry/War in the finale, somehow I think there might just be one set of hands on each side of the metaphysical divide, here. Well, more than one, but you can be damn sure Henry's got a lot more leeway than Andy. How does Katrina not know War is already out and about, you ask? GOOD QUESTION. It might just be being stuck in Purgatory, but if you're thinking you don't entirely trust her, you're on board with us. We've never trusted her. It's possible her motives are relatively pure, that she does want to stop the apocalypse, but she for damn sure doesn't have the necessary information to do it well. However! We do now know the location of the Horseman's head, and that if he gets it back he'll become powerful beyond anything you could imagine oh wait wrong universe. Then the damnfool woman proceeds to info-dump him and us because Moloch's coming (hello, four white trees! you'd think there'd be some kind of visual indication of which of the Four Horsemen are out and about, wouldn't you? alas, not so much, although the one on the far right is a bit blurry and out of frame, if that counts for anything. it might, given that we know at least two of them are out and a third got out but was subsequently imprisoned). So, taking it in the order she gives it, and I will admit that this is a decent method for exposition-dumping if you've gotta do it, because it's dump dump dump oh god the big evil thing is coming let me tell you a bunch of shit that may or may not even make SENSE. She doesn't know or won't admit that War is already out, because she says three more will come. Unless three more is two Horsemen and an Antichrist? (Don't, by the way, try to make any of this make sense with the real theology of Revelation, because it'll make your head hurt. They're playing with the pop-culture sensibilities, which are easier to shorthand both visually and in dialogue, being more familiar to most people.) She calls it the end, not the apocalypse, which I suppose is fair. Stop the Horseman from retrieving his skull, light is his weakness, she'd like to be let out of Purgatory goddammit pun intended, Washington's Bible has the answers, Ichabod is the first Witness, and by the way wake up, Ichabod! I would note that of the things she claims, we have confirmation about most of them, except that annoying detail about the four Horsemen one of whom's been hanging out in the really real world for 13 years. We don't have confirmation about who the Witnesses are - all of the evidence points that way, yes, but given what Crane did to the Horseman it's entirely possible he was somehow Special before that, in other ways. We definitely don't have enough data on the ancient order set to defeat the darkness to really extrapolate much at all.

Aaand yeah, I'd freak too if a creepy demon in a dimension touched me and then I woke up back in the asylum being restrained. Actually, you know what, I'd freak out just with that second bit. I don't care what he was doing while he was asleep, you dumbshits, he was in a LOCKED ROOM ALONE, he shows no signs of having hurt himself or tried to get out of the room. He wakes up freaking out and you're already getting sedatives? Bad doctors. No cookie. You suck. You know who doesn't suck? ABBIE. FUCK YEAH. Best rescue ever. You know who calms down immediately on seeing Abbie? Did you guess Ichy? You guessed Ichy, didn't you. Smart reader. This is no shit one of the most hilariously awesome rescues in a long time, did I mention how Abbie's a good liar? Because goddamn, woman. That's such a nice piece of characterization, too, learning to lie to protect herself (and trying to protect her sister who wanted none of that kind of protection) and therefore getting good at it. And using it, or trying to, only when it's in line with her morals. Which include not being locked up in white rooms, or letting someone else be locked up in a white room, apparently. I can only encourage this. They ride off into the night on their trusty steed in the squad car, where they get caught up very quickly thank you whoever shot and wrote this, and Ichabod has some very interesting questions. Like, how the hell did Corbin get hold of an old map of the Hudson River Valley area personally surveyed and signed by Washington? Oh, and some interesting answers, like the four trees and Moloch being real. We can see Abbie turning her world upside down in her head, with that little resigned oh-fuck look that says she's been waiting for this pretty much since that day. Oh honey.

Cut briefly to the Horseman who I guess hangs out in his coffin in the river during the day? Like a vampire. Excuse me while I go laugh my ass off in the kitchen. That or he walks the river during the day looking for his head. I mean, if I had to search for my missing skull and also couldn't tolerate daylight (excuse me, I need a moment to be alone with my vampire jokes), I'd certainly pick places to hide that might also contain said missing skull. I don't think he drops into torpor during the day, though inquiring minds would like to know where the demon horse goes. I will not go read over all my V:tM books just to see what else they pulled. I will be good. Even if I'm well aware that the writers' room is a bunch of gamer geeks. (The things you learn on Twitter.) Abbie, don't call Andy. Even if you can use his unrequited crush on you to manipulate him, or you think you can. Abbie, don't call… oh why do I bother. Though I don't think it's just that she's using his unrequited crush; I don't think she knows the degree to which Andy's obsession extends. I do think she values his friendship on top of that. I also think that rule of conservation of characters is in effect, and I definitely think she's avoiding calling her ex, who she knows is still hung up on her. I'd be avoiding him too. Andy is not a good guy, but I admire the way they're playing the apartment broken into trope for all it's worth. Why no, he's not going to end up dead this scene! Why yes, there's supernatural wooj going on, remember that lens filter? It's ba-ack. We get the angle a little above Andy's head that lets us see there's someone/thing in that armchair with its back to the door, but he's short enough to miss it. And freaked out about his gun safe being broken into. In that respect, at least, and in his Weaver stance, he's still a good cop. Why hel-lo, Death, how nice of you to join the party. (My inner Black Widow fails to see how this is a party, of course.) I really like the touch that Death, being what it is, automatically knows how to use anything that falls under his wheelhouse. (I also like the touch of politics about what guns are for. They're for killing. Let us not forget this.) I wouldn't be surprised if War had some of the same abilities. I love that Andy is completely terrified by the appearance of the Horseman but carrying out what he sees as his job; it lends a nuance of humanity to the bad guys that we don't often get. Especially in a show that enjoys the hell outta its camp.

Over to the graveyard! Where Ichabod is handling the low-tech shovel and digging aspects, and Abbie's handling keeping watch and using the flashlight. Probably for the best. She knows what to look for better than he does, at any rate. ICHABOD. DO NOT OPEN THE POSSIBLY MAGICAL WRAPPINGS. Certainly they're doing a good job of keeping the skull from using its senses. As is made obvious when it OPENS ITS EYES AND GRINS. Good job, you two. Seriously, Ichy, have you never heard a ghost story in your life? Besides living in one? Grump. On the upside, I now have the best screencap for Murderboarding's omnipresent surprised face inna jar. There might have been shrieks of laughter when I was so informed. Yeah, that whole magical light thing? That's not a good sign. Ichabod will now jump back into the grave for cover, I suppose after 250 years in one they're a bit comforting? (Whaaaat.) It is a nice thematic bit. Abbie first army-crawls and then outright runs for cover that's thicker than the little bits of underbrush that grow up in an old cemetery. Love. More love that Abbie gives it until the last possible second to open fire from her cover, forcing the Horseman to close to hand-to-hand distance. Maybe she doesn't know Ichabod's capable of that, but he did defeat the Horseman in hand-to-hand combat once; it's not unreasonable to expect he can do it again. So the old fogeys will go whale on each other for awhile while Abbie starts to give Andy the third degree about her backup and give her a goddamn rifle. (Me, I'd like to know why the fuck Andy had an assault rifle in his weapons cabinet, but that's neither here nor there.) The hand-to-hand combat is well-choreographed; it's brutal and quick and at least the human is clearly running on adrenaline and not so much with the tactics. (We pause here to die laughing that Ichabod's trying to shovelhead the Horseman. You know, if he had one. I swear to god the number of visual V:tM gags in here cannot be an accident, now that I'm looking for them, though confirmation bias may be at work.) Abbie has tactics! Her tactics are "you didn't hit me hard enough to put me out for good, you could've killed me and didn't, so now I will play up the weak and helpless woman angle." These are excellent tactics. Even as I wince over her damn near biting his thumb off. Ow. But she's using all his stalkery creeptastic expectations against him, and I am ALL about that. Meantime, Ichabod is done trying to kill the unkillable and will now proceed to fucking run and stall for time. Smart man. I also wonder, given the Horseman's previous accuracy with that ax, if it's one of the few things that could destroy his skull. Oh, and now we see the slack-faced fanaticism behind the cop! Andy, you're really creepy, go away. Over to the unis! Who are not actual backup, but were presumably called in due to shots fired, and now we have two more small-w witnesses to confirm the whole headless aspect. We even see them believing the evidence of their eyes, no matter how much they might not be inclined to do so. Oh hey, sunrise. There's no real reason for him to blast the hell out of the squad car except sheer spite, though sheer spite tends to be a good motivating factor for Beings Of Pure Evil. It does serve to spook the everloving fuck out of the poor unis, to the point where they nearly shoot Abbie and do take a potshot at Ichabod! I don't think that was the Horseman's intent, though it was surely a nice side effect. And now we have one of those glorious moments of chemistry where nothing needs to be said. Abbie is relieved they've won to fight another day, relieved to have someone on her side, and in a lot of respects, yeah, this is shot ambiguously. Could be comrades-in-arms, could be romantic; we're keyed to a man and woman shot like this automatically being romantic except there's too much personal space between them for that.

Irving would like this all to go away please. Irving would like his young lieutenant to stop giving him a goddamn headache please. Sorry, Irving, it's all downhill from here. The cops will undoubtedly recant, but not until next episode; for right now Abbie's got some backing and the ability to make use of it. Also the head's a pretty big indicator that something fucked up is going on in Sleepy Hollow. Abbie will even tell Irving it's going to get a lot worse, which is fair warning but not a cover story he can use with the press. Which is, I think, what he'd like them to come up with. (Meantime we're all still stuck on wondering just what would happen if Steve Rogers and Ichabod Crane ever met, yes? Okay, just checking.) This does spark a moment of clarity for her, though! No, she's not transferring to Quantico, she's needed here. Crane will show open relief. Irving has too much composure to do that, but he will give more orders! Yeah, honey, something you can understand isn't going to happen aaanytime soon. You have fun coming up with cover stories. Maybe send off to Maine, there's a pair of brothers out there who could give you some pointers. Ahem. Those orders include Ichabod now, meaning he'll get to stay out of the asylum, so that's a plus! You know what isn't a plus? Being told you're one of the two Witnesses to the apocalypse whose battles will determine the fate of the world. That's an awful heavy burden to ask anyone to take on their shoulders. Ichabod at least for the last few years of his subjective time has been engaged in a battle that he believed to be right and just and involved the forces of good and evil. Abbie's worldview admits a lot more gray to it, though we can see her deciding to take this on faith for right now, because that's the only way this insanity makes any damn sense. So! Off to interrogate one Andy Brooks! This will totally not end badly! Yeah, that'd be Moloch coming to kill him. We don't get to know how he entered the world, apparently. I blame Henry. I also have no idea the fuck language that is; the distortion filter on it's too heavy to even really manage a language family. Is it Latin backwards? It's Latin backwards, isn't it. Oh, and for bonus points Moloch will leave the cell door open just in case they wanted a locked-room mystery instead. Nope! Nothing like that here. Which means Irving or whoever can explain it away as something other than supernatural. You fucker. More mirror magic! Okay, okay, everyone knows about mirrors being the portal to other worlds, right? Everyone at least has heard the kids' ghost story about Bloody Mary in the mirror three times in the dark? Yeah, okay. You know about mirror magic. You also know about Johnny Cash! Hello, Man in Black. We do not, however, get When The Man Comes Around, we go straight back into Sympathy for the Devil. Pardon me while I facepalm and cackle. Oh you guys. I love the irreverence.

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