TV Review: Sleepy Hollow Season 4 Premiere – “Columbia”

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After an uncertain future, Sleepy Hollow returns to FOX with “Columbia” sans one of its stars Nicole Beharie, who played Abbie Mills after she sacrificed her life last season to close Pandora’s box and with Crane on the hunt for the next witness.

The episode starts where we last left off, Crane was carted away by mysterious government-owned black vans. Where he ended up was Washington D.C., being questioned in an underground tunnel system about the headless horseman and the disappearance of Abbie.

Crane manages to escape via the old your shoe’s untied and slamming your captor’s head into a pole trick. Once Crane escapes through a tunnel he quickly realizes that he is in Washington D.C. Here we meet our new female lead stepping into the shoes of Abbie— Janina Gavankar’s Diana, a former Marine and current special agent for homeland security. She is also a single mother to daughter Molly, who has her own secrets but has stopped talking all together for reasons unknown.

Diana and her partner Eric are called to investigate an unusual problem— the Lincoln Memorial is missing its head, even more bizarre is that there is a glowing green line on the side of the memorial. They are quickly attacked by this episode’s monster of the week resulting in Eric’s death. Crane comes to the rescue to save Diana, who is in denial about everything that just happened— demons, monsters and Crane himself whom she has to track down when he runs off after saving her.

Meanwhile we are introduced to classic millionaire villain, whose evil ceremony was disrupted by a phone call. Based on this episode, it seems like Malcolm Dreyfuss is our new big bad. They make it clear that he was the one who stole Lincoln’s head and hilariously blows it up with a fireball at the end of the episode to unearth an artifact inside it that is worth all the bloodshed. He is also keeping tabs on Crane and is most likely the person who kidnapped him at the end of last season.

Back to Crane and Diana, they decide the best place to start investigating is at Agency 355 a.k.a. the last watchtower of threats otherworldly and supernatural malevolence is where they meet Jake and Alex. Jake has been has been watching Captain Brown Beard a.k.a. Crane and the supernatural happenings in Sleepy Hollow as part of his job at the agency, also because he is hilariously Crane’s #1 fan and even tries to snap a selfie with him.

Alex, who we first meet blowing up an ancient Mayan artifact in the microwave, is a bit more skeptical, but if she gets to build some cool stuff with the artifacts, she’s down with anything.

The creature they seek in 1865 was summoned by John Wilkes Booth, yes the creature who killed Eric also killed Abraham Lincoln. The former president had some backup though, apparently his wife was the head of his supernatural security team, and when she failed, she sealed the demon in the Lincoln memorial. Don’t you just love history?

They figure out through the secret tunnels at the agency that the stars and stripes of the American flag are what summons the demon so the obvious target is the parade happening outside. Their plan doesn’t go exactly as planned when the demon takes out Jake and Alex like they are rag-dolls, seriously though if those two are going to survive they’ve got to work on their demon hunting skills.

Fear not though because Jenny Mills is here to save the day as usual. It’s nice to see that Sleepy Hollow hasn’t scraped all of its main cast, and it’s a sweet reunion between Jenny and Crane whom he introduces to his new friends as “Miss Badass.”

The episode ends with us meeting Molly. Diana tries to have a conversation with her, but no luck. When she leaves the bedroom to go and make dinner Molly pulls out her sketchbook of really, really fantastic drawings she has done of Crane. Clearly something is going on here between Crane and Diana. My guess is that Diana is our new witness, or maybe it’s Molly?

Overall, it’s a good start to season four considering the show has never really found its legs since the end of season 1. The new characters have grown on me, except for Diana who seems more like an Abbie Mills rip-off than a fully fledged individual character. It would have been nice to see someone else as Crane’s new partner besides someone in law enforcement who is your typical “tough girl” character. While I like what they are doing with Diana and her daughter, maybe Crane’s new partner could have been a politician who hunts demons on the side or a librarian with secret knowledge of the supernatural world? Something a bit different.

Sleepy Head Highlight: Crane’s lack of fondness for the musical Hamilton because, “there were other people involved in the Revolutionary War!”

Episode Rating: 7.5/10

Amanda is a student and writer living on Long Island who is passionate about good storytelling, collecting books, watching TV and her two cats. Some of her favorite TV shows are Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, House of Cards, Vikings and The Vampire Diaries. Her dream is to be a best-selling fiction author someday, but in the meantime she is exploring her love for writing articles and wants to pursue a career in magazine writing. She is currently writing for her school's alumni magazine and recently had her first short story "Skeletons" published by a literary magazine.
  • Joely

    I agree the duplicate tough cop partner idea is a non-starter. I also feel that the instant the nerdy scientist girl comes on screen the show instantly transforms into a teen comic drama. No.

  • Keith Katsikas

    I was severely bothered, and remain so still, how Crane spoke about Booth and the assassination of Lincoln as if he were there and/or had first hand knowledge about it. Crane would not know anything more than what he read in the book—a book which he has just discovered and is reading for the very first time. I think the writing in this first episode was dismal at best. I pray this season gets better fast, or I fear the end of days for Sleepy Hollow are imminent. Oh, speaking of Sleepy Hollow. The show is called Sleepy Hollow for a reason—or at least it was. I guess now it should be called, Washington DC.

    • WorldTraveler9

      Crane had three years to catch up on all that happened in American History between his being put into that cave and his awaking there 250 years later.

      • Keith Katsikas

        Yes. However, he spoke as if he knew the man. It was all in how it was written and directed. Crane would not and could not have had such intimate knowledge. If he was simply reading from the book, he would not have spoken the way he did. It was just bad, and yet so avoidable and totally unnecessary. Crane should have been surprised by the information they just found. He should not have spoke about it in a way that expressed personal knowledge of the acccount.

    • Joely

      Yes! As that unfolded I thought, “oh, please…don’t let Crane know all about…oh.” The idea was cool, and it was a nifty explanation of how Booth managed to jump down on the stage and run away, but the writers…it’s like they have a saboteur among them.

    • michael larimore

      I couldn’t agree more. The writing/script in season 4 episode 1 leaves a LOT to be desired. I was super excited to see all the new characters in the intro of the show and was thinking they have stepped it up a notched. However, as I watched the episode, I was CONSTANTLY thinking “give me a break” that was too weak of a connection to make, over and over. I’ll give it one more episode to decide if I will continue to invest my time, but I’m not feeling it.
      Right off the bat, a generic footprint with a shard of glass takes her to a manhole in the woods with fresh glass surrounding it where she runs into Crane again? Give me a break!

  • Mike DiBattista

    Anyone notice the blatant ripoff of the Claudia Donovan character from Warehouse 13?