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Sleepy Hollow - I, Witness (Season Premiere) - Review: "Crane's On a Plane"


3.01 - "I, WITNESS"
Directed by Peter Weller
Written by Albert Kim
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington



3.01 - "I, Witness" (October 1, 2015) - Review / Advance Preview
3.02 - "Whispers in the Dark" (October 8, 2015) - Review
3.03 - "Blood and Fear" (October 15, 2015) - Review
3.04 - "The Sisters Mills" (October 22, 2015) - Review
3.05 - "Dead Men Tell No Tales" (October 29, 2015) - Review / Advance Preview
3.06 - "This Red Lady From Caribee" (November 5, 2015) - Review / Advance Preview
3.07 - "The Art of War" (November 12, 2015) - Review / Advance Preview



No matter how much Sleepy Hollow went off the track last season, I have to say I am so totally thrilled to have this world back on my screen. While there is so much I would have liked changed in season two, we are starting fresh with season three. It's been 9 months since the end of season two which means we are so far separated from that season that it does actually feel like a new chapter rather than a 'reboot'. Never thought they'd reboot the show anyway, so a time jump was the best thing they could have done for us to feel this show is new again. And I did enjoy this premiere, though I much preferred the premieres of seasons one and two. What this premiere did well though was that it showed us we were sort of getting back on track with how the show should be. It's character-driven, bringing Abbie and Ichabod back together and showing us why we missed this show all summer.

So the episode began with a very quick dispatch of the Headless Horseman. We were warned about Headless not being a focus in the third season so the quick entrapment of him in the box was a sort of too quick for my liking. This new witch, Pandora, is introduced to us by capturing the Horseman of Death, which kind of shows us that she's powerful but it seemed a little too easy for her to do that. It's pretty cool that she's after Fear next, so at least we know the big bad has a goal and a consistent focus that we can follow this season. She's causing trouble for our heroes already, which is always a good thing as it's awesome to see how they overcome them, and the demon that is unleashed in this episode is a very scary looking one and very reminiscent of a good old villain from the good old days, and other genre shows like Buffy and Charmed. It seemed like a powerful beast but the showdown with it at the end was a bit too quick for my liking and seemed too easy. And if this demon was one of the seven tribulations following Moloch, then it's a bit of a let-down that the demon was killed so easily.

The distance that separated Abbie and Ichabod was a driving force behind their relationship in this episode as they slowly get accustomed to each other again. It felt like an episode of a crime procedural when we first see Abbie and I had to keep checking I was watching the right show. Things got so much better once Ichabod showed up and brought us back to the world of the supernatural, telling us that he travelled to Scotland to investigate his descendants. I love that kind of storyline and I hope we see more about his family heritage and what became of his descendants sometime in the future. The tablet is a nifty plot device and has me intrigued of what is to come, as well as Pandora's Box that will more likely cause trouble in the episodes to come.

I'll not mention the new haircuts of the main characters for fear of being accused of favouritism, but the show really has undergone a bit of a makeover. It felt a little lighter in this premiere, despite the dark scenes with the demon killing the two men. The scenes with Pandora didn't translate as too dark and the threat doesn't seem as serious as Moloch was, but I'm hoping things get darker soon. The humour was ever-present in this premiere and I found myself chuckling at Ichabod in the Colonial Times Restaurant. I've seriously missed this type of humour over the summer and I'm hoping we get this in abundance this season. Abbie being FBI is also a bit strange at the moment as I was comfortable in what she was doing before. It's so weird how a change of job can make a show feel so different, but I'm so glad Ichabod still calls her "lef-tenant".

And of course, it was great to see Jenny back and helping out the gang. She got a fair bit of screen time that didn't distract from the main duo, but she still had a helping hand in the demon situation. Shame about the Archives though, and fortunately the show didn't suffer from the absences of the lost we endured in season two too much. I know, I'm a Katrina fan, burn me at the stake, but for me it was nice to have some inclusion of her in the premiere with her necklace and the brief flashback. Irving's absence was nicely explained and I actually believed it; it didn't feel forced and it made sense that he would leave with his family to keep them safe. Not really sure what to make of the new characters just yet but I'm looking forward to exploring them a little more. We had Betsy in the flashbacks, and I wouldn't mind seeing more of her if it means exploring Ichabod's past more as he's always an interesting character to learn about.

EPISODE VERDICT

Not the best premiere in the show's history but it was an enjoyable one nonetheless. The demon-of-the-week was very scary but too easily defeated, and the new big bad had a good entrance that holds hope for the future. Maybe Sleepy Hollow has changed and once the growing pains subside, I'm sure I'll love this show just as much as I did in season one. Really hope it can do that.

What did you guys think about the third season premiere of Sleepy Hollow? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode on October 8th on FOX!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of the 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Devious Maids, The Flash, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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