Rasha: So…The Hollow?
Gemma: The Hollow, yes! Well, we certainly got our dose of Mr. Jones.
R: I was talking with my resident bear about this episode, and his response was: so the only way a Black man can get out of jail and the abuse in a psych ward is by signing a pact with the devil? I’m not sure that’s my full read on it, but there were some real disappointments for me in the episode. Though the evil pen is a neat trick.
G: My read on that was a little different, though equally bleak. So an incarcerated black man, who’s sacrificed himself to the system to save his loved ones, is manipulated into signing a pact with the devil. That evil pen was awfully creepy. Way worse than in Harry Potter.
R: Which is saying something. That quill was horrifying.
G: Ulgh, yes.
R: I both like Reyes and hate what they’re doing with her.
G: I don’t think I know what they’re doing with her yet
R: TROPE-Y. She just came from *border patrol*, which excuse me, is fracking improbable.
G: Um, you are not allowed to call improbable on this show, sorry. You can call anything else, but not improbable. (Incidentally, that was Sakina Jaffrey, who I spoke of re: House of Cards when we were doing The Promise.)
R: Ah, I see. I think on things not related to Masons and demons, I am going to reserve my right to call some kind of stink. I hear you that maybe I need a better word, given, you know, the Franklinsteins.
G: That was awesome.
R: It was. I loved it giving the nod to Abbie. It was almost like an American golem. But all Octavia Butler-like with the Kindredness.
G: YES! I knew we would get to that. Abbie was so godawful to Jenny at the end of this ep I could not even.
R: Yes. I want to talk about Jenny and Abbie, but first, I want to go back to Reyes because I think it connects. I get it that, with Capn Irving on their side, they’ve lost the conflict in the central cast of ‘good guys.’ So it makes sense to me that they’re bringing in a new sheriff with friction. I love that it’s a ladyperson and that she’s a brown woman. So much potential!
G: Yes, I am a fan of all of those things.
R: I am even on board with tying her into the Mills’ sisters family history, though it felt awkwardly introduced and hella creepy. “Btw, that was me in your past!”
G: But that hella creepy felt deliberate, to me. And I like having them both thrown off, and the prospect of knowing real things about the mother through a couple of lenses.
R: Yes, all good. And it even makes sense to me that she’s all suspicious of Jenny and Ichabod the historical consultant, but there’s something that doesn’t feel well-fitted together about her character.
G: Can you identify?
R: The swaggerous border patrol machisma that she’s pushing around doesn’t seem to be of a whole cloth with the rest of who she is/could be. The machisma I could buy.
G: I don’t feel like we know that yet. I want to give her a few more episodes.
R: Is she really operating on the idea that this is a drug cartel at work? I don’t know, maybe we need more other characters who haven’t jumped the headless shark to ground the skepticism.
G: We DEF need those. I still sort of feel like Irving was too easily sold in S1, honestly. And Reyes’ understanding of the mother who seems to have had actual MI (or a line onto demons, still TBA, I guess) could be really useful in that skepticism regard.
R: I agree, but ugh, her attitude with Irving was so painful. Is she just kind to Abbie because of their mother? What makes her so dismissive of Irving, given that he’s one of her own?
G: I dunno. It felt rich to me. I really wonder a lot about the lives of Latin@ folks on border patrol, who are a real presence, and I saw her playing to that conflict. You are taught to see as absolute things you know are not, and have to push that kind of machisma forth.
R: Well, I guess we’ll see. I can see why you appreciate Ms. Jaffrey.
G: So bringing it back to Abbie and Jenny–that sh*t HURT.
R: Agreed, and I think Reyes connects to the divide between them.
G: Yes! Connect!
R: She’s the only figure that can make that wedge. And really, it’s totally reasonable for her to wonder why a not-police staff is hanging out in their inexplicably Buffy the Mason-slayer temple archives…with guns.
R: And she also is the means by which the question of ‘sanity’ comes back into the internal conflict among the allied main characters.
G: YES, which we need.
R: Which she then apologizes to Abbie about bringing up, which was– weird? hilarious? hurtful?
R: I have one more thought to offer about Abbie and Jenny, which is an appreciation. Abbie identifies her faith in Ichabod as her weakness, while suggesting that Ichabod’s is his love/faith in Katrina.
G: Katrina who really revealed her inability to act, at all, ever, when given actual acting to do. Ah! Jenny’s weakness is her need to believe in Abbie?
R: Hmm, that too, though I hadn’t put the point on it that finely. When Abbie shows up to sit down with Jenny in jail, right after we see Katrina and Ichabod part, I thought: damn, here they are giving us a sister relationship that is at parity with some mystical fated romance of old-fashioned British-talkin’ folk.
G: Mmm, yes. Makes me think of Jane Austen. I did appreciate Abbie having some purgatory PTSD in this ep. I was glad that did not go unmentioned. I guess that goes back with what you said about the weaknesses.
R: I think your call to make that more real and connect with the very real early life trauma those young women survived would do more justice to the characters. I hope it is treated with specificity. The conversation that it prompts about weaknesses is ripe, and needed to be said by Abbie. I was satisfied that Katrina is to Ichabod in some ways what Jenny is to Abbie – the most important relationship of her life– her personal life, not just her life fighting Demons.
G: Well, I always like it when that isn’t Romance.
R: Praise Kindred… Dude, can I just get a moment of silence for that wack font they use for the demon talk?
G: Yes, it’s delightful.
R: I call BUFFY! I swear it’s the same one.
G: I was not enough of a devotee to remember the subtitles, but that wouldn’t surprise me. I mean, no question this is Buffy’s heir apparent, and I’m a little rankled that it isn’t getting treated as such. It is certainly no worse, and definitely has way more POC.
R: Praise Kindred. SH is hitting all my Buffy buttons in even better ways than Joss Whedon’s work does these days. (Firefly was racist and weirdly homophobic/philic.)
G: Never watched Firefly, was okay with that. Buffy was WhiteParade.
R: Well, yes.
G: Something called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” has the option of KNOWING it is WhiteParade. Buffy never seemed to.
R: Whedon’s work still doesn’t. It is disappointing to come back to it, much as I still love it.
G: I need to come back around to the meta-statement of Irving for a sec.
R: Yes, please. Because we love Orlando Jones and this needs attention.
G: Because I think I would have been significantly more disturbed by the possible implications of the metastatement if a) Irving were the only black contract role on the show and/or b) the devil were manifested in someone other than an old Brit-accented white dude. As it was, I think it had both nuance and a point that was considered, and I was not disappointed.
R: Hmm. That is still bleak, but perhaps potently and accurately so.
G: Yes, agreed. I found it bleak in a self-aware manner. I think they knew exactly the image they were creating with his prison uniform and his psychiatric incarceration, and they went up to meet it. Mr. Jones most certainly went up to meet it. I mean, on a meta-level I wasn’t disappointed. I was SUPER disappointed on a compassion-for-character level.
R: I’m going to hold that in consideration. Can I close with a pet peeve?
R: John Noble, who is a delightful actor, and whom I loved on Fringe (rip), is playing the child of actors who are less than half his age!
G: Why’s that a pet peeve? I think they know they’re doing that, too! They are playing with the ironies! He certainly is!
R: Once Upon a Time did this weird thing too, where the main character is the child of actors who are her same age, because you know, mystical powers and time/dimension travel and what not. I am less annoyed by Sleepy Hollow than OUAT (SO ANNOYED BY THAT SHOW!), but I think it was brought to my attention by how much Katrina can’t act when she’s talking about not abandoning her son because MOTHER.
G: I have never watched that show, because I have never wanted to. And yes, they probably did not make Katrina evil because she cannot handle evil.
R: That is clear. There’s something weird where TV is trying to have virgin-birth elderly parents who are vampiricly young.