At times, Sleepy Hollow’s eleventh episode of its’ third season seemed to offer just that. It is clear that the voices of Sleepyheads have been heard and acknowledged. Kindred Spirits is an exploration into the human emotions centered around love. As its namesake suggests, it examines mankind’s proclivity to seek comfort in our spiritual and emotional connections with one another.
The episode focuses upon various pairings of Sleepy Hollow residents, all of whom come to some form of an intersection this week. Some pairs will realize it, others will not, and there are some instances in which one half of the pair discovers that they are at a turning point, while the other remains oblivious. The episode does a good job of considering the way in which we pursue companionship, the lengths that we will travel in an effort to feel some sense of belongingness, and the sacrifices that we will make to protect that feeling once it is found. It offers a brief reflection upon the suffering and embarrassment that ensues when that companionship is lost, or worse when there is a realization that it never truly existed in the way it was idealized. Romantic love is not the only form of love that is considered this week as the ideas of forgiveness, and regret come into play. Perhaps one of the team members will learn from the experience and loss of another.
Kindred Spirits as a whole is full of movement. There are beginnings and endings happening all over the place. In some areas seeds are being planted, while in others gardens are being put to bed. In the case of our witnesses, it is clear that the garden they share will be cultivated. However, as far as I can see only one of them is tending it, and know now that this garden is being tilled by hand, unsteady ones at that. This will not be fast.
Overall I feel that it was a good episode, and indicative of what transpires when you place Ichabod and Abbie at the center of things and allow Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie to work their magic.
Last week, I was very critical of the second to last scene in The Incident at Stone Manor, as well as the episode as a whole. In my criticisms I stated:
“Also it had been ten months for Abbie, and thirty days and nights for Ichabod. Thirty days and nights that he did not know whether or not he would ever see his best friend, and fellow witness again. Ten months she felt the same way, and there was no hug? That wasn’t believable, at all, it just didn’t ring true. Abbie said herself, they hug it out, it’s what they do. I think that the writers try to be particularly careful because Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison have this super palpable chemistry and a hug between them can take on a whole new life. However, when you have lightning in a bottle you put it in the center of the room, stand back and enjoy the glow, you don’t try to temper it or snuff it out. This seems to be a recurring issue with Sleepy Hollow. Nicole and Tom brought it in that scene, and I mean brought it. I think the gimmicky way in which it ended was a disservice to them both.”
One little shot of Ichabod appearing defeated or regretful at the very end would have sent many of us away from that scene with an entirely different feeling than the disappointment, at least I came away with. Perhaps though this was more of a function of direction rather than writing. I mention this now because for the second week in a row Nicole Beharie has handed in a brilliant performance. Her back to back performances are an official notice for anyone who hasn’t already gotten the memo. She came to play. We saw what she could do last week when emotions were high and pushed to the tilt, this week she shows once again that she can master the nuance as well as anyone, and is undoubtedly the genuine article. On the other end Tom Mison delivers another fantastic performance for the second time in three weeks. He was absolutely stellar in One Life and was fabulous again in Kindred Spirits. Nicole and Tom have come into their own and are quite simply hitting on all cylinders at present time. They have grown as actors, and their dedication is apparent as they have both improved their craft playing opposite one another. It is an absolute delight watching them transition from heavy emotional material to comedy with an ease, and brilliance that often masks the degree of difficulty entailed in what it is that they do. Pound for pound, there is no better acting duo on television today. Just so it is clear that this is not a conclusion I have come upon in a hasty or capricious manner I will say it again. Pound for pound there is no better acting duo on television today. Take it to the bank, deposit it, check the balance, and hold on to the receipt for anyone that wishes to see it.
What makes this episode warming are the quieter moments the Witnesses share, and the hope it seems to offer for the future. There is a suggestion of a triangle in the distance in which it appears our brave Abbie Mills will serve as the vertex.
First, considering what Tom and Nicole share onscreen any actor brave enough and willing to attempt to play a third against that connection should be commended. It is extremely difficult because of their talent levels, and remarkable chemistry. Onscreen romantic triangles fare best when all three actors share similar abilities, and play characters that are near to one another in strength. If there is to be a weakness between the three it should only be with the actor/character positioned as the vertex. The triangle we previously had on Sleepy Hollow, between Ichabod, Katrina, and Abraham failed miserably because Katrina was a weak character and the audience was wholly disinterested in her life, and motivations. Additionally there were instances in which the actress struggled to perform at the level her counterparts were operating at. Also, for a brief time last season there seemed to be a possibility of a triangle with Abbie, Ichabod, and Katrina but the show mercifully moved in another direction, as it would have proved disastrous for reasons previously stated. I’m still thankful to the TV gods that we were also spared the triangle that appeared to be developing between Abbie, Hawley, and Jenny. Just…no.
Lance Gross has done a fine job in his portrayal of the ambitious Special Agent Daniel Reynolds. Some have been critical of his performance as of late, but I have found his presentation of Danny to be honest, grounded and enjoyable in the limited scenes he has been given. I feel that he is skilled, and quite capable of holding up his portion of the triangle, so I say bring it on.
This episode does a good job of highlighting what all of us Sleepyheads already knew, our little reluctant hero is indispensable. Abbie is exceptional at her job, and it’s no wonder higher ups are eager to carefully monitor their “asset”. Still, as many of us have suspected, she has not returned from her excursion into the other realm without wounds. At times Abbie seems to be seeking solace in the solitude she so desperately longed to escape. Meanwhile Ichabod, her ever attentive partner is trying to serve as a patient beacon while at the same time offer her some sense of camaraderie. There were a few sweet moments with soft spoken and kind words in this one. Little things matter. We know going in that they are kindred spirits as they both share in their passions, victories, and defeats, but it’s a bit sad to watch them sift through the funk they’re in. She hides her hurts, he hides his fears. Both of them are the sort that tend to retreat into hiding when battling their inner demons, Abbie a little more-so than Ichabod. However, if they are to expand upon the connection they have, one of them will have to come out of hiding. One of them will have to seek. One of them will have to turn their head, cover their eyes, and count to ten. Ready or not here Ichabbie comes!
I found this episode to be very good and solid, a step in the right direction. But it is a building sort of thing, and though I was appreciative of it I was not wowed. However I think it may set up beautifully for the show to receive that kind of reaction in the future. To use an analogy from Abbie’s favorite pastime I would say that they have a runner on base, and are looking to place a few more. In the weeks ahead everything will hinge upon who’s coming up to bat. With the talented cast they’ve assembled they can do just about anything so I’m hoping the writers recognize that and aim for the fences. If they go down, they might as well go down swinging.
QuietLittleLives, better known to her friends and family as Joy, is longtime Sleepy Hollow fan and lover of all things Ichabbie. She enjoys long walks on the beach and spends her spare time writing scintillating fanfiction. To read her popular stories The In-Between and Holocene, please visit her profile page on either FanFiction.net or Archive of Our Own.