Fox’s new show “Sleepy Hollow” is yet another mildly entertaining and glorified cop show, hinged on the ridiculously unrealistic, even beyond the fact that a headless dude is running around killing people. The creators of “Sleepy Hollow” took the legend we all know and turned it into another sexed-up, biblical, end-of-the-world drama flick, with a plot that has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. Even for a drama showcasing another “rogue cop” working within a “loophole dotted,” “stick-it-to-the-captain” police system, Sleepy Hollow takes liberties with reality that move the plot but are so blatant and overt you cannot help but think, “Really? Well that was convenient.”
With a storyline that floats so high up in the air, a chain of reality checks are needed to help tether the heavily coincidental plot to a believable backbone. Let me highlight a few examples.
In the second scene, Sheriff August Corbin and Lieutenant Abbie Mills decide to question a suspect at his house and then proceed to wander about his property without a warrant, which leads to Corbin’s convenient death. For no discernible reason, Mills decides to snoop around her dead partner’s office and “conveniently” find a whole file cabinet full of evidence and eye witness accounts mysteriously linked to unexplainable crimes. These then lead her to believe that Ichabod Crane really is from the past and not some washed-up crazy drifter in goofy clothes.
Furthermore, the police and mental ward are apparently completely incapable of keeping track of a deranged murder suspect, who — along with his transporting officer — goes missing for hours. When both finally do arrive at the mental hospital, Ichabod Crane (who, let us remember, has been lying buried in a cave for two centuries) is not immediately washed and de-loused. Not to mention, Crane was arrested in downtown Sleepy Hollow for the Sheriff’s murder, even though Mills reported the murder from a surrounding farm.
If Ichabod was the murderer, he must have ran awfully quick to get from the middle of nowhere to downtown Sleepy Hollow in the matter of seconds it took Mills to radio in “officer down.” However, the epitome of its plot holes is the grand question of “why was one of the Four Horsemen sent to begin the apocalypse in colonial era America?” We hadn’t even won our independence at the time.
If I may be humored for just a moment and use the term “realistically” extremely loosely, I will proceed to explain why the foundation of Sleepy Hollow’s plot is unrealistic. At the time of the first coming of the headless horseman, the American colonies were by far one of the last places that would be considered an epicenter for mass destruction and the end of the world. Realistically, would God not have sent the Four Horsemen to the most civilized, populous and important areas of the world? The Four Horsemen are in a sense terrorists, sent to earth to produce fear within the masses, but don’t terrorists attack the central powerhouses of the world?
What was so important about the American colonies in the 18th century to waste one of only Four Horsemen on, and why was a direct servant of God so easily defeated by human magic anyway? Sleepy Hollow is in essence a flimsy plot under the masquerade of a good-looking star with a British accent.