MCC Live-Tweeting: The “Sleepy Hollow” Season 3 Finale

Sleepy Hollow!

In which Ichabbie bids us a clumsy, ill-conceived Ichabbye.

Okay, after a self-mandated 24-hour cooling-off period, I think I’m ready to tackle that Friday night fiasco.

Once upon a time, Midlife Crisis Crossover provided same-night recaps of every episode of Sleepy Hollow. I’m not a pro reviewer entitled to advance copies of any TV shows, so every recap was an intense, on-the-fly, two- to three-hour marathon writing session, thinking and typing as quickly as I could to combine plot summary with top-of-my-head commentary in 1500- to 2000-word bursts — partly to see if I could do it, partly because sometimes there’s an audience for such a thing. This formerly fun exercise became a thankless chore if I paid too much attention to the competition from actual pro websites given days to prepare their material so they can click “Publish” mere seconds after each episode ends. It’s a nice luxury if you can work your way into it and don’t have to worry about sleep deprivation disrupting your full-time day job.

When Fox moved Sleepy Hollow to Fridays for the back half of season 3, I figured it was the perfect time to pull the plug on that ongoing MCC feature, not only due to diminishing returns but also because we have a family commitment every other Friday that precluded same-night recaps. Past experiences have taught me that delayed recaps are a waste of time and bandwidth, so that wasn’t an option, and that’s why this entry is not a straight-up recap. My wife and I still followed the show as fans, and every other week I’ve been live-tweeting it, which turned out to be a much better format for me. All of the MST3K-style improv joke-writing, none of the boring golf-commentator filler.

The timing worked out so that I could live-tweet last night’s season finale, “Ragnarok”, an astoundingly disappointing episode that encapsulated all of this season’s flaws to date, then one-upped them with the most poorly orchestrated mistake in series history. And after it was all over, I was there to watch the internet burn. Not just once, but twice.

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“Sleepy Hollow” 11/19/2015: Sumerian Gothic

Etu'ilu!

“I got a rock.”

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: a Norse monster pack tore each other apart; Pandora summoned her evil husband into our plane of reality; Jenny got powers but was summoned to the Dark Side; Sophie Foster, relic hunter, stood revealed as Agent Foster, FBI; and “fan favorite” Joe Corbin got kissed, pretty much his career highlight.

On tonight’s fall finale, “Novus Ordo Seclorum”: Pandora stands by her man, who’s not Anubis! Ichabod Crane goes to college! Joe is tempted to get tough! And when the dust settles, one of our cast members is gone!

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 11/12/2015: Berserk du Soleil

Norse Berserkers!

Meet your obscure monsters of the week: the Cult of Curly Joe.

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Our Heroes fought a wild ‘n’ wispy wasp woman; Pandora escaped inside her creepy blue Hellmouth tree; and we learned all this season’s previous monsters just barely had a meaningless connection with each other, kind of like a bunch of James Bond villains supposedly belonging to the same criminal organization but never lending each other a hand, so their secret evil fraternity doesn’t mean much to them or to viewers.

On tonight’s new episode, “The Art of War”: an ancient threat emerges from Scandinavia; Jenny has superpowers; Crane quotes Sun Tzu and touts the virtues of horsehair fishing lines; Abbie shows her mad chess skillz; “fan favorite” Joe Corbin has his first kiss; the Great-Big Bad behind our two Big Bads makes his grand entrance; and Betsy Ross, Action Spy, is off this week, probably on special flashback assignment or something.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 11/5/2015: Swarm Front

Sleepy Hollow!

“Fascinating. You know, Benjamin Franklin’s notebooks contain numerous recipes for delectable wasp cuisine.”

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Our Heroes met Team Bones, borrowed some of their ratings, and spent Halloween fighting Zombie General Howe and his zombie Redcoats with magic blue napalm bazookas. Meanwhile, “fan favorite” Joe Corbin nearly sold out the mysterious Shard of Anubis to new baddie Augustus Nevins over his daddy issues. He’s an excellent team member.

On tonight’s new episode, “This Red Lady from Caribee”: Joey Jo-Jo Junior’s daddy issues make things worse! Our Heroes fight a woman made of wasps, and when she yells, she shoots wasps from her mouth! Pandora reveals slightly more of her horticultural master plan! And the ostensibly sinister Augustus Nevins finally appears onscreen, played by veteran character actor Bill Irwin, last heard as the voice of the robot TARS from Interstellar.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 10/29/2015: The Deadcoats are Coming! The Deadcoats are Coming!

Sleepy Hollow Meets Bones!

Agent. Agent. Doctor. “Curator”.

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Our Heroes fought a creepy, bendy Tooth Fairy; Pandora was mean to little girls; and Ichabod Crane traded hundreds of texts goofy emoji with his new friend Zoe Corinth.

On tonight’s new episode, “Dead Men Tell No Tales”: it’s a very special crossover with Bones! The venerable Fox procedural drama, now in its thirty-seventh season, has been gracious enough to share Thursdays with Sleepy Hollow this season, and since both series feature FBI agents and fish-out-of-water geniuses partnering to fight crime, someone up high decided both series should go on a two-hour double-date based on their matching profile results from TVMingle.com. One focuses on forensic analysis and cutting-edge science and the world’s weirdest desiccated corpses; the other has sinister artifacts and killer demons and a 250-year-old spy. Obviously these two kooky shows are ready for their Vegas wedding.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 10/22/2015: Better Living Through Dentistry

Sleepy Hollow!

“Little girl, by my count this American coin contains no less than six different lies. How many can YOU discern?”

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: We learned the absolutely true story of the eternal Jack the Ripper; our man Crane boldly decided to become a legal immigrant; Jenny Mills caught yet another competitive relic hunter stepping on her turf; and “fan favorite” Joe Corbin was, y’know, there.

On tonight’s new episode, “The Sisters Mills”: the season’s best outing so far sees Abbie and Jenny comparing notes over family matters, Crane and Zoe Corinth trading designer emoji, and we’re told Everything You Know About the Tooth Fairy Is WRONG. Tonight is brought to you by guest director Guillermo Navarro, best known as the cinematographer on most of Guillermo del Toro’s films, having won an Academy Award for his memorable work on Pan’s Labyrinth, and helmed half a dozen episodes of NBC’s Hannibal. As you’d expect, this week’s monster looks fabulously disturbing.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 10/15/2015: Yours Truly, Nelson the Ripper

Sleepy Hollow Ripper!

How the killer sees himself…

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Our Heroes fought a stabby shadow that preyed on evil accountants with dark secrets; sister Jenny showed off her martial arts training against a rival relic hunter, but he got what he came for; Joe Corbin, son of Sheriff, showed up; and the showrunners tried to break the primetime record for most love triangles in a single show with less than six main cast members.

In tonight’s new episode, “Blood and Fear”: Ichabod Crane versus his old foe, Jack the Ripper! Well, technically. Their lives were lived a century apart, but nothing solves a seeming anachronism like a magical MacGuffin. And for those following along with the show in their Sleepy Hollow Vocabulary Workbooks, tonight’s secret word was “exsanguination”. Remember: for the rest of the week, whenever anyone says the secret word, scream real loud!

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 10/8/2015: The Greatest Spectacle in Wraithing

Sleepy Hollow!

Can two appointed Witnesses share a house without driving each other crazy?

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Agent Abbie Mills has now followed Mulder and Scully into the ranks of the FBI; our man Ichabod Crane strongly believes the second Tribulation is nigh; sister Jenny was among the few to survive the great cast-pruning of 2015; Crane has flashbacks about his old colleague Betsy Ross, American Action Spy; and good ol’ Tarrytown welcomed a new Big Bad, the scheming Pandora. (No, not the music service.)

In tonight’s new episode, “Whispers in the Dark”: Abbie and Crane reveal some new secrets, the show adds a few replacement male characters, more tidbits are revealed from the nine-month time-jump, Crane throws himself into some intense household chores, and there’s a Dementor on the loose with an oddly specific serial-killing fetish.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 10/1/2015: Red Hide, White Eyes, Blue Crane

Sleepy Hollow goes to Colonial Times!

Also mentioned tonight but not pictured: the I Cannot Tell a Lie Cherry Pie. With a name like that, the first ingredient had better be real cherries.

Sleepy Hollow is back! The third season kicked off tonight in its new time slot, where it’ll be competing against ABC’s invincible Shonda Rhimes lineup instead of CBS’ Scorpion. I’m not sure this move is an upgrade. More troubling was the departure of the previous showrunners and several cast members, including the Headless Horseman and the great Orlando Jones, who’ll be truly missed. Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, and Lyndie Greenwood are still around, joined by new cast members, new monsters, presumably a new Big Bad, new artifacts, new vocabulary words, and wacky new collisions between our man Ichabod Crane and the bemusing 21st century America. Midlife Crisis Crossover previously brought you speedy, after-show recaps of Season One and Season Two, and we’re stubbornly sticking with the tradition until it’s canceled or turns unwatchable, whichever comes first. I’m pretty okay with neither eventuality happening, really.

The season premiere, “I, Witness”, as directed by Robocop‘s Peter Weller, kept our reunion simple with a straightforward demon hunt, leavened with a flashback to a historical friend, hints of another sinister long-term scheme in the works, and a merry visit to a themed restaurant called Colonial Times, which is like a Medieval Times sequel with a longer, cheesier menu.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 2/23/2015: Yankee Doodle Abbie

Sleepy Hollow!

Abbie Mills is not impressed with the new Fox series Oz 1781.

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Katrina von Tassel Crane, occasionally functional witch and former member of the Sisters of the Radiant Heart, let her son’s machinations and his death sway her over to the Dark Side, then hopped back in time Quantum Leap style into the body of her 1781 self so she can secure his gestation and childhood, even if she has to kill her own husband to do it. The goodly Lieutenant Abbie Mills time-jumped behind her Army of Darkness style and was swiftly imprisoned by Redcoats for the crime of Unsupervised Blackness.

In tonight’s season finale, “Tempus Fugit”: it’s a time-travel episode! And one of the series’ best romps to date, featuring a new kind of Abbie/Crane team-up, the return of the Hessian, a visit from a Founding Father, a selfie that saves the day, and bittersweet closure in case of unfair cancellation.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

Right this way to go forward to the past!

“Sleepy Hollow” 2/16/2015: Crane Vs. Crane

Ichabod Crane!

Blatant foreshadowing for a potential season-3 episode involving tiny killer gnomes that worked for Oliver Cromwell.

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Our Heroes thought it a brilliant sacrifice to destroy an eighteenth-century holodeck containing the thoughts and memories of Thomas Jefferson held and animated inside a sentient hologram and an extensive Rupert Giles hero library just so a bunch of mad, starving Morlocks who hadn’t eaten in 250 years could get killed in a single explosion instead of having to put forth a little effort to slay them one at a time. Meanwhile, Henry Parrish tempted his mom Katrina with Dark Willow magic. At the same time, the resurrected Frank Irving took a break from Henry’s secret domination over him to go steal the Hellfire Club’s accounting records so that he could embezzle some getaway money for his family.

In tonight’s new episode, “Awakening”: Henry reveals his new plan, which has nothing to do with apocalypses or Witnesses or demons or Horsemen! Jenny Mills has a gunfight! Frank Irving goes a little mad! Katrina’s magic works! And it works a lot for a change!

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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“Sleepy Hollow” 2/9/2015: The Phantom Forefather’s Forbidden Fortress

Sleepy Hollow!

Tonight’s episode has a flashback in which Ichabod Crane acts as Thomas Jefferson’s beta reader for the Declaration of Independence. When you have scenes like that giving Mr. Peabody and Sherman a run for their money, adding funny captions to the proceedings is just gilding the lily, isn’t it?

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: a bitter 17th-century sorcerer tempted Katrina with Dark Side blood magic; the returned Captain Irving acted in cahoots with the fiendish Henry Parrish, who added the Grand Grimoire to his evil book collection; and Our Heroes learned the shocking true story of the Salem Witch Trials that The MAN thought we couldn’t handle.

In tonight’s new episode, “What Lies Beneath”, special guest Steven Weber (Wings, NCIS New Orleans, Studio 60, more more more) brings to life the man, the myth, the legend, the Founding Father, the third President of the United States of America, the one and only Thomas Jefferson. And not just in flashback.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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MCC 2014 Pilot Binge #3: “Red Band Society”

Red Band Society!

I’ve not yet watched or read The Fault in Our Stars, so I’m unqualified to comment on whether or not Fox’s new terminal-teens drama Red Band Society owes it some debts. Of the twenty-six pilots I’ll be sampling over the next few months, it’s among the small number that I was not dreading. For me the major selling point is Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer, who was great in The Help, lent Snowpiercer some of its heart, and tore me up inside as the tough-loving mother in Fruitvale Station. I was curious to see her handling a bona fide starring role.

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The MCC 2014 Pilot Binge: Kickoff and First Down

Utopia!

Not a codeword for the new fall TV lineup.

And now for something completely regrettable:

I have a short list of TV shows I follow every year, but I don’t watch nearly as much TV as the average internet user my age. I don’t connect with what many of today’s sitcoms consider “humor”. The Wire ruined all ordinary police shows for me for all time. We don’t subscribe to any premium cable channels. I’m not remotely interested in any show that describes itself as “sexy”. My list of disqualifiers goes on and on.

This year I’ve decided against my better judgment to dare myself to do something different. I spent time this weekend reading the official annual “Fall TV Preview” cover features in the latest issues of Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide, and compiled a list of the new shows that merited full articles or capsule previews. I omitted a few premium-cable shows for the one reason mentioned above (the pirating option is off the table) and a few online-only streaming shows for assorted logistical reasons. That left me with a list of twenty-six TV shows in all.

Right this way for the details…

“Sleepy Hollow” Hiatus News Roundup and Season 1 Recap Guide

Tom Mison! Nicole Beharie!

Tom Mison! Nicole Beharie! America’s new favorite buddy cops!

Less than three months until the season premiere of Sleepy Hollow! It’s been six months since the season 1 finale, but news and notices are popping up more and more as our heroes Lieutenant Abbie Mills and Professor Ichabod Crane prepare to return to active duty against the forces of the Headless Horseman, the demon called Moloch, the undead John Cho, and the mastermind behind them all, whose identity I should maybe not spoil for the sake of anyone planning to catch up on the series over the summer.

Today’s major news: Sleepy Hollow is coming to comics in October! Major indie company BOOM! Studios — whose current publishing lineup includes Adventure Time, Regular Show, Bravest Warriors, Robocop, Big Trouble in Little China, and the quirky creator-owned hit Lumberjanes — has secured the license to bring Crane, the Mills sisters, the Irving family, limbo-bound Katrina Crane, and the late Sheriff Corbin’s fatherly flashbacks to my favorite medium. (Sorry, movies. Missed it by that much.) The creative team of Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Coelho will have four issues to tell new stories that take place between various season-1 episodes, maybe filling in some gaps and finding ways to go all-out gonzo in print without having to worry about a strict TV budget.

This way for sample art, a review of recent headlines, a merchandise sighting, and the MCC recap links!

“Almost Human”: Almost Renewable?

Almost Human, Fox

Left to right: Dorian, Detective John Kennex, and I’m really sorry but after thirteen episodes I still don’t know her name.

Tonight was the season finale of Almost Human, the science fiction series created by Fringe showrunner J. H. Wyman about a grumpy future detective (Karl Urban, a.k.a. Spock or Eomer), his emotional robot partner (Michael Ealy, previously on TV’s FlashForward), and their buddy-cop adventures in a world where all the tech advances seem to benefit the outlaws more than the citizens. Thirteen episodes later, the show’s fate rests in the hands of Nielsen commoners and Fox executives, left to decide whether or not the show deserves a second chance to address any of the questions viewers have had since episode one.

Why cancellation might not bother me…

“Sleepy Hollow” 12/9/2013 (spoilers): What Ever Happened to Baby Crane?

Henry Parrish, John Noble, Sleepy Hollow

Henry Parrish looks at Rupert Giles and laughs, “Now THIS is a reference book!”

Tonight’s new episode of Sleepy Hollow, “The Golem”, spoils a little of its own mystery in the title alone. Regardless, you’ll never see a few twists ahead in an overstuffed episode that covers the secret origin of Baby Boy Crane, an interview with Katrina’s jailers, the return of John Noble as the sin-eater, and your vocabulary words for the week, “gumplefik” and “gongoozler”.

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers.

This way for the tale of one bad baby…

“Sleepy Hollow” 11/25/2013 (spoilers): the Stalker Made of Stalks

Tom Mison, Sleepy Hollow

Only one network show is daring enough to bring you a haunted-house episode for Thanksgiving. (No, not Hawaii Five-0.)

On tonight’s new Sleepy Hollow episode, “Sanctuary”, the Horseman had the evening off, but that doesn’t mean Thanksgiving is a federal holiday for all evil. Moloch’s handprints are all over this sordid tale of a haunted house, a fictional founding father, a family secret, the Pilgrims’ available culinary options, and the impersonal touch of the McDonald’s drive-thru.

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers.

Click here for another terrifying tale of Tarrytown!

“Sleepy Hollow” 11/18/2013 (spoilers): the Secret Origin of Death

Death, Horseman, Sleepy Hollow, Fox

So you’ve caught Death. Now what do you do?

On tonight’s new Sleepy Hollow episode, “Necromancer”: he’s more than a Horseman, yet subservient to the demon Moloch. You’d think him eternal, and yet he bears quasi-mortal form. It’s the story we’ve been waiting for: who is Death and why is he doing these terrible things?

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers.

For any parent whose child has ever asked, “Where does Death come from?”…

“Sleepy Hollow” 11/11/2013 (spoilers): To Catch a Death

Death, Horseman, Sleepy Hollow, Fox

Death doesn’t need eyes to aim!

On tonight’s new episode of Sleepy Hollow, “The Midnight Ride”, all your favorite elements return: the Horseman! John Cho! Action scenes! Shotguns! Crane bemoaning the state of American history classes! Protests over the concept of paying for bottled water! Arguments about that unseemly Sally Hemings story!

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers.

Click here for helpful tips on beating Death!

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