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‘Sleepy Hollow’ Review: ‘John Doe’ leads to questions of faith

Brownie Harris/FOX

The writers of Sleepy Hollow must be history buffs or at the very least do their homework. Each episode takes historical facts and asks, “what if?” This week’s episode took on Roanoke Colony better known as The Lost Colony. Roanoke was a late 16th century colony in North Carolina that mysteriously disappeared. The most common theory is that the colony was absorbed into nearby tribes while waiting for their leader to return from England with supplies.

This week’s episode, “John Doe,” posed a different theory for the disappearance of Roanoke. The village was attacked by one of the four horsemen – Pestilence. In order to survive the plague that the horseman unleashed on the village, Roanoke was moved to the forest of Sleepy Hollow where it stood frozen in time until one of the village’s boys, Thomas, leaves home.

Thomas brings with him a mysterious plague which begins infecting the town including Ichabod. Abbie remains uninfected and is able to heal everyone by bringing Ichabod and Thomas back to Roanoke for a dip in the village’s holy water. After all are cured and Roanoke vanishes, Ichabod reasons that Thomas was dead the whole time and was led out of purgatory to spread the plague.

The audience also learned a little bit more about Ichabod as another one of his super powers was revealed – his excellent tracking skills. He is able to use them to retrace Thomas’s steps in the woods and locate Roanoke. He tells Abbie that he learned the rustic brand of forensics from fox hunting during his “regal upbringing.” After spending the last few episodes delving into Abbie’s past, it is now Ichabod’s turn.

As for Abbie, I found it very curious that she remained uninfected by the plague, even while interacting with others who were infected. Perhaps this meant nothing, but I wonder if there is more to it. Maybe Abbie doesn’t get sick. She is, after all, one of the two witnesses and being immune to the plague would be pretty handy, considering one of the horseman is the plague.

Abbie’s ex-boyfriend Luke is getting suspicious. He is looking into Ichabod’s story and starting to ask a lot of questions. While one could not blame him for questioning Ichabod’s unexplained partnership with the police, I feel Luke may be more jealous than uneasy. It’ll be interesting to see what his reaction will be when he learns the truth. He may provide some obstacles in the future.

The theme of this episode was faith. There were references to Christianity throughout the show, such as walking on water, baptism, and the image of the cross. It wasn’t just about religious faith. The characters had to have faith in themselves as well as others.  It’s Abbie’s faith in being one of the witnesses that ultimately saves the day. 

Another display of faith was when Captain Irving decided to trust Abbie and help her get Ichabod and Thomas out of quarantine, despite never having seen Roanoke himself. The characters had to believe they were making the right choices and that good would prevail.

Sometimes you just have to have faith.

What did you think of the episode? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

Jenn Bishop
Jenn Bishop was TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.

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