Mondays 9:00 PM on FOX
Sleepy-hollow

Sleepy Hollow Review: Lost Colony Found

by at . Comments

"John Doe" was probably my favorite episode since the Sleepy Hollow pilot; not because of any fun interaction between the leads but because of the mythology behind the story that brought forth the whereabouts of another of the Four Horsemen - the lost colony of Roanoke. 

Yes, I am a history geek and if you throw in the mysterious disappearance of that colony and all of its inhabitants, it's like a historical supernatural tale - and the writers picked it up and ran with it. Well done!

Mysterious Origins

Are Chaucer's Canterbury Tales really written in Middle English? Alright, slap me. I haven't read them. The Middle English Ichabod was conversing in with young master Thomas sounded a lot like the German that the Hessians were speaking last week. In any event, Ichabod knows a lot, doesn't he?

As viewers it was pretty obvious what had happened: the Horseman of Pestilence/Conquest had lured Thomas into the modern world to spread his plague. That Thomas came from Roanoke was just icing on the cake. Heck, it's as good an argument as any others out there about what happened to the colonists. They merged with native Indians or were all murdered or all did succumb to a plague, leaving no trace.

Even though I enjoyed the hour and it was so interesting to imagine that some supernatural occurrence might have been responsible for their lost status, I did have some issues.

First, shame on Abbie for not paying attention in history class. I'd venture to guess that the topic of Roanoke piqued the interest of Jenny. As a mystery lover, it was one of the first lessons in elementary school that caught my attention and made me realize that history might have its merits.

Secondly, in the spirit of not paying attention, apparently Ichabod was glossing over his interpretation of the Middle English we had subtitled across the screen during his conversation with the townsman as they discussed what would stop the plague from spreading and heal Thomas. The answer was simple. Return Thomas to the Roanoke people and everyone else who was infected would be cured. His exact words were, "You must return him here. To save them all."

Yet Ichabod made it seem as though it was Abbie's prayer and belief in her position as one of the two witnesses and seeing what nobody else could that set that cure into motion. Ummm... not so much. Perhaps he was saying that to give her a boost of confidence in the witness department? If he had properly delivered the message in the first place, when he fell ill she wouldn't have had to pray on it in the first place.

Inspired Observations:

  • Might a change of clothes be on the way for Ichabod? Abbie admitted he looked good, but a chance of clothes couldn't hurt. Oh, fingers crossed! 
  • My favorite scene was when Abbie pointed to the imaginary 'Welcome to Roanoke' sign and Ichabod didn't like her sarcasm, and he got her back by telling her Jefferson had an obsession with puns and that Adams kept a notebook of unsavory limericks.
  • Captain Irving helped Abbie get Ichabod and Thomas out of the hospital. He has to be a good guy, but I'm not ruling out him having some inside information.
  • Katrina is lost in a purgatory, detained by Moloch, but Ichabod got sucked back to life before we learned why. Someone in the present must have some information on her, right?
  • Was Pestilence locked in the past once Roanoke was no longer visible to Abbie and Ichabod? My assumption is he can move through time more freely than that, or else we'll revisit Roanoke in the future.
  • I was under the impression that Death was MIA because his head had been confiscated. My impression was wrong since he arose from the water and is on his way back to Sleepy Hollow. What was the point of hiding his head and why did he just turn and run when they took it instead of knocking down the door to find it?

We have three long weeks until the next all-new episode of Sleepy Hollow and now I have this desire to go back to my history books to find other odd moments they can bring out to utilize to propel the story forward and bring the Horsemen out into the open. Tonight was just ingenious and a real joy for those of us who would like to imagine a happy ending for the lost colony of Roanoke.

What did you think of tonight's episode? How will you spend your time away? We'll see you back here for the Sleepy Hollow Round Table and then again on November 4 for the next new episode!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (58 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

Tags: ,
Avatar

I think you see me, I like this 14econ0210, It's a nice post. May be u can go this way follow me, me easy to adapt to new environment and a strong sense of responsibility;
Hermes Outlet http://galerias.com/hermes/

Avatar

I am delighted to read comments by several people who also noticed the linguistic issues! (My husband said I would be the only person who would notice.) Sleepy Hollow is an entertaining show, I'm delighted with the specific historical references and clearly a good deal of money is being spent on special effects, make-up, etc. but please, please, please hire a reliable dramaturge or language coach and do your research.

Avatar

I was strangely annoyed at the Middle English thing too. C'mon, writers, anyone hear of Shakespeare? You can basically understand the English of the time period (it's basically modern English), just with obsolete slang and non-standardized spelling. I found it made the whole episode ridiculous. Now maybe if they had made it some unknown English, pre-Columbian colony that somehow made it to America during Chaucer's time, it would've been better!

Avatar

About middle English. It was still heavily influenced by the high German roots of old English but softened by the French. However earlier comments were in error: middle English did use the ich variant of I. Just because they didn't read it in Canterbury Tales, doesn't mean that's not how it was pronounced. It was heavily germanic. By the way, those who use Shakespeare as an example are flat out wrong. Shakespeare lived and wrote during the era of Early Modern English. So Sleepy Hollow's use of Middle English was more accurate than most people will realize. Except for the fact that the colonists would have been speaking the English of Shakespeare, Early Modern English, not Middle English. Not an insignificant difference.

Avatar

I loved this episode. I understand that the Middle English was inaccurate but still loved it. Now, what did Katrina do ??? Did she make a deal with the demon or something ? New mystery ! Anyways, I like this show so far. The new Horseman was really interesting as well, even though he's not supposed to be here yet. I agree that Ichabod should really get new clothes !!

Avatar

OK, last try; I guess my comment is too long.... ... Not to mention Chaucer's repeated use of "I", not the German "ich", for first-person singular subject. Oh, and "ultherne" does not appear in the University of Michigan's Middle English Dictionary (nor do the same word spelled with the OE/ME letters thorn and eth) So, in summary, the boy was in the wrong period to be speaking ME, what he was speaking was in no way ME, the word Crane recognized is not an ME word is not one, and, as an Oxford University professor who studied ME, he should have known all of that. Also bugging me: in the second episode Crane claimed to have an "eidetic" memory. The word eidetic wasn't coined until 1924. I just had to vent....

Avatar

It seems the site doesn't like the letters thorn nor eth... I just have to vent; if I don't I fear my brain will explode... Okay, so as has been mentioned by many people, Middle English was not spoken during the timeframe mentioned in this episode. But even if it were, he's not speaking Middle English! The Old English period ended, and the ME period began, shortly after the Norman conquest of England in 1066 (about 88 years later: 1154). This began the French (and Latin via French) influence on English. The Canterbury Tales, which Ichabod specifically mentions, is a fairly easy read to modern English speakers--there's barely a word in it that people would consider "German". The French/Latin influence is clearly visible, though the spelling does seem to be quite creative by today's Modern English standards, e.g. bargaynes "bargains", cokewold "cuckold", brymstoon "brimstone, sulphur". Not to mention Chaucer's repeated use of "I", not the German "ich", for first-person singular subject. Oh, and "ultherne" does not appear in the University of Michigan's Middle English Dictionary (nor do the same word spelled with the OE/ME letters thorn and eth) So, in summary, the boy was in the wrong period to be speaking ME, what he was speaking was in no way ME, the word Crane recognized is not an ME word is not one, and, as an Oxford University professor who studied ME, he should have known all of that. Also bugging me: in the second episode Crane claimed to have an "eidetic" memory. The word eidetic wasn't coined until 1924. I just had to vent....

Avatar

I just have to vent; if I don't I fear my brain will explode... Okay, so as has been mentioned by many people, Middle English was not spoken during the timeframe mentioned in this episode. But even if it were, he's not speaking Middle English! The Old English period ended, and the ME period began, shortly after the Norman conquest of England in 1066 (about 88 years later: 1154). This began the French (and Latin via French) influence on English. The Canterbury Tales, which Ichabod specifically mentions, is a fairly easy read to modern English speakers--there's barely a word in it that people would consider "German". The French/Latin influence is clearly visible, though the spelling does seem to be quite creative by today's Modern English standards, e.g. bargaynes "bargains", cokewold "cuckold", brymstoon "brimstone, sulphur". Not to mention Chaucer's repeated use of "I", not the German "ich", for first-person singular subject. Oh, and "ultherne" does not appear in the University of Michigan's Middle English Dictionary (nor do ulþerne and ulðerne) So, in summary, the boy was in the wrong period to be speaking ME, what he was speaking was in no way ME, the word Crane recognized is not an ME word is not one, and, as an Oxford University professor who studied ME, he should have known all of that. Also bugging me: in the second episode Crane claimed to have an "eidetic" memory. The word eidetic wasn't coined until 1924. I just had to vent....

Avatar

Ok, Having just vented my irritation on the middle enlgish topic I will say this: I like the show, I did not love this episode but on the whole I like this show.
I do need to ask for two things:
1. Give Ichabod some new clothing.
2. Writers, Please, please, please do your homework when incorprating history in your story. I'm not saying that everything needs to be completely historically correct, no movie or tv show is or ever will be. Simple things do need to be right though. There is for example a big, BIG difference between someone from mid to late 18th century and the early settlers in the 16th century. I will not go into that, but one more time, writers just, please do your homework. That being said, my guess on katrina: Katrina is in purgatory because she traded her soul to save Ichabod.

Avatar

Middle English was not spoken in the 16th century. Early modern English, which sounds almost like modern English, is being used at least by the end of the 15th century. That is what the boy should be speaking. Even if you don't know anything about philology or history, there is so much information on these things on the internet. I don't mind some liberties with history in film and tv land, but this made the show look stupid. If you do not know that much about history and you want to use something like a different language, do your research!

Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

So did the boy go to Oxford or are you suggesting he's a member of King Author's Court?

Capt. Irving

You and I have very different definitions of old. It seems if a building stays upright for more than a decade, you people declare it a national landmark. This cabin has all the modern means I need. It's certainly preferable to that motel.

Ichabod
×