Sleepy Hollow Review: Moloch Shall Rise!

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From a sheer viewing perspective, "The Lesser Key of Solomon" was fun to watch. From an analytical standpoint, not so much. All of a sudden it feels like they're throwing just a bit too much religious dogma into the pot and it's not necessarily making sense.

However, the lighter moments between Ichabod, Abbie and Jenny were enjoyable and the time Abbie and Jenny spent connecting was touching.

Abbie's Sister

It's hard to beat the lighter side of Sleepy Hollow, such as when Ichabod had the roadside assistance lady entranced and in tears after she helped him unlock his vehicle remotely and explained the entertainment system and later when he declared that the Boston Tea Party was our more festive name for what they called "the destruction of the tea." 

Unfortunately, those moments were fleeting tonight as we were caught up in the mystery of Jenny's disappearance and discovery of her past. A past that involved, much to Abbie's surprise, a lot of involvement from Sheriff Corbin. He never turned his back on either sister, although Abbie was completely unaware of his interactions with Jenny.

Jenny was traveling the world in search of ancient artifacts - a relic hunter, if you will - to help Sheriff Corbin build his case around the strange goings on in Sleepy Hollow. Because of her willingness to believe and the strict religious upbringing the sisters had, there wasn't all that much Abbie needed to catch Jenny up on once she and Ichabod tracked her down.

It was refreshing that the relationship between Abbie and Jenny remained true to nature, even in the face of evil. They bickered and fought up until the bitter end. Ichabod had to get between them and ask them to tone it down. As any sister would, Jenny asked about Abbie's relationship with Ichabod, but didn't bat an eye when she learned they were the two witnesses as spelled out in Revelation. Something tells me she'll not let Abbie live down the fact that she never stopped believing.

We learned who the horned demon is - and he's less of a demon than an ancient god. Moloch (as it was spelled on the show, which is actually a later corruption of the biblical Molech) was a false god to whom Israelites were told not to worship. That's a good thing, as apparently the dude liked to be worshiped by having children burned as sacrifices to him. Somehow King Solomon got involved.

On the show, he's apparently responsible for a black magic text that explains how to release 72 demons. In real life, it's believed that the text, although titled "The Lesser Key of Solomon" is not written by him because the material alluded to in the text is too far after his death, but rather associated with his name because of his earlier dealings with Moloch.

(Fun fact, in 1904, Aleister Crowley published an updated edition of the first book in the text, the Ars Goetia under the title "The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King." Much of his magic was based upon it. Don't tell me I was the only one who delved into his arts during college...)

It was interesting to me that these fellows were being called hessians by Ichabod - were they calling themselves that, as well? When the guy in chair was talking about Sleepy Hollow being full of them (at the same time Captain Irving was raiding the house of a music teacher who was apparently a member), I was unsure if the group was going by another name or if he was acknowledging Ichabod's choice.

Also interesting was their spoken language being German, given the ancient connection to the Jewish scriptures. I wonder if we'll find out what that's all about. It makes sense with the Headless and the Four... Horsemen and all that, so I'm going to assume yes. Jenny's tossing out the Knight's Templar threw me a little.

Even though the book was burned, it seemed the hour was explaining to us the historical nature of Sleepy Hollow and it's connection to the demons and Moloch, so the burning of the book should not have much of a consequence on what we learned tonight. I don't know if closing and burning the book raised the demons or shut them down for good. It all got a little convoluted in there for a while.

It was impressive how the show handled the situation with Jenny and bringing her into the fold too soon. Since she had broken out of the asylum, she figured she was going away for a long time. Instead, Abbie realized how much time she had lost with her sister and arranged for a conservatorship that would essentially guarantee Jenny's release into Abbie's custody in approximately six months. That's plenty of time for the show to carry on with the first season and into Sleepy Hollow Season 2. The characters will be established and then Jenny can become part of the gang, as Abbie acknowledged that they work very well together as a team.

The episode truly delivered on the background and re-connection of Abbie and Jenny. They're completely believable as sisters and I look forward to more of them. Introducing Jenny as having a deeper connection to what is currently happening in their town than Abbie was a nice touch and allowed Abbie to trust her more quickly than she would have otherwise been able.

It felt like a perfect place for a break in the evil-of-the-week formula and we've learned the name of the big bad, if not much more about him yet. Unless Captain Irving is one hell of an actor, I'm doubting his inclusion on the dark side more each week, and guessing his interests might lie somewhere in between. Moloch knows I've been wrong before!

Chat about what you think is going on, how you liked the integration of Jenny and be sure to come back later this week for a full Sleepy Hollow Round Table discussion!

The Lesser Key of Solomon Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (66 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Remember I told you one time this town was going to go straight to hell? I hate being right.


Ichabod: It is I who should thank you, kind woman, for unlocking this vehicle from afar, and showing me how the entertainment system operates. Farewell, Yolanda.
Yolanda: Thank you for calling Northstar Assistance.