The Sleepy Hollow viewers love was back and in “The Art of War” it took no prisoners. It was a fast-paced, well written, visually appealing hour that utilized all members of Team Witness to the benefit of the episode.
As the last episode before the fall finale, “The Art of War” upped the ante by advancing the Shard of Abunis plot. Apparently, the artifact has a dangerous side effect as it brings out aggression and leads to death. Jenny is the unlucky victim of this affliction. Her friendly boxing sparring with Joe turns violent.
Nevins needs to get the Shard back or they’ll be Hell to pay. To this end, he uses a poetic spell to summon Pandora’s box and unleash the Norse Berserkers. These deadly creatures look like the love child of The Incredible Hulk (minus the green) and something from the Fantastic Four. They immediately seek Jenny Mills.
A fortunate side effect of the Shard allows Jenny to temporarily overpower the Berserkers. Ichabod reveals the creatures can be defeated with mistletoe. I’m guessing Abbie, Ichabod, Jenny and Joe aren’t planning on kissing them. But mistletoe as a weapon, was a creatively original writing choice.
“The Art of War” gave viewers a sisterly bonding moment between Abbie and Jenny as well as a bro scene with Ichabod and Joe, crossbows in hand hunting, the Berserkers. Tom Mison and Zach Appleman definitely need more scenes together.
Whereas Ichabod and Joe work well together, the mistletoe doesn’t work at all. It has something to do with Nevin’s spell and Norse God Odin.
Ichabod remembers a trick Daniel Boone used to defeat the Hessians, the old turn your enemy on each other. Using the lure of Jenny’s Shard-laced blood works like a charm, the Berserkers tear each other apart.
“The Art of War” revelations were that Nevins’ partner Sophie is actually a FBI Agent working with Reynolds and there’s a threat that makes Pandora “seem like a grade school teacher”. A Shard possessed Jenny meets this threat at episode’s conclusion.
I didn’t miss Betsy Ross, who wasn’t in the episode.
Sleepy Hollow “The Art of War” was the perfect union of writing, acting and visuals.
Sleepy Hollow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on FOX.