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Sleepy Hollow throws all its balls in the air…

Sleepy Hollow throws all its balls in the air… published on No Comments on Sleepy Hollow throws all its balls in the air…

…and goes, "Hah hah, see ya ’round, suckaaaaaaaahs!" C’est a dire que, at the end of the 1.5-hour season finale, the arrangement looks something like this:

  • Abby’s in purgatory.
  • Ichabod’s in a coffin.
  • Katrina’s in the Headless Horseman’s possession.
  • Irving’s in police custody.
  • Jenny’s in a car wreck.
  • Andy’s in the remains of Washington’s real tomb.
  • The Horseman of War is in the world.
  • Mick Jagger is in the last 50 seconds of the episode. 

And we have resolved precisely nothing while setting up the second season in a most tantalizing fashion.

This show has really grown on me since the first episode or two. It has the escalating weirdness of Haven, in which the supernatural freakery surrounding a single town ends up piling deeper and threatening the very fabric of reality. But it’s much better than Haven because Abby has a family in the form of Jenny and female allies in the form of Jenny and Katrina as well. It’s also playfully self-aware and silly, which makes it more enjoyable to watch.

Regarding the presence of Mick Jagger in the tail end of the ep, I refer of course to a clip from Sympathy for the Devil, which has always been one of my favorite songs. I personally have memorized the damn thing in several different versions and let it strongly inflect my narrative imagination, so, because of my unreasoning affection for it, it looms large in my consciousness. I always knew that, as an iconic tune by the Stones, it has also infiltrated the popular consciousness to a certain degree. However, I didn’t realize how widely known it was until Sleepy Hollow closed out the last ep of season 1 with the first two lines from the song:

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste

Though there’s nothing in them to suggest that a diabolical autobiography ensues, these lines, of course, introduce a first-person retrospective by the Devil on all the chaos and cruelty he has caused throughout history. The showrunners thus depend on the viewers’ familiarity with the song to make the connection between it and Sleepy Hollow, a TV show about protagonists trying to prevent Hell on Earth. I never knew that Sympathy for the Devil was such a part of modern ambient cultural knowledge that two lines from it — neither of which mention sympathy or the Devil — would be sufficient to evoke a realm of gloating catastrophe perfect for the cliffhanger end of Sleepy Hollow.

In other news, Mick Jagger claims that Sympathy for Devil has its origins partly in the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, who is apparently leaving his fingerprints all over my life. Wikipedia, the infallible source of all, says:

In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Jagger said, "I think that was taken from an old idea of Baudelaire’s, I think, but I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can’t see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it. I wrote it as sort of like a Bob Dylan song."

Maybe he’s thinking of Les Litanies de Satan?

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