“Sleepy Hollow” delivers a new take on the classic tale of the Headless Horsemen, but it also gives viewers another classic plot device: the odd couple. And despite being a male and female partnership, like Oscar and Felix, this relationship is strictly platonic. Who knew that was even possible in Hollywood?
Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) find themselves working together to solve the mystery of Crane’s past and a headless guy in Revolutionary War attire cutting off the heads of various people, including people close to Mills. The most obvious difference between the pair — coming from different time periods — is only the tip of the iceberg of the bizarre relationship between these characters.
You would think that someone would find some contemporary clothing for Crane, as over half way through the season, the guy is still wearing his old colonial uniform. Call me crazy, but that seems like something Mills would want to correct so he’d blend in a little better. But hey, that’s just me. Besides the obvious clothing differences, the most striking difference is their physical appearance and stature. Mills is African-American and Crane is good ol’ pasty complexion British. Crane towers over the tiny Mills, even though she’s almost always in heels of some kind.
You just know that when they were sitting in the writers’ room hashing out the first script, there had to be some discussion about creating a comedic tension between the two and going for the obvious stereotypes: sassy black woman meets stuffy British guy. Thank goodness someone had the sense not to go that route. Instead, we have much more interesting characters individually and together. Mills is tough but shows a vulnerable side to her character, especially when her mentor becomes one of the first victims of the Horseman. His humor may be very dry — British, dare I say — but Crane is actually quite funny at times, and makes many wry observations about contemporary society. He’s quite cheeky, that one.
Having said that, however, the most unusual thing about this pairing is the lack of romantic tension between the two, at least not yet. Nor do they bicker like schoolchildren as many male and female duos tend to do when not romantically involved. A man and woman working together without making googly eyes at each other, or trying to seduce one another? Shocking, isn’t it? Of course, the fact that Crane’s deceased wife — who happens to have been a witch — returns in dreams to try to help her husband would make that a little bit complicated, to put it mildly. But many shows would go for that low hanging fruit. Not “Sleepy Hollow,” I’m happy to say.
The show is loaded with plenty of plot twists, creepy moments and a very cool dynamic between Crane and Mills. It’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. And if you have, what do you think about Crane and Mills working together? Do you think some romantic tension will develop in the future despite Crane having his witchy wife still in the picture? Or do you prefer their relationship as it is?
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