Typically, when I’m watching TV, I’m not overly concerned with the story the creators are trying to tell and instead choose focus on the story I’m getting out of it. In many cases, I don’t need to think about it because my interpretations match the creator’s vision. In others, I recognize that my interpretation differs wildly and only occasionally get disgruntled when something reads drastically wrong to me.
Last night, however, that’s not what happened with Sleepy Hollow. I think I spent most of the episode contemplating what story they are telling with Katrina. After 17 episodes, I still don’t care about her as a character at all and it’s starting to become a problem with the way I’m watching the show. I want to understand more about her so I can feel something about her relationship with Ichabod and its potential dissolution but every time I think we’ll learn more, I’m left unsatisfied. I want to feel that undying love between her and Ichabod because quite honestly, I don’t see it. I hear about it a lot. There’s a lot of referring to Ichabod as “my love” and references to them as husband and wife and some concern about her well-being on Ichabod’s part. But I don’t feel it and that’s rare for me.
It is possible that I’m not remembering a key detail from the first season that would answer my questions for me. What made Katrina choose Ichabod over Abraham (other than the fact that she didn’t seem to like Abraham very much)? What drew Ichabod to her, even knowing she was promised to his best friend? I know Ichabod is a nice guy and he and Katrina seemed to be friendly with each other but I need more than that. I also want to know when in the timeline of their relationship Katrina learned of Ichabod’s role as a Witness. That starts veering a little far into questioning the plot, which is probably best not done with this show, but I’m still curious.
Without understanding their relationship when it was good, I struggle to care about the problems they are having. I understand Ichabod’s frustration over Katrina’s continued secrets but because I don’t feel that connection between them, I don’t get a proper sense of the emotional toil this will have on Ichabod. Even his declaration to Abbie that their duty to each other needed to come first fell flat to me, because based on his actions, it already was.
I understand that he and Abbie are both Witnesses and as such, share a special bond. I’ve written about how much I enjoy their relationship in the past and as someone who wants them to be together in a romantic sense sometime in the future, I have loved what we have gotten between them so far this season. But I am having trouble rectifying their relationship with the epic love that Ichabod and Katrina are supposed to share, especially since I don’t see it. I don’t think Ichabod or Abbie would physically cheat on his marriage with Katrina, it would be out of character for them. But I see far more love, trust, respect and understanding in their relationship than I do with Ichabod and Katrina’s.
So I just want to know what the writers intend for her. Are they just going to continue telling us about their love without filling us in on their history? Will we ever get more of Katrina’s internal motivations? Are we supposed to root for Ichabod and Katrina to make up and live happily ever after fighting the impending apocalypse alongside Abbie or should we be just waiting for their inevitable downfall?
I wouldn’t normally be bothered by the creators’ intentions but for some reason I am. I feel like as a viewer, I being told to care and be emotionally invested in a character and relationship that they’ve given me no basis for. This show has never been subtle, but in most other ways, they get the relationship aspects just right so in this case, I’d like to be on the same page as them.
Make Katrina good, make her evil, make her morally grey. Just make her something. Stop telling me who she is and show me. Let me into her internal world, no matter what lies there.