Sleepy Hollow 1.03 – For the Triumph of Evil

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Previously on Sleepy Hollow:  Learn how to live a modern life, the post-it-note-reminder way!  Abbie revealed more about her history with Sheriff August Corbin; Ichabod’s wife Katrina warned him of a dark spirit; Andy Dunn witch-enabled some flesh-stealing of some of Sleepy Hollow’s citizens; and Ichabod killed an evil resurrection WITH FIRE. 

Abbie rushes to the station to find forensic psychologist Dr. Vega and the Captain watching Ichabod Crane “interrogating the suspect.”  Moving up that ladder fast, Ichabod!  “They caught Abbie Mills,” Frank Irving explains while Abbie panics.  “Stop lying!” Ichabod shouts at Abbie when she rushes in to what seems her own questioning, his eyes a pupil-missing freakish white.  The lights flicker, Abbie is trapped, and Ichabod changes to an eyeless bogeyman.

Sweet holy f---

Sweet holy f—

Abbie awakens FOR REAL THIS TIME, to emergency response requesting her at a crime scene.  “What kind of dream?” Ichabod asks when she arrives.  “A really weird one.  You were in it.”  I’m the only one who heard a Sixteen Candles reference here, right?  *slinks away* So it seems Dr. Vega is on a ledge about to jump to her horrible death and has asked for Abbie to talk to her.  Good thing they met in Abbie’s nightmare; this way it won’t be awkward!

“Everything she saw was real,” Dr. Vega mutters.  “I believed her and I lied; I should have told the truth.”  Who the what now?  “Your sister, Jenny.”  Vega turns and before I can spin my 1980s Suzanne Vega references (they totally fit with this ep, I swear), we see her eyes are sheer white, like Ichabod’s from the dream.  She’s had this coming “for a long time; we all have.”  As Abbie watches helplessly from an open window, Vega leans forward to plummet to the ground.

Apparently everyone took forever to give their statements, because we’ve gone from night to day by the time Abbie and Crane are ready to leave the scene.

103 ichabod and abbie on the scene

Don’t stand so close to me — Ichabod needs a change of clothing.

“It was like she was sleepwalking,” Abbie says of Vega, explaining the creepy eye issue.  Though Captain Irving guesses drugs (Oh, Captain Irving!  When won’t you think it’s drugs?  *fond shoulder-punch*  It’s like he’s from Sunnydale or something, right?).  How’s about they check out her peepers?  Dear god, her eyes go POOF and turn to running sand.

“Her eye somehow transmogrified into sand-filled orbs of the purest white,” Ichabod muses, because even creepy things should be poetic (especially creepy things, okay?).  Dr. Vega was a resident psychiatrist at Tarrytown Psychiatric, where it just so happens Abbie’s sister Jenny has been locked up a time or twenty.  “See what you can dig up,” Irving tells our heroes.  “The last thing we need around here is another episode of the Twilight Zone.”  Way too late for that!

Ichabod’s on to Abbie, though, figuring out she’s kept something back from the Captain.  When she confesses Vega was in her dream, he calls it prophesy and begins to remind her — “Two witnesses, I know,” Abbie says, irritated, because she’s got no time for exposition, Jack!  She still doesn’t quite believe she’s a “capital W Witness” but Ichabod calls the creature in her nightmare a soldier in the army of evil.  “Let’s start with regular detective work,” Abbie says.

Ichabod has some quiet wacky misadventures with fast-forward and slo-mo while he and Abbie catch up with a videotaped questioning of Abbie and Jenny at the police station after they saw the demon.  “Fear causes inaction, inaction causes pain, Q.E.D., fear causes pain,” Ichabod says of Abbie’s decision to lie to the police and claim she saw nothing at all.  Now she and her sister don’t talk, but if Ichabod insists, Abbie will try to meet with her.

I’ve got to ask when the hell Abbie is going to take Ichabod shopping.  He cannot smell so good after all that time in his cave-grave.  Plus it would be ridiculously fun to see the two of them in a mall montage, trying on clothes, explaining escalators, drinking delicious slushies, and emerging with Ye Olde Military and Rascally Pirate outfits Ichabod insisted on buying at the seasonal Halloween costume mall cart.

Abbie says it’s not only that Jenny’s considered the crazy one while she’s sane for keeping mum; “I’m a cop, and she’s a criminal.”  Jenny isn’t only locked up because she saw monsters, but because she stole 4,000 dollars worth of survival gear and told the cops she was preparing for the end of days.  “Well, she’s perfectly sane, then,” Ichabod says.

The last time Abbie saw Jenny five years ago (brought in on a breaking-and-entering charge), her sister refused Abbie’s help.  Just like now she’s refusing to let her sister visit when Abbie is announced.  When Abbie won’t use her authority to force the issue, Ichabod offers to try.  “Knock yourself out,” Abbie says, clearly expecting him to get nowhere.

Jenny acts arch with “Icky”: is he Abbie’s boyfriend? “We are amicable, and yes, I am male, but I suspect you’re implying something else.”  Pfft, just tell us if there’s betrothal in your future; Ichabbie fans want to know!  After he explains Vega’s death and the oncoming Four Horsemen, she refuses to help.   “My conscience is clear.  Ask Abbie if she can say the same.”

“It’s complicated,” Abbie says when Ichabod asks what caused the rift.  Well, hey, he was born two centuries ago, and his wife is trapped in a netherworld, so bring on the complications!  Abbie confesses what we might already have suspected, but with a twist.  Yes, she deliberately lied where her sister told the truth, but she did so they could stay in the “decent foster home” they’d managed to land in.  “You turned your back on Miss Jenny,” Ichabod says gravely, and.  Yes.  But I can understand young Abbie grabbing onto any stability in her life, poor kiddo.

Gillespie, the man who found Abbie and Jenny when they went missing for four days, builds birdhouses made of guilt (and possibly also cedar).  He also lied to policemen years ago, refusing to admit he saw the demon.  When a noise startles him and he cuts himself on a nail, the red cloth he swipes at his wound bears an unusual pattern.  Cripes, it’s the Sandman!  Time to start shooting at nothing!

Frank Irving, you are just a tall drink of water walking down that station hallway.  The Captain wants to know who hung the be-headed horse-rider-crossing sign in his office.

103 irving says nope

There are lots of good shots of Orlando Jones looking very tall in this episode. *strokes throat*

Of course it was Morales, Abbie’s not-betrothed ex.  After making Morales and the others sweat with his reminder that they’ve treated people dying like a joke, Irving lets him off the hook with a “good one.”  Still.  I bet Irving agrees with me that Morales seems like an enormous jerkwad.

Irving brings deputies to check out the shooting at the Gillespie place, where Abbie and Ichabod have already arrived to question the next person on the list who didn’t believe Jenny.  Gillespie refuses to speak to anyone but Abbie.  I love seeing Abbie go into badass mode every week with her tiny self and her bulletproof vest and her awesome boots!

103 abbie goes in alone gilespie

Abbie Mills is here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she’s allll out of bubblegum.

Inside, Abbie finds a broken mirror and a shattered picture frame (those demons sure do like to break glass).  She finds Gillespie in the corner of the kitchen with a shotgun; his wife huddled, frightened, across from him.  “You can’t help me,” he says when Abbie asks him to talk; his eyes have already gone the way of Demonic White-Out.  When he spots the monster, he shoots into the air.

“Send in tactical!” Irving shouts outside (I am loving how much Irving we’re getting in this ep, I’m not going to lie).  When Ichabod runs in after Abbie, Irving has to call for his forces to stand down.  “He’s coming for you next,” Gillespie tells Abbie inside.  Next time she falls asleep, she’s dead.  Gillespie’s white eyes roll back, and he shoots himself.  Cripes, I think this is the fourth person Abbie has seen die at close range so far — anyone else got a different count?

Ichabod tells Abbie it’s not her fault, but she knows he’s right about Jenny: “she’s the key to all of this.”  Everyone who failed to help her is a target, and Abbie could be the Sandman’s next victim.  Uh, little help with the post-1781 fairy tales here?  Abbie explains the Sandman is a “kindly dream-giver who sprinkles sand in the eyes of children to put them to sleep.”  “Sounds barbaric,” Ichabod says.  He would so be all over the E.T.A. Hoffman version, am I right?

Abbie and Ichabod speed off to their Awesome Hideout of Arcane Awesomeness!

103 at the clubhouse

“Did we just become best friends?’ “YUP!”

The charwoman (“she’s called ‘receptionist’ or ‘Wendy,” Abbie says, exasperated) gave Ichabod energy drinks instead of coffee.  Who didn’t see that ptoooey! coming?

Because Sheriff Corbin was THE BEST who stocked up every source the two of them could ever need, they quickly research dream spirits, who are mostly friendly but do have their vengeful jerwads.  Abbie discovers an eighteenth-century Mohawk story about a dream demon.  Ichabod knows that one!  The Mohican fighters and spies he fought with told him a fairy tale of a spirit that would punish those who turned a blind eye on their neighbor’s plight.

103 ichabod with mohawks

Ichabod’s progressive attitudes toward Native Americans are all well and good, but Abbie wants to know what the hell she’s supposed to do with this information now.  Visit the Mohawk Shaman, of course!  “How is it possible?” Ichabod asks, sounding genuinely shocked when Abbie gives the super short version of the atrocities against and manipulations of Native Americans.  She does know someone to consult but “I don’t think it’s what you’re expecting.”

Yay, I have been waiting for “Mr. Sandman” to play this entire episode!  *bom-bom-bom-bom-boms*

Abbie’s lead turns out to be a Native American car dealer.  When Ichabod baldly asks for his help with a dream demon, Wiroh scoffs, “Seriously?  You want me to go all kemo sabe and cast a spell and do a rain dance?  Get out of here, you jokers.”  I liked that they featured a Native American character who essentially asked why the hell he would know all the mystical crap they were searching for (until of course it turned out he knew EXACTLY all about the mystical crap they were searching for).

“He doesn’t just want to kill you,” Wiroh explains of the Sandman. “He taunts you first…drives you to a pain so unimaginable you take your own life.”  He gives Abbie a special tea so she can challenge the Sandman in his dreamworld.  Where Abbie goes, Ichabod runs pell-mell, so he quaffs some of the tea as well, declaring it way tastier than the energy drink.

Venom will allow Ichabod and Abbie to control their actions while they dream.  Scorpions, yaaaayyy (she said weakly).  Soon Abbie and Ichabod are bound to tables, she in her sports bra, him entirely shirtless, and I still love that the series likes to flaunt Ichabod’s body more than Abbie’s, though of course I am contractually obliged to point out they are both smokin’ hot.

Ow ow owow ow SCORPIONS!  “You have to focus now,” Wiroh says, because hey, that’s super easy when SCORPIONS are nomming on you!  The tea will keep them connected.  Yeah, I don’t know either.  Time to fight that Sandman asshole!

Ichabod and Abbie rush separately through a fog-filled forest.  Awww, there you are, fog-machine person!  I was worried we wouldn’t get to see your handiwork this week! <3  They call out for each other, but the Sandman has already found Abbie.  Dear god, the sand falling from his eyes — he throws it in hers, and in the table-bound reality, her eyes go Demon White-Out.

“You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting,” the Sandman tells Abbie.  She shoots, but his wounds heal, and he turns into a whirling storm of sand.  Suddenly she’s back at the scene watching the police doctor question her and her sister.  “Did you see this monster, Abbie?” the doctor asks, only to turn into the Sandman who demands of the adult Abbie behind the two-way glass, “Did you see him?”

Ichabod finds a red door standing free in the forest; when he walks inside, he finds himself in a hallway with two hanged victims — Dr. Vega and Gillespie.  There’s a third noose hanging free waiting for Abbie.

“I didn’t see anything,” Abbie says frantically even as in the room beyond, she can watch her tragic childhood scene re-enacted: Jenny getting dragged away from Abbie, crying out and asking why Abbie is lying.  Ugh ugh ugh, so much of this narrative mirrors child abuse accusations and children who lie only to protect the life they know, tortured though it might be.

The Sandman reaches out a long bony finger to the mirror even as Abbie keeps repeating she saw nothing.

103 sandman mirror

That point of the mirror turning to sand was freaking faaaaabulous!

When Ichabod runs in, yelling at the Sandman to desist, the Sandman growls, “Your sins aren’t mine to punish.”  Back in the waking reality, Ichabod’s eyes turn white.  “Leave her be,” he shouts in the dreamworld; at the Sandman’s gesture, Ichabod’s arm turns to sand.

Abbie gathers her courage, choking out, “I saw…a demon.  And I lied to protect myself.”  As she speaks, the Sandman begins to turn to glass.  “I was a coward, and I betrayed my sister,” she shouts, to the accompaniment of cracking sounds from the Sandman’s solidifying body.  “You can come at me all you want, but I see you!  I’m not afraid anymore!”  At Ichabod’s yell, she sees the Sandman has turned fully to glass; she slams him with a chair, shattering him.

They wake up, gasping, back on the tables.  “Miss Mills?” he asks.  “How are you feeling?”  Hey, what happened to “Lieutenant”?  “No more scorpions, ever,” he declares.  Good call, Icky.

Back in the Secret Hideout of Fated BFFs, Abbie wonders if she can handle seven years of tribulation.  It’ll probably become easier, but.  Um.  “No, sorry, I’m too tired to lie,” Ichabod replies.  “How did you two get in here?” Captain Irving asks (apparently he went down to do a little dusty filing).  “I broke a wall,” Ichabod says lamely.  It’s a good place for the two of them to research the unexplainable horrors that are bound to pop up for the next seven seasons years.  Irving agrees.  Hell, he’ll even give them a key so there won’t be any more wall-breaking.

I kind of love the idea that Ichabod might have been breaking down a different wall to get in every single time.

Does the Captain want to hear about what Abbie and Crane discovered?  “Is it over?”  “Yes.”  “That’s all I need to hear.”  I like the way you roll, Captain Irving.  When he leaves, Abbie begins, “Listen, I’m not really good at this kind of thing.”  “You’re welcome,” Ichabod cuts her off.  “You gotta let me get the word out, okay?” she says.  Now she’s off to make amends with her sister.  “Godspeed,” Ichabod calls after her.

At Tarrytown Psychiatric, Abbie must use her official weight to get in to see Jenny, since the nurse notes Jenny’s visitors log says she refused to see her.  “She doesn’t have to talk, she just has to listen,” Abbie says, only to find an empty room where Jenny should be.  There was absolutely no way to escape, the nurse blurts.  “Get the administrator and lock the building down,” Abbie orders.  She looks up and reaches to lift away the part of the ceiling her sister cut out.  “She’s good.”

I love Abbie and her entire history and EVERYTHING ABOUT ABBIE, OKAY?  There’s so much I still want from this show and the other characters as well, though!

  • Is Ichabod and Katrina’s marriage just a narrative convenience/motivation for him to help, or are we going to see some emotional growth and conflict in that relationship while she’s hanging around in the netherworld?
  • Is Sheriff Corbin going to show up in Abbie’s dreams bunches of times, because I need that to happen lots and lots!
  • And is anyone in the ever-blossoming Sleepy Hollow fandom going to slash Captain Irving with Ichabod Crane like Orlando Jones told fans to do?

Keep watching with me and let’s find out together!

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  • Sparky

    I have to say, I normally hate the whole scary-stuff-happening-in-a-dream-so-we-can-scare-you-without-factoring-it-into-the-narrative thing from the beginning of the episode, but it’s working for me here. It feels very October and features lots of forests and fog and is seasonally appropriate.

    Not sure what the deal was between Irving and Morales over the headless horseman prank. Why did Irving go from mad to “oh, okay” so quickly?

    Totally agree that it’s fun to watch Abbie go in and kick ass, especially because the writers are also letting us see other parts of her personality.

    Finally, Jenny has like the best nemesis eyebrows ever! So arched!

    • Okay, so ME TOO with the dream-trick. But I think one reason why it’s working is that the show is using it consistently rather than as a one-off convenient switch-a-roo. And absolutely, this is the perfect Halloween-month show.

      I wondered as well. Part of me thinks Irving decided he wanted to defuse the moment. But I think it’s a tip-off that Morales is going to lock horns with our mains in the future.

      HER EYEBROWS, YES! She is such a chaotic figure right now; I could see her going all sorts of directions, and I love it.

  • Katy

    Did Tom Mison’s contract specify he had to be shirtless at least once an episode? Cause I can get behind that.

    There are a handful of Ichabod/Irving fics over at AO3. and I love that after only 3 epsiodes, there are already 73 fics written. I love fandom.

    • I seriously hope so, with the contractual shirtlessness. I’m all for another shower-shot as well.

      There are a handful of Ichabod/Irving fics over at AO3.
      Ha, I should have known there would be already! :D

  • Rain

    I totally had the feeling of ‘Abbie is a slayer’ this episode XD What with the dream (that comes off like Buffy’s dream warnings) and then having to fight a demon.

    Though I do have to admit I thought the episode was a little heavy-handed about making Abbie in the wrong with what happened as a kid. There was no visiting the circumstances without it being seen as defensive justification. They were both little girls who went through something traumatic after all. You can’t say either made good sound decisions at the time.

    • Tootttaalllyyyy! She’s like the Faith of the Slayers to me.

      I agree with you there. I can understand how that residual and building guilt might really have hit Abbie in the face of everything happening, and how she might have blamed herself. But I was disappointed by the degree to which Ichabod didn’t show the level of sympathy for her in that area that I think he actually really would typically. That might have balanced things out a bit more. And absolutely — they were children! They can’t carry the blame for anything they decided in the aftermath of such a terrible encounter.

      • Rain

        Funnily enough I feel like Abbie and Jenny could both be different versions of Faith. Abbie is the younger Faith in a way, the new Slayer who gets things done (with a dash of Buffy – the being thrown into something new) but takes no smack from anyone, while Jenny is the older Faith that is more hardcore ‘I’ve been beaten but I remain unbroken’ because of her choices and a survivor.

        Exactly; I can see where they are coming from and with her not having a chance to properly grieve the death of the Sheriff as well as the new tailspin of her life (finding out about the supernatural would make anyone go into shock I think) ontop of having a past event that haunts her… I can see how it just hit her all at once and just overwhelmed her.

        I agree with you about Ichabod! I was completely caught off guard when he actually seemed to be disappointed in her! I was expecting a little sympathy along with a bit of briskness since they needed to figure out what was going on. I think them talking about it a bit more or even Abbie revealing more about their relationship.

        The episode would have made more sense to me, the way it was played, if it had been revealed Jenny never was released from the hospital when she was put in as a kid or if Abbie revealed the first time Jenny was released they tried to fix their relationship but Abbie wouldn’t take back her denial of not seeing the demon/apologize for clamming up about it but out of guilt kept trying to help Jenny every time she got in trouble after that (until the last time where it was a ‘enough is enough’). Even if they had come out that someone sent the Sandman after the others on behalf of Jenny (or Jenny doing it accidentally herself) instead of making it seem it wasn’t connected to her (which is hard to do since the second episode I believe it was The Sandman that Jenny almost saw in her room but there is no lead on if she summoned him or someone directed him to her).

        • I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one feeling surprised when Ichabod reacted to stringently to Abbie’s decisions.

          It is a bit tricky, isn’t it, that Jenny has been out of the institutions and in the community at different junctures. It’s hard to envision her relationship with Abbie staying at a complete stalemate if they interacted, or at least were living in the same community, but the show seems to portray them from the moment of betray until now in more or less a static stand-off with animosity.

          You know, I thought the demon Jenny saw was the kind of ur-demon that John Cho’s character got the neck-breaking head-smack from — but that’s intriguing to hear you thought it was the Sandman! I might go look at caps now and try to figure it out.

          • Rain

            It’s the demon from the woods/killer-boss of Andy.

            It took forever but I finally found a picture when I ran across sleepyhollow.wikia.com

            It was such a quick moment that, originally, I thought it was the demon but then after the next episode I thought it seemed more likely to be the Sandman having been sent to scope Jenny out to work on killing the others. Now it seems more likely that the main demon checked on her before sending the Sandman out to torment the others (perhaps he even has plans for Jenny and Abbie so did this deliberately so they would cross paths… sisters on opposite sides would be interest).

            • Okay, cool, thank you so much for checking that! I loved that flash of demon there, and I hope we hear more about it — whether it’s that Moloch, as we now know him, has a connection to both Abbie and Jenny because of their experience in the woods, or whether he’s coming after Jenny particularly. I do agree with you that keeping the tension up between the sisters by perhaps finding them at odds in this fight would be so intriguing. I’m curious to see if we’ll get that still after the last episode’s reconciliation.

              Thanks again for the info! And sorry to answer so late — not all comment notifications are getting through and I just saw you’d replied.