Sleepy Hollow 2.06 – And the Abyss Gazes Back

sh 201 promo image abbie ichabod branches

Last week! And now, oh no, are Ichabod and Abbie caught in mortal danger? No, they’re just doing wisecracking yoga together so we can see Tom Mison in sexy workout pants and have the two of them chat about the best slang for butts (Ichabod’s “double jug” is sure to catch on with the kids these days). 

Namaste-hey-hey-hey!

Namaste-hey-hey-hey!

The comic relief is a little funny — not funny haha, but funny odd. I guess even though Ichabod is disappointed and having a hard time believing Katrina after last week’s revelations, he’s used to life in Sleepy Hollow enough to do downward dog jokes and insist beers are better for relaxation than yoga (man has a point).

At their favorite pub, Ichabod’s unabashed love of a pint or two gets derailed when Sheriff Corbin’s wayward son, recently returned from Afghanistan, gets in a fight by the pool table. Though Abbie is all fond older sister, Joe Corbin is disdainful, calling her a “charity case my dad took pity on…and got him killed.” Listen, you will not taint Abbie and Sheriff Corbin’s pie-sharing memories, OKAY?

Aww, Abbie used to babysit Joey Corbin while he wore Superman pajamas. It’s only awkward because that was just last year, haha! “Once a hero always a hero,” Ichabod reminds her before puzzling over whether Superman is Peter Parker. “No, no, no, that’s the arachnid fellow,” he decides. Ichabod’s cultural education including comic book superheroes = excellent. As they get a call to check out a rowdy crowd in a forest nearby (Pioneer Point), Ichabod uses Abbie’s breathalyzer and declares smugly, “I do believe I’ve won.” Best Dorkus, maybe.

Oh hey, just like back in Afghanistan when Joe Corbin’s entire platoon died except him, everyone at the forest drinking party is now dead except him. One has his chest ripped open, the organs already missing. Funny how Joe is the common element to both scenarios! “It’s gonna kill us all,” Joe moans. Dun dun DUNNN! After the break, Joe’s resentment at being neglected by his dad in favor of Abbie gets the better of him; he refuses her help. S-M-R-T!

“You stole my soul,” says Irving to Henry at Tarrytown Psych.

Frank Irving gets a portion of his allotted three minutes per ep this season.

Frank Irving gets a portion of his allotted three minutes per ep this season.

After Henry pshaws that he totally bartered it for services rendered, he tells Irving he can get his soul back if he kills someone. UM, THAT DOES NOT SOUND RIGHT! Why would anyone trust Henry about anything having to do with soul-keeping?

Guess what, the drunk driver responsible for crippling Macey Irving? Imprisoned right here along with Irving. Though Frank Irving declares, “I’m not a monster like you,” Henry suspects differently, giving us our title-providing quote: “Gaze long enough into the abyss and the abyss gazes back.” Personally I find the abyss to be shy and coy, often averting its gaze to the side.

 

Ichabod’s research on “wood-dwelling monsters” includes Smokey the Bear. Wow, they are flogging the comic relief thing hard this week. “Soldiers cry for their mothers, not their fathers,” Ichabod points out suspiciously of Joey Corbin’s dazed mention of his dad back at the forest. Hey, pay attention, Ichabod: if you’re thinking where Henry’s going to hit next? By your logic, it’ll always be the mom.

By the way, Ichabod knew Daniel Boone (OF COURSE HE DID) and Squire Boone, brother of Daniel, suffered from “nostalgia,” the colonial-era version of PTSD, and was so traumatized he may have turned cannibal. Daniel sought help from the Shawnee Indians who knew about the Wendigo, a half-man half-beast who can only return to full human form after consuming organs. Guess who just escaped from the hospital? Joey Joe Joe Corbin Jabadoo, Probable Wendigo!

At Joe’s apartment, Abbie and Ichabod find little aside from hamburger buns (“sorry, hamburger double jugs” — STOP TRYING TO MAKE DOUBLE JUGS HAPPEN, ICHABOD!”) and violent video games. Oh good, there’s Sheriff Corbin’s last will and testament conveniently spread out on the table. He indicated latitude and longitude coordinates where Joe could dig up items he left for him, “passing his mantle on to him,” Abbie says. Let’s head back to Pioneer Point, where Joe wasn’t hunting for victims but trying to recover his dead dad’s stuff!

“Stay away from me,” Joe shouts when Abbie and Ichabod find him digging up the box. They pursue him through puffs of fog machine and shining spotlights for ultimate atmospheric effect. When Joe hits Ichabod in his haste and Ichabod bleeds? “Run!” Joe yells, and they bolt. Cue a fairly creepy and yet somewhat over CGI’d transformation into Wendigo Boy! Abbie finally shoots it with a tranq gun, and I swear they were about to make a bad breath joke when the Wendigo nearly passed out atop Ichabod.

Time to introduce Hawley to one of Ichabod and Abbie’s many sekkrit hideouts — the tunnels under Sleepy Hollow, where they’ve got Joe Corbin in Wendigo form chained up.

Who's going to get a freshly harvested human heart?  You are!!!!

Who’s going to get a freshly harvested human heart? You are!!!!

Hawley’s ideas initially were to kill whatever it was, but he promises Abbie “more creative brainstorming,” and wow, he has it bad for her by the look on his face.

OH HAI, REMEMBER JENNY? Hawley looks alarmed when his previous monster artefacts hunter with benefits shows with fresh organs from a med school corpse. “We should probably donate blood or something this year?” Jenny offers casually, in compensation for stealing dead bodies. Jenny might be my favorite.

As soon as the Wendigo noms on some organs, it turns into Joe again. Hawley heads off to research, so you don’t have to!

Ah, so it was a weird letter covered in white powder — the bone flute ground to dust by Henry, naturally — that cursed Joe into the Wendigo, “like a supernatural anthrax.” Man, the military is getting lax with its mail screenings, huh? Henry told Joe to bring his inheritance from his father to Fredericks’ Manor, and he would cure him. It’s another little continuity thread woven through the episode, giving us some seasonal-arc feel to this essentially stand-alone ep.

Joe’s inheritance is our MacGuffin o’ the Week, a “Jincan.” It’s a sealed bottle of nasty evil spirits shoved into a tiny space to duke it out and become one single super-duper evil thingy.

sh 206 the mills sisters and ichabod

Jincan, the ultimate in evil super juices!

Ichabod takes a moment to apologize to Joe about his “rebellious” son who did this to him. Joe asks him a favor: no matter what happens, if Ichabod still loves his son, tell him.

Ichabod looks so damn annoyed when he finds Abbie and Hawley working together at the station Sekkrit Hideout; his table-knocking tastes like delicious, delicious jealousy. Oh, whoops, the Wendigo gets four transformations, and Joe only has one left; the last will be permanent. They can’t get in touch with Katrina, so Hawley offers his connections with the Shawnee Indians. “Must I?” Ichabod complains when Abbie says he and Hawley have to go consult the Shawnee together. Maybe less chance of either of you doing something offensive, hey hey hey?

Hawley has already burnt bridges, turns out, by trading a tribal mask the Shawnee sold him. Ichabod quickly promises Hawley will retrieve the mask if they help with the Wendigo cure. Though at first the men deny knowledge of the monster, Ichabod’s knowledge of Shawnee culture, and casual name dropping of Squire Boone gains them the help they’re seeking.

Half-naked Corbin junior, because this show knows its fanbase.

Half-naked Corbin junior, because this show knows its fanbase.

Abbie gently explains to Joe she wasn’t trying to take his place in his father’s life, but began working with his dad because she could see how much love he had for his son. I did like Joe’s disdain for his father’s “pie and soup gag” (those diner days!) but Abbie manages to convince him his father loved him deeply and would never give up on him. “And neither will I.”

Wouldn’t you know it, but Henry breaks down the door with a bunch of Hessian pals? “Never heard of it,” Abbie says firmly when Henry says he’s there for the Jincan. When Jenny comes in to point a gun at a Hessian head, Henry laughs it’s “always violence or order with you two.” Fine, then: “a bloodbath it is,” Henry says smugly.

Knowing blood will cue his transformation, Joe hurries to give Henry the Jincan, after extracting the promise Jenny and Abbie will be safe. Though Abbie begs him not to, Joe goes with Henry to get his cure, while the Hessians trap Jenny and Abbie in the room.

Say, did anyone else just wonder why Henry didn’t have the Hessians shoot Abbie and Jenny? I mean, yes, the Witnesses live or die together, so I don’t think Abbie can die without Ichabod, but it makes you wonder how much all the characters have been staying their hands this season. Abbie is forever telling Ichabod they have to wait, holding him back from just running in and flat out rescuing Katrina, and Henry, while awesomely conniving and horrible, also blithely walks away from blatant opportunities to harm his enemies. Bit strained, is all I’m saying.

Oh dear, Henry grabs Joe’s arm and cuts him, triggering the transformation. “You said you’d cure me,” Joe protests. “Your true curse is humanity,” Henry explains. Well, that’s an Evil Zen way of looking at it.

Next, Frank Irving goes against everything we know about his character and nearly kills the man who hurt his daughter and ruined his life. Well, at first he seems to seek an apology, but when the guy protests that Macey “ruined my life too,” and was “too stupid to get out of the way,” Irving gets all strangle-y. Again he flashes to a vision of himself as a Soldier of War in the Apocalypse. “No, this is what he wants,” he realizes, backing down.

Gah, it’s driving me nuts watching Orlando Jones stuck in this storyline, trapped at Tarrytown Psych and in the thick of Henry’s machinations. He’s such a good actor, and he needs stuff to do, places to go, actual conflict to play out, you know what I’m saying? *tears at hair*

Hawley and Ichabod burst in to free the Mills sisters, carrying a skull with a “Shawnee ceremonial chant” carved into it. See, you get a little Wendigo blood with your handy ritual knife, recite the chant, and boom, no more Wendigo! The only problem is if Joe has already killed in this last transformation; then, the same knife must end his life. “We will save him; we have to,” Abbie says fiercely, and they all charge off.

Proving that they are the bestest of Witness-y friends (and/or super-naturally foolhardy), both Abbie and Ichabod use the ritual knife to slice their hands to draw the Wendigo with blood.

While they draw Wendigo!Joe out, Jenny prods Hawley about how he’s still in town. Usually he cuts out as soon as he closes a deal. Well, Jenny is close to figuring out Hawley is sticking around because he has a ginormous crush on Abbie; all she needs is for Hawley to cast one more longing look her sister’s way before we get a guy-dividing-sisters plot that is going to give me such a headache.

At last Ichabod gets the Wendigo blood and reads the Shawnee cure to “lift the curse of blood hunger, free the man inside the beast.” Um. Whoops. Joe doesn’t transform. “We’re too late,” Ichabod apologizes, getting ready to finish the Wendigo. “I can’t lose him,” Abbie insists, dodging the beast as it charges her and whispering, “Come back,” desperately just as he’s about to kill her.

And then — somehow? Through the power of believing, I guess? Since the Shawnee cure didn’t take, it must be Abbie’s emotional ties to Joe and his father that effects it — Joe becomes human again. Wow. It’s like the Tinkerbelle School of Demonic Cures.

While Ichabod yells colonial-appropriate insults at his online gamer friends (he’s gone from not understanding video games to being a total convert in a couple of hours, apparently), Abbie shows Joe the Sekkrit Hideout of all of Sheriff Corbin’s research at the station. When he asks for her recommendation to Quantico, she gets choked up, saying they’d be lucky to have him.

Just in case Abbie and Ichabod have sort of forgotten about Irving (because it seems a little like they have, sometimes!), he phones to say, hey, Henry owns his soul now. “We will undo it,” Abbie vows, saying he is a good man. “Even God thought the Devil was beautiful before he fell,” Irving says philosophically. But when she promises Henry will pay, Irving still puts his faith in her, just asking she doesn’t let him down. (Again. Ahem).

Hearing the news of Irving’s lost soul, Ichabod wonders if there is some good still in Henry, as Katrina still believes.

Jincan!  Just like evil, it goes down ~smooth~.

Jincan! Just like evil, it goes down ~smooth~.

We cut back and forth between Henry taking out the entrails from the Jincan bottle while Ichabod explains he was inspired that Abbie never gave up on Joe, even when everyone else did. “And now, I must fight for my son,” Ichabod says heavily.

Ichabod, conflicted, because it's a good look on him.

Ichabod, conflicted, because it’s a good look on him.

Henry takes all the evil poison bits and somehow transforms them into a creepy spider of DOOM! Well, it’s sort of cute, scuttling around. Until it gets set loose on Katrina’s bed and slips into her mouth, HOCRAP!

I loved the very little we got to see of Sheriff Corbin in new-to-us flashbacks this week, but I wish we’d gotten even more. Though it’s intriguing to see how Abbie interacts with someone from her past, next time just bring me all the Clancy Brown scenes showing the Sheriff mentoring Abbie, okay?

Tune in next week with me for my absolute least favorite horror trope: demonic pregnancy! *cringes in advance*. Definitely chime in below in comments to tell me what you thought of this week’s demon-y, spider-y, double-jug-y happenings!

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  • lycomingst

    Maybe I missed something (been known to happen) but Joe is a mass murderer and is now off to join the FBI? Did he even stay around long enough to go to the funerals of his drinking buddies who he, you know, killed? Angel had decades of brooding on the bad things he’d done. Decades.

    • Welp, I think since he murdered them in his Wendigo form, and was pretty much possessed by evil, the show gives him a pass? We pretty much have to blame Henry and the bone flute dust letter to accept that, so it depends on your read of that situation.