Sleepy Hollow 2.07 – Deliverance

sh 201 promo image abbie ichabod branches

Last week! Now, Ichabod and Katrina share early morning flashback cuddles, spent musing about all the swell kids they’ll have. Haha, it’s funny because their real kid is the Horseman of the Apocalypse! Geesh, I think I could live without that image of the spider skittering out of Ichabod’s mouth at the end of the nightmare forever. But then again, I could live without this whole demonic pregnancy trope forever and a day.

lucille bluth

But here we are! *charges ahead* 

At the polling place for mid-term elections — DID YOU VOTE TODAY? IF SO, THEN YOU MAY HAVE PATRIOTIC CUPCAKES! — Ichabod rails about the “disgrace” of 40% nationwide voter turnout. Abbie schools him about the right to vote; she would have been turned away in ye olden dayes three times over for being black, a woman, and not a property holder.

Hey, she’d totally own property if she wasn’t supporting Ichabod! Time for Ichabod to get a job, methinks. Should he be (a) a hot yoga instructor, (b) a very grumpy barista who makes the best espresso this side of Rome or (c) the most dreamy colonial history instructor of all time?

After Ichabod is summarily shunted out of Abbie’s voting booth and shushed for campaigning at the polling place, we shift to Katrina gazing at herself in a mirror. “You think I did this to you?” Abraham says when Katrina murmurs her illness is unnatural.  No time for that, because Henry’s charging in with thugs who may or may not be Hessians to drag Katrina off for this “new purpose” Moloch has for her.

There’s a whole thing with Abraham lunging to help, getting caught in the sunbeams Henry throws his way.

Abraham is strangely sympathetic as he struggles against his curse of daylight to rescue Katrina.  Also, he's hot.

Abraham is strangely sympathetic as he struggles against his curse of daylight to rescue Katrina. Also, he’s hot.

Until finally Katrina runs through the woods, bosom heaving, to get rescued at a gas station.

“Feel better?” Abbie asks her cranky toddler colonial friend as she sticks her “I Voted” sticker on his lapel. “Yes, oddly,” he says. Grumpypuss.

Ichabod Voted!  Okay, not really, but he'd want you to, we both know, right?

Ichabod Voted! Okay, not really, but he’d want you to, we both know, right?

Reyes swans in with police and politico pals, but there’s no moment to lament how out of her inner circle they are. There’s a “Jane Doe at Westchester General…a redhead in full colonial getup,” who needs their attention.

“You’re safe now, my love,” Ichabod tells Katrina, who has a high fever, a weird infection, and creeptacular black veins spiny-spreading along her abdomen. Okaaayyy. Abbie hustles them out so Henry won’t catch up to them; Katrina gets the leavings of “some drunk goth chick” in lost and found — seriously, someone left those quality leather pants behind? “I had no idea fashion changed so drastically since my era,” Katrina says shakily, because apparently she has not noticed Abbie’s outfits even once.

Katrina sets up a nifty little hex alert system back at the Archival Sekkrit Hideout and then has to answer to Ichabod’s jealous suspicions about Abraham and that bauble that lets her see Headless’s human side. He tries to get over himself, focusing on “the life we deserve” they’ll build when the war against evil is over.

Meanwhile, Abbie follows the maybe!Hessians to their warehouse hideout where they have an ancient stone tablet and more medical equipment than you can shake a very large stick at. Abbie snaps photos of the men and the tablet, and sees a corpse with the same creeptacular veiny business Katrina has going on before she skedaddles.

sh 207 veiny dead body

Abbie is shocked to meet Veiny McDead.

The photos, along with Ichabod’s research into Franklin’s notes about the Hellfire Club’s horrific torturous medical funtimes, leads our three heroes to figure out that Katrina is pregnant with the spider’s demonic seed. Um. It’s gross that her son impregnated her with evil seed he made. Just. Yeah. Franklin’s notes about the “expiration of the vessel” in 10-12 hours panic our trio; Katrina’s death is imminent.

There’s a flash of jealousy as Ichabod briefly suspects the demon spawn is Abraham’s, but the gang quickly finds passages that let them know a demonic “birthing seed” can be derived from Jincan (last week’s Evil Object). These guys are so lucky in research! Even the Scoobies on Buffy would often have to look through the entire library for like, a whole day. “My hex,” Katrina exclaims when the paper warning is set afire; everyone skedaddles to the tunnels.

Nice shadows and fog noir play as Abbie and the men fire at one another in tunnels and Ichabod and Katrina hide in darkened corners. Finally they all escape to St. Henry’s Parish, where Katrina left “Jeremy” lo those many eras ago. Katrina pulls her problem solve-y weight by exclaiming Henry can use his sin eating to remove the demon growing inside her. That sets off bickering about whether Henry is redeemable; Abbie is outvoted by Ichabod and Katrina even as she argues: “he means to raise hell on earth. How does anyone come back from that?” “I can do the math,” Abbie says quietly when she realizes Ichabod and Katrina are resolved to beseech Henry for help.

Henry turns up at Tarrytown Psych to answer Frank Irving’s distress call, only to find himself victim to a double-psych! There’s no emergency, and it’s Ichabod who’s there to speak to him. Back and forth to Katrina and Abbie at the church, with Katrina writhing in pain and getting more veiny and Abbie researching. Henry reveals to Ichabod, at the same time Abbie find the passage, that Katrina carries no mere demon but “The Horrid King,” or Moloch himself.

Ew. Ewwww! Gah, have I mentioned how much I hate this demonic pregnancy thing???

“The Demon of the Apocalypse is growing inside of me!” Katrina shrieks. Most. Dramatic. Line. Ever. She’s inclined to take the self-sacrifice way out, but “that’s not an option,” Abbie says firmly. They’ll find another way.

Ichabod and Henry glare and have a little King Lear quoting duel, but Ichabod insists he can “see through this chicanery.” It will plague him for an eternity, Ichabod posits, if Henry lets Katrina die, even as Henry says he wants to paint his hands “with both of your blood” and denies Katrina was in Purgatory to save him (he believes she only cared for Ichabod).

Ichabod pleads with Henry to read his sin, to see his suffering, but realizes Henry refuses to touch him. “You are sick with Moloch’s evil, but you can fight it, you can spare her, Jeremy,” Ichabod says, pulling out the big guns of Henry’s real name. If he has a choice, “I choose Moloch,” Henry says. RUDE! When Ichabod grabs Henry’s hand, though, he sees a vision of Jeremy running and crawling, crying, “Help!”

John Noble's amazingly expressive face basically supplies 10000% more backstory to Henry's pain.

John Noble’s amazingly expressive face basically supplies 10000% more backstory to Henry’s pain.

Say, what do you think Hawley is doing this week? Relaxing on his boat, being hot? Being sarcastic and surfer-y but ultimately helping some other people who are trying to stop the Apocalypse in the next county over?

“You must know I tried,” Ichabod says brokenly when he finds Katrina barely conscious on the church floor. “If I should pass,” Katrina says, not allowing Ichabod to stop her words, “You cannot give up on Henry. You’ll be all he has left.” Faith kept her going to save Ichabod, after all.

Ichabod and Abbie puzzle over the photo of the demonic tablet the possible!Hessians are hoarding. Abbie apologizes for the distortion, but Ichabod realizes it resembles the “Aurora Borealis,” and recalls Franklin’s obsession with the power of the Northern Lights to banish demons from earth. “I must internet immediately!” he declares!

“Sounds like a swine being strangled,” sniffs Ichabod of the dial-up screeching, but soon enough they’re reading Franklin’s “abysmal handwriting” about the Northern Lights. It’s a code that they figure out in two seconds flat, the printed letters spelling out a message about the tablet. Seems Franklin hid an aurora prism inside the tablet so fighters of evil can banish Moloch before he is reborn. If they shine sunlight through the prism, they can save Katrina and stop Moloch both.

When Ichabod says he misses “an army to assist me” from his ye olden dayes, Abbie says, “I know where we can get one of those.” Leaving a radio with Katrina, they confront Reyes at the station to tell her “the truth about what’s going on in Sleepy Hollow.” They tell her about the “doomsday cult” and explain Ichabod’s research “cracked the case wide open”. “Lunacy, of course,” Ichabod bluffs in order to seem not like a crazy person, but the cult’s experiments and torture are real.” Though Reyes hesitates, ultimately she puts her faith in “this “walking historical society” and Abbie, and the police are on the case!

While the Sheriff’s team busts into the warehouse, Abbie and Ichabod take an alternate route to crack the 3-digit code (“they’re a freaking evil club, try 666,” Abbie shouts when Ichabod thinks of more complicated possible pass codes) find the tablet, and extract the prism. “I can see why Corbin spoke so highly of you,” Reyes concedes as the bad guys are rounded up. “What did you say you did again?” she asks Ichabod. “Criminal profiling, with an emphasis on acts of historical imitation,” he riffs. “Let’s be in touch,” Reyes says, and apparently does not care if Abbie sticks around to do procedures and paperwork, letting our duo hightail it back to the demon-birthing church and Katrina’s frantic radio-call for help.

Am I going to describe Katrina’s heaving veiny pulsating body? Nope nope nope nope nope!

A WORLD OF NOPE!

A WORLD OF NOPE!

“We end this now!” Ichabod cries as Abbie goes into birthing attendant mode, and he gets to mess with the demonic tablets (isn’t that always the way?). Ugh, nasty stomach stuff! Ichabod smashes the tablet, extracts the prism, pulls slats away from a boarded-up window, and shines a rainbow-y light on Katrina’s dis-goost-ing roiling tum. There’s lots of screaming until red light disperses, and Katrina’s stomach goes back to flat normal even without a post-partum aerobic routine.

“Please don’t leave me,” Ichabod cries when Abbie says Katrina isn’t breathing. Even though Abbie would probably be the one to save her — can you imagine how many CPR workshops she’d have to take with her job? — Ichabod puts his observations of Hawley saving Abbie’s life last week to good use, and brings his wife back to life. “You were here,” Katrina says to him, dazed. “Where I belong,” Ichabod responds lovingly. “Whereas I belong elsewhere,” Abbie says with a huff of laughter.

How are you all doing, IchAbbie fans? *holds you*

sh 207 abbie and ichabod alone at end

Together against the world — with Katrina, like, a hundred or so feet away.

“Holding her just now, is a joy I’ve not felt in an age,” Ichabod tells Abbie outside the church. Dude, keep your secrets of maintaining a joyful married life through 231 years of undead hibernating and purgatorial dwelling reunion narrative quiet, okay? I don’t want Abbie feeling lonesome!

But Abbie’s focused on their larger fight, mentioning, “At least we know where Henry stands.” Uh oh, Ichabod is silent. He tells her of the memory which he believes Henry didn’t mean for him to see, but Abbie voices my suspicions that Henry engineered that vision. Well, at least they stopped Moloch. Declaring today a win, Ichabod performs a flawless fist-bump with the pfooo! explode-y gesture at the end.

Thunder and lightning roil the night sky, centering over Henry’s colonial pad. The storm outside takes a focus inside, on a jar alight with electricity. Is it demonic electricity? Probably! That Henry! Always up to something evil! *shakes head and laughs indulgently*

Next week! Some kind of succubus type woman? Something spoopy, that’s for sure! Join me then for “Heartless” and abso-positiv-definitely tell me what you thought of this week’s ep in comments. Just keep your love, should you have any, for demonic pregnancy to yourself, okay? Ew. Ewwwww! *full body shudder* So glad we’re done with that nastiness!

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  • tsinivari

    Okay I love this show deeply and look forward to it every week, but was it bad that I actually kinda, sorta hoped that the only way to stop Moloch from actually coming into the world would end up being for Katrina to have to sacrifice herself?

    It’s not that I have a huge problem with Katrina, per se, though I do think that they could do so much better with her story lines aside from having her needing to be rescued every other minute, but I actually think it could be good for the narrative of the show that for once foiling Evil actually had some real, long lasting personal sacrifice. They keep hinting at it anyway – that Ichabod’s desire to save Katrina seems to be blinding him a bit to their larger, central mission (because what’s it matter if you save her if the freaking world ends? lol)…and maybe this will eventually come up, but this would have been a perfect time and a nice little twist.

    However, part of why I love this show is it’s Supernatural (the show) feel in some respects, as it’s very tongue in cheek and quite formulaic but in an entertaining way.

    I’m also like you though…demonic pregnancy, bleh, so maybe that’s why I wanted it to end in tears *laughs*

    • I hear you! I think that the show could do loads better with Katrina’s storyline even with her continuing to survive. Like, that demonic pregnancy trope, the show played it out in the most traditional manner: screaming woman, writhing helplessly, other people hustling to save her while she’s totally helpless. And Katrina is a damn WITCH! Sure, I’m happy to see her magic hex paper gives them a heads-up when meanies are near. But it would have been pretty damn cool if she was like, “WAIT, I GOT THIS!” and magick-ed her way out of a situation, surpassing her son’s poisonous enchantments.

      I think the reliance on the trope here was also a little frustrating to me because Ichabod JUST started to deal with some of the trust issues he has with Katrina last week — and now, boom, she’s threatened, he saves the day, they’re all in love again and I guess we’re done with any questions of faith?

      But yes yes, I totally hear what you’re saying — that there must be huge consequences to fighting a war against evil, and in an Apocalypse, there won’t just be a random body count of extras, but people who are very dear to the main characters who will be genuinely threatened. Real losses reflect the very real threats they must be facing, though I’m just not certain we’ll get them any time soon (and I’m kind of afraid to say it out loud, because there are certain characters I will NOT be okay with losing *cough* Jenny *cough* Irving *cough* that I worry would be targets in such a situation).

      So for now, yeah, I think we’ll have to take the show’s Just Go With It rationale. But your ideas about serious outcomes in the struggle with evil are really interesting, and I think could be fascinating to see played out in some fashion!

      • tsinivari

        That also annoyed me as well, Re: learning to trust. I would have liked to have them actually require Katrina and Ichabod to work through those issues instead of Imminent Peril allowing it to just be glossed over and swept under the rug because Reasons. I was actually VERY happy when Ichabod started side eying Katrina when one lie (whether outright lie or by omission) kept piling up. Having to actually explore those feelings and work them out with Katrina would have gone a long way in trying to actually flesh her out and make me care about their relationship.

        I say make me care because at this point, we’ve pretty much been told why we should root for Katrina and Ichabod, not actually been given any really good story to do so on our own. With the weeping lady episode I really, truly wanted it to be that Katrina shanked that lady out of jealousy not some accidental falling. It would have given an awesome layer to Katrina, and also given even more gray area to her motives and intentions.

        I truly, sincerely hope that her insistence that Henry can be saved actually leads to her at cross purposes with Ichabod and Abbie because then we might have to face some of that actual personal feelings vs. Greater Good that the Witnesses have to prevent the Apocalypse. Mainly though, I wanted to slap her senseless. I get Henry is her kid, so I’m actually willing to give her a bit more of a pass, since she gave birth and actually held him.

        Ichabod though? I want to pinch some sense into him. He found out waaaay after the fact he has a kid and I know you don’t want to hurt your kid regardless, but it’s not like he had any prior knowledge or interaction with Henry as his son to instill the intense feelings we’re supposed to believe he has. Then again, after a fashion, it’s in keeping with Ichabod’s character I suppose, so eh.

        I’m obviously rambling today, so apologies there. I do so love this show, it’s one of the ones I look forward to every week, I just hate watching them squander perfect opportunities to really elevate the narrative. I was in total agreement about when they killed off the beautiful redhead (can’t remember the character name) that Ichabod had befriended that was making his clothes. (it was adorable when he went to apologise and just made the crush worse). She had the opportunity to be a great character, but was killed just as she got interesting because Plot Reasons.

        I don’t mind character death, I mind pointless character death especially with characters that could have added to the show (I’m also looking at you Josh Whedon *coughs*Wash*coughs*)

        I am curious to see where we go from here. I mean…they thwarted Moloch being born into the world, where do you go from there? (though I do believe what Henry actually captured at the end was Moloch’s essence because it was the red cloudy/lightning stuff that came out of Katrina when the light hit her stomach)

        Also, Re: her powers. I know that when Abbie, I think, was like “Aren’t you a witch!” she stated that Moloch’s powers were much more powerful than her own and that makes sense, but even forgiving that and understanding, you are absolutely right. She’s supposed to be this powerful witch but seems impossible of taking care of herself. With the possible exception of the Weeping Lady because she DID free herself from the lake and it WAS her magic that was able to actually free the spirit. So in that episode at least, it may have been Ichabod (and Abraham) that were running to “save” her but she pretty much saved herself there at least.

        • I honestly was anticipating a several-ep arc of Ichabod and Katrina learning to trust each other again. So I agree absolutely, I was really disappointed that it turned out to be plotty exigency that smooshed them back into trusting each other.

          I did like that little glimpse we saw of Ichabod and Katrina in bed (the part that turns out to be her nightmare) because it gave me a sense of what their albeit brief domestic life together must have been like, rather than, as you said, simply being told that their relationship is significant. So assuming the show is committed to keeping Katrina as a key character, I think it wouldn’t be bad to get more brief moments like that, to help us understand that they have a history of affectionate experiences.

          It’s a really interesting point, about Ichabod not having the same investment in Henry, seeing as how he didn’t know his wife even was carrying a child, never mind being there for the birth and such (though of course he gets a pass because of being in his Cave Grave). I think in part the little vision he got this week, of Jeremy running and frightened, is supposed to start building those emotional investments. And as above with the brief glimpse of Ichabod and Katrina together, it would make sense to me to see *more* of those visions, to make sense of Ichabod’s investment in Jeremy/Henry.

          Ahhhh, you’re probably 1000% right about that red essence Henry seemed to distill from the thunder and lightening! You know what would be cool? If he hasn’t just saved Moloch, but actually contained him. I know Henry has his own plans regarding his revenge on his parents, ones that Moloch doesn’t necessarily approve of in the larger scheme of things. I would sort of love to see Moloch under Henry’s thumb, and some tensions there — though I don’t know if the show will take the time to deal with something like that. How neat would that be, though?

          • tsinivari

            Yes – prior to it morphing nightmare – the scene in bed was very sweet and did at least give insight into the fact they were discussing having children and it was something they both wanted very badly. So – yes more flashbacks please so we can understand exactly what was between them!

            Regarding Henry, the red lightning, etc. Let’s assume for the moment that the red mist was actually Moloch’s essence that was banished from Katrina with the crystal. Assuming that to be true, Henry had obviously planned for this eventuality – that he would be exorcised (for lack of a better word) from Katrina prior to giving birth. I’m not 100% certain that what happened – Moloch being thwarted from manifesting – isn’t exactly what Henry /wanted/ to happen. That jar certainly seemed like some kind of containment unit.

            Which means, it’s possible Henry either knew, or assumed, that they would be able to stop this from happening – whether through some MPD (Magical Plot Device – I actually kinda love how it’s always some super sekrit magical thing that Ichabod JUST thought of or discovers, it reminds me of SPN in that regard…) or because he knew Katrina at least would never allow it to happen (she very nearly tried to take the ending her life way out). As you said, Henry obviously has his own endgame here, and while I believe – to an extent – he does want to serve Moloch, Henry is also very…well headstrong and after his own ends, like a surly teenager.

            So…if the plan had worked and Moloch was born, great, whatever – things would still be fine for Henry. However, it wouldn’t shock me if he was banking on exactly what happened and he’s now, as you said, somehow got Moloch contained and to an extent under his control. That’s an actual interesting plot development I’d like to see play out. Because it couldn’t possibly end badly for anyone right? *snerks*

            • Yisssss, now I want Moloch!containment to happen even more! John Noble is absolutely perfect and fascinating as Henry, and by all means, let’s give him this totally complicated thing to do, I hope, I hope! I am wriggling my toes in anticipation of the possibility that he really did do everything with the intention of trapping Moloch. It totally makes sense, given how he’s set up any number of monsters-of-the-week for Ichabod and Abbie to thwart, knowing and trusting that our Witness-y Duo will in fact stop those baddies, in order to get some other, more covert purpose accomplished. Gah, Henry is so fascinating, and I am definitely hoping we will be going this route in the next few episodes! Moloch under Henry’s thumb? Abraham feeling horrified that Katrina was nearly sacrificed and resentful of Henry? Moloch trapped and furious? It would be like a powder keg of awesome conflict making!

              • tsinivari

                I love how ridiculously complicated Henry’s plotting can be. Like, this guy thinks way ahead, he’s in this for the long con. I actually kind of love it…we see Abbie and Ichabod thinking they outsmarted and thwarted Evil once again, only to see Henry gloating at the end with is /real/ purpose fulfilled lol

                Speaking of Abraham…they mentioned at the end of the episode that Abraham would be coming after Katrina. I’m not so certain, not after what Henry did to her – he wasn’t able to protect her, but Ichabod and Abbie did. I think he does truly love her, that’s obvious, and while he does want her…her getting dead at the hands of Henry isn’t exactly conducive to that.

                I think they are setting up the very real possibility that – to the extent he’s able, I’m not sure how much control Moloch (and to a lesser extent Henry) can exert over him – Abraham might end up …if not allied with the Witnesses, at the very least no longer actively aiding Moloch.

                Also, if Moloch is confined and cannot act, and as another horseman himself, Henry’s control over Abraham is limited or non-existent, then Abraham wouldn’t really be compelled to obey any compulsions beyond his own desires. Lord, at this point I think Abraham gaining redemption is actually more likely than Henry lol

                • I totally agree about Abraham, that we’re seeing a suggestion that he cares more for Katrina than he does for his revenge. I’m guessing at some point Abraham will actually aid Ichabod to help or save Katrina, though I don’t think it will be a permanent alliance. It would be fascinating, though, as you say, if Abraham has a better shot at redemption than Henry!

                  And yes, haha, Henry’s long con is actually perfect for the show’s purposes — the eps often seem like stand-alones, but Henry’s multi-step games turn them into threads in the larger seasonal arc. Go Henry, with your narrative helpfulness and grinning wickedness and John-Noble-expressive-face awesomeosity!