Previously on Sleepy Hollow, we thought the show was jerking us around! But it was only Purgatory jerking reality, Ichabod, and Abbie around. Plus Benjamin Franklin was a merry nudist puzzle-poser of an encrypting funster. HISTORY!
The Headless Horseman takes Katrina to a ritual circle with fire where, Henry tells her, they will “complete the ceremony” bonding the two of them. There’s wrist binding and hand cutting (this show loves its ceremonial hand-slashing, tbh). “You must be like him in every way,” Henry explains to Katrina as the Horseman takes a wide swing at her pretty head with his axe and…
“You were having a nightmare?” Abbie asks Ichabod as he startles awake. Yeah. So. I’d like to nominate myself as current Queen of Stating the Obvious, as last night I said aloud, “You know, this show likes to mess with our heads,” as though this was actual news.
There’s a new secret sacred text in town! It’s the Codex Tchacos (I can’t remember the original pronunciation, so I’m calling it Cod Ex Tacos). We learn there’s a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, when a supernatural harbinger takes a human bride through a gruesome binding ritual, aww! Ichabod expresses adorable colonial-displacement confusion at what Abbie calls “the marriage industry” after she snarks about evil and Martha Stewart. *bops his nose*
Sounds like Gruesome Binding Ritual themed wedding is the Horseman/Abraham’s plan for Katrina, not just a description of Ichabod’s bad dreams. Abbie reminds Ichabod, that Abraham is a “jilted lover and a former comrade of yours.” Basically, she stresses, Ichabod knows how Abraham thinks, and should use that to determine where he’s stashed Ichabod’s wife.
Wow, Sheriff Reyes, Captain Irving’s replacement (temporary, okay? *sobs*) sure likes to throw a bucketful of curveballs at first meeting. She admonishes Abbie for showing late, frowny-faces the tanking of Abbie’s promising career after losing Corbin, drops the bomb that she knew Abbie as a kid from the antics of Abbie’s neglectful mother, and theorizes all the headless-ing stuff going on in town is the work of a drug cartel. “We are going to bring some sanity to this town,” Reyes concludes.
Meanwhile, Ichabod has concluded Abraham would have brought his intended back to his family estate in Dobbs Ferry. ON the way, Abbie carefully says she wants to stay focused on Moloch’s larger plan. But Katrina isn’t just his wife, Ichabod argues; she’s a “witch of extraordinary abilities,” and he hasn’t “forgotten our duty as Witnesses” in worrying about her rescue.
At Willow Point, they confirm Katrina’s inside, and the Horseman’s spooky steed is lurking in the shadows. “Crane, let’s go,” Abbie pleads when Ichabod nearly makes a break for it to run in after Katrina. “We come back after we have a plan,” she insists.
Back at Corbin’s Cabin Hideaway, Jenny totally moves past Ichabod’s Cod Ex Tacos explanation (um, she retrieved it, Ichabod, so *hands*) to focus on a specific drawing. It’s The Kindred, a Frankenstein’s Monster type being Franklin was going to create along with the Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart (Katrina’s coven) from “harvesting the limbs of fallen soldiers” into a super being who would help them fight evil.
You know, I object to Benjamin Franklin randomly coming up with an idea Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley had yet to imagine. I’m just putting that out there. Anyway, the coven never raised the creature; they were lacking a body part from the Horseman. “We have a pretty big piece of him at our disposal,” Jenny reminds them: the Head in a Box Jar. “We’re not talking about raising a weapon,” Abbie objects when Ichabod sees opportunity. “We’re talking about raising a monster.” Dun dun DUN! Credits time!
Henry finds himself summoned to Moloch and promises he won’t rest until there’s a way for Moloch to rise to earth. “No, I will find my own way,” Moloch growls in his Standard Romani Greek thing, telling Henry to mind his own beeswax, and he’ll find a way back himself.
Despite Jenny’s clear objections and Abbie’s troubled misgivings, Abbie ultimately agrees to raise the Kindred. “The last time we went on a mission to save Katrina, it didn’t end well,” Jenny reminds them. But Ichabod is so focused on saving his wife, he insists “this time our eyes have been opened.”
Okay, I get that Ichabod is actually somewhat blinded by his strong desire to rescue Katrina despite his wide-eyed claims. But the episode skirts a weird edge of almost accusing him of uxoriousness. It’s not actually weird to take some extreme measures to get someone away from one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse; last week, Ichabod risked letting Moloch out of Purgatory to save Abbie.
But it does highlight a worry for the show: the problem of where do you slot in Katrina, Ichabod’s wife, into the narrative and emotional dynamics when Ichabod already has such a strong relationship with Abbie?
Jenny fits into the picture well, having her own interesting backstory and a potential relationship with Frank Irving that gives her scope outside of Ichabod-and-Abbie. Anyway, it’s intriguing to watch the show working to manage the problem of giving Katrina an actual role without taking focus away from Ichabod’s bond to Abbie.
Obviously one way to work Katrina into the plot is to give her another relationship, and for that reason I’m kind of psyched we’re seeing the weirdly human side of the Hottest of the Horsemen, Abraham as he tries to convert her to fire and brimstone salvation. Abraham immediately tries to plant doubts in Katrina’s head about Abbie, and throws a subtle bone to the slash shippers (“Ichabod cared about me once, and now he has moved on,” Abraham laments, likening Ichabod betraying their BFF-ness when he stole away Katrina to Katrina effectively losing Ichabod to Abbie).
OH NO, MY SWEET BABBOO FRANK IRVING!!!!!
Abbie visits Irving in jail to find him beaten but unbowed. “Apparently, inmates don’t like former cops,” he says, joining me as my King of Stating the Obvious (*goes to make up matching crowns*). He reassures Abbie his wife’s getting him a new lawyer (so wait, they’re reconciling also?), but when he tries to ask about what’s up with the fight against evil, Abbie tells him “you’ve got enough to handle in here”.
Turns out Irving hid the Head of the Headless at Sleepy Hollow Savings & Loan. Actually that’s pretty freaking smart, putting it behind steel walls in a twenty-four hour security venue. When he mentions he thought about telling the truth, and maybe working with an insanity plea, Abbie urges him to take that tack. “Visitation is a lot easier for us [at Tarrytown Psychiatric], than prison,” she says. “We want you close.”
Ichabod rails at banking establishments (“more dangerous than standing armies,” according to Jefferson), and huffs indignantly to a bank manager, “these people trust you with their fortune, yet you cannot entrust them with a single inkwell?” When the man tries to get him to open up a credit account instead of yanking around the standard bank pen on a chain, Ichabod asks, “Are you part of the wedding industry?” with all due horror.
While Abbie and Ichabod fetch the Head, Jenny hauls munitions to Abbie & Ichabod’s Awesome Sekkrit Hideout at police headquarters. HOCRAP, here comes Sheriff Reyes with lots of contempt for Jenny’s ex-con, escapee-of-Tarrytown-Psychiatric status. “I have other achievements,” Jenny says loftily, because she’s awesome. But when Reyes pokes through Jenny’s duffel bags o’ weaponry, it’s more jail time for Jenny, drat.
“You must be the History Consultant,” Reyes tells Ichabod when he and Abbie arrive to help Jenny. Um, this dripping with disdain thing is not exactly endearing. She shuts down Ichabod’s recitation of his qualifications, saying a professor like him should appreciate her doing research before she lets him see any more case files. “I got caught,” Jenny says when Abbie tries to intercede in her case, obviously ready to take the fall so the plans won’t be derailed. Jenny is my Queen of Badassery.
Frank Irving quickly passes a lie detector test by, you know, TELLING THE TRUTH. “A demon named Anticef,” was the real killer, not him. Reyes rolls her eyes at what she sees as a clear bid to escape maximum security prison. But she’s got friends at Tarrytown Psych, who apparently did their training under the One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest school of psychiatry. She assures him, “I’ll make sure you get all the latest” in “electroshock therapy [and] anti-psychotic drugs.” No, no, Irving, MY SWEET BABBOO!
“Remind me to make you another reading list,” Abbie tells Ichabod when he doesn’t get her Frankenstein’s monster reference (I totally want to see what was on the first reading list she made him!). “Even a man from the 18th century won’t ask for help with directions,” she notes when he gets them lost in the tunnels. Lookout, BAT-SES! I hope everyone on Team Witness has gotten special rabies boosters to protect them from all the CGI’ed bats. D:
Abbie goes quiet for a moment, remembering when the bats bum-rushed her in Purgatory in Moloch’s lair. When Ichabod gently asks after “her ordeal” there, she says the worst part was seeing him, or his evil double, just at the moment she was about to break. Purgatory plucks at weaknesses, Ichabod agrees.
“My faith in you is my greatest weakness,” Abbie says heavily, and BAM! Ichabod looks stunned; she looks disheartened, and there’s nothing I don’t love about that moment. We’ve seen Abbie be dubious with Ichabod, and learn to trust him, but it’s fascinating and utterly compelling to think of her as particularly vulnerable now because she’s arrived at a point where she trusts him so fully. We’re not getting to take anything for granted between the two of them this season, and it’s exactly the right complication their relationship needs as the narrative continues to gain layers.
“Lieutenant, do you think Katrina is my weakness?” Ichabod asks hesitantly. And BAM AGAIN, because I love love love that he’s still, even in the middle of panicking about how to save his wife, introspective enough to understand that, yeah, he might actually be wrong-stepping things here. “Maybe. Or maybe it’s Henry,” Abbie says carefully. Gah, she’s so fantastically tender with Ichabod’s feelings and family worries in this episode. *clutches heart*
“I think part of why you chose to take on Abraham rather than go after Henry is, because in spite of everything he’s done to us, Henry is still your son,” Abbie tells him. But we don’t get time to examine Ichabod’s unexamined choices about which literal demon to fight first. They discover the metal plates (which are booby-trapped battery style, a la Luigi Galvani; good thing his family crest on the seal gives that game away) concealing The Kindred. “Meet our new best friend, Franklin-stein’s monster,” Abbie pronounces when the pressed seal presents them with a fog-machine filled stitched-body-parts delivering coffin.
Katrina gets caught listening in on Abraham and Henry talking about how Moloch’s totally still going to rise, just you wait!
“The boy you knew as your son died in a pine box 200 years ago,” Henry scoffs when Katrina says he’s still her son. “Blindness is going to get your husband killed,” he taunts, explaining Ichabod is coming to save her. “The question is, who will save them?”
“Should we light candles?” Abbie asks doubtfully as she and Ichabod set up the props to raise the Kindred. “Only if you wish to set a mood,” Ichabod says distractedly.
Once the Horseman’s Head is on The Kindred (eye-twitching to scare Abbie because it feels Headless close by), Katrina launches a plan to distract Abraham inside. “The Witnesses aren’t meant to die at the hand of the Horseman,” she argues, but Abraham insists “Crane’s life will end on the eve your new life begins.”
Henry futzes around with a fountain pen under a microscope, and I can’t help but think of Ichabod sullenly yanking at the bank pen. Oh hey, it’s Henry’s body-less embodied armor! He watches it, eyes gone black, as it raises its helmet to cover its not-head.
As Ichabod and Abbie have several goes at raising The Kindred (“I’m not the witch in the family,” he complains when the first incantation doesn’t take), Katrina tries convincing Abraham that maybe she could learn to love the idea of their Gruesome Binding Ritual themed wedding. Rather than take her by force and “live an eternity knowing I am not truly yours,” give her time. He nods once. Okay, he’s utterly twisted and completely damned, but looks like Headless still has some romance in him after all.
Once The Kindred is finally animated, the fight is on between him and Headless. While Abbie strives to keep the distraction going, shooting Death’s armor when Henry’s remote-soul-controlled cipher shows to battle, Ichabod runs inside to save Katrina. But she insists Abraham will “scorch the earth” if she leaves. If she stays, she can spy on “a great plan in motion, one that involves all of us.”
Bunches of mean-spirited demonic fighting go on outside. Poor The Kindred!
Inside, Katrina reveals she also wants to stay to help Jeremy/Henry, who is still their son no matter how much darkness he embraced because of his suffering. Ichabod understands Katrina’s desires (and I do really like that Katrina has her own plans to help that Ichabod must acquiesce to), but he’s losing her again even though she’s out of Purgatory. We get a very cinematic emotionally-laden kiss, accompanied by swelling music. “You are forever in my heart,” he chokes out as he obeys Abbie’s call that they’re out of time.
Abbie and Ichabod hightail it away, leaving the poor The Kindred to draw off the two Horsemen. When Headless morphs into Abraham and heads back inside, he finds Katrina’s bindings undone. “You could have left,” he says, stunned when he finds she hasn’t fled. “This is not my world,” Katrina says, trying to convince him of her ambivalence. “You are wise not to acclimate to this world,” Abraham says righteously. “It will not exist much longer.” Not if we get our renewal before the upfronts, Abraham!
“There is a chance it simply disappeared,” Ichabod posits about the lost Head when they regroup at the cabin. Ahahaha, NOT LIKELY. I’m not the only one worried about The Kindred, right? It’s like a sad stitched-together soldier! Of SADNESS! “The way we fight monsters cannot be to create monsters,” Ichabod concludes; he won’t take that option again. Abbie wants to look on the bright side. They followed through on their plan, reached Katrina, and now they have a mole. “This time we’ll get ahead of them” before Moloch rises. Awfully cavalier about your disappeared monster and missing Head, aren’t you two?
Abbie goes to check on Jenny, who is still behind bars. “Just sit tight,” Abbie tells her; they have to step carefully with the new sheriff in town. But she appreciates how much Jenny took one for the team. “Just don’t take 13 years to come get me this time, okay?” Jenny calls as a guard takes her away. Eeep, I really don’t want Jenny imprisoned! Way to strain the tenuous détente between the two sisters! *worries*
“Might be time for another sedative,” Reyes mocks Captain Irving and HOW IS THAT EVEN CLOSE TO LEGAL, HER BEING ALL UP IN HIS PSYCH CARE?
But things soon go from bad to OH HELL NO territory, as Henry Parrish shows up claiming to be Irving’s new lawyer. Okay, at least he stops the electro-shocking and pill-pushing, but you know, this could have been avoided if Abbie had just given Irving the most basic run-down of the situation on the outside. “And Henry Parrish turned out to be Ichabod’s Sin Eater allied-with-evil son who betrayed us all, and by the way, he looks like a kindly religious studies professor” would have gone a LONG WAY toward preventing this kind of thing.
“I just need you to sign this,” Henry says cheerfully, giving Irving the pen he was messing with earlier. “It’s quite standard, confirmation you’re enlisting my services.” Um, does that pen have Evil Ink? HOCRAP, it’s worse: the pen pricks Irving’s fingers and he’s soon signing the contract in his own damn blood. IT’s a family heirloom, Henry apologizes, and it’s developed some rough edges over the years. They laugh about that as Irving signs his freaking soul away to the demonic side! That was easily the most horrifying and yet awesome thing of the entire episode.
Okay, so I didn’t post pics of Patriotic Cupcakes because, good gravy, not one of you requested it! Seriously, you don’t want to see Cupcakes that encapsulate why America’s History is Dark and Full of Demons? *hands*
I’d absolutely love to hear what you all thought of the episode in comments. And definitely make sure to join me for next week’s episode, “Root of All Evil”!