Sleepy Hollow 2.08 – Heartless

sh 201 promo image abbie ichabod branches

Previously, a world of nope at Katrina’s demonic pregnancy.   This week, Ichabod and Katrina argue in stylized yet passionate terms about love.  For a moment I thought, oh my god, this must be the live action version of Jenny’s crack parody fanfic of Ichtrina (is that the right smoosh name?)!  We’re going to see a reveal pull back of Jenny at her laptop, sniggering over her vanilla soy latte! But then it turns out Ichabod and Katrina are just bickering as they watch a Bachelor-style reality show.  Meh.  I like my idea way better. 

“Is this a bad time?” Abbie asks, because you can totally tell she’s had to downshift from Two Witnesses Against the Apocalypse mode to oh, yeah, your wife is here. Also, Abbie is the only one who seems serious business here; Katrina asks about more “television of reality” but Abbie reminds them “Now that we’ve bloodied [Henry’s] nose, he’ll be more dangerous than ever.

Uh oh, that awkward topic: hey, your son is a Horseman of the apocalypse versus no, our son can totally be redeemed even though his teen angst bullshit has a body count!

Cue Henry using a still-beating funky demon heart to summon a sexy panting succubus. “Welcome, my dear, we have much to do,” he tells her. Next thing you know, succubus is in da club, transforming to a quirky nerd girl type to seduce a sad sack of a shy guy who somehow has a garrulous hot tall wing man friend. Anyway, she croons to him about her hunger and asks him to dance, while I wonder if the lens flares are weird J.J. Abrahams tribute by Orci & Co.

Soon sexy succubus is sucking out Sad Sack’s life force. Even with the lurid smoky red connect between them, it was a little hard to tell the difference at first, though, right? I mean, there was nothing to that dude besides awkward boring longing (and probably some awful men’s rights activism lurking in his subconscious).

Did you know Ichabod and Katrina got up to some super sexy sekkrit waltzing back in the day?  The whole burned up Sad Sack arm kind of put a damper on that revelation for me, sadly.

Did you know Ichabod and Katrina got up to some super sexy sekkrit waltzing back in the day? The whole burned up Sad Sack arm kind of put a damper on that revelation for me, sadly.

“This is supernatural,” Abbie murmurs as they see Sad Sack’s desiccated husk of a corpse. YOU THINK? “You of all people should know that faith can be rewarded,” Ichabod intones when Abbie mentions, you know, Henry’s kills are starting to pile up. You know what? I resent that on Abbie’s behalf. She’s had to cultivate skepticism to survive an utterly shit childhood. It’s not actually a given for her that faith is rewarded.

Abraham rants at Henry from his mirror phone that Katrina was totally starting to be into him. But it’s “Moloch’s command”; they have a new plan, and Abraham is forbidden from going after Katrina. Wow, what’s he doing all day in that homestead without her? Can’t go chop heads off, can’t kidnap his crush. Must get old.

“Our lord needs more sustenance,” Henry tells succubus after the Vapid Nerd Essence goes into the Moloch jar from her mouth (gosh, I am tough on that guy, aren’t I? It’s just hard to have any sympathy for a victim with random disaffection and one line).

Though there’s a nice Ichabbie bit at the Archive Sekkrit Hideout (when Abbie and Ichabod speak in shorthand because they know one another so well) soon enough the focus shifts to Katrina. She’s a bit woozy on account of having demon visions of a crib. Hey, could someone pick her up some of that quince tea Abraham AKA Death used to give her? Wow, tact, Katrina; pick some up.

Though Abbie offers to get the quince tea (which I totally want now) and some take-out while Ichabod silently fumes at evidence of Katrina’s growing closeness to Abraham, Ichabod changes the plan. He escorts Katrina back to the cabin to rest, leaving Abbie to search leads on her own.   Abbie, you can tough it out all you want, but I am having abandonment issues on your behalf.

Some toolish dude tells his awkward gal pal to back off his junk because “I’m with Melissa,” now. “You’ve got it all wrong,” awkward gal pal blurts. Surprise, she’s way into Melissa, not toolish dude. But unfortunately her hidden desires attract the succubus in the parking lot, who soon sucks her dry to a charcoal shell in a Meghan Fox sort of way.

Katrina randomly gets inspiration that the cause of the husk deaths may be “mystical artefacts,” mainly so Abbie can head to a pub to meet with Hawley.

Possibly too much gorgeous for your tv screen, but I'm not complaining.

Abbie brings along photos of burned out corpses, just so Hawley won’t think any sexy thoughts (too late! Hawley is always thinking sexy thoughts! No, wait, that’s me *about* Hawley. Sorry!)

“Late night call from a girl and drinks at a bar equals date,” he insists even though Abbie’s just there to get info. “If you’ll excuse me, I may be able to salvage this night after all,” he tells her when she doesn’t bite, swaggering off to talk to two other women.

Abbie’s mention to Ichabod of Hawley’s bar hook-up tips her off, and soon she and Katrina riff on details to realize their perp is a succubus. “The more secret the desire, the stronger the pull,” Katherine explains as we see Hawley start to get with the succubus, who speaks briefly in Abbie’s voice. Um. Except Hawley’s desire for Abbie, not terribly secret, really. And he’s so not the awkward type that Sad Sack and Awkward Gal Pal were. Basically the show could have done way better work to make us believe Hawley the next logical victim.

Oh cool, Katrina can track mystical energy with flowing melted wax! Way more lurid and goth than GPS! Uh oh, the succubus is at Hawley’s boat, because unlike the pattern we’ve seen where she sucks out the victim’s life force right away, apparently she was persuaded by Hawley’s offer to show her his hipster traveled the world junk.

Why is the succubus beating Hawley up first instead of just sucking out his essence?  She just wants to get her hands on that hot Hawley body before she burns it hollow, I guess?

Finally the sucking starts; It's like a ten-year-old's nightmare of what French Kissing is like.

Finally, the sucking starts!  It’s like a ten-year-old’s nightmare of what French Kissing is like.

Ah, he had a crystal that “gives off a nasty mystical jolt,” and the succubus, so not down with Abbie and Ichabod coming at her, vanishes with a screech.

“Can’t get rid of the crazy ones,” Hawley jokes just before Ichabod clarifies he clearly had Sekkrit Desires for the succubus to go after him. That better not be some kind of reference to Jenny being a crazy one, Hawley, or I will end you. “Hey, no, I,” Hawley stammers because Ichabod has FOUND OUT HIS FURTIVE LOVE FOR ABBIE! Eh.

Abbie and Ichabod puzzle over why Henry would release a succubus. Ichabod mentions he’s been “distracted” of late (YOU THINK?) by Katrina and tries to get Abbie to see that Hawley like likes her. “He is a brigand and a mercenary but not without his charms,” he says gruffly. Oh, but there’s no room in their lives for complications, Abbie insists. Wait, no; why is there lots of accommodation made for Ichabod’s red-headed complication if Abbie forbids herself from romance?

Katrina’s vision of a baby crying in a cradle sharpens, and Ichabod tells her “your mind is grappling with what you lost.” “An unholy creature of purgatory?” Katrina says skeptically. Well, it might be part of the whole “intense loss” of losing Baby Moloch, Ichabod claims. She does seem to have a connection that “defies logic,” Katrina allows.

Finally our Witnesses + Witch Wife figure out the succubus is using the life force not for herself to subsist, but to nurture the baby demon. Great, now I’m worried the succubus must be starving because all her sucking is drained right out immediately. Honestly, it’s like The Giving Tree all over again. Seriously, though, it’s not about hotness; it’s about pregnancy once more. Not that the succubus thing doesn’t have its own generic sexist issues, but we barely get to enjoy the titillation of the whole forbidden desire thing before it becomes All About the Baby again.

The tension between Katrina and Abbie ramps up when Katrina effuses her psychic link to Baby Moloch could save Henry ultimately and Abbie says her son “is my problem.” When they bristle at one another, Ichabod tries to get them both to chill. Hey, it’s just what the enemy fears the most! They’re more powerful all together! They can’t let these little tiffs pull them apart! Except, you know, these aren’t petty differences being exploited to drive a wedge between Katrina and Abbie. Katrina’s insistence on Henry’s redemption is a huge wrench in the wheel of trying to halt All Things Apocalypse-y.

Turns out the succubus is a specific one: “Incordata, the heartless,” whose heart has to be “extinguished” before the body can be killed. Convenient twist of the week — Abbie put a trace on Henry’s online activity (and I do not want to know what his brand of porn is), and realizes Henry looked stuff up about Shady Hills Cemetery. She and Katrina are shoved off to Work Together and End Their Foolish Feminine Bickering while Ichabod goes clubbing with Hawley to find that hot succubus body.

I see Ichabod and Hawley crime-solving together, and I can think only one thing.  Whose hair is more shiny and lustrous?

I see Ichabod and Hawley crime-solving together, and I can think only one thing. Whose hair is more shiny and lustrous?

While Ichabod complains about the lights and the music and Hawley checks out chicks, they get serious for a moment when Ichabod asks if Hawley’s intentions toward Abbie are honorable. “It’s none of your business,” says Hawley, all smooth swagger before going into crush mode. “Just to be clear, she asked about me?” Aww, he’s totally scribbling Mr. Hawley Mills in his diary, I just know it!

At the cemetery, Katrina explains she’s stubborn about what she believes because she’s lost so much. Abbie tells her family isn’t just biology: “It has to be earned.” You go, Abbie! “There are things that even a mother’s love can’t overcome,” Abbie says when Katrina reacts indignantly. Like being the Horseman of War, just as an example! Her mother’s love for her and Jenny “wasn’t enough,” Abbie says in a clipped tone (setting us right up for next week’s ep).

Hawley spots the succubus and sends Ichabod off on his own with an enchanted Nordic blade, mostly so he can phone up Abbie just to hear the sound of her voice. Sucks that caller ID exists now, or you can bet that Hawley would be phoning Abbie all the time and shrieking into his pillow with delighted giggles when he hears her voicemail.

You know, this is another ep in which I think Katrina’s witchery is a little weak. Abbie’s the one who spots the protective hex on the mausoleum, and though Katrina can sense the heart, Abbie is the one who is brave enough to plunge her hand into a jar of her individual fears manifested (maggots, ew). “This is nasty,” Abbie says when she pulls out the heart and Katrina starts the spell — which Abbie has to finish, even though she clearly hasn’t done the coursework in Romani Greek, because Katrina didn’t think to check if there was a protection spell over the heart. *hands*

In the club’s back room, Ichabod is soon trapped by the succubus who tells him in a voice similar to Katrina’s, “I can sense your desire; it burns strong.” Uh, yeah. Katrina is his wife. That desire is not terribly hidden.

The show passes up a chance to deal with possibly secret desire for Abbie, which seems a shame. Honestly, it wouldn’t have to be sexual for it to be deep and abiding — for closeness with Abbie, for the intensity of their partnership that has diminished while Katrina is in the picture. But instead the succubus tells Ichabod she’s focused on the sour emotion in his heart, “the taste of doubt.” Lady, isn’t your job description broadening randomly here? I thought you were all about desire, not, “What else is my wife lying to me about?” type stuff?

At the tomb, Abbie finally sets the beating heart a-burning while Ichabod grabs Hawley’s gun before he can sucked out of his life force again, and kills the body part of the succubus again. Dead lady demon vanquished, we wrap up our bro-trip with Ichabod scolding Hawley for not giving him a damn gun in the first place, but also essentially establishing himself as Hawley’s wingman with Abbie. Which, well. It’s weird, is what it is.

Abbie helps Katrina out of the tomb, because Katrina is always one step away from needing a fainting couch. They reach a détente of sorts: Abbie tells Katrina they’re stronger with her on the team, and Katrina agrees Henry must be stopped, but it is Moloch she wants to destroy. Oh hey, Abbie, be a pal and tell Katrina’s husband she’s gone back to her Headless Horseman ex-fiancé so she can spy on evil’s plan for world domination, would you?

Hawley refuses to go to the hospital so he can “stay off the grid”, but really so that Abbie can wrap his gorgeous bare chest in bandages. Hey Hawley, I’m a fan of that chest hair, baby. *strokes throat* Seriously, why do so many shows have male actors wax their damn chests?

“It’s not every day a girl gives me her heart,” Hawley half-jokes when Abbie presents him with the burned out succubus organ meat. Huh, is Abbie considering Hawley now on Ichabod’s say-so? She seemed utterly unimpressed with him before, except as a short-cut to researching supernatural objects and maybe thinking he wasn’t a totally bad dude.

“We have to talk,” Abbie tells Ichabod when he finally notices, hey, where my wife at? “It is a bold move with significant risk,” Ichabod comments, rather complacently I personally feel, after learning his wife has gone back to hang at Abraham’s. But Katrina isn’t just the love of his life, “but also a highly skilled operative…a fact I tend to overlook,” he explains. That’s pretty damn modern of you, Ichabod.

But Ichabod’s assured voice-over about trusting Katrina takes on another spin as we see Katrina being introduced to Baby Moloch.

Oh, thank cripes, the babysitter's here.

Oh, thank cripes, the babysitter’s here.

Abraham brings her over to see Henry, and I guess to babysit the baby demon, and somehow Katrina sees, rather than the horrible creature she envisioned earlier, a cutie pie wriggly human baby. I imagine it’s her locket allowing her to see the humanity in Baby Molly (can that be a thing? Baby Molly? Because it will make me giggle, okay?).

You know what, though, I buy the locked working to show Abraham’s hidden humanity, because Abraham is remarkably tied to his human wishes and personality — he’s gallant, he’s still in love with Katrina, he tries even to sacrifice himself to save her (in last week’s ep).

But how is Moloch at all possessed of a human element? Unless he’s going to grow up to be an awkward geeky yearning for a crush he’ll never fess up to type (I mean, that is where his humanity got harvested). Are we seeing the birth of the antichrist here, a character we’ll actually watch age as a child on Sleepy Hollow? Because seriously, even on a show that takes vanquishing evil seriously, how do you just *cuts across neck* off someone who is, even if only part time and with the right necklace, an adorable baby boy?

Earlier Katrina had told Abbie that she learned how dangerous love is, and as Katrina smiles at wriggly Baby Molly, we’re left to decide whether she’s acting the role for Abraham and Henry, or is actually taken in by demonic teensy baby toes and chubby cheekses?

Next week — FINALLY, MORE JENNY! This show needs about 10000% more Jenny and Irving (remember when they had actual, substantial storylines last season?).  It seems next week I’m going to get my own not-so-secret desire: a plot centered around the Mills sisters and their troubled past. Join me then for “Mama” and meanwhile, come talk to me in comments about all this succubus sucking and trust-y faith-y complications!