Last week, the Apocalypse started! It was quite a small and intimate gathering, as attentive viewer Sparky pointed out, just Moloch and his two supportive Horsemen. But still. APOCALYPSE! So it should be pretty crazy and scary and go down at a horrifyingly rapid pace, right?
I actually thought the pace would be way more rapid when Abbie noted that she and Ichabod were basically counting on Katrina to hold off Moloch until they get there. Wow. I mean, Katrina’s whole thing has been pretty much an exercise in Not Getting Things Done this season. Everything should probably go to hell pretty quickly, then!
But, things slow down right quick. First Abbie’s car goes kerplooey from the whole Apocalyptical Electrical interference situation. And as one does during a tense and urgent moment during which the very fabric of the world is threatened, they stop to chat with a mechanic who can’t get the parts he needs right away, aww geez! Why even stop at a gas station? Run, run like hell, or at least commandeer any passing car for non-hell-on-earth justice!
At least our duo has a fun moment of stealing a motorcycle, partly so that Ichabod can be scared out of his little colonial brain but then decide he totally wants one. But it’s mainly to show us how teenage Abbie was seriously a badass. Yeah, she had a bike like that back in the day, no big.
Please, can we get a whole bunch of flashbacks to the adolescent Mills sisters breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law, riding motorcycles and sneering at society? I would watch the hell out of a series focused on pre-SH Jenny & Abbie rebelling against everything shenanigans.
To gum up the works even more, though, they head to Fredericks’ Mansion and find the party seems to have already wound down. Hey, let’s poke at some of the objects set up here and there instead of running, RUNNING LIKE HELL, to find out where the apocalypse is going down! And why not see what’s up with that scale model Henry built of Sleepy Hollow. As soon as Ichabod and Abbie begin to connect the sites of Henry’s misdeeds, I think all of us at home guessed it would be a pentagram and went to get more seltzer, right?
Before we get any real significance from our pentagram’s placement, we hear Katrina crying out for help, because Abraham is so binding-ritual marrying her right the heck now. Ichabod easily slices through Abraham’s axe, and after Abbie sets Katrina free, they start grilling Abraham about Moloch’s plans.
Back up a sec. If your big boss was throwing an Apocalypse, at which you had a starring role, wouldn’t you want to, I don’t know — not miss that? Abraham, stay on topic, am I right?
Soon Katrina extends her amulet’s enchantment so everyone can see Abraham’s head, and it’s refreshing to see him look as surly as ever. “All magic has a cost,” Abraham tells them, and sure, makes sense the Methuselah sword might have some drawbacks. Apparently anyone who uses it to kill will lose his soul and life. I am at an utter loss as to how Methuselah, big time famous for living A SUPER LONG TIME, was able to wield such a sword to slay a gajillion demons and not keel over, but whatever, I will go with this.
“Enough deceit!” roars Ichabod, preparing to kill Abraham at last. But Katrina stays his hand, because this particular rush rush rush to the end of the world as we know it comes with a lot of detours and stalling.
I wonder if Abraham feels the slightest moment of nostalgia when Abbie and the others shunt him back into his Thomas Jefferson and coven-enforced chains? “Hey, old friends,” I imagine him whispering fondly to the metal links. While Katrina waltzes around Abraham to question him, Abbie delicately brings up how it might just be weird for Ichabod to have his wife protecting her former fiancé slash captor slash immortal demonic suitor.
Jenny calls our heroes to the cabin, where she’s got research in progress proving Abraham’s warning was right. I am genuinely confused, though, about them detouring and reaffirming their commitment as Witnesses and again staging a whole “can Henry be redeemed, because we might have to kill him, jsyk,” discussion. Because ISN’T THE APOCALYPSE HAPPENING A HALF MILE AWAY OR SO? I absolutely get that they’re trying to figure out what to do, but the pace of this episode is hella strange.
Jenny has a Revelation of her own (pfftt, like you didn’t think that was coming at some point) when she figures out if someone’s soul has already been claimed, using Methuselah’s sword wouldn’t consume it. Hey ho, you mean there’s a really significant role for Captain Frank Irving in this here End of Days scenario?
Henry waxes nostalgic about how Moloch is kind of his real dad, raising him from the dead and all. And now they’re going to bring Purgatory back right where child!Jeremy had been buried and aging into John Noble!
Moloch seems pretty unmoved, and instead of joining in on Henry’s reminiscences instead starts raising his army of the undead. Awkward.
After overhearing Katrina say she has feelings for Abraham (*throws hands into the air*), Ichabod heads back to the cabin to muse about the Abraham and Isaac story. “It’s not the same, Crane. Isaac was an innocent child,” Abbie tells him. “But grant that it is an unreasonable request,” he says stiffly. Uh, Abbie lost her mom to this battle of good and evil thing. None of what happened there was reasonable, Ichabod.
Finally we find out Irving’s random phone message last week wasn’t just C-plot randomness but an actual code, communicating to our gang that he’s hiding in the tunnels downtown. Jenny and Ichabod head out to find him to talk about using Henry’s curse on his soul to their advantage.
Though there’s no time for him to see Cynthia and Macey (and why not? I mean, Katrina is chatting with Abraham, Moloch and Henry are chilling watching Moloch’s undead army stagger around, and presumably back at the garage, that mechanic is still waiting for his parts. I think there’s tons of time), Jenny vows she’ll look after Irving’s family should something happen to him.
Irving takes out the sword and wields it like the badass he is. “Let’s go see the horseman,” he growls. CRIMINALLY UNDERUSED THIS SEASON, OKAY?
We get more reveals that don’t really advance the action or plot. Abraham gives up more info — basically, four white trees burned black = Purgatory on Earth. Again Katrina tells Ichabod not to kill Abraham, and again Ichabod spares him. At least when Jenny heads out to “weapon up” and drags Hawley along with her, we get to see a little blood hail, and also catch Hawley saying, “God bless Texas,” for some unknown reason.
Hawley hands over various fancy-schmancy supernatural weaponry. Katrina can activate their powers, but by the way, her power weakens as Purgatory merges with the real world. Ahahaha, what power? Hawley gets put on babysitting Abraham/Headless duty. “It’s not a party; you cannot have friends over,” Abbie says firmly as she leaves. At least let him know about those ice cream sandwiches in the fridge, Abbie.
“I cannot fight two wars at once,” Katrina tells Ichabod when he confronts her about what she said to Abraham. Fine, well, sometimes Ichabod questions the very idea of their marriage! The two of them essentially decide to go on a break as long as the Apocalypse lasts (which honestly, I was starting to think would be all through the remaining episodes, because wow, the narrative is lurching along here).
Moloch is getting totally impatient that they’re still waiting for Abraham. Henry makes excuses for Abraham, then himself, but Moloch will have none of that, young man.
As soon as our ragtag group of heroes heads onto the field, someone from the zombie army shoots Abbie. COME ON, NOW!
Abbie has been established as this amazing shot and fantastic in a fight, and she gets winged straight off? The absolute best part of this sequence was Irving just going to town on that demon army — he may not have Ichabod’s and Abraham’s gentlemen’s swordsman lessons, but that guy can swing some steel.
“I got this,” Irving spits as Henry’s avatar suit of armor rides in. There’s some fun back-and-forth as Irving lopes off the armor’s arms and Henry reacts as if in pain over by Moloch’s side. But mainly the action here lies with Irving and War, and it’s pretty awesome. It almost makes you forget that we’ve been stalling for most of the episode to get to this encounter.
Favorite was when Irving’s jabs and blows set War’s sword on fire. We see the armor licked with flames from within until molten fire pours out and the armor, and Henry’s avatar, melts away to nothing.
I’m starting to think no one was listening to me reiterations that if anything happened to Irving, that would NOT BE OKAY WITH ME. Because even as Irving triumphs and Ichabod looks vastly impressed, we see Irving bleeding from his side. The worst is when Ichabod announces Katrina will totally save him — SERIOUSLY? Of course Katrina with her no-power her power weakened by the Apocalypse, can’t do jack, and Irving dies.
SO NOT OKAY!
But can Irving really be dead? I say no, mostly because the major players on this show don’t seem terribly touched by death. We all saw how many episodes Dead Officer Andy was on after he kicked it, and of course Henry and Abraham and Ichabod all technically died at various junctures.
Also, Henry’s got dibs on Irving’s soul, so I’m guessing Orlando Jones will keep on keepin’ on, though I imagine as an undead soldier, possibly for the bad guys. I don’t even know; I suppose it’s better than him being stuck at Tarrytown Psychiatric and getting next to no character development for an entire season?
Part of me felt upset not just at Irving’s death, but at the way the other characters have basically let his concerns go to the wayside this season. Sure, Abbie and Ichabod checked in with him periodically, but they were never actively researching how to get his soul back or pushing for some way to get Henry to relinquish his claim. So it was a tough sell to me, to see Ichabod and Abbie so horrified by his death — he’s been so far off his radar that it felt out of proportion. Like, not out of proportion to HOW AWESOME IRVING IS, you hear me? But not supported by the characterizations and events of the past season.
However, I though Nicole Beharie played the hell out of that reaction scene, drawing out Abbie’s wordless shock at the loss of Irving, and seeing Ichabod hold on to her and try to comfort her did make me have squishy Witness-y feelings, so I think the actors absolutely did the best they could with what they were given.
Everyone vows to fight extra hard to Irving’s sacrifice won’t be in vain. Hey, does anyone want to send a quick message to Hawley that he should be ready to check in on Irving’s family if the rest of them die in the Apocalypse? No? Instead Ichabod and Abbie dispute who will wield the sword. Saying he’s lived “on borrowed time,” Ichabod heavily declares “it ends now with purpose.” But Abbie tells him they’ve all chosen to be there, and each of them declares they will pick up the sword in turn should the others fall.
Moloch acts like the worst dad ever. Not only did he fail to take Henry to the fishing hole after Henry talked about how great it was to be his protégé, he sends Henry off, vulnerable without his armor, to get that Methuselah sword. “Father, I –” Henry says brokenly as Moloch disdainfully insists he be grateful for the opportunity to sacrifice himself.
Henry shows up at the church and pooh-poohs Abbie’s and Jenny’s efforts to deter him, winding them up in tree-root bindings. He grabs the sword from Abbie, but it’s a fake. Though Ichabod appeals to him to let them get to Moloch, “If you want to leave, your only option is to kill me,” Henry insists.
Ichabod again raises the story of Abraham and Isaac, explaining Moloch can be their sacrificial ram. Henry could then be free of Moloch’s sovereignty. “You never gave up on me, and you never will,” Henry says, seemingly stunned.
The Mills sisters look completely skeptical and wary as Katrina and Ichabod try to make nice with their kid, and for good reason. Henry immediately grabs the sword from Ichabod, because “as an immortal, I can wield this with impunity.” Wow, way to screw up, Ichabod and Katrina.
Immediately we see what’s left of our gang tied up to trees facing Moloch. “Kill the witch, then the final tree will burn,” Moloch declares. Why? I have no idea. I don’t think Katrina is crucial to any step of this apocalypse, but I guess Moloch just feels churlish about witches and the stuff they get up to.
“Take me,” shouts Ichabod. Henry scoffs at his sacrifice and riffs about the Akeda to conclude that any man willing to sacrifice his child should die. But of course he doesn’t mean Ichabod. “As should any god,” Henry says, running the sword through Moloch
So. That’s it for the Apocalypse? I would guess nope, as we’ve got seven more eps to go (though they’re not due to start airing until January). Besides, I think Henry’s anger at Moloch doesn’t at all indicate that he’s redeemed or even inclined toward the side of good. Seeing as how Henry likes to play the long game, I wouldn’t be shocked if it turns out that getting someone else to fetch the sword for him so he could kill Moloch has been his plan the entire time. As soon as he rammed Moloch with the sword, I wondered if he’s somehow ascended to a place roughly equivalent to Moloch’s by vanquishing him.
Yes? No? Will Henry take the wheel of this End of Days? Will Irving rise up to become Henry’s soldier? Will anyone remember that Hawley is still drunk from partying and hanging out with Abraham/Headless? We’ll have to wait until 2015 to find out for sure, but I’d love to hear your theories in comments!