Posted by Kim
Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 13
First of all, thanks to all the SleepyHeads who joined us at our viewing party on Monday! While it was a bummer not to have the karaoke to flail over, “Pittura Infamate” was actually a PERFECT episode to watch in a big group. This was genuinely the most terrifying episode that Sleepy Hollow has ever done (the bartender commented on the screams coming out of our screening room) and it was also an excellent standalone episode that utilized the entire ensemble. Yes, Katrina was prominent (yaaaaawn) but she was used effectively and every member of the cast got a moment to shine. Let’s get right to the rankings, shall we?
The episode opens with a man hard at work on restoring a painting of a man painting another painting. As there are strange markings on the frame, we know this must be no ordinary painting (also because this is Sleepy Hollow, naturally). The restorer sees that there is red dripping from the painting…blood. As he steps back in horror, the whole thing starts gushing blood…and then suddenly it stops. Was it real or just imagined?
This painting, by artist James Colby, is one of the centerpieces for a gala celebrating John Adams at the Sleepy Hollow Historical Society. That gala also happens to be a date night for the Cranes (apparently Katrina was BFFs with our second First Lady and I’ll talk about “date night” later). Once at the gala, we learn that the Restoration Artist, Hollister, is a friend of Ichabod’s, which means he’s clearly destined for death. (RIP Miss Caroline.) Hollister is very distressed about the bleeding painting, and tries to get some expertise from Ichabod, but is interrupted by the curator, who is furious about the state of the painting. Apparently, cracks in frames of colonial art are REALLY embarrassing for a historical society.
Over dinner, Katrina is rather melancholy, as this place fills her with memories of her gurl Abigail. Ichabod tries to comfort her, saying that he too has experienced this sense of loss and confusion, but Katrina needs to start accepting that they live in Modern times now. Dinner is interrupted by screams and everyone runs out into the hall to find Hollister dangling from the chandelier by one ankle, his throat slit. NO FRIENDS FOR YOU, ICHABOD CRANE. Whodunnit? My money’s on Colonel Mustard, in the hall, with the rope.
Katrina and Ichabod notice that not only does Hollister resemble the Hanged Man Tarot Card (“Since when do you read the tarot?” “Since someone left a deck in our parlor. I assumed it was for recreational use.”) but the manner in which he was killed also resembles a set of murders from 1781. Of course they do! Katrina tells Ichabod that Abigail Adams was very invested in solving these murders but the killer was never caught. Perhaps this is a chance for redemption? In typical fashion, Katrina is hesitant to actually DO anything, claiming she wasn’t able to help back then…how could she do so now? This is what makes me NUTS about her. I know the writers have said that Katrina is still adjusting to her powers in this new world, but her very lack of desire to do ANYTHING is what is making the fans crazy. It would be a very interesting story to actually see Katrina struggling but still having the DESIRE to use her powers instead of automatically saying “Oh, I can’t do it.” She immediately tries to pawn the mystery off onto Ichabod, saying that “perhaps he should call upon his own Abigail”. (Which, yes, obviously, but you could help out too). Ichabod says that Abigail would have wanted them to solve this TOGETHER. What Ichabod wants (I think) is to see the woman he fell in love with….the feisty, take-no-prisoners redhead who called him out on his own inaction, which is WHY he pushes her to solve this mystery with him. (That treatise probably belonged in the shippy section, but whatever, I do what I want.)
Through their powers of deductions and Katrina’s memories, they determine that Colby was behind the murders in 1781 and that somehow he is trapped in the painting and is trying to complete his work by feeding off the blood from whoever has touched the painting. That includes Miller and that now includes Ichabod, who in a very Fox Mulder-esque move (“I hope this doesn’t betray my cool guy exterior.”, touched the blood himself. Ruh-roh. As they discuss this, they turn and see Colby LOOKING AT THEM from the painting, an evil smirk on his face as the Inverted Cross is more complete. A moment later, Colby is GONE. Are we sure this painting isn’t from Hogwarts?
The Cranes endeavor to save Miller, who is Colby’s next victim. They separate to search for him, which really just means Ichabod looking while Katrina goes through Abigail’s desk, finding secret drawers that no historian ever thought to look for. She discovers a pile of letters and out of the corner of her eye, she sees Colby’s bloody figure stalking through the halls. Meanwhile, Ichabod is on Miller’s trail and finds him being literally sucked into the painting. He almost gets sucked in himself, but Katrina is there to pull him back. Abigail’s letters reveal that she DID discover that Colby was behind the murders and that she employed Katrina’s coven to put an entrapment hex on the painting to trap him there and that Hollister’s restorations must have broken it somehow. Ichabod says that if he can get OUT, surely he can go IN in order to save Miller from Hollister’s fate, as the painting now shows HIM being hung from the ceiling by his ankles. The Cranes take the painting back to Hollister’s office because jumping into paintings is something reserved for a private space or the streets of London with Mary Poppins. Those are the only options.
Once in the office, Crane presses his hand against the inverted cross in order to gain entry to the painting. Katrina does the same, saying “No more separating, we do this together,” and it’s the most I’ve ever liked her. Together they lower Miller down from the ceiling and discover he’s still alive…barely. Katrina starts saying the hex to bring them back to reality and much to EVERYONE’S horror (this is when the room started screaming for the rest of the scene), Colby starts rising up from the pool of blood from the floor. Crane yells at Katrina to HURRY and she gets the three of them back to reality just in the nick of time. Colby is not finished though and he starts to emerge from the painting, grabbing Ichabod in the process. (Shout out to the special effects team, as this whole sequence was truly spectacular.) Just when all hope is lost, Abigail Mills kicks down the door and shoots Colby. When that doesn’t kill him, Ichabod yells at her to shoot the PAINTING, which she quickly does. Colby is gone for good.
Just typical date night in Sleepy Hollow.
To quote the text I got from Sage after she watched the episode, “That was fucked up.” 11 out of 10 Sandmen.
Meanwhile, in WHATTHEDAMNHELL land, Abbie is spending some quality time with Grace Dixon’s journal at her desk (our tax dollars at work!) when who should show up the station but Frank Irving…alive and seemingly well. Everyone at the police station is all “YAY! A wanted criminal has turned himself!” while Abbie just is like “Yoooooooooo…you were dead six weeks ago and no one knows that but me, my sister, my Biblical Life Partner, and his wife” #witnessproblems.
Abbie directly disobeys Reyes’ orders to stay away from Frank, because who needs rules when there is a potential Zombie Horseman of the Apocalypse on the loose? She still has the memory of Andy Brooks in her head after all. Later, Jenny says that Frank and Andy are NOTHING alike. Andy made a deal with Moloch, but Frank? Frank is their friend and he freaking DIED for them. Nevertheless, Abbie holds true to the fact that Frank’s soul is not his own and she can’t trust him until she knows for sure exactly what’s going on. Frank is going to be no help with that, however. He has zero memory of what happened to him after he was given the sword. Sadly, it means he doesn’t remember being a bad ass demon slayer, but it also means he doesn’t remember the fact that he did a little thing like dying. He has no idea that the people closest to him (including Cynthia and Macey because THANK GOD Abbie told them) have been mourning him for the past six weeks. Orlando Jones was A+ in this scene, expertly portraying both Frank’s confusion and despair. “You think I’m DANGEROUS? I have no idea what happened to me,” he croaks, with a single tear rolling down his face. (That lead MOST of Twitter to tweet “SINGLE TEAR”, because we all know where it’s at. He begs Abbie to bring Cynthia to him because she will know that it’s really him, but Abbie refuses. She doesn’t want to put Frank’s wife through any pain until she knows exactly why he is there. Even though you can tell it’s killing her, because she DOES want to believe, Abbie leaves him in the interrogation room. Frank desperately calls her name while we all huddle up in the corner crying for our fallen captain.
This is why Abigail Mills is amazing…she has the ability to box up her emotions and get the work done even if it’s painful. (I mean it also makes her emotionally closed off, as she has often said, but that’s why she’s such a complex heroine and it’s why everyone loves her so much.) She sends Jenny on a mission to fetch some demon killing bullets because she will kill Frank is she has to, friend or not. She also informs Cynthia of what’s going on because she doesn’t want her to find out any other way. Abbie protects the ones around her with an unerring ferocity. Witness represent!
Jenny sees Frank in the halls, both of their faces light up, and we’re reminded of ALL the unexplored potential held in the great ship S.S. BAMF. Jenny makes it clear that she doesn’t at all believe Frank is a monster and that the bullets she retrieved absolutely MUST be the last resort. Abbie grimly agrees, but you can already see that she’s steeling herself for the worst. Frank’s BODY may be physically fine (as his medical tests reveal) but it’s his SOUL she’s worried about. Us too, Abbie. Us too.
Later, after chewing her out for disobeying orders, Reyes reveals to Abbie that the D.A. has been given evidence that could completely exonerate Frank. But…where did he get it? My money’s on one Henry Parrish.
Still taking bets as to whether or not Frank becomes the Horseman of Famine. 7/10 Golems.