Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 9
Greetings, Sleepy Heads! I’m super late in posting this recap, so let’s get right to it, shall we? “Mama” was a densely packed episode filled with details about Abbie and Jenny’s troubled past and their relationship with their mother Lori. It fully utilized the ENTIRE cast (okay, maybe a little short on Ichabod, but he’s done the heavy lifting as of late, so it’s fine) and was packed with GENUINE thrills. Basically, it was the best episode since the season premiere. To the ratings!
Considering that Tarrytown Psych is practically a character on the show, it’s amazing that it took 22 episodes for Sleepy Hollow to explore the whole “Haunted Asylum” trope. Building on the new trust established in “Deliverance”, Reyes calls Abbie in to investigate a rash of suicides at Tarrytown (“If I had handed this to someone else you wouldn’t have given me a moment’s peace.”). (Also SEE important things happened in “Deliverance”.) Much to Abbie’s horror, when she and Jenny (HI I MISSED YOU AND YOUR EYEBROWS) review security footage, they see the ghost of their mother Lori Mills in the room with all the patients right before they kill themselves. Question: was anyone ELSE able to see Lori on these tapes? If so, I think Reyes could have phrased it better when she put Abbie on the case (“Hey, Mills, the ghost of your crazy mother is killing people at Tarrytown, can you look into that?”). This case forced Abbie and Jenny to face their demons, literally and figuratively as they grappled with their feelings regarding their mother and Abbie had her eyes opened to just exactly what Jenny went through while she was an inmate (“I can’t imagine what it was like for you.” “You learn to deal with the abuse.” UGH my heart.). What’s the most interesting about the sisters in this episode is how they automatically revert to their childhood roles, with Abbie being the protector of her little sister. I’ll get into that more in the Shippy Section.
As Abbie and Jenny delve further into the case, they come to realize that their mother is NOT the one responsible for killing all the patients at Tarrytown (thank God, cause they have enough issues with Mama without her being a mass murderer). Instead, they discover that it is the super sweet (and therefore super creepy) Nurse Lambert (wonderfully played by Hope and Gloria‘s Cynthia Stevenson) who is dosing patients with a sodium pentothal cocktail and then playing on their despair in order to drive them into taking their own lives. (She would have been friends with The X-Files‘ Robert Patrick Modell, yes?) Lambert was executed in the 50’s for being an “Angel of Mercy”, so her ghost has been wandering around the halls of Tarrytown, preying on the weak for decades (but seriously, how are they JUST NOW taking notice of this?”). She tormented Lori, who despite fighting valiantly, eventually gave into her taunts of calling her a bad mother and killed herself (I am grateful that Abbie and Jenny learned this at least, so they could start to get some closure). In “Mama”, Nurse Lambert set her sights on Frank Irving, so if shit wasn’t personal with Lambert and Abbie before (HA! It was SO personal), it sure is NOW. Let’s talk about Frank for a second. It’s amazing that despite his soul belonging to Henremy and being stranded in Tarrytown by a terrible storyline that Frank has managed to maintain both his integrity and a shred of hope that everything will work out for him. After all, he did this to save his family, and he would do it again. So I think it’s interesting that despite her reputation for preying on the weak, Nurse Lambert goes after the two STRONGEST characters on the show (Frank and Abbie) and tells them to end it all, that they are “soul(s) that are crying out for it”. (Abbie’s response to that? “Go to Hell, Bitch.” #Queen) Lambert attacks both Frank and Abbie at their very foundations, and it was TRULY terrifying to see Frank despondently get into the industrial bathtub and tie himself to the bottom. (Again…sorry for the screaming, neighbors.) I think Frank serves as an interesting parallel to Lori here, as they are both fundamentally strong characters battered down by their circumstances and the hopelessness that surrounds Tarrytown Psych.
“Some of us are not strong enough to bear the burden,” Lambert sneers at Abbie as she compares her to Lori. But you know who IS strong enough to bear the burden? Grace Abigail Mills, that’s who. Like her mother, Abbie never stopped fighting against Lambert, even as she was forcibly having her mouth opened to swallow the pills (Seriously, this episode was the stuff of nightmares because it had SO MUCH grounding it in reality). Unlike her mother, Abbie was not alone in her fight, and that made all the difference. As we have long suspected, magical ability DOES lie in the Mills Family, as Lori directs Jenny to a journal that has a hex that can banish Lambert from whence she came (the journal dated back to Grace Dixon. Remember her?). While Jenny performs the hex, Lori protects Abbie with everything that she has, just as she did while she was alive.
Three are better than one, bitch. Science.
Thanks to Sleepy Hollow’s own Nurse Ratched, I bestow “Mama” with 9 out of 10 Sandmen.
The sass in this episode principally comes from Sickabod Crane, who is sidelined from the action by a dreadful cold. Sickabod is everything you would want him to be. He’s in denial that he’s actually sick, claiming he fought battles while suffering from dysentery. He’s petulant, refusing to rest and drink the fluids Abbie gives him (Abbie:”It’s quiet time now.”). He struggles to open child-proof bottles (It’s okay, Sicky, we all do). Basically, he’s struck down in the “pribe of libe”.
Sickabod also discovers the wonders of Matzo Ball Soup in the episode, thanks to Hawley (though I prefer Egg Drop Soup when *I* am sick). In typical Ichabod fashion, however, he refuses to give Hawley the satisfaction of knowing that he was helpful, declaring the soup “somewhat comforting”, despite the look of sheer ecstasy on his face. None for you, privateer. NONE FOR YOU. Hawley fires back at Sickabod, calling him “Mr. Woodhouse”, proving my theory that he sits at home researching potential nicknames for Ichabod, because you can’t tell me he is THAT well versed in Jane Austen. Also, now I need to see Tom Mison playing Mr. Knightley, please and thank you.