Season 1, Episode 9: “Sanctuary”
Posted by Sage
Holy revelation, Sleepy Heads!
The breakneck pace of Sleepy‘s first season continued in “Sanctuary” with a twist that deepened the show’s mythology and showed us another new side of Ichabod Crane. Like any good game-changer, Katrina’s child asks more questions than it answers, and I can hardly wait to see where (and to whom) the newly discovered Crane line leads us.
“What are holidays for,” Abbie asks, “if not airing our grievances?” Add “Is Seinfeld fan” to the “Abbie Mills Is Perfect” list of qualities and sign Ichabod to do a little grousing. It wouldn’t be Sleepy Hollow without some futile railing against the modern world, and this week’s first target was probably the most deserving yet. How dare McDonald’s not only eradicate a “thrice daily tradition” but also pass off fried potatoes from the Austrian Netherlands as French-Scottish food? Abbie seems a bit of a fast food fiend, so one can imagine just how often Crane is frustrated by the culinary bait-and-switch of the (please to read in Ichabod’s condescending cadence) “drive-thru.” He’s like that angry dad who just wants everyone to SIT DOWN and SHUT UP and HAVE A GOD DAMN FAMILY DINNER. (“I drive a Dodge Stratus!”)
But, Happy Meal pit stops aside, Crane’s real hackles are raised by Thanksgiving and our Pillsbury-Crescent-Rolls interpretation of a traditional Pilgrim meal. Look at the stank face he makes when Abbie mentions cranberry sauce. And TURKEY? Not even. “It would have been a miracle for a single, half-starved pheasant to walk past.” Abbie’s complementary side-eye is expertly thrown, as usual, but she understands Crane’s rejection of the holiday spirit. His wife is stuck in purgatory; her sister’s in a mental institution. No Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving for these two.
But let’s not get too deep into that conversation yet. I still need to point out that Ichabod takes the time during the initial exploration of Fredericks Manor to rag on George Clooney’s Irish heritage; and that his “a little more” gesture when Abbie is pouring him a post-demon-killing-finding-out-you-had-a-secret-offspring drink is pretty much everything. Otherwise, the sass of this episode belongs to Frank Irving, Jenny Mills, and their unlikely camaraderie. But you know what? I’m putting all of that in the #ShippyHollow section, because foreplay.
For Ebeneezer Crane alone, I give this episode 6/10 Donut Holes for sass.
Even Abbie “BAMF” Mills isn’t having it this week. Headless demons she can handle, but she draws the line at haunted houses. And that’s even before she knows about the blood-filled tree-people hanging out in its closets.
Here again is why Sleepy Hollow is so damn good. One minute you’re minding your own business, giggling at the cheesy CGI weeds and the next screaming and flailing about your room only pausing to type “BLOOD-FILLED TREES. THE TREES ARE PEOPLE.” in your notes. Clearly Lena Gilbert is not a Harry Potter fan, and that’s a good thing for the first time ever, as Hermione’s Devil’s Snare trick would probably have gotten her killed.
The Scarecrow is another nightmarish villain to add to our list of Sleepy Hollow characters not to mess with. But for me, the creepiest moment in the episode occurred when Katrina was giving birth and all of the demons who had broken through Grace and Lachlan’s protective barriers were coming after the baby. I jumped a foot in the air when the crows started throwing themselves against the windows. And for all his trouble, Fredericks ends up with a giant branchy-fist right through his stomach. (Gross.) Why does Moloch want Katrina and Crane’s offspring so badly? I still think Katrina’s motives are fishy. I do believe that the child is Ichabod’s, but maybe conceived through some kind of dark magic. So what if the darkness wanted that baby not to destroy but to USE in some way? Lachlan was a warlock; and a member of Katrina’s coven. There’s no doubt laid on the claim that his home was a place of protection. But how close did he have to get to the evil to learn how to work against it? Every movie I’ve ever seen about witchcraft has taught me that the line between light and dark magic is paper-thin and easily crossed. This house is ground zero for both and it still holds plenty of secrets. As Lena said when she walked through the door, ”Things happened here that need to be remembered.”
Then again, Katrina looked like a peaceful, radiant, loving mother holding her son for the first time, not exactly the bride of Satan. But if she was happily pregnant, why did she keep it a secret from her husband? Crane certainly isn’t going to rest until he finds out what happens to his child, so we should have some answers soon.
We got a taste of this last week with Crane’s interrogation of the Horseman, but that was nothing compared to the fury that erupted when Ichabod got all protective father on us. He may seem harmless, with his ponytail and his posh accent, but do not mess. Tom Mison unleashed even further this week, because all reason and caution goes out the window when Crane learns that he has a child that he should have safeguarded. And if he couldn’t have shielded him from danger then, he’ll damn sure avenge him now. Even Abbie looked wary of him when he demanded that she leave him to his business (“Heed my words: do not follow me.”) and then emerged – blood-soaked – from the house. If Moloch didn’t give Crane the credit he should have before, I’m sure he’s smart enough to be afraid of him now.
For bloody trees and Papa Bear Ichabod and those damn crows, I give this episode 7/10 Sandmen.
Pump those breaks, Ichabbie shippers. Like Kim said in her last recap, the writers seem to be reining in the UST and developing these two further as Ryde-or-Die partners. “Sanctuary” took that bond a step further and began to establish Ichabod and Abbie as FAMILY. And that’s what they both need right now.
Circumstances may change as this story progresses, but Ichabod is still very much in love with his WIFE. (Look at that face, ugh.) Abbie doesn’t resent him for it. (Lena might a little bit – that girl was into him, and who can blame her?) And now she’s been witness to what’s essentially a product of that love. There’s no way she’s going to be putting the moves on him anytime soon after seeing the birth of his child. But “Sanctuary” still gave us some schmoopy friendship moments between these two. Abbie barrels right through his “I want to be alone” walls with a bottle of his favorite rum and reminds him to value what he has now. And Crane pays her the compliment of seeing “the family resemblance” between Abbie and her ancestor Grace Dixon. (“Quite heroically.” RUDE.) I’ll take platonic soul mates for now.
You know who’s definitely NOT platonic? Frank Irving and Jenny Mills, who – in the matter of two episodes – are now THE ship to ship on Sleepy Hollow. Even Frank’s daughter (OMG RUE LIVES) can see it. When Frank tells Abbie that he’s dealing with her sister’s “B.S.,” what he really means is that he’s totally into this exasperating, damaged bad-ass. But his commitment to the Scoobies will be tested by his commitment to his splintered family. The former Mrs. Irving gave her ultimatum, but at least Macey and Jenny are making friends. Cheers to Sleepy for making the usual, boring police chief character layered and compelling and for giving the impeccable Orlando Jones something knew to hit out of the park every week.
For Jenny’s begrudging admittance of some warm feelings for Frank, I give this episode 6/10 Cups of Dream Tea.
- “More treasures from the Amazon, perhaps?”
- I get that Lachlan is a good guy. But really, Sleepy Hollow, it will be ridiculous if you portray every single colonial white person on your show as progressive. Slavery was real, you can show it to us.
- I’m curious about Irving’s family. There’s guilt about whatever happened to put Macey into that wheelchair, and it probably led to the break-up. (Are they divorced? It was never said.)
- Lena Gilbert is welcome back any time. She has a strong tie to the story. She’s brave and she’s not an idiot, contrary to how most shows would characterize a young heiress. And, as I said, she’s clearly taken with Ichabod, which could lead to some interesting obstacles to Ichabbie and Ichatrina.
What did you think of “Sanctuary,” readers? Leave it in the comments!