Season 2, Episode 2: The Kindred
Posted by Sage
Looking back over my Sleepy Hollow notes is always a good time. To the lay person, they look like the ramblings of one of the legitimate patients at Tarrytown Psychiatric. But to a Sleepyhead like me, the phrases “Bats. Baaaattts!”, “evil cardigan,” and “Abbie holds head like boss” make perfect sense.
Hope you weren’t planning on catching your breath after last week’s full-throttle premiere, because episode two did not let up. “The Kindred” threw it all at us: plot advancement; emotional turmoil; offense at the commodification of the sacred rite of marriage; and that old chestnut, reanimating a patchwork corpse sewn together 230+ years ago by founding father Benjamin Franklin.
So, as you can see, we’ve got a lot to cover here. Let’s get down to some rankings.
“The Kindred” opens up with another dream. This one isn’t conjured by Moloch (OR IS IT? Dun dun DUN.), but is rather your regular, everyday, garden variety nightmare. You know, the kind about your imprisoned witch wife being bound to a headless demon for all eternity via blood sacrifice. I just checked my dream journal, and I think that one means that the dreamer should just leave that wife where she is and explore his latent sexual feelings towards his platonic partner. Either that, or ask for a raise at work. I’m not sure which.
Even with latent sexual feelings mucking up the works, it’s no wonder that his dream rattles Crane. All he’s thinking about in wakefulness and in sleep is how Katrina might be suffering in the hands of Abraham. We all knew where the Horsemen were going with this ceremony, but the chills really hit when Henry confirmed it: “You must be like him in every way.”
Circumstances don’t improve much when Crane opens his eyes (except for us, ’cause then we can see them), because this dream is based in truth. Crane pulls out his handy lost copy of the lost gospel Codex Tchacos, which prophecies that the harbinger of the apocalypse will take a human bride through “a gruesome, binding ritual.” So thanks, Doug Hutchison and Courtney Stodden. We’re already doomed.
Abbie and Crane do some fancy data analysis to establish the radius that the Horseman could have traveled. And using what he knows of Abraham’s sense of occasion and lofty self-image, Crane deduces that he’s taken Katrina to Dobb’s Ferry – to the place where she accepted him. They can’t do much when they get there except toss a rock at a horse (a DEMON horse, bro) and learn that they actually have some time to come up with a plan. One question though: how in the hell could Abbie tell just from looking at the altar that it was “unfinished”? Does she have a lot of experience evaluating the ceremonial structures preferred by apocalyptic spirits from the very pits of hell? Maybe. Maybe there was a coffee table book on the subject on one of the reading lists Crane put together for her.
Back at Team Witness Headquarters, Crane and Abbie meet with junior witness Jenny to talk out their strategy. And they’re in luck, because Crane’s frenemy Benjamin Franklin left them a useful tool. In a meeting egregiously left out of your Civics textbook, Franklin approached the Sisters of the Radiant Heart coven to help him build a “kindred” – a body constructed out of parts harvested from dead soldiers. Charming. Once complete, the kindred is supposed to be the ultimate Horseman-fighting machine. Benny Frank couldn’t close the deal because his kindred was missing the pièce de résistance: one body part of one of the actual horsemen. Lucky for us, he left his incomplete science project lying around. Lucky for us, we’ve also got this head in a jar. Hurray! But let’s step back for a minute: “We’re talking about raising a monster,” Abbie reminds everyone. Ask this guy how this story goes.
But this is Sleepy Hollow, and we’re never not going to sew the head of a devil’s minion onto the reconstructed parts of revolutionary soldiers who were just going about their own business, fighting against taxation without representation, if given the chance. The Mills sisters are skeptical (hold thoughts for the Sass section, please), but Crane is ready to try anything to free Katrina. They exhume the kindred’s body (which is super gross), attach the horseman’s head, awaken it with some incantations, and then let their little one off to fight their battle.
For the very real threat to Katrina’s pretty red head and the fight scene between the Horseman and a reanimated corpse, I give rate this episode 6/10 Golems on the WHATTHEDAMNHELL scale.
Let it never be said that Crane doesn’t have time to delight us with his irritation with the modern world, even when there’s a wifey to be saved. He’s sassing Abbie not two minutes out his terrible nightmare, when her Martha Stewart reference leads to a discussion of the business of matrimony. Ichabod is horrified that so much money is made off of the “sacred rite” of marriage; and we learn that even world-saving BAMF Abbie Mills can’t resist Say Yes to the Dress.
The fun continues at the local credit union, where the witnesses have to make an important withdrawal. (“You put the headless horseman’s head in a bank?”) Crane jumps down the throat of an eager bank employee who suggests he open a credit card to make an honest woman out of Abbie. (“Are you a member of the wedding industry?”) He goes off on a rant about this “insolvent flock of debtors” (in part because the innocent bank guy’s reading of their relationship put him on the defensive?) and Abbie drags him away, apologizing the whole time. She’s gonna be a great mom.
But before all that, we get the greatest gift this episode has got to give. Already grumpy and sulking, Crane tries to find a writing instrument. Yes, Ichabod meets pen on string, and none of us will ever be the same. “These people entrust you with their fortune,” he complains loudly, “yet you cannot entrust them with a simple inkwell.” Tom Mison is such an effortless hand at comedy, in part because everything that’s funny about Ichabod is so rooted in character.
This episode’s other contributions to the Sass Canon include Jenny’s bewilderment at Crane’s monster-building plan and Abbie’s exasperation at the timelessness of the male ego (“Nice to know that even a man from the 18th century won’t ask for help with directions.”). My heart warmed at seeing Crane and the Mills sisters working together again, but that wasn’t to last for long. Jenny “took one for the team,” ending up locked up by the new Captain for doing what Crane and Abbie asked of her. “Just don’t take 13 years to come get me this time, okay?” she sasses Abbie. And it’s funny because it’s painful.
Because those pen protectors don’t even work anyway, “The Kindred” gets 8/10 Donut Holes for sassiness.
One might think that the shippiness would be low in this episode what with the kissing of the wife and all. But a Biblical bond that straddles the chasm between life and death trumps earthly attachment every time. I credit all of this episode’s Ichabbie feels to Nicole Beharie, who’s doing a fantastic job of letting us know that Abbie’s got a lot going on inside her right now. She’s not a jealous person – she’s too self-possessed to let herself fall into that trap. But when it comes to Katrina, Abbie snaps into all-business mode. She’s perfectly comfortable joking around in bat-filled catacombs, but her words where Mrs. Crane are concerned are clipped and unemotional. “We’re gonna find her, but you can’t keep this up,” she says to Ichabod when he wakes up from his nightmare. When his mind is with Katrina, he’s not present with Abbie. If he’s not present, they’ll never succeed. Maybe that’s all she’s saying, but I doubt it.
Crane: “You never did tell me the full extent of your ordeal in that place.”
Abbie: “The truth is, it got to me. Everywhere I went, I felt it slowly clawing at my mind, my soul. You know what the worst part was? Seeing you.”
Crane: “Must be why you beheaded me.”
Abbie: “That demon version of you appeared just when that place was about to break me. I’d never been so happy to see anyone in my life. He offered me water and I was going to drink it, even though I knew I shouldn’t. I was just seconds away from being lost, forever.”
Crane: “You weren’t to blame. Purgatory finds your weakness, plucks at it.
Abbie: That’s what scares me. My faith in you is my greatest weakness.”
Crane: “That’s what they want you to believe.”
Kim made a great point about this exchange, which is that Crane deflects when Abbie comes at him this way. He already feels responsible for Katrina’s fate. I don’t think he can stand the thought that he’ll be the downfall of Abigail Mills. (Note the urgency in his face when they split up during this episode. “First sign of trouble…” is all he has to say, and Abbie knows that he’s got her back, always.) But there’s also guilt here. Whatever the nature of their relationship, Crane is ruffled by the fact that he spends almost every waking moment with another woman while his bride is held captive by some pretty heinous evil forces. And those evil forces are shipping it. Or at least, they’re going to pretend to in order to win Katrina over to their side.
Ouch. This was way harsh, Abraham. To Katrina’s credit, she’s stronger than Henry and the horseman expect. (“You are the deception.”) She sees through their plan, but that niggling suggestion still gets inside her. Did Ichabbie contribute to Katrina making the choice to stay with Abraham and work against him from within his house? Does she want to vanquish them herself because she fears that once she’s free, Ichabod will abandon her? And what’s with her sudden affection for Henry? That’s not your baby any more, sweetheart. One thing’s for sure, Abigail Mills was not pleased to have gone through the whole raising of the dead routine for nothing. Her side eye at Katrina declining to be rescued was fairly epic.
For OMG ICHABOD IS ABBIE’S GREATEST WEAKNESS, I give this episode 7/10 Fist Bumps for shippiness.
WELCOME BACK, FRANK IRVING.
It feels good to have Orlando Jones back in our lives, as his absence from it was our one complaint about the season two premiere. Frank Irving is still in prison for taking the fall for the murders the demon Ancitif committed while possessing his daughter. (Like you do.) Team Witness convinces him to crazy it up (in this case, “crazy it up” means tell the police exactly what happened) in order to be moved to Tarrytown Psychiatric. They already busted one of their Scooby gang out of that place. Why not another?
I’m not sure what to make of Captain Reyes. I liked her in her first scene; she seemed impressed by Abbie and treated her as an equal. But she takes a little too much pleasure in Frank’s committal for my liking. What’s worse, the lawyer that Irving’s dumb ex-wife hires to file an injunction against involuntary treatments is none other than Henry. Maybe he didn’t flash her his soulless black eyes, but at least she could have logged his evil cardigan. You’re benched, Cynthia.
I’m not too happy with Frank at the moment either. How you gonna live in Sleepy Hollow and be one of the few residents who knows that it’s basically ground zero for the earth sliding into hell without knowing NEVER EVER TO SIGN A BLOOD CONTRACT? What is this? Amateur hour?
What in the hell did Frank sign himself away to? Is he going the way of poor soul Andy Brooks? For an actual deal with the devil, this episode gets 7/10 Sandmen.
- I don’t care that this isn’t my ship. GET. IT.
- Headless/Katrina’s would-be wedding ceremony had a Donnie Pfaster quality. “Is your hair color treated, Katrina?” I’m guessing yes. #shade
- “We are gonna bring some sanity back to this town.” BOO. DON’T YOU DARE.
- I physically recoiled when Abraham flicked Katrina’s braid. How revolting was that little move?
- Henry calls Moloch “father,” even thought Moloch doesn’t seem to value or trust him. Daddy issues are the theme of this week in Head Over Feels recaps, it would seem.
- “Is there more?” “No.” “Did you do it right?” “I followed the instructions. I’m not the witch in the family.”
- Abraham really must be a pompous fuck to actually believe that Katrina would want to stick around and fall in love with him again.
- “CRANE, WE’RE OUTTA TIME.” = “BYE, BITCH.”
- Abbie has frozen peas on her knee. Ichabod’s brewing up a cuppa. You stay captured as long as you like, Katrina.
What did you think of “The Kindred,” Sleepyheads? Did Katrina make the right call? Will Abbie’s faith in Ichabod end up bringing harm to them? And what did Frank Irving just get us into? Leave your thoughts in the comments!