Sleepy Hollow 2 x 03
“The Root of All Evil”
Last night, after the close of New York Comic-Con, Sage and I had the pleasure of attending a meetup of SleepyHeads organized by the lovely Liz, who runs the Tom Mison Fans Twitter and Tumblr. At this meetup, I was publicly shamed by the SleepyHeads in attendance for the fact that “The Root of All Evil” had aired 6 days ago and I had still not posted my recap. My apologies, and you can send your letters of complaint to the organizers of Comic-Con.
After the break neck pace of the first two episodes of the season, “The Root of All Evil” was a bit of a slow down, pace wise. The war against the Apocalypse is a marathon, not a sprint, and this episode served as a time to delve into the minds of #TeamWitness, specifically Abigail Mills. Don’t worry though. There were still plenty of moments to scream, flail, and laugh at Ichabod’s sass. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Henremy wrought a whole bunch of havoc this week, in big ways and small. We’ll get to the big ways in the Creepy Section, but let’s talk about the little ways here. The episode opens with Henry surveying a model of Sleepy Hollow that he has built, and he is painting a model of Tarrytown with a devious look on his face. Much of the model remains unpainted, but the buildings that ARE? Tarrytown. The bank. The Flower shop. All places where he has brought forth destruction. Is this his way of keeping track of all the little seeds he is planting for Moloch? I hope we see this model again, because it feels to specific to be a one-off device. And as we know with Sleepy Hollow (a notion further expressed by Len Wiseman yesterday at the NYCC panel), NOTHING is accidental. So let’s keep an eye out for exactly which buildings are painted, shall we?
Speaking of Tarrytown, our buddy Frank is still wasting away there, unknowingly blood contracted to the Horseman of War. One of my favorite things about Sleepy Hollow is the fact that they don’t drag things out. How can you when you only have 18 episodes? Abbie and Ichabod attempt to visit Frank, to fill him in on things no doubt, when they learn that they are barred from seeing him by his lawyer Henry Parrish. Abbie and Ichabod share a definite “Oh FUUUUUUUUUCK” look upon learning this as they now know that Henremy is one step ahead of them and has possibly compromised one of their greatest allies. Yeah, Frank may be locked up, but the fact that he BELIEVES them makes him an ally. Trust, Ichabod says at the end of the episode, is a limited and valuable commodity, so the fact that one of the few people they DO trust is very very very bad. Even if Frank WANTS to help them, his ability to do so is potentially compromised as who knows exactly WHAT that oath is going to force Frank to do against his will.
Because he is clever, Ichabod uses the mental patient from the top of the episode (Sidebar: someone at the panel yesterday called out the show for its portrayal of mental illness. What are your thoughts?) as a means to get to Frank and give him all the information he has about Henremy. Props to Orlando Jones in this scene, because the look on his face when Ichabod says “He is the Horseman of War” is the very definition of “WHAT THE DAMN HELL”.
Also we learn that Henry has moved into the house where he was born. Katrina smugly points this out to Abraham as she firmly believes that Henry wants to get closer to her by doing this. It’s becoming very clear that Katrina is going to stop at nothing to try to save her son and she truly BELIEVES that she can do it (Abraham: Your son is beyond your reach. Katrina: Is he?). The bond between mothers and their children is going to be a theme for the whole season, and I LOVE that the show is delving into THAT as opposed to the Father angle. Really, Sleepy Hollow is one of the most pro-Feminist shows on television right now. I am fearful as to what this is going to mean for Katrina, as the final scene of the episode showed Henremy staring at the bed frame where she gave birth to him not with the love of a son longing to be closer to his mother, but with a burning hatred so hot that the bed literally caught on fire. Gives a whole new meaning to this…
Katrina…time to turn up those witchy powers. You in danger, girl.
Burning Beds and Creepy Town Models? I give the WHAT THE DAMN HELL aspect of this episode 5/10 Golems.
Fantastic, Sleepy Hollow. The laundry machine in my apartment building runs on quarters and now I am terrified to touch them.
Henremy’s other plan of wreaking havoc this week involved a cursed coin that possesses people and brings out their darkest desires when they touch them (“It simply reveals what’s already there.”). Much like the One Ring, the coin also CALLS to people when they are in its presence. Because this is Sleepy Hollow, it’s not just a coin but one of the thirty pieces of silver Judas Iscariot was paid when he betrayed Jesus Christ. Of course it is. These shekels have been traced to traitors all throughout history, most notably Ichabod’s old pal Benedict Arnold, who betrayed the Colonial Army only because the coin was in his possession. Good to know.
What is the most terrifying about the Judas Coin is that it is virtually untraceable with the way that money circulates. Anyone could have it and the coin (thanks to Henremy) starts to circulate through Sleepy Hollow. A mild-mannered bank teller who helped Abbie set up her first savings account shoots up everyone in the bank. A son plants a bomb in a floral arrangement and blows up his father. And Jennifer Mills, certified BAMF, turns into a ruthless assassin, hellbent on killing the woman who was responsible for putting her mother in Tarrytown. (More on the repercussions of THAT later because all the feels)
While the coin may not have been as outright visually arresting as previous monsters on Sleepy Hollow, it was no less terrifying. In fact, I would even wager that it was MORE terrifying. We see it in the news every day…human beings can often be just as monstrous (if not more so) than the creatures we read about in books or see in our worst nightmares. It’s why it is SO EFFECTIVE that Henry is the Horseman of War and why Jenny being possessed had me gripping my pillow in fear. Because evil doesn’t just come in the form of the Sandman or Moloch. It can come in the form of the person sitting right across from you. I feel that it will be how Henry raises his army. Not with demons, but with the residents of Sleepy Hollow…YIKES.
Because I’m scared to do my laundry now, I give the Creepy of this episode 7/10 Sandmen.
This week we learned that Ichabod is pro-Gay Marriage (perfect human being) and has watched Glee (oh, baby, why other than network synergy would you do that?). It would have been very easy (and cheap) to have Ichabod be outraged at seeing two men holding hands and showing affection, so I applaud the show for having him ACTUALLY be outraged at the hats indoors. Because really…no one should wear trucker hats. Not even truckers.
Elsewhere in Sass Land, the fact that Ichabod has no sort of valid ID was finally addressed (thank you Sheriff Reyes!), with very comic results. Reyes banned Ichabod from being involved with any sort of police activity, so Ichabod spent most of the episode skulking around the station and hiding behind doors to avoid her. Can we take a moment to appreciate how wonderful Tom Mison’s physicality is? It’s partly because he is so tall and gangly, but the way he acts Ichabod all the way down to his fingertips delight me to no end. There was so much Ichaflailing in this episode too, especially when it came to his interaction with Reyes. Their height difference also works to a great advantage as I love seeing this tiny woman putting him in his place. While I certainly hope that Reyes comes around to Ichabod eventually, right now I will just sit back and revel in their antagonistic relationship.
Later Ichabod dealt with being carded for the first time (don’t worry Ichy, you don’t look a day over 200) and I now have a new response whenever *I* am asked for ID. Also thanks for the history lesson on Sam Adams, sir. I will never look at that beer the same way again. Sam Adams was MUCH to aristocratic for that shit after all.
Ichabod’s ID problems are remedied by the end of the episode thanks to the latest addition to Sassy Hollow, Nick Hawley. Hellooooooo there. Lyndie Greenwood referred to him as an Indiana Jones type yesterday, but I am going to up the ante and say that he is Indiana Jones, Han Solo, and Rhett Butler wrapped up in one very attractive and snarky package. He is the polar opposite of Ichabod…yet exactly the same (minus one code of honor), which is why Ichabod immediately takes a dislike to him. Ichabod values honor above all things, so Hawley’s profiteering offends him to the very core of his soul. Bad for The Witnesses, very very very good for us. It’s even better that Hawley seems determined to antagonize Crane right from the start by calling him Shakespeare and one-upping and questioning his knowledge. The quipping gets to be so much it becomes a dick measuring contest (the theme of the year on Head Over Feels) and Abbie has to force the two pretty boys to stop fighting. Everything about this dynamic works for me. Ichabod and Hawley teaming up to steal some sanctified stained glass (GO WITH IT) resulted in one of the funniest scenes of the episode when Ichabod used the confessional as a diversion. Will Hawley prove to be someone who can be trusted? He lives up to Ichabod’s expectations when he steals the coin…yet he helps them out by procuring ID for him. Time will certainly tell…but for now I will just enjoy the two pretty men bickering.
Another Hot Guy JUST as Sassy as Ichabod? I hereby give the sass in this episode 9/10 Donut Holes.
“The Root of All Evil” was a bit low on the SWOONY Ichabbie moments, so let’s just take a moment to appreciate Abbie’s face in the above gif. She’s so delighted by him when he says “Unspool it”. It’s precious. And what I love about it is that you can read it in many ways. A shipper like me sees amusement at the boy she has a crush on, but it can also just be read as one friend trying her damndest not to make fun of her friend’s silly remark. That’s why these two work so well because there are just so many levels to them.
Now let’s get to the crux of the Ichabbie in this episode…where Abbie Mills did some truth-telling about Katrina Crane.
Sage pointed out in her last recap that Abbie is always all business when it comes to the matter of Katrina…and it’s not because she is a jealous woman, it’s because Katrina has yet to DO anything for Abbie to truly earn her trust. They raised a freaking MONSTER for her, after all, and Katrina decided to stay in captivity. Abbie don’t got time for that. I think she wants to believe in Katrina, but Katrina has got to do something to come through for them. So as Ichabod keeps pointing out that Katrina is on their side and serving a mission of her own, Abbie does her best to keep her mouth shut. Because Ichabod knows her so well, he finally calls her out on it “(Your silence on the matter of my wife is most telling.”) and that’s when Abbie explodes. Again, because this is the most Pro-Fem show on television what makes Abbie explode is when Ichabod wonders if he should have ALLOWED Katrina to stay. THAT is the moment when she’s had enough, because if there is one thing Abigail Mills believes in, besides her role in stopping Moloch, it’s a woman’s agency.
(Also you should all know that whenever Sage is going after a sexist or misogynist on social media, Abbie’s face and reactions in this scene = hers. Just so you have that mental image.)
The best part about Abbie’s rant is that it was not at ALL about Katrina being Ichabod’s wife. Like we’ve said, she’s not sitting around being threatened by the fact that Ichabod has a wife or letting it shade the friendship she has with him. The rant is about the fact that Katrina is Henremy’s MOTHER, and if Abbie Mills knows anything, she knows about how destructive a woman can be in the name of protecting her child. She’s LIVED what Katrina is struggling with right now and she is still dealing with the repercussions. Ichabod is understandably blinded to this and Abbie drops this truth bomb not out of jealousy but because she is TIRED of hearing Ichabod (smugly) say that she is on their side. She doesn’t just want Ichabod to open his eyes, she NEEDS him to.
And it’s true. No one bosses around a red-head. Just ask Dana Scully.
I think it’s incredibly important to show Abbie and Ichabod having a genuine spat (their bantery arguing in every episode doesn’t count) and then genuinely coming back together. I loved the scene at the end where Ichabod comforted Abbie as she spilled her guts about her mother and the pain that she and Jenny went through. He listened, and he had just the right words to ease her pain, as he related Benedict Arnold’s regret. “He would have changed his path if he could have,” he said. It was important for him to let her know that he thought that Abbie’s mother would have changed HER path too. It was so genuine, and I squeed quite a bit when she reached across the table and grasped his hand. I live for those moments. As someone who shipped Mulder and Scully, I am sustained for those moments because they can mean oh so much more than any kiss could. Those moments further cement their bond. “What matters now more than ever is that you and I stay true. Trust is the only currency with any value. All other forms are too easily counterfeited,” Ichabod says. This is the stuff of legends, you guys.
Now let’s talk about all the Mills Sister feels. What I love so much about Abbie and Jenny is that you see the fierce love between them, but you also still see the cracks in their relationship and that the 13 years worth of damage is still there and Jenny still struggles with fully trusting her sister. Jenny carries around a lot of pain beneath that ass kicking exterior and as awful as it was, it was fantastic to see her breakdown and be vulnerable. Abbie’s a betrayal is one that is not so easily forgotten and it’s a very easy way for Moloch and his minions to attack Team Witness…because the seeds of doubt are already there. Jenny and Abbie were already not in a very good place when Henry got her the coin, as they had argued about Abbie knowing that Reyes was responsible for locking their mother away. Henry was right…the coin just played on the deep-seated fears that were already there and that the sisters have a long way to go before they can fully trust and forgive each other.
I was terrified when Jenny was possessed that she was going to go after Abbie and that fear was definitely played on by the promos for the episode (well done Fox promo department). I was shaking when Abbie stood at the barrel of the gun begging her sister to relent. The confrontation felt a lot like the climax of one of my favorite episodes of The X-Files, “Pusher”. In that episode, Mulder was under Robert Modell’s mind control and was forced to turn a gun on Scully…and the moment he did, you could see Mulder desperately trying to fight Modell off so that he wouldn’t hurt his partner. It’s the same with Abbie and Jenny in this scene. It’s wonderful acting by both Nicole and Lyndie…you can SEE the wheels turning in Jenny’s head as she tries to fight against the coin’s power. You see her flinch every time Abbie gets in her way. It’s a masterful scene.
“I hated her for leaving us. taking a coward’s way out. going crazy. I need you to lose that rage to beat them. I’m not about to let them do this to us again.”
Ichabod sees Jenny’s hesitation and takes the moment to tackle her, freeing her of the coin’s power…and then kicks the coin away when it starts to call to Abbie to pick it up (Discussion for the comments…what dark desires would the coin have unleashed in ABBIE?). Abbie embraced her sister saying “I’m ALWAYS on your side,” while I sobbed on the couch. We’ve been promised more backstory on Jenny and Abbie’s fraught childhood and I am SO excited to learn more about their mother, especially now that we know she went crazy trying to protect her daughters (there’s that theme again).
For Abbie dropping some truth on Ichabod, I give the Ichabbie Feels in this Episode 4/10 Fist Bumps.
I need to come up with an Abbie/Jenny specific rating (SUGGESTIONS PLEASE) but for now I give The Mills Sister Feels in this Episode 9.5/10 Fist Bumps.
WHEW I DID IT! Enjoy tonight’s episode, guys. We’ve seen the first half of it and it’s AMAZING. Sage will be back later in the week to recap and we PROMISE it won’t be this late next time. Till then, I left you some assignments in the post. Comments please!