Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 11
Where were we? After a treasure hunt that would make Dan Brown jealous, Abbie and Ichabod are now in possession of the sword of Methuselah and it promises to be the ultimate demon killing weapon. Frank Irving is on the run. And despite Katrina’s (minimal) efforts, not only is child Moloch still alive, he’s an adult now (They grow up so fast!). The apocalypse is about to be unleashed…so why are we wasting time in this intro? Let’s get straight to the rankings!
In what MUST be the demonic version of a Bar Mitzvah, now that Moloch is all grown-up, an apocalyptic storm rages over the city. Strangely, no one other than Abbie and Ichabod seems to be freaking out over it (they must all be having an end of the world party at the bar with Hawley). There’s freaky red lighting that seems to be anticipating every move the witnesses make, as it strikes down their car, stranding them on the side of the road (Ichabod: “Forgive me for not trusting an electronic device in an apocalyptic storm”). The lightning then knocks out the phone lines when Abbie and Ichabod try to call a cab (I wonder how much a driver would charge when you get into a cab and say “I’d like to go to a demonic lair please”?). Hmmmm…it’s almost as if the storm doesn’t want them to get anywhere? They commandeer a motorcycle (BELIEVE ME, more on that later) and make their way to Frederick’s Manor where they find the model of the city that Henremy’s been working on since “The Root of All Evil”. In my recap of that episode, I pondered if Henremy was specifically painting the buildings where he had wreaked havoc and it turns out I was right, so score one for me. The witnesses tie a string around the path of destruction and “Son of a bitch,” Abbie says. “It’s a pentagram over the city.”
Son of a Bitch is right.
It is in that moment where Katrina is in need of rescue AGAIN as Abraham has gone ahead and decided that it’s time to get on with that binding ritual because getting her to fall in love with him is just taking too damn long (or is it)? Ichabod draws the sword, Abbie says “Go get ’em, Crane!”, and I swoon at the hotness with which Tom Mison wields the sword. Once Abbie frees Katrina, she does some useful magic (for once) and extends the power of the amulet so the witnesses can see his face. Abraham has a VERY convincing argument as to why his life should be spared (more on that in What the Damn Hell, because really WHAT THE DAMN HELL) so he is instead taken to the archives and back to his Jefferson Designed and Witch Endorsed cell. There, he gleefully fills the witnesses in on the rest of Moloch’s earth warming party. Turns out, he is burning each of the four white trees. The first tree brought the smart lightning, the second will bring blood down from the sky (all the bonus points to Lyndie Greenwood for her delivery of “IT’S HAILING BLOOD.”), the third will bring Moloch’s demon army from purgatory, and the fourth will usher in his reign on earth. “Time is not on your side,” he taunts. Good thing the witnesses have a sword that can vanquish all demons, right?
Score one for the Doomsdayers. 10/10 Sandmen.
When Ichabod threatened to kill Abraham back at Fredrick’s Manor, he borrowed a line from Once Upon a Time and said “All magic has a cost.” Turns out, while the sword of Methuselah IS an all-powerful Moloch killing weapon, but whoever wields the sword loses their soul. HA!!! It’s the greatest trick in the world. (Abraham also implies that’s how Methuselah lives to be 900+ years old, therefore blowing all my Sunday School lessons to shit.)
Abbie and Ichabod argue in typical fashion about who will be the one to lose their soul (really all I hear is “Leftenant, I can’t lose you” #sorrynotsorry) and Abbie continues to call out Ichabod on whether or not he’ll be able to kill Henremy when the time comes (“I will lay down my SOUL!” “But can you lay down your son’s?”). Ichabod references the Old Testament Story of Abraham and Issac (where God asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son as a testament of faith. At the last minute, God provides a ram, as the mere act of him about to kill his son was enough. I’m paraphrasing.) as he talks about his struggle when it comes to killing Henremy. The big difference is, as Abbie points out, is that Issac was an innocent child and Henremy is anything but. That has been the biggest source of frustration for both Abbie and the viewing audience when it comes to the redemption of Henremy. He doesn’t WANT to be redeemed and as he has said previously, he fights against his own humanity willfully everyday. FINALLY, Ichabod seems to agree with Abbie on that point but still says “It is an unreasonable request.” “Nothing we’ve come across has been reasonable,” she says astutely. TRUE THAT.
Jenny and her fabulous eyebrows pipe up, and after she offers her standard sass (“Not what I was going to pitch, but thanks for thinking of me.”), she says what we were all thinking: there IS someone in Sleepy Hollow without a soul (or whose soul is already claimed anyway) who IS on their side: Frank Irving. Abbie protests initially, citing that Frank has a wife and a daughter. He has a FAMILY, he can’t possibly be asked to potentially make that sacrifice (theme of the episode!). That’s the thing about sacrifices though…sacrifice is an active choice and Frank has to be given the option to make that choice.
Ichabod and Jenny track Frank down in the tunnels of Sleepy Hollow thanks to coordinates that he cleverly left in his last message to Jenny. “This is it, isn’t it,” he says as soon as he sees them. Frank knew. He KNEW this was coming, you guys. And because Frank Irving is a BOSS, he doesn’t hesitate to step up to the plate once it becomes clear there are no other options. “If we do nothing, we all die and you rise by Henry all the same.” That’s all Frank needs. He makes his wife-in-BAMFness Jenny (Ugh, such wasted potential there) promise to look after his family (“No, you PROMISE me!”). He takes the sword and says “Let’s go see the Horseman” with a steely look of determination on his face. Frank probably knew from the moment he took the sword that this would likely lead to his end BUT HE TOOK IT ANYWAY. Frank could see the big picture and his role in it. SACRIFICE. HERO.
I just have a LOT of feelings about Frank Irving right now, you guys.
I love how Frank’s demeanor changed as soon as he decided that he would wield the sword. Orlando Jones played Frank’s determination beautifully, especially in the scene where Abraham taunts him. “Have you not sacrificed enough, Captain?” Frank never wavers. “I never studied fencing,” he says, holding the sword to Abraham’s neck (nice touch showing the sword burning him, by the way). “This sword does all the work for me.” Frank again asserts that this is a sacrifice he’s willing to make for the good of all mankind, and (as we paraphrase Dumbledore all the time) that willingness makes all the difference. Frank gets the information Team Witness needs, but at Katrina’s request (SHADY LADY) Abraham’s “life” is spared. For now.
Back at the Four Trees, Henremy continues his blind adoration of Moloch, calling him “Father” and talking about how they are back at his true birthplace. It’s pathetic really, especially as Moloch continues to berate him and say how LITTLE he matters. “There were horseman before you, there will be horsemen after. Be GRATEFUL for the sacrifice yourself for my glory.” So let’s get this straight. Another “father” is perfectly content to abandon Henremy. Not just abandon, but as Henremy’s time with him continues, it becomes perfectly clear that Moloch doesn’t care about him as a son or even a soldier in his army. Henremy is replaceable and Moloch makes sure that he knows that. This won’t end well…
Armed with the information from Abraham, Team Witness goes about “weaponing up”, thanks to Hawley and his store of mystical weapons that he clearly stole from the set of The Walking Dead as there is both a crossbow and a katana. “This is still a party, just a hunting party.” I must admit I squealed with delight when I saw Team Witness walking through the forest as a UNITED FRONT (yes, even with Katrina there) all carrying weapons like the bad asses that they are. This is what we’ve been waiting for ALL SEASON and it’s a big reason season one was so successful. Abbie and Ichabod are wonderful on their own, but when you add the rest of the ensemble, the dynamic becomes better and stronger. I understand that we’ve been building to this reunion and Mark Goffman pointed out that the way the Team was fractured for this whole half of the season was a very intentional thing, given the events of the season one finale. Still…this reunion took a little too long to happen, no?
Team Witness can only walk triumphantly through the woods for so long before Moloch burns the third tree and the Demon Army arrives. “We’ve got company,” Abbie screams to Ichabod and my pop-culture saturated brain automatically went to this scene:
Abbie is Han Solo, obviously.
Team Witness is immediately overwhelmed in the battle (those enchantments Katrina did on the weapons were obviously shit) and Abbie is quickly wounded in the shoulder. Ichabod screams at Jenny to get his life partner to safety (okay, he may have just said “Get her to safety” but *I* once again heard “I can’t lose you, Leftenant.”) while Abbie continues to shout encouragement for Crane to keep up the fight. He does, but even his skills aren’t enough to vanquish the demon zombies surrounding him, especially as Henry’s Avatar Armor approaches them. Cue Frank BAMF Irving. “I got this,” he says, striding forward confidently. Empowered both by the sword and his own self-confidence (HERO), Frank makes quick work of wounding the Avatar, cutting off his arm. (All the bonus points to the gif makers of the world who compared this sword fight to the Black Knight fight in Monty Python. “It’s only a flesh wound!) War makes a blow of his own, but Frank keeps going, as he knows he is the ONLY one who can vanquish the Horseman. And he WINS. Ichabod’s look of pride as he watched his friend win is everything, especially as the pride turns to horror as he and Frank realize at the same time that Frank’s wound ’tis NOT a scratch (thanks for letting me borrow your words Willy Shakes) but a potentially mortal one.
Frank collapses into Ichabod’s arms as Ichabod screams for Katrina to help him. Unfortunately, Katrina’s healing skills are about on par with Gilderoy Lockhart’s (where is Madam Pomfrey when you need her??) and despite Ichabod’s pleas (“Look at me. All is well. You FIGHT. You’re a captain, you fight!”), Frank succumbs to his wounds, having made the ultimate sacrifice. And I throw my remote across the room sobbing.
Let it be known that I by NO MEANS think this is the last we will see of Frank Irving, not just because Mark Goffman has said so and not just because I REFUSE to accept Sleepy Hollow without Orlando Jones on it. If Most Handsome Young Man John Cho can die in the PILOT episode yet stick around for most of season one, Frank Irving certainly can return. No one is TRULY dead on Sleepy Hollow and lest we forget…Henremy still owns Frank’s soul. Can something be done about that? Will Henremy resurrect Frank? Will he, as Sage theorized to me after the episode, rise as the Third Horseman? (Me: Shut your damn mouth, Sage) The possibilities are endless. I just don’t want to live with the knowledge that Orlando Jones lied to me in our interview at New York Comic Con.
The team was understandably devastated by the loss of Frank (“He died a hero, in his name we soldier on.” #damnright), but I’ll talk about that more in the shippy section as Ichabod was spouting his standard wedding vow confessions to Abbie in the wake of Frank’s death. But the result of the ensuing argument over who will wield the sword next is the fact that the witnesses and their allies realize that now it’s not just about being willing to sacrifice themselves…they have to be willing to sacrifice EACH OTHER. That is the ONLY way that they will win…if they are willing to be the next one to pick up the sword when someone falls.
Henremy shows up at the church to confront a wounded Abbie, who has the sword (“I volunteered!”). They fight, with Henremy conjuring roots to bind her, much as he did with his parents in the season one finale. Turns out it was all a ruse as Ichabod had the ACTUAL sword. Now comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for…Ichabod has Henremy at his mercy and all he has to do is kill him. Henremy turns on the crocodile tears the MINUTE Ichy shows some hesitation (“You never gave up on me.”) and the instant he lowers the sword, Henremy binds Team Witness and takes them to Moloch. YOU HAD ONE JOB, ICHABOD. COME ON.
Abbie, Ichabod, Jenny, and Katrina are bound to the four trees as Henremy basically says “LOOK AT ME DAD!” Moloch berates him again (“You are nothing but what I made you.”) and orders him to kill Katrina, who is bound to the fourth tree. Ichabod demands that Henremy kill him instead, proving that he is willing to sacrifice his life for those he loves. Henremy then recounts the story of Abraham and Issac, calling it “the story of sacrifice” or the Akeda (EPISODE TITLE), back to Ichabod, except from the son’s point of view, saying that it caused a chasm between the two that could never be breached. He holds the sword to his father’s chest and says “Any man willing to sacrifice his son should die…or any God.” He turns around and stabs Moloch in the gut. Moloch bursts into flames. End Credits. See you in January.
Let me be clear about this, because I saw a LOT of people complaining on the interwebs about Henremy’s sudden “redemption”. NOTHING about Henremy killing Moloch was redemptive. He was acting out. He had been berated and told he was worthless and replacable one too many times. He didn’t kill Moloch to save his parents. He killed Moloch to say “Fuck you, Demon Dad. We’ll see who is replaceable. ALSO I AM IN CHARGE NOW BITCH.” And THAT is scary as Hell.
BUT REALLY WHERE DOES THE SHOW GO FROM HERE? 10/10 Golems.
With all the apocalyptic happenings and battles, there was little time for sass in this episode. One of the highlights of the episode (and certainly the most giffed one) was Ichabod’s reaction to the motorcycle. Boys and their toys, amirite?
Once again, I felt Hawley was used perfectly in this episode. Mark Goffman confirmed in his post-episode interview with The Huffington Post that they are backing off the Abbie/Hawley romance (THANK GOD) which leaves Hawley to serve as a perfect sass master for Team Witness. The character is much better served that way and Hawley truly can be a delight in small doses, such as the scene where he finds out that Katrina is a witch and gives Ichabod the “GET IT!” face. I like Hawley as the unruly party boy who throws an end of the world party at the local pub but still comes through when it’s required of him, even if Abbie still has to keep a tight leash on him. Team Witness leaves Hawley to babysit Abraham while they go off and kick some demon ass. “So we’re clear,” Abbie says, as if she’s a mom leaving the babysitter with her headless baby. “It’s not a party, you can’t have any friends over.”
Ha ha ha. As if Hawley HAS any friends, Abbie.
3/10 Donut Holes of Sass, but I am willing to revisit this rating if Abbie and Ichabod return to the cell and find it littered with red solo cups cause Hawley had all the neighborhood kids over while Mom and Dad were out killing demons.
How married are these two? I love how Ichabod didn’t hesitate for a moment when Abbie told him to put his arms around her. “Obviously, I was going to put my arms around you, Biblical life partner, but still…where do I buckle up for safety?”
Not so married right now? Ichabod and Katrina. After confessing to Abbie that their marriage “has been under a lot of strain”, Ichabod had to face the facts that maybe his relationship with Katrina wasn’t all he had thought it was. This especially comes to light as he observes all of Katrina’s interactions with her boo Abraham. I love how observant Abbie is with all of this and how she forces him to admit that it’s not easy for him to see Abraham and Katrina together. He jokes (with a LOT of truth) that maybe he should have just risked his soul and killed Abraham with the sword when he had the chance. “And leave me with this mess all on my own,” she replies. “No.” (Subtext: Leave me, Biblical Life Partner, and I’ll kill you myself.)
Later in the cell, Ichy overhears Katrina and Abraham talking. “I saw a man I haven’t seen in centuries. I care for you too.” That’s all Ichabod needs to completely shut down in regards to her, and he treats Katrina very coldly for the rest of the episode. Even when he still says “My Love” it sounds empty and like he’s just saying it out of habit.
Ichabod: Sometimes I question the very IDEA of our marriage.
Katrina: Perhaps then until our mission is complete, we are both better off considering ourselves in the roles we have to play. Soldiers. Nothing more.
Ichabod: Then we are but comrades in arms until Moloch is defeated.
This confrontation is the one that Tom previewed for us back when we interviewed him in October…almost down to the letter. (I laughed when I watched the episode because He did the same hand motions in the scene that he did in the interview. I should know because I am forever hypnotized by Tom Mison’s hands.) What I find MADDENING about Katrina is that she never gives Ichabod a straight answer and she seems to be keeping both Ichabod and Abraham on the hook. What is her game here? I don’t understand her motivations, and I truly hope we get some resolution to this whole love triangle and Katrina as a character in the back half of the season. Because for me, and not just because I am an Ichabbie shipper, Ichabod and Katrina’s marriage seems beyond repair. There’s been too much lying and betrayal and Ichabod is too honorable to be with someone who lies to him constantly, no matter WHY she is doing it. (And yet, despite everything, he is still willing to die for her at the end of the episode. Dammit, Ichabod Crane. Why are you such a bastion of honor?)
Meanwhile, I find myself unable to get over the way Ichabod embraces Abbie in the aftermath of Frank’s death. Why wouldn’t he allow Abbie to run to Frank’s body (especially when SOMEONE later brings him into the church unless Katrina magic-ed him in there with the locomotor charm)? Don’t know and don’t care because we got this. I love the moment when Abbie finally stops fighting him and just sinks into his embrace and he buries his head next to hers. They’ve lost so much together and I love that they took a quiet moment to rest in each other’s grief.
Have I spent way too much time studying those gifs? Maybe. I’ll never tell.
Ichabod: Leftenant, you can not possibly carry the sword.
Abbie: It’s not up for debate.
Ichabod: No, it’s not. Don’t make me wrest it from you. I cannot lose another friend by Moloch’s hand.
What I love so much about the argument over who will take the sword is that it not only affirms Abbie and Ichabod’s devotion to their mission as witnesses but their devotion to each other. Ichabod KNOWS he is living on borrowed time. He should have died two hundred years ago and yet, he is here. He delivers his whole speech about “being on borrowed time for far too long” to ABBIE and no one else. He can’t fathom Grace Abigail Mills giving her life when, in his mind, it is he should who should have been dead a long time ago. But the thing is…Abbie doesn’t accept Ichabod’s noble self-sacrificing anymore than he doesn’t accept Abbie dying. She tells him that he is not alone in this fight. He has her. He has Jenny. He has Katrina…I guess. He reminds her that only ONE can wield the sword. “And it will be ME first,” Abbie says, never taking her eyes off his. “And when I fall, you can pick it up!” I CANNOT with the way Ichabod’s face softens at that moment. He looks at her with such admiration and love. In that moment, he chooses to forge his fate with hers all over again and I’ll just be here on my couch sobbing about it.
Nothing like the End of Days to renew your Biblical Life Partner Vows, especially when your actual marriage is on the rocks. 6 out of 10 Fistbumps.
And that’s our fall finale! Like I said, I am SUPER curious to see where these next seven episodes go, especially as this one FELT like a SEASON finale, not a midseason cliffhanger. Sleepy Hollow will return January 5th. Happy Christmas, Sleepyheads! Thank you for all of your support. I never want to let you guys down with these recaps, so I hope you’ll forgive the tardiness of this recap. Discuss your feels in the comments!