Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 17
I know, I know, I’m super late on this. Let’s not waste any more time. To the rankings!
It’s a typical afternoon in Sleepy Hollow when a bell tolls in the town square. People’s eyes turn white and they do violent things. A wife chokes her husband with her mind, leaving a bloody hand print on his throat. A daughter gets up at her father’s funeral and accuses her mother of infidelity using her father’s voice. A cyclist gets very RAGEY at a driver who almost runs him down. There’s an electrical surge from a nearby power line. At the center of it all is Henry Parrish, clutching the grand grimoire. However, being that he is a Half-Blood (Prince), he can’t use the book to its full powers. But there is one in Sleepy Hollow who CAN. Henremy (sporting a fabulous scarf) shows up at the cabin where Katrina is practicing her blood magic. “Your dark side becomes you,” he purrs as he hands the grimoire over to her. He plays into Katrina’s maternal longings, saying that everything he’s done he’s done for her (except when he was doing it for Moloch, but whatevs) and then reveals his ultimate plan: turning most of the town into a powerful coven of witches. Being a pure-blooded witch, Katrina has the power to make the town square bell toll with the Awakening spell, which will awaken all the descendants of her original coven and bring them to her side. She and Henry will rule this coven side by side like Voldemort and Wormtail. “I no longer seek wanton carnage, Mother. I found a path to bring back our kind.” Ruh-roh.
This episode wasn’t all THAT scary, it was firmly in the WHATTHEDAMNHELL camp. 2/10 Sandmen.
In case it’s not clear in the Creepy section, Katrina has completely embraced her dark side and Henremy has gone full on Norman Bates. And I LOVE it. The problem I have always had with Katrina as a character is the shade of gray she has permanently resided in. There’s ambiguous and then there’s wishy-washy, and for me, Katrina has always fallen into the latter category. The MINUTE Katrina outright chose a side is the minute she became interesting to me. Frankly, it’s what we’ve all been waiting for, as one of the biggest questions, dating back to the press session we attended at NYCC 2013, was where her loyalties truly lied. Solomon Kent planted the seeds of darkness in her back in “Spellcaster” and Henry’s earnest plea for them to run the coven together was all it took to firmly cement her loyalties. Is it infuriating that she turns her back on everything she’s believed in for 200 years (not to mention the man she “loved”) just because her son tells her “we can have the family we never had” and that he can’t do this without her? Absolutely. But you have to admit it’s an infinitely more interesting choice than trying to save Henremy’s soul for the billionth time.
At the archives, Abbie and Ichabod are devising a plan of attack when Jenny tells them the thing they both knew in their hearts but were unwilling to admit: Frank is on the side of evil. Jenny refuses to give up on her partner-in-BAMFitude, even when the witnesses are prepared to. “Evil or not, it’s Frank,” she insists. The witnesses’ solution? Arming Jenny with the gorgon head so she can turn Frank to stone rather than killing him. They can concoct a solution to turn him back if they need to. Or they can just keep the Frank Statue in the archives as decoration. Whatever works. It certainly wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in there. They also realize they need to crack the bell to prevent Henry from raising his witch army. Because of course…Ichabod did the same thing to the original. Time to whip up some homemade explosives!
As they feared he might, Frank hunts them down as they are preparing to blow up the bell. He starts shooting at his former allies. Jenny tells the witnesses to “blow that bell to hell” because she knows that SHE has to take down Frank. He taunts her as they shoot at each other (“I hoped you’d show.”) and I weep for the S.S. BAMF. Frank asks Jenny over and over where his family is but Jenny remains steadfast in “Good” Frank’s final request: keeping Cynthia and Macey safe at all costs. This is why Jenny is amazing: despite her insistence in saving Frank’s life, she ultimately shoots him dead-on in the chest, feelings be dammed. The mission comes first, and she knows that. She’s not afraid to make the hard decisions. It’s not EVEN the hard choice to her once she’s place in the situation. The Frank she knew (and loved) is gone…and it’s never more evident than when he rises up, his eyes completely black, after he’s been shot in the chest.
In the meantime, things get messy for Ichabod and Abbie when Henry shows up with Katrina at his side. At first Ichabod thinks that Henry kidnapped her, but really he should have studied her face first. Katrina’s face no longer gives any fucks about Ichabod and it’s the best thing to happen on Sleepy Hollow in ages. “We are the innocent that have been wronged,” Katrina says, with a manic expression on her face and Ichabod stands there horrified. For a time I thought Henremy had put the whammy on her (Sage: “Please explain to me the scientific nature of the whammy.”) but NOPE. Bitch just be evil and I couldn’t be happier. Sooooooooo Ichabod and Katrina get a long overdue divorce (more on that later) and both sides set their sights on the bell. Given that Henremy and Katrina have black magic on their side, they make quick work of bricking up the witnesses in the tunnels and absconding with the bell.
Katrina and Henremy celebrate their victory with some super creepy mother and son time where she reaffirms her complete and utter devotion to him. It’s not about power or dark magic to her…it’s about HIM. It always has been. I know we’ve seen hints of this dedication to him all season, but still this complete 180 (on BOTH Henremy and Katrina’s end) has given me whiplash. “You have given me back my soul,” Katrina declares to him. HA! As if she had a soul in the first place.
In your weekly reminder that Tom Mison can GET IT, Ichabod stands alone in the street, arms spread, shouting “HENRY PARRISH” at the top of his lungs. “You have to admire his tenacity,” Henry glowers at his mother. Oh, I admire a good deal more about him, Henremy. Henry briefly taunts him for being alone, saying that there are TWO witnesses, but Abbie pulls up in the car as if on cue (like she would EVER leave her Biblical Life Partner for this. Failure number one on Henremy’s part is underestimating their bond. Also Katrina is PISSED when Abbie shows up, finally letting her jealousy show.). Still, Henry believes that Ichabod doesn’t have the stones to kill his own son. “You bare your teeth and then you back down. You don’t have what it takes.” Sure that was Ichabod most of this season, but Ichabod now? Like Katrina’s face, he no longer gives any fucks. He shoots Henry but Henry uses magic to stop the bullet (cheater). Finally FINALLY Ichabod has had enough of Henremy’s bullshit and says what every single person has been screaming at Henry from their couches since the reveal at the end of “Bad Blood”. “I DID NOT ABANDON YOU, HENRY. I DID NOT EVEN KNOW YOU EXISTED.” He also calls him an angry unruly child so at last all is right in the world.
Not to be outdone as far as angry and unruly behavior, Katrina blasts a fireball at Abbie’s car and when Ichabod cries out for her, Katrina gives him a look that says “Ha ha ha take that work wife that I’ve always been jealous of”. It’s one thing for Katrina to attack him, but it’s entirely another thing for her to go after Abbie. “I pulled you from purgatory, Katrina. This path will send you back.” Subtext: I’m going to end you if you harm my Biblical Life Partner.
I say “if” because Abbie and Ichabod anticipated Katrina’s temper tantrum. Abbie wasn’t in the car, it was all a distraction to enable her to get to the bell so she can blow it up. She gets the explosives on the bell, but sadly, Henry catches wise to what’s going on before she can finish the deed.
Meanwhile in the tunnels, Frank and Jenny’s game of cat and mouse continues. Jenny manages to lure Frank into the magic cell but traps herself in the observation room, with the Gorgon head as her only means of escape. Jenny being Jenny knows what she has to do. As she summons up the nerve to use it, Frank taunts her from the cell, voicing the audience complaints from earlier this season. “You, Abbie, and Crane. You have USED me. You didn’t even come visit me in Tarrytown. Stop pretending you care about my family.” Thus the Sleepy Hollow “We know we lost our way for a bit but we’re fixing it” apology tour of this episode continues. Frank ALSO says “When the bell tolls, they’ll know what’s in their blood.” Um. Is there witchery in the Irving family? There WAS all that freakiness surrounding Macey last season. Something to explore in season three, please!
Henry and Katrina have Abbie and Ichabod tied up back to back like Indy and Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark (side note wishing Harrison Ford a speedy recovery because HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO DIE EVER.). They are confident that they have won, with Henry tossing a smug “It’s your turn, I’m afraid.” when Abbie tells him to go to Hell. Katrina, drunk on her power, suggests that they cast the Awakening Spell to reach beyond Sleepy Hollow. They are so wrapped up in conspiring they don’t notice the witnesses hatching their own plan. They’ve realized that since they’ve seen Henry bleed that there’s a very good chance that he’s mortal. Abbie, being a saint and queen, volunteers to take Henry out, sparing Ichabod the task of killing his son (plus, she knows that she won’t waffle when it comes down to it. Ichabod’s only human after all and it’s a monumental task to ask of anyone, even a Biblically proclaimed witness). They break free and Abbie shoots Henry…and it’s a hit, a very palpable hit (THANKS HAMLET!). Henry collapses into Katrina’s arms. He urges her to continue conjuring the coven but she tearfully says that the coven is nothing without him. Henry asks Katrina to call him by his given name (“the one that she chose.”) and Ichabod rushes to his family’s side saying that he’s sorry it had to end this way. Henry says he regrets nothing (translation: screw you, Dad). Like Voldemort before him, Henry’s body turns to ash and disintegrates. Suddenly John Noble is available for pilot season.
The instant Henry is gone, Frank falls to his knees. Black smoke spews out of his mouth and he completely collapses as Jenny looks on, clutching the Gorgon head. After a moment, he groans Jenny’s name and all of the malice and evil that had been there is gone. He looks at Jenny and she just KNOWS. Frank Irving has left the library. FRANK IRVING HAS BEEN SAVED. Also check the way Frank freaking BREATHES JENNY IN like she is restoring his soul even more. Rude.
Ichabod attempts to comfort Katrina, telling her that Henry’s death is not her fault. Probably the wrong thing to say in that moment to be honest, Ichy. You JUST broke up with her, after all. Katrina turns on her ex saying that everything is HIS fault and that HE is the source of all of her sorrow. “I should have let you die,” Katrina rages, magically choking him. “And this time I will!” She tosses him aside and grabs the Grimoire and begins the incantation for the Traveler’s Spell (the spell foreshadowed back in “Spellcaster”). Katrina jumps into the portal, finally having motivation and agency and character depth. Abbie, being of quick wit and boundless courage, has ZERO hesitation in jumping in after her. TOO BAD TUMBLR SPOILED THAT TWIST FOR ME.
Katrina comes into consciousness in her battlefield hospital. She realizes that her spell was successful and tells Jeremy in her belly that she will never leave him again. In a brilliant parallel to the pilot, Abbie wakes up in colonial Sleepy Hollow. Shouting for Katrina, she stumbles to the road, where she is nearly run over by a carriage. A classical version of “Sympathy for the Devil” swells in the background as Abbie makes her way into the village of Sleepy Hollow. Naturally being an African-American woman (in trousers nonetheless), she garners a considerable amount of attention. She is stopped by soldiers who demand to see her papers, mistaking her for a runaway slave. I know a lot of people were hesitant about this storyline but I have to say Nicole Beharie sold the CRAP out of it. She cooperates with the soldiers because she’s not stupid and she values her life but she never lets the disdain for this particular part of American history drop from her face. Abigail Mills is NO ONE’S victim and her delivery of “This is wrong on so many levels” made it work because it acknowledges that while she may go to prison for her “crimes”, she won’t do it quietly. Once in prison, Abbie continues to think on her feet, using her knowledge of the future to her benefit. She tells the soldiers that she has information that will change the course of the war…but she’ll only share it with one person. Captain Ichabod Crane.
BOOM. Sleepy Hollow.
Fuck you very much for spoiling the time travel twist, Tumblr. 9 out of 10 Golems.
All of their issues from earlier in the season resolved, Abbie and Ichabod have never been more on the same page than they are now. Their bond and “tending to it” (aka dating) is first priority now. They even have their own rules. A witness always tips the bartender. They never fight a land war in Asia (head canon that Ichabbie has spent many a night playing Risk and Settlers of Catan, yes? Yes.) They must refrain from spoiling the end of motion pictures (thank you for canonizing Ichabbie movie nights, show). “We must put our bond as witnesses (me: and boyfriend/girlfriend) before anyone else,” Abbie affirms. “Truer words (me: I love you, Abbie),” Ichabod replies, with an arch of the SassBrow.
COULD THEY BE MORE INTO EACH OTHER? I THINK NOT. How else am I supposed to interpret those faces?
In stark contrast, Ichabod and Katrina couldn’t be further apart. When it initially becomes clear that the forces they are up against are of the witchy nature, Abbie says they should call Katrina. Ichabod dismisses that notion quickly, saying that Katrina has been “distant” (aka “I prefer your company and we can figure this out without her.”). As I stated in WTDH, everything comes to a head with the Cranes when it becomes clear that Katrina has chosen to side against the Witnesses. It’s the ultimate betrayal to Ichabod not only because his wife has lost her damn mind and gone evil but because Katrina threw away everything she claimed to stand for. Ichabod Crane is nothing if not a man with a deep sense of honor. When Katrina finally reveals that she HAS none, he’s done with her. As Sage just pointed out to me, his code of honor means putting your duty ahead of your wants. Ichabod may WANT to reconcile with his son but he knows that goes against what he’s meant to do. He KNOWS it’s a selfish desire and that’s why he’s wrestled with it all season. Honor always wins with Ichabod Crane. Katrina? Well she’s just a Selfish Witch. Ichabod shouts “BE WARY what you say not cannot be unsaid!” as she expounds on finally seeing “the truth”. What he really means is “say one more word and I am DONE with you.” She does. So they are done. Finito. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out of his heart, Katrina.
Abbie tries to comfort Ichabod when they are bricked up in the tunnels, but he is having none of it. “There is no need to soften the blow, Lieutenant,” he says. Which really means “I should have kicked her to the curb a long time ago.” He reminds her that they must stay focused on their duty but they take a moment to renew their devotion to each other because they haven’t done that in about 20 minutes. They also indulge in some flirty banter about arming themselves to the teeth because it’s a completely appropriate time to flirt. Any time is appropriate, really.
Another appropriate time for flirty banter? When you’re tied back to back on a pole, obviously. I mean, yes, they are conspiring how to free themselves, but they flirt all the while. Let’s just look at some of the dialogue, shall we? “Tied, yes. Hardly weaponless.” “You’ve been holding out on me.” “I did say I was armed to the teeth.” CAN’T YOU FEEL THE SEXUAL TENSION?
And now for some gratuitous hand porn and groping in pockets:
I’m just saying they would not have been able to pull that off had they not been completely in sync with each other like the best of Biblical Life Partners.
Reminder that THIS is what Ichabod’s face looked like when Abbie vanished into the past.
8 out 10 Fist Bumps.
This section is brought to you by gifs and quotes.
Hold the phone, Grace Abigail Mills watches Doctor Who.
Abbie’s “Of course you did” face is making my life right now.
Also making my life? Ichabod in the hardware store. Everything from getting distracted by the power drill (we know Ichy loves his toys) to “What, pray tell, are seasonal items?” was golden.
Also a moment of appreciation for the way Nicole Beharie delivers “Arbor Day”.
His face when he finds the batteries. 5 out of 10 Donut Holes.
My SINCEREST apologies for the lateness of this recap, SleepyHeads. You are all the best for being so patient. We’ve still got “Tempus Fugit” to discuss…think of it as me dragging out the discussion to fill the time until we get that renewal announcement.
I totally did it this way on purpose. 😉