Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 3
“Blood and Fear”
Posted by Kim
Back when Lost was on the air, I remember it went through quite a creative dry spell. Not that the show wasn’t GOOD, I just remember watching it every week and willing it to be as good as it was in Season One (which I still view to be one of the most perfect seasons of a drama ever). Then Season Three’s “The Man from Tallahassee” aired and my reaction was “Oh THERE YOU ARE SHOW!”. Sure, Lost may have had some clunkers after that point, but they were fewer and far between, and the show was much more tightly focused after that episode. Why am I talking about this? Because I had the same “OH THERE YOU ARE SHOW” reaction after “Blood and Fear” aired.
A big section of the fandom loves to talk about how horrible season two was. I don’t think it was HORRIBLE (there are some VERY good episodes in there, y’all, let’s not get bogged down in the problems), I just think it was lacking the spark of season one. Genre shows live or die depending on how they creatively rebound from sophomore slumps. Basically, you can be Lost or you can be Heroes. After three VERY strong episodes for season three, it looks like Sleepy Hollow is trending towards the former. I couldn’t be happier. To the rankings!
The well of Men’s fears must have some POWERFUL fertilizer in it, because Pandora’s tree is HUGE now. “There’s so many of you!” she coos to the buds and it’s all very creepy and fills me with a sense of dread. Then she turns to her box to unleash the evil of the week. Unlike previous episodes, however, this evil is a much more pointed one, literally and figuratively. “Make the fear of the Witnesses mine to reveal,” she commands…and then out floats a weird ass knife. This is the first time she has called something to target Abbie and Ichabod DIRECTLY and this is all starting to feel a little personal. Ruh roh.
Meanwhile, at a nondescript company in Sleepy Hollow, a shy (but really, he’s TOTALLY NICE) office worker named Nelson gazes upon the object of his affection, the lovely office blonde named Emily. Nelson finally works up courage to talk to Emily in the elevator, inviting her to get some Korean BBQ at a nearby food truck (yum). She starts talking about how everyone is going somewhere else to celebrate a birthday and Nelson gets all hopeful because it looks like he scored an invite. Then, she hangs up on her bluetooth call, dashing Nelson’s hopes and proving the bluetooth is one of the most nefarious devices known to man. Later that night, Nelson drowns his sorrows at the local club and mournfully watches Emily getting all up on the resident office hottie. Cue Pandora arriving, sporting a saucy new short do because she always likes to match her hair to the demon of the week. “You’re not going to let that guy get in the way are you?” she asks, pulling him onto the dance floor. They dance and the whole vibe is very much like that episode of Torchwood where an alien picks people up in clubs only to fuck them until they literally explode. (For everyone who followed our live tweets of the episode, you’ll notice that Sage and I tweeted that at the exact same time, proving (once again) how much we share a brain.) The next morning, Nelson is not sexed to death, but he IS in possession of a shiny new knife. On the elevator, he overhears Office Hottie gossiping about how he’s totally going to bang Emily. Nelson gets a manic glint in his eye and it is sayonara Office Hottie.
Abbie and Ichabod arrive at the scene and Ich recognizes the state of the corpse immediately because of COURSE this is something he’s encountered before. “We are dealing with a terror from my childhood,” he says. “You might know him as Jack the Ripper.” It turns out that while attending Eton (of course he went to Eton, he’s so posh.), Ichabod’s best friend was murdered and his corpse (which was completely drained of blood) looked exactly like Office Hottie. Considering Ichabod’s time at Eton and the Ripper murders were separated by a century, it’s a bit hard for Abbie to wrap her head around that. (Gurl, same.) They trace back reports of similar corpses dating back as far as 900 years, so clearly Jack the Ripper is some sort of supernatural being. Abbie, thanks to her access to FBI forensics, is able to reconstruct the murder weapon. (She’s SO going to love the technology at the Jeffersonian when they crossover with Bones.) The knife, they determine, makes the user overcome with blood lust, turning them into Rippers. Basically, it’s the Elder Wand. And now they have to find it.
Meanwhile, Nelson is having a bit of a panic attack in his car, having just committed a gruesome murder and all. Pandora suddenly appears in the back of the car and she’s quite pleased with herself. Nelson is reasonably freaked out and tries to throw the knife away, only to find that he can’t…because it’s become a part of his hand. As Pandora dresses him in the long leather coat that she grabbed at Rippers-R-Us, she tells him that he can join “an ancient and grand history”. Well, considering the knife is LITERALLY his hand now, it’s not like Nelson has much of a choice, so he might as well embrace it. “Abandon all hesitation, mercy, and doubt,” Pandora coos, and then she orders him to go after the Witnesses. Like I said, she’s making it personal now.
The Witnesses arrive at Nelson’s apartment building to question him. Just as Ichabod posits that the second Tribulation should be easier to deal with than the first, a giant knife burst through the door, nearly running him through. Well. This escalated quickly. They see Nelson, who has gone full ripper. They warn him that the blade is manipulating him, but Nelson just scoffs. “Go back to the guy I was before? Invisible?” Cue me seal clapping on my couch because I am 100% here for Sleepy Hollow using Jack the Ripper as a metaphor for what happens to men when they feel like they’ve been “friend zoned”. Abbie shoots Nelson, partly because her solution is always shooting the monsters and partly out of solidarity for all women who have zero patience for this “but I’m a nice guy, just give me a chance” crap. I COULD be projecting on that second bit. Nelson goes out the window, landing on a car and provoking quite possibly my favorite Abbie Mills reaction of ALL TIME.
The question is…if several gun shots and a multi-story fall out a window won’t kill Nelson, what WILL? What stopped all the other Rippers over the course of the years? They finally realize that since the knife literally feeds off the blood of its kills, the only thing that stops it is disease. They also find that Nelson’s hard drive is full of pictures of Emily, taking him from a guy with a crush to a guy with an obsession and a DEFINITE next target. Abbie and Ichabod procure 2 vials of tainted blood that Ichabod will be responsible for shooting Nelson with. (“I thought you were supposed to be hot stuff with a musket.” Abbit flirting, even in times of crisis, I love it.) When the backup assigned to protect Emily doesn’t answer the phone, Abbie knows Nelson has gotten to them. They arrive at the Parking Garage where the officers were meant to pick her up and find both of them dead. The knife has fed again.
And of course, Nelson now has Emily and is threatening to kill her because she didn’t pay any attention to him and thus deserves it. “How will harming her make you ANY less of an outcast?” I don’t know if Sleepy Hollow meant this line to be viewed as social commentary on the whole “She deserved it because she didn’t like me” phenomenon, but I am choosing to believe they did, because it’s so perfectly accurate. Honestly, I expected nothing less from Ichabod Crane, Feminist. Emily doesn’t owe Nelson a damn thing, so he can take his Korean BBQ and shove it. Anyway, Abbie gets Emily away from him and Ichy takes his shot, but PLOT TWIST, the knife creates an armor to protect Nelson from the point of impact, leaving Ichabod with one chance to take him down. They engage in some hand to hand combat as Ichabod desperately tries to reload the rifle. (But really HOW did they do this under pressure before automated weapons? A moment of respect for our Founding Fathers, please.) Nelson saws off the head of the rifle and Ichabod is truly screwed. Nelson stabs him in the gut and starts to drain the life from him (Me at the TV: WHAT?). But something is different this time. “What did you DO?” Nelson cries as the knife falls from his hand. “Ended this,” Ichabod replies triumphantly (well as triumphantly as he can considering he’s bleeding out), the empty vial of blood falling to the floor. I’ll cover the rest in shippy because MY GOD.
Yes, ALL WOMEN. 7/10 Sandmen.
This week, in the adventures of Jenny and Little Joey Corbin, the pair sets out to retrieve the Shard of Anubis. In the press room at New York Comic Con (our write-up of that is coming soon!), I expressed worries that Jenny and Joe new-found partnership would keep them too separate from Team Witness. Both Lyndie Greenwood and Zach Appelman assured me this would not always be the case, and by looping Abbie in on the quest for the shard, the seeds are being sown to bring this foursome together. “He’s family, Abbie,” Jenny says simply, when her sister questions bringing Joe into the fold. What I LOVE about this moment is the way Abbie accepts that answer. Abbie of season one was much less inclined to trust and it’s amazing that, even after everything that has happened, that Abbie is more willing NOW to invite people into the inner circle. Not that she’s naive about it, mind you. She knows better than to throw little Joey Corbin into the deep end (even though that moment has come and gone, having been a wendigo and all). “Take it slow and show him the ropes.” HA.
Thanks to Abbie’s FBI connections, Jenny, Joe, and Joe’s pecs (#ShowUsYourPecs2k15) find the shady dude who Jenny traded the shard for Joe with last week. They bust open his hotel room only to find a girl who is scared shitless and claims to be a hitchhiker. Jenny is clearly off her game and she KNOWS it as soon as she hears the girl drive away in a car. They find Shady Dude handcuffed in the shower (that’s what you GET for tying Joe up last week) and the shard is gone. Jenny is less disturbed by the fact that she lost the shard (because she’s that confident she’ll get it back) and MORE by the fact that this chick used a move right out of the August Corbin Playbook. The “lost soul hitchhiker”? That was Jenny’s signature move back in the day. Who is this bitch to steal Jenny’s moves?
Jenny and Joe manage to track down Sophie (THANK IMDB) at a diner. (How? Did I miss that?) Proving that she is still the Jedi and Sophie a mere Padawan, Jenny confronts her only after she finds the shard in the secret car hiding place where Sophie stashed it. (Another Corbin move, two can play at this game, bitch.) “You really don’t wanna know who I work for or why that thing is so important,” Sophie warns. (I Do. On both counts.) If this comment worries Jenny, she doesn’t show it. “Tell your employer the shard is mine. If you come after it again, things are going to get ugly.” Please pass the popcorn because I am SO HERE for Jenny Mills making things ugly.
Later, Joe and Jenny share some beers at Mabie’s while they break down the day’s events. Joe wants to celebrate the fact that the shard is still in their possession while Jenny is still stuck on the fact that there could be other August Corbin protegés out there. (I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE, AUGUST!) Joe weakly argues that just because Sophie acted like an Agent of CORBIN (coming to Fox, this fall) doesn’t mean she actually was, but you can tell neither of them believe that. “Your dad’s life was a maze of secrets,” Jenny replies. The fact that August could have a bigger network out there? This feels huge and it could be something that will forever alter him in their minds. Joe, bless him, is not afraid to learn the truth. “I asked you to show me this world. Wherever that leads, whatever we learn, I’m with you.”
These men and their declarations of devotion to the Mills Sisters. I swear to GOD.
Why does everyone want the Shard of Anubis? Who does Sophie work for? Is August Corbin the man we always thought he was? 6/10 Golems.
Okay, let’s get this out-of-the-way. I saw a few rumblings on Twitter that Abbie didn’t get upset enough as she held Ichabod in her arms (contrasting it to the way Ichy reacted in “The Weeping Lady”). First of all, Abbie is a PROFESSIONAL. She’s trained to do this kind of thing and she knows that if she panics, he will panic. And panic is the last thing Ichabod needs at this moment. Also, Abbie Mills will never be the kind of person who reacts in an overtly emotional manner. It’s just not how she’s built. It doesn’t mean that she is any less terrified in that moment. Because make no mistake, Abbie is fucking terrified of losing Ichabod.
Abbie’s fear is WHY Pandora appears to her. Pandora feeds off of fear and Abbie’s fear is so powerful that Pandora can’t resist taunting her a little bit. Abbie’s love for Ichabod has always been her biggest vulnerability. This whole scene had me thinking of the Syndicate attacking Fox Mulder by going after Dana Scully. “Then you must take away what he holds most valuable. That with which he can’t live without.” That’s EXACTLY what Pandora is after here. Abbie’s face goes from “Fuck You” to deeply pained as Pandora taunts Abbie about being alone. It truly is her greatest fear and Pandora’s words are basically her way of putting pressure on a wound that hasn’t healed just yet (the wound being Ichy’s 9 month absence). Now that Abbie has fully exposed her weakness to Pandora, I fear that she will just continue to use their bond against them. Fasten your seatbelt, Ichabbie fans.
Also, I CANNOT with the visual of Abbie trying to cradle Ichabod’s enormous frame to her small one. Her hands are so tiny on his face and she can barely pull him into her lap. OTP: Tol and Smol is RIGHT.
During my live tweet, I screamed for a Hospital bedside scene for the Witnesses a la The X-Files. But then Sleepy Hollow had to go and one-up the famous scenario by having Abbie watching over Ichabod on their COUCH. Yes. Yes, this is better. HOW LONG DID SHE SIT THERE WAITING FOR HIM TO WAKE UP? Judging by the exhaustion on her face, I’d say hours. Abbie tries to brush off how scared she was by reprimanding Ichabod for injecting himself in the first place. “Of all the damn stunts,” she scolds, with barely concealed affection and relief. Ichabod jokes that he knew he would be okay injecting himself with malaria since he had been exposed to it during the Revolutionary war and I really can’t handle how these two idiots are BANTERING to cover up just how scared they really were. Abbie tells Ichabod about Pandora and he actually TRIES TO GET up the moment he hears that Pandora may have harmed her. My heart.
Ichabod assures her that they will get to the bottom of Pandora’s plot. They are, after all, the Witnesses. There is no other option but victory, together. And THEN we get our first fist bump of the season and it’s glorious. Even when he is doped up on painkillers, Ichabod remembers to blow it up after they pound fists. Of course, no fist bump is complete without a declaration of his
undying love devotion to their shared fate. “I am most grateful, Leftenant, that you and I have found each other…once again.” In other words, I love you boo and I am never leaving you again.
Pandora watches this whole conversation from her well and turns to look at her tree. The flowers are blooming…proving that Abbie’s fear over losing Ichabod may be the strongest fertilizer of all. Who needs men’s fears when you have fear over losing your soulmate?
This is like “Sin Eater” level of Ichabbie feels. 8/10 drugged up fist bumps.
Ichabod continues to run into nothing but red tape in his quest to save the archives. Welcome to 2015 America, boo. “THE AMERICAN DREAM IS DEAD,” he grandstands at the permit office, much to Abbie’s embarrassment and delight (her face, though. God bless you, Nicole Beharie). Ichabod’s rage is not misplaced and I am amazed that everyone else in Sleepy Hollow is totes okay with this historic building becoming something depressing like a Baby Gap. The papers have to be signed by an American Citizen, and even though Abbie offers to do it for him (“We’re in this together, remember?”), Ichabod finally comes a point of realization. “Leftenant, I’m going to do it. I’m going to become a citizen of this country.” It’s about time, really, but I am super curious to see JUST how well Hawley’s falsified documents hold up in this process. (Though, I suppose, since Ichabod was able to get on an international flight, they will hold up just fine.) I am COMPLETELY HERE for Ichabod having to take citizenship classes because you KNOW he will Monica Geller the shit out of them. Also “I have yet to consummate my allegiance to this nation”? I can think of other things I’d like you to consummate as well.
Outside the permit center, Ichabod is approached by Zoe Corinth, who is really just a poor substitute for Miss Caroline (RIP Miss Caroline). Miss Corinth clearly has a case of Crane on the Brain, as she bats her eyes at him and simpers about how much she loved his grandstanding and the fact that he plans to pursue citizenship. “No gold is worth much if it comes without a struggle,” he says, chest all puffed out. “John Adams?” Miss Corinth asks (interesting that Ich uses her last name to address her, as every other woman other than Abbie, he goes with Miss First Name). “Actually, Ichabod Crane.” (I totally had flashes to Dead Poets Society “No…Keating”.) “Even better,” Miss Corinth says, and I gotta admit the girl has got game. Ichabod is so delightfully chuffed from her attention that I simultaneously want to snuggle him and punch HER in the face.
Later, she shows up at the Archives (moving from cute to a little creepy, if you ask me), insisting that she can help speed up Ichabod’s naturalization. Apparently her brother-in-law serves on a Senate Sub-Committee for Immigration and can cut up some of the inevitable red tape. Ichy may be a little clueless that this girl is clearly trying to get into his breeches, but he’s no fool. “I would be honored to accept your assistance,” he says with an adorable little grin. (God, I hate you and I hate your beautiful ass face, Tom.) Now, I don’t quite know what to make of Zoe’s intentions here. I mean, sure, most of us would probably move heaven and earth to get Ichabod to look at us that way, but is she REALLY doing this out of the goodness of her heart? Raven Metzner hinted to us that someone would be revealed to be working for the other side, and this is feeling like an obvious target to me.
“Ichabod Crane, American. I like the sound of that.” 4/10 Donut Holes, because a good Icharant is always worth it to me.
Thoughts for the Archives
- Ichabod sees a picture of Abbie’s dad on her cell phone (YAY FOR NOT DROPPING THIS STORY). I love how he is handling this entire revelation SO MUCH. “No, I haven’t told Jenny yet,” Abbie says, being so refreshingly open about the whole thing. Ichabod gently asks if there could be an upside to this whole “finding their dad” thing and leaves it at that. I love how he is letting Abbie take things at her own pace.
- “Fear was my constant companion. We trusted no one.” Quoting Doctor Who and The X-Files in one sentence, I LOVE IT.
- I’d give the casting department props for casting a young Ichabod who also had sassbrows, but he had a really shitty British accent.
- “You two have a great day agenting.” Jenny’s reaction to Danny was hysterical because she not so subtly ribbed her sister about it. Look how far their relationship has come! From not trusting each other in the slightest to making fun of each other about boys. Bless.
- Could Abbie and Ichabod BE more domestic? From her easily saying “See you at home” (how quickly it became “home” for them) to him bringing them tea as they poured over books, the domesticity levels are off the charts.
- Meanwhile, Abbie continues to be incredibly guarded when it comes to Daniel. We still don’t know the extent of what happened between them, so the only thing we can do is read Abbie’s body language. And all I can see is discomfort. Sure, she agrees to have dinner with him so they can “clear the air” but there is zero spark or any sign of excitement about it. She immediately takes a raincheck on dinner when her Boo is hurt but joins Daniel for a quick nightcap in his office. Apparently, they “pushed each other” in the Academy and Daniel wants to have that kind of relationship again. The way Abbie sees it though, that kind of relationship is impossible now, given that he is her superior. Daniel gives her a spiel about how she’s just slightly behind and she can catch up and I can’t help but think of how Dana Scully’s colleagues called her Mrs. Spooky for aligning with Mulder. “What happened between us doesn’t have to get in the way.” Okay, maybe DANIEL will be the turn coat.
- When Ichabod looked up at the mural of his comrades after he accepted Zoe’s help and said “As if Adams would have done any different”, I immediately thought of Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister calling Maggie Thatcher a “saucy minx” in Love Actually.
And that’s our episode! Sage will be your guide though “The Sisters Mills”. As we wait for that, leave your thoughts on the state of Sleepy Hollow in the comments.