Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 7
“The Art of War”
Posted by Kim
With the Fall Finale (and a subsequent hiatus until February) looming large, all of the stories are starting to converge. Sleepy Hollow is known for having killer cliffhangers and “The Art of War” sets us up for a DOOZY of a fall finale. To the rankings!
#WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow and #CreepyHollow
Having lost the Shard of Anubis to Joe and Jenny last week, Nevins knows he is in trouble with his employer, whoever that is. He tears through his cabinet of artifacts while Sophie observes with the dismay of a Gap Employee watching customers destroy the perfectly folded piles of sweaters they spent hours on. She assures Nevins that she can up her “playing rough” game with Joe and Jenny and get the shard back. “Honey, you don’t know what rough is.” She watches as he scrawls out some passages from a Norse Mythology book, and she’s quite confused because really, if you are going to call on anyone from that canon, wouldn’t you call on Loki over Odin? C’mon, now. (Can we get Hiddles on this show, please? Now THAT would be a ratings boost.) He rushes off but not before warning Sophie that if it is Hell they are going to pay, it will be getting off easy. JUST WHO EXACTLY IS HE WORKING FOR? Pandora, it seems. Nevins goes to her cave and stands at the well, chanting incantations. The well bubbles like a Hot Tub Time Machine of Doom and the box appears (“Oh…I’ll be damned.”). Some creatures that look like a mix between Thing from Fantastic Four and the Uruk-hai from Lord of the Rings appear and Nevins gives them a whiff of the Shard. “Go Fetch,” he says. Someone is in DEEP SHIT.
That someone, of course, is Jenny Mills, who absorbed the shard in the last episode and who has been tormented by demonic dreams ever since. Jenny’s round of sexy and sweaty
foreplay boxing with Joey (MORE ON THAT LATER) is interrupted by her going all glowy red and white-eyed. (Note that we see the “destroyers” tablet in Jenny’s vision. Hmmmm.) Talk about a mood killer. It’s time to tell Abbie and Ichabod EXACTLY what’s going on and it’s like children confessing to Mom and Dad. Abbie is furious with her children. Danny has made a trip down to D.C. for reasons I don’t really understand (seriously, we only saw him crashing his boss’ birthday party asking for more time. Couldn’t this have been done over the phone?), so he left Abbie in charge of overseeing the Nevins case. So learning that her sister and little Joey Corbin met with him behind her back isn’t great news. I love how Ichabod steps in here because he knows Abbie is about to lose her shit. It’s clear who is going to be the disciplinarian in this marriage.
Jenny tries to brush off the severity of her situation by quipping that she would remember suddenly developing mutant powers. Ichabod will not allow her to have such a cavalier attitude. He deduces that the shard was actually a binding stone that transfers mystical energy upon contact (which is why Nevins used a glove when touching it). “Miss Jenny,” he says gravely. “Mortal beings are not meant to house this much mystical energy.” Maybe it’s just because I spent the past weekend at a Doctor Who con, but my mind immediately went to both Bad Wolf Rose Tyler and Doctor!Donna Noble. SPOILER ALERT: neither of those things ended well. (#ProtectJennyMills2KAlways) Abbie does her best to not lose her cool regarding the situation because surely there is some sort of shardectomy they can do. Joe suggests that they go back to Nevins, which is immediately shot down by Abbie, prompting a little “Who loves Jenny more?” stand-off between the two. “I know this might cause some problems with your job, but this is JENNY we’re talking about,” Joe spits. “You think I don’t know that?” Abbie shoots back. Joey, I know you’re new here and you’re VERY cute, but don’t get into it with Abbie regarding her sister. Abbie’s love for Jenny is so deep and so fierce that sure, she may try to look for a way to save her that WON’T jeopardize her job, but when the shit hits the fan, she’ll do whatever it takes.
Before Joe and Abbie can wrestle for Jenny’s love, Jenny’s new Spidey sense tell them that they are about to have company. Ruh-roh, the Uruk-hai (yes, I know that’s not their name) have found them. Abbie shoots at them because she never learns and the bullets are absorbed into their bodies, making them stronger. Jenny goes all shard-y and stabs them, slowing them down just enough for them to be able to run for the tunnels. “Being fatally infected with the power of an ancient artifact has its pluses,” she jokes and I am really going to need her to STOP with the humor. Abbie realizes that the Uruks didn’t give a shit about anyone but Jenny because SHE is the shard now. Jenny promptly gets faint because this show wants me to have a heart attack.
In the archives, Abbie is in action mode. It’s typical Abbie behavior: she focuses on solutions so she doesn’t have to feel feelings. It’s clear she is filled with panic regarding her sister, but panic gets you no where. Abbie works so hard to separate her emotions from her work (both in the FBI and as a Witness). If there is one word I associate with Grace Abigail Mills, it’s CONTROL and she doesn’t deal well with losing it. It’s such a lovely contrast with Jenny, who seems to have quietly accepted her possible fate. Not that she’s happy about it, but she knows the line of work that she’s in. Like she said, dealing with the supernatural is the only world she’s ever known, and it was bound to get her in the end. If this is how she goes, this is how she goes. But she’s not going to go on Abbie’s watch. Don’t mess with a control freak.
It should be noted that while the sisters were having their heart to heart, Joe and Ichabod talk about their feelings. I’ll talk about that more in shippy, but what does come out of their conversation is the fact that these monsters are single-minded. At last, Ichabod has a clue to finding out what they are. The creatures are Norse Berserkers, a single-minded kind of monster that will not stop until they have claimed their prey. They feed off the energy of battle, getting stronger as you fight them. Basically, they are a undefeatable enemy. Their one vulnerability? Mistletoe. (Joey: PANIC LAUGHTER) Before they can figure out their plan further, Jenny goes all shardy again and THIS TIME whatever being that is possessing her speaks. “Behold my glory, for I am coming,” Demon!Jenny says before collapsing again. Shit.
Abbie stays behind with her sister, because where else WOULD she be at a time like this. The boys arm themselves with Mistletoe arrows (because those are a thing?) and set off to the Sleepy Hollow Auto Salvage yard because the Berserkers need a “metal cave” to gain their energy back after a fight. The boys charge in with their crossbows (hot), confident that this is all they will need to take them out. No such luck. Ichabod fires off several arrows but the Berserkers just get stronger. “What do we do now?” Joe asks. “Run.” Ichabod replies, and run they do. They manage to shut the garage door and escape right as the Berserkers punch through the door. Clearly, they’ve missed the plot here.
Ichabod surmises that Nevins must have changed the incantation to summon the Berserkers and the only way to find out HOW is to break into his office. This is where Abbie has to make her choice: Witness or FBI agent? It’s not an easy one for her. Nevins’ place is under constant surveillance and if anyone from Team Witness shows up there, the FBI (well, Danny) will know that Abbie is working against them. It could blow the entire case. Ichabod is SO GENTLE but firm with her here. He knows what it’s like to be pulled between two worlds. He doesn’t want her to sacrifice her career, but at the same time, he reminds her of her duty to both her sister and their cause as Witnesses. “They will not stop until WE stop them,” he urges. “But please, if you know of any other course of action.” Abbie hands him her lock-picking kit because when the chips are down, she will ALWAYS choose Team Witness.
Abbie uses her temporary power as Head Agent to briefly call off the surveillance on Nevins’ Bait Shop, allowing Ichabod to break in. (Did anyone else get season one flashes of “Think of the delinquency we could get into together”? I DID.) He searches the office and finds the pad of paper Nevins used to write down his incantation. Ichabod does a rubbing on the indentations from Nevins’ handwriting and BOOM! he has the solution. He’s temporarily waylaid by Sophie as he leaves the office, but I’m going to leave that for sassy because good God that exchange was glorious. Back at the Archives, Ichabod tells Abbie that since Nevins invoked the power of Pandora (not Odin) when he summoned the Berserkers, it changed their powers and vulnerabilities. They have no way of knowing what will kill them now. “When faced with an unbeatable enemy, you must make the enemy beat themselves,” Ichabod says, quoting Daniel Boone. He recalls the Battle of Boonesborough, where Daniel Boone faced the combined armies of the British and the Hessians. Together the armies were unbeatable, but he knew that their alliance was tenuous at best. He set up attacks at both camps to look like they were done by the other, which made the two armies turn on each other. They must do the same to the Berserkers if they want to have any prayer of defeating them and keeping Jenny safe. If they fail…checkmate. (Reminder that apparently Ichabod and Abbie now play chess every morning and have jokes about it. Bye.)
Abbie and Ichabod’s plan (“one part history, one part magic, a whole lot of crazy.”) is to lure the Berserkers to the woods using Jenny’s shard-scented blood. Team Witness lowers from the trees Mission Impossible style and covertly pours the blood on several of them, causing the Berserkers to smell like their prey. They turn on each other like “hyenas from Hell”. Only one Berserker survives, but since he thinks his quarry has been captured, Ichabod is able to stab him in the heart. “Give our regards to Pandora,” he says victoriously. The Berserker ashes away Katrina and Henremy style.
The Victory Party is interrupted by a desperate Nevins and Sophie. He wants Jenny (literally) and demands to be taken to her because his employer needs her. Who is the employer? “Someone who makes Pandora look like a homeroom teacher and he will be here soon.” (I can’t be the only one who is bummed that Pandora is working for a male, can I?) Nevins puts a gun to Joe’s head and threatens to kill him (“Screw you.” “Ah, you ARE August Corbin’s son.”). Joe, bless him, tells Abbie not to tell him a thing. When Nevins gets to “two” in his countdown, Sophie turns her gun on him, announcing she is FBI. WUT. Amazing. “You traitorous bitch,” Nevins snarls, before she shoots him. Someone’s got some ‘splaining to do as Team Witness looks on in shock. Abbie asks if Reynolds knows about her and Sophie replies that she’s part of HIS operation. “My role in this investigation was strictly need to know. Only inner circle,” she explains and it becomes clear that Danny didn’t trust Abbie enough to let her in on it. (I’m going to interpret Ichabod’s “He didn’t tell you” as only SLIGHTLY smug.) Sophie tells them to go get Jenny while she deals with getting Nevins in.
They arrive at the Masonic cell, only to find it empty, the lock broken from the inside. All sorts of charcoal drawings are on the wall. Jenny, in a shard trance, arrives at Pandora’s lair. She reaches into the Hot Tub Time Machine of Doom and the water boils red. The tree opens and Pandora, still rocking her evening wear, arrives with a hooded and bandaged man on her arm. (Voldemort, is that you?) Jenny kneels before him and takes his hand. “Behold my glory, I have arrived.”
I would have been more scared of the Berserkers if they were actually Uruk-hai. 2/10 Sandmen.
PROTECT. JENNY. MILLS. 9/10 Golems.
Is this boxing scene even real??? My new aesthetic is Joey and Jenny in tank tops (SHOW US YOUR PECS ZACH) dealing with the burgeoning sexual tension between them by sparring in the boxing ring and bantering. I loved how their match had them as equals both fighting for dominance (GOD THIS SCENE WAS PURE FOREPLAY). I love how they tried to talk about serious issues whilst doing this mating dance. I love how Joe said “Well he’s not the one I feel closer to” right in Jenny’s ear as he had her pinned against him. I loved how Jenny grinned and then knocked him to the floor after he said that. *Fans Self* Honestly, if Jenny hadn’t gone all shardy, they would have done it, right then and there. In the boxing ring. Yep.
When we interviewed him at NYCC, Zach Appelman commented the one of the things that would bond Joe and Ichabod was their love for the sisters Mills. I don’t know where they were in the production schedule when we spoke to him, but I HAVE to think they had filmed this scene. “I’m just amazed how you guys focus in on this stuff when monsters are out there and people you care about are hurting,” Joe says as both men’s gazes drift towards the Mills sisters. Could you guys BE more obvious? Actually, they can. “There is nothing more frustrating than the feeling of helplessness in the face of an unknown foe,” Ichabod replies. “Which is why we must seize control whilst we can.” And then he ACTUALLY looks at Joe and tells him to talk to Jenny. ICHABOD SHIPS IT. THEN Joey turns it around on Ichabod. “What about you? Get the feeling it’s not just rage monsters that have you feeling helpless.” I love men talking about their FEELINGS. And blessssssssssssss, Ichabod totally opens up to Joey, saying he feels like he’s fighting a losing battle. “Against bureaucrats. Against developers. Against…*BLATANTLY LOOKS AT GRACE ABIGAIL MILLS* on many fronts.” Ahem. Joe picks up on what Ichabod is laying down and tosses Ichy’s advice back in his face. “Talk to her.” Joe KNOWS and ships it. Everybody ships everybody with everybody else and IF ONLY somebody would do something about it.
I got home from L.I. Who late on Sunday night and I tried to watch Sleepy (after Master Chef Junior, because I needed something mindless first) but I kept falling asleep. Sage, who had been accidentally spoiled on the episode over the weekend, watched it as soon as she got home. She texted me saying “TELL ME WHEN YOU WATCH *chinhands*” and I texted her all throughout the boxing scene. The next thing I texted her was a comment on the final scene with Ichabbie because I slept all through the middle of the episode. Her response? “Um, maybe you should rewind back to where Joe takes Jenny’s blood.”
Joe is taking Jenny’s blood and they are all up in each other’s faces but Joe has an EXCUSE because he’s being all Doctor-y (mmmmm) and taking her sparkling blood. There is an obvious tension between them, both sexual and normal, because they BOTH know her life is in danger. Joe, bless him, talks of the future because Jenny is going to be FINE.
Jenny: You know, I spent my whole life hunting magical artifacts. Now one of those artifacts is fighting back. Is that karmic or ironic?
Joe: It’s neither. It’s gonna be a little footnote when you tell people the story about what happened here years from now.
Jenny: Oh, yeah? Who am I gonna tell?
Joe: Well, let’s see, I don’t know. I mean Abbie’ll be running the FBI, so she’s gonna be kind of tough to reach. And Crane will be a college professor, but he’s only gonna keep office hours, like, once a week, so…
Jenny: What does he teach?
Joe: Modern cinema. So I guess that leaves me.
Jenny: I guess it does.
You know what? As a shipper, that kind of moment would be enough for me, especially on a show like Sleepy Hollow where the modus operandi has been “all talk, no kissing”. But Joe Corbin is a man of action. And Jenny Mills is looking at him all doe-eyed and soft and lovely and into him. And her life is in DANGER, so you know what? FUCK IT. “You know, Crane told me I should talk to you,” he says, starting to close the distance between them. “About what?” she asks, even though she KNOWS. “About this…” And now I am just going to copy my notes, accompanied by gifs.
I AM DEAD. He’s so tender yet so confident and SURE and JFC we need more men like this in the world.
I AM ALIVE. GET IT JENNY.
I am super curious on how the show is going to follow through on this. There’s no mention of it when Joe, Abbie, and Ichabod take down the Berserkers, but that’s not really an appropriate time to be like “Hey I snogged your sister”. Joe was clearly panicked when they discovered Jenny was missing, so maybe it will come out in episode 8. Don’t fuck this up, show. Someone’s got to get laid around here and we still haven’t seen Zach’s pecs sans shirt.
While Abbie and Ichabod may not be at the face-smushing point in their relationship, Ichabod DOES listen to his own advice and shares another bit of his soul with Abbie. He’s scared he’s going to lose her. Not to the supernatural, but to her job (and Danny wut). Ichabod knows she is a shining star and that she’s going places. Moving up in the FBI could very easily lead to a transfer…and then what? I think it’s incredibly healthy for him to say that the idea of losing her to that scares him. I love how Abbie doesn’t disregard his fears, she just stands there and listens because sometimes that’s all we need. THEN Abbie reassures him that she (along with Joe and Jenny) aren’t going anywhere. Whatever speed bumps that come their way, they will face them together, be it demons or job transfers. They’ll get to the face smushing eventually.
AT LEAST SOMEONE IS GETTING SOME ACTION IN SLEEPY HOLLOW. I always said I would save the 10/10 for Ichabbie getting together, thus I reward “The Art of War” with 9.5/10 Fistbumps.
Ichabod: Unhand me, you scoundrel.
Sophie: Funny words, coming from a potential thief.
Ichabod: Do I look like a common thief, stealing worms?
Sophie: No, you look like the bass player for some British rock band. What are you doing here?
Ichabod: At a bait shop? I’m looking for bait.
Sophie: You’re a fisherman?
Sophie: Monofilament line or fused?
Ichabod: Braided horsehair. Baited with worm, minnow or little frog, just as Izaak Walton prescribed.
Sophie: Hmm. Bait is in this building.
Ichabod: Ah, thank you. I might ask what you’re doing here, slamming patrons up against a wall.
Sophie: My friend owns this place. He doesn’t like strange people lurking around the alleyways.
Ichabod: Did you call me “strange”? Oh, good grief, – how will I ever endure?
Sophie: Save it. You don’t strike me as the thin-skinned type. Word to the wise, Dr. Strange. Steer clear. If we run into each other again, next time it won’t be so pleasant.
Ichabod: Your pleasantries need a little work, madam.
Usually the sass factor goes by the wayside when the show hurtles towards a finale. This episode fell into line with that pattern, save for a delightful scene with Ichabod and Sophie. Yes, I transcribed the whole scene. No, I don’t regret it. Okay, you guys know I BLEED for Ichabbie but I could TOTALLY low-key ship Sophie and Ichabod. The scene outside of Nevins’ office had more sexual tension, sass, and chemistry than two whole seasons with Katrina and every scene with Betsy/Zoe this season. Just look at how she threw Ichabod up against that wall to search him. I DIG IT 100%. Now that we know Sophie is one of the good guys, I hope this gives us more opportunities for her to go toe to toe with the Witnesses. Because this level of sass is SO season one Ichabod. Not cartoony or buffoonish or bewildered (not that I don’t love that version of Ichy, cause I do), just pure snark with a hint of 1700’s arrogance. MORE PLEASE.
4/10 Donut Holes of Sass
Thoughts for the Archives
- Ichabod trying to extract himself from the conversation with Danny was priceless. As was Abbie’s fonding over it.
- An episode without Betsy Ross or Zoe is an infinitely stronger one? Color me surprised. (SORRY LADIES)
- If whoever this new big bad is has the face of August Corbin, my head will explode. I know we keep harping on this, but we’ve spent SO MUCH TIME talking about his secrets this season, there has to be some sort of reason…right?
- “Make sure the carabiner’s locked and the tether’s tight.” “You talk as if I’ve never climbed a mountain before.” *looks at harness* “Right. I’ve never climbed a mountain before.”
FALL FINALE TIME! Sage will be your guide through what is sure to be a massive episode. Until then, leave your Joenny flails in the comments!