Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 14
“Into the Wild”
Posted by Sage
Good morrow, Sleepyheads. Is everyone having fun on the bubble?
Just for funsies, I was looking back at some of our season two recaps. It was a dark time: a love triangle was brewing that would have turned the Mills sisters (soulmates, protectors) into sniping stereotypes; Lyndie Greenwood and Orlando Jones were both being slighted in favor of Blond-Beard; and against all odds and our wishes, the show was still trying to make Katrina happen.
Sleepy Hollow has been sweatin’, endeavoring to retroactively earn that season three pick-up. So we find ourselves back on the “could go either way” section of TV Line’s renewal report card. But THIS time, my friends, a strong case has been made. (Betsy Ross aside, and it seems like she’s been shelved anyway.)
As a Crane-light episode, “Into the Wild” is low on the ‘shippy scale. (At least the ICHABBIE ‘shippy scale, so mull THAT over.) But this hour made up for that in other areas. Let’s move on to the rankings.
Danny is leading a weekend-long FBI survival training exercise, and Abbie is raring to go. First of all, she sees the value in an activity that can take her mind off the symbol that’s been occupying her; and secondly, she knows she’s about to school everyone because what are the upstate New York woods to millennia-old Sumerian catacombs? The sitcom set-up moment comes when Abbie and Sophie realize they’re on a team (yay!), but that one of their teammates is out with appendicitis. (Danny, what did you DO?) Daniel “I can’t take a hint” Reynolds volunteers to be the ladies’ third. (I KNOW WHAT I SAID.) Sans cell phones, Sophie, Abbie, and Danny head off with their wilderness guide, Robbie Malone. Oh, Robbie. I wish you hadn’t said your name, because now I know you dead.
Which is Robbie’s loss, because he’s our victim this evening. Another triumph of the effects department stalks and attacks the guide, sinking its teeth into him like a vampire. The Verslinder is on par with the Tooth Fairy, my other pick for the most pants-shittingly scary creature of season three. It’s like a White Walker made of worms. That’s the best I can do.
Sophie and Abbie knock the creature back before it can finish Robbie off, but the guide is already badly hurt. Danny conveniently shows back up after the altercation is over (they tell him the suspect is a coyote) and puts his boss hat on. Sophie tends to Robbie while Danny and Abbie earn their medical badges by constructing a woodland stretcher for the wounded. Add “reads Dutch” to the list of reasons I’m glad Sophie’s around. She translates from the photos on Robbie’s camera, naming the beast: the Verslinder, “One Who Devours.”
Robbie’s cell phone is broken; they’re miles from help. Abbie lets Sophie in on her plan to stay back and look for the Verslinder while Sophie and Danny go ahead with Robbie. (How well can you possibly know this woman, Danny? A rest? She’s in better shape than the rest of the trainees – AND YOU – combined.) While she waits, Abbie’s mind wanders back to the catacombs, to her symbol, and the time she nearly let Crane die. The monster can sense the emo coursing through her veins and so it attacks. Abbie’s ready with Robbie’s knife and cuts off the beast’s arm. It regenerates before her eyes. (Cause worms can do that, y’all. SCIENCE.) Sophie reappears just as Abbie’s plan to singlehandedly rid the Sleepy Hollow wilderness of one more ancient demon backfires impressively. Again, the ladies send the Verslinder off to lick (ugh) its wounds. Now, Abbie’s hopeful that they have some time to figure out what they’re dealing with.
Danny’s extreme aversion to danger kept him away from the second Verslinder duel too, but he’s just in time to join the ladies and Robbie to find shelter. (To the commenter who asked me to lay off Danny: I’m sorry, I physically cannot.) The Swiss Family Reynolds sets up shop in an abandoned cabin that coincidentally has nothing of import inside EXCEPT the centuries-old diary that will tell them everything they need to know to defeat their supernatural foe. How fortuitous. Sophie found the handwritten memoirs of a Dutch trapper, one Christopher Dan Pierre, by tearing up the floorboards in one of the bedrooms. (Is that part of FBI survivalist training or just being a bad house guest?) Christopher and his brother Thomas were hired by a nearby village to rid their woods of a monster. With no clear method of killing a regenerating entity (the Daleks: “RIGHT?”), the brothers decide to lock the Verslinder away. Thomas was bit by the creature in the process of entombing it in the well, and it’s long-dead Christopher’s duty to report via diary that his brother did NOT “expire.” Abbie and Sophie are nursing a zombie. A zombie with professional-grade timing.
Danny had already charged out of the cabin to get help in a scene that reminded me of that Jack McFarland quote, “Is that a huff? I think I’ll leave in it,” so it’s ladies v. supernatural Dutch monster yet again. They put Robbie back to sleep and Abbie assesses that he hasn’t completely transformed yet. There’s still a chance to save him. Sophie jokingly throws out “antibiotics” as a solution to the worst case of worms anyone’s ever seen, but Abbie’s wheels start a-spinning. She gets her Rachel Ray on and starts mixing up a 30-minute zombie cure. (If Abbie didn’t need food, water, or sleep in the catacombs, why did she need medicine? And was there even any organic material there to make it from?) Now all they need is “a delivery system.” Annnnnnnnnd I’m going to leave it here for now.
Eighth grade earthworm dissection flashbacks. 9/10 Sandmen for Creepy.
That was the money shot, of course, but there was a lot of other stuff happening at the climbing gym. Jenny knows about the symbol and Abbie’s ride on the struggle bus. They chat about it casually (so casually that Abbie sneaks in a complaint about Crane’s Netflix obsession), proving that by opening up to Crane, Abbie pulled off the band-aid and now comfortably shares the burden. These are their lives now; there’s no point in compartmentalizing the normal and the supernatural. Nor is there value in pretending everything’s okay when Abbie’s state of mind could put the people she loves in danger. When 3/4 of your crew has personally experienced demonic possession, why let shame win the day?
Abbie switches gears to Jenny’s commitment-phobia, joyfully poking fun at her sister’s enraged reaction to Joey’s well-intentioned over-step, that new trailer. (“Didn’t it come with a white-picket fence?”) Give me the missing scene where Joe asks Abbie what he did wrong and Abbie’s like, “Just ask me first next time, dude. I still know my sister better than you.” The thing is, the Mills sisters can laugh about his fuck-up because neither one of them doubts that Master Corbin is A) a really good person, and B) deadass crazy about Jenny. Contrast Joe with the patronizing guy who macks on Abbie by assuming she doesn’t know what she’s doing. (“It can be difficult.) STOP TEACHING THIS TECHNIQUE IN STRAIGHT BOY SCHOOL, IT DOESN’T WORK.
Do you ever miss Frank Irving so much your bones ache? 5/10 Donut Holes for Sass.
Like I said above, I’m baffled by the state of Danny and Abbie’s relationship, especially after this conversation. The only part that made sense to me was this. A lot of valid criticism has been leveled at Sleepy Hollow for making Abbie the object of desire but ensuring that she never get anything out of it. We’ve never seen Abbie in a relationship, or even on a date. Finally, the show is addressing the character’s metaphoric sterilization, and they’re letting Abbie speak to it herself. I love that Abbie is on a truth-telling mission lately, even about subjects that make her uncomfortable. Do I think Danny DESERVES this directness? I don’t know, but I think it makes Abbie feel empowered to face their history head on. I think that she tells him that their thing isn’t “past tense” for her because she’s not – as he has accused her of being – unfeeling. It’s something that she continues to deal with, especially as his employee. (Friendly reminder that Danny didn’t even give her the courtesy of a heads up about that when he was assigned to her office. *angel emoji*) What we’ve been inching closer to throughout this season is Abbie giving herself the opportunity to add a romantic layer to her life. So it’s complicated. What isn’t?
Anyway, if we’re going to get an interim Abbie relationship before the pin is pulled in the Ichabbie grenade, I’ve got my eye on another partner.
One of the reasons that Abbie and Sophie work well together is that Abbie doesn’t claim to be an expert or discount Sophie’s contributions just because Abbie has had more exposure to the unknown. (“You have adjusted to this craziness better than most.”) Abbie respects Sophie’s perspective and allows it to change her. Sophie views this world with wonder, and that starts to color Abbie’s “same old shit but a different day” attitude. “It led you to Crane,” Sophie reminds Abbie when she muses that the supernatural had “taken a lot away” from her. It also reunited her with her sister, though Sophie probably doesn’t know that piece yet. Abbie circles back to Sophie’s comment later to include another blessing in disguise.
Sophabbie? It has a nice ring to it. Don’t worry, Crane hasn’t been fired yet. Look at this smitten loser.
There’s nothing that lights Ichabod Crane up like a project, and there’s no project more important than one that applies to the wellbeing of Grace Abigail Mills. He’s a full-time investigator of the rune from the catacombs now, though by the time Abbie visits him in his “Willy Wonka” lab (“Thank you, lieutenant.”), he’s exhausted his own resources. Crane takes the item to Professor Cranston in Rochester, a scientist who specializes in “arcane materials.” He is delightfully science-y and intrigued by the artifact.
Cranston: It’s warm to the touch, almost as if it has its own power.
Crane: Power? What sort of power?
Cranston: Might be a function of its binary nature. *Crane looks confused* Oh, well, you do know it’s two pieces?
Cranston: Some metals are known to pair, like poles of a magnet. When joined together, they can create energy. Never underestimate the power of a natural bond.
Oh, he NEVER HAS, Bill Nye. Cranston leaves the lab to take a phone call and Crane grabs for the Witness tablet. (He must take it everywhere, for safe-keeping.) He pulls about the two aligned pieces and sees a divot shaped exactly like the rune. Crane plugs the rune into the slot and is hit with a vision. Later he tells Abbie that “vision” isn’t even the right word to describe what the tablet showed him. “I could feel your presence, as if I were in the very room with you,” he says. Because of that rune and that tablet, Sophie and Abbie survived their last attack by the Verslinder. It’s another psychic link between the Witnesses. It’s not evil. No one has been controlling Abbie with it. My head canon? The rune was pulling at Abbie so that the Witnesses would recognize it as a tool for their cause. Will I ever get over the fact that all the advantages Crane and Abbie have over the dark forces that seek to bring them down stem from their unbreakable link to each other? (THE RUNE KNOWS. Everyonnne else in the room can seeee it.) No sooner than than I’ll ever get over this swoony hero moment.
Oh, the possibilities this “I felt your presence” rune/tablet combo opens up for fic writers. The smut practically writes itself.
So The Hidden One is frustrated by the weakness of the monster beacon; Pandora is too reduced to do anything about it without her box. Joenny hear about a Sumerian artifact going on the auction block and shrouded in secrecy. The seller is anonymous and the buyers are jetting in from everywhere for a chance at owning some “real magic.” It’s a shard of Pandora’s box and visibly still active. Joe and Jenny purchase the item out from under a suited veteran buyer called Hans for a cool million. (Just how much money does Joey Corbin HAVE?) Hans is stuck between a rock and a “very motivated buyer” (Walters?), and pulls a gun on Joenny when they try to leave. Pandora has enough power to get Hans out of the way and make a grab for the item herself. ( “I suppose I should thank you for recovering my property.” “Maybe you should take better care of your stuff.”) During Pandora’s showdown with Joenny, Joe touches the box, and we see a side of him we haven’t seen since season 2. The wendiJoe lives, and he is PISSED.
After Pandora leaves empty-handed, Joe tries to pull a Remus Lupin with Jenny. He’s too dangerous to be near her. Pandora put the psychic whammy on him, taunting him about being the very kind of monster he’s trying to fight. But monsters have taken a lot of forms in Jenny’s life, and none of them has ever treated her with the care and respect that Joe does. She’s tried to push HIM away before, with no luck. Now it’s Jenny’s turn to reassure her partner that there’s nothing so terrible or scary about him that it could actually get rid of her. Anyway, the wendiJoe didn’t threaten her; even in his monstrous state, Joe isn’t down to hurt Jenny. (“Remember: you’re in control. You. Joe Corbin. And Joe Corbin is someone I trust with my life.”)
So Pandora gets to see what a real relationship looks like and then heads immediately back to her sham. The Hidden One has got 99 problems and, as far as he’s concerned, Pandora’s inadequacies are all of them. I wish she’d have repeated what she shrieked at Joenny in that warehouse for the benefit of her lousy husband: “No longer will I tolerate anyone’s meddling. My power is my own.” If he had, he might have held back on the berating.
In the end, The Hidden One decides that the Witnesses have gotta go, and they’re going to die by his hand. Now, remember that Pandora doesn’t want them dead. If she did, they would be already. Not only are Pandora and The Hidden One getting on each other’s last nerves; they’re at cross evil purposes. This is now a war for the lives of the Witnesses. And they don’t even know it.
I want to make a “lady in the streets but a freak in the bed” joke about Joey but OOPS I just did. 7.5/10 Golems.
Thoughts for the Archives:
- I’ve been to Rochester, and I see Abbie’s point.
- Here for Jenny comfortingly rubbing Joey’s back while she gears up to drag him again.
- “I had moments, but I knew Crane was out there looking for me. I held on to that.”
- “I’m making that face again, aren’t I?”
- “The answer to this might be self-evident, but how was your survival exercise?” “We survived!”
- Where did Jenny put the box shard to keep hide it from Pandora’s psychic link and why don’t they keep all their valuable artifacts there?
We’ve got nothing but new episodes through the April 8th finale! Have you been tweeting for #RenewSleepyHollow? Let’s discuss this episode below!