“What is there for me in a world without you?” – The Sad Implosion Of Sleepy Hollow

abbie mills smile

Posted by Sage

RIP Head Over Feels and Sleepy Hollow: 2013-2016. With the fridging of Abbie Mills, one half of the show’s core Witness duo, we are completely done.

Sleepy Hollow may still return for a season four, even though the finale did the absolute most to set fire to anything the show ever had going for it. I refuse to do a full recap for that rushed, unfocused catastrophe, because it doesn’t deserve our established ranking system. (Let’s put it all under FU-HOLLOW and be done with it.) But as much as I may reject the narrative killing off Agent Grace Abigail Mills, I will not let her go un-mourned. (An epic “In Appreciation” post is coming soon.) Before we get to some of the many reasons why Nicole Beharie’s portrayal of Abbie will forever be one of our favorite leads in genre television (nay, general television) history, I’ve got some things to say about how this went down.

It’s almost unfathomable how Sleepy Hollow took a shockingly great thing and then slowly and methodically spoiled it. Sleepy Hollow season 1 is Jerry; the showrunners and writers are Andy; and tone-deaf treatment of minority characters is the pie. Tag yourself, I’m Jerry wincing as soon as he realizes he’s about to get it.

jerry pie andy

Look, I know I made excuses for this creative team last season. And for the most part, I’ve felt like the show recovered most of its verve in season 3. I didn’t see the pattern until it was all laid out behind me. But many fans did, because they’ve experienced this betrayal before. Those fans were mostly women of color, who supported this show in part because of Abbie and Jenny Mills, two bright spots in a TV landscape that’s still light years away from being realistically representational. Kim and I have both talked about fan entitlement and how frustrating it is on this blog, but there’s a big difference between entitlement (“If these two characters don’t kiss soon, I’m going to send hate to the writers.”) and being a viewer who is sensitive to ways that stories are twisted (over and over again) to serve one character over another based on some type of difference. I was firmly anti-Hawley and frustrated over the sidelining of Jenny and Frank in season 2. But from my vantage point, I couldn’t see what a dangerous path they were leading Abbie down or why it was so significant that Abbie never had a romantic relationship besides her toothless flirting with Crane. (Scully went on two dates in the whole series, I think.) That’s me, watching from my place of relative privilege. I own up to it, and fuck if the whole downward spiral isn’t clear now. Memo to certain showrunners: it’s freeing to accept that your intent doesn’t mean as much as a certain demographic of your audience’s interpretation of it does. In other words, dear white people: it’s not always about us.

abbie smol

did see that Nicole Beharie seemed to step back in many ways from the show. She stopped attending conventions and doing other press. She rarely tweeted about it. And in one Instagram post that ignited a fan revolt, she stated that she hadn’t been invited to participate in DVD commentaries. (The word from on high was that it was a misunderstanding. A pretty big one.) The reason given for Abbie’s death was that Nicole wanted to leave the show, and I have no doubt that that is true. But we need to talk about why she wanted to do that. Why, when she joined the cast of a network sci-fi drama as the lead, obviously aware that it could go on for several seasons? Why, when she and co-star Tom Mison seemed to have a respectful and rewarding working relationship? Why, when she has no immediate commitments lined up? And why, when her performance was universally praised? Take into consideration the relative silence from set this year, the canceling of their SDCC panel, Tom deleting his Twitter, and most tellingly, Orlando Jones’ exit. This from a show that came out of the gate so strong, endearing itself to critics and quickly building a fandom while being praised for employing a diverse cast with terrific chemistry. These should have been GLORY DAYS.

abbie coming back

You know what grinds my gears? When people simper at actors and call them “classy” for not being explicit about backstage issues in the press. Nicole Beharie has the absolute right to give whatever statement she likes and to keep any issues she may have had with her character and the production to those immediately involved. By no means do I begrudge her that privacy. But the “classy” compliment isn’t a compliment at all; it’s a warning. It implies that if Nicole HAD come out and said that she wasn’t happy and had sought the opportunity to move on that that would somehow be out of line. It’s another way of putting a black actress in her place, and I am viscerally disgusted by it.

nicole yikes

Either way, the writing is on the wall. Stars don’t leave shows if they’re content with the material they’re being given and with their treatment. Another spin that was put on this news (and part of Nicole’s statement) is that Abbie Mills had carried out her role and in fact, there was nothing more for her to do. There’s even a scene in the finale where Abbie tells August Corbin (who she meets in the “waiting room”) that, as far as she was concerned, her life was complete when she made up with her family and Danny (??) and saved Crane. So, not only did the writers kill Abbie when that wasn’t absolutely necessary, they literally TOOK AWAY HER WILL TO LIVE. What those same writers seem to not understand about this backlash is that the most heartbreaking aspect of this death is how it occurred and what it seemed to say about Abbie’s purpose all along. Abbie is young, gorgeous, whip-smart, and incredible at her job. She has a sister and a father with whom she still has to make up lost time. She’s got Danny and Crane both at her feet. And she has goals and dreams of her own that have nothing to do with any of those people. I know she does, even if the people who wrote her don’t. Don’t you dare try to tell me that Abbie Mills didn’t want to suck every moment out of her life.

trying hard

Could this have been handled any more poorly? Many, many leads have exited their shows and not had to do it via tombstone. (As Joe Adalian pointed out, “Shelley Long didn’t die on Cheers.” THANK GOD.) ESPECIALLY on a show that deals in the supernatural on the daily, there are places that Abbie could have gone, perhaps to return to a series finale. OR the show could have done the rational thing: make this season finale the series end – have Crane and Abbie triumph over Pandora, kiss, and walk off into the sunset to Witness some more. Instead, Abbie sacrifices herself to save the world and appears to Crane in a dream to tell him that her reason for existing was to help HIM on his journey. How blinded to your own privilege must you be to not see how patronizing and gross this is? In another scene that I can’t even believe was actually written and shot, Jenny consoles Crane about her own sister’s death, given no opportunity to mourn her herself. And I love me some Ichabod Crane, but in no universe do I want his story prioritized over his partner’s. And guess the fuck what? Neither does he. Not in four or four thousand centuries.

stop talking

Even in death, Abigail Mills got the shaft. SO MUCH was made of her family line, including Grace Dixon, whose journal helped them so many times along the way. Her whole life was shaped by the death of her mother and the temporary loss of her sister. And of course, it was lovely to see August and to see him reunited with his son (WAVES TO JOE); of course, we needed a final Abbie/Ichabod scene. But HOW HOW HOW does no one on the set of a major network drama see the problem in doing what this fantastic tweet describes? The ignorance is staggering. Pay their damn day rates and get those women on set. It’s the least Abbie deserves.

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“It’s the losses that wear me down.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Delaware

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 17
“Delaware” 

Posted by Kim

(Note: I wrote a GOOD portion of this before that disaster of a series season finale. I’m letting what I previously wrote stand and I’m going to TRY and not let my rage color the rest of this, but I make no promises.)

I am not okay.

I may have been REALLY good about avoiding spoilers for this season of Sleepy Hollow but I am also not dumb. The minute Zach Appelman became the point person for all the press concerning “Delaware”, I knew my beloved Joey Corbin was doomed. I tried to convince myself otherwise. He brought too much to the show, I argued. He was an essential part of the gang. He was a tie to Abbie and Jenny’s roots. He brought a totally different type of masculine energy to Team Witness and served as a perfect counterpoint to Ichabod. He PROMISED Jenny he would be the one for her to tell all her crazy stories to when they were old and gray. He was CAPTAIN of the SS Ichabbie. JOEY CORBIN WAS ESSENTIAL. Of course, even as I argued with myself for all the reasons NOT to kill Joe, I realized they were actually all the reasons that OF COURSE they were going to kill Joe. Nobody likes Danny, so no one would bat an eyelash if he died. You CAN’T kill Sophie because she’s Ichabbie’s daughter from the future and time travel is REALLY hard to write about. So that left two options: Joe or Jenny. Considering the revelations about the Family Mills in this episode, it makes zero sense to off Jenny from a storytelling perspective. (Jenny may not be a Witness, but it’s clear to me that she has a bigger role in this story than even she realizes right now.) (Plus, I think Sleepy knows better than to fridge a woman of color at this point in time.) (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AND THEN THE FINALE HAPPENED, I WEEP FOR MY INNOCENCE AND FAITH IN THE SHOW.) Thus Joey Corbin, perfect cinnamon roll, too good and too pure for this world, had to meet his end and Sleepy Hollow wrenched my still beating heart out of my chest and did a tap dance on it.

I told you I wasn’t okay.

Look, I get that Sleepy Hollow is a show about the battle against the apocalypse and Gods and monsters and that sacrifices HAVE to be made along the way or the show would make less sense than it already does. (That’s a compliment. I LOVE your batshit nonsense, show.) And at least Joe’s death was treated with respect unlike other shows currently airing (*cough* THE 100 *cough* JUSTICE FOR LINCOLN *cough*) have done recently. But like Sage raged in her post on Beth Greene’s death on The Walking Dead , the problem that I have with the offing of Joey Corbin is not that it was done but that it was principally done to cause Jenny Mills pain. We’ve seen Jenny BLOSSOM over the course of this season as she’s opened herself up to trusting and loving Joe. It’s been fantastic watching her find solidarity in their relationship and seeing her loosen up on the tightly held grip of her personal life. I’ve seen comments from showrunner Clifton Collins that Joe’s death opens up an “interesting” storyline for Jenny. HA. JENNIFER MILLS IS PLENTY INTERESTING ON HER OWN WITHOUT KILLING OFF HER BOYFRIEND.

Also, I can tell you EXACTLY how this story is going to go. Jenny Mills is not going to be a person who looks at Joe’s death with a perspective of someone who is all “Well I found great love but he died but I FOUND it and I’m totally open to finding it again.” Jenny is going to be “I opened up to this man who promised he was never going to leave me and I allowed myself to love him and guess what? He fucking DIED. So thanks but no thanks but I don’t care for that yucky love stuff and I’m going to be even more closed off than I was before.” If I can predict EXACTLY how a character is going to react, that’s not interesting. It’s cheap. Killing Joe off was CHEAP, even if the WAY it happened was not. The very act of it was cheap. So I weep for the wasted potential of Joe Corbin. There was so much more to explore with him, both as an individual and in his relationship with Jenny and Team Witness. I weep for the interesting stories he still had to tell. (Sage: They had a REAL MONSTER ON THEIR TEAM. Their Angel, their Oz.) I get that the wasted potential is tragic, but it’s a tragedy we didn’t need to push this story forward. Selfishly, I weep that I don’t get to see Zach Appelman’s face every week. It didn’t have to be this way.

So let’s talk about the episode, shall we?

#CreepyHollow and #WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow

After an Ichabbie scene that damn near killed me on the spot, we find Team Witness + Pandora in the archives hashing out their plan to take down The Hidden One. Joe and Jenny are both SUPER Anti-Pandora, pointing out that there is absolutely no way that Pandy isn’t going to screw them in the end. “She’s going to work really hard to gain our confidence and then screw us over again for her megalomaniac boyfriend.” (Agreed that she’s going to screw them over, but I think it’s going to be for her OWN gain because she’s sick of THO stealing her wind. She is her own windkeeper, after all.) I love that Pandora is SO BORED with this shit. “It matters very little if you trust me or not,” she deadpans. (True. Also, I just love Shannyn Sossamon’s performance SO MUCH. ) Just when the party couldn’t GET more lit, it does, because heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Danny, ready to join the mission because he thinks it will get him into Abbie’s pants. I LIVE for how Joe, Jenny, and Sophie all rolled their eyes at his arrival. Ain’t nobody got time for this. Danny and Abbie have a quick heart to heart about him joining the team where they spew cliches like “This is where I want to be” and “If anything happened to you, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself.” I’d believe it if Abbie hadn’t shown more delight at Crane’s cappuccino than she did at Danny’s promise to take them back to the Nicholas Sparks Cabin of Feelings. If you’re going to shove this pairing down my throat, the least you could do is have Abbie show a little enthusiasm. JUST SAYING.

Do not want.

Back to the mission. Apparently, Team Witness has a grand total of eight hours before the sands run out of the hourglass and THO possesses the total power of the pantheon of the Gods. The strategy is as follows: Abbie and Ichabod will go to the catacombs to restore Pandora’s box, whilst the others do everything they can to slow THO down. Danny’s been on the team for all of 5 minutes before he starts questioning everything. He questions the fact that they have so little intel on THO and he questions why BOTH Abbie and Ichabod need to go to the catacombs because his deposit on the Nicholas Sparks cabin is non-refundable, and let’s face it, he’s hoping Ichabod will end up trapped there anyway. Pandora insists that the job can only be done by the two witnesses (and because she ships them and knows they need some time together because she’s watched the past few episodes).  While I side with Jenny in her annoyance that Pandora is keeping herself out of harm’s way by not going WITH Ichabbie, I ALSO see her reasoning in staying behind. She does know THO the best, after all, and she’s the only one who has some sort of semblance of power that can stop him.  So it’s settled.  The Witnesses will cross the river to the catacombs while the rest of the team zeroes in on containing The Hidden One. According to Pandora, THO is on Bear Mountain, which sits on a focal point of ancient energy. According to good old Washington’s journal, the mountain is covered in a bunch of intersecting ley lines whose power can be channeled to fight the powers of the hourglass. “Into the woods, it’s time and so I must begin my journey…”

In the car on the way to the river, Ichabod reflects on his relationship with Betsy Ross. Betsy returned from the catacombs irrevocably changed. Abbie points out that she herself was changed when she returned but Ichabod insists this was different. She returned and completely cut off all communication with him despite their previous closeness. This, kids, is what we call foreshadowing. The Witnesses get their boat on the river and strive to recreate the mural of Washington crossing the Delaware, down to Crane wrapping himself in a blanket. He hands Abbie the flag with a grin. “Would you do the honors?” he smirks and I CAN’T EVEN EXPRESS how important it is to me that he cedes all power to Abbie in this moment. Every little thing that he’s done since it became clear they would have to go back to the catacombs has been done with respect to her agency. He KNOWS what the catacombs did to her and he knows how utterly brave and selfless it is of her to be willing to go back. He leaves it to ABBIE to hold the flag because it allows her the power to say no. What’s even more important is the fact that Abbie DOESN’T say no. She simply cracks a joke about how foolish they will look if this doesn’t work. (“If this doesn’t work, you DO realize that we’re just two people on a boat singing the anthem?”) Abbie unfurls the flag and starts to sing, tentatively at first, but she gains strength as she continues. The flag illuminates on the phrase “Bright Stars” and we’re not in Sleepy Hollow anymore, Toto. Welcome to the River Styx. I had no idea it was located in upstate New York.

After a heart to heart on the boat that I’ll definitely be discussing in the shippy section because MY GOD, Abbie and Ichabod reach the shore only to find that Washington’s original mission clearly went to shit. There are fragments of the boat and bodies ERRYWHERE. Ichabod finds a missive from Betsy on one of the bodies (HOW CONVENIENT) that details just exactly what went down. There was a traitor on the boat (courtesy of our buddy General Howe, REMEMBER HIM?) and he blew the boat up. Washington and Betsy were the sole survivors (because of course). Once again the witnesses discuss that Betsy came back from this mission a completely different person…going as far as to say that she was LITERALLY a different person, just in case we didn’t think we were being hit over the head with the fact that they are most definitely going to find her in the catacombs by the end of the episode.

Meanwhile, the remainder of Team Witness is following Pandora’s magical compass so they can drive stakes into all the ley lines of Bear Mountain. They’ve split up into the combos of Joenny and Danny, Sophie, and Pandora so they can cover ground faster and Danny’s barking out orders as if he’s in charge even though he LITERALLY joined this team ten minutes ago. (PANDORA joined this team before you, Danny, GTFO thinking you are in charge.) Suddenly we get a shot of a flock of birds converging over the mountain and Pandora says “He knows we’re here” and I had to make sure I was watching Sleepy Hollow and not Fellowship of the Ring.  THO conjures a storm and now Team Witness knows they have to go through the Mines of Moria instead of over the Mountain realizes they have GOT to get a move on. One problem though. The storm manages to damage Pandora’s compass and now they have no way of marking the ley lines. Their only hope is a map Jenny has back at her trailer but it will take too much time to retrieve it and bring it back to the mountain. Joey volunteers to go back and then text Jenny the correct coordinates. “Watch your back, babe.” This is me:

Back in the underworld, Abbie and Crane realize they are equally fucked. They have no map or ANYTHING to direct them on how to get to the catacombs. To make it worse, one of the soldiers springs back to life and attacks Crane because the one thing this episode was missing was zombies. Crane and Abbie take out the zombie together (kudos on the blood and guts, show) and Crane discovers a dark magic charm that Howe used to give its wearer eternal life. Really this has no significance to the overall plot except that it makes Crane look closer at Betsy’s missive. It’s encoded with directions to the gateway to the catacombs because Betsy Ross is the smartest person who ever existed, didn’t you know? Abbie and Ichabod stand outside the gateway and Ichabod STILL gives her the ultimate choice. He’s not going anywhere until she says it is okay. “I’m really going back there,” she breathes, steadying herself. “Only this time you’re not alone,” he gently reminds her. “And we have a way out.” In a BEAUTIFUL parallel to the Season One finale, Abbie and Ichabod link their hands (HER HAND IS SO SMALL IN HIS I CAN’T). “Shall we?” MY HEART.

I AM IN PAIN.

Danny is all “I don’t like being blindsided” to Pandora, who just responds with a withering glare because she has no idea how this guy ended up in charge. He sends Jenny out on Hidden One recon with strict orders that she’s not to engage with him (Ha, that’s going to go over well) while he, Sophie, and Pandora distribute the rest of the ley line spikes. Jenny gets in position and finds that she has a clear shot at THO and she wants to take it. Danny ORDERS her not to engage and Jenny’s all “Sorry I can’t hear you. You’re breaking up. AND WHO PUT YOU IN CHARGE?” because NO ONE tells Jenny Mills what to do. She moves into position to take her shot (she’s not throwing it away, y’all) when Joey comes through with the coordinates. GOOD JOB BOO.

Back at the trailer, Joey is locking up so he can rejoin the gang when out of NOWHERE Ezra Mills shows up and immediately things get shady as FUCK. Joey is immediately on edge and Ezra is all “Is this a bad time?” and unease permeates the ENTIRE scene because Ezra is just oozing faux-innocence. I am pretty sure Sage and I broke bones in each other’s hands in this moment because we were SO afraid that Ezra was a baddie in this moment. On the mountain, an unfortunate snapped twig gives away Jenny’s presence and THO knocks her over and drags her to him using his magic. “It almost impresses me,” THO sneers. “The insatiable mortal desire to fight what you cannot possibly conquer.” Jenny, precious and brave sunflower, refuses to be cowed. “I don’t know what I hate about you most: the way you talk or the way you treat women.” TEN POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR. It’s a glorious retort but it’s also a reckless one because it turns THO’s eyes on how best to torture Jenny. “I know well the value mortals place on love. Let me take yours and turn it into pain.” (This line also strengthens my point that what happens to Joe was done EXCLUSIVELY to cause Jenny pain over anything else.)

WHO ARE YOU EZRA MILLS?

At the trailer, Joey grimaces as a mystical light surrounds him. “You need to run,” he croaks at Ezra, his face contorted with pain. He turns into the Wendigo right in front of Ezra’s eyes. “It seems like you’re having a really bad day, son.” Ezra is AFRAID but he’s strangely NOT freaking out. HMMMMM. Ezra runs, because he’s no fool, but it is almost like he was expecting this to happen to Joe. Curiouser and curiouser.

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“Welcome to the club.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Dawn’s Early Light

height difference

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 16
“Dawn’s Early Light”
Posted by Sage

That thing I really didn’t want to happen happened. But Crane met another in-law and fell all over himself to make a good impression, so I think it’s all going to be cool. Let’s look at the rankings to be sure.

#CreepyHollow/WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow

eternal soldier eternal soldier 2
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Danny. Though, I’ve been in Monster Club long enough to know that your bullets are of no consequence for a colonial demon like the Eternal Soldier. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sleepy Hollow went balls to the historical wall in “Dawn’s Early Light,” tying Betsy Ross’s flag, Francis Scott Key, and the crossing of the Delaware to the Sumerian catacombs and The Hidden One’s ancient agenda. I fear that this storyline is bringing us closer to welcoming Betsy Ross to the present, because I’m not feeling very welcoming at the moment. I’ll give her this though: the first time I really felt anything akin to…well, a feeling for Betsy was when she ruefully predicted to Crane that the clandestine nature of her heroic activities would mean that she’d likely be best remembered by history for sewing a piece of fabric while the men who relied on her would be remembered as heroes. Who lives, who dies, who tells your story, amirite?

Anyway, Pandora has taken on a pesky neighbor role in the Sleepy Scooby gang. Crane finds her rummaging through the Witnesses’ stuff in the masonic cell and they have a testy – though nonviolent – conversation. If Pandora wasn’t completely finished with being The Hidden One’s unpaid intern before, she certainly is after he compares her to “a house pet who comes to expect feasts instead of table scraps.” (Excuse you.) She tells Crane that all those times she unleashed demons on his neighbors, facilitated murders, and threatened the lives of everyone that he and Abbie love are all water under the bridge and could she have her box back, please? (I also love that Pandora was like, “Ask Abbie. Abbie knows,” like a kid who’s accustomed to playing both her parents. “But Daaaaaad, Mom already said I could go to the mall!”) Unfortunately for the mortal, the only place where Pandora can reconstruct her box isn’t exactly on the Sleepy Hollow historical walking tour. The Witnesses and Pandora need to find their way back to the catacombs, and they need to do it within 48 hours. Who knew gods operated within a modern concept of time? The Hidden One knows all, apparently, including the date of his season finale.

Crane breaks the news to Abbie that her former prison plays a big role in the saving of the world. He lets her be the one to decide if they go back (more on that in Shippy because oh my god); it’s sweet, but I think he already knows the answer. Now, to figure out how a couple of human beings can cruise over to the land of the gods without a deified expert. As with many of the Witnesses’ discoveries this season, Betsy Ross did it first. She retrieved the Eye of Providence for Paul Revere; her cutlass showed Abbie the way out of the catacombs. They know she was there. Crane remembers the last time he ever laid eyes on Betsy – while General Washington (rise up) was about to embark on his Christmas Day voyage across the Delaware River. Perturbed to not be invited, Crane sits with Betsy while the general prepares, and admires the flag she’s finishing. Betsy knows more than she’s willing to say to Crane, but she does beg him to consider the general’s real reasons for leaving him behind. Crane is too important to the future of the country and indeed, this plane of existence. Did Washington know Crane was a Witness and had responsibilities far beyond the Revolution? Whether he did or not, it’s still pretty sobering to think that Betsy was considered, in some ways, expendable.

Abbie, Jenny, and Joe don’t require much convincing to get on board with the best piece of Sleepy Hollow twistory in this half of the season. The trip across the Delaware was actually a trip to the Sumerian catacombs. (Abbie barely raises an eyebrow when she suggests the Delaware was blanketed with a “mystical fog ” that day.) Fortunately, a mural of that shining moment in this great American experiment is painted directly on the walls of the archives for easy research access. Crane notes that one of the men in the mural is wearing Betsy’s rabbit fur hat; Betsy was on that boat. (Pause for the bro moment where Joe tells Crane that Betsy probably didn’t tell him she was involved in the mission because she didn’t want him to worry. Boys looking out for other boys’ feelings, bless.) It’s a bit of a leap getting from the boat to the Orpheus myth, but Abbie reminds the room that the legend says the fabled figured used a lyre strung with golden thread to enter the underworld in pursuit of Eurydice. The same thread, she guesses, that Betsy used to make the stars in the stars and stripes “shimmer.” (The way Tom Mison says “shimmer” though. I felt that everywhere.)

crane joe

The flag is the key then, and Master Corbin knows exactly where they should look first. Crane remembers seeing the flag last with Paul Revere; Joey remembers going on a field trip to Paul Revere’s house in grammer school. (I’m surprised August didn’t pack a list of artifacts to steal – I mean “rescue” – in Joe’s bagged lunch.) Ichabbie use Abbie’s FBI privileges to get a private walk around the grounds, but no shimmering stars do they find. The flag has been replaced by one that’s both more drab and less supernaturally significant than Betsy’s. Their conversation about where the original could possibly be is interrupted by a cloud of smoke. The docent panics that someone turned on the smithy. Instead of leaving like he tells them to (please), Ichabbie go to the basement to check it out. The walls are of the room are hot to Abbie’s touch and for good reason. There’s a flaming zombie in the building and he is not happy that the Witnesses are poking around in his stuff. To be fair to Danny, Abbie also tries to shoot at the fiery demon, but to no avail. Crane and Abbie get thrown around like rag dolls for a bit, but they’re able to hold their attacker back long enough to make a break for it. They make it safely to their car; the demon melts into the pavement. That’s Ichabbie in a nutshell, isn’t it? They visit a historical landmark and leave it in flames. Can’t take them anywhere.

ichabbie running

Crane observes that the demon was wearing the uniform of the 8th Virginia regiment. Those troops were captured at the Battle of Monmouth (where Charles Lee shit the bed, as we all know); some soldiers “defied orders and escaped.” The Sisters of the Radiant Heart did the only reasonable thing they could think of: they tarred and bandaged the soldier they recovered with “infernal materials.” (Abbie’s expression at this says, “It took you HOW long to realize your wife was crazy?”) Crane identifies this demon as a guard of this place – and not a great one, since he once let someone get away with the original Betsy Ross flag. BUT WHO.

Back at the archives, Joenny study the photos Abbie sent over of the Revere House flag. That impostor is riddled with holes, but not the kind you’d expect from moths or burns. They’re almost symmetrical, and therefore probably there on purpose. “Why stripes?” Joey asks about our country’s first flag, and if the Doctor were there, he’d bestow a brilliant smile or at least an eyebrow raise for asking the right question. The stripes are the staff; the holes are the music notes. (“Wanna play ‘Name That Tune’?”) Joe and Jenny plot the song out, and discover that it’s an old favorite. “Oh say can you see,” Jenny intones, incredulous. AMERICA.

Ah, BUT: Francis Scott Key didn’t write the National Anthem until the War of 1812, long after Washington and Betsy crossed into the catacombs. That alone is a clue to the real flags whereabouts. Key was a mason, therefore aware of the supernatural threat to the young nation. He removed Betsy’s flag from Revere’s house for safekeeping when the British were ransacking important sites and left a hint to its whereabouts in the form of a song that would one day be warbled by Arianna Grande before the NBA All-Star Game. (I have no idea if this happened, but it just sounds right.) Ichabbie head out to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where Key composed “The Star Spangled Banner”; Joenny stay behind to work on a weapon to use against the Eternal Soldier.

Abbie and Crane are waylaid in the carpark, first by Danny and then by the return of the demon. It’s Danny’s turn to wonder what the DAMN hell is going on, and this time right in front of his face. Also, it just so happens that this demon can THROW FIRE BALLS like he’s some kind of Sonic the Hedgehog level boss. Danny is all, “FBI, FREEZE” and the Eternal Soldier is like, “lol, right.” Again, the Witnesses (this time with Danny in tow) make it into their vehicle just in time to evade a hot and smokey death. That’s when Danny gets a rushed and overdue talk about the birds and the bees and the Revolutionary undead. “He’s a demon, a monster, a cursed spawn of hell,” Abbie summarizes. “Monsters are real and they’re here in Sleepy Hollow.” Danny, bless his heart, looks almost relieved. His best agent is a demon hunter. Her roommate is her partner. This answers almost all his questions. Still, he goes straight to Sophie once Ichabbie drop him off. (Mom and Dad have to go save humanity now, honey.) “I was wondering how you and Mills got so close so quickly,” Danny says. (Sophabbie shipper trash!) Sophie basically tells Danny to put his big girl panties on and deal with it. There’s no time to be scandalized by demons occupying Sleepy Hollow when there are DEMONS OCCUPYING SLEEPY HOLLOW. There are “responsibilities,” she says. “Consequences.” Get on board or get out of the way, basically. She says it nicer than I would have.

ichabbie flirting

Elsewhere in the colonies, Ichabbie approach Fort McHenry, tenderly bleeding the life out of me with their height difference. Abbie wonders aloud why the grounds of an American fortress would be home to a “42 foot statue of Orpheus.” Insert Keenan Thompson “You KNOW why” gif. (Because of Those Crazy Masons, coming to CBS this fall.) There’s a lyre carved into the base of the statue, with real moving pieces. Abbie presses on of the stone buttons and finds that it gives. She throws Crane an amused and triumphant look. “Any requests?” “You know the tune,” he answers. Is it Bruno Mars’ “Marry You”? Because it’s a beautiful night, and if you two are looking for something dumb to do, I can think of a few ideas. Instead, Abbie plays the first few bars of Key’s melody and an entrance opens. Betsy’s flag isn’t the only artifact inside the composer’s secret clubhouse, but it’s the one that the Witnesses AND the Eternal Soldier have come for. The creature corners Abbie and Crane just as Crane gets his hand on the fabric, and matters are looking grim. Miraculously, Jenny appears out of nowhere like and hoses the demon down with some liquid nitrogen. The Eternal Soldier freezes where it stands, leaving Joey free to enact the second phase of Team Joenny’s plan. He whacks the supernatural guard with a shovel and its tarred body shatters into pieces. “Science,” Joe announces to the group, just BARELY concealing a grin. I am going to miss him when he dies, and he is MOST CERTAINLY going to die. “You guys okay?” he follows up. Crane shakes out his coat, wholly unsurprised that the other half of this never-ending double date bailed him and his Biblical Life Partner out yet again. “A little singed.”

The Eternal Soldier is a cross between a ’90s video game villain and the Nicholas Cage movie Ghostrider, so not the scariest Sleepy Hollow monster we’ve ever seen. But I’m fully behind the theory that General Washington was leading a cavalry to the underworld like an utter boss. 5/10 Sandmen for Creepy, 7/10 Golems for WHATHEDAMNHELL.

#SassyHollow

The day has arrived. Birds are chirping, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and my skin is the clearest it’s ever been. Sleepy Hollow referenced Hamilton. We’ve been waiting in the wings for you.

The integration happened as organically as it could have. The historical society guide at the Revere House tells Ichabbie that attendance numbers have increased along with the public’s hunger for anything having to do with the A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R (we are, meant to be). Yes, Crane finally learns of the existence of an Alexander Hamilton stage phenomenon and he thinks the people who made it must be outta their GOD DAMN MINDS.

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Abbie’s face. She saw this coming as clearly and surely as the rest of us. Of course, the rest of us also know that Crane would be the most embarrassing piece of Hamiltrash on the planet if he ever got the chance to see the show. His passion for art and the written word were on full display in that gorgeous monologue he delivered last week, and Hamilton is a shining example of what vision, creativity, and sheer patriotism can produce. TELL me that Chris Jackson wouldn’t bring that sappy bastard to tears with “One Last Time.”

Ichabbie field trip to the Richard Rodgers in Season 4. I need to see Crane’s coif under that A.Ham hat. That’s reason enough to renew the show.

My head canon is that Crane went to soirees at the home of the Schuylers and would always make an effort to engage Peggy in conversation when she looked lonely and ignored. 7.5 Donut Holes for Sassiness. #YayHamlet

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“You are the most devious of creatures.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Incommunicado

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 15
“Incommunicado”

Posted by Kim

#RenewSleepyHollow. That is all. Let’s do this.

#CreepyHollow

A group of middle-aged guys desperately trying to cling to their dreams gather in a garage for band practice. The lead guitarist Kyle abandons their post-punk indie aesthetic in favor of shredding on his guitar. This angers his bandmates and Kyle threatens to pull a Zayn (excuse me, ZAYN), which apparently is a weekly thing. Kyle decides to stay (FOR NOW) and they get back into rehearsing. They barely get their groove on when all the sound suddenly vanishes from the room and a cloud of smoke appears. The cloud dissipates, revealing a woman with long black hair, ghostly white skin, and a terrifying mouth (her look is really keeping with the Japanese Horror movie look of the season). She lets out one HELL of a scream. The men keel over in agony. Blood spatters on the garage windows. I mean, that’s one way of saying she’s not a fan of the post-punk aesthetic, isn’t it?

 

Of course, we know this creature is a Wailing Banshee (even when the witnesses don’t) and quite frankly I’m surprised that it took Sleepy Hollow this long to get to this particular monster. Sophie is one of the first agents on the crime scene. All the victims have had their eardrums ruptured. Being that she’s become such an integral part of the Scooby gang, she calls Abbie into the office immediately when she sees something fishy on the recording of the rehearsal session. She proudly informs Abbie that she made off with the video before anyone else saw it. “You are getting good at this,” Abbie smirks. (STOP FLIRTING WITH HER, SHE IS YOUR DAUGHTER FROM THE FUTURE.) (Yes, I enjoy that theory SO MUCH.) The girls divvy up duties like PROS (seriously, has Sophie always been here? She fits in so seamlessly), with Abbie planning on consulting with Crane while Sophie takes the video to Joenny so they can clean it up and get a better handle on what they are dealing with.

Of course, everything goes to shit when Abbie realizes that The Hidden One has paid Crane a visit, but we’ll get into the in the #WHATTHEDAMNHELL section.

At the Trailer de la Joenny, they a get right to trying to isolate what EXACTLY blew the eardrums of the band members, other than their own music. After trying to isolate the sound to no avail, it FINALLY clicks with Jenny that the creature is a banshee. (Abbie on the phone: Is that the screeching bird woman thing? Jenny: That’s a harpy.) With Abbie occupied by Pandora and The Hidden One, Jenny agrees to take on the banshee. TEAMWORK. Her investigation takes them to an Irish Pub, where Jenny gets advice from her cute pageboy hat wearing bartender buddy Connor. (JOEY’S FACE THOUGH. He’s so jealoussssssss.) While Connor advises that Jenny should just run away from the banshee (smart lad), he does tell her that the Banshee can be killed with ancient iron and that she is clearly lured by a ruckus (which makes sense as to why she was attracted to ZAYN’s Kyle’s shredding). Joe, Jenny, and Sophie make a pit stop at a graveyard to filch some ancient iron and then they drive around in ambulance (nice nod to the fact that Joey is an EMT and not just a tight henley wearing cutie) with the sirens blaring. The Banshee’s cloud of smoke appears and the Scoobies protect themselves with flimsy foam earplugs because that product placement deal with Bose Noise Canceling Earphones fell through at the last-minute. The ear plugs prove don’t do much to stifle the wail, but they work well enough Jenny to be aware enough to check her texts before they pull the trigger on the crossbow. Welp. Abbie needs the banshee alive for reasons I PROMISE I am getting to. The Banshee gets away and Jenny calls Abbie to let her know that this plan to capture it alive is batshit crazy but Abbie gives no fucks because Crane is in danger.

Always check your texts before you kill any monsters, kids.

We’ve been saying it ALL SEASON but MAN the lighting department is killing it. The scene where they lured the Banshee with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony was absolutely GORGEOUS. They manage to capture her (“Who would’ve thought you could hogtie a banshee with an industrial sound blanket and iron cable? It’s always the darnedest things.”) but things go to shit once they bring the Banshee to another beautifully lit warehouse. Joe and Jenny think that it’s an appropriate time to talk about the whole WendiJoe aspect of their relationship and the banshee wrestles free of her sound blanket because they are distracted. Jenny is in SERIOUS trouble and Joey acts on complete instinct and kills the banshee on the spot. “I didn’t have a choice,” He gasps and my heart soars because even when their relationship is fraught, Joey puts Jenny’s life first. Sophie is none too pleased though. “Who’s gonna tell Mills that we knocked off her monster? Hmmm? NOT IT.”

Of course we know that Team Witness has ANOTHER monster at their disposal, so let’s get to WHATTHEDAMNHELL, shall we?

But WHAT would the Banshee think of Zayn’s new record? 4 out of 10 Sandmen. 

#WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow

Crane is alone in the archives, still trying to crack the logistics of the rune and the connection it forges with Abbie, when he hears the door open. He grins, thinking Abbie has come back for another round of pastry induced foreplay (SERIOUSLY JUST DO IT). “If you do not come bearing cruller…” he starts, but then he looks up and finds not his wife, but the Hidden One, resplendent in another outfit from Demon Anthropologie. RUH-ROH. It seems THO has FINALLY decided to take action rather than sitting around and pouting about how inadequate Pandora is.  “You and the ones you lead have dared to lay a hand on my consort,” he growls, as he supernaturally chokes Crane. (Consort? STFU, I hate you.) “You have all forgotten your place and for that you will pay the ultimate price.” THO demands to know where Abbie is and the way Crane steels himself to protect her at all costs adds years to my life. “You should know I’ve died before,” Crane states, a determined glint in his eye. “I do not fear dying again.” THO continues to threaten Abbie’s life, promising to make her death slow and excruciating, and you actually SEE Crane’s resolve weaken when he thinks about Abbie being in pain, but he holds strong. Suddenly, the rune comes to life, protecting Crane and spreading a blue light all across the room. “Thura,” THO gasps. WHO?

Abbie returns to the Archives only to have the doors blow her back as if electrocuted. She panics and runs through the tunnels trying to find an alternate route that will allow her into the archives; it is there where she encounters Pandora, who just looks bored by the whole thing. “Please lower that ineffectual weapon, Witness,” Pandora drawls, metaphorically filing her nails. “I am not in the mood.” She goes on to tell Abbie that the Emblem of Thura (WHO?) has been activated for the first time in 4000 years. The emblem feeds on the power of the imprisoned so it is getting stronger and stronger thanks to THO’s exceeding amount of Male Privilege. The only way to calm him down? “That would be me,” Pandora states. (OOOOOOKAAAAAAY WHATEVER YOU SAY.) Nothing can penetrate the barrier but Pandora has done it before, surely you can do it again, right? “When I last released him, my box was in tact and my powers were at their peak,” Pandora says innocently (I mean she may as well be batting her eyes).  Oh, so THAT’S where this is headed, isn’t it? Abbie refuses to give Pandora what she wants right away, insisting that they can find another way. Hence the need for bringing in the Banshee alive so Pandora can harness its evil and direct it towards the barrier.

Inside the archives, Crane awakes to THO ineffectually trying to break the barrier, even though he KNOWS he can’t and he’s only making it stronger. (You jag.) Crane is all “Would you STOP you’re going to kill us, you asshole,”  but THO’s need to be the most superior being in the room runs way too deep. (God-Privilege, amirite?) “The emblem’s more powerful than you, isn’t it?” Crane smirks, barely holding back his glee. “And I thought today would bear no fruit.” Crane turns to what he knows best in these situations: his beloved books. THO calls him a nerd because he has a high-school jock mentality. Crane isn’t bovered though. He’s the furthest thing from it actually, as he launches into what is quite possibly my favorite Crane speech of the entire series.

Crane: Listen…Duke Ellington. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Miles Davis, the artist formerly known as Prince, the political passion of Bob Dylan and Nina Simone, the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare’s sonnets, odes by Yeats. The works of Austen, Dostoyevsky, Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Leonardo Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo. Picasso! The fearless lens of Diane Arbus, and the sublime squiggle of Charles M. Schulz. What you call pablum is, in fact, inspiration, and it is forged in the enduring soul of humanity. You may know everything.. but you understand nothing.

First of all, Tom Mison, your Shakespearean training is showing. WOULD YOU LET ME LIVE? Second, this is EVERYTHING I love about Ichabod Crane as a hero wrapped up in one beautiful monologue. Much like The Doctor, Ichabod is a character who values the power of wisdom and wit over brute strength. He is a Ravenclaw, through and through. (Abbie and Jenny are Gryffindors, though The Sorting Hat had a hard time with Jenny. Joey is a Hufflepuff. Come at me in the comments if you disagree.) Ichabod will always turn to his brain in times of crisis before he takes any sort of action. It’s the best and most maddening thing about him. REBELLIOUS BOOKWORM INDEED.

THO is not moved by Crane’s rhapsodizing on art. All art is made to worship HIM after all. (You JAG.) He decides to hit Crane where it hurts by going after the REASON he thrives on knowledge. And BOY does he drop a truth bomb. “You’ve always lived to please; to serve…your father, Washington, Jefferson. No room to question your own wants or identity. Even your role as Witness was inherited through your bloodline. That wasn’t a choice. You didn’t know? Your life was mapped out long before you were even born. So, how could you ever be anything more than that boy in the stables, reading books in the dark?”

Um. WUT. I think Crane and I made the same face in that moment. There’s a big difference in being chosen to be a Witness and the fact that it was your destiny, a destiny that has been passed down from generation to generation. The very core of destiny is the fact that it’s unavoidable but for some reason the whole generational thing really seems to punch Crane in the stomach. How many of Ichabod and Abbie’s ancestors has The Hidden One defeated before? It’s a sobering thought. Then, THO lands a final blow. He uses his powers to read all the books in the archives. There is nothing there that will help them defeat the emblem’s prison. In a word, they are pretty fucked. Time for Crane to eat his feelings. ALSO HOW IS THERE NOT A GIF OF THAT? Get it together, gif-making fandom. Crane shows THO the Sumerian Tablet and he confirms that it depicts Crane’s ancestors. “If I am trapped, the Lieutenant is searching for a way to release me.” HIS FAITH IN HER SAVING HIM IS SO UNSHAKABLE, I CAN’T BREATHE. THO scoffs at this, refusing to believe that Pandora would stoop to working with Abbie. “Humor me, bro. How can we help them if they did team up? I don’t want to die today,” Crane says. (Well, he basically says that anyway.) THO admits that if he were to work a spell the same time as Pandora, they might be able to diffuse the barrier. The trick is for them to do it at the same time. Ichabod admits that the psychic connection the Emblem provides has been intermittent at best, so there is no way that they can guarantee a sync. “The cuneiform alphabet you used to translate it is 600 years too young,” THO admits. Crane smirks and extends his pen. TIME TO GET TO WORK, BRO.

Back in the tunnels, Abbie and Company are pondering what they are going to do now that they have a dead banshee on their hands. “We need another monster,” Pandora says, looking straight at Joey. You actually SEE the moment it clicks for him…it’s like he’s been waiting for someone to bring it up ever since the banshee died. Abbie and Jenny blanch at this option, but bless Joey’s pure Hufflepuff soul…he KNOWS this is the only way they will be able to get to Crane before THO’s Privilege blows them all to pieces. “What will happen to me?” he asks in a small voice. (BABY.) He may die he may not, who the hell knows? “Will it be gone forever?” (LET ME LOVE YOU JOEY.) Maybe, maybe not. Joey decides that the slim chance that Pandora’s spell will draw the Wendigo out of him forever is worth the risk, both for him and for his future with Jenny. Screw the whole potentially dying thing. Joe Corbin is IN. BLESS.

 

Abbie goes all mama bear on Pandora, basically saying that she’s going to END HER if Joe dies. Joe and Jenny share an Empire Strikes Back moment that I’ll discuss in much more detail later. It’s go time. Joey loses his shirt because the showrunners know we’ve been begging to see Zach’s pecs since NYCC and he steps inside the mystic circle Pandora has set up. He HAS to stay in the circle for Pandora to be able to harness the magic. Joey transforms and immediately fights against the circle. Pandora doesn’t try very hard to contain him and is basically like “Welp. That didn’t work. Guess we should kill him,” which raises red flags ERRYWHERE. Jenny manages to get WendiJoe to get back into the circle because LOVE WINS ALWAYS and Pandora gets to work. She is able to harness WendiJoe’s POWER and you can see how the spell is torturing him, physically separating the Wendigo for his Human Self. It’s awful. Finally Pandora gets to her endgame. “I can harness the power of the beast, but I can not direct it with precision. The Box, Abbie. Any fragments that you have in your possession…I need them now.” Abbie is all BITCH I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’VE BEEN PLAYING ME THE WHOLE TIME AND NOW IT’S SUPER AWKWARD BECAUSE JOE’S LIFE IS AT STAKE AND I HAVE TO GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT. But really…who didn’t see this coming? Abbie definitely did…but she did it anyway because deep down she knows that she and Crane can beat Pandora, even with her box. She still reserves her right to be pissed off though.

Pandora claims she has no secret motive and she’s so earnest in that moment, I almost believe her. Shannyn Sossamon has been turning in one HELL of a performance this season and she takes it to the next level when she admits Pandora’s deepest darkest secret. “It’s my fault,” she confesses.  “All of it. My love’s entrapment. Then, and now. It was I who told the human servants long ago of the Emblem’s power. To make them feel safe in our alliance. I never thought they would use it against him. But they did. I walked the earth 4,000 years, trying to release him from their imprisonment…only to err again. Because I knew you had it. I knew you had the Emblem, and I did not tell him.”

My question is…WHY didn’t Pandora tell him about the Emblem? BECAUSE SHE’S BEEN LOOKING TO END HIM THIS WHOLE TIME, THAT’S WHY. Pandora says it herself. She is the most devious of all creatures. So why is she keeping a secret this monumental from the one she loves, from the one she’s walked the Earth 4000 years for? Because she wants to be her own windkeeper, that’s why. She can play up the sob story to Abbie and Jenny for all its worth, but those are crocodile tears my friends. What Pandora isn’t counting on in that moment is the fact that Crane and THO have opened up the psychic connection and are watching this shit go down. “She KNEW,” THO snarls. Pandora, you in danger, gurl.

Abbie turns over their shards of Pandora’s box because when it comes down to it, like Crane, she will always choose one of her friends’ lives over a short-sighted victory. The box gives Pandora the energy she needs to harness the spell and the barrier is broken. Joey collapses to the ground, still alive, thankfully. Is the Wendigo actually gone? IT BETTER BE.

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“Never underestimate the power of a natural bond.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Into the Wild

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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.

#CreepyHollow

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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.

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Sophie and Abbie bond (more on that later); Abbie mocks Danny’s inability to read a map. It’s all normal Sleepy Hollow forest stuff until it becomes normal Sleepy Hollow forest stuff. Danny and Robbie spot an ancient well; the enclosure freshly broken “from within.” Cool. They note the Dutch markings in the stone framing the drop, but neither knows how to read it. Robbie takes photos to send to the rangers, you know, so some unassuming golden retriever doesn’t chase a squirrel and end up plummeting 30 feet into this a creepy Dutch pit filled with wooden shoes, or whatever. Neither Robbie or Danny seem particularly fussed that something BROKE OUT of this sealed well, and they don’t bother telling the ladies.

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.”

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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.

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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.

#SassyHollow

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So on the same day that Kim and I are invited to Witness Brunch, we’re also tagging along with the Mills sisters in whatever physical activity they choose. Not to participate, of course. Just to watch them embarrass mansplaining gym-goers just by being themselves.

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.

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Speaking of Joenny, Joe’s girlfriend isn’t letting Mr. Steer The Boat off the hook for replacing her entire HOUSE. But hey, Joe didn’t fall in love with Jenny because he wanted some soft, submissive thing. He was drawn to her independence, adventurousness, and ability to disarm a man twice her size. They’re the white hat Bonnie and Clyde, and Joe wouldn’t have it any other way. Still, I hope she never lets him live this down.

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Maybe this part of the recap ought to be in Shippy, but you know what? This is my blog and I am hella confused about Danny and Abbie right now. I don’t buy for one hot second that Danny didn’t somehow arrange for him to be in Abbie’s exercise team, and I don’t think Abbie did either. He stares directly at Abbie even though he’s pretending to ask if the set-up is “good with everyone.” (I don’t mean that he GAVE Ramirez appendicitis, but like, he could have reconfigured his personnel.) I do think his character suffered for the show wanting to keep him in the dark about the supernatural nature of their little wilderness problem. But I am still giving myself permission to be irritated by his response to Abbie’s attempt to “clear the air.” When Danny’s controlling the conversation, all he wants to DO is talk about personal shit with her. Now that Abbie’s “steering the boat,” he can’t take it.

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Honestly, Danny? MAKE UP YOUR MIND. This petulance isn’t going to get you laid. When Abbie leads, she LEADS. She does what needs to be done, she utilizes her teammates (in this case, Sophie), and she doesn’t throw away any time grandstanding about being in charge. Danny literally gave a speech about his duty to the mission and all it did was waste daylight. (“You don’t get it, I’m in charge. If someone’s hurt, I get help. If someone’s in trouble, I save them.”) When Abbie doesn’t respond to his advances by leaping into his arms, Danny calls “frigid.” He could learn a few things from Abbie’s cold response to rock-climbing guy. Accusing Abbie of selfishness? Of not doing her job? What exactly is he trying to accomplish?  He’s starting to talk about Abbie like an “asset” instead of a person. And while WE know that’s what she is to him, Danny would probably prefer if she didn’t just yet.

Do you ever miss Frank Irving so much your bones ache? 5/10 Donut Holes for Sass.

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“I’m still standing, and so are you.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Sins of the Father

wine

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 12
“Sins of the Father”
Posted by Sage

Two Sleepy Hollow recaps in ONE WEEK? Our tardiness (and battle with avian flu) is your gain. And how about this nice little stretch of episodes? The new team structure is gelling, the wine is breathing, and Pandora is ready to chop the Hidden One’s dick off at ANY MINUTE. Life is good. To the rankings!

#CreepyHollow

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Whelp, Atticus Nevins is not, in fact, dead. Though his face and torso have seen better days. After a Pandora/Hidden One domestic that I will be covering in WhatTheDamnHell because WHAT THE DAMN HELL, an overly confident Sleepy Hollow cop collars their top fugitive in the forest. (Strange that they’d assume him alive after Pandora performed an impromptu splenectomy on him in the back of a prisoner transpo van, with the ensuing blood spatter and all. Anyhoo.) Since Nevins is on the top of the FBI’s Most Wanted list, red shirt cop declines back-up. He even tells his prisoner to “STAY PUT” when red shirt moves to check out a suspicious noise in the trees. Captain Irving would be ashamed at this level of training, I tell ya. A creature comes into the clearing and attacks red shirt while Nevins looks on, horrified. He did stay put though.

Nevins’ next move is to contact his demon-hunting nemeses. Abbie receives a text from a blocked number with a message and a map. “If you want to save lives meet me now. Come alone.” See, red shirt? You can only do that shit if your name is in the opening credits. Abbie does as her midnight mystery texter says (it was 8pm, I just wanted to use a Friends reference) and meets Nevins in the dark woods. Can I just say that I love Abbie’s blatant distaste for everything about that man? (“I don’t know if you’re stupid or crazy.”) Still, what he shows her is worth seeing. “You saw what did this?” she asks about the officer’s mutilated body. “It’s unstoppable,” he tells her. He offers his help, though it won’t come for free.

Ichabbie watches from outside the Masonic cell while Joenny interrogates their prisoner. (Now this is the kind of double date that suits this foursome.) Joey is all huffy, and Jenny isn’t inclined to give Nevins an inch of give either. Nevins prompts Joey to lift up his shirt to reveal his most impressive scar. It’s a crude incision across his torso that provokes an instant response from his interrogators. (I’m disgusting, I want to know what implement Pandora used. A fingernail, mayhaps?) He lays out his terms: money, a passport, and safe passage out of the country. (Jenny: “Thanks, we’ll find the monster ourselves.”) Crane, who’s been watching a lot of Food Network, sees an opportunity to try out one of his pal George Washington’s (riiiise up) interview tactics. They tap out Joenny, and Ichabbie make their appeal. Abbie tells Nevins in no uncertain terms that his compensation will be based entirely on the usefulness of his information, and that no guarantees are going to be made. This isn’t a mattress store, my dude. Crane unveils his bargaining chip with a flourish: a meal of roast chicken, potatoes and vegetables. Perhaps he’s gunning for a sous-chef position at Colonial Times.

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Sophie joins the party at the archives, but her patience is thin. She yanks the tray away from Nevins (read your Emily Post, sir) and dumps out the rest of his meal. It’s time to start talking. Nevins tells the group about a strange experience he and August Corbin had during their tour in Iraq in ’91. He had heard of a cave on the border that housed a small horde of gold. A contingency of four men (Nevins, Corbin, and two others) snuck away from their camp on a secret mission of greed. They almost trip over the gold bars once they’re inside the structure, and Corbin warns that the whole thing has been too easy. Nevins has actual dollar signs in his eyes, and doesn’t want to hear that shit. They’re caught off-guard then by a vicious creature that leaps out of the shadows and takes out the two no-names. Corbin fires at the Gollum-looking ghoul (but like a tall Gollum), and he and Nevins escape with their lives and even a little bit of scratch. Corbin was obsessed with the supernatural from that moment on, Nevins tells the Scoobies. And Nevins, well, he would know that creature anywhere. It’s the same one he saw the previous night in the woods.

They don’t have to sit around and question what it is, Nevins says. Corbin did the legwork for him. Sophie and Abbie reluctantly uncuff him so he can rifle through their mini-Corbin archive.  In front of his son, Nevins calls his war buddy and the guy who saved his life more than once a “paranoid bastard.” He’s not wrong. One of the drawers in his filing cabinet has a false bottom; underneath it is the file on the very first demon August Corbin researched. And in that file, is the advantage the Scoobies are looking for. The ghoul can be controlled, but only by the person who possesses a particular golden scarab. Ummmm, have you tried the Anthropologie home department?

Meanwhile, all the creeps of the Northeastern United States are reshuffling. With Nevins “gone,” his position sits empty. The #1 gunner for that empire is none other than Randall, smuggler, con artist, and frequent run-in of Joenny. Two of Nevins’ ex-goons are congratulating themselves on choosing the correct new master to serve; they arrive at one of their old boss’s storage facility to steal something that will prove their loyalty. The ghoul dispatches them quickly, and it’s so serious that the FBI calls an ACTUAL meeting. (I was beginning to think “ritualistic evisceration” didn’t even rate a response.) At that meeting? Abigail Mills, officially back to work, apparently. She sits next to Sophie at the briefing, and I know this scene was like two seconds long but it gave me LIFE. The women started off on the wrong foot, but that was entirely Danny’s fault. Since her return, Abbie has accepted Sophie entirely as an ally; they know what’s up better than anyone at that table. They’re both experiencing the same gut feeling about the case and whisper across the table that they’re missing something. Abbie goes off to do her own digging, and asks for coverage. “Yeah, I got your back,” Sophie assures her. LADIES.

Abbie returns to the archives to find an exasperated Crane. None of his usual sources are giving him a lead on the scarab, and Nevins is torturing him via the cell security camera. (“WANT MORE CHICKEN.” Same.) Abbie found a lead in the FBI’s customs enforcement list. One of the items? A vase embossed with a golden scarab. The suspect? Randall. Crane quickly interprets the danger of that scenario: an organized crime boss with “a vicious monster as a pit bull.” (I’m fine with it, leave the innocent pit bull babies out of this.)

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GO TO SLEEP.

Due to their individual brushes with the underworld, Joenny and Sophie know where to find Randall. Joe and Sophie case the warehouse while Jenny waits in the getaway car. It feels like a weird arrangement until Sophie sneaks up on a man twice her size, spider monkeys onto his back, and chokes him until he passes out. (Joe: “Okay, I’m impressed.”) They find a suspiciously man-sized crate and then Randall finds them. He warns them not to open it, as much as he’d love to see their reactions, and their fears seem to be confirmed. “My days in the minor league are over,” Randall boasts, and giiiiiirl, you don’t know how right you are. There’s no sign of recognition when they mention the scarab. The crate contains money, no monster. Joe looks stricken. If YOU don’t have the scarab, and I don’t have the scarab, then who’s remote controlling the ghoul? Hint: the ghoul THRUSTS its creepy, bony hand through Randall’s body, killing him instantly. (RIP Randall, you were a fun villain and also very hot.) It moves then to attack Joe and Sophie. Just as the ghoul is about to finish Joey, it senses itself being summoned and walks away. Joenny and Sophie speed back to the archives, Jenny calling to warn Abbie on the way. Surely there are dozens of criminals wouldn’t shed a tear over Randall’s dead body, but one of them is more powerful and clued into the paranormal than the rest. “Search him again,” Jenny instructs Abbie. Nevins has to have the scarab.

“Hang up the phone, Mills,” he says calmly. Nevins decides the time is right to show his cards, since his pet is on the way and all. “A good smuggler uses every possible advantage.” He used Pandora’s wound to store his most valuable possession. He pulls up his shirt and a golden scarab scurries out of his back-alley surgery scar. It’s gross and GLORIOUS, well done effects. The group treasure hunting mission wasn’t the first time he had seen what lived in the cave. He went alone first. Nevins found the scarab in an ancient vase and could instantly feel the power it held over the ghoul. That was his insurance policy, and he didn’t mind a few casualties. He’s got the rest planned out. Sic the ghoul on Ichabbie, escape with Corbin’s files, and use the money he makes from the artifacts to buy his way to freedom. The ghoul shows up right on cue and Nevins shows off his best trick. If he inserts the scarab into the ghoul’s body, it becomes even more powerful. P.S. I will be calling him Fido for the rest of this recap, because Nevins is kind of his dad and because that’s his name.

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So Fido goes after Ichabbie on Nevins orders. THAT POOR ARCHIVE. They trash the place for the dozenth time, trying to avoid painful death. Abbie needs “more firepower” and Crane covers her. Never one for subtle patriotism, Crane fights off Fido with American goddamn flag. Abbie’s bullets are barely phasing him, but Crane has an idea. What if the scarab were his weakness? He instructs her to set her aim there. Soon it’s clear that they need more space; Ichabbie do a synchronized somersault out of two side-by-side glass doors and run out into the courtyard. Crane engages Fido so that he can’t escape before Abbie gets a clear shot. (“Lieutenant, you have this.”) She has one, but she hesitates. Flashbacks to her Sumerian prison strike again (more in WTDH), nearly paralyzing her. Shipper goggles: if it hadn’t been her Biblical Life Partner about to get the life squeezed out of him by the cousin on the tall side of the Gollum family, she wouldn’t have snapped out of it soon enough. Sophie, for one, is impressed. (“Nice shooting, Mills.” “It’s just about practice.”)

Joenny are charged with retrieving Nevins. They separate to track him through the tunnels. Nevins finds Jenny before she can find him. He puts a gun to her head and forces Joey to drop his weapon. “You were family once,” Joe reminds him. “Family?” Nevins spits. “August Corbin hated me.” But Joey is just coming to understand what a complicated person his dad was, and that his mistakes didn’t outshine his good heart. “You loved him, Atticus,” he says, tearing up. “We both did.” Zach Appelman, if you wouldn’t mind LETTING ME LIVE. But Nevins is like, “FEELINGS? I didn’t sign up for this.” He drops Jenny and disappears into the night. Joey catches her and strokes her hair. IS IS TIME FOR SHIPPY YET?

We bid a bloody farewell to a great recurring character and a beetle took up the space recently vacated by a man’s spleen. That’ll do you 6.5/10 Sandmen for Creepiness.

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“Please, let this be real.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Incident at Stone Manor

leftenant hand

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 10
“Incident at Stone Manor”
Posted by Sage

I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but it is GOING DOWN AT SLEEPY HOLLOW. Instead of throwing everything at us in its mid-season premiere, the show established a new, sorrowful normal and then waited until the next episode to fully unleash. Sure, the monster-of-the-week is a guy in horns and gray body paint (Fox Mulder, somewhere, smugly: “It’s pronounced ‘gar-goo-eeee.'”), but this. This episode right here is all about Grace Abigail Mills, queen of our hearts and minds, and her escape from yet another metaphysical prison. Tangentially, it’s also about her Biblical life partner, because they’re too co-dependent for even solitary confinement in Sumerian God Jail to keep them apart. The UST is literally burning a hole in my hand right now, so let’s get to the rankings.

#ShippyHollow

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You’re damn right this section comes first for once. Kim wrote beautifully last week about Crane’s increasing desperation in his partner’s absence, accurately describing him as “a man possessed by a singular mission.” That mission? GET ABBIE BACK ALIVE. And though Sophie helped him to gain SOME perspective on keeping up with his other duties, Crane clearly hasn’t lost any of his fervor to retrieve his beloved lieutenant, if the speed with which he constructed that spirit cabinet is any indication. He hangs every last one of this hopes on each method that he tries, so certain that their journey together couldn’t possibly be over. The next tactic is as sane an idea as anything else that’s worked so far on Sleepy Hollow: astral projection. Since Crane has no idea where Abbie might be and thus no way to physically go to her, he and Joenny research a way to loosen the tether between his soul and his body so that the former can go in search of its mate. (See what I did there?)

To assist his soul in finding Abbie’s (as if that thirsty motherfucker needs the help), Jenny has stocked the cabinet with three totems from the Mills family. It’s sort of like giving a police dog a whiff of clothing to get a scent, only much more woo-woo. The items are Grace Dixon’s journal, a necklace that belonged to their mother and then to Jenny, and a lighter that Jenny lifted from their father’s house. I expect that Ezra Mills will appear again before the season is out and in a much more significant way, but Joenny’s light B&E made for an unexpected introduction to the man who left their family. Anyway, the job is just another excuse for Joe and Jenny to do some sexy scheming. With her stealthy fearlessness and his deceivingly boy-next-door handsomeness, they could run this town. They already DO. (P.S. Joey, I’d totally vote for you for the Hot Good Neighbor award or whatever the fuck. In a second.)

Jenny offers to do the ritual instead of Crane, but she’s well aware she’ll be rejected. Crane believes that Miss Jenny could move mountains if she wanted to, but this isn’t about ability. They are the Witnesses. He is responsible. And this is his job. The team lights a candle in the cabinet for his lifeline; once it’s burned completely down, Crane’s soul will be called back. Jenny reads the incantation (“Spirit to its target race…”) and Crane’s head slumps forward. Joe finds a weak but steady pulse, and they leave him to his work.

"Stick with it, okay?" "You try and stop me."

“Stick with it, okay?” “You try and stop me.”

JOENNY SIDE-BAR: I love this dynamic. I love that Jenny keeps trying to push Joey away, and that Joey’s response is always “lolokay.” I love that she challenges him to be scared of her and looks pleased when he’s not. I love that he’s as much of an adrenaline junkie as she is and not turned off by her moodiness. They’re good for each other. And, friendly reminder, also very hot.

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MEANWHILE in god knows where (like literally, the Hidden One knows where), Abbie is having her Jemma Simmons moment. It’s remarkable how much “Incident at Stone Manor” resembles “4,722 Hours,” the SHIELD episode from this season that finally showed fans what Simmons endured while trapped in the monolith. Unlike Simmons, Abbie doesn’t have to hunt for strange food or find water or even rest. She’s not at risk of starvation or dehydration, but she has no pleasures either. It’s a prison of loneliness. Abbie’s enemy in this place is her own madness. She staves it off by collecting data, exploring the area and mapping it on her wall. And she staves it off by talking to Crane, the person whose responses she can most clearly hear in her head. (Hey! It’s finally a good thing that he never shuts up.) In the SHIELD episode, Simmons recorded messages on her phone to her platonic partner-pal who she definitely doesn’t want to kiss ever, Fitz. AND THEN THEY KISSED. Because if sci-fi television has taught me one thing (also, hello Doctor Who‘s “Hell Bent”), it’s that it can sometimes take the universe’s involvement to get your main characters to realize some shit.

Abbie perks up when she begins to hear Crane’s real voice, not just her approximation of it. He’s almost there, but he needs her to remember their bond and hold it in her mind. (She’s like, bitch, what do you think I’ve been doing for ten months?) Finally, he appears, and Abbie looks like a drowning person who just set eyes on dry land. “Please be real, please be real,” she whispers to herself. She charges forward to throw her arms around his neck, and stumbles through the ether. He’s just a projection, quite literally there in spirit. All the tenth Doctor vibes. Did we trip and fall into Bad Wolf Bay? (“I’m still just an image, no touch.”)

So Crane can’t give her the colonial bear hug her heart needs, but he can put some of his translation skills to work. The hieroglyphs on the walls of Abbie’s prison are ancient Sumerian. He begins to read them, but not before Abbie can make him understand how key her faith in him was for her survival. “Thank you, Crane. For never giving up on me,” she says.  He won’t take the praise, turning back to the icons and saying, “I only did as I knew you would had our roles been reversed.” She admits that she imagined speaking with him, and that they even played chess. “Don’t worry, I haven’t completely lost it.” He looks down at her intently, both worried about how long she can hold out on her sanity if they can’t immediately free her and a little flabbergasted at her words.

Pausing on the shippiness for a moment, can I give some love to Nicole Beharie? This is her episode, and she owns it. If genre shows were still viable award contenders, I’d tell her to submit this piece and wait for the trophies to be thrown in her direction. This is such a challenging performance to pull off. Abbie is on the brink of something terrible, but so very trained and determined. If Nicole had held back too much or played it too manic, it would have been a disaster. If anyone who belongs to the voting body of anything, I beg you: DO NOT SLEEP on genre shows, even network ones. There’s work like this being done on them, and attention outside the fandom must be paid. Also, memo to Nicole and the Hair/Make-Up department: keep the natural hair for Abbie, it’s BANGING.

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The walls say that the Eye of Providence is the way out of that place, and great, Abbie has kept it safe. It’s deactivated though, now a dull clear instead of glowing red. Before the Witnesses can begin to work out how to wake it up again, Pandora arrives, having used the pathway that Crane’s soul cleared for her. If they give her the Eye, Pandora offers in trade, she’ll let them come back. She should be aware by now just who the fuck she’s dealing with; no sale, say the witnesses. Pandora is a projection as well and can’t physically threaten Abbie. However. “I can’t touch you,” she says, “but i can touch him.” She takes the cutlass Abbie found out in the wilderness and severs Crane’s tether. His soul is lost, floating free. “There are fates worse than death, Abbie,” Pandora coos. “How long will you be able to stand the solitude?” Abbie can’t help it; she’s crying, all hope seemingly lost, the one person who could find her in this place gone. She makes like she’s going to hand over the Eye, and then smashes it with a rock. Like a boss. “In chess, we call that move a sacrifice. On the face it presents a loss, but in the end, it gives tactical superiority.” Pandora is PISSED, and visibly afraid of going back to face her lov-ah empy-handed. She assures Abbie that she’ll rot, and then she’s gone.

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“Truly your better half.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – One Life

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 9
“One Life”

Posted by Kim

WELCOME BACK, SLEEPYHEADS!!!!!!! It’s been an interminable hiatus but we are STILL here. “One Life” picks up with our heroes one month after the events of the winter finale. Where were we exactly? Oh, yes. Joe and Jenny kissed. It was revealed that the whole time Pandora’s actions were motivated by her need to bring her lover, The Hidden One, back to this mortal plane. (I can’t be the only one who is a little furious that this awesome female villain was doing it all for a man, can I?) Betsy Ross is still boring AF. Sophie Foster was revealed to be an Undercover FBI agent. Abbie handed in her badge and then sacrificed herself to save her sister, vanishing into Pandora’s tree with the Shard of Anubis bomb, leaving behind a devastated Ichabod. WHERE IS ABBIE? How is Ichabod coping with the loss of his Biblical life partner? Let’s get to the ratings to find out.

#CreepyHollow

Like I said, we pick up a month after Abbie sacrificed herself to the Tree of Wonders (Behold this Diamond in the Rough). Crane is…not doing well, to put it lightly. He’s a man possessed by a singular mission. AbbieAbbieAbbieAbbieAbbie. His tunnel vision has made him reckless as he pursues artifacts that could be used to summon Abbie from whence she vanished. (His current state of mind is foreshadowed by Flashback!Crane telling Nathan Hale “You have but one life. Do not indulge in recklessness. That’s…really the only point of the flashbacks. Well, that and fulfilling Nikki Reed’s episode order.) I’m glad to see that Crane kept that motorbike from last season because MAN that shot of him taking off his helmet and shaking out his hair made me feel all sorts of things in my special places.

 
Back at the archives, Ichabod shows Joe and Jenny his latest find: the jug that Orpheus apparently used to find Euridyce in the underworld. He’s convinced that its powers will help him find Abbie. (Um, you know how that story turned out, right Ichaboo?) Joe and Jenny approach Crane like they would a startled and scared puppy…very carefully. Jenny tells him that he is grasping at straws, but Ichabod is having none of it. “It is up to ME to find her,” he exclaims, forgetting that he is talking to Abbie’s flesh and BLOOD, the sister she sacrificed herself for.  Jenny firmly (but lovingly) reminds him that it’s up to THEM to find her and that he’s no good to her, Joe, or Abbie if he goes on this way. (It’s a very sister-in-law thing for her to do.) She needs him to keep his eye on the prize: find Pandora and the Hidden One, (hopefully) find Abbie. She and Joe pursue a lead on an artifact she thinks will lead them to Pandora, whilst Crane spends some solitary time with the Tree of Wonders and the Orpheus vase.

 
 
At the tree, Crane does some incantations and the vase briefly glows red but then nothing else happens and he kicks it aside in a fit of rage. I think he would have had himself a good cry had Sophie not interrupted him. It turns out that Crane is a person of interest in Abbie’s disappearance (Danny even has a Crane mood board) and Sophie has been charged with tailing him. Despite her actions earlier in the season though, Sophie is a good egg. She just wants to know the truth about what happened, but Crane doesn’t give his trust away so easily anymore. (PS whatever happened to Zoe? Did I miss something? Shouldn’t she be simpering around here?) (Now that I’ve gone and brought it up, she’s gonna show up again. SORRY.) The way Crane replies “If they wish to formally charge me with a crime, please be my guest. Until then, leave me alone.” KILLS me because the Crane I know would have gone on a rant about his constitutional rights, not just say STFU. This is how we know JUST how bad it is for him. Crane storms off, with Sophie not far behind. The Orpheus Jar vibrates red again, with the sparkle spreading up the Tree of Wonders (“WHO DISTURBS MY SLUMBER?”). A bark face presses out of the tree. ABBIE?

In the meantime, Joey and Jenny go about tracking down the map. I’ll discuss this more in #ShippyHollow, but it’s clear to me that they HAVEN’T been boning since the time we saw them last and Jenny has put some distance between them, which Joey (though confused) is respecting. Jenny’s dealer says he doesn’t have the map…but her nemesis Randall DOES. Considering the last time she saw him resulted in Randall being handcuffed in a shower, that’s going to go really well. Danny, on the other hand, remains singularly focused on Crane in his search for Abbie, ordering a tap on his phone. (Um, don’t you need more probable cause for that other than “they hang out a lot”/jealousy?) Sophie orders him to get away to his Nicholas Sparks cabin so he can de-stress and get some perspective on the situation, further proving that she’s on Crane’s side in this, despite her misgivings. Points for her there. More points for her “I’m a complex person” comment because I can really get on board with a Sophie/Han Solo parallel.

 
 
Later that night, all alone in Abbie’s house, Crane hears a bump in the night. After finding Abbie’s camisole on the stairs (OKAY but did it just appear there or does Crane sometimes hold it and cry? DISCUSS.), He runs up to investigate, calling for Abbie thinking that she has returned to him because that’s the only LOGICAL reason one wouldn’t go running in the opposite directions when they hear strange noises in their house. The bedroom window is open and Crane turns to the mirror…and the words “HELP ME CRANE” appear. He leans into the mirror and a hand bursts out, grabbing him (cue me screaming). A strange-looking brand appears on his arm. Cut to an undisclosed amount of time later where Crane has LITERALLY fallen asleep against the mirror because this show knows how to hurt me. (Speaking of mirrors, everyone should watch this video and cry.) Sophie calls Crane, demanding to see him. “HELP ME CRANE” is carved into her apartment floor and Sophie is pissed, wondering if he is punking her (“I have no earthly idea what you are saying, in more ways than one.” = the closest we got to sass the entire episode).  Sophie has the same brand on HER forearm, except it is the mirror image of the one Crane has.  When they line up their arms, the brand burns red. The lights go out. An apparition that looks vaguely familiar appears and then crashes into Crane’s chest Clara Oswald in “Face the Raven” style. He SEES flashes of Abbie and when he comes to, he gasps out that Abbie is dying. NONE OF THIS IS GOOD.

At the archives, Sophie begins to prove her worth as an ally in this cause. She deduces that their brand is a Shinto symbol for “gateway” and that a tribe in New Guinea highly values the mystical powers of mirrors as gateways to other worlds. If that truly IS Abbie trying to reach them, the only solution is to build a gateway by using a mirror. They build their gateway in the Masonic Cell because it is the best place to try to concentrate all the mystical energies. I have to give Sophie credit for taking all this mysticism in stride, only mildly reacting to the ridiculousness of the situation. She expresses her nerves via quips (“Buy a girl a drink first” when Crane says she has to anchor him) and I swear to GOD if I didn’t bleed for Ichabbie, I could totally ship these two. Sophie apologizes for being nervous and Crane picks up his “What Would Abbie Mills Do?” manual to comfort her. Grace Abigail Mills may not physically BE in this episode, but her presence looms large the entire time, thanks to Crane. It’s almost like he loves her or something.

 
 
Crane and Sophie put their brands together and the mirror goes all liquidy. Crane jumps in without even hesitating (he may as well have said “GERONIMO!”) and the rope goes taut. For a moment, I was scared that Sophie would lose her grip, but I should know better than to doubt her status as a bad ass. (I started typing out BAMF and then I got sad because I miss Frank Irving.) Crane bursts back through the mirror clutching a body. It is not Abbie but a demon who looks like an adult version of the girl from The Ring and she is PISSED. She tries to strangle Crane, but they beat her off, so she goes running off into the night. “We were supposed to be rescuing Mills, not facing down living nightmares,” Sophie declares over some much-needed post-Demon encounter whiskey. “Evil engages us when we least expect it,” Crane shrugs, which sets off alarm bells. It turns out that Crane KNEW they were risking the chance of bringing other demons into the world and he just didn’t give a fuck. Sophie barely knows Ichabod, but even she can see that his behavior is reckless and she calls him out on it. “I took a CHANCE,” he spits. “Working with the supernatural is not an unequivocal science, and if the Lieutenant were here she would tell you…” “SHE’S NOT HERE, I AM. And I don’t need to be Abbie Mills to know that you are pushing too hard.” I need a fluffy pillow.

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