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

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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

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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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“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

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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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“There are lines we do not cross” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Novus Ordo Seclorum

leftenant

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 8
“Novus Ordo Seclorum”
Posted by Sage

How the hiatus flies when you’re ignoring your recapping duties, eh? Sleepy Hollow is back and in its new time slot on Friday, February 5. So, I figured, why not dust off a three month old draft and finally organize my thoughts about the mid-season finale, “Novus Ordo Seclorum”? My lateness has now given you a handy catch-up guide to get you in the mood for even more sexy witnessing and demon-catching in upstate NY in 3B. Let’s pretend that was the plan the whole time. To the rankings!

#CreepyHollow/#WhatTheDamnHellHollow

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Last time on The Days Of Our Afterlives, Jenny Mills was possessed and captured by Pandora and her surprise husband, The Hidden One. (I had her pegged as a career singleton, but whatever.) When we see her for the first time in “Novus,” she’s still cooking. The glowing disc that was held by the shard is lighting Jenny up from the inside, and not the same way the love of Little Joey Corbin does it. Pandora and her newly resurrected lover need Jenny as a vessel to achieve their ends. This means that Jenny spends most of this episode writhing around in pain while her captors talk shit on humanity (“The mortals who infest this world care nothing for its beauty.”) and coo about the newly cleansed world they’ll bring about together. Ugh. Couples, amirite?

Naturally, her demon-hunting family springs into action to save Miss Jenny. After she throws some shadeface at her boss (more on that to come), Abbie catches up with Joe and Crane, who are tracking their comrade down. “I’ll take point,” Abbie announces, cocking her gun. Joe and Crane adjust their crotches off-camera probably, and they’re off. Sadly, they miss The Hidden One’s magic act (Scully: “Should we arrest David Copperfield?” Mulder: “Yes we should, but not for this.”) – Jenny levitates in front of him as he sucks out her youthful life force like a Sanderson sister at a bat mitzvah. He takes a break to spare Jenny’s life; suck too fast and she won’t be any good to them any more. (Let that be a lesson to so many of us.) As they search the forest, Abbie throws herself a pity party, blaming herself for Jenny’s predicament. Though, as I mentioned in my last recap, Joey is really at fault for not noticing Nevins’s very conspicuous use of gloves when handling the shard. Crane doesn’t care whose fault it is, he just wants his in-law back. (“The sisters Mills are the closest to family I have left.”) Pandora’s squad disappears as soon as Abbie, Crane, and Joe find them, leaving a ancient cloth decorated in Sumerian writing. Translation: The Hidden One is a god, and lowly mortals are shit outta luck. I’m paraphrasing.

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Knowledge is power, and though Crane and Abbie have a pretty solid idea where Jenny might be being held, they don’t know how to free her from the shard. Joey joins the “what if” party at the archive, where Crane always conveniently has a revolutionary story to go with the MOTW. In Sumerian, The Hidden One is known as Etu Ilu, and the glowing red eye in the center of his staff is the source of his “absolute power.” Once again, the Scoobies are thanking god for books and Crane’s man-crush Ben Franklin (Abbie: “His favorite…”), because those tell them that the red gem was known in Crane’s time as the “Eye Of Providence.” The key to saving Jenny may lie in the Rules Of Masonic Law. The Rules Of Masonic Law lie in the oldest lodge house in the country at the University of Albany. Just past the raging (daytime?) toga party. Which none of you giffed, so you are all dead to me.

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Face.

Frat boys dodged and book in hand, Crane tells Abbie and Joe what the Eye Of Providence has to do with General George Washington (riiiiise up). Washington came somehow into possession of the Eye and asked Paul Revere (Joe: “I’m still not used to the way you name drop.”) to examine the staff for him. Revere’s apprentice Jonathan touched the Eye with his bare skin, becoming consumed by it, like Jenny is. With no cure in sight, Jonathan sacrifices himself; he stays in the country, far enough away from the nearest village so that when he blows, his is the only human life lost. If the Eye stays within a human too long, that human essentially becomes a bomb. So, not only is Jennifer Mills in grave danger, but Sleepy Hollow itself is mission critical. A clock is running, but Team Witness doesn’t know when it will stop.

The key to defusing the Jenny-bomb lies in the past. Revere has scribbled Dumas code in the margins of the Masonic text. It says that after the blast (and Jonathan’s death), he was able to “draw out” the eye from the young man’s corpse with the staff. (Abbie: “I really hope you’re about to say, ‘I think I’ve seen that staff before.”) Crane has seen it; on the day that he brought a message and his condolences to Revere at his silver smithy. Revere is broken, which is probably why he allows Crane to see him melting down a strange metallic artifact. Washington had instructed Revere to “hide” the Eye, which he did by changing the staff’s shape: hence, the shard. Here’s where the “what if” comes in: Abbie theorizes that the shard can contain the power of the Eye but it can also mask it. Pandora required Nevins’s services to find it for her. For someone who finds humans so useless, Pandora certainly needed them to do a lot of her evil legwork. Anyway, Abbie heads back to the SHPD to find the shard in evidence lock-up.

Meanwhile, Sophie (remember Sophie?) is interrogating Nevins one last time. Rather, she’s appealing to him. She liked him, she says. Even though she was undercover and he was kind of a dick, she doesn’t think he deserves the shitstorm coming to him if he doesn’t talk to the police. Nevins scoffs, because he’s already dead inside. The police have no jurisdiction in the war that Pandora and The Hidden One are about to start. There’s no real protection they can offer him.

Shard in hand, Abbie runs into Sophie outside the precinct. Abbie asks to be put in a room with Nevins; maybe he can tell her more about how the shard works. But it’s too late; Nevins is already being transferred. Pandora (looking super cute in her FBI kit, I must say) pays him a visit in the perp van. The treasure hunter was right: he’s served his purpose and he knows too much. Pandora chokes him out; when the women get near the van, they find that every officer who was outside when Pandora arrived is dead too. Sophie goes for back-up, Abbie advances, gun drawn.

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You’ve got to respect Pandora’s persistence. Abbie just stepped over the bodies of her fallen comrades, but Pandora is still trying to pull her to the side of the immortals. “There is a place for you two witnesses in the new world,” she says. “You have a right, by lineage.” The prospect of eternal life holds no appeal to Abbie, not when her sister is at stake. “That’s beautiful,” Pandora answers. (I LOVE THIS PERFORMANCE.) “That’s family. But I’m sensing something festering. An old wound…you’ve failed her before, haven’t you?” OH, PANDORA. Nice try. Sure, her accusation triggers a flashback to baby Abbie’s denial of Jenny, but the sisters have long since patched up that wound. Jenny forgives Abbie, and that’s all that matters. If anything, the memory of that moment fires Abbie up even more. But before she can say as much to Pandora, Sophie appears. Pandora is gone.

After another exchange with Danny that belongs entirely in the #SassyHollow section, Abbie stocks up on the firepower Team Witness will need to challenge an actual god. (Joe: “I haven’t seen hardware like this since my last tour.”) She grabbed something else when she was looking through Nevins’s things: a book that looks “magical, old…you know, Crane-ish.” It’s a book of summoning spells in Norse and Latin – the words needed to beckon the monsters out of Pandora’s box. Could come in mighty handy, then.

Meanwhile, The Hidden One and Pandora are still doing their thing, making out on top of Jenny and slowly using her up. Frankly, the big bads don’t do much in this episode. Every “check-in” scene is basically the same; and I wish they’d been used a little more thoughtfully. Like, make me fear you, please.

The immortals are at home when Team Witness comes in hot. Armed with actual arms and Pandora’s own magic, they ambush the enemy. Or was the enemy waiting for them? Their resident soldier boy handles the “shock and awe;” Crane goes for the box; and Abbie is on Jenny duty. Pandora calmly greets her “unannounced guests,” coming face-to-face with Abbie in a repeat of their earlier stand-off. “I thought about your offer,” Abbie announces, “and I’m here to tell you that you can go to hell.” Pandora answers that the fate of the Mills sisters is sealed; no use in fighting it. “We’re stubborn that way,” Abbie counters. And then Crane takes Pandora out with a stun gun, because this episode was wild. Then everything happens at once. A grenade knocks the Hidden One away from Jenny. Abbie rushes to her with the shard. Jenny tells her to leave, of course – it’s too dangerous. Abbie will have none of that, thank you (“I’m never leaving you again.”), and uses the shard to pull the Eye’s power out of Jenny’s body. Crane finds the box on a pedestal and begins chanting incantations at it. This confused the hell out of me. What’s Crane trying to call forth? How does he know he’ll be able to control it when he does? Pandora comes to and throws out some counter spells. The box is suspended between them, like that thing in a cartoon where two people are calling a dog at the same time to find out who it likes better. It’s pretty clear that this detour is just a way to get Crane and Pandora away from Jenny and Abbie for a while so happens eventually can happen. It makes no sense and goes nowhere (the box drops back to the pedestal, nothing comes out of it) – a bit of sloppy script-writing in an otherwise cohesive half-season.

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The Hidden One comes to, because what’s a grenade to a god? (“What’s a god to a non-believverrrrr?”) He throws Abbie across the room; Joey shoots at him, but The Hidden One grasps the shard first. He crushes it in one hand, to Abbie’s horror. She scrabbles around for the pieces; they glow in her hand, the walls start to crumble around them. (Jenny: “Abbie, what have you done?”) Abbie suddenly looks calm – completely confident in what she knows she needs to do. “It’s the only way that I can save you,” she says to her sister. Crane sprints into the room just in time to watch Abbie ascend the stairs to Pandora’s tree, trunk open and waiting. He yells her name, she looks over to him. He shakes his head, almost imperceptibly (MY HEART). “Take care of each other,” Abbie instructs, and she disappears into the tree.

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A blast echoes through the chamber. Pandora’s box is destroyed. She and The Hidden One are gone. Crane comes to, to silence. He confirms that his family – Joe and Miss Jenny – are alive, before looking for any sign of Abbie. There is none. The tree has closed. He whispers her name.

My theory: Abbie has already been to purgatory. Now, she’s in Hell. And they better be scared of her. 4/10 Sandmen for creepiness. 8.5/10 Golems for total screaming insanity. #NoMoreAbbieMillsSacrifices2K16

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“Nothing beats a good blind side.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – “The Art of War”

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 7
“The Art of War” 

Posted by Kim

With the Fall Finale (and a subsequent hiatus until February) looming large, all of the stories are starting to converge.  Sleepy Hollow is known for having killer cliffhangers and “The Art of War” sets us up for a DOOZY of a fall finale. To the rankings!

#WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow and #CreepyHollow

Having lost the Shard of Anubis to Joe and Jenny last week, Nevins knows he is in trouble with his employer, whoever that is. He tears through his cabinet of artifacts while Sophie observes with the dismay of a Gap Employee watching customers destroy the perfectly folded piles of sweaters they spent hours on.  She assures Nevins that she can up her “playing rough” game with Joe and Jenny and get the shard back.  “Honey, you don’t know what rough is.”  She watches as he scrawls out some passages from a Norse Mythology book, and she’s quite confused because really, if you are going to call on anyone from that canon, wouldn’t you call on Loki over Odin? C’mon, now.  (Can we get Hiddles on this show, please? Now THAT would be a ratings boost.) He rushes off but not before warning Sophie that if it is Hell they are going to pay, it will be getting off easy.  JUST WHO EXACTLY IS HE WORKING FOR?  Pandora, it seems.  Nevins goes to her cave and stands at the well, chanting incantations.  The well bubbles like a Hot Tub Time Machine of Doom and the box appears (“Oh…I’ll be damned.”).  Some creatures that look like a mix between Thing from Fantastic Four and the Uruk-hai from Lord of the Rings appear and Nevins gives them a whiff of the Shard.  “Go Fetch,” he says.  Someone is in DEEP SHIT.

That someone, of course, is Jenny Mills, who absorbed the shard in the last episode and who has been tormented by demonic dreams ever since.  Jenny’s round of sexy and sweaty foreplay boxing with Joey (MORE ON THAT LATER) is interrupted by her going all glowy red and white-eyed.  (Note that we see the “destroyers” tablet in Jenny’s vision.  Hmmmm.) Talk about a mood killer.  It’s time to tell Abbie and Ichabod EXACTLY what’s going on and it’s like children confessing to Mom and Dad. Abbie is furious with her children.  Danny has made a trip down to D.C. for reasons I don’t really understand (seriously, we only saw him crashing his boss’ birthday party asking for more time. Couldn’t this have been done over the phone?), so he left Abbie in charge of overseeing the Nevins case.  So learning that her sister and little Joey Corbin met with him behind her back isn’t great news. I love how Ichabod steps in here because he knows Abbie is about to lose her shit.  It’s clear who is going to be the disciplinarian in this marriage.

Honey, please deal with our children, I can’t even look at them RN.

Jenny tries to brush off the severity of her situation by quipping that she would remember suddenly developing mutant powers. Ichabod will not allow her to have such a cavalier attitude.  He deduces that the shard was actually a binding stone that transfers mystical energy upon contact (which is why Nevins used a glove when touching it). “Miss Jenny,” he says gravely. “Mortal beings are not meant to house this much mystical energy.”  Maybe it’s just because I spent the past weekend at a Doctor Who con, but my mind immediately went to both Bad Wolf Rose Tyler and Doctor!Donna Noble. SPOILER ALERT: neither of those things ended well. (#ProtectJennyMills2KAlways) Abbie does her best to not lose her cool regarding the situation because surely there is some sort of shardectomy they can do.  Joe suggests that they go back to Nevins, which is immediately shot down by Abbie, prompting a little “Who loves Jenny more?” stand-off between the two.  “I know this might cause some problems with your job, but this is JENNY we’re talking about,” Joe spits.  “You think I don’t know that?” Abbie shoots back. Joey, I know you’re new here and you’re VERY cute, but don’t get into it with Abbie regarding her sister.  Abbie’s love for Jenny is so deep and so fierce that sure, she may try to look for a way to save her that WON’T jeopardize her job, but when the shit hits the fan, she’ll do whatever it takes.

Before Joe and Abbie can wrestle for Jenny’s love, Jenny’s new Spidey sense tell them that they are about to have company. Ruh-roh, the Uruk-hai (yes, I know that’s not their name) have found them.  Abbie shoots at them because she never learns and the bullets are absorbed into their bodies, making them stronger. Jenny goes all shard-y and stabs them, slowing them down just enough for them to be able to run for the tunnels.  “Being fatally infected with the power of an ancient artifact has its pluses,” she jokes and I am really going to need her to STOP with the humor.  Abbie realizes that the Uruks didn’t give a shit about anyone but Jenny because SHE is the shard now. Jenny promptly gets faint because this show wants me to have a heart attack.

 
 

In the archives, Abbie is in action mode.  It’s typical Abbie behavior: she focuses on solutions so she doesn’t have to feel feelings. It’s clear she is filled with panic regarding her sister, but panic gets you no where.  Abbie works so hard to separate her emotions from her work (both in the FBI and as a Witness).  If there is one word I associate with Grace Abigail Mills, it’s CONTROL and she doesn’t deal well with losing it.  It’s such a lovely contrast with Jenny, who seems to have quietly accepted her possible fate.  Not that she’s happy about it, but she knows the line of work that she’s in.  Like she said, dealing with the supernatural is the only world she’s ever known, and it was bound to get her in the end. If this is how she goes, this is how she goes. But she’s not going to go on Abbie’s watch. Don’t mess with a control freak.

 

It should be noted that while the sisters were having their heart to heart, Joe and Ichabod talk about their feelings. I’ll talk about that more in shippy, but what does come out of their conversation is the fact that these monsters are single-minded. At last, Ichabod has a clue to finding out what they are. The creatures are Norse Berserkers, a single-minded kind of monster that will not stop until they have claimed their prey.  They feed off the energy of battle, getting stronger as you fight them. Basically, they are a undefeatable enemy. Their one vulnerability? Mistletoe. (Joey: PANIC LAUGHTER) Before they can figure out their plan further, Jenny goes all shardy again and THIS TIME whatever being that is possessing her speaks.  “Behold my glory, for I am coming,” Demon!Jenny says before collapsing again. Shit.

Abbie stays behind with her sister, because where else WOULD she be at a time like this.  The boys arm themselves with Mistletoe arrows (because those are a thing?) and set off to the Sleepy Hollow Auto Salvage yard because the Berserkers need a “metal cave” to gain their energy back after a fight.  The boys charge in with their crossbows (hot), confident that this is all they will need to take them out.  No such luck. Ichabod fires off several arrows but the Berserkers just get stronger.  “What do we do now?” Joe asks. “Run.” Ichabod replies, and run they do.  They manage to shut the garage door and escape right as the Berserkers punch through the door.  Clearly, they’ve missed the plot here.

Ichabod surmises that Nevins must have changed the incantation to summon the Berserkers and the only way to find out HOW is to break into his office. This is where Abbie has to make her choice: Witness or FBI agent? It’s not an easy one for her. Nevins’ place is under constant surveillance and if anyone from Team Witness shows up there, the FBI (well, Danny) will know that Abbie is working against them. It could blow the entire case.  Ichabod is SO GENTLE but firm with her here. He knows what it’s like to be pulled between two worlds. He doesn’t want her to sacrifice her career, but at the same time, he reminds her of her duty to both her sister and their cause as Witnesses.  “They will not stop until WE stop them,” he urges. “But please, if you know of any other course of action.”  Abbie hands him her lock-picking kit because when the chips are down, she will ALWAYS choose Team Witness.

Abbie uses her temporary power as Head Agent to briefly call off the surveillance on Nevins’ Bait Shop, allowing Ichabod to break in.  (Did anyone else get season one flashes of “Think of the delinquency we could get into together”? I DID.) He searches the office and finds the pad of paper Nevins used to write down his incantation.  Ichabod does a rubbing on the indentations from Nevins’ handwriting and BOOM! he has the solution.  He’s temporarily waylaid by Sophie as he leaves the office, but I’m going to leave that for sassy because good God that exchange was glorious.  Back at the Archives, Ichabod tells Abbie that since Nevins invoked the power of Pandora (not Odin) when he summoned the Berserkers, it changed their powers and vulnerabilities.  They have no way of knowing what will kill them now.  “When faced with an unbeatable enemy, you must make the enemy beat themselves,” Ichabod says, quoting Daniel Boone.  He recalls the Battle of Boonesborough, where Daniel Boone faced the combined armies of the British and the Hessians.  Together the armies were unbeatable, but he knew that their alliance was tenuous at best.  He set up attacks at both camps to look like they were done by the other, which made the two armies turn on each other. They must do the same to the Berserkers if they want to have any prayer of defeating them and keeping Jenny safe.  If they fail…checkmate.  (Reminder that apparently Ichabod and Abbie now play chess every morning and have jokes about it. Bye.)

Abbie and Ichabod’s plan (“one part history, one part magic, a whole lot of crazy.”) is to lure the Berserkers to the woods using Jenny’s shard-scented blood.  Team Witness lowers from the trees Mission Impossible style and covertly pours the blood on several of them, causing the Berserkers to smell like their prey.  They turn on each other like “hyenas from Hell”.  Only one Berserker survives, but since he thinks his quarry has been captured, Ichabod is able to stab him in the heart. “Give our regards to Pandora,” he says victoriously.  The Berserker ashes away Katrina and Henremy style.

The Victory Party is interrupted by a desperate Nevins and Sophie.  He wants Jenny (literally) and demands to be taken to her because his employer needs her. Who is the employer? “Someone who makes Pandora look like a homeroom teacher and he will be here soon.” (I can’t be the only one who is bummed that Pandora is working for a male, can I?) Nevins puts a gun to Joe’s head and threatens to kill him (“Screw you.” “Ah, you ARE August Corbin’s son.”).  Joe, bless him, tells Abbie not to tell him a thing. When Nevins gets to “two” in his countdown, Sophie turns her gun on him, announcing she is FBI.  WUT. Amazing.  “You traitorous bitch,” Nevins snarls, before she shoots him.  Someone’s got some ‘splaining to do as Team Witness looks on in shock.  Abbie asks if Reynolds knows about her and Sophie replies that she’s part of HIS operation.  “My role in this investigation was strictly need to know.  Only inner circle,” she explains and it becomes clear that Danny didn’t trust Abbie enough to let her in on it.  (I’m going to interpret Ichabod’s “He didn’t tell you” as only SLIGHTLY smug.) Sophie tells them to go get Jenny while she deals with getting Nevins in.

They arrive at the Masonic cell, only to find it empty, the lock broken from the inside.  All sorts of charcoal drawings are on the wall.  Jenny, in a shard trance, arrives at Pandora’s lair.  She reaches into the Hot Tub Time Machine of Doom and the water boils red.  The tree opens and Pandora, still rocking her evening wear, arrives with a hooded and bandaged man on her arm. (Voldemort, is that you?) Jenny kneels before him and takes his hand. “Behold my glory, I have arrived.”

Fuck.

I would have been more scared of the Berserkers if they were actually Uruk-hai.  2/10 Sandmen. 

PROTECT. JENNY. MILLS. 9/10 Golems. 

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“Look at me, profiling a bug.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap

pool

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 6
“This Red Lady From Caribee”
Posted by Sage

Fox announced their winter schedule this week and with it, a change that could really benefit Sleepy Hollow. When the network scheduled the front half of Season 3 to face off against Scandal on Thursdays at nine, we were like “????” Shonda owns Thursday nights, and may her reign be ever merciful. A move to Friday sounds like a death knell to some, but anything’s got to be better than going head-to-head with Olivia Pope. Plus, Fringe held that Friday night slot for several seasons. The X-Files was a Friday night show too, once upon a time. It’s a good-luck spot for genre television. So be chill, fandom. We’ve survived so much worse than this.

On to this week’s rankings!

#CreepyHollow

red lady

Pandora is nothing if not efficient. She came to Sleepy Hollow to do a thing (six things), and six episodes in, she’s checked all the boxes on her list. Pandora needs to teach an organizational effectiveness course, and Moloch needs to take it.

This week, the mysterious lady is tending to the sixth bloom on her tree, “the flavor of fear.” We learn for certain that the blooms themselves are the weapons, or rather, the destructive emotions they represent. The creatures that Pandora conjures from her box are merely the distribution apparatus. And for this bloom, she requires “a most skilled emissary.” She recites a little rhyme and a swarm of red insects appear. They take the shape of a woman (me in my notes: “Carmen Sandiego Bug Lady”) who Pandora names as the “Red Lady From Caribee.” I don’t like bugs, you guys. Even the kind that wear couture. (That costume though.)

Ichabbie’s first brush with the Lady happens in the courthouse on the day that Crane is meant to defend himself from those pesky smuggling charges. As they get closer to the courtroom, they find people fleeing in fear, including Crane’s lawyer. The judge, a man Abbie had just been describing to Crane as calm and just, is ranting from the bench. There’s a criminal element that must be stamped out, he raves. And he lashes out angrily at anyone who suggest he maaaaybe stop hearing cases for the day and take care of those hives that are clearly consuming his body. (Another triumph for the Sleepy make-up department. Y’all are gross, and I love it.) He orders the bailiff to take out her weapon. Crane steps in front of the few people still left in the room (swoon) to speak to the judge. (“Ichabod Crane, for the defense.”) Before he can get much out of him, the man keels over and dies. Crane catches a glimpse of the swarm escaping through a vent and notes it in the ol’ photographic memory.

bug

Back at the archive, Crane and Abbie do their Buffy research on this new threat. The judge died instantly of a brain aneurysm. And the only piece of evidence at the scene was a dead Jack Spaniel wasp, an insect that’s native to the Caribbean. As usual, a detail that just happens to match up to the past sends Crane flipping through Grace Dixon’s journal. She was once called to a military camp in Pennsylvania by Betsy Ross to help tend to a sick and paranoid General Washington. (I’m sure it wasn’t meant in this way, but I still think it’s hilarious that Grace described Betsy instead of naming her. Low-key shade.) The ladies figure that Washington had been bitten by a Soucouyant, a demon “of Trinidadian origin.” Hence the wasp. Grace tends to Washington with a tonic she prepared, but she warns Betsy that it’s not a cure. (Washington: “Dying is easy, young man, living is harder.”) The only cure is to kill the creature itself. Betsy arms up and leaves the tent. And if only these flashbacks could follow Betsy when she goes and does actual heroic things, maybe a) she wouldn’t be so insufferable, and b) Crane and Abbie would know what the sweet Jesus they’re supposed to do in any given situation instead of having to guess.

Abbie gets a call from Danny. There’s another dead body to deal with. This one is a suburban mom – the President of the PTA. She collapsed after checking hundreds of books out of the Sleepy Hollow library and building a pyre for them. Thank you, thank you, thank you, show, for characterizing book burning as a paranoid act. Bless you for this. Funny that Danny warns Abbie that if they can’t put a stop to whatever is causing this mania soon, “they’ll have a big problem” on their hands, re: public panic. This is a SMALL-ASS TOWN. You’re telling me that two healthy, well-respected people went insane and then dropped dead WITHIN THE SAME DAY and people aren’t freaking out yet? Where are the news crews? The other cops? DOES ANYONE CARE? No one outside of Abbie, Crane, and Danny are ever talking about these murders. Sleepy has a problem with scope that could be easily solved by inserting the voice of the town somewhere. May I suggest Perd Hapley as a capable news anchor? He’s got references.

I digress. Abbie pops on the phone to Crane and points out that the swarm is targeting people in positions of power. (“And look at me, profiling a bug.”) Danny returns from inside of the house and his demeanor is markedly different. He snaps at Abbie to get in the car and chastises her for letting her personal life interfere with work when she tells him it was her “roommate” on the phone. He’s driving erratically and questioning her about her motives. He rages that Crane can’t really be a historical consultant (ding ding ding) and that Abbie is obviously out to steal his FBI glory (wrong). Abbie notices a growing hive on his neck and knows immediately what’s up. Danny stops the car in the middle of the woods and drags Abbie out of the front seat, tossing away her phone. And then this happens. I call this move the “Bitch, you thought.”

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The Witnesses keep Danny restrained while they work out Grace Dixon’s stop-gap tonic recipe. (More on the Joenny shopping trip later because the herbalist ships it.) There’s a clock ticking (isn’t there always?), and Danny will perish if they’re not able to find and destroy the Lady within a few hours. To kill a wasp, Abbie reasons, you take out the hive. She pulls up a mapping program and triangulates the locations of the deaths. In the center, there’s a satellite image of a tree that matches the imprint on the back of the Sumerian tablet. A tree with six blossoms. They’ve found Pandora’s home base. Though, being that a huge, twisty, fuck-off tree grew full-size out of nowhere like something out of Into The Woods, they really ought to have been tipped off sooner.

flame

Crane and Abbie descend into some ancient ruins that they’ve never seen before. (HOW? Again: small town. Where are these things hiding?) And I don’t know where or how Crane obtained a canister of prussic acid, but my head already aches from plot inconsistencies. I’ll let it slide. Pandora looks like she’s been waiting for the Witnesses to show up, and she’s as calm as ever. In fact, she thanks them for their service. (“Calling beasts out of the box was easy, you did all the hard work.”) She’s downright complacent watching Abbie destroy the hive and the Lady along with it. The sixth blossom is already blooming, and there’s nothing the Witnesses can do to stop it. “Bear witness,” she purrs, as her tree opens to admit her entrance. She disappears, and it seals back up. Later, Crane notes that trees are often points of entry to the underworld in literature, supporting the theory that Pandora has a boss who’s even more powerful than her. She’ll be back, the Witnesses agree. And they’ll be ready for her. Or them.

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I feel like The X-Files did the bug-person thing better in “Folie A Deux” and that the paranoia and mass-panic angle should have been played up a lot more. There’s a disconnect between Pandora being so content with her work and the fact that we as an audience see no evidence that the mood of the town has changed. 3/10 Sandmen for Creepiness.

#SassyHollow

sass

The sass-factor was relatively low in this episode. Things to do, bugs to squash. If I weren’t so tired of Zoe already, I’d have more enjoyed Crane and Abbie ribbing each other about their love lives. I’m firmly in the shipper camp of “yes, but not yet,” so I’m good with some platonic relationship talks. Theoretically. But I’m afraid I checked out whenever Zoe was mentioned, because I just don’t think she and Crane are at all compatible. Think about his other WCWs: Betsy, Katrina, and Abbie. One of these things is not like the other, and it’s Zoe’s “i’m just a wittle history fangirl and you’re so smart” thing. Crane wouldn’t respond to that. Not the Crane I know. I do enjoy his consistent weakness for fruity beverages, however.

drink

More of Danny and Abbie’s history was revealed in this episode, and god, finally. Reynolds, you poor bastard. While he’s still suffering the effects of the bite, Danny lets some personal stuff slip to his ex. Personal stuff like he’s still madly in love with her. And god love Grace Abigail Mills, because her reaction isn’t one of shock or guilt. She just hears it and processes it, and continues to do everything she can to save his life. (“Nothing I didn’t already know.”) I’ve liked getting to know Danny so far, but this line brought out some major side-eye:

do to people

Look, buddy. It’s not Abbie’s fault that she’s an actual goddess on earth and that you’re into her. You desiring her isn’t something she’s done to you. Abigail Mills does not string men along, and she does not play games. I’m assuming that she ended things with Danny, and end them she did. If he wants to moon over her forever, that’s his concern. “We’re fine,” Abbie tells Crane about “her” Agent Reynolds. “And he’s not mine.” And vice versa, you fuck.

THE FRIEND ZONE DOES NOT EXIST. 2/10 Donut Holes.

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“No evil can ever change that.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap

sleepy hollow sadistic sense

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 4
“The Sisters Mills”

Posted by Sage

How’d you sleep on Thursday night, friends? I considered dumping my change on my bed before I turned the lights on, just in cases. Let’s get to the rankings.

#WHATTHEDAMNHELLHOLLOW

Little Saffron isn’t the only lady in this town with a “sadistic sense of humor.” The monster that Pandora conjured this week was pure nightmare fuel, both in intent and design. The case of the Tooth Fairy blended twistory and myth, and though the Betsy Ross integration was clunky as always, I’ll never long for the days where every threat had to be tied back to Crane’s “death” and Moloch. Anyway, let’s talk about that creature, eh? Unless you’d prefer to forget it…

You never want to see kids first thing on Sleepy Hollow. It means some scurry shit is about to go down. In the cold open, a dad tucks his two young girls into their side-by-side twin beds, then leaves them along together in the darkness of their pink and purple princess room. One of the girls turns to see what causes her sister’s immediate shriek, and is met by the sight of a man-sized monster lying on top of the girl, its snake-like tongue slithering out towards her face. What in the damn hell…?

Little Joey Corbin’s ears perk up when he hears the word “monster” – he was one of the first responders to the call – and alerts the witnesses to the child who’s now in a freak coma and her sister, who maintains that she saw something that no adult wants to consider. Jenny and Abbie approach Saffron gently as she clutches her baby sister’s doll, and ohhhh, there are going to be some emotional Mills Sisters moments in this one, aren’t there? (As the title would suggest, derp.) “We wanted to tell you that we think you’re very brave,” Jenny tells the kid. And she also tells her that she knows from experience how frustrated and small it makes a tiny person feel to be dismissed by the adults who are supposed to protect her. It’s a start.

The Scoobies gain Saffron’s trust further when Crane visits her in her treehouse hideout. (More about his comedy act to come in the #Sassy section.) He skips over words and asks for the visual. Saffron draws a picture of the monster that she saw, and this mother looks piss-your-pants frightening even in crayon. I flinched at Abbie’s question to Saffron, because how is this child supposed to know what the monster actually is? But the plot servicing dialogue served as set-up for an act-ending kicker: Saffron knows her sister’s attacker as the tooth fairy. Sleep tight, children of Sleepy Hollow.

Ain't nobody fuckin' with my clique.

Ain’t nobody fuckin’ with my clique.

Crane isn’t as surprised at the melding of G-rated childhood traditions and pitch-dark dangers as the ladies are. Most fairy tales had to be heavily sanitized by Disney before getting slapped with a soundtrack and making it to the library of Fine Family Entertainment.TM (Hans Christian Andersen needed therapy and a hot bath. Reblog if you agree.) Crane recalls that the loss of a baby tooth was no cause for celebration during the time of a strange and unexplainable plague that swept through the children of his community back in the colonial days. In between sword-fighting lessons and being the worst flirt of the 1770s, Betsy Ross nursed her beloved niece, who was struck with the illness. Paul Revere, DDS showed up to consult, but Crane was dismissed from the room with no fanfare before he could see what treatment entailed. Betsy’s niece recovered in full, and the plague was ended. Archive research turns up knowledge of a Syrian demon called the Abyzou; it craves children’s souls, and an open wound (like the cavity left from a lost tooth) serves as a “beacon” to draw the demon in. Crane reads that silver is the Abyzou’s only known weakness remembers Revere giving Betsy’s niece a coin. (This is why it became customary for parents to place change under their kids’ pillows when they lost their baby teeth.) The accounts say that the Abyzou is an invisible creature, but the accounts were all written by adults. What if, the Witnesses posit, it only reveals itself to children?

I know I wish I could unsee this.

I know I wish I could unsee this.

This Abyzou is still at work and about to prey on another child with a clueless parent. Just like the ominously innocent scene that opened the episode, the “there’s no monster in your closet/under your bed/outside of the window” foreshadowing never works out well for the kid involved. After his useless mother leaves the room, an achingly adorable little boy opens his closet to check for monster he’s certain he saw there before. It’s behind him instead, and I jumped roughly a foot and a half into the air. The effects and make-up department did a tremendous job with the Tooth Fairy, but it was the casting of a contortionist to play the demon that really threw it over the top. If I saw that thing crab-walking on my ceiling, I’d get on a plane and trade in Sleepy Hollow for the Amazon rainforest, where the only thing of that size crawling towards me is a scorpion or some shit. Jenny gifts little Gregory with a silver coin when she and Crane make their reconnaissance visit to his elementary school (getting to it), but the metal is just a stop gap. Team Scooby stakes out Gregory’s home, where a useless mom has been traded in for a distracted babysitter. The Mills sisters are damn crusaders, so they don’t think twice about going after a deadly monster that they can’t see. They see flashes of the Abyzou when it runs through the path of the lawn sprinkler, but it’s still no good. The Abyzou knocks both of them out and retreats back into the forest.

While Abbie recovers at the hospital, Crane and Jenny continue digging into the past to find the Revere method for taking out the Abyzou. Crane looks through the man’s dentist bag, griping about how he was “too clever by half” and nuts about codes and ciphers. He stalls on the phrase “more than the sum of its parts” and slides two of the medical instruments together. All combined, the tools become a weapon, with silver nitrate as the ammo. Jenny remembers that silver nitrate was used in the dawn of photography. It creates a flash of light. The Abyzou has a weak spot; Revere used the silver nitrate to find it and take the shot.

Crane and Jenny set a trap for the Abyzou with Saffron as the bait. In any other town, this might be an ethical no-no, but this child had a right to be involved in the saving of her sister. She’s already there in the darkness with them, and she’s in danger along with the rest of the town’s youngins until the monster is vanquished. The Abyzou shows up right on schedule, and Crane KICKS IT IN THE FACE and out of the treehouse. He and Jenny give chase as it seeks refuge in the trees, but the silver nitrate is working. The creature is fast, and substance wears out before they make the kill shot. Crane throws the rest of the particles at it in a last-ditch effort; Jenny runs the Abyzou through with a poker, and it disintegrates. Team Jen-Bod FTW.

Also relevant to this section: Jenny tracks down the name of the lady drifter from episode 3 who suspiciously knew all of August Corbin’s signature moves. Sophie Foster is her name, but a mysterious personage called Atticus Nevins is the one paying the artifact hunter’s way. This means nothing to anyone now, but his identity has to be linked to the purpose of the Shard of Anubis that everyone is so hot for. What’s the connection between Atticus Nevins and August Corbin? And could it be possible that the two men are one and the same? WHAT IF AUGUST CORBIN ISN’T REALLY DEAD?

Good god, that monster is chilling. And it kills wee babes. That’s a solid 9/10 Golems. (If August is still alive, this scale will BREAK.)

#ShippyHollow

each other all that matters

We have no ranking system for the level of Mills Sisters bond-age that’s happening at any given moment, but #ShippyHollow serves as an all purpose feels-meter. It’s no coincidence that the first victim of the modern-day Abyzou is a little sister; the Jenny and Abbie parallels are obvious from the very beginning. Jenny is so well-adjusted and resilient, her institutionalization seems like a distant memory. But the hell she’s been through comes screaming back when she meets Saffron, whose bravery was rewarded with the adult brush-off. At least that was all she got; Jenny was locked up and declared insane.

But the younger Mills doesn’t hold that part of her life against her sister anymore. Life is too short, she well knows, and she only gets one Abbie. Crane gives the elder Mills that honor, but I think Abbie would argue that Jenny is the strongest person that either of them know. Think what she’s been through and the kindness she’s been able to retain. It’s a testament to the deep friendship she and Abbie forged as children, and to the unconditional support of her second father, August Corbin. (Seriously, if he’s alive, I’m going to not be able to watch Jenny find it out.) It’s so meaningful that Jenny can be the spokesperson for Tessa, the younger sibling who will never stop looking up to Saffron, no matter what. “You and I,” Jenny tells the girl, “we’re going to have many more happy years together with our sisters. I promise.”

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Hopefully the days of Sleepy Hollow dropping story arcs left and right are over; the reemergence of Abbie and Jenny’s father is still a factor this week. When Crane asks Abbie about her progress in sharing the news with her sister, Abbie deflects, as is her way. She begs off by saying that Jenny is “in a good place” and that she doesn’t want to disturb that. But obviously the Tooth Fairy case stirs up some long-forgotten memories for the sisters, memories about (for Abbie) the good times before their father walked out, and for both of them, a time before they were tasked with defending this world from the darkness that lies beyond. Abbie and Jenny Mills had a heavy load dumped on their shoulders before they were prepared to understand it; they dealt with it in two different ways at the time. And they continue to handle their business differently, though they’re back to doing it side by side. Abbie floats a mention of their dad and gets a wave of bitterness back from Jenny. (“He certainly took his own advice.”) Later she comes completely clean about her search and gets a revelation of her own: Jenny has known where their father is for a solid five years. (How? Did August help her?) Jenny tells Abbie that she thought opening that wound back up would upset her sister, but I think that, once they were reunited, Jenny didn’t want to rock their broken family boat by re-introducing an old element. She’s still no fan of her dad’s, but at least the secret is out and they can at least support each other through the choices they need to individually make about him. For now, Abbie is leaving him be. He has a new family and a life, and she doesn’t want to blow that up “for anyone.” My question is: what purpose does Daddy Mills serve beyond supplying some emotional resonance in the sister storyline? He could be the only member of the family to not have run into the demonic side of Sleepy Hollow, but I doubt that immensely. He’s an unknown in this equation, and I don’t see this show wasting an opportunity to throw another wrench into the lives of Team Witness. WHO ARE YOU, DADDY MILLS?

hospital hospital 2
There was no want for actual shippiness in this episode, though any time spent on the Mills sisters’ relationship is a welcome trade for QT with Ichabbie. Anyway, Crane and Abbie’s roommate status means that some element of mystery is indeed gone. (“We share a roof, Crane. I know a lot of things I cannot un-know.) The exasperated eyebrow raise and the flirty ribbing are outweighing the deep emotional beats so far this season, but only by a hair. Put one of these two in a hospital bed (or their couch at home, big ups to last week) and here come the vows of unconditional loyalty. Though I’m sure that Jenny appreciates that Crane reined in the mushy celebration at hearing that Abbie is back up and about, for her sake. (“I am pleased you’re back to your old form, Lieutenant.”)

complicated

No advancements on the Joe/Jenny front, though we did find out that Jenny has been trying to set her friend and artifact hunting protege up. (The Mills sisters are great at killing monsters, but their true passions lie in matchmaking.”) Does Jenny know other women? I don’t think she’s the type to join up with the Sleepy Hollow Ladies Auxiliary. The only explanation I can string together is that she meets them at Mabie’s, and then tells them all about her hot EMT bro who isn’t a wendigo anymore. It’s an awfully girlish hobby for these two badasses, no? Regardless, we finally got the Crane/Joe bro time we were promised at NYCC, when they’re teamed up for the Tooth Fairy stakeout. Like everyone else in his life, Joe has an opinion about Crane’s text-flirting with Zoe, and his classifies both the frequency and the content of their correspondence as very un-tutor-like. Crane seems determined to keep his professional life and love life separate, (Would that he had been so adamant about this when Katrina was being shoved down our throats.) but Joe knows that that kind of compartmentalization is impractical, and more trouble than its worth. I believe that we’re supposed to think of Betsy when Crane cites his “experience” on mixing business with pleasure, and I’m sure we’ll see where that whole disaster goes even more wrong. But his “as is my way” suggests a perpetual struggle with finding the line, and we all know that he hasn’t known Zoe long enough for that to apply. To reiterate: Crane knows he spends too much time pondering the nature of an ongoing working relationship and the “auxiliary feelings” it provokes. HM.

Whoever could you be talking about right now, Crane? Your failed attempt at being coy gets this episode 7/10 Fist Bumps for Shippiness.

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