Sleepy Hollow, Shakespeare, and Sorkin – An Interview with Zach Appelman

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Posted by Kim and Sage

One recent sunny Sunday in New York City, we had the pleasure of a leisurely coffee date with Sleepy Hollow‘s Joe Corbin and frequent stage actor Zach Appelman. Fresh off of his role as Diomedes in the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Troilus and Cressida (which we saw from the front row on a magical, rainy night), Zach sat down with us to talk about the pros and cons of fandom culture, the intersection of sci-fi and Shakespeare, and pranking Lyndie Greenwood. We covered a lot of ground, so let’s get right to it:

Sage: What was the con experience like for you?

Zach: New York Comic Con was my first one, I had never done any of those before! It was fantastic! What was interesting was that I hadn’t done that stuff before but from theatre, any time you do a play you do those Q&A talkbacks, so that part wasn’t foreign. But it was just really exciting, there was so much positive energy. You know I had never been to a con before, even as a fan, so I never knew what they were really about. There was something about walking around on the floor and I was like “Oh, I get it. This is a place where people of all ages can come and everyone is here because they fucking love these stories and they can go and celebrate that where no one is going to judge them.” There was such a sense of positivity and community there, it’s fantastic.

Team #SleepyHollow is in the building! #NYCC

A photo posted by Head Over Feels (@headoverfeelsdotcom) on

Sage: We met Lyndie in San Diego and she was in a FULL cosplay that she had made herself and we were like “Oh, you are a NERD.”

Zach: Both she and Tom really love comics and graphic novels.

Kim: Her costume was a character that was SO obscure. She was late to the brunch she and Orlando hosted BECAUSE she was putting it together.

Zach: I’m really sad I won’t be there this year. I’m thinking of just crashing.

HOF: You SHOULD crash.

Lyndie Greenwood and Zach Appelman Sleepy Hollow NYCC

Sleepy Hollow panel at NYCC 2015. Source: HOF

Zach: We did WonderCon in LA which was great. That one was really tricky because it was the week before the episode where I was getting killed. Lyndie and I were both trying our best to put a positive spin on what was going to happen without spoiling it. It was a really interesting time to try and do the promotion because we both knew what was coming and we couldn’t say anything about it.

Kim: It was so funny because we KNEW you were doomed when you were doing all the press for the week that episode. We were like “Oh, shit! He’s doomed.” (Zach laughs). How far in advance did you know that you were being killed off?

Zach: I found out a couple of episodes ahead of time, so about three weeks before we started shooting, which is not a lot of time. You get that phone call and you know it’s one of three things. It’s either we’ve been picked up for another season, we’ve been canceled, or you’re off the show. We really didn’t see it coming. We knew at that point there was a possibility of Nicole leaving, so because that was already happening, I don’t think any of us thought there’d be another death. It was a rough phone call. I had to call Lyndie and tell her.

HOF: Oh no!

Zach: It was not fun, there was a fair amount of drinking after. It was a bummer though. I had such a good time. The loss of the job ends up not being the thing that’s a bummer. It was having to say goodbye to everybody. But this business and this profession is so inconstant anyway. I could get a call tomorrow saying “Oh, you’re on Game of Thrones” and even then, you get that dream job and it could be gone in a second. I think in order to not go crazy in this profession, you have to really just be comfortable with never knowing where you are going to be in a month. Even if you get a nice long theatre gig that lasts four months, it’s only four months! It’s such a weird profession. You don’t ever get a job and it’s like “Oh I have a job now for the next few years!”, you know?

Kim: You’re a gypsy.

Zach: Yep. You could book a lead role on a new pilot and you don’t know whether it will be picked up. It can be picked up and then canceled after episode 3. I’m learning to be really zen about it.

Kim: This was your first major foray into television, right?

Zach: Yeah, all the stuff I had done before had been one episode guest star things, so this was the first time I was an extended series regular, which was a really great experience. I got lucky. I had great people to work with and they gave me a lot of material. Because you can also get picked up as a series regular and move to Atlanta and end up being in one scene per episode which means you’re working one day a week. And then all of the sudden you’re just out of place twiddling your thumbs. I knew going out there that could be the case. I had no idea what the plan was for me for the season. It ended up just being a wonderful thing where I would get the script and go “Oh, I have a STORY. I have a plot, I have a lot to do.”

Source: Fox

Kim: For a lot of the season it felt like Joe and Jenny had their own spinoff.

Zach: Yeah! We got to hold down the B-Story. Which I think was something in the past that Sleepy Hollow had struggled to figure out. It’s a logistical thing too when you have two lead characters and you don’t have a solid B-Story, you’re going to have two actors who just get worked to the bone. So part of it came from the necessity of being like “We need to figure out a way to make sure we’re taking care of our actors by sharing the work.” I was glad to be a part of that.

Sage: Had you watched everything up until that point?

Zach: When I came in for Season Two, I actually wasn’t familiar with the show when I got the audition.

Sage: And to your knowledge, it was only going to be for that one episode.

Zach: At that point, yeah. It was just going to be a one-off. When I got the audition, I had like 5 days to prepare, so I went on iTunes and downloaded season one of Sleepy and got up to speed really quick. I was like “Oh, this show is fantastic!” I went out there and did that first episode. The writer, Heather Regnier (I love her, by the way, she’s fantastic), she talked while I was out there and floated that if they got a season three, they would love to have me back. It was a whole lot of hypothetical at the time, so it wasn’t anything that I was expecting. So it was a nice surprise.

Sage: It made so much more sense. Having watched through season two when Hawley just kind of shows up and you’re like “Who’s this guy? Where did he come from?” I found it was hard for them to integrate him in a way that made it grounded and with Joe it was like, these people have a history with him.

Zach: I will give a 30 second loving on to Matt Barr (Hawley) though. When I was out there for season two, it’s such a weird thing to come out as a guest star. You fly out to North Carolina, where we were shooting at the time, and you’re put up at a hotel for two weeks. You can feel bizarrely displaced. That first night I got to North Carolina, there was a grocery store across the street. I went to buy coffee and beer for my hotel room, the essentials, you know? I had my six pack of Shiner and my coffee and I’m standing in line and I look at the line opposite me and there’s this absurdly tall, handsome, shaggy, blond man. I look at him and he looks at me and we hadn’t met but we were both just kind of like “Sleepy Hollow?” “Yeah!” And he ALSO had a six pack of beer, so we went and introduced ourselves, because he was at the hotel too. We ended up just going back to the hotel that night and having a bunch of beers by the pool. It was like INSTANT FRIEND with Matt Barr. It was really really nice to be out there and have a buddy. Did you guys ever see Hatfields and McCoys? It’s REALLY good and Matt’s one of the main characters in it and he’s so fucking good. So anyone who’s ONLY familiar with him from Sleepy Hollow needs to go watch it. It’s SO good. Anyway. That’s just my plug for Matt Barr.

Kim: You’ve obviously got a theatre background, and Tom does too…

Zach: And Nicole too! Nicole came out of Julliard. I think her first few gigs…she did a big play at Lincoln Center. The three of us had very similar backgrounds. Yale, where I went, and Julliard have very similar programs that overlap. So Nicole and I realized we had a lot of friends in common.

Kim: I feel like a lot of these genre shows attract classically trained actors. You look at Doctor Who, Outlander, Sleepy Hollow…all of these genre shows booking really strong actors and yet you don’t get the credit for the work you’re doing.

Zach: It’s interesting because I heard Patrick Stewart talk about this in an interview, so I’m going to steal from him. It’s the same thing with him, you know, and Ian McKellan, who are known for theatre and then genre films and TV. Someone was asking him about that and he said there’s a lot of overlap between the skill sets you need to do classical theatre and the skill sets to do genre and sci-fi/fantasy. You’re often taking scripts that are not completely realistic and the language is often heightened. I mean, you look at the language used in Lord of the Rings: it’s not colloquial English, it’s big, it’s epic. It’s the same task that you have if you’re doing a Shakespeare play: how can I take language that isn’t realistic and make it truthful? AND not try and apologize for the fact that the language isn’t realistic. When you try to do Shakespeare and try to make it sound colloquial, which is what a lot of modern actors and a lot of YOUNG actors try to do because they’re like “Oh everything needs to be ‘realistic'” so they take Romeo and Juliet and add a lot of “ums” and stuttering and breaking it up, when you actually just have to embrace the fact that this is big language. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be truthful. And it’s the same thing if you say “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”, you know? It’s epic and it’s big and I think that’s WHY a lot of casting directors find that classically trained actors have a knack for being able to sell that material.

Kim: Some of my favorite moments in Sleepy Hollow would be where Tom would just let loose. What was that one episode where he just speechified…

Zach: All of them?

Kim: Oh! It was when he was trapped in the room with the Hidden One and he was just going off about Shakespeare and poetry and it was just like look at you GO, Tom.

Zach: Ichabod, the way Tom plays him, could be a character completely at home in an Oscar Wilde play, in a Noel Coward play. The way that Tom’s able to make that dialogue pop: one, it’s just his own wonderfully unique sense of humor and personality, but there’s also a lot of technique in making those lines land and getting the wit of it. That’s something that I think you learn on stage and you learn through trial and error because one night the audience doesn’t laugh, the next night you change it and they laugh a little more, and the next night you change the pause and you get the big laugh. It’s finding where the rhythm is. It’s hard to learn on camera because you don’t have that immediate response but if you spend years and years figuring that shit out on stage, you start to get a knack of the little technical things. It’s why I think Tom can do that so brilliantly.


Kim: At New York Comic Con last year, a friend tweeted us after the panel saying he had seen you play Henry V. We were like “We had no idea he was a Shakespeare!”

Zach: I mean, basically most of my work when I got out of drama school was all classical theatre. I haven’t done a contemporary play since I’ve been in New York. It’s been all period stuff. I was getting ready to do Hamlet when I was doing my first episode of Sleepy Hollow, so it was a wonderful position of being in my trailer and learning my lines for Hamlet and then coming on set and turning into a wendigo. But I love it. I love doing both. I want to keep doing both.

Kim: What’s it like, at your age, to have DONE Hamlet and Henry V? Those are some MAJOR Shakespeare roles.

Happy 400th anniversary…Thanks for all the plays…. #shakespeare400thanniversary #mybooks

A photo posted by Zach Appelman (@zachappelman) on

Zach: It’s all down hill after that, right? No, and there’s no shortage of great Shakespeare roles for men throughout your life. You can literally go through the canon, working your way from Romeo to Henry to Hamlet to Macbeth to Iago to Lear. I was really happy to get to do Hamlet and Henry V pretty young, younger than they’re often cast. You often see a 40-year-old actor playing Hamlet and Henry V and part of that is simply because you need a certain amount of experience in order to be ready to do those roles. Neither of those roles are starter roles. Any actor who’s a big name wants to play that role, you still want to play it when you’re 45 and you should still get to do it. But they are both really young men, you know? Hamlet’s a college student, Henry V when he invaded France was 26 or 27. So with both of those I got to do them around the age they actually WERE, which is really nice.

With Hamlet, with all the endless scholarly shit that’s been written about it, the simplest thing is it’s a play about a boy who’s just lost his father. Simple storytelling: kid’s away at college, his dad dies, he comes home, and everyone else has gotten over it but he’s still mourning. The loss of a parent at ANY age is monumental but especially when you’re 20. A young man having to actually confront death for the first time in his life can really fuck you up, you know? You find yourself pondering those big questions. When you look at THAT way, it’s a really simple story and all of the philosophizing that goes on is really something any of us would do the first time we lose someone. We didn’t have to go into Freud and psychoanalysis and any of that stuff because it’s much simpler than that. I think when you have a 45 year old Hamlet who’s unmarried and at home with all these mommy issues, you’re dealing with an adult with some developmental problems, you know? (Laughs) When it’s a 20-year-old, you’re dealing with a really recognizable young man who’s on the cusp of adulthood and is not quite there yet and is really struggling with grief. It’s a different perspective than what we often see since it’s played older. Anyway. That was a tangent.

Hamlet at Hartford Stage

Hamlet at Hartford Stage

Sage: I saw Benedict Cumberbatch do it in London. The Tennant one is really great too.

Zach: I mean Richard Burton did it when he was in his late 40’s and he was phenomenal. So it’s not that it’s better or worse one way, but it’s nice to see that it can work in so many different ways.

Kim: How did Shakespeare in the Park come about?

Zach: I actually hadn’t worked at the Public before, it was my first time doing it. I was itching to do a play, cause I hadn’t done one in about a year because I had been fighting monsters in Atlanta. I had come back to New York after Sleepy Hollow and I was trying to get on another TV show. I had a bunch of things that I really wanted, that I got very very close to and didn’t get. Which, that’s what happens, you know? I was feeling pretty down about it and then my manager came to me and was like “Shakespeare in the Park would be an interesting thing for the summer. It’s not a HUGE role, but what do you think?” I thought about it and I thought it would be good for my SOUL to do. I’d been in the rough world of TV land for the past year and just being back outside, with an ensemble of actors was a really wonderful and refreshing thing. I’d really missed the audience interaction, which you don’t get on camera, or you don’t get until you go on Twitter, for better or for worse. There’s nothing like it, especially with Shakespeare in the Park because it feels like such an event, a New York institution. There’s a real sense of community when you’re doing it. I came out of it just being in a better head space than I was three months ago. It cleansed me a bit, in a wonderful way.

Kim: And performing in the rain?

Zach: You know, that’s thing. The night that you guys were there, by the end, I think the audience was an eighth full but the people who stayed were the people who really really wanted to see it. It ends up being the best audience you’ve ever performed for.

Sage: We left being like, we ALL collectively went through something: the ushers, the cast, everyone who was there was like, “We are committed to seeing this performance through.”

Zach: It is a communal experience, for sure. It’s something I don’t get when I’m filming a TV show for a crew and then four months later everyone sees it. It was such a nice thing to be back to.

Troilus and Cressida, The Public Theater

Sage: I only read a couple of the reviews, but they were all positive. You rarely see a good production of Troilus and Cressida because the play is so all over the place tonally. Did you have that opinion going in?

Zach: I had only seen one production of it that was done when I was in drama school. It’s rarely performed and it’s a really tricky play to make work. I think what was interesting was our production made people go “Oh, it can totally work.” I think it’s a real testament to Dan Sullivan, who directed it. I went into it not knowing if it would work. As an actor, I knew it would be a really fun challenge. I think I said to someone that if people are coming to Shakespeare in the Park this summer expecting a nice summer evening in the park, this is not a nice play. It’s men behaving at their WORST. My character especially was really horrible. I was like “People might REALLY hate this.” I think I was surprised that without sacrificing the darkness of that story that we were still able to make an enjoyable dramatic performance. There WAS a lot of humor in it. Somebody said that it was like Shakespeare read The Iliad and then wrote fan-fiction. If you go back and read The Iliad if you’re a giant nerd like me, it’s this heroic epic. And Shakespeare just comes in and undercuts the whole thing! He takes all these giant heroes and just says “Nah! These guys are flawed, petty, disgusting human beings.”

Kim: Like with Odysseus! He’s supposed to be a HERO!

Zach: And he organizes essentially a gang rape!

Sage: THAT SCENE. The scene with the bracelet, the way it was staged with the guys in the background, I was blown away by that. It was so uncomfortable.

Kim: We were in the FRONT ROW and we were all just like “Oh, GOD.”

Zach: It’s so contemporary. You talk about everything that’s in the news right now about rape culture and it’s ALL in that play and it’s not different than it is now, you know? That was something that I was very conscious of when we were doing it. If we’re doing a play that’s showing this, we can’t skirt away from it and we can’t try to lessen it. If we’re gonna show it, then we need to SHOW it. I don’t know what we’re saying ABOUT it other than drawing attention to it.

Sage: That alone is really powerful. Because so many people argue that doesn’t exist and you’re putting a stamp on it.

Zach: Setting it in a modern context especially.

Kim: And that was all Dan’s concept?

Zach: I think he really wanted it to be contemporary, setting it with the Greeks in desert camo. I don’t think it’s much as a comment on the modern military as it is just a comment on modern masculinity. That machismo that is so evident in that 400-year-old play is really no different than that culture today, whether you’re in a locker room, barracks, or on the street. That’s when I locked into it and said “Oh this is what we’re doing.” And what happens to these women as a result? Do they fight it? Do they not fight it? How can they assert themselves under these circumstances?

Also, it’s a war that’s being fought for something that no one but these two guys, Paris and Menelaus, believe in. Nobody keeps quiet about that. I think that’s pretty familiar today. It was a nice surprise. I didn’t know it was going to be such a successful production. It was a wonderful ensemble.

Kim: A lot of dudes being dudes.

Zach: A LOT of dudes being dudes.

Sage: It is very unsettling to sit in the audience with people running around you shooting guns that sound very, very real.

Closing Night. Gonna miss these beautiful clowns. #troilusandcressida #shakespeareinthepark @publictheaterny

A photo posted by Zach Appelman (@zachappelman) on

Kim: You’ve also worked with Julie Taymor.

Zach: Yeah. She’s so incredible. When I was in college taking my first theatre history classes, we watched documentaries about her. And then to get to be in the rehearsal room working with her was such a trip. I mean, she’s one of the greatest artists of our time. Really really doing things that no one else does. I can’t say enough amazing things about her. If you guys get a chance, we did a film of that Midsummer Night’s Dream that I did with her. It goes around to arthouse cinemas and screens every now and then, it did a screening at BAM earlier this summer. If it comes around again, I’ll let you know, I’ll tweet about it or something. It’s really beautiful. I hope it’ll end up on Netflix or something.

Sage: Would you want to do some contemporary plays?

Zach: I would love to, I would love to keep myself on my toes and challenge myself that way. Especially in New York, there’s so much star casting, which is completely understandable. If you’re going to do a Broadway show and charge $150 a ticket, people aren’t going to buy tickets unless they know something about the actor doing it. It’s different with Shakespeare in the Park, one because it’s free and two because it’s Shakespeare in the Park and you don’t have to rely on [star casting] as much. I’ll often find that with contemporary plays in New York, especially the big theatres, some of the great roles are not necessarily available to me in the way they are to others.

Kim: The stunt casting can be very frustrating.

Zach: But I get it! I think we’d like to be like “Oh, this is a new thing” but it’s always been like that. The ironic thing is that the best thing I can do for my theatre career is to keep doing as much film and television as possible. I want to do both, and you’re not making the decision to do one instead of the other. Ideally, every time I do a high-profile play, that leads to more television work. And that leads to more plays. It all just sort of builds. When I did that production of Hamlet out at Hartford Stage with Darko Tresnjak, who is one of the best directors out there, we really talked about wanting to do it together in New York. I said, “YOU could, but you’d have to replace me with Adam Driver.” And I don’t mean that disparagingly, he’s a fantastic actor and people in New York aren’t going to buy tickets to see ME in Hamlet. Well. Some people would. You guys would. (Laughs) If I did a couple more years on a successful TV show, it would be a different situation. I’d say to Darko, “Give me a couple more years, I’m going to try to get a little more famous.”

Sage: It was such an interesting thing that happened with Oscar Isaac and Hamlet and moving it TO The Public.

Zach: I would LOVE to see him play that role, I hope it still happens. I think he’s a tremendous actor.

Sage: It’s interesting when the director and the actor have this partnership that they can have the power to take it where ever they want.

Zach: That’s a luxury you have when you get to a certain point in your career. You can start doing things like that, which is wonderful. You can have that agency you don’t have earlier in your career. Oscar and Nicole were at Julliard at the same time. AND Adam Driver too. I’d pay to see Oscar Isaac do almost anything. Inside Llewyn Davis is one of my favorites. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I grew up on that kind of music.

Sage: What other stuff are you a big fan of, TV-wise?

Zach: Besides The West Wing.

Sage: Besides The West Wing. We’ll get to The West Wing. 

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

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 17
“Delaware” 

Posted by Kim

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

I am not okay.

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

I told you I wasn’t okay.

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

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

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

#CreepyHollow and #WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow

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

Do not want.

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

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

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

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

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

I AM IN PAIN.

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

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

WHO ARE YOU EZRA MILLS?

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

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

height difference

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

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

#CreepyHollow/WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow

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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.

ichabbie running

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

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

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

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

ichabbie flirting

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

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

#SassyHollow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 15
“Incommunicado”

Posted by Kim

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

#CreepyHollow

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 14
“Into the Wild”
Posted by Sage

Good morrow, Sleepyheads. Is everyone having fun on the bubble?

Just for funsies, I was looking back at some of our season two recaps. It was a dark time: a love triangle was brewing that would have turned the Mills sisters (soulmates, protectors) into sniping stereotypes; Lyndie Greenwood and Orlando Jones were both being slighted in favor of Blond-Beard; and against all odds and our wishes, the show was still trying to make Katrina happen.

Sleepy Hollow has been sweatin’, endeavoring to retroactively earn that season three pick-up. So we find ourselves back on the “could go either way” section of TV Line’s renewal report card. But THIS time, my friends, a strong case has been made. (Betsy Ross aside, and it seems like she’s been shelved anyway.)

As a Crane-light episode, “Into the Wild” is low on the ‘shippy scale. (At least the ICHABBIE ‘shippy scale, so mull THAT over.) But this hour made up for that in other areas. Let’s move on to the rankings.

#CreepyHollow

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Danny is leading a weekend-long FBI survival training exercise, and Abbie is raring to go. First of all, she sees the value in an activity that can take her mind off the symbol that’s been occupying her; and secondly, she knows she’s about to school everyone because what are the upstate New York woods to millennia-old Sumerian catacombs? The sitcom set-up moment comes when Abbie and Sophie realize they’re on a team (yay!), but that one of their teammates is out with appendicitis. (Danny, what did you DO?) Daniel “I can’t take a hint” Reynolds volunteers to be the ladies’ third. (I KNOW WHAT I SAID.) Sans cell phones, Sophie, Abbie, and Danny head off with their wilderness guide, Robbie Malone. Oh, Robbie. I wish you hadn’t said your name, because now I know you dead.

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

Which is Robbie’s loss, because he’s our victim this evening. Another triumph of the effects department stalks and attacks the guide, sinking its teeth into him like a vampire. The Verslinder is on par with the Tooth Fairy, my other pick for the most pants-shittingly scary creature of season three. It’s like a White Walker made of worms. That’s the best I can do.

Sophie and Abbie knock the creature back before it can finish Robbie off, but the guide is already badly hurt. Danny conveniently shows back up after the altercation is over (they tell him the suspect is a coyote) and puts his boss hat on. Sophie tends to Robbie while Danny and Abbie earn their medical badges by constructing a woodland stretcher for the wounded. Add “reads Dutch” to the list of reasons I’m glad Sophie’s around. She translates from the photos on Robbie’s camera, naming the beast: the Verslinder, “One Who Devours.”

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Robbie’s cell phone is broken; they’re miles from help. Abbie lets Sophie in on her plan to stay back and look for the Verslinder while Sophie and Danny go ahead with Robbie. (How well can you possibly know this woman, Danny? A rest? She’s in better shape than the rest of the trainees – AND YOU – combined.) While she waits, Abbie’s mind wanders back to the catacombs, to her symbol, and the time she nearly let Crane die. The monster can sense the emo coursing through her veins and so it attacks. Abbie’s ready with Robbie’s knife and cuts off the beast’s arm. It regenerates before her eyes. (Cause worms can do that, y’all. SCIENCE.) Sophie reappears just as Abbie’s plan to singlehandedly rid the Sleepy Hollow wilderness of one more ancient demon backfires impressively. Again, the ladies send the Verslinder off to lick (ugh) its wounds. Now, Abbie’s hopeful that they have some time to figure out what they’re dealing with.

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Danny’s extreme aversion to danger kept him away from the second Verslinder duel too, but he’s just in time to join the ladies and Robbie to find shelter. (To the commenter who asked me to lay off Danny: I’m sorry, I physically cannot.) The Swiss Family Reynolds sets up shop in an abandoned cabin that coincidentally has nothing of import inside EXCEPT the centuries-old diary that will tell them everything they need to know to defeat their supernatural foe. How fortuitous. Sophie found the handwritten memoirs of a Dutch trapper, one Christopher Dan Pierre, by tearing up the floorboards in one of the bedrooms. (Is that part of FBI survivalist training or just being a bad house guest?) Christopher and his brother Thomas were hired by a nearby village to rid their woods of a monster. With no clear method of killing a regenerating entity (the Daleks: “RIGHT?”), the brothers decide to lock the Verslinder away. Thomas was bit by the creature in the process of entombing it in the well, and it’s long-dead Christopher’s duty to report via diary that his brother did NOT “expire.” Abbie and Sophie are nursing a zombie. A zombie with professional-grade timing.

Danny had already charged out of the cabin to get help in a scene that reminded me of that Jack McFarland quote, “Is that a huff? I think I’ll leave in it,” so it’s ladies v. supernatural Dutch monster yet again. They put Robbie back to sleep and Abbie assesses that he hasn’t completely transformed yet. There’s still a chance to save him. Sophie jokingly throws out “antibiotics” as a solution to the worst case of worms anyone’s ever seen, but Abbie’s wheels start a-spinning. She gets her Rachel Ray on and starts mixing up a 30-minute zombie cure. (If Abbie didn’t need food, water, or sleep in the catacombs, why did she need medicine? And was there even any organic material there to make it from?) Now all they need is “a delivery system.” Annnnnnnnnd I’m going to leave it here for now.

Eighth grade earthworm dissection flashbacks. 9/10 Sandmen for Creepy.

#SassyHollow

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

That was the money shot, of course, but there was a lot of other stuff happening at the climbing gym. Jenny knows about the symbol and Abbie’s ride on the struggle bus. They chat about it casually (so casually that Abbie sneaks in a complaint about Crane’s Netflix obsession), proving that by opening up to Crane, Abbie pulled off the band-aid and now comfortably shares the burden. These are their lives now; there’s no point in compartmentalizing the normal and the supernatural.  Nor is there value in pretending everything’s okay when Abbie’s state of mind could put the people she loves in danger. When 3/4 of your crew has personally experienced demonic possession, why let shame win the day?

Abbie switches gears to Jenny’s commitment-phobia, joyfully poking fun at her sister’s enraged reaction to Joey’s well-intentioned over-step, that new trailer. (“Didn’t it come with a white-picket fence?”) Give me the missing scene where Joe asks Abbie what he did wrong and Abbie’s like, “Just ask me first next time, dude. I still know my sister better than you.” The thing is, the Mills sisters can laugh about his fuck-up because neither one of them doubts that Master Corbin is A) a really good person, and B) deadass crazy about Jenny. Contrast Joe with the patronizing guy who macks on Abbie by assuming she doesn’t know what she’s doing. (“It can be difficult.) STOP TEACHING THIS TECHNIQUE IN STRAIGHT BOY SCHOOL, IT DOESN’T WORK.

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

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

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

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

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“Benjamin Franklin sends his regards.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Dark Mirror

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 13
“Dark Mirror”

Posted by Kim

I guess it was only a matter of time before Sleepy Hollow TRULY had a story crossover with The X-Files. To the rankings we go!

#CreepyHollow

A very attractive couple in their very attractive workout gear runs in the hills of Georgia of Sleepy Hollow. They show off for each other, each trying to out fitness the other, before the girl stumbles and disappears from the path. Her boyfriend stumbles over her bloody and mauled body before some creature with horns attacks and kills HIM.

THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER RUN, PEOPLE.

Turns out this whole scene was observed by The Hidden One, who is out and about looking robust in a tunic and belt from Demon Anthropologie. “Your skills remain quite admirable,” he purrs to the horned guy, who has blood dribbling down his face. (YAY MAKEUP TEAM.) “Do you not recognize your master?” Horned Guy babbles in a garbled tongue (where the wishful thinker believes he is saying “Yo, I thought Pandora was my master?”) as he tries to finds his words. “I haven’t used my voice in a long time,” Horns says. “It is time I gave the Devil his due,” The Hidden One declares while I take a shot because seeing how many Devil puns we can get in this episode seems like it will be a fun game.

Meanwhile, Abbie is still doing her morning runs and she is still tormented by visions of her time in the catacombs. She finishes her run and instead of just collapsing on the couch like an ordinary person, she goes into her shed and LITERALLY clings to her shrine to this mysterious rune. It has a hold on her like Harry Styles has a hold on me. She can’t function without making sure it still exists. Jenny nearly catches her rune worship because for SOME reason Abbie Mills stores her booze out in the shed and Jenny needs champagne for Mimosas. Abbie gamely deflects, suggesting that they just kill the champagne out there, leaving none for the boys. Note to the writers, I would like to see this in a future episode. I know we are all SUPER worried about Abbie’s mental state, but let’s just take a minute to admire what a cunning and adorable minx she is.

 

Team Witness Drunch (BELIEVE ME IMMA TALK ABOUT THAT LATER) is interrupted when Abbie gets a call about two murders at an antiquities museum (dealership? store? whatever, old things were there and that’s the only thing that’s important). Nothing about the murders feels remotely human. The victims have their jugular ripped out like it was a canine attack, but yet the pupils are blown as if they had been poisoned. “Great,” Abbie deadpans. “A menagerie of evil.” Crane harkens back to a legend where a creature who was an amalgamation of a whole bunch of deadly beasts roamed the Jersey woods. “A monster in Jersey? That urban legend, still around,” Abbie says. “It will be nice if for once, the story was just a story.” “Yet, we must face the truth,” Crane says, in his best “we’re about to go to opening titles” voice. “The Jersey Devil has come to Sleepy Hollow.” Somewhere, Fox Mulder’s heart just beat out of his chest.

(Also errybody take a shot because I’ve lost track of how many times Crane has said “{insert monster here} has come to Sleepy Hollow this season.

Back in the archives, Abbie and Crane dig into the history of the Jersey Devil. They find everything from the absurd (it looked like Bon Jovi) to descriptions matching their victims (“the head of a goat, the skin of a snake and the tail of a scorpion”). When Abbie says that a recent set of victims was found in Atlantic County Park (our unfortunate runners), it triggers a memory in Crane. Flashback to the beginning of his apprenticeship with Benjamin Franklin, where Crane’s hair is ESPECIALLY curly and Harry Styles Glorious. (Note to the wig team: WE LIKE THAT ONE.) Crane meets Japeth Leeds in the woods, a man who is Franklin’s nemesis and frenemy. Leeds is exceedingly cocky as his brags about how his work (especially his electrostatic inducer) is far superior to Franklin’s and if ole Benjy doesn’t stop copying him, he’s going to take his ass to the Continental Congress. “You chose the wrong mentor,” Leeds sneers to an exceedingly bemused Crane, who despite his protestations in modern-day, is incredibly faithful to Franklin. It turns out Leeds was ALSO known for seeking out a method to isolate animal traits in order to augment humanity. HMMMMM.

Franklin comes thru for his pupil yet again when the Witnesses find an encoded message from him in his almanac. “Having turned his back on the scientific community, Dr. Leeds has taken to experimenting on himself, altering his very physiology.” In a very Dr. Henry Jekyll move, Leeds began experimenting on HIMSELF. We see Leeds mixing potions and drinking them (I half expected him to burst out with “This is the Moment”) and then sprouting horns and a scorpion’s tail. That’s right…Japeth Leeds is The Jersey Devil and somehow all of this experiments ALSO prolonged his life, so he’s been kicking it for the past 250 years. Wicked. Abbie ponders if his laboratory is still in Atlantic County Park, which means it’s time for a field trip.

As the Witnesses are poking around for the laboratory, Jenny calls to inform them that the antiquities professors were murdered for some items they had on loan from the London Museum. Both objects were solid gold and known to be vessels to the powers of the Gods. Important! They find a Franklin stove in the middle of some ruins, which is odd. Odder still is that it is not FULLY a Franklin Stove but one of Leeds’ design. (Also look how Abbie fonds at him as he examines the stove. Control yourself, girl. Except don’t.) A fire appears in the stove, but Crane sticks his hand in it, knowing it’s an illusion. The stove creaks and moans and WHOOSH, we have a stairway to the lab. How many times have the Witnesses stood before a mysterious staircase leading into the unknown? Enough times to keep track of who has gone down them first. “I went in first last time,” Abbie smirks at Crane. PARTNERSHIP.

Abbie and Crane descend into the lab, where all the torches automatically come on because Leeds installed motion sensors. “Lots of details…but no devil.” (*takes a shot*) Abbie finds drawings of The Hidden One. Crane realizes what makes this case different from all their previous Hidden One monsters…Leeds wasn’t summoned. He came WILLINGLY in service to his master. Before Crane can go further in his deductions, he notices that his partner has basically frozen up as she stares at something on the table. It’s an amulet of Abbie’s rune and she is transfixed by it. She tries to play it cool when Crane questions her but he can DEFINITELY tell that she’s freaking out because he’s just that in tune with her emotions. “That is no alchemy symbol,” he warns. “If it in the possession of a fiend such as Leeds, it can only represent evil.” LISTEN TO YOUR BOO, ABBIE.

BAD NEWS BEARS.

After watching Leeds’ home movie about The Hidden One (stay tuned for WHATTHEDAMNHELL) and taking the stolen gold artifacts into account, the Witnesses realize two things. One, that Leeds’ plan is to recreate the Golden Hourglass of the Gods. Two, The Hidden One is drawing the monsters to Sleepy Hollow to use their power for himself because he is a punk ass bitch who likes to steal EVERYONE’S wind. They are interrupted by a “Did I leave the Stove unlocked?” Leeds has joined the party in the lab and he’s CLEARLY delighted to see his pal Ichabod Crane. (“Had I known you were still alive we’d have had sherry and darts Friday nights!”) Crane has no time for pleasantries and banter. He calls Leeds an abomination, stating that Franklin knew his true nature all along. (SO LOYAL ALWAYS, CRANE. ILYSM.) Leeds is all “I’d rather be the Jersey Devil than be mediocre like you” and I love that they went this route with him. Yes, he’s evil AF but he’s so posh and sassy, I can’t help but be delighted by him. “Why should great men bow to the small-minded masses? Imagine an era where genius is rewarded, not feared. That is the promise of the Hidden One.” (Okay, but how is The Hidden One convincing all these people who are more powerful than him to just hand their power over? Is he Donald Trump?) “You’re insane,” Abbie sneers. “No,” Leeds replies. “I’m the devil.” EVERYBODY TAKE A SHOT. (Is that four now? How is everyone feeling?)

Leeds quickly grows tired of the banter. He wheels on Crane saying “Now, which would you prefer… bleeding out quickly from a severed artery, or expiring from a paralytic toxin?” and then promptly stings him with his scorpion tail. Abbie quickly shoots him because that is always her answer in these situations and then Crane, who is already fighting the toxin’s effects, attempts to stab him in the back. (As always, let’s take a moment to appreciate how Tom started contorting his hands as the poison took hold of him. His physicality for Ichabod is SO specific and so consistent and GOD HE IS SO GOOD IN THIS ROLE.) Leeds grabs his lightning rod electrostatic inducer and peaces out with an “If only you had some to work for me” parting shot.

Abbie quickly goes about finding a way to stop the venom from killing her Biblical life Partner. “We’re in a supernatural pharmacy. There has to be something to stop this.” Crane valiantly tries to talk her through it but the venom is working too quickly, rendering him unable to do more than groan. “Stay with me, Crane,” Abbie urges and her calmness is completely reminiscent of when Crane was badly injured earlier this season. Her default mode in these situations is to go all business because there is no other option. Getting hysterical helps no one. Unfortunately, her calm is broken when she spills the antidote everywhere and Abbie begins to freak out. She sees the rune amulet on the table and stops. She’s completely mesmerized (those are whispers she hears, yes?) and all thoughts of the urgency of her partner’s situation are completely forgotten as she focuses on the rune. (Side note: every time Crane brokenly says “Abbie” an angel gets its wings. FACT.) Ichabod manages to moan a “please” right before he loses consciousness and that manages to break Abbie out of her stupor. She remixes the antidote, cradles Crane to her and pours it down his mouth. (Will I EVER be over Tom and Nicole’s size difference? The answer is no.) Her hands are all over his face as she tries to get him to come to but to no avail. Abbie sits and clasps the amulet to her chest as she tries to breathe because she KNOWS she’s fucked up. BIG TIME.

 

 

I mean, I am not going to SAY it is True Love’s Kiss that finally revived him. But that is EXACTLY what I am saying. I’ll get into the ramifications of this situation in the shippy section, so hold tight Ichabbie fans.

After Ichabod recovers, they get a call from Jenny. Leeds was gathering the gold artifacts so that they could be reduced into the Sands of Life to fill the Golden Hourglass. To do so, he needs the Fire of the Gods aka Lightning, which is why he absconded with his lightning rod electrostatic inducer. They realize that Leeds will need to be at the highest point in the area, so they make their way there post-haste. Up in the hills, Leeds is singing the praises of the Hidden One (who is watching via the Pensieve in Pandora’s cave) and then shouts to the heavens, taunting the ghost of Franklin. “Who’s the true master of lightning NOW, Benjamin,” he taunts. (“Why are you so obsessed with me?” Benjy’s ghost shouts.) Leeds turns at the sound of two guns being cocked. Leeds may as well be stomping his foot in a temper tantrum when he sees that Ichabod survived his attack. “It appears I made the same mistake your mentor did: underestimated you.” Crane is essentially like “Yeah you did” and then goes on to warn him that no matter what he thinks, The Hidden One cannot be trusted. Leeds doesn’t give a shit about Crane’s warnings. It’s time to make some sands of life. Lightning strikes the lightning rod electrostatic inducer, the gold melts and swirls into a cyclone of sand. Leeds dances about, taunting Crane, taking no notice of the fact that Abbie is nowhere to be seen.  BOOM Abbie get Leeds in the gut with the lightning rod electrostatic inducer. “I was mentored by one of the greatest minds in history, Crane smirks. “Benjamin Franklin sends his regards.” Lightning strikes. Bye Leeds. It’s too late though…the Sands of Life are gone.

Leeds, despite his hideous looks, was more sassy than scary. 3/10 Sandmen. 

#WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow

Thanks to Leeds and his super ahead of its time film projector, we FINALLY got some backstory on Pandora and the Hidden one. A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away Once upon a time, the Gods ruled over the world from a golden palace. Humans were nothing to them, mere servants to their whims. Among the LITERAL servants to the Gods was Pandora, who delivered offerings every day as if she was living in some sort of Mythological version of Panem. There was one God who had been outcast and forced to live hidden away in the catacombs (where Abbie was???). If you guessed that this God was The Hidden One, you win a million dollars. One day, Pandora (who is playing up the meek and wide-eyed ingenue thing like a CHAMP) brings him a flower. When he questions her motivations, she bats her eyelashes and says “I only wanted to bring you a bit of joy.” The Hidden One, naturally, is completely enchanted by her and doesn’t question her intentions.  (Leeds says in his voiceover that she was a ray of hope, which is ironic considering that according to the myth, the only thing LEFT in Pandora’s Box after she managed to close it WAS hope.)

The Hidden One reveals to Pandora WHY he is hidden away in the catacombs: all of the evil in the world is hidden away in a singular box and it has fallen to him to guard it. He shows her the box, saying that all the power to destroy his brother above (Zeus?) is contained therein. He’s too busy showing off to notice the look in Pandora’s eyes. I noticed the look right away because it’s how I look at an unopened box of Tagalongs or HQ pictures of Louis Tomlinson in jewel tones. I believe the kids call it THIRST. She is SO THIRSTY for that box from the moment she laid eyes on it (if not before).  But here is where I get confused and where the story starts to get a little murky. Pandora unleashed the contents of the box (HOW) and got rid of all the good guys. Somewhere along the line she evolved from meek servant girl to bad ass powerful sorceress and she and the Hidden One started banging (I can only assume). Eventually “humanity” betrayed The Hidden One and cast him back down to the catacombs. WHO LED THAT BETRAYAL? Based on her thirst for power, I can only say that Pandora did? But somehow The Hidden One doesn’t know she was behind his fall from glory? If she was so powerful, how could she not stop his betrayal if she had nothing to do with it? DOES SHE ACTUALLY LOVE HIM OR WAS SHE USING HIM? EXPLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN.

Later, The Hidden One finds Pandora at the Tree of Wonders. She’s still pale from her lack of power and she’s DEFINITELY still pissed. In a reversal of roles, he brings HER a flower. She’s not buying it at first, but The Hidden One presses on say, “You are the only gift I have ever needed.” Then he FINALLY asks her to join him and her face lights up. I don’t know what prompted this turnaround but I have to think it’s because The Hidden One finally realized that SHE is the more powerful one here. (At least that is what I want to believe.) They stand over the pensieve/hot tub time machine as the golden hourglass containing the sands of life appears before them. “The time has come,” The Hidden One crows. “The new world begins now.” Pandora stares at the hourglass with a familiar expression.

THIRST.

SHE. IS. GOING. TO. GET. YOU. 7/10 Golems. 

#SassyHollow

 

 

Okay, I have a new life goal and that’s to have brunch with Team Witness. Everything about this was glorious. I loved the trio of Ichabod, Jenny, and Joey preparing the meal as they waited for Abbie to get back from her run. We got to see the return of riled up and pretentious Crane as he ranted about breakfast food.

Ichabod: These eggs are named after a traitor to this nation. These delicious baked goods after a member of the Hapsburg Monarchy, which is an affront to anyone who ever fought a Hessian. So, what is in a name? Apparently, nothing.
Joe: Lox?

To quote Sage, SHUT UP ICHABOD EGGS BENNIE IS DELICIOUS. Also I am glad to see that Ichabod still has an affinity for all things baked goods. And I LOVED Jenny’s “I have a new word for you. Mimosa.” WELCOME TO THE NEW AGE CRANE. It’s bubbly and delightful. AND THEN we get Joey looking like an adorable puppy as he shows off his spoon parlor trick. (Dear Zach, if you read this, please let us know how many takes that took. XO.) We have Crane making low-key dick jokes about Benjamin Franklin and you have Joey and Abbie teasing each other as Ichabod and Jenny clean up. It’s all so warm and domestic that you forget that these are a bunch of BAMF demon hunters. More of this, always.

Witness Drunch + All the Sass from Leeds = 7/10 Donut Holes

#ShippyHollow

Speaking of Jenny and Crane cleaning up from brunch, can we talk about how BLATANT Jenny was when she commented on the fact that Crane “seemed happier”.  I read a LOT of fan fic and a comment like that basically means “I KNOW YOU ARE IN LOVE AND I APPROVE.” So. Head Canon Accepted. Also, Crane has the nerve to get all bashful when she says it before he changes the subject and comments on Abbie’s mood. (Which is really code for “Tell me she is feeling it too, Jenny.” Fight me on this.) Both Ichabod and Jenny are perceptive enough to know that despite appearances, things are not completely kosher with Abbie. But they ALSO both know that pushing her to talk will get them nowhere. The only thing they can do is be there and wait and hope for Abbie to open up to them. “We must remain cognizant of her needs,” Ichabod says. YEAH YOU DO THAT.

So we come to the moments right after Abbie wakes Ichabod with True Love’s Kiss. Like I said, Abbie KNOWS she fucked up. You see it cut her to her very soul that she almost let Ichabod die. Thus, the time for secrets and delicate boundaries comes to an end. When Abbie claims distraction, Ichabod calls her on it. “By that symbol,” he says. “One you clutch in your hand even now. You were drawn to it, Lieutenant. It has a hold on you. If it is here, it is a thing of evil.” I think it’s important to note that Ichabod doesn’t call her out because he’s angry. Honestly, I think he could give a shit that he almost died. He’s so concerned about ABBIE in this moment that he feels he can no longer remain silent. And I think that lack of judgement and pure concern and love is what finally breaks her walls and the confessions come pouring forth. “It doesn’t change the fact that I need it,” she replies brokenly and you SEE the horror sweep across Ichabod’s face as he realizes JUST how long she’s been suffering in silence. “The Catacombs, the year of solitude…No sleep, no way to dream…There was no escaping it. I was in my head the whole time, in a bad place, and then, one day, that’s when I saw it, on the temple wall. I started drawing it, tracing it… It gave me peace. Gives me peace. As horrified as he is, Ichabod never says that she’s ridiculous. He simply reminds Abbie of what she is. A warrior. “When soldiers return from war, they do what they need to carry on.” Abbie can definitely read the horror on his face though because she is not an idiot.

HIS FIRST INSTINCT IS TO TOUCH HER AND HE STOPS HIMSELF AND I AM ON FIRE.

Later, when all the battles for the day have been won, Ichabod finds Abbie on the couch, clutching the amulet. An awkward silence hangs between them for a moment because Ichabod has made his views about the clear (he may not want to JUDGE but he’s still entitled to his opinion) and he doesn’t want to fight, considering they’ve both had a stressful day. So he moves to give her space but this time it’s ABBIE who makes the first move. “Don’t go,” she says, barely above a whisper. “Come and talk to me.”  So he does. And like you see in that gif, his FIRST instinct is to touch her but he holds back because this is NOT about him. This is about what she needs in this moment so as much as he may want to hold her and spoon on the couch, he keeps his distance. He’s SO GENTLE with her in this moment and he apologizes for even giving a HINT of judgement (which I didn’t see but clearly he felt he had done so). “I have seen enough men scarred by war. They must use whatever means they can to… live with the memories they carry. It is not my place to judge how one bears their private burdens.”

 

“You could’ve DIED because of how much I needed this,” she says, ripping my heart in two. You can SEE how much she’s beating herself up for letting him down. I LOVE Ichabod’s response to that because his face is very “Yeeeeeeeeeah, I did almost die, my love. That wasn’t great. But you know what? I didn’t. So maybe let’s work through this so it doesn’t happen again.” Yes. I got all that from an inhale, an eyebrow raise, and a head tilt. Tom is THAT good.

 

NICOLE BEHARIE THOUGH. Look at her. Abbie Mills doesn’t go full-out open with her emotions very often, so when she DOES you know it is a significant moment. Abbie is so broken here but you know what? She is also incredibly strong. She’s never been MORE strong than she is in this moment, in the middle of her brokenness. Her eyes never stray from Crane’s face as she says that she has been lying to herself.

 

 

I mean, I know you guys know this but DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT MEANT THAT GRACE ABIGAIL MILLS ASKED FOR HELP? Abbie has always prided herself on her independence, on the fact that she is CAPABLE and she needs no one. But no person is an island. Abbie knows she has reached a point where she can no longer do it on her own. And she trusts Ichabod so deeply that she knows he will not let her fall. You physically SEE Abbie become unburdened the moment she asks him for help. Things may still get bad. But she’s not alone now. She never HAS to be alone. I think she’s finally seeing it now.

And if my head canon is that they snuggled on the couch the rest of the night, then so be it.

 

 

And then there are these loved-up assholes. FIRST OF ALL, we are using the term GIRLFRIEND now, you guys. Second, we have them doing what EVERYONE should do post-Drunch, which is going home for some sexytimes. I love how Joey gently teases her as they walk towards the trailer like he doesn’t PLAN on spending the rest of the day in bed with her. (GOD.) I love how Jenny lights up around him. I don’t understand how anyone can be not on board with these two. They are SO good for each other, it physically hurts me.

 

 

Naturally, because I am not allowed to have nice things, the Joenny afternoon sex romp is derailed by the fact that the trailer’s water main is busted and everything is flooded. BUT THEN the show decides that I DO deserve nice things because Little Joey Corbin starts talking about the future. “You know, Jen, this whole place could use a renovation. We can afford it. Look, we have been unearthing the past for months now. And personally, I’m feeling ready to take on the future.” SET ME ON FIRE. LOOK AT HIS EASY AND CASUAL USE OF THE WORD “WE”. LOOK AT HOW HE CLEARLY THINKS OF THE TRAILER AS “THEIRS”. LOOK AT HOW HE BLATANTLY LOOKS AT HER WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT THE FUTURE BECAUSE HE SEES A FUTURE WITH HER IN IT. WHO ARE YOU JOEY CORBIN AND WHY ARE YOU TORMENTING ME WITH YOUR GOOD AND PURE HEART. AND THEN YOU HAVE TO COCK YOUR EYEBROW AND USE A DAD PUN LIKE “FLOOD MONEY” AND GRIN. GOD YOU HAVE SOME NERVE, SIR.

Overeager puppy that he is, Joey takes Jenny’s permission to spruce up the trailer a wee bit too far. As in an entirely new trailer. To some women (ME judging by the way I reacted to Joey clutching that giant red bow), this would be considered a romantic gesture. To Jennifer Mills, sister of Abigail, and lover of boundaries, a gesture this big and grand is the opposite. Jenny flips her shit, mainly because she was cut out of this choice. It bears repeating that the sisters Mills have grown up completely used to not having anyone to rely on. Jenny has no concept of someone wanting to spoil her just because he can. So instead, the shiny new trailer feels like a violation (“YOU CAN’T JUST REPLACE A PERSON’S HOUSE WITHOUT ASKING.”). That wasn’t at all his intention and you can see that he feels horrible. He just got REALLY excited about a prospect of a future with this girl that he is in LOVE with and he went overboard. I just want to pat him on his head and say “You tried, puppy.”

By the end of the day, Jenny’s crappy trailer is back. And more importantly, Joey acknowledges that he has heard and understood Jenny’s anger. “I jumped the gun but I think you KNOW that my heart was in the right place,” he says sheepishly. He recognizes her boundaries and even though Jenny clearly enjoys torturing him a little bit, he’s obviously forgiven. “Never touch my stuff without asking,” she says, in between kisses. “Yes ma’am,” he grins. GOD. JUST GO DO IT. Clearly that’s what’s on Joey’s mind, but Jenny’s not done tormenting him. She slams the door in his face with a grin, leaving Joey crying out a tormented “JAY!”

I can’t wait till they get married.

EVERYBODY IS TAKING DOWN THEIR WALLS AND I AM HERE FOR IT. 8/10 Fistbumps. 

Thoughts for the Archives

  • I know I just finished talking about them, but can we talk about how Joey was all up in Jenny’s space during brunch prep??
  • In a not entirely unexpected twist, Ichabod’s citizenship request is denied. I’m curious as to how this will play out with the rest of the season. Will deportation be a genuine risk? Also this: “You helped create this country.” “The irony is not lost on me.”

And that’s our episode!  What are your thoughts on “Dark Mirror”? Let us know in the comments.

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

wine

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

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

#CreepyHollow

scarab

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.

nevins nevins 2

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.)

sleepy sophie

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.

sleepy running

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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“These trivial human urges.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – Kindred Spirits

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 11
“Kindred Spirits”

Posted by Kim

Leave it to Sleepy Hollow to deliver a perfectly timed Valentine’s Day-esque episode that appeals to both cynics and romantics. For the cynics you have the Kindred (HEY BUDDY) attacking couples because he’s hopeless and awkward and desperate for love. For the cynics you have Pandora and her slowly simmering rage as The Hidden One keeps her from growing because he won’t allow her to blow. For the romantics you have the Kindred eventually finding the one (literally) made for him. For the romantics you have the increasingly tender dynamic between Abbie and Ichabod as they make heart eyes over chess boards and dead houseplants. Let’s get to the rankings, shall we?

#CreepyHollow

We open in typical horror movie/ghost story fashion with a couple deciding to do a little parking. (Do people still DO that?) The guy starts to get a little too fresh with his date and she tells him to slow his roll given that it is their first date and all. (Guy: “What’s the fun in that?” Girl: “It’s the minding my boundaries and personal comfort sort of fun.” Me: DON’T MAKE ME CRAWL INTO THE TELEVISION, SHOW.) The guy keeps pushing the girl’s limits until it becomes clear that this has become a “No Means Yes” situation until someone pulls a George McFly (“Hey you. Get your damn hands off of her.”) and yanks the would be rapist out of the car and kills him. That someone is revealed to be our favorite long-lost monster The Kindred and for a GLORIOUS 45 seconds or so, I believed that the Kindred had become a Misogyny fighting feminist superhero whose motto was NO MEANS NO ASSHOLE. Alas, my hopes were dashed when after a Beauty and the Beast let me see your face moment, The Kindred makes quick work of killing the girl too. Sigh. Truly a missed opportunity if I have EVER seen one, Sleepy Hollow. 

Abbie may be back in the real world but she’s still dealing with the ramifications of her time in the catacombs. She clearly has PTSD regarding her ordeal (who wouldn’t?) and is trying to deal with it in her own way. Like Charlotte York dealing with her fertility issues, Abbie chooses to distance herself by taking long runs (in VERY CUTE workout gear btdubs). After a morning of banter with Crane (BELIEVE ME more on that later), Abbie is on one of those runs when she comes across a tree that she and Jenny carved their names in when they were kids and has a flashback. This tree is never brought up again in the episode, but nothing is accidental on Sleepy Hollow, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that is just a tiny piece of the puzzle that will take shape over the back half of the season.

 
ANYWAY. Danny calls Abbie in to investigate the date night homicide which is ODD considering Abbie isn’t a FBI agent any more. OH WAIT. When Abbie questions as to why she’s even there when Sophie is a perfectly fine agent, Danny admits that he never turned in Abbie’s letter of resignation. This does NOT sit well with her. If there is one thing Grace Abigail Mills does not tolerate, it’s men making choices FOR HER, especially when it includes said men questioning her reasoning. “What you did was rash and illegal,” Danny mansplains. “I wanted to give you time to clear things up, quietly, internally. Abs, I’ve made mistakes in the past. I’ve regretted all of them.” HA. HA HA HA. I love how Danny tries to tie his making career decisions FOR her back to their relationship. That’s a sure way to get into Abbie’s pants if I have ever seen one. “You know what I’m regretting? Coming here in the first place,” Abbie replies icily. She begs off the case citing that she needs time before she can even THINK about the position that she’s been put in.Abbie ALSO flees the crime scene because she takes one look at the weapon pattern of the victims and she KNOWS that the Kindred is responsible and this is gonna be Witness Business, not FBI business. She tells Sophie to meet her at the Archives and then it’s time to call ye old Biblical Life Partner to tell him that their prodigal son has returned to Sleepy Hollow. The Witnesses give Sophie the backstory on the Kindred (they called him FRANKLINSTEIN) and because Sophie is awesome, she takes the ridiculata at face value. (Sophie: “So you raised a monster with the help of a witch coven and Benjamin Franklin to defeat the Headless Horseman?” Abbie: “Correct.” Sophie: “Because the Kindred has the Horseman of Death’s head and is therefore just as powerful?” Abbie: “Precisely.” Sophie: “And you thought this was a good idea because…?” BLESS.) Sophie agrees to help the Witnesses by surveying potential locations for the Kindred to make another attack (romantic outdoor date spots because the Kindred hates love) while Abbie and Ichabod delve into our pal Franklin’s journals about making the Kindred. Turns out that none other than Betsy Ross was responsible for spinning the threads that hold the Kindred together because we gotta fulfill Nikki Reed’s contract obligations SOME HOW. We flash back to Ichabod and Betsy’s first meeting, but I can’t really be bothered to care all that much. Abbie finds some hidden pages in the journal that have instructions on how to control the Kindred. (Also her smugness about reading Franklin now is EVERYTHING. Also she read it to feel closer to Ichabod, head canon accepted leave me alone.) It turns out that the Kindred always returns to familiar places and can be lured around by a special glass harmonica (of course). Team Joenny sets off to steal Franklin’s glass harmonica while Team Ichabbie heads to the Kindred’s original burial site in the tunnels. Everyone has a partner and a cute ship name and I am ALIVE.

While Joey and Jenny are off doing their breaking and entering foreplay routine, Abbie and Ichabod discover that the Kindred has indeed been returning to the tunnels. His den is littered with souvenirs and treasures from his growing pile of victims. They deduce that their monster-child is not just becoming a brutal killer, he’s on a quest to become HUMAN, which is clearly worse. Meanwhile, Sophie manages to save a sweet old couple off for a midnight stroll from the Kindred because she just HAPPENED to know the most romantic spots in Sleepy Hollow. She shoots at the Kindred and he starts to go after her, but something stops him. He snaps for his horse and rides off into the night…which is a beautiful callback to the Headless Horseman and Season One. (Also MAJOR props to the crew for the GORGEOUSNESS of that shot.) The Witnesses figure that the Kindred must be killing couples because he’s jealous and envious of the love he cannot have. (Same.) Ichabod feels a great responsibility to end the Kindred’s reign of terror humanely. They ARE basically his parents after all. I don’t know, Ichabod. Maybe if you and Abbie stopped repressing your love for each other, maybe your son would believe in it? *chinhands*

A plan is concocted to lure the Kindred down to the Masonic Cell (what would they do without this place?). Joey, it turns out, is quite talented on the glass harmonica because there is literally nothing he can’t do. Crane realizes he forgot Franklin’s specific Kindred luring sheet music, so he dashes back to the archives to retrieve it, only to find Zoe there. Ah yes, I’ll be covering this in Shippy, but the long and short of it is, that flirtation is done and now Zoe just wants to collect a book she loaned Ichabod so she can bow out with some semblance of dignity. The Kindred emerges from his coffin and Joey is able to lure him on the harmonica, but the song he practiced in all his music lessons isn’t strong enough to distract him from hearing Zoe yelling in the archives (so much for dignity). He storms into the Archives and much to Ichabod’s horror, the Kindred grabs Zoe. “MINE,” he growls. “You follow, she dies.” Okay…so the Kindred can speak now and he also has really backward ideas about claiming ownership over women. GREAT. Abbie finds a collage of a woman’s face that the Kindred made from scraps of a magazine and suddenly it all clicks. “He wants a bride and he wants one NOW.” Did he get all of his ideas about love and marriage from watching John Clare in Penny Dreadful?

 
 
So now we are on Mission: Save Zoe. Abbie figures that the only other place the Kindred could go would be the old carriage house where Abraham once held Katrina hostage. (REMEMBER THEM?) Joey realizes that the seal on Franklin’s Journal matches a seal on the wall of the opera house where he and Jenny stole the harmonica from. NOW everything comes together for Ichabod. During his first mission with Betsy (yawn), they hid what they thought were medical supplies behind that seal. Clearly, they were ACTUALLY hiding another kindred because Franklin is JUST that crafty. THEN they realize that the insignia in the opera house is actually a Venus symbol meaning that…yep we have a lady Kindred on our hands and maybe this time Love WILL conquer all. They retrieve the body of the Kindress (that’s the best name we could come up with?) and haul her to the woods surrounding the carriage house. Joey and Jenny come to Sophie’s aid in the carriage house JUST before the Kindred kills her. Joey shoots the Kindred with arrows a few time, giving them just enough time to grab Zoe (who has swooned naturally) and get the hell out of the house, which has now caught on fire. In the woods, the Witnesses go about raising the Kindress. The Kindress is clutching a giant mace which neither Ichabod or Abbie think to remove from her hands before they awaken her…so obviously she tries to attack them as soon as she wakes.

 
 
The two contingents converge outside the carriage house and then suddenly, it’s as if time stops. The crowd parts and the Kindred and Kindress see each other for the first time. They drop their weapons and walk towards each other in awe. It’s love at first sight. Team Witness looks on in both horror and delight as the Kindred pulls a Crane bow (that’s how you know it’s serious) and they share a kiss. The Kindred and Kindress walk off hand in hand, completely ignoring the Witnesses, because who needs to fight any more when you’ve got LOVE. It’s all pretty sweet really. Until The Hidden One blows them up in a fit of rage. But I’m pretending that didn’t happen because that was SUCH a dick move.

IF THE KINDRED CAN FIND LOVE, THEN DAMMIT SO CAN I. 2/10 Sandmen. 

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