Season 2, Episode 10
Posted by Sage
Now we’re getting somewhere.
The first piece of Sleepy‘s two-part winter finale felt like a return to form for the show. The original Team Witness and Friends are back together – not physically yet, but at least all working towards the same goals in the same episode. (What a novel idea!) Last week’s “Mama” was the highlight of the season so far. And its revelations – especially those regarding Lori Mills’s role in the battle against Moloch and the legacy of the Dixon bloodline – are further paying off in “Magnum Opus.” Crane and Abbie know now that the weapon that can vanquish Moloch is out there somewhere. And Abbie can continue fighting the good fight knowing that there are at least two people in her world who believe without question that she has the ability to stop this war. Let’s get to this week’s rankings.
After dealing with a revolving door of third wheels, Crane and Abbie are back in their private friendship bubble this episode. Jenny is busy shuttling Irving across the Canadian border; Matt Barr is busy auditioning for a pilot. The stage is set for maximum Biblical life partnering.
The task is to identify and collect the foretold weapon; unfortunately, Grace’s journal isn’t going to give over all the information the witnesses need just like that. So we open on a blocked Abbie and Crane, playing some Heads Up in an effort to shake the synapses loose. It’s friendly and intimate and now my second favorite TV sequence this year to utilize this game. The exercise isn’t the only parallel. Crane is about as literal as Sherlock Holmes (“He was a Liar-in-Chief!”) and Abbie is indeed a pretty lady.
Turning back to Grace’s writings, Crane and Abbie do their tag-team deducing thing. And despite the fact that Crane’s real wife just appeared to them through the mirror in the archives in yet another move she really didn’t think all the way through, the Witnesses seemed to be the true smug marrieds, judging by their shorthand bickering.
Blah blah blah, “the chosen words of fallen angels.” Yada yada, “Enoch’s sword.” I’m not going to spell out how they got there. The point is that Methuselah’s Sword is what Crane and Abbie are supposed to be looking for. For those of you playing along at home, Methuselah is a figure in the Hebrew Bible who was said to have lived for 969 years, probably thanks to his trusty demon-killing sword. Somewhere out there, Dan Brown opens a new word document and cracks his knuckles. I hope Tom Hanks hasn’t throw out that heinous wig.
Grace’s journal also includes an encoded map to the sword, one that Abbie works out by recognizing its resemblance to the historic “Join or Die” political cartoon. It’s essentially a treasure map and Crane could not look more giddy about it. (He just wants to play pirates. He’s such a boy.) But his face falls when he remembers something vital: “This prophecy says that we will definitely die if we do not know ourselves completely.” And doubt has sort of been a running theme for Ichabod this season. Ruh roh.
Crane doubts himself. He doubts Katrina – he’s said as much. But he never doubts Abigail Mills. Mind games are the most dangerous weapons in Moloch and Henremy’s arsenal. They play on Crane’s guilt for abandoning Jeremy (even though he did so unknowingly), his growing uncertainty about Katrina, and, in this episode more than any other, his “betrayal” of Abraham, his best friend and brother-in-arms. We needed those flashbacks of Crane and Abraham as they were in Britain and in the early days of the colonies. They had a true friendship, and Abraham encourages Crane to move to the new world simply because he wants him there. (“Are you meant to teach history or to make it?”) Perhaps if Crane had remembered a more morally suspect Abraham, he’d have an easier time of it. But the reality is that their origins are the same. The war tested them. Sleepy Hollow tested them. And they came out drastically different men on the other side. I know I apply this Dumbledore quote everywhere, but I don’t CARE, because RELEVANT: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Still, Crane lets Abraham’s words rattle him. Is he as good a man as he’s always believed? Abbie knows. “Life is a series of choices,” she tells him. “You chose to be a patriot and a hero.”
I believe I’ll save a recording on my phone of Queen Abbie demanding I “TURN IT AROUND” to play every time I dip into shame spiral.
Meanwhile, Abbie is having her own crisis of faith. (Again, the witnesses only ever question their own fortitude – never the other’s.) Turns out that the sword is being guarded by a snake-headed gorgon (obviously) and that every other seeker who went looking for it was turned to stone. Among them, they find a petrified woman who could be Grace Dixon’s daughter or granddaughter. And between that sight and what Abbie went through last week in learning the real story of her mother’s life and death, she wonders aloud if she’s fated to meet the same end. “Is it my destiny to die here too?” Crane gets down to her eye level so that she can see how sure he is. “No…banish that thought, Lieutenant. You are here to finish what they started.” He speaks calmly, but fiercely, and we can tell that Abbie not surviving is the one outcome he cannot even consider. Once they find the plaque marked with Dana Scully’s tattoo and have their plan in place, Crane takes another moment to try to get across to Abbie how special she is. He gives her a look weighted with so much tenderness and meaning that it almost floored me and says, “If she were here now, your mother would be very proud.”
In the end, it’s the strength of their partnership that gets the sword in their hands. Instead of looking at the doomed treasure hunters around them as proof that they will fail, they see the forest for the trees. “What do we have that they didn’t?” “Each other.” Even the prophecy ships it.
For a partnership that can overcome the deepest personal doubts, I give this episode 8/10 fist bumps for shippiness.
Dark and dank crypts are sort of the norm here in Sleepy Hollow, so it’s not even the setting that brings the true creepiness this week. Instead, it’s the guardian of the sword and her (?) minions. Gorgons are like the polar opposite of Weeping Angels. So blink. Blink frequently. In fact, keep your eyes shut all together.
Crane identifies their enemy fairly quickly, and they use Abraham as a decoy to sneak back in to the gorgon’s chamber. See? Sometimes it’s useful to have a psychotic headless enemy following you around. The gorgon is another triumph of the Sleepy effects department. It looks powerful. Like if its stare didn’t do the trick, it could just straight up kick your ass. And that’s essentially what happens when the gorgon and Abraham get into it.
While Crane holds Abraham off (playing on his honor again, clever boy), Abbie is left to choose the right sword from among dozens. It’s all very Indiana Jones, though we don’t have an archeologist on hand to help us select the true grail. (Andy Dwyer: “It’s the dusty one.”) There are no immediately discernible clues and time is running out. Abbie grasps one, and it and the rest turn into SNAKES. I HATE SNAKES. GO AWAY, SNAKES. She keeps it cool – as you’ll remember from past enchantments, Abbie’s true fear is maggots. And dying young like all of her ancestors. But also maggots. Still, room o’ snakes is enough to keep me indoors for the rest of my life. I don’t care how many weirdos claim that “they’re great pets.”
Also creepy-styles was Katrina’s conversation with her son. She confronted Henremy with the secret hope that she’s held throughout her captivity: There is good in him and there is humanity. She’s right, Henremy confirms. But his answer is way more disturbing than a flat out “no.” He knows that he has the ability to access that part of himself. And he fights against it every day.
Katrina: “You cannot deny that humanity within you.”
Henremy: “I can and I do with my every breath.”
Money’s on the wrong horse(man? Ha.), Katrina. Hate to say we told you so, but we don’t mind doing the dance.
Snakes can feel free to leave this planet entirely. 6/10 Sandmen.
Should we be concerned that Crane is becoming a little too comfortable with technology? Where would we be without Ichabod vs. the Modern World? This week, he made ingenious use of a smartphone – spying on the gorgon’s movements without risking petrification. Abbie is momentarily confused, however, and called him out on his attempt to win the #selfieolympics.
He’s back to his charmingly analog self later, thank god. Crane proudly shows Abbie the makeshift torches he MacGuyvered together. (With a look that says, “LOOK WHAT I MADE LIEUTENANT. TELL ME I DID GOOD.”) Forever tickled by his enthusiasm, Abbie nevertheless crushes his Survivor spirit by whipping out her flares. (Not a euphemism.) Abbie lays out their plan and Crane can’t resist a little heat-of-the-moment flirting:
Ichabod: “Did you say, ‘don’t look at the gorgon’?”
Abbie: “I was hoping that was implied.”
Get a room. Or borrow Hawley’s houseboat. He won’t mind.
I don’t know if it falls squarely into the sass category, but I have to mention the awkwardness of the early days of the Crane/Abraham/Katrina love triangle. I realize that “bros before hos” hadn’t been invented yet, but really, Ichabod: not cool. It’s true that Abraham may have overreacted to the betrayal (by, you know, SELLING HIS SOUL), but you kinda feel for the guy in these flashbacks. (“I have a feeling you two will be thick as thieves!”) He’s just so hopeful that his best friend and his girl will get along. He’s going to find Crane his own “buxom woman” so they can go on double dates. Poor bastard.
The headless demon pursuing our heroes is not the same man, though. He allowed his grief to make him into a monster. (“It is your jealousy that made you thus, not I.”) So we’re allowed a little giggle when Crane responds to his daylight issues with an action star quip: “Good morning, sunshine.” Hee.
Brb, petitioning the writers to start giving Ichabod crime scene puns ala Detective Briscoe. 7/10 Donut Holes.
First of all: Katrina. What in the name of sanity have you got on your head?
Despite our witnesses best efforts and Katrina’s significantly less effective ones, Moloch is all groweds-up. A steady diet of Katrina’s life force has made him into a strapping young apocalypse-bringer you see before you, and all he needs now is his army. Henremy’s got that covered, as he counts among his creepy treasures the shofar that brought down the walls of Jericho. (Dan Brown continues typing furiously.) He’ll sound it as soon as Moloch “grows to full glory” (which is what I called it when my chest finally came in) and presumably, his servants will be called to his side. Henremy’s characteristic sense of drama even brings out a rare display of Katrina sass: “It’s nice to see you’ve taken up an instrument.” To further mock his mother’s belief in his goodness, Henremy lifts the enchantment on the house so that she can see it and once-demon-baby-now-demon-man as they truly are. “Your compassion is your weakness,” he taunts. If she had been “strong enough” to let Ichabod die, we wouldn’t be looking down the barrel of the fiery end of humanity. That’s way harsh, Henremy. Even for you.
Meanwhile, we’re FINALLY getting some much-needed QT with Mr. and Mrs. BAMF. Not building on the chemistry we all responded to so strongly in season one has been yet another inexplicable creative choice this year. But no matter now. BAMF road trip! Demon-hunting tools, fake passports, or chic on-the-lam hoodies, nobody rides for free. We find out that Reyes is leading a man-hunt for Irving. No surprise there, though I wish we could have seen her face when she found out he’d escaped. I bet she was PISSED. Anyway, it’s Jenny’s job to get Irving across the border and out of at least earthly harm’s way. Because when it comes to disappearing someone, professional badass Jenny Mills is your girl. (“You really think anywhere is safe anymore?” “I have to.” Baby.)
Jenny and Irving come up to one of Reyes’s checkpoints and there’s no way they can make it through with him inside. So Jenny hands him a burner phone and he stop-drop-and-rolls out of the car. The plan is to meet back up past the checkpoint. But when Jenny arrives, all that’s left of Frank is a voicemail: “Sorry, Jenny. Thank you for trying, but I can’t run and hide…when I see you again, I hope it’s in a better world.” Frank goes full-on fugitive, assuming he can do more for the cause underground in Sleepy Hollow (good thing there are so many crypts handy!) than from Canada. Y’all, Canada doesn’t even KNOW what’s going on right now. You are out of your depth, Canada.
I fear for Jenny and Irving right now. I don’t like Frank’s choice of words in that voicemail. The shofar is a-calling, Moloch is ready to get down, and we’ve got a friggin’ fall finale next week. Why tempt fate with all this business about “a better world”? That better world had better exist on this existential plane, that’s all I’m saying.
We’re fucked. 10/10 Golems.
- “No texting while driving.” “Always the cop.” BAMF Banter!
- “Crane, you and I can’t have lunch without peril.”
- Abraham is totally channeling the Duke in Moulin Rouge!, right? He just doesn’t like people touching his things!
- Homoerotic fencing was the ONE THING missing from this show.
- Also, I have about a zillion feelings about that little kick Crane gives Abraham before he goes to the bar.
- “How do i know myself when at every turn my life has been influenced by others?” You basically just described everyone.
Alright, Sleepy Heads. Somebody’s gonna die, right? If you care to place your bets on who, please do so in the comments. Kim will be back next week to recap our final episode before the show’s long winter’s nap.