Season 2, Episode 14
Posted by Sage
It’s been a rocky few weeks for the Sleepy Hollow fandom. Fox hasn’t issued a season three renewal yet, but did manage to throw out a few frightening comments about the show’s future at the TCAs. (Serialization? Hm.) But take heart, Sleepy Heads. It’s ain’t over until the immortal she-beast claws you with her poison talons.
Want to do your part to support the show? Share your favorite moments, quotes, gifs, and Sleepy origin stories on Twitter with the hashtag #RenewSleepyHollow. Witnesses, represent.
Let’s get to the rankings.
Hawley is summoned away from his double karaoke date with Crane and the Mills sisters (more on that later, obviously) by one of his regular contacts for a trade. When he shows up to this week’s dark, empty lot, he’s shocked to be met by Carmilla Pines, a face from his past. (Jaime Murray aka Lila, Dexter‘s “English titty vampire.”) The trade was a set-up. Hawley clearly wouldn’t have shown up if he knew who he was meeting, and is disinclined to help Carmilla with whatever she’s planning. “Is that any way to greet the woman who raised you?” she asks. Jaime Murray doesn’t look like she’s old enough to have even babysat Matt Barr, but IMDB tells me that she’s eight years older than him, so fine. Also, way to keep it tight.
Carmilla and her menacing man servants are in town to break into Theodore Knox’s estate. (Yes, that Knox.) Hawley is usually up for an adventure – especially one that results in a payday – but something happened between these two that leaves him uninterested in the proposed heist. Being a woman who’s used to getting what she wants, Carmilla takes this opportunity to transform into a black-eyed, razor-teethed demon. “You owe me, Nicky,” she says, calmly. “Time to repay your debt.” Uhhhh, sign him up, I guess.
Back at the bar, Jenny worries about Hawley, which simply must be the reason she didn’t fully appreciate Crane’s awkward-turtle sea shanty. True, Hawley has a reputation as being somewhat…unreliable. (One minute he’s there, the next he’s off on the Millennium Falcon, taking another crack at the Kessel Run.) But karaoke night is sacred, and Jenny knows something is up. Just as she convinces her companions of this, Abbie gets pinged by the silent alarm she had installed at the archives. Scooby gang, mobilize.
They find the archives ransacked. Jenny pursues the perpetrator into the tunnel and finds Hawley, obviously terrified. “Back off, Mills. She’s desperate and she’s dangerous.” Seeing the intruders, Carmilla transforms again and speeds away like Barry Allen. Team Witness is left to make sense of what they just saw.
The next morning over breakfast burritos (bless), Crane, Abbie and Jenny confer on next steps. Ichabod suggests that they loop in Katrina to get her take on the liquid residue left by Carmilla’s toxic mani. Too late. Abbie’s already had it analyzed, since, being a cop, she has access to a chemical lab and doesn’t have to rely on half-assed witchery to get its breakdown. (But what about the science, Mulder?) Crane recognizes the acidic combination and scurries his cute butt to one of the shelves still conveniently upright to grab a book. Carmilla is a pittala, a Hindu spirit that serves the goddess Kali. And to make things extra difficult, she possesses immortality, inhuman strength, and super speed. (Duh.) But they can’t identify the exact threat that she poses until they find out what she and Hawley swiped from the archives. The crew decides to “divide and conquer” this bitch. Crane and Katrina will sort through the mess in the hopes of finding a clue that will lead them to Hawley. And the Mills sisters? They’re off to intimidate some poor bastard.
Hawley’s shifty associate McKenna gives up Carmilla’s name, under Jenny-initiated duress, and identifies her as the dangerous kind of treasure hunter. Meanwhile, the Cranes figure out (HOW) that the stolen documents are the plans for Knox’s vault. (Seriously, they must have the mother of all card catalogs.) Information conveniently in hand, Team Witness sends Katrina back to her cabin to think about what she’s done (like, in life), so they can crash a fabulous mansion party. Knox’s “overweight, entitled” descendant (that was way harsh, Jenny) hosts a couple champagne-fueled black market exchanges a year – basically an invitation to be robbed blind.
Crane is waylaid by Knox and his over-enthusiastic appreciation of Crane’s beloved crossbow. (What if Daryl Dixon got a load of that thing?) Unaware, Abbie continues on to the rich man’s vault. Jenny runs into Hawley and appeals to his better nature. They can fight her, together. But Hawley is in Carmilla’s emotional chokehold and has decided to accept her shady-ass story on why she needs the Kali statue. He looks almost resigned as she strips Jenny of her phone and locks her away in a closet. And that’s the story of how Hawley died.
Kidding! Abbie finds Carmilla in the vault holding her precious statue and wastes no time in getting a shot off. But as the description of a pittala includes the phrase “faster than a speeding bullet” (I’m paraphrasing), the effort is in vain. Carmilla grabs Abbie, holding her venomous fingernails against Abbie’s neck. Finally free of cocktail chit-chat, Crane appears and aims his crossbow at Carmilla. (“Harm her, and you will seal your fate.” SWOON.) However you feel about him, let’s hear it for Hawley’s quick thinking in this moment. He inserts himself in the center of the standoff and exchanges his loyalty for the witnesses’ lives. White boys: they’re not all bad.
Prize in hand, Carmilla and Hawley head over to one of the Hollow’s many vacant warehouses to toast their success. But, surprise! His scary demon-godmother actually wasn’t super upfront with him the whole time, if you can believe that. She doesn’t want to be a human. She wants to use the statue to transform everyone else into a pittala, starting with her former charge. (“You’re gonna love death, Nicky.”) And also, she’s roofied his drink. And the statue is crying tears of blood. I’m 99% sure we’re offending someone’s culture right now.
I don’t know, I’m kind of OD’ed on femme fatales at the moment. 3/10 Sandmen.
Jenny Mills, how I’ve longed for you.
One day we’ll look back on the first 2/3 of this season much like we do the second season of Friday Night Lights. Remember when Landry murdered a guy? Remember when Jenny Mills wasn’t a prominent feature in every episode? What was anyone even thinking?
I love that reformed troublemaker Jenny is our tour guide to Sleepy Hollow’s underbelly. (A position that we very much didn’t need Hawley to fill.) I love the look of desire and fear that that the greasy undesirables of that world get when they see her. And I love that she’s free to slam full-grown men onto their own glass countertops without repercussions while her cop sister keeps it (mainly) above board. (Look at the complete lack of surprise in Abbie’s expression.) I could still do just fine without her mooning over Hawley. It remains way out-of -character, no matter how many times we see it. I audibly groaned at her offer to come with him when he left the karaoke bar for his meeting. For god’s sake, Jenny, play it cool. With the way she pursues him sans encouragement, you’d be likely to forget that she’s got pretty much every ex-con in town tied in knots over her. But it would seem that those days – fuck yes – are now over.
Mary Poppins was kind of a bad bitch. 5 Donut Holes for this one.
It obviously presented great comic potential, as karaoke is inherently a ridiculous thing we humans do. And though Crane is new to reading lyrics off a screen, public performance was certainly a popular social pastime in his previous life. I’d imagine that Crane and his comrades were known to sing a few reels in the public house on occasion. Back in 2015, Ichabod is happy to take the stage, only to subsequently confuse everyone but his supportive partner. I hope that Crane never stops leading with his pomposity, since a healthy store of over-confidence is the only explanation for his eternal willingness to dive headfirst into the unfamiliar.
Of course, karaoke also presented another opportunity for Ichabod Crane to marvel at Abigail Mills. Look at that gaze, bro. We could power whole cities with that. In all my days as shipper trash, I’ve never seen such an extreme case of heart eyes. Who can blame him? Abbie slays Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” and consider this my petition to get that full performance on the DVD. (You promised, Baiers!) Add singing to Nicole Beharie’s list of skills, as if she didn’t already have more than her fair share. Her colleagues had assured us that Nikki would blow us away; those few flawless notes had us all like:
Though Crane’s admiration of Abbie hasn’t faltered, they both realize that their relationship has suffered as of late. The ease of interaction and the seamlessness that was once their partnership have been compromised. (“Bush league,” Abbie deems them.) It can only be a good sign that Katrina wasn’t invited to double date night. (How did they get out of taking her? How often are she and Ichabod in contact about their daily activities?) But even as Ichabbie’s social relationship continues to flourish, their issues come creeping in. Both turn to Miss Jenny (Captain of the S.S. Ichabbie) to gain her perspective, but the necessary mending must be done by the witnesses themselves.
Regardless, Crane and Abbie are forced to face their problems like every feuding sitcom pair in television history. When Hawley flees with Carmilla, they’re left locked in Knox’s vault. They have to interpret one of his famous ancestor’s legendary puzzles to escape, and end up hashing out their problems while they’re at it. Maybe this is a blip. Maybe they’re just off lately. Maybe a rare planetary alignment is making them really tense and snappy with each other. (“Sure. Fine. Whatever.”) Or maybe “this is indicative of something larger.” Unfortunately, a mention of their “bond” sets Crane yammering about cannons and iron (“Are you having a moment?”) and impulsively choosing the incorrect button on Knox’s trap door. The conversation is stalled by the pair’s impending doom, and even classic sci-fi can’t help them now. (“Star Wars, what did they use?” “They had a robot.”) But the air has been cleared and apologies have been offered.
The core of Crane and Abbie’s relationship is so much more than their shared duty. They respect honor and honesty. They value straightforwardness. They’re put off by people who play games or give half-truths or get by on charm. It’s what suits them to each other and makes them both outsiders in the modern world. With Katrina, Crane has made valiant attempts to have the kind of no-bullshit conversation that he has with his partner on the regular, but she insists on employing (in vain, I might add) her feminine wiles. Abbie has no wiles. She is wile-less. She is who she is and she says what she needs and I guarantee that at least half of Sleepy Hollow resents her for it. But the honesty that they prize pulls Abbie and Crane back from the edge of what would likely have been a bottomless pit of bitterness and hurt.
The discussion isn’t over, but the partners who emerge from the vault are different than the ones who went in. Abbie asks the right questions, and Crane cracks Knox’s code. (She rewards him with a “YOU” point, and it’s terrific.) They find their way to Hawley and take Carmilla’s minions out with a combination of meaningful eye contact and Biblical life partner ESP. They’re back, without a doubt.
Rumors of their partnership’s death greatly exaggerated, the pair finds their way back to another Peach Pit karaoke night. “We are far greater than the sum of our parts,” Crane says. “But we cannot rely on our bond to last, unless we tend to it.” “Damn straight,” Abbie answers. “That’s why I thought it’s time we do a duet.” She pulls Crane to the front of the room as “Proud Mary” fades in. And then they SING, you guys. It’s a little awkward at first. (“This makes no sense.”) But they’re both so into it and so into each other that it has to become this beautiful union. Abbie is proud (yes) and bold. She leads the way. Crane is a deep, reliable bassline, always backing her up. I firmly believe in the power of karaoke to bring people together, and that we have to live outward to go inward. Their song felt like a healing and a promise at the same time. I’ve cried every time I’ve watched it.
Tom Mison, for one, is done beating around the bush. “It’s all about Abbie,” he says in this TV Guide interview. “He is completely in love with her.” I think that Tom and Stephen Amell should have monthly happy hours where they peruse Tumblr and talk about how much their ship their own characters.
Because we never ever ever do nothin’ “nice and easy.” 9.5 Fist Bumps for shippiness.
Frank is back. And not even considering the actual miracle of his resurrection right now, everything is still coming way too easy to the family Irving. In the state’s eyes, Frank Irving killed two people – two cops; broke out of a mental institution; went on the lam; and showed back up in town without an explanation for any of it. I’m sure Cynthia did a bang-up job of representing her husband (“I tried going with an outside firm. That didn’t work out so well.”), but there are other forces at work. Free of all charges, Frank tries to return to life as we knew it. Cynthia is understandably a little wary of getting into bed at night with the undead. (Also, they’re officially back together I guess?) To be sure that they’re safe, the Irvings visit Katrina’s House of Seances. (How many times do you think Katrina has watched The Craft on Netflix since she got out of purgatory?) Here’s where it gets interesting.
“Where is Henry?” Katrina demands as soon as Cynthia is out of earshot. I could kiss her. Confused, Irving tells her he has no idea. And I am telling you guys, if Katia Winter hasn’t been waiting a season and a half to give that shady-ass look in response, then I don’t know what I’m recapping any more. I am so here for a full-on Evil Katrina. And God and the Fox network willing, I do believe that’s what we’re getting.
Katrina pronounces Frank free of Henry’s influence and 100% real, live human. (“Those visions you just had of the Horseman and the apocalypse? Totally normal. These candles are pretty strong.”) Disappointed, she leaves the room. Any guesses as to what she was hoping this ritual would reveal to her? Was she under the assumption that Frank is not only under Henry’s sway but also aware of it, and ready to direct her back to him? Whatever the aim, she did not get what she wanted. And then she lied. Frank envelopes Cynthia in his arms and tells her that everything will be okay. The camera pans up to the cabin window, revealing only her reflection. Frank sees it too. What is he now? And what does Henremy have planned for him?
EVIL KATRINA GIVE IT TO ME. 8/10 Golems.
This week, we say a “good night, sweet prince” to treasure hunter and notorious cockblock, Nick Hawley. No shade towards Matt Barr and his blond beard or his performance, but I can’t say that I’m sorry to see him go. With Hawley involved, Sleepy would lean much more on telling us things, rather than showing them. (I just wrote “EXPOSITION” in my notes as Jenny was discussing his childhood in the Mustang.) His chemistry with Lyndie Greenwood never gelled, probably because of that aborted Abbie detour. But good on Hawley for knowing that Jenny deserved a braver man than him and that even a coerced betrayal killed any chance that they ever had of having something real.
- “Everybody’s got at least one good karaoke song in them.” Words to live by.
- “Look, he’s trying to figure out his relationship with his witch wife.” She’s a witch and she’s his wife, but this still sounds raw as hell.
- Crane gets to drive Hawley’s whip and has another “boys and their toys” moment.
- Abbie’s beeline to the champagne tray at Knox’s house = me at every work party I’ve ever attended.
- I wrote “Is Crane claustrophobic?” in my notes after his comment in the vault and then remembered that time he was buried alive in a scary coffin.
And that was “Kali Yuga”! Ratings got a bump this week, as did the overall critical and fan impression of the episode. How did you feel about the episode, readers? Give us your thoughts in the comments.