Cheat Death the Benjamin Franklin Way in Sleepy Hollow: “The Kindred”

All right, I need to get something off my chest. The Sleepy Hollow theme song is driving me crazy. Really, truly crazy, because it loops in my head, but, you know the point where it sort of fades into a deeper note and then ends? In my head, it segues into “The Theme from Arthur.” I don’t even think I’ve ever seen Arthur. Why is this happening to me? Is the show trying to get me into the correct state of lunacy to enjoy it? Is my brain trying to murder me? What the hell motive could my brain have for murdering me?

Lets try to recap this sucker.

So, first, we open on a horrifying ritual. Is Katrina about to become Mrs. Headless? Fortunately, this is just a nightmare Ichabod is having. Unfortunately, he and Abbie are still bickering over whether he should get Katrina back, or whether she’s actually just a distraction from their larger Mission. I’m honestly getting tired of this line from Abbie—his wife has been trapped in Purgatory, which, as you now know from first-hand experience, sucks. Now she’s been kidnapped by Death Itself. Just let him rescue her. Geez.

The group come up with a plan, henceforth known as The Best Plan In The Frickin’ Universe, which is that they’re going to use Ben Franklin’s monster kit to create a thing called a Kindred, a patchwork creation of dead body parts. We cut to Ben Franklin sewing this creature together, while enthusiastically narrating: “I’m harvesting the limbs of fallen soldiers!“ (Seriously, Timothy Busfield needs an Emmy for that line-reading alone.) So, if you thought Zombie George Washington was tops, you’re in for a treat! Because in this episode we get—say it with me folks—FRANKLINSTEIN’S MONSTER.

Sleepy Hollow Kindred

Marry me, television show.

So while they argue about whether to build the perfect monster, Jenny goes off to the armory and is promptly arrested for weapons possession. Crane and Abbie go back into the seemingly endless Tunnels Beneath Sleepy Hollow to search for the Kindred, and surprise, there are super-secret family crests and booby traps involved. Along the way, they talk about weakness. Abbie opens up on how much Purgatory got to her: “It ate away at my mind, my soul…” When she saw the impostor Ichabod there, offering her water, she’d never been happier to see anyone in her life. Ichabod gazes into her eyes with a look that Ichabbie shippers will want to screencap, print, laminate, and frame above their beds, but then she drops the bomb:

“My faith in you is my greatest weakness.”

Ouch.

Ichabod, trying to recover, volunteers that his weakness might be his wife, but Abbie has decided that it’s Henry. She doubts Ichabod’s ability to hurt his son, even though the kid has turned out to be a bit of a delinquent. Ichabod shakes her off, but there’s obviously a grain of truth here.

Sleepy Hollow Kindred

After the Kindred is secured they still need a piece of Headless to make him work, so Abbie visits Irving in jail to find out where Headless’ Head is. Oh, Irving. Our irascible captain has been put through the ringer, and is covered in bruises, but tries to laugh it off to Abbie: “Apparently, inmates don’t like former cops. Who knew?” He tells her Headless’ Head is in a safety deposit box, because of course it is, and then she gets an idea. If Irving crazies his way into Tarrytown Psychiatric, he’ll be safer and easier to visit. Hmmm…

Crane and Abbie race to the bank! If they can get Headless’ Head and recite the proper incantations before sunset, The Kindred might be able to bring Headless down this very night. But then…Crane is stymied by the pen that’s attached the counter, and what it tells him about capitalism.

Sleepy Hollow Kindred

And then! Headless is pitching serious demonic woo at Katrina, Henry pretty much comes out and says that they know Ichabod is coming for her, and the two plan, in front of Katrina, to kill him immediately. Of course Katrina insists on calling Henry “Jeremy”. God, mom, your kid’s trying on a new identity, give him some space, okay? And stay out of his room! Seriously, he’s making some sort of terrifying murder pen in there, stay out.

Crane and Abbie raise the dead! By reciting lines from “The Nameless City!” Ichabod attempts the spell, but nothing happens. “I’m not the witch in the family!” Ichabod says in protest. Luckily the second attempt works, but in the meantime, Katrina has convinced Headless that if he trusts her, and lets her grow to love him, then she’ll stay with him forever. Headless, clearly not a fan of Shonda Rhimes, doesn’t know that deception exists, and starts to warm to her.

Sleepy Hollow Kindred

The Kindred fights both Headless and the flaming suit that I shall henceforth dub War Machine, which Henry is controlling with his mind from afar. Henry fucking rocks. Ichabod goes to Katrina, Katrina’s all like, I’m staying to get intel, Ichabod’s all like, “You are in my heart always” and kisses the palm of her hand in a way that, well, reader, I swooned, and Abbie runs in and is all like, “Are you serious we just created Franklinstein’s Monster and you’re not even going to come out to see??” And then they flee, leaving Katrina as a spy, and seemingly ditching poor Franklinstein! You’ll be in my heart always, Franklinstein!

But the show isn’t over yet. We cut to Irving at Tarrytown Psychiatric, now strapped into a bed and about to receive some sort of horrifying medical treatment, when who should walk in but Henry Parrish, his shiny new lawyer! The good news is that he’s got an injunction against unnecessary treatment, so no electro shock for Irving. The bad news is, he’s also brought a “standard contract” and his Murder Pen. Irving, after a full year of dealing with demons, does not bother to so much as skim said contract, and signs the thing even after Murder Pen has pricked his finger Sleeping Beauty style. So, yes, Irving just signed a contract in blood. In a show full of demons.

GAAAAAAAH.

Sleepy Hollow Kindred

So, the thing I haven’t talked about. We get a new character, Sheriff Reyes, and as I feared she is tough, no-nonsense, and utterly useless to the show. The actress does a perfectly fine job, but this character is total dead weight right now. We’re back to square one with a Boss Who Doesn’t Get It. Plus, Reyes throws Jenny back in jail, Reyes hates Crane, Reyes hates Irving, and Reyes has already made a point of mentioning Abbie and Jenny’s mother (whom she knew) a couple times too often. So, is there more here? Is she actually an Ally or a Villain, but biding her time? Or is she just a normal human? Cause if so, something dramatic needs to happen to her as soon as possible.

Notes and Errata:
Was the secret theme of this episode “Pens are Evil”?

Sleepy Hollow Kindred

So let me get this straight. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein exists in this universe, but The Legend of Sleepy Hollow does not. Ben Franklin wrote the opening lines of an H.P Lovecraft story over a century before Lovecraft was born, but somehow Lovecraft found them? Or does Lovecraft not exist in this universe, but magic that is presented as fiction in Lovecraft is real?

Katrina is staying behind in part to try to “save” Henry. Are we going to get a redemption arc? This isn’t Loki we’re dealing with here, as Henry hasn’t shown even a glimmer of regret or moral doubt.

How is Katrina’s spying going to help when they didn’t work out a system of communication?

Is Headless going to be Shirtless a lot? Because the idea of writing “Shirtless Headless” appeals to me.

Where is Macey in all this?

Ichabods’ Struggles With Modernity:
The pen scene!

Also, he finally learns of the horrors of the Wedding Industry.

Abbie’s Struggles With…Anything?
She doubts herself, she doubts her trust in Crane, and now she’s already worrying about Reyes’ connection to her mother. Is this going to culminate in someone trying to drive Abbie nuts?

Jenny’s Struggles With Firearms
They get her arrested again. Dammit.

Irving’s Struggles With Sanity
Irving tells them the truth about demons, so they lock him up. This could be an awesomely fun plotline…


Leah Schnelbach knows the menace of pens all too well. Tweet at her!

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