Ichabod and Abbie are All About that Bass in this Week’s Sleepy Hollow: “And the Abyss Gazes Back!”

So let me open by saying that this week’s Sleepy Hollow features a super-cool mythological beast called a Wendigo, and that as I typed it up I had Blacklist on in the background (Spader’s voice, man…) and there was a character on the show named Windigo. So, cross-network synergy? But most importantly there is yoga, alcohol, and the chilling return of Captain Frank Irving!

We open on Ichabbie doing yoga. She keeps referring to the fact that yoga strengthens ones “buns” and he can’t handle it. He prefers the term “double-jugs.” While Ichabod wants to focus on the Apocalypse, and says “there is no time for the downward facing of our dogs,” Abbie wants him to open up about how he’s feeling. I guess yoga brings that out in people? He confesses that he feels hurt, and doesn’t know how he can trust Katrina anymore. Here’s why this show’s awesome. Abbie pushes and pushes him until she gets him to talk, and he relents and does the modern thing, and immediately you can see the weight lifted. But Abbie finally gives up. “So yoga doesn’t make you feel better…what will?”

Sleepy Hollow: And the Abyss Gazes Back

Both the cause of, and the solution to, all of Ichabod's problems. Except for the ones that are caused by Moloch. And his lying wife. And God, too, I guess.

We cut to a bar, where Abbie and Ichabod are imbibing rather heavily. I know I mentioned the whiskey break last week, but it is seriously making me happy that the show is allowing its two adult apocalypse fighters to drink their pain away occasionally.

He toasts Washington, at length, quoting Ben Franklin. He might not have liked Ben, but he admired his talent for revelry. But alas, their bout of relaxation is cut short, because Abbie has to go break up a bar brawl.

But wait, she knows the brawler! Why it’s young Joe Corbin, son of Sheriff August Corbin, whom we’re only just now hearing about, let alone meeting! But he and Abbie have a history, cause Abbie has a history with every single person in the town of Sleepy Hollow! Abbie tries to do her patented “tucked chin and sorrowful eyes of concern” on Joe, but he rejects it. He blames her for his father’s death, you see, and even aside from that there’s some horrifying thing that killed his whole platoon in Afghanistan and that’s a bummer, and none of their business, and also Abbie was a charity case of his father’s, so, in short, buzz off.

Sleepy Hollow: And the Abyss Gazes Back

He's got pain, man. Dad-pain. Man-pain. The kinda pain that makes a man's shirt fall clean off.

Have I mentioned what a great actor Nicole Beharie is? Abbie and Ichabod are driving home after her conversation with Joe, and she’s just on the verge of tears, clearly rattled, but trying not to show it. And Beharie’s perfect. And Tom Mison, for his part, keeps Ichabod balanced between “concern for Abbie” and “loopily hilarious drunk.” When Abbie mentions that she used to babysit for Lil Joe in his cute Lil Superman pajamas, Ichabod is touched, and then follows his train of thought: “Superman is…Peter Parker? No, no that’s the arachnid fellow…Clark Kent! It is Clark Kent.” And then he triumphantly takes the breathalyzer test, and assures Abbie that Young Master Corbin will find his way. See? He’s been listening. He’s just also still a little lit.

Oh, but wait, they’re having a touching moment, and that can’t continue, so naturally they get called to a crime scene, and if you guessed it would involve the just-introduced Master Corbin, you are correct!

Ichabbie swerves the car into a place called Pioneer Point just in time to almost roadkill a giant antlered demon! They find several young men slaughtered; one looks like he’s seen the business end of a chestburster alien. And here’s Joe, alive, but gasping something about his father knowing the truth, and apparently we’re all doomed?

Crap. I hate being doomed.

Once he’s cleaned up in the hospital he insists that Abbie misheard, and oh yeah he totally hates her and she should go away and stuff.

We abruptly check in with Irving and Henry, who have reached the Bartering stage of their relationship. Irving is trying to get some clarification re: the sale of his immortal soul, and Henry assures him that he can get it back…he just has to commit one eensy-weensy murder is all. Irving’s all like, I won’t kill an innocent human, and Henry’s all like, who said anything about innocent, and oh yes did you realize you’re locked up in here with the dude who drunkenly ran into Macey and paralyzed her? Cause you could totally kill him. It’d be a win-win. Oh and by the way, “if you gaze into the abyss it gazes back, doesn’t it, Captain?”

So either Henry’s reading some Nietzsche, or he just binge-watched True Detective. Also a win-win.

When Abbie checks back in with Crane he points something out. Joe called for his father, but normally a wounded soldier will call for his mother.

Abbie tries to argue that that’s a bit nitpicky, but Crane just reiterates: “Dying men call for their mothers,” and she remembers that he actually did die, and drops it. Then he goes on a bit of a tangent about Daniel Boone, takes issue with Abbie laughing that he always had a raccoon on his head, and then to be honest I lost the thread a little because I always get Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone mixed up. But I’m pretty sure the show just accused Daniel Boone of cannibalism. Oh, and the Shawnee are involved, and there’s a mythical creature called the Wendigo and Joe is probably one of those now. Which means if he sees blood he turns into a monster driven to eat human organs. I think I’m going to convince people that if I see Buzzfeed articles it turns me into a monster and I cannot find peace until I’ve eaten sushi. Oh, also Joe attacked and possibly ate his platoon.

Gaaah. Never mind about the sushi. I don’t think I’m hungry anymore.

They go to Joe’s apartment and find Elder Corbin’s will, which for some reason has a coded latitude and longitude written into it. Wait, it’s at Pioneer Point! Corbin posthumously sent Joe there to get something important. Far more important, however, is that Crane stumbles upon a videogame, and, despite saying that we moderns should learn to find relaxation in nature, is clearly intrigued. Hmmm…might we find the third thing, after doughnut holes and adrenaline shots, that make Ichabod glad he lived to see the 21st century?

They find Joe digging up a chest, and suddenly his cries of “Stay away from me” seem different in context. He knew he was a monster, and he was trying to warn them away! But too late, somehow Ichabod’s hand is cut, Joe transforms, and Abbie has to tranq the Wendigo to save her partner. Luckily, they still have Headless’ old prison, complete with horrible neck chains.

Sleepy Hollow: And the Abyss Gazes Back

WENDIGO!

Enter McHawleyghey and Jenny to help tame the savage Joe. Hawley mostly gazes at Abbie—much to both Ichabod’s and Jenny’s dismay, to my dismay—but Jenny pilfers some organs from the hospital so the Wendigo can feed and turn back into Joe. Now the truth about all of this comes out: remember when Henry crushed up the Pied Piper’s bone flute? He wasn’t making bread, he was making supernatural anthrax, which he then cursed and sent to Joe! Now Joe has turned Wendigo three times, which means the fourth transformation will be permanent, and Henry’s claiming he’ll only cure him in exchange for what’s in Sheriff Corbin’s treasure chest! Which is Jenga! I mean, Jenkan! It’s really gross.

At some point Poochie mentions that he’s friends with some Shawnee that can help them lift the curse, and Ichabod mentions that he might just have done business with the Shawnee two centuries ago, so the two go off to continue their pissing match in front of some extras, but I don’t particularly care because I swear to you, show, if you just relegate Jenny to competing with Abbie for Poochie’s Pabst-and-bongwater-tinged affections, I’m going to jump ship over the ‘ship.

The show gives us a sweet moment when Joe asks Ichabod if he still loves Henry. Ichabod, for some reason, still does. Joe tells Ichabod that no matter what happens, he needs to tell Henry that….

Anyway. The Shawnee are a biker gang now, and they agree to help because Ichabod rattles off some facts about their leader’s lucky rabbit’s foot. Score 1 for Ichabod! But unfortunately for Team Witness, Henry has just shown with some armed thugs, and Joe, reluctantly, agrees to give him the Jenga in exchange for some Curse-Be-Gone. He ignores Abbie’s insistence that this is a bad idea, and seems shocked when Henry betrays him by slicing his arm.

“You said you’d cure me!” Joe screams, staring at his own blood.
Henry: “I have. The true curse is humanity.”

Oh, Henry, you always know just what to say.

Meanwhile, in Tarrytown Psychiatric, remember how Irving is locked in a room with the drunken idiot who paralyzed his daughter? Well, that comes back to bite the housing committee in the ass. Irving actually tries to literally extend a hand of friendship to said idiot, who actually says that it’s Macey’s fault for being dumb and not gettting out of his way.

When he was drunk-driving on the side walk. 

So Irving does what any rational person would do, and Force-chokes him (without the benefit of the Force) but naturally this triggers a flashforward to his role as one of War’s soldiers, which I’m beginning to think is just an excuse to show us Orlando Jones’ admirable physique. But no, Irving! This is just what War wants. Irving comes to his senses, and allows the ordelies to drag him away.

Once Ichabod and Hawley return with a ceremonial knife and a human skull engraved with a spell, they insist that they can reverse the Wendigo curse as long as they get to Joe before he feeds on another victim. Abbie slices her hand with the ceremonial knife to draw him out, and Ichabod, being both noble and totally impractical, slices his own hand, insisting that they stick together. Awwww…. Eeek! The Wendigo is on a streetlight! It’s creepy as hell! Ichabbie run into an alley, and Ichabod manages to stab the Wendigo once, and begins dripping the blood into the skull. Hopefully their blood isn’t mingling in such a way as to forever link their destinies. But…no! It doesn’t work, and Ichabod sees fresh gore on the Wendigo’s jaws! Abbie yells at Ichabod not to kill him yet, saying that she’s not giving up on Joe. Then she pleads directly with the Wendigo, who for some reason is not attacking, and suddenly it works! Ichabod looks horrified as he realizes that he almost killed him, and quickly covers him with his coat. Aw, Ichabod, now you’re going to have to get it cleaned again, and Caroline’s gone…

We cut back to the armory. Joe is cleaned up, and seems OK for the most part. For a second I thought we were getting a new series regular, but it turns out young Joe wants to go to Quantico! He asks Abbie for a rec letter. Ichabod, Meanwhile, is staring intently at Abbie’s laptop because…oh, show. Show you always know just what I want. He’s playing a game online! And of course he gets fragged! Oh, Ichabod, you’re entering a beautiful new world. But then the show snatches this happiness away! First, Irving calls, to tell Abbie to give up on him. His soul is gone, and there’s nothing anyone can do. Abbie insists that they’ll get it back somehow! But Irving replies, “Even God thought the Devil was beautiful, before he fell.” 

Which, holy shit what a line. But you could, maybe, try to call God in on this one? You’re doing a pretty good job fighting the Apocalypse, perhaps you could ask for Irving’s soul as an advance on forthcoming defeated demons? What would John Constantine do?

Sleepy Hollow: And the Abyss Gazes Back

Note that Henry holds it a reasonable distance from his face.

Oh, and it isn’t over! Henry magics the jenkan into a horrifying black widow! And puts it in Katrina’s bed! I never, never say this, but Henry really needs to spend some time with a Freudian analyst! And the spider goes in her mouth! And from all the flashbacks, I think she might be pregnant with a spider-demon-baby!

 

Notes & Errata
This one worked so much better for me than La Llorona! The Wendigo is an Algonquian myth, and I thought they tied him in with Sheriff Corbin’s family in a far more organic way than turning Ichabod’d never-before-seen fiancée into a vengeance demon.

So, is the show just hunting down creatures from folklore now? Because between this, Supernatural, Grimm, and Constantine, small town America isn’t going to have any monsters left by spring…

Once again no Sheriff Reyes! Have they just dropped her completely? Shouldn’t Abbie be doing some actual police work occasionally?

I must confess that during the first Wendigo-cam, for a brief, electrifying moment, I thought Franklinstein was back.

 

Sleepy Hollow: And the Abyss Gazes Back

Namaste, Ichabod.

Ichabod Thrives in Modernity!
He holds that yoga headstand pose a hell of a lot longer than I can.

So many this week! First, we learn that Ichabod has taken it upon himself to learn our modern mythology, including the difference between Superman (Clark Kent) and Peter Parker (The Arachnid Fellow).

He thinks a breathalyzer test is a fun drinking game!

He’s learned how to play videogames! And now uses “buns” as an epithet.

 

Abbie’s Struggles With…Anything?
It wouldn’t be a Sleepy episode without Abbie grappling with some aspect of her past, and this week it’s her relationship with Corbin! Apparently Corbin was so busy being a father figure to Abbie and Jenny that he forgot to be an actual father to Joe. I liked that she was slightly upset by it, but also not really going for the amount of guilt Joe was trying to throw at her. It really isn’t her problem that you messed up your relationship with your Dad, dude.

 

Irving’s Struggles with the Fine Print!
Oh, Irving. You just had to go and sell your soul, didn’t you. And so now you’re jumping on guys and having prophetic visions that I’m beginning to think are just an excuse to show your impressive musculature. Seriously, though, if Irving goes full Rust Cohle on us here, I’m going to love this show even more than I already do.


Leah Schnelbach gazes into the Abyss ALL THE TIME and it has never once gazed back. Is it mad at her?

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