Well, Sleepy Hollow finally did the unthinkable: it made me like Katrina. They actually used her in this episode, and in a situation that could have been a giant cliché pile, Katia Winter acts the hell out of her role, and Katrina and Ichabod seem like a real couple for the first time. Plus, some thematic arcs are paid off!
We open on Ichatrina in bed, whispering sweet nothings about how to use his few hours off, and what they plan to name their children. Even in the arms of his gorgeous wife, Ichabod can’t help but let his thoughts stray to his beloved General Washington. But suddenly Katrina sees Ichabod leaning tward her, and he spits a spider into her mouth. Now, I grew up in Florida primarily, and I have always enjoyed a a friendly relationship with the arachnid people, but this…this was not OK.
Ugh, this can’t go anywhere good.
We cut to Ichabbie in line to vote! And Ichabod is not pleased with modern America’s lackluster poll numbers. Get out there and vote, America! You’re making Ichabod cry. If it was “American Idolater,” you’d vote. And yes, he knows its proper name thank you. Abbie interrupts his reverie to commend him on Revolutionary America’s dedication to universal suffrage. He is properly chastised, and does that thing where he ducks his head and tucks his chin and you just want to hug him? But Abbie isn’t going to be placated, and reminds him that she’s a.) Black and b.) a woman, so she had two strikes against her.
Crane: “You also wouldn’t have been a property holder.”
Make that three strikes.
But Abbie is not done zinging: “Well, maybe I could be a property holder if I wasn’t paying all your bills,” she muses, as she tugs on his lapels. Which only makes me miss Caroline again. Dammit, show.
Ichabod wants to follow her into the voting booth, but obviously he can’t, and then he wants to advise her on the travesty that is Proposition 3, but gets shushed for campaigning at the polls. Once again, apparently, General Washington did this better than anybody: he used to give people flagons of beer while they voted.
OK, this time I’ll concede Ichabod’s point.
Abbie puts her “I Voted” sticker on Crane’s lapel to shush him, and he says that, oddly enough, it does make him feel better.
But all is not fun and voting in this episode! We cut to Henry busting down Abraham’s door to kidnap Katrina! And poor Abraham, ineffective as always, tries to talk Henry out of it, but he just flicks his wrist, opens the shutters, and Abe starts smoking like a vampire under a coat in a late-period Buffy episode. Poor dumb Headless bastard.
But wait! Headless is back up! He charges the thugs, and manages to knock one of them down. Katrina, despite feeling sick from the spider bite, turns her back on Quaker pacifism long enough to incapacitate the other one, and run into the street. Helpful, non-cultist guys catch her as she collapses.
When Ichabbie gets word that a redheaded Jane Doe in colonial garb is in the hospital, they know it can only be one person. (It can only be one person cause Caroline’s dead. Dammit, show.) They spring her from the hospital, which really—shouldn’t that be more difficult? She has a 105 degree fever. The last time I had a 105 degree fever I spent several hours in bed watching classical music float through the air, so I’m not entirely convinced that Katrina would be able to walk out with them. And that’s before we get into the horrible blue veins that intermittently spread across her stomach. They did manage to find a rather fetching outfit for Katrina, though. But just as Ichabod begins commenting on the form-fitting-ness of 21st Century women’s garb, Henry’s thugs show up! Ichatrina run for it, while Abbie tails them. And speaking of 21st C. Women’s Garb, I want Abbie’s spectacular 4-inch-heeled boots. I’m not sure how she does police work in those, but I’m glad she does.
Back at SHHQ, Katrina describes the book Henry carried, and it confirms Ichabod’s worst fears—she’s been poisoned by The Hellfire Club! A secret organization dedicated to evil. Ben Franklin infiltrated their ranks to get the magical key. (For a brief moment I feel a stab of hope for Franklinstein, but spoiler alert: he does not show up.) Ichabod begins describing an experiment that involved poisoning a woman, and because Ichabod has exactly zero bedside manner, he makes sure to tell his gasping, panicked wife that there’s no record of the unfortunate lady’s survival. Thanks, Ich. She assures him that Abraham would never have poisoned her. Which leads him to the entirely reasonable question of how, precisley, a guy with no head is able to talk to her? So she explains the charm around her neck. Ichabod is not pleased. She insists that she’s not hiding anything else, and for the first time since last season I believe her. Plus, Ichabod, you did agree to let her stay as a mole. This is what moles do. Ichabod finally calms down, and says the same words that he said in her dream: that one day they would be able to have the life they deserve.
Abbie has tracked the thugs to a creepy warehouse –OK, how many abandoned warehouses does Sleepy Hollow have at this point?—and finds a blue-veined corpse, a bunch of empty gurneys, and a stone tablet! Best of all, she’s able to steal their book! Which only confirms the thing we’ve all known since last week’s review, right? Bom bom bom…say it with me now…DEMONIC PREGNANCY. How did they not immediately go to that? Kidnapped by cultists that actually call themselves “The Hellfire Club,” weird, abdomen-based pain—what the hell else could it be?
Of course, Ichabod doesn’t think that. He thinks it’s Abraham.
Katrina furiously denies it, saying “This thing inside of me is not born of any man!” But Ichabod slams his fist down on the table, and looks like he’s about to start screaming. Abbie just stands back and watches, a little too calmly. A little like, if Ichabod doesn’t back down right away she’ll have to put herself in between them. Because she, despite everything, believes Katrina. Cool.
Ichabod turns away to compose himself, and then, big nerd that he is, starts reading aloud from the spell book. If he makes it a puzzle to solve, he won’t be so upset. And as he reads, they all realize: she’s been poisoned with Jenga! Jinkan! Jin-quan? That stuff from last week that Henry used to make the spider.
But before they can dwell on her own son getting her pregnant via poison, Henry’s thugs arrive, and they run to Henry’s Parish church for safety. Where, if you’ll recall, Katrina left Jeremy when she had to flee, and where Jeremy then got his new name. And here is where things get really, um, sticky, morality-wise. Katrina insists that since Henry’s the one who poisoned her, he’s the one who can save her. And that he will, because her is her son, and she will not give him up as a lost cause. And Ichabod, considering her words under a withering glare from Abbie, agrees with her, that he has not lost faith in their son.
Abbie suggests that possibly they should listen to themselves.
Ichabod agrees to go try to convince Henry to leave the Dark Side. Possibly he watched Return of the Jedi at some point? He looks over at Abbie and asks if she wants to put it to a vote? “Democracy in action,” she replies, laughing the laugh of a woman who knows her idiot partner has just consigned the world to Hell.
Back at Tarrytown Psych, because time does what the show wants it to do, Irving has summoned Henry, he’s arrived (despite probably being on the hunt for Katrina?) and arrives precisely as Ichabod does.
Their father-son talk does not go well.
They intercut between Ichabod trying to talk to Henry, and Henry mocking Icahbod, as Abbie and Katrina talk. Katrina half-apologizes for being stubborn about Henry’s redemption, but Abbie is still looking for a back-up plan, just in case, you know, the Horseman of War doesn’t suddenly decide to turn good. She reads further from the notebook, and tells Katrina that she’s been infected with “The Horrid King.” Which, so you know, if any of you are ever impregnated with a demon? Don’t say its name. Cause at that moment it reacts, starts squirming around inside Katrina, and her stomach balloons out. She goes from no bump to a full 9-month-bump in about 30 seconds. Which apparently it can do, because The Horrid King is Moloch.
Meanwhile Ichabod, having just been informed by Henry that Katrina will die giving birth to their greatest enemy, is saying “No.”
Henry’s response: “Don’t say no, say rise. Rise, my Horrid King, rise…”
And Katrina, spelling things out: “The demon of the Apocalypse is growing inside of me???”
She considers her options, eyes Abbie’s gun, and says, “There is one way to stop this. Moloch cannot rise if his vessel dies first…” But Abbie, who’s been down this road with a Crane before, insists, “That is not an option. When Ichabod was on the battlefield, and all the voices of heaven and hell were shouting at you to let him die, you found a way to save him. We’ll find a way.” Awwww…Katrina looks at Abbie in a slightly different way than usual, and suddenly the two of them are friends. It’s really cool.
Meanwhile, at Tarrytown Psych: Henry is saying, and I quote, “I intend to paint my hands with your blood.” Wow. Let it all out, Henry. Ichabod tells him to read his sin, offers his hand, saying that if Henry felt his anguish he wouldn’t be able to go through with this: “Jeremy, you have a choice.”
Henry: “Yes, I do, and I choose Moloch.”
Again, wow. But that’s not all!
“I choose his fire that will burn the world.”
Ichabod, supportive dad that he is, doesn’t denounce his choice. Instead he grabs his hand, and has a vision of a young boy running through the forest, screaming for help. This would be when young Jeremy was chased by Katrina’s coven, presumably. But Henry does not want to talk about it, so Ichabod goes back to Katrina in defeat. He tries to apologize, but she gasps out that they have to have faith. She had faith that Crane would be saved every day in Purgatory for 231 years…and look how well that’s turned out!
Luckily, Abbie has been researching other options. She shows Crane a picture of the warehouse, and he notices that the thug’s tablet is glowing. Like an Aurora. Which his frenemy Ben Franklin theorized could banish demons! QED, they need to get that tablet! Also luckily, Ben wrote a paper on his theory, which they can find online…but the abandoned church only has dial-up.
Crane: “It sounds like a swine being strangled…”
Abbie: “It was a great advance at the time.”
Crane: “So was the wheel, I’d imagine.”
They find the paper, but unfortunately, it’s a scan of Franklin’s writing. Crane again: “His handwriting was such an abomination it could be considered code on its own.” Ouch. Sick penmanship burn there, Ichabod. But, he’s able to decipher enough of it to learn that an aurora prism is hidden within the tablet. if they expose it to sunlight it will refract light and project it out, vanquishing Moloch, If they can get it before he tears his way through Katrina’s abdominal wall.
Which is looking like an outside chance, at this point.
Crane wishes for an army, and Abbie says they can get one, and for a second I’m hoping they’ll cut to Jenny just cleaning guns for kick, but no: it’s Reyes! They’re going to tell Reyes the truth about Sleepy Hollow.
Wait, WHAT? They’re going to do what? She’ll lock them up again!
Luckily, the two of them have learned to lie. They tell her the Hellfire Club is a cult, basing itself on the colonial-era Club, and kidnapping people. They convince her, and she sends a SWAT team in. And for some reason Ichabod’s allowed to come even though Reyes hates him, but maybe she’s hoping he’ll get shot?
Crane tries to unlock the MacGuffin Briefcase while Abbie holds cultists at bay. He tries several combos, all while she’s braining guys with metal pans and stuff. It’s pretty great. But finally, even Abbie loses patience: “They’re a freaking evil club! Try 666!”
As they try to dash away with the tablet, Reyes calls them back. Ah, she’s evil! She delaying them on purpose to bring Moloch into the world!
Reyes: “I understand now why Corbin always spoke so highly of you,” she says, to a flustered Abbie.
Oh, wait. Abbie thanks her, genuinely, and then when the Sheriff asks Crane what he does, he lies magnificently: “I’m a criminal profiler with an emphasis on historical reenactments.” And now she accepts this, and tells him to be in touch.
All right, maybe we’ve fixed the Reyes problem!
When they reach Katrina, she’s…. well… things are not looking good? You know how I said I’m cool with spiders? To be slightly personal here, I have chosen not to have children, and Pregnancy Body Horror is pretty much My Worst Horror. This bit was rough going. But, just when things are extra dire, the show breaks out a super-slow-mo action scene, and cranks the theme music, and Ichabod breaks the tablet, releases the Aurora Prism kicks the slats off a window, and lets the light in. The Prism goes all Ark of the Covenant on fetal Moloch, and Katrina is saved. Well…almost. She isn’t exactly breathing? And for a second I expected Abbie to jump in, but wait! Ichabod has learned CPR! Aw, I love you you, show. This means that when Ichabod realized he had almost let Abbie die, he went and learned it! Katrina opens her eyes, and whispers “You’re here…” and Ichabod says “Where I belong.” AWWWWW…
Abbie leaves them alone for a post-near-death makeout session. Ichabod joins her (after an unspecified amount of time) and they talk about their progress.
Abbie: At least now we know where Henry stands
Ichabod looks away, and says nothing.
Abbie “….” is stunned.
Crane: “When I touched him, I saw him as a small boy, crying for help…”
Abbie: “Because that’s what he wants you to see.”
Crane disagrees, and Abbie swallows a lot of anger. Then, she holds her hand out in a fist. “We stopped Moloch.” He pounds her fist, and blows it up.
Notes & Errata
This episode was one of the strongest for me, because despite the overused Rosemary’s Baby plot, it had a real theme. We open on a discussion of voting, and then we watch the fallout from all the choices the characters have made over the course of the show. Henry chooses Moloch. When Team Witness’ allegiance is put to a vote, Katrina chooses Henry, and Ichabod chooses Katrina over Abbie, effectively choosing Henry. But, instead of going the obvious route, Abbie chooses to put her frustration aside, and in doing so she and Katrina become friends. Ichabod and Katrina choose not to give up on their son, something which I’m sure will have no significance or far-reaching consequences at all. And then Abbie pulls us all in with the reason we’re all here: it was Katrina’s choice to save Ichabod in the first place, “even with all the voices of Heaven and Hell telling you to let him die” that kicked off this whole Apocalyptic shebang.
Ichabod’s Struggles With Modernity!
We moderns don’t vote enough! Don’t we understand this is a sacred right??? Actually, that’s not Ichabod, that me talking.
American Idolatry! ZING. He just looks so proud of himself…
We get some reverence for General Washington, and some digs at Ben Franklin! I really, really love that they’ve made Franklin Ichabod’s nemesis. You just can’t have two know-it-alls in a room.
He’s learned CPR, he’s learned to drive, he plays games online, he’s learned to hate dial-up…he’s actually pretty much a modern guy now. Still not so cool with the form-fitting skinny jeans thing…
Abbie’s Struggles With…Anything?
Well, her biggest struggle right now is dealing with Ichabod’s divided loyalties. This could…if he really believes he can turn Henry? We may all be doomed.
Whither Captain Irving?
He’s, um, well, he’s here? He doesn’t look great, but at least he gets to mildly inconvenience the dude who owns his soul. Hopefully he’ll realize that murdering someone is not, like, listed in the Top Five Ways To Get Your Soul Back….
Reyes Maybe Doesn’t Suck?
The show may have found a good way to incorporate Reyes! If they just spin all of these supernatural acts as copycat crimes, thne everything will work better. Although…how has Abbie been logging all of her discharged rounds? “I was shooting at the Pied Piper” probably won’t cut it….
So, what did you all think? Did I miss anything? I think next week a Succubus is coming for Hawley!