Better to Reign in Sleepy Hollow Than Serve in Heaven. Sleepy Hollow: “Paradise Lost”

So where were we? Abbie, Ichabod, and Katrina are tied to trees. Henry just knifed Moloch. Abraham is chained up in the warded room, and Hawley is guarding him. Oh yeah and Captain Irving is DEAD, because apparently life sucks now. (I’m holding out hope that he comes back in another form, however. You don’t just waste the walking embodiment of charm that is Orlando Jones.) So obviously we have questions. Is Henry going to free our Witnesses and Witch? Is Hawley going to forge a bromance with Abraham? Will Henry be good now, or he going to step up and become a freelance Horseman?

Are any of these questions answered in Sleepy Hollow’s latest episode? Or will we meet a new character instead? There is only one way to be… well, you could actually watch it. But there’s only one totally immediate way that’s already right in front of your eyes!

We open on Ichabod on the ground. The first thing he sees is a pile of what looks like ash with a Moloch skull in the middle of it. No Henry. Then he calls for Katrina (awww…) and sees Abbie on the ground. He crawls to her and hugs her. She calls for Jenny, who then comes out of the trees, as does Katrina… wait, where was she? Why didn’t she try to wake Ichabod if she was just a few feet away? Ichatrina call for Henry, stare at each other helplessly, blather about their son, and then admit that he’s “gone.”

Well, that’s comforting.

The scenes fades, and we come back, “Six Weeks Later” to Ichabbie at a farmers market! Could it be that the Witnesses have relaxed into a normal, post-Moloch life? Will there be antiquing later? Ichabod is incensed however, at the idea that there’s such a thing as “inorganic” fruit. Please nobody tell him about Monsanto. But wait, Ichabod’s found some supernatural fruit! He slices open an apple with a moldy patch, claiming he smells sulfur, and finds it teeming with worms. Which, thanks, show. Thanks so much. The shopkeeper apologizes and claims that her fruit has been stricken with “blight,” but Ichabod is convinced that dark forces are afoot. He investigates and discovers clues that point to at least a haunting at Wilcox farm. Abbie suggests he call Katrina to ask her about it, but he refuses.

Sleepy Hollow Paradise Lost

And then…things grind to a halt. The show cues up its emotional score, and we spend a whole lot of show time talking about feelings. This continues as they decide to trespass on the Wilcox farm to see if anything supernatural is happening. In an attempt to provide maximum recap efficiency, I’ll give you the gist: Ichabod and Katrina are living separately, and she spends more time with Abraham (you know, the HORSEMAN OF DEATH) than with the man who just spent a season getting her out of Purgatory. Abbie’s afraid that if the Apocalypse has been cancelled, she’ll need to decide what to do with her life, and Ichabod is worried about how to live as a modern man. What’s a mortgage? What’s a social security number? Luckily, just as Ichabod begins to muse, “Without the threat of apocalypse, what is my place in the world…” they overhear a horrible demonic ceremony! Yes!

They find a group of demons doing something evil-sounding over a fire, and attack, but then, suddenly, a winged man bursts in through the barn window and dusts them!

Holy Crap! AN ANGEL!

He uses a weapon that as far as I could tell was the Glave from Krull, which is much cooler than a flaming sword. Two of the demons dive into the fire to escape, and then the three cautiously lower their weapons as they learn they’re all on the same side. The angel’s name is Orion. He too was trapped in Purgatory for 200 years, but was freed by a Purga-quake that took place six weeks ago. Huh. In Moloch’s absence, many demons escaped Purgatory, and are now looking for new masters to follow. I bet you’ll never guess who this group of demons was trying to hire as their new evil overlord. Go on, guess.

Yup. Headless.

But wait! Just as Orion is telling hem that he needs to knock Headless off, we cut to none other than The Worst Witch, who is desperately pleading with Abraham to kill himself for the good of the world let her make him human again.

Are you kidding me, Katrina? Are you going to find the softer side of every single Hellbeast you encounter?

But the scene gives us this episode’s single best line, when Katrina tells Abe: “With Moloch gone, you’re a Horseman without an Apocalypse.” Zing.

Meanwhile, in another show, Jenny’s at the bar in a cute leather skirt, flirting with Mike the bartender, when Hawley shows up with the Assugian Egg(???), which is essentially a Sumerian demon GPS. The thing is, though, ol’ Hawley can’t rightly make out how the sucker’s ‘sposed to work. Plus he thinks Jenny’s too good for Mike. Hmmm….

Ichabod goes back to Katrina to talk about finally solving a problem like the Horseman, but she’s all: but our LOVE, Ichabod! It turned Abraham into a monster, and maybe it can save him! You know, like how it saved Henry except that it totally didn’t cause he decided to betray Moloch for his own reasons, and oh yeah, the fact that Abe chose to become a Horseman of the Apocalypse ’cause he got dumped from an arranged marriage, that has nothing at all to do with his own fucked up mental state and sense of entitlement. You know, the fact the chose to ally himself with Hell itself rather than just going on Tinder like a normal person.

We also get an all-too-brief conversation between Abbie and Orion about, well, Him. You know, Yahweh, Jehovah, the Almighty, whatever you call Him. Or is it Her? Abbie wants to know. And also, is there a Heaven, and why is she here, and what’s the meaning of life?

Geez, Abbie, slow your roll. Give an angel a second to breathe the Earth air after two centuries in Purgatory.

Unfortunately, Orion is not quick to answer. Actually, he doesn’t really answer at all, instead saying that the concept of names does not apply, and neither does gender. He just sort of ignore the rest of it, but cops to being a member of the angelic host who broke ranks and ended up in Purgatory after a battle.

Sleepy Hollow Paradise Lost

Ummm… Abbie? You realize that means he’s sort of, well, one hates to use the word Fallen, but there might be a reason he wasn’t welcomed back into the fold? Rather than thinking this through, Abbie offers to take Orion straight to Abraham. Hm. On the way, he takes a moment to praise her work as a Witness: “You were asked to observe the apocalyptic tribulations, but you chose to fight.”

WAIT, WUT?

Were they not supposed to fight? Wait, seriously, can we back up a second? But no, we just barrel ahead, and he offers her a ring that will guide him to her if she calls. She says, “I always wanted a guardian angel.”

Yes Abbie, guardian angel, not a freakish fallen angel who won’t answer any of your questions and doesn’t seem to be missing God at all, the way every Western representation of an angel is programmed to do. This is not Clarence, Abbie, wake up!

When Abbie gets back, she finds Ichabod arguing with Katrina about Abraham, and then Abbie gets dragged into it. She points out that Abe is a demonic murderer, but seemingly that doesn’t matter? Orion talks to Katrina about fighting Abraham on the field of Valley Forge, and announces his plan to kill him. So naturally Katrina gets out of the way and—oh, wait, no she runs to talk to Abraham, asks him to swear that he won’t take a life while she searches for a way to free him of the Horsemannness AND THEN SHE FREES HIM WHAT THE FUCK KATRINA ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

Abbie is, understandably, livid. Ichabod’s not much happier. But rather than getting in a brawl over it, they split up—Ichabod basically grounds Katrina while they go clean up her mess, Abbie takes off after Orion, and Ichabod, being Ichabod, sets out for the library posthaste!

Meanwhile, a demonic romcom is unfolding as Hawley tries to suggest that he might still have some feelings for Jenny. Jenny points out that he “burned that bridge with napalm” (and oh yeah weren’t you flirting with her sister a few weeks back?) but as they’re arguing he has a revelatory moment and cracks the Assuggian Egg open to reveal… The Snitch. Except this Snitch shows you images of demons when you stare into it, and just enough ambient detail that you might be able to figure out where they are. Hawley sees Headless, with his would-be minions, and since he also sees a carriage with one wheel behind them, Jenny surmises that they’re in The Carriage House! By definition, that must be true! Jenny calls Abbie with the directions, and Abbie activates her angelic power ring. But in a twist that probably isn’t all that surprising to anyone who’s dealt with fictional angels, Orion is not quite what he seems….

You see, he has a plan. And that plan involves bringing about a golden age with Abbie’s help! Which sounds nice on paper, until he starts talking about “burning out” wickedness and “lancing” evil and “cleansing humanity,” and our horrified Witness realizes that she’s been aiding and abetting a genocidal maniac. Ichabod calls with the news that, yup, Orion has in fact been present at both Pompeii on volcano day and Constantinople during the outbreak of Justinian Plague. So, not the best track record, even as angelic messengers go. Abbie tries to talk Orion out of being a zealot, but that works about as well as it usually does, and the angel doubles down by telling Abbie that as soon as he’s done with the Horseman he’s heading off to get rid of Katrina!

OK, so zealot was a strong word. This guy makes some good arguments, and I think we should let him try it his way for a while.

Sleepy Hollow Paradise Lost

Orion storms into the carriage house after Headless just as Ichabod arrives. Ichabbie have a pretty credible action sequence fighting the two demons, and it’s cool to see how much our Witnesses have improved since last year. Once the demons are out of the way (they dust, which is really handy) Abbie and Ichabod do the unthinkable: they rescue Headless. Abbie shoots Orion in the chest to distract him while Ichabod pries the not-Glave out of Headless’ back and destroys it. Abbie, still trying to talk sense into the angel, tells him that “There’s always another way”—which is sort of becoming her tagline. The angel flaps off to sulk. Headless agrees not to murder them both, but throws them out, which just seems weird and gratuitous. Is the carriage house suddenly Headless’ home? You can’t own property, Headless! If you don’t have a Head, you can’t get a photo ID, so how are you going to fill out all the necessary paperwork to buy anything? Is this going to start an arc where he hides out on this abandoned property, and Katrina keeps visiting him to make sure he’s OK? Cause if so they need to spin it off into a sitcom so I can ignore it while I watch the parts of the show that don’t suck.

So we end, as we began, on talking. Katrina and Ichabod agree to work harder to patch up their marriage, and Abbie apologizes for trusting the angel so quickly. But Ichabod also allows that maybe he’s sided with Katrina a little too much. (Hmm…yeah, I think he might be on to something there.) But he sticks the landing with a philosophical affirmation: “No matter our disagreements, our bond cannot be broken. Witness represent.”

Heh. OK, show, that’s a good…wait, why is Abbie looking in her desk drawer? Aw, crap, she kept Orion’s ring! Oh, this shouldn’t have any terrible consequences. Nope, it’ll be fine I’m sure. Now we’re done, right, cause I need to—wait, is this another scene? Those are…is that a zombie, shuffling into the convenience store? Is that… GUYS IT’S IRVING HE’S BACK. And he’s…drinking milk? Like drinking a whole carton of milk right out of the wall fridge?

HOLY SHIT HE’S CATWOMAN.

He stops drinking for a second, stares dead-eyed past the camera, and asks “Where am I? Is this Heaven or Hell?“

And then my heart breaks into thousands of pieces.

But the store clerk, who doesn’t understand all of the highly emotional backstory involved in this situation, just mumbles, “Neither, man. It’s Sleepy Hollow.”

END SCENE.

So! That was…something? At least Irving’s back? At least Moloch isn’t?

Notes & Errata!

I have very little to say about this episode. It’s not that it was bad, exactly, it just seems…tangential? The episode introduces Orion, an angel, who could theoretically help set the show’s cosmology, prove to be an ally, or at least offer another perspective. The moment when he finally points out that the phrase ”Witness“ in no way implies that Abbie and Ichabod are supposed to be actively fighting the Apocalypse is chilling. But instead of exploring that, we get an angel who won’t answer any questions, who’s easily defeated by two humans, and who flies away the first time anyone stands up to him. We get yet another battle with Headless and two arguments with Katrina.

Who is driving Katrina to Hot Topic, and why is she buying all of her clothes there?

There’s no word on Henry, which is unsettling.

Jenny Mills, international freedom fighter, is thwarted by a mercenary who almost definitely spent the 2000s following Phish around the country.

 

Ichabod Struggles With Modernity!

This time his struggles are mostly sincere, which is no fun at all. He’s quite reasonably afraid that he has n place in our world unless it’s ending. He doesn’t know how to set up a life here. It’s really depressing to see the show facing its own reality this way. Quit it, show.

The organic fruit rant is cute, though.

Sleepy Hollow Paradise Lost

Katrina Struggles with Being “A Powerful Witch”

She manages a successful spell! But then nullifies it by letting Ichabbie’s second-greatest enemy go free.

Abbie Struggles With Scully

Hey, I get to do this one again! Abbie actually does spend a few minutes asking an angel about the nature of God, her place in the universe, whether there’s actually a Heaven or if we all just end up in spooky Burton-esque Purgatory forever—but again, the show gives us no time to deal with any of that before we’re back to Marriage Counseling with the Cranes.

Irving Struggles with Being Alive

Maybe! Or he’s a milk-loving zombie. But either way he’s back! And that’s the best thing Sleepy Hollow gives us this week.

 

Next week looks like a MotW, but hopefully we’ll get some closure? And less Katrina?


Leah Schnelbach wants at least two episodes to hash out whether or not Abbie and Ichabod misinterpreted their roles as Witnesses. That sounds like it might be important. She’s on Twitter sometimes!

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