Oh what is this emotion? Could this be happiness? Or relief? I think it’s relief! Gentle reader, I think Sleepy Hollow might be back! It was pretty good! There was wit, and chemistry, and the Hawley subplot actually worked as part of a larger arc, and it was like the show that I used to love had returned to me! Which was also commented upon multiple times by the episode itself!
We open on, oh, I am so happy I get to type these words. We open on Abbie singing Gnarls Barkley’s hit single “Crazy.” And she’s GREAT.
Ichabod’s eyes light up listening to her, and he starts yelling “Huzzah!” Jenny has to interrupt ot ask him if he and Abbie are OK. Sure we are, his mouth says, ignoring he real questions and betraying his worries with his eyes.
Oh, and Hawley’s there, but he needs to leave, so that’s cool Hawley, we’ll just hang here with Ichabbjenny and put a couple more songs in. Who wants to hear Jenny sing “Let It Go”? WAIT, why are we leaving with Hawley??? There’s a perfectly good karaoke bar…
Hawley meets up with yet another of the shadowy-magical-object-fencers he knows. How the hell many of these guys are in Sleepy Hollow? But surprise, Hawley’s been double-crossed, cause the guy produces not mystical shuriken, as promised, but a woman! And she and Hawley Have a Past. Oh, and her name is Carmilla, and she turns into a vampire-like creature, so is she supposed to be this person? She also raised Hawley, because this is the episode where we get Hawley’s tragic backstory.
She wants to rob Theodore Knox. As in, Theodore, the descendant of Henry Knox, the Revolutionary general after whom Fort Knox was named, and upon whom Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Col. Pyncheon was based. It turns out Teddy Knox collects all sorts of rare occult tchotchkes, and Carmella needs one. And since Hawley Owes Her Because of The Past that They Have, he agrees to help.
Oh, we’re back at karaoke! Maybe this time we’ll jut stay here. Maybe the show will take the bold move of showing us that the side character has a tragic backstory that’s coming back to haunt him, but we’ll just stay in the bar, singing. Ichabod, having rejected “Oops I Did it Again,” is singing a 17th Century ballad with no accompaniment. It’s amazing. It also gives Jenny a chance to ask Abbie if she and Ichabod are doing OK. Abbie gives the same noncommittal rely that Ichabod did. It’s a great juxtaposition, Ichabod bravely going up alone in front of an uninterested audience, Jenny and Abbie having a real conversation, Jenny seeing right through Abbie’s canned answers, and then Ichabod sits back down to tepid applause and muses, “Perhaps I should have done the one about that bass?” See, show? That’s why we love you. But then somebody remembers Hawley, so they’re getting up to look for him, but then somebody breaks into the Archive and gee I wonder if these two events could possibly be connected.
Oh wait, the events are connected! Hawley has broken into the Archive to get a Maguffin, and Jenny chases him, and ends up fighting Carmilla in the tunnels. This does not go well, but luckily Ichabod arrives in time to crossbow her and chases her away.
Rather than following an apparent vampire, we have to tie up a little more of the Frank Irving story, so we cut to an incredibly sarcastic judge announcing that the state has dropped all charges against Irving, which is deeply suspicious, but Irving just seems happy. Um what did Henry do? And shouldn’t Abbie and Reyes be at the courthouse?
Back to story A! Carmilla has been cursed to be a Vitala, a super-fast creature with poisonous claws and vampiric teeth. She has some connection to Kali, who is the consort of Lord Shiva in Hinduism. She is Time, Death, Destruction, Power, Darkness—she’s a lot of things. She can be seen as a violent goddess, or a mother figure, or she can represent the darkness of the unknowable. In Western culture, she’s mostly known as Kali Ma, the Goddess of Destruction, who inspires the death cult that tries to rip Indiana Jones’ heart out in Temple of Doom. Some last straggling members of said cult apparently attacked Carmilla and turned her into a Vitala, and Hawley, being the Indiana Jones stand-in that he is, was bound to tangle with them eventually.
Carmilla believes that Theodore Knox has an artifact that will save her from this curse, and she asks Hawley to help, but she promises this will be The Last Time. “One and done,” they recite, in a way that seems to mean something, except anyone with eyeballs can tell that Carmilla is lying to him. I get that Hawley has a Troubled Past, but your mercenary in search of redemption should be harder to hoodwink than Han Yolo here.
While Carmella herself gives Hawley that backstory, Abbie and Jenny turn to the fence who set this whole deal up. He runs some sort of occult thrift shop, and they wander through, looking at his wares, while the show goes meta again. Like the rest of us, Jenny is really worried about Ichabbie. Abbie keeps talking about Ichabod’s relationship with Katrina, but Jenny finally gets to the point: “Do you guys think you work better apart?”
NO. They do NOT work better apart, thank you for acknowledging that, show.
It turns out that the fence doesn’t want to talk to Abbie. So, she looks the other way while Jenny slams his head into a glass case. Then he talks. It turns out that Carmilla is actually Carmilla Pines, a notorious treasure hunter whom Jenny already hates. Now it’s even more important that they get Hawley away from her.
Now, because into every episode a little Katrina must fall, we cut back to the Archive, where Ichabod is telling the Worst Witch all about Mary Poppins. She’s not amused. Then they find the Angelic GPS that Abbie’s been hiding, and of course Katrina recognizes it, because between her and her husband, they know literally everything there is to know. Jennabbie arrive to spout some exposition, and then someone makes an executive decision to leave Katrina the hell home while the other three go after Hawley.
We dodged a magical bullet.
Ichabod is driving a car with real horsepower! But he wants to know which horse “horsepower” is based on. At a certain point it’s revealed that this is Hawley’s car, but not until the camera has lovingly caressed its every curve.
“Why, this car is easier to handle than Sam Adams in one of his morning-after fugues!” Ichabod exclaims.
“I know, and it’s surprisingly affordable,” Abbie adds.
“But just cause it’s affordable, that doesn’t mean it cant be radically awesome!” Jenny opines, as they swerve around a corner.
OK, most of that dialogue didn’t happen, but I’m sure we were all supposed to be thinking it.
Once they get to Knox’s estate. Ichabod and Abbie insist they have to work as a team. “At all costs, we must stay together,” Ichabod says. Then the three of them immediately split up. Hawley is picking the locks to get into Knox’ vault, and Jenny tries to stop him, so they can fight Carmilla together, but instead he locks her in a room to keep her safe.
Carmilla enters the vault and finds the artifact she wants (a many-armed statue of Kali) and then takes Abbie hostage as she tries to stop her. Then there’s Ichabod with his crossbow again, but he can’t shoot since Carmilla can Vitala the crap out of her before the bolt hits her, but then Hawley steps in between them and offers his life for theirs. Kind of. He says he’ll go with Carmilla and be her partner again if she’ll leave them alone.
Awwww….Hawley, don’t get likable now, after all the mean crap I’ve said about you….
Oh, the commercial break explained that this episode of Sleepy Hollow was sponsored by Ford, which is why they were so desperate to convince us that Hawley drives a sweet-looking red Mustang. Which, don’t get me wrong it’s a beautiful car, but I call bullshit, show. I have made it quite clear that Hawley drives in a boss van with a bunch of Grateful Dead bears on it, and probably an innuendo-laden bumper sticker of some sort. “Treasure Hunters Navigate Forbidden Passages in the Dark” or something. He’s not the kind of guy to actually drive an impressive, clean, well-maintained car. That Ford Mustang looked to be, if you’ll all forgive me, wayyyy out of Hawley’s league, car-wise.
(Plus won’t this make things awkward at the next McConaugha-days Festival? Don’t all devout practitioners of JKL drive Lincolns?)
(Personally I think the Mustang is a fine car, and this recap would happy to accept Ford sponsorship!)
So now Ichabbie are locked in the vault, Jenny’s locked in a room, and Hawley and Carmilla are running away with a Kali statue that probably belongs in a museum. But at least Ichabod and Abbie are finally talking! They rehash a few of the things that have been wrong with Season 2, and Ichabod finally sighs, “The roster of our mistakes are growing to karaoke catalogue-sized proportions.”
There. See? You know how to do this show, just do it.
He mentions Orion’s sigil, she mentions Katrina’s the worst-ness, we get a brief shot of Carmilla poisoning Hawley cause duh, and then Ichabbie apologizes, and Ichabod trails off, thinking.
He’s found alchemical symbols on the door of the vault, and presses the one he thinks will free them…. and then spikes pop out of the walls, which promptly begin closing in. And Abbie promptly makes a reference to the Star Wars trash compactor. Heh. Then, because they are an unstoppable team, she talks Ichabod through his initial panic, and he freestyles on John Knox’s personality until he remembers the gambling debts that left the man penniless. This inspires him to press the correct button (the one marked with the symbol for gold) and open the door.
Oh show I want to hug you so hard! I haven’t wanted to hug you this hard since “Mama.”
BUT WAIT. Abbie, thoroughly disillusioned with all of this now, asks Crane: “Are you telling me we named Fort Knox after a man who died in debt?”
Oh show I want to marry you.
Ichabbie meet up with Jenny, and somehow figure out both that Hawley’s been betrayed, and where said betrayal is taking place. Also, thanks to yoga class, Abbie deduces that the Vitala’s weaknesses are iron and fire.
There’s some shirtless Hawley, if you’re into that sort of thing, and Carmilla carves into his chest, saying, “You’re gonna love death, Nicky!” Yiiikes. This one, um, I think we may need to keep this villain around.
Carmilla has marked Hawley, and she chanting over him and giving every indication that she’s about to Kali Maa the shit out of him. The statue of Kali floats above him, and its eyes open, and they’re bleeding.
Kali is not one for subtlety.
Luckily for Nick, neither is Jenny, who clubs Carmilla with a flaming torch.This interrupts the spell long enough for her to free Hawley, but then Carmilla is on her again. Nick is up and drives her away with a torch, but…then he hesitates and she escapes.
So now they all get to live in fear of a demon they can’t defeat?
We get some resolution, though: Hawley returns to the archive, apologizes for being so bro-y, and kisses Jenny goodbye. He’s going to hunt Carmilla down so she can’t endanger his Sleepy Hollow family. Perfect. He leaves the show as he entered, in a haze of pot smoke (I’m assuming) under Jenny’s disapproving eyes.
Back to the karaoke bar! Ichabod and Abbie are doing a duet! It’s…ummmm, “Proud Mary”? Seriously?
They’re doing “Proud Mary” together.
They’re doing…Ike and Tina?
They sing really well together, and it’s hilarious, but IKE AND TINA. Ummmmm….
So we’re ending now, yes? We’ll watch them sing and then…oh, wait. Plot B. (or is it C?) Katrina is testing Irving at the cabin. “This ceremony will delve into the very fabric of your being. It might cause some discomfort.” HA. Katrina occasionally gets a good line at least.
Irving drinks some potion, and has a series of flashbacks to his interactions with Henry, including seeing himself fighting in the Apocalypse. He opens his eyes, and Katrina says, “Whatever bound you to Horseman of War is gone.” Irving jumps up and hugs Cynthia, promising a new start and saying “I think we’ve got ourselves a miracle.” The camera stays on Katrina for a moment, so I figured we were about to get an extra smile, or some indication that she’s switched sides, and is lying about Frank’s Soul, but no. Instead the camera swoops around so we see Irving and Cynthia reflected in a window—except we don’t because Frank doesn’t have a reflection.
So…he’s just a garden variety vampire? Or a spirit of some kind? OR…what if he’s actually Henry in disguise????
Notes & Errata!
Is this truly the end of Hawley? Or is he going to come back?
It wasn’t just my imagination, right? The show did turn into an artful piece of self-commentary? Jenny explicitly asks Abbie if she thinks she and Ichabod work better separately. Ichabbie spend a good few minutes hashing out their issues. Katrina bristles at Ichabod holding up Mary Poppins as a role model, and then does something useful without his involvement!
Oh, but I guess she messed that up? She can tell that there’s no more Henry pixie dust floating around Frank’s soul, but she can’t tell that something else is wrong? Normal not-vampires have reflections, Katrina.
So if Frank seems to be back but is actually like Simulacra-Frank, is that another meta-commentary on the show? Do we only think we have our beloved SH back? If I, just for the sake of argument, embrace Nicole Beharie, will I too look into the mirror and see only myself?
How adorable is Teddy Knox?? I want him to come back. (AND NOT IMMEDIATELY DIE, show.) All of his questions about Ichabod’s crossbow were hilarious.
In Hinduism, Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages of the world’s existence. It is the time when people are furthest from God, and the state of civilization degenerates into chaos. We’re in Kali Yuga now, and this title could actually work well with Sleepy Hollow’s overarching theme of Apocalyptic battle. However, the Kali in Kali Yuga is a demon, not the Goddess Kali. You can read about him in the Mahabharata.
So, I consulted with my editors, and it turns out I’m not allowed to accept sponsorship from a major automotive company. Sorry, Ford.
Ichabod’s Struggles with Modernity!
He likes Mary Poppins! And Ford Mustangs! But he is done with yoga forever.
Yes, Ichabod, you should have done the song about “That Bass.” You should do that every week, over the closing credits, for the foreseeable future.
So next week we’re finally dipping into the Salem Witch Trials. This probably means more Katrina…