Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: Deliverance


Last night’s Sleepy Hollow, “Deliverance,” brought Henry’s plans for his mother to a head – so far as we know – when he used the rare poison he’d obtained and his buddies in the new Hellfire Club to (non-sexually, thank goodness) impregnate Katrina with Moloch himself. Like many magical pregnancies, this one will last for a day and kill its “vessel.” Crane’s doubts about his relationship with Katrina haven’t vanished, and before they figure out what happened he has a moment of wondering whether Katrina is pregnant with Abraham’s child (though it’s unclear whether he’s assuming rape or consensual sex there), but he of course wants to save her. So does Abbie, actually – Katrina herself is the only one who suggests dying so the unborn demon baby dies as well – but what the trio disagrees on is how to go about this.

Katrina believes that her child Jeremy is still inside Henry somewhere, and that she and Crane can reach him and turn him to their side. “Henry follows Moloch because he had no family to grab onto.” Honestly, I don’t think that’s a terrible hope in general, but I wouldn’t count on it happening in one day in time to remove this demon inside you, Katrina. Abbie is completely skeptical about this and delightfully pragmatic in general, urging Crane not to let his feelings about his child affect their mission. And so Crane is caught in the middle, which may be a common place for him to be if Katrina is now back with them for good. He does try Katrina’s way, but when Henry refuses to help, Crane and Abbie come up with a new way to save Katrina involving the Hellfire Club, a stone tablet, and the aurora borealis, for . . . some reason. The Cranes aren’t going to give up on their son, though, and Abbie and I both have concerns. On the idea that Jeremy is still reachable, Abbie says “Henry would love for you to think that,” but Crane disagrees. “No. I do not think he would.” Interesting. I’m now hoping that this comes down to a test of the common pop culture idea that all villains are misunderstood and can be saved by love, and that this time, it doesn’t work and he’s in fact just evil. We’ll see!

In a much more fun subplot, it’s election day in Sleepy Hollow as well as the real world, and Crane goes along with Abbie to observe his first contemporary voting experience. He’s adorably upset about the low percentage of voter turnout in modern America, but Abbie completely awesomely brings up the fact that in Crane’s day she wouldn’t have been allowed to vote for at least three reasons – her gender, her race, and her lack of property – and he has to concede her point. I also love that he’s done his research and has recommendations for how she should vote, and even gets in trouble for electioneering at the polling place. Hee. (Go vote today!)

Other favorite lines and points of interest:

  • American Idol.” “I know its name.”
  • “Maybe I could afford property if I weren’t paying all your bills.” Seriously, how does Abbie afford this?
  • I like how Crane is thoughtful enough to notice that Abbie isn’t in Reyes’s inner circle.
  • “Crane sees it as a test. I think he’s going to lose.”
  • “How pedestrian to expend all that effort on a mere demon.”
  • “Evidence of good in him is not proof that he will change.” I feel like I need this embroidered on a pillow or something.
  • “I must Internet. Immediately.”
  • “One thing I miss about modernity: An army to assist me.”
  • “I told you to keep your walking historical society out of my precinct.”
  • I like the limited version of the truth they told Reyes – it is a Doomsday cult, among other things.
  • “They’re a freaking evil club. Try 666.”
  • Crane’s new cover for Reyes: he’s a criminal profiler who specializes in acts of historical imitation. Heh. True enough!
  • Has Crane suddenly learned CPR, since the last time someone he loved was dying, a few weeks ago? I guess that would make sense, actually.

Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: And the Abyss Gazes Back


I’m somewhat ambivalent about the most recent Sleepy Hollow. “And the Abyss Gazes Back” focused on the Native American mythical creature the Wendigo. But first: the most delightful part of the episode, in which Abbie makes Crane do yoga with her. He is not a fan. “I find yoga neither soothing nor relaxing.” (Me neither, Crane.) This does make him open up and admit that he’s hurt by Katrina keeping information from him, but duty calls: “War does not permit us the luxury of dwelling on personal matters. Nor, indeed, the downward facing of our dogs.” Heee.

But, anyway, the A story: Sheriff Corbin’s son Joe comes back to town after being discharged from the Marines because he was the only survivor of an attack on his platoon – which, spoiler, was because Joe himself was the attacker. Remember that bone flute Henry ground up? He used it to make a powder to curse Joe (by mail! with a return address that lets them trace him!) and turn him into the cannibalistic monster. After Joe transforms and kills again in Sleepy Hollow, Crane figures out what’s going on – because of a Wendigo incident at Valley Forge with Daniel Boone’s brother, of course.

Joe is upset about his father’s death, understandably, and taking it out on Abbie: he holds her responsible for both the sheriff’s death and for the way he felt his father didn’t care about him in life. “He never told me anything. Why would he? He was too busy with you.” But the sheriff did love his son, of course, and showed it by . . . leaving him instructions to dig up a box holding rare Chinese poison. Okay. Henry wants the poison, for reasons we’re not told, and tells Joe he’ll cure the Wendigo curse if Joe gives him the poison. But, of course, the “cure” actually leaves him as a Wendigo: “Your true curse is humanity. Now Abigail will see you for what you truly are: A creature of war.” Luckily, Crane and Abbie, with help from Hawley, have obtained a real cure from Hawley’s Native American contacts, and after he’s cured, Joe and Abbie reconcile at least somewhat, and he asks her to write him a recommendation letter to Quantico. Aww. (Because I’m sure the recommendation of someone who got in and then never showed up is very powerful.)

This case of the week was fine, I guess, and it was nice filling in some of Abbie and Corbin’s backstory. But I still feel like this season is lacking in momentum, and while we’re told everything fits together, we don’t really see it. Henry’s plan way too often seem to be just kind of Generally Being Evil, and that’s just not that much fun to watch. Hopefully everything will come together. We’ll see.

Elsewhere, Henry tells Irving he can reclaim his soul by killing the drunk driver who hit and paralyzed Macy. Unless I missed something, it’s entirely unclear why said drunk driver is in the psych hospital with Irving. Did Henry just magic him in there somehow? Even if it doubles as a rehab place, this is years later and he wouldn’t still be there. Ugh. Anyway, Irving tries to kill him but sort of stops – or he’s clearly thinking about stopping, anyway, when the orderlies pull him away. He’s in trouble, of course, and he makes a confusing call to Abbie in which he basically says that he’s terrible and doomed, but it’s not clear exactly why he’s calling, other than that the show needs Abbie and Crane to know what’s going on to go save him.

And then at the end there’s a creepy spider thing with Katrina that I honestly don’t even want to think about. But I guess that will be our case of the week next week! Oh joy!

Other favorite lines and points of interest:

  • “Superman is Peter Parker? No no no, that’s the arachnid fellow.” THE ARACHNID FELLOW.
  • “Those who fight monsters should see to it that in the process they do not become one.”
  • I feel the need to remind you of this entire exchange: “…a close friend of mine, Daniel Boone.” “Daniel Boone, as in the guy with a raccoon on his head?” “How is it that the man who settled Kentucky is remembered by the modern world as the guy with a raccoon on his head?” “Probably because he wore a raccoon on his head.” “Well, very rarely. Daniel much preferred beaver pelt.” “As much as I would love to debate the variety of rodent hats that existed in your days, can we please refocus?”
  • “These unwinding activities – your yoga, your video games – they miss the purpose of relaxation.”
  • “You had me at secret Masonic cell.”
  • Crane on his son: “Needless to say, he’s going through a rebellious phase.”
  • I loved Joe telling Crane to tell his son he loves him.
  • “I get it, you’re fluent in Shawnee, Mr. Dances with Wendigo.”
  • Crane cutting his hand so he would be Wendigo bait along with Abbie was a nice touch to show his commitment to being in this together with her, but also made me happy on a philosophical level given that female characters are much more often used as bait in these situations.
  • “Are you gaming online?” “I’m not entirely sure.”
  • “Even God thought the devil was beautiful, before he fell.”

Sleepy Hollow Clips: And the Abyss Gazes Back

Sleepy HollowReady for some clips from tonight’s episode of Sleepy Hollow, “And the Abyss Gazes Back”? In addition to some yoga- and drinking-related hilarity, it looks like we’re going to meet Sheriff Corbin’s son Joe, played by Zach Appelman! I’m curious to see what his deal is, other than getting into bar fights. Sleepy Hollow airs on Fox tonight at 9/8c.

Meet Joe Corbin:

A Soul for a Soul:

Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: Weeping Lady


Sleepy Hollow‘s latest episode, “Weeping Lady,” featured another monster from Crane’s past that didn’t really have much to do with the ongoing story. That’s not necessarily a huge problem, but this season is feeling like it has less momentum than last season, and things like this don’t help. So, Sleepy Hollow’s local Weeping Lady ghost – who was relatively harmless until Crane came to town – has started going after people – especially women close to Crane. This is because she’s actually Mary Wells, who was betrothed to Crane as a child in England and apparently didn’t think he was serious when he broke off the engagement upon leaving for the colonies. She showed up on colonial Sleepy Hollow, saw Katrina (who was engaged to Abraham at the time) talking to Crane, and flipped out. So far as Crane knew, she went back to her family in England.

Mary’s first victim is the adorable historical reenactor Caroline (Laura Spencer), and I’m so sad that this means we won’t be seeing her in future episodes. She did at least have a few fun scenes before she died, and I liked the implication that this was an ongoing friendship and that Crane is involved with the reenactors in general. After giving Crane some new period clothes, Caroline confesses her attraction for him, at which point he has to awkwardly explain that he’s married – and of course Abbie walks in in the middle of this conversation. “This is not what it looks like, Mrs. Crane.” “Mrs. what now?” Abbie and I are both very amused by the whole thing. Crane is extremely upset about Caroline’s death, even before he realizes she was targeted because of him – as he points out, he doesn’t have a lot of friends in Sleepy Hollow. But he puts together a touching memorial for Caroline at which he suggests that he will stay involved with the other reenactors. That’s probably good for him.

Mary next goes after Abbie while she and Crane – and coincidentally Hawley – are doing research at the library. I like the Abbie/Hawley dynamic here, especially as she gets him to admit that his behavior last week was not completely admirable, and that part of the reason why he’s less interested in helping than she thinks he should be is because he hasn’t dealt with real monsters before and is scared. Reasonable! Mary starts to drown Abbie, pulling her into the river right from the library, and Crane pulls her back just in time. But she’s unconscious, and he’s distraught – this is the first of two times this episode when he calls her “Abbie” rather than “Lieutenant” or “Miss Mills” while he’s upset – and Hawley appears to save the day with CPR. Crane probably doesn’t know CPR, huh? Add that to his list.

Mary’s final target is, of course, Katrina, the one she sees as responsible for her death. Katrina just barely escapes, and tells Crane that Mary was raised by powerful dark magic – Henry. Crane and Abbie manage to defeat Mary, and just before she dies (again?) Crane asks what really happened to her and she points to Katrina. I was hoping Katrina had outright killed her, because that would be more interesting, but no, they were arguing about Crane and Mary fell to her death. Katrina claims to have covered it all up – including writing a letter to Crane “from” Mary – in order to protect him and his mission, but Crane is furious to discover yet another big secret his wife was keeping from him. He suggests to Abbie that his loyalty to Katrina is wavering: “Our duty must be to one another before anything or anyone.” And really, his whole emphasis on complete love and trust and openness is a weirdly modern view of marriage, but okay. I’m curious to see if these revelations actually change anything in the Katrina/Crane/Abbie dynamic.

Meanwhile, Abraham continues to be creepy and try to convince Katrina – his prisoner – to be with him “willingly,” and I don’t think he understands what that means. He also seems to think he can involve Henry in his plans to the point he wants but keep him from wreaking any other havoc, and . . . I doubt it. As even Moloch complains in this episode, Henry is not good at just following orders. And he certainly has his own agenda: “I relish any chance to cause my parents pain.” Moloch reveals that Katrina is a Hellfire Shard, whatever that means, and so Henry should really stop raising monsters who will try to kill her.

Other favorite lines and points of interest:

  • “Oh look, she comes bearing a selection of delicacies from the Far East.”
  • I loved the classic teen-couple-in-a-car monster moment, and the resulting high school visit. “I take it that you’re suggesting more than a visit to an apiary.” Hee.
  • “A missive composed by thumb cannot adequately convey emotions.” “Hence emoticons.”
  • Caroline’s “I <3 Founding Fathers" mug!
  • “Free copies, free Internet.”
  • “Do people who sell Christmas trees all believe in Santa Claus?”
  • I am dubious about respectable colonial women wandering around in the woods alone.
  • “Any port in a storm, right?” “I don’t think that’s how that phrase is supposed to be used.” “I meant it literally, not figuratively.”
  • Loved the Jenny/Hawley scene at the end.

Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: Go Where I Send Thee


“Go Where I Send Thee” was a perfectly fine and serviceable episode of Sleepy Hollow, but I cant’ say it was one of my favorites. The monster of the week was a Pied Piper who had, of course, first cropped up during the Revolutionary War as a mercenary who had sold his soul to Moloch and was hired by one Daniel Lancaster to kill the Redcoats who were quartered at his house and paying too much attention to his daughters. (The show weirdly elided the question of whether this attention was consensual.) But when Lancaster then killed the mercenary, the mercenary became the supernatural Piper, luring one Lancester girl of each generation to her death on her tenth birthday – and killing her and all her siblings if he was thwarted. So the modern Lancaster mother – who happens to have been Abbie and Jenny’s case worker – adopted boys in an attempt to thwart the curse, but had an unplanned baby girl, and had apparently decided to sacrifice her daughter to save her sons rather than lose all four children. But, of course, Abbie and Crane (with some help from Hawley) figure out what’s going on and defeat the Piper, saving the child and breaking the Lancaster curse. I love the touch of having them use noise-cancelling earbuds to keep from being overpowered by the Piper.

So, Hawley’s back – in this case hunting for the Piper’s flute on behalf of a client. Abbie and Crane are upset that Hawley, like the original Piper, is a mercenary and uninterested in saving people for the sake of it: “We cannot work with this callous brigand-for-hire.” But I find that aspect of his character to be sort of a refreshing change, though I’m not convinced it will last. (I also like the way he calls Crane “Pride and Prejudice.”) Abbie smartly breaks the Piper’s flute before giving it to Hawley, but it turns out not to matter, because his buyer is Henry (through an intermediary) and he grinds it up anyway. Eek.

Speaking on Henry: Irving is still in the psych ward and now researching the End of Days, and his research results in his Bible catching fire, so . . . that’s exciting. And he’s displeased now that he knows who Henry is: “You are the Biblical horseman of war. You didn’t think that was relevant?” Henry tries to convince Irving that they’re really on the same side, calling war an instrument of justice and trying to turn him against his friends: “Have Abigail Mills and Ichabod Crane done anything but bring misery and suffering to your life?” But in the end, it doesn’t really matter what Irving wants, since he realizes that he accidentally signed a contract in blood and therefore gave away his soul.

The highlight of the episode for me was at the beginning, when Abbie is teaching Crane to drive. It’s definitely played for the humorous angle, with lines like “Thus, how challenging must it be to guide the power of 300 horses using only one’s right foot?” and “The odometer. Curse you, Franklin, for inventing such a traitorous device.” But there’s something more serious going on here, and I love the dual layer on which it works. Abbie is worried about what would happen to Crane were anything to happen to her, and teaching him to drive is part of her attempt to equip him to survive in the modern world on his own. Crane brushes this off: “We shall be victorious or defeated together.” I love both her worrying about him and his refusal to consider that they might not be together.

Other favorite lines:

  • “I should arrest your ass for it.” “Perhaps if you could catch me.”
  • “I’m saying you can’t undo the past. Just work on changing the here and now.”
  • “I haven’t had to do this much sneaking about since the second Continental Congress.” I love this ongoing joke about Betsy Ross pursuing Crane.
  • “You play the flute?” “I’d like to see you try to bring a cello onto the battlefield.”
  • “That’s why God created the shot glass.”
  • Hawley on stories about the end of days: “Each complete with their own rare and very expensive collectibles.”
  • “If you would perform the logging ceremony.”
  • “Sadistic larceny! This is typical of the Italians. A gaudy hillock of overheated milk atop of thimble’s worth of coffee, and the cost is equal to three Tennessee stallions.”

Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: Root of All Evil


Money, of course, is the titular “Root of All Evil,” and the specific money in question in this episode of Sleepy Hollow was a set of Tyrian shekels that were cursed to make whoever handled them betray a person or cause they hold dear but secretly on some (perhaps subconscious) level resent. Because this is Sleepy Hollow, these exact coins caused the betrayals of Judas and of Benedict Arnold – and now at least one of them is in modern Sleepy Hollow, making people try to destroy their employers and families. But Henry isn’t happy to just cause random destruction. He gets the coin into the hand of Jenny Mills, right after Jenny and Abbie fight over the fact that Abbie knew that Reyes had a connection to their mother. I think Henry probably is trying to get Jenny to go after Abbie – that would make more sense for his plan, and is what Abbie and Crane expect as well – but she instead goes after Reyes.

At this point, I’m a bit torn about Sheriff Reyes. On the one hand, as I’ve said, I like the challenges posed by Abbie dealing with a supervisor who doesn’t know what’s going on. On the other hand, she sometimes seems even more adversarial than necessary, which takes away from the inherent tension. And, of course, she has a connection to the Mills sisters: She’s the one who put their mother in the psych ward. She eventually gives Abbie her mother’s records as a sign of trust, or possibly guilt, and the transcripts reveal that the mother knew all about the demons plaguing Sleepy Hollow. So I’m curious to see where that thread goes.

Meanwhile, Abbie enlists the help of Jenny’s contact Hawley, played by Matt Barr, who’s a somewhat shady expert on things like ancient coins. He and Crane immediately butt heads, even as they realize they have to work together, and their interactions are hilarious: “It’s obvious why. Tyre was not only home to the shekel, it was also the chief center of stained glass production at the time.” “Obviously. What I mean is why a piece of glass would you protect you from a magic coin.” The guys work together to get a piece of stained glass from a church – with Crane amusingly distracting the priest by pretending to want to confess – and then use it to neutralize the coin once they get it from Jenny. Hawley then decides he’s going to look for all thirty coins, and I’m curious if that issue will come back later, but in “payment” for the one he’s taking from Sleepy Hollow he gives Crane a fake passport.

In his guise as Irving’s lawyer, Henry prevents Abbie and Crane from seeing Irving, but it finally occurs to Crane to get around this by pretending to visit someone else. (How did he know the other guy’s name?) Irving is hesitant to believe Crane about Henry, because Henry has promised to get him out of the psych ward and home to his family, but Irving insists: “If he wants you out, the safest place you can be is in here.” Hmm. Why does Henry want Irving out, exactly? Henry is masquerading as a lawyer elsewhere, too, perhaps for all of the people who are committing crimes because of his coins. I’m curious to see if/how these other people end up connecting to Henry’s larger plan.

Speaking of Henry’s plans, I must say I’m with Abbie when she expressed uncertainty to Crane about to what extent Katrina could be trusted. (“The only ones we can count on now are each other.” “And Katrina, of course.” Oh, Crane.) I don’t think Katrina is setting out to betray them at this point, but I’m not sure that her plans and motivations are as simple as Crane thinks, and I think Abbie’s right that a mother’s connection to her child shouldn’t be underestimated. Though Henry seems determined to deny the connection: At the end of the episode he burns the bed in which he was born.

Other favorite lines and points of interest:

  • Loved the same-sex marriage discussion, in which Crane is actually totally unfazed by the concept: “I meant gentlemen wearing hats indoors,” he says of the tableau that caught his eye. “Also, I watched the finale of Glee.” (And if you were wondering, this is the Baron von Steuben he meant.)
  • Crane’s instruction to rewind a security video: “Unspool it.” Hee.
  • “Why is he talking like that?” “You get used to it.”
  • Henry’s tiny model of Sleepy Hollow is so cute and I want it.
  • “Your son’s a lawyer. You must be very proud.”
  • I love Crane’s outrage over Revere being pictured rather than Sam Adams on beer bottles: “Adams would never have rolled up his sleeves. He was far too aristocratic.”
  • “I just have to see some ID.” “Then your needs will go unmet.” I liked that this episode addressed some of the many questions regarding how Crane is getting by in this new world. I don’t think focusing on these questions is really helpful in enjoying the show, but I am occasionally distracted by them. Where does he get grocery money? Is Abbie supporting him?
  • “Allowed her?” I loved Abbie arguing for Katrina’s agency even as she’s afraid Katrina will betray them.
  • “Trust is the only currency with any value.”

Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: The Kindred


The second episode of the Sleepy Hollow season, “The Kindred,” revolved around Crane and Abbie trying to rescue Katrina from Abraham and Henry – only to end with Katrina deciding not to go with them. More on that choice in a moment, but first, this plan leads to some interesting philosophical discussions between Crane and Abbie. She’s worried that his determination to rescue Katrina is getting in the way of their larger mission to stop the rise of evil and the end of the world, and he insists that he’s aware of his duty as a witness but that he also has a duty as a husband. It will be interesting to see what happens if those two duties ever really come into conflict, especially as, as Abbie says later, she believes her faith in Crane is her biggest weakness.

The way they decide to fight the Horseman of Death to get Katrina back is by following Ben Franklin’s plans to create the Kindred, a creature made from the parts of deceased soldiers – and, at least in this case, the Horseman’s head, of which Crane says: “This has brought nothing but pain and misery into our lives. For once, let it serve as a force for good.” He’s more gung-ho about this plan in general, insisting that they’re not just creating a monster, but their monster. Abbie, who has read Frankenstein (which, of course, didn’t exist yet in Crane and Franklin’s world), is more hesitant, and though she goes along with it, at the end of the episode she draws a line in the sand: “The way we fight monsters cannot be to create monsters. We must be better than them.” Good girl. But this whole question of whether evil intent is required to create a monster is a complex one, and I hope they come back to it.

Meanwhile, Abraham has been trying to win Katrina’s loyalty, and I was amused that one of his main techniques involves convincing Katrina that her husband is now in love with Abbie – has Headless been hanging out on Tumblr? He wants to do a binding ritual with Katrina, and she convinces him that it will be better if she goes into it willingly, and that she just needs time. And it’s completely in character for Abraham to believe her. Once Ichabod makes it into Abraham’s lair to save Katrina, Katrina tells him that she wants to stay there to spy on Abraham and Henry’s plan to raise Moloch. That seems like it could go badly very easily, but okay. From an out-of-world angle, it makes perfect sense: So much of this show relies on the Crane/Abbie dynamic, and having Crane’s wife around all the time would not really fit into that. That said, I’m not sure how many times the show can make a compelling plot point out of needing to rescue Katrina if she never really ends up rescued, so we’ll see where they go from here.

Elsewhere, we’ve got a new sheriff, Leena Reyes, played by Sakina Jaffrey – another woman of color; well done, show. She knew Abbie’s mother, and so she has some understanding for the Mills girls, but is determined not to cut them any slack. And she has no time for Crane: “You must be the history consultant.” That makes sense, since she has no idea what’s really going on in Sleepy Hollow, and it will be interesting watching Crane and Abbie deal with this new aspect of keeping their work secret from Abbie’s boss. “We are going to bring some sanity back to this town,” Reyes says. Good luck!

Irving’s back this week too! Yay! His fellow prisoners are not being super nice to the former sheriff, shockingly enough, and he attempts the interesting method of telling the truth about demons and everything to try to get transferred to a psych hospital. Reyes seems suspicious, though, and promises/threatens a variety of “new” treatments to take care of his hallucinations – including shock therapy. We’re calling that new? Anyway, before he can officially be transferred, Henry shows up, claiming to be Irving’s attorney – and getting him to sign a contract in blood. Oooh.

Other favorite lines and points of interest:

  • “Martha who?” “She’s, uh, big in the wedding industry.” “Wedding . . . industry.”
  • “He once referred to the palace at Versailles as quaint.”
  • “This is insane!” “So much of my life can be characterized under these auspices.”
  • “You put the Headless Horseman’s head in a bank?”
  • “You founded a country. Figure it out.”
  • At the bank, Crane was using a lot of Adam Smith economics buzzwords, and – hm, I wonder if he knew Smith at Oxford?
  • “Nothing makes me happier than finding nothing exciting.”
  • “Remind me to make you another reading list.”
  • “It’s nice to know that even a man from the eighteenth century won’t ask for help with directions.”
  • Here’s a little about Galvani. That battery Franklin set up held its charge for a long time! Do you think I could get one for my mouse?
  • “Franklinstein’s monster.” “Charmed.”
  • “So do we need to light candles or something?” “Only if you wish to set a mood.”