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: 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 in Sixty: Sleepy Hollow Character Introductions

Sleepy HollowAlmost time for Sleepy Hollow to come back! Need bit of a refresher? Check out these Sleepy in Sixty (Or So) videos from Fox for introductions to each main character and reminders of where they stand as we head into season two. And wow, watching these all in a row really brings home how completely bananas this show is. Sleepy Hollow returns on Monday, September 22nd.

Abbie Mills:

Ichabod Crane:

Frank Irving:

Henry Parish:

Katrina Crane:

Sleepy Hollow Finale Thoughts & Open Thread


Well. The first season of Sleepy Hollow came to a close last night, and boy, was that an amazing, unexpected ride. Starting when Fox announced they had this show in development, I made fun of the concept mercilessly – Ichabod Crane, Time Traveler! What’s not to laugh at? Well, a lot of things, apparently. From that ridiculous concept came a show genuinely interesting, genuinely scary, genuinely fun, genuinely funny, genuinely touching. It’s also one of the shows with the most nonchalant racial diversity and some of the best roles for women – especially women of color – on TV right now. Well done, show.

So, this finale. I barely know where to start, and I assume you don’t need a blow-by-blow of the plot, so let’s just . . . jump in. First, the mythology. I loved how big a presence George Washington wound up being in this season and especially these episodes, as they found a coded message in “extra” verses in Washington’s Bible and soon set out to dig up the man himself. “You and I have seen a lot of crazy stuff, but zombie George Washington? That takes the cake.” Washington is holding a map to Purgatory that will theoretically let them get Katrina out, but Brooks, or the monster/demon/something who used to be him, uses a final moment of something like humanity to warn Abbie that they should destroy the map because Moloch needs it to win the war. Crane agrees: “If using this map meant betraying your trust, that’s something I cannot do.” And he burns what seems to be his one chance of getting his wife back, instead choosing standing with Abbie (and not, you know, dooming the world).

But hey, remember his eidetic memory? Yeah, he redraws the map. (So I guess it’s the information on the map that they need, not Washington’s piece of paper itself for some sort of magical reasons. I wasn’t sure.) And in a slightly-too-convenient coincidence, they need a witch to create a binding spell to hold off the second horseman (War) and Katrina’s the only one they know, so Ichabod’s personal agenda happens to be what they think will save the world. He claims he wouldn’t have used his new secret map without Abbie’s permission, and she forgives him pretty much immediately, but the only reason I believe him is because I’m not sure he could use it without her – both witnesses seemed to be needed to open the door to Purgatory.

Even before they get to Purgatory, Moloch is using Brooks to try to get to Abbie, preying on her history of being abandoned. “No one loves you like I do!” On the surface, Abbie is having none of it: “So if I turn my back on the world and Crane, I’ll have a better view of the apocalypse? Sorry.” But she knows the prophecy that Crane will turn on her, and she knows that pretty much anyone would be tempted to sacrifice a new friend to save a beloved spouse, so I can’t say I blame her for worrying. Crane’s reaction to the idea that they’ll turn on each other is “Poppycock,” but it’s not that simple. The real question: “What are we willing to do to keep everyone, everything safe?” And it works both with and against Crane’s other sweeping pronouncement of the episode: “You and I will choose our own destiny. We have free will. I choose to forge my fate with you.”

Parrish plays on this idea as Crane and Abbie head into Purgatory: “Hold onto each other in your hearts, and nothing can separate you.” And it works: Purgatory tries to seduce them both with “perfect” scenarios for their lives (Abbie a student at Quantico, with Corbin and Brooks still alive; Crane returned to England a hero and given a professorship), but it’s flashes of memories of each other that allow them to recognize these fantasies as lies, and they reunite with a fistbump. They find Katrina, but of course there’s a twist: She can leave only if someone else stays in her place. Crane offers, of course, but Abbie insists that she be the one who stays: “I’m not asking for your permission.” So much agency! So many hearts in my eyes! Crane leaves with “Remember our bond. I’ll come back for you,” and I just love these two as partners and friends so much. The Cranes leave, and Abbie tries to resist Moloch – “I was never yours. And I never will be.” – and winds up stuck in a life-sized version of her old dollhouse (introduced earlier in the episode as the only place she and her sister felt safe) with younger versions of Jenny and herself. So that’s not creepy at all. (I’m lying. The giant dollhouse is totally creepy.)

All that would have been enough for most shows, really, but once the Cranes get back to the real world, we get the biggest reveals of the night: Parrish is both the second horseman (War) and their lost son Jeremy. In an exposition-dump monologue that might have been tiresome coming from anyone but John Noble, he explains how he stayed alive after the coven buried him and how his “real father,” Moloch, resurrected him. Crane: “Moloch is not your father. He is a prince of lies.” Parrish: “He came.” The hero is the one who shows up, and that’s not always a good thing. Parrish is now determined to get revenge on the parents he sees as abandoning him, so he gives Katrina to the Headless Horseman (who is, remember, her old suitor Abraham) and buries Crane alive. “War isn’t coming to Sleepy Hollow. It’s been here all along. And now, it begins. Good night, Father.”

In the other, plot of the episode, Macy is under suspicion of murdering the people at the cabin (when she was possessed) because, as the detective says, “It’s a better lead than ‘evil.'” Fair. Irving confesses to the crimes to save his daughter, which is of course very noble of him, but I wish they had just kept this whole thing for next season, as there really wasn’t the time or the emotional space to do much with it in such a packed finale. (Also, they discover that the priest was working with Corbin, and while Crane and Abbie are off in Purgatory, Jenny starts going through Corbin’s tapes to figure out what was going on. Again, fine, but . . . just wait for next season.)

One of my favorite things about the finale was that even with everything else going on, it made time for the show to be funny and to carry on Crane’s introduction to the modern world. This week: cell phones and all their wonders. We open with his charming outgoing voicemail message, demanding the name and rank of the caller, to which Abbie cheekily replies with his British pronunciation of “lieutenant.” His struggles with autocorrect and rants against the way the phone companies work are basically a more attractive version of what happened when you taught your dad how to text, and a bunch of his great one-liners this episode came from these phone hijinks:

  • On emoticons: “Oh, it’s a man’s face! I suppose that’s . . . charming.”
  • On wanting a new device despite halfway disdaining the whole concept: “And yet, you want a new one?” “You’ve got one.”
  • On Siri: “Yolanda was a much better listener.”
  • On social networking: “How is it you have 500 friends?”

Other favorite lines and points of interest:

  • Crane’s point about Jefferson cutting up his Bible? Hilarious, though I think that happened too late for Crane to know about. (No, I don’t really care.)
  • “An old flame of mine was a seamstress. She’d be most impressed.” “Who did you date? Betsy Ross?” “How did you know that?” Hee. I don’t know that this makes any sense given where/when they’ve said Crane was, but heee.
  • “You can cross fighting a demon from my bucket list.”
  • I liked the use of Oppenheimer, conceptually, but I feel like Crane would have needed way more information to make any sense of that analogy.
  • “A word of advice: Prophesies have a nasty way of fulfilling themselves, if you let them.”
  • “Does an alderman have an unwarranted self-regard?” I’m amused at Abbie’s reaction, but since my city actually still has aldermen, I can answer yes.
  • “A reenactment? Of a war? For amusement?” I love that they came up with this opportunity for Crane to buy new clothes, and that he wouldn’t let his old jacket be given away: “Please. And risk it be worn ironically?”
  • “Admit it. You appreciate me a little.” “Microscopically.”
  • “I have more than faith. I’m a mental patient with a gun.” Jenny Mills, you guys.
  • “On the bright side, at least we’ll get to experience life after death within our lifetime.” “That is a pretty dark bright side.”
  • I love Victor Garber as Crane’s father. And his line “You are and always will be a child after my own heart” – presumably the thing Crane most wanted to hear, as Purgatory used it to lure him – is even more meaningful given the Jeremy situation.
  • “How . . . cool. It’s a figure of speech. You’ll learn.” Crane introducing someone else to the modern world might be even funnier than Crane himself learning things.
  • Fall feels really far away right now, huh?

Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: The Vessel


“The Vessel” was an exceptionally creepy episode of Sleepy Hollow, as a demon possessed a series of people ending in Irving’s daughter Macy as an attempt to get at the Washington Bible. This was a very powerful way for the show to go, both because it deals with Irving’s family issues and plants him more firmly within the supernatural plotlines instead of being on the sidelines, and because Amandla Stenberg is so adorable – and such a good actress – that watching her being possessed is a totally different experience than when it happens to various adults. The group saves her, thank goodness, but not before Irving realizes that he’s been approaching his daughter’s disability all wrong: “I wanted to make it better. I wanted to fix you. But you don’t need fixing.” Awww.

At the same time, Abbie and Ichabod learn of another possession in the past: Abbie’s sister Jenny. The demon inside Jenny seven years ago told her and Corbin that the horseman would kill Corbin – and that the demon, via Jenny, would kill Abbie. This is why Jenny kept acting out and getting herself arrested: so that she would be in jail and not capable of hurting her sister. When Abbie finally finds this out, it puts their whole history and relationship in a new light. (And Crane actually finds out before Abbie does – I kind of love the way he acts as an intermediary for the sisters.) Their own history is a large part of when Abbie convinces Jenny to help Macy: “No one was there for us. We can be there for her.”

So, what’s going on with the Washington Bible, anyway? We’re still not completely sure, but Crane finds “December 18, 1799” written in invisible ink by Washington himself – and that date is four days after Washington’s death. Hmmm.

Other favorite lines and points of interest:

  • This show is always great with diversity, but in this episode, with so much focus on the Mills and Irving families, it was especially obvious. As writer/co-exec Jose Molina tweeted, “How often does a network show have 5 minorities and 1 white dude in a scene without making a joke about it?” Kudos, show.
  • Crane in modern clothes! Abbie trying to dress him is just as delightful as we’d all suspected it would be. “One sign of the impending apocalypse is clearly skinny jeans.”
  • “Mastering the remote. You are officially a modern man.”
  • Crane speaks Aramaic? Sorry, I have a thing for hot guys speaking multiple languages. Especially dead languages. Also, great “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” reference, show! Crane is very, very different from the original version in the Irving story, but things like this remind me that, oh yeah, he was supposed to be a teacher.
  • “I guess those social workers are right. I really am a bad influence.”

Sleepy Hollow: Vessel Teases + New Corbin Files Video

Sleepy HollowSleepy Hollow finally returns tonight with “Vessel,” the last episode before next week’s two-hour finale. Here’s a sneak peek featurette about the episode, featuring star Orlando Jones and writer Melissa Blake:

Clips, anyone?

Abbie’s Sister Jenny Is Possessed:

Sundown Is Upon Us:

Seeking Answers from Washington’s Bible:

And a new Corbin Files video, “Fredericks Manor:”

Sleepy Hollow Promo: The Vessel

Sleepy HollowIt feels like Sleepy Hollow has been off the air forever, doesn’t it? The good news is that it’s back on Monday! The bad news is that Monday’s episode kicks off the last three of the season (with the final two airing together on January 20th). The good news is that the show has already been renewed for season two, so at least we know it’s coming back! Okay, enough good news/bad news nonsense; let’s get to the promo for Monday’s episode, called “The Vessel.”

Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: The Golem


As promised, in “The Golem” Crane set out to find out what happened to his unknown son – and he brought back Henry Parrish (played by amazing guest star John Noble) to help him. In their quest they encountered a librarian played by the delightful Kathleen York, so it was basically Guest Star Christmas, as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately, the story they uncover is heartbreaking: Crane’s son Jeremy, left with a minister by Katrina, wound up basically abandoned in an orphanage and summoned a golem to protect himself. This ultimately led to his own death, when he refused to destroy the golem that was killing anyone it saw as a threat to Jeremy. Crane is obviously not actually responsible – he never knew Jeremy existed – but he still feels responsible for the lengths his son had to go to for the protection he should have received from parents: “You exist because I did not,” he tells the golem as he and his friends destroy it.

Combining this very serious material with some light-hearted Christmas stuff was an interesting choice, but I think it wound up working quite well. Crane is, of course, baffled and bemused by modern Christmas traditions. And Abbie gets him a stocking! Adorable. One tradition that has not changed is that of mistletoe, and I was actually thrilled that Crane and Abbie finding themselves under a sprig of it resulted in a cute awkward moment rather than the kiss a lesser show would have gone for. I’m not necessarily opposed to a relationship between them at some point, but it’s way too early – especially with Katrina still in the picture – and I’m really enjoying their developing friendship.

Other thoughts:

  • I love me some angsty wood-chopping.
  • It was nice seeing more of Macy, and that added to the whole parenthood theme of the episode. But what’s going on with Irving???
  • Line of the episode: “Without books, we have neither a past nor a future.”
  • Of course, things can’t end with the happy Christmas stuff. Moloch apparently thinks Crane will deliver Abbie’s soul to him. Hmmm.

Sleepy Hollow Thoughts & Open Thread: Sanctuary


Ichabod and Abbie come across the monster of the week in “Sanctuary” when they’re sent to find Lena Gilbert, a billionaire philanthropist who has recently purchased her ancestors’ home in Sleepy Hollow – and who left behind notes involving “Katrina C.” before she vanished. When they get to the house, they discover that it’s the manor once owned by Lachlan Fredericks, who was both an important player in the Revolutionary War and a powerful warlock who used his home as a sanctuary for people needing protection from supernatural forces. Ichabod and Katrina once visited him there, which sparks some nice flashbacks for Ichabod, but it’s not until they find the last letter that Ichabod wrote Katrina that they realize the root monster attacking Lena has a connection to the Cranes.

It turns out that Katrina was the last person to come to the manor for sanctuary, but while Fredericks tried to help her, Moloch had found a way around his protections by growing a root monster within the manor grounds. And in a vision, Abbie sees that the monster attacked as soon as Katrina gave birth in the house to a son – a son Ichabod never knew he had. Ichabod is distraught over this news, of course, especially because he can’t know for sure whether Moloch got the newborn or not. This grief and rage helps him kill the monster and save Lena, but he’s left searching for answers. And the plot thickens when Lena later sends Abbie and Ichabod records from the manor – records that include a family tree that shows Abbie is descended from Grace Dickson, Fredericks’s associate/servant/slave(?) who assisted in the birth of Ichabod’s son. “It seems that you and I… our paths were entwined from the very start.” Indeed.

We also learn more about Irving’s family this week, as his ex-wife Cynthia and his daughter Macy (played by The Hunger Games‘s Amandla Stenberg) appear in Sleepy Hollow with an ultimatum: If Irving puts off one more weekend visit with Macy, Cynthia will seek full custody. It’s a tough situation, because obviously Irving is doing important work that he has to hide from his family, but at the same time, it’s clear he is using it as a cover to keep from having to face things in his personal life. Macy is in a wheelchair, and cryptic comments from Cynthia and Irving suggest that this is a relatively recent development and that Irving may feel responsible for whatever happened that landed her there.

The recently reunited Mills family gets in on the action too, as Jenny claims to be planning a Thanksgiving dinner to thank Abbie for getting her out of the asylum. I say “claims” because from the start I wondered whether there was more going on with whatever Jenny was planning, but we never actually see the dinner and never have proof either way. Ichabod, missing his family and shattered by the revelation about his son, resists the invitation, but Abbie, herself no stranger to broken and separated families, drops some Thanksgiving wisdom: “You see what you have now, and you embrace what’s in front of you.” At the end of the episode, Ichabod toasts “to finding family,” and while he’s literally talking about finding out what happened to Katrina and their son, I’d like to think he also means the found family he’s constructing with Abbie, Jenny, and Irving.

Other items of note:

  • The writers have stated that Lena Gilbert’s name’s similarity to Elena Gilbert of The Vampire Diaries was inadvertent, but it still made me smile. Especially when a death was then explained as “It looks like some kind of animal attack.”
  • “Not to be an alarmist . . .” “But we are in a damn haunted house.” I love them.
  • Things Ichabod discovers this episode: drive throughs; modern anachronistic Thanksgiving traditions; “treasures from the Amazon,” a.k.a.
  • I love that Jenny “accidentally” stole guns from Irving, and their dynamic is really interesting. I’m curious to see where it goes.
  • No episode next week, but John Noble is back in two weeks! Yay!