Sleepy Hollow Recap: Horseman, Thy Name Is…

Sleepy Hollow Season 1 RecapSleepy Hollow pop quiz, question #1: Who the heck was the Headless Horseman before he got all Hessianed-up?

Question #2: Is Andy Brooks a good guy? Bad guy? A little of both?

Question #3: How is Ichabod somehow even more fantastic than normal when losing his colonial cool?

All of the answers lie in this week’s excellent episode, “Necromancer.” Let’s review the major developments.

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DEAD CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE? | The horseman is still chained up in the cell Ichabod informs us was built by Thomas Jefferson and Katrina’s coven: It’s basically a mystical containment unit for demons. Hexes and industrial-strength UV lights are keeping the baddie weak, so Ichabod’s all for jumping in there and starting the interrogation. But before we begin, a couple of housekeeping items.

First, Abbie wants to educate her fellow Witness about something very important. “Fist bump,” she says. “It’s an expression of elation, teamwork.” They are unbearably cute as they touch hands, though Ichabod doesn’t really understand the gesture. Second, without a head, the horseman needs someone to speak for him – aka a necromancer. “Maybe he’ll talk to someone who’s already dead,” Abbie suggests, leading her and Crane to Andy.

Brooks doesn’t want to help, despite his feelings for Abbie. His soul isn’t his own, he points out. Plus, “Confronting death leads to nothing but misery.” But after a sharp look from Ichabod, Andy accompanies them to the cell.

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FAMILY ASSISTANCE | Meanwhile, on Jenny Crane’s first day out of the psychiatric hospital, Capt. Irving recruits her as an official member of Team WTF. She’s quite snarky about Abbie not returning her calls, but when he quietly says, “We captured him,” it cuts her sass in half.

Abbie’s sis proves a huge help when a call comes in about a robbery at a local shop for which she used to do “freelance acquisitions.” (Side note: While I don’t want a prequel spin-off centered on the other Mills sister, I would certainly read a comic book about her years of Corbin-sanctioned exploits.) Jenny’s presence helps the police realize what the robbers took – an ancient Druid hexbuster – and that the Hessians will next try to take out the cell’s source of electricity to free their faceless brother.

So Jenny and Irving don some Mission: Impossible-style black tee shirts and find the Hessians at the power plant… but not in time to stop the bad guys from blowing the grid and throwing the town – and the cell – into darkness.

DEAD MAN TALKING | Before the UV lights go off, though, Ichabod gets all up in what would be the horseman’s grill, mocking him. The fiend tosses an emerald pendant on the floor, and Ichabod instantly recognizes it as Katrina’s. Cue the flashbacks!

Ichabod’s best friend, Abraham Van Brunt, gave Katrina the necklace; he was engaged to the redheaded witch via an arranged marriage. Though Abraham loved Katrina, her heart “belongs to another,” she whispers to Ichabod. (Yep, it’s him.) So she breaks the engagement – and Abraham’s heart. In the present, Abbie sums the situation up well when she comments, “You got some game.”

The horseman, via Brooks, makes it clear that killing Ichabod is his mission – and then drops the bomb that Ichabod killed Abraham, which Crane furiously denies to Abbie. “And I believe you,” she says calmly, which cools him… a bit.

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BROS BEFORE REDCOATS | He continues the story: In 1774 Philadelphia, we watch Ichabod and a despondent Abraham on a journey to deliver a precursor of the Declaration of Indpendence. Though Crane chastises his friend for loudly stepping in a puddle – and therefore possibly alerting the British to their presence – he somehow thinks they can quietly have a discussion in which Ichabod confesses that Katrina is in love with him and that they want Abraham’s blessing. Worst spy ever, Crane. Instead of having a good cry on his buddy’s shoulder, Abraham draws his sword and goads Ichabod into a duel.

Abraham has Ichabod unarmed and on the ground, but just before he can strike the coup de grace, a bullet hits him in the chest. It’s some redcoated Hessians! Ichabod tries to save Abraham, who orders him to go, so Crane makes off with the important documents just in time to save himself. Abraham dies as Ichabod watches from afar.

Back in the cell, Abbie realizes that the horseman is just trying to get under Ichabod’s skin. “I’m in control!” Ich yells, and from Abbie’s raised eyebrow, I really doubt she’s buying it. Irving and Jenny show up with the news of the missing hex breaker, and they agree that they need to grab more ammo and then hole up in the tunnels to make sure the Hessians don’t get in. Ichabod says he’s going to stay with the horseman, a decision Abbie does not think is a good one. “I’m fine,” he assures her. Oh for the love of Dana Katherine Scully, Ichabod, we know you’re not.

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DEJA VU | Meanwhile, in the corner of the cell where he’s chained up, Andy pulls the missing artifact out of his body (side note: eeeew) and recites an incantation that ends the hex and acts as a beacon for more of Moloch’s minions. Abbie and Jenny are attached by demons that look like a cross between Buffy‘s Master and American Horror Story‘s Rubber Man; good thing they bust into pieces when the lieutenant shoots them.

Back in the cell, a revitalized horseman breaks his chains and grabs two swords – then tosses one to a stymied Ichabod. As Brooks protests that he had no control over his actions, the two Revolutionary transplants parry and thrust, ending up with Ichabod on the ground just like when he fought… “Abraham?” Crane says with sick realization.

LADY IN WAITING | Yes, the horseman is Ichabod’s former best friend. Through Brooks, the Hessian relates how he made a deal with Moloch – who appeared to him as he died – to get revenge on Ichabod. His prize, once he completes his task? Katrina – that’s why she’s being held in that demonic dimension.

While Ichabod reels from the revelation, Andy summons demons to the cell. He stops The Horseman Formerly Known as Abraham from killing Ichabod –“The master forbids it!” – and then has them carry him and the horseman outta there.

“We’ve found the horseman’s weakness: my wife,” Ichabod says later, as he and Abbie decompress among candles in their research room. “That’s the key, Leftenant. Now more than ever, we need Katrina.”

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? What was your favorite Ichabod line of the night? What’s your take on Andy? Anyone else worried that Jenny may not be as stable as she seems? And why do you think Moloch spared Ichabod? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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32 Comments
  1. Kate says:

    Great episode! Who played Abraham? He looked super familiar.

  2. KAD says:

    Thank you for invoking the great Dana Katherine Scully! Well played.

  3. judy says:

    Loved the episode. I adore any scenes showing Ichabod’s backstory. Its fascinating. Tom Mison continues to be brilliant as Ichabod The guy oozes charisma. I want to know why he was saved by moloch.

  4. CM says:

    This was the seasons first dud.

    And really – Katrina “the prize”. Come on.

  5. Alichat says:

    This was an interesting reveal, but part of me wishes that we’d seen more of Ichabod and Abraham’s relationship before tonight’s ep. Have a few moments where Abraham does a gesture that we see Headless doing, something along those line, before we got the full Abraham backstory. Still, loved the episode.

  6. alistaircrane says:

    Is Abraham supposed to be Brom Bones?
    I’m not sure if I liked this development with the Horseman…I liked him better as a nameless, faceless agent of evil. He didn’t need a personal vendetta against Ichabod. Not sure I like Katrina as his “prize” either. So I guess she’s just an object and not a person.
    BTW, what was that instrument being played in the 1774 flashback?

    • Alichat says:

      It was a glass armonica…..an instrument designed by Benjamin Franklin.

    • Alex says:

      The instrument was a glass armonica which credits Benjamin Franklin as on of it’s inventors.

    • Marc says:

      Yeah, the thought of Death himself? itself? having a personal grudge against Crane because he stole his girl makes Death a lot less imposing. Death shouldn’t have an agenda against one person or another, it’s a entity that doesn’t discriminate. While I understand that Death as representated by the Headless Horseman may have physical flaws shouldn’t have any emotional weaknesses because Death is unbeatable, and that is what makes, it so profoundly scary. Now…I will only think of Headless as Sore-Loser Bram.

      • Alichat says:

        Yeah, I was thinking about the same thing this morning. I have to agree with you that it lessens the Horseman and makes him far less intimidating. But it does answer a few questions, such as why the Horseman tracked down Ichabod’s burial cave. I had been wondering about that. Why is Moloch holding Katrina captive, but still let’s her sneak a supernatural “call” to Ichabod and Abbie from time to time? But for me at least, besides making him less sinister, it creates more questions, from the simple to the complex. How is it the Horseman is taller than Van Brunt, even without a head? Crane is two-three inches taller than Van Brunt, but the Horseman is two-three inches taller than Ichabod. Does being Moloch’s minion make you taller?? Why is Andy Brooks rotting, but the Horseman isn’t? Your Katrina question is a great one. Why would Moloch pick Abraham to be the Horseman of Death? Surely there are more loyal men than a scorned, pompous nobleman. Are all the followers of Moloch British soldiers?? Why do they all wear those masks? If Moloch’s ghosty, grey minions can just teleport, for lack of a better word, Brooks and the Horseman anywhere, why does Headless need a demonic horse? If Moloch can just turn anyone into a Horseman, then couldn’t he just turn someone else into Headless once Abraham/Headless is dead? Circle…circle…circling my brain…..

    • Supposely the original short story people believe it was brom that was horseman in order to chase away to icabo

    • Glenda says:

      Glassarmonica or Glass Harmonica

  7. Aeol says:

    Nice recap, awesome suspenseful epsi

  8. Aeol says:

    awesome suspenseful episode, except as soon as Abbie, Jenny and Irving started preparing to leave, I knew Brooks was the one with the hex-breaker. Nice to see Irving tapping into his inner bad-***.
    And thank you for the recap Kimberly, but Jenny and Abbie are the MILLS sisters, not the Crane sisters.

  9. TaMara says:

    This was a great episode. And maybe Molach wants Icabod alive because that is how he controls good old headless. As long as he wants vengeance and Katrina, he’s deadly. Once Ichie is dead, he gets his ‘prize’…why fight anymore?

  10. choann says:

    Just wanted to point out its Abbie and Jenny Mills – not crane. I like Andy. I feel bad for him too. I mean he flat out said that you can’t trust him, that you probably should let him in the sell with the horseman. He’s essentially telling them that he’s bad and he can’t help it. I’m not a fan of Katrina being a “prize” but i think people are forgetting the original sleepy hollow story and how it makes sense. Big fan of the Fist bump scene.

  11. Tinemi says:

    Just one thing: Crane is Ichabod’s last name. Abbie and Jenny are Mills.

  12. tp says:

    The way Abraham got upset about Katrina not wanting him it doesn’t surprise me that he is still obsessed with her. He talked about status and what people would say but he loved Katrina. I wonder if Katrina will get to this time and see the beginning of something between Ichabod and Abbie?

  13. leo21 says:

    Loved the fist bump!

  14. Lara says:

    Will Ichabod EVER change his 1800’s clothes…. the ones he was buried in?

  15. Liz says:

    I thought Katrina was a Quaker nurse when she met Ichabod in the scene with the former slave? How did she get in an arranged marriage with a wealthy nobleman? Abraham did say she was marrying up, but this doesn’t quite make sense to me. It is certainly understandable why she left him for Ichabod though. He is gorgeous, charming, and just plain all kinds of awesome!!!!

  16. Plum says:

    Perhaps if they hadn’t stopped to don Action Tee Shirts they’d have gotten to the power plant in time. Still, Archer would be proud they took the time to change outfits.

    • gdv says:

      Did anyone else wonder why on earth Abbie hadn’t thought of getting a backup generator? Like, hello! It’s Death, people. Maybe you shouldn’t rely on a city powergrid?

      Definitely not as good as last week’s episode but still really enjoyable. I love how fast the pacing is. And, even though I know they can’t kill off the main characters, I still get worried every time the WTF gang start getting beat up.

  17. MLO says:

    Question #4 – Why can’t I stop looking at Tom Mison’s lips?

  18. Anonymous K says:

    Loved the episode.

  19. Heidi says:

    I so enjoy the historical references in the series. It reminds me of National Treasure – except on a small screen with a much hotter actor as the lead. I also love that Ich never gives in to the current lingo of the day. Such a wonderfully written and acted show.

  20. georgiamadman says:

    The snarky line about Thomas Jefferson and the French was the funniest thing I heard all week!

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