Sleepy Hollow Recap: This Demon Light O' Mine

Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Recap“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t,” conventional wisdom holds. Conventional wisdom apparently never watched a possessed teenager snap a priest’s neck with less effort than it takes to change the channel.

If this week’s Sleepy Hollow taught us anything, it’s that the devil we know is one scary mammer jammer. Doesn’t bode well for the evil we haven’t yet met, eh? Read on for the devil — and the details — of “Vessel.”

RELATED | Scoop: Fox Supersizes Sleepy Hollow Finale

CASE CLOTHED | The episode opens with a true sign of the apocalypse: Ichabod in skinny jeans. Right from the very first moment, with Abbie giving her supportive speech (“I’ll be right here with you. You won’t be alone.”), I knew he was going to come out of that room in some modern garb… and yet I laughed anyway. “I do not understand your obsession with my finery,” Ichabod grumbles in a line the writers clearly aimed at the threads-fixated fandom. He tries, and fails, to sit – poor Tom Mison, the wardrobe department pulled a real Wolowitz special on him.

Believe it or not, there is a point to this exchange. Throughout, Abbie assures her fellow Witness that Moloch must be getting nervous; that’s why he went through the motions of pulling Ichabod into Purgatory and planting the idea that he’d deliver Abbie’s soul to the demon. “You ever hear of a boondoggle?” she asks. “”If it’s another type of constrictive trouser, I’d rather not,” he replies. Ha! She reiterates that Moloch’s got nothing. Ichabod looks less than convinced, but that may be just because his southern colonies are revolting against the tyranny of too-tight denim.

Abbie gives him another outfit to try, but Ichabod’s had enough. He returns in his old garb, to which a resigned Abbie sighs, “If you’re going to keep wearing that damn thing, I have two words for you: dry cleaning.”

EVIL LEAPFROG | Capt. Irving has hauled the vendor from the previous episode in for a polygraph test… which he passes when he swears he never threatened Macey. You’ll recall that the vendor was possessed at the time, and that the entity leapt into a nearby woman soon after. Don’t worry — the sheriff’s department has found her and asked her to come in, too. When she does, she makes contact with an officer and transfers the demon to him. Irving gets a call from the beast soon after… and the caller ID tells him it’s coming from inside the station! The beastie wants George Washington’s Bible (and in case Irving is slow, it writes that on the ceiling in disappearing blood) before nightfall, or Macey’s soul is toast. By the time the captain locates the evil officer, the entity has jumped into another cop.

After a quick confab with Crane and Mills, Irving rounds up Cynthia and their daughter and hightails it out to a safe house. How will that help, exactly? Horror movies have lead me to believe that the devil can find you anywhere; what will moving a little farther west on Rte. 287 do? (Though the idea of supreme evil being forced to sit in Tappan Zee Bridge traffic does have its own rewards.) Even worse: Luke and the possessed cop – whose name is Jones – are along as muscle.

Irving’s priest meets them at the undisclosed location and goes about setting up holy perimeters (salt, holy water) around the house. The demon soon jumps into Luke, who keeps Jones alive just long enough to get rid of the salt so he can enter the house. As night begins to fall, the fiend jumps into Macey, who levitates in the living room while a horrified Frank Irving looks on.

C’MON GET HIGHER | Back at the archives, Ichabod and Abbie find something very disturbing in Corbin’s files: a DVD of the dearly departed sheriff attempting to exorcize Jenny seven years before. Wha? When it becomes clear that the evil jerk inside of Macey is probably the same one that took control of Jenny, the formerly crazy Mills sister is summoned, says she doesn’t remember anything and refuses to help them save Irving’s kid.

After a little cajoling and meaningful eye contact by Ichabod, Jenny confesses that the possession lasted a while and made her want to kill Abbie; when the “voices” got too loud, she’d break the law so that she’d be locked up. “You were protecting her,” Ichabod says softly. Sweet in a messed up way, right?

Once Jenny is on board, things move quickly. The Witnesses realize that salt can contain the demon, whose name is Ancitif, and some research tells them that a particular type of French lantern can serve as a spiritual containment unit. (Ichabod lapses into professor mode for a minute as he recalls that Ben Franklin received a few lanterns as a gift from the French, who were going to revolt and needed to… zzzzzzzzzz. Meanwhile, DemonMacey is contorting like a Cirque du Soleil performer. Get a move on, Crane!)

BREAKING AND EXITING | Jenny knows that a local end-of-days group has one of the lanterns, so she plans to break into their warehouse and steal it. Abbie is steadfast in her helllll no: If the recently released Jenny is caught committing a felony, she reasons, she’ll go straight to jail. So Abbie will break in for her. (Aww.)

Ichabod and Abbie get all the way into the warehouse and locate the lamp, but they’re both too short to nab it from its perch on a high shelf. Several teeny things about this scene are great: his teasing about her generation being taller than his “on average,” her knowing “hmm” when he can’t grab the item, his awkwardness at having her booty so close as he gives her a boost. Ultimately, they secure the lantern… and run into a very pissed-off militia waiting for them outside the warehouse.

THE POWER OF CRANE COMPELS YOU! | Thanks to Jenny’s quick thinking, history with the group and ability with firearms, everyone gets out OK. (Side note: Anyone else think the doomsday group’s leader Chase looks like Joe Carroll’s hillbilly cousin?) The trio speeds to the archive, where the Irvings are frantically searching for G. Dubs’ Bible, which Katrina had buried with Ichabod.

Jenny draws DemonMacey’s attention and, when she starts to falter, Abbie steps in like the badass she is. (Side note: Nicole Beharie’s completely unfazed “Bored Now” face is awesome.) Anyway, all of it is a distraction to lure Ancitif into a salt circle (well, oval-ish shape) so Ichabod can pop out and suck the demon into his special French light. “Our plan is in motion. The Witnesses can’t stop it,” the devil says before it gives up the ghost. “Darkness will reign!”

Once the exorcism is complete, Jenny is moved to tears by the sobbing pile of thankful Irving family members on the floor. (Macey’s fine, by the way.) Off a glance at Ichabod, Abbie moves to hug her sister, who eventually hugs her back. (As if the indignity of skintight pants weren’t enough for one episode, Ichabod’s left in the corner with only a Pier One accent piece full of pure evil to keep him company.)

THE GOOD BOOK TELLS ALL | Later, at the cabin, Ichabod goes all Mr. Wizard as he mixes up a concoction involving baking soda, water and lemon juice – it’ll make any invisible ink in Washington’s Bible glow in the dark. And when he brushes the liquid across the page, “December 18, 1799″ shows up… and Crane recognizes the handwriting as Washington’s. Abbie says it’s impossible, because Washington died on Dec. 14, 1799. I say Abbie has inhaled a little too much of the homemade solution’s fumes, because how is it impossible that someone wrote a date that may have been in the future? But Ichabod seems on board with her hypothesis, and they did spend the last 45 minutes battling a hellspawn, so what the heck do I know?

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you ready for next week’s two-hour finale? 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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40 Comments
  1. Babybop says:

    Bahaha thought the same thing about the date. He could have written that three years before he died, I was confused why they seemed to think he wrote it from beyond the grave.

  2. enri says:

    Great show. Tom Mison is so much fun to watch.

  3. Victoria says:

    I hate how everyone’s fighting over Ichabod/Abbie and Ichabod/Katrina. Personally, I ship Ichabod/Abbie, but everyone interprets “chemistry” in their own way, so you can’t say someone’s right/wrong when they say two people have chemistry and another two people don’t, because it’s all just about opinion (I saw people say that Ichabod/Abbie have chemistry, Ichabod/Katrina don’t, etc etc). I, in fact, like Katrina and can’t wait for more of her backstory to unfold. Also, let shippers be. Don’t talk bad about the other ship. Yes, I understand that Ichabod/Abbie are not canon on screen yet, but everyone has the freedom to ship whatever they like, right? Hell, I can even ship incest ships (even though those are super gross), but people should still let shippers enjoy their ship. Don’t butt in and make a fuss. Lastly, don’t make up excuses like “oh they can’t happen…” about other ships. It’s annoying. The showrunner has actually done an interview with Huffington Post and when asked about an Ichabod/Abbie possibility, he said that at the moment, it isn’t gonna happen since Ichabod is enamored with Katrina, but it’s a strong possibility in the future. So everyone just please enjoy the show. I hope I don’t see any more ship rants/wars in the comments. Peace out. Xo

    • yay says:

      I agree with you. Ship who you want! I personally ship Lukabbie and Ichabbie!

    • uh huh says:

      NO ONE is fighting about that in these comments, so why did you even bring it up–except to inspire more people to fight about it? Give it a rest already.

      • Victoria says:

        Sorry, I was looking at one of the previous episode’s comments.. and I saw a whole fight in the comments. That’s why I posted this on THIS article. Sorry for the confusion.

    • Angela says:

      I agree with your rant. I’m open to anything pairing-wise, I refuse to come down one way or another on that debate. I’m personally just for letting the show take the course it wants to take and letting whatever happens unfold organically. If it involves a pairing, cool (and I like Katrina and Abbie equally, so I’m fine either way with whomever Ichabod chooses, if he chooses). If everyone just remains friends and goes on supernatural adventures till the series ends, that’s cool, too. So long as the show stays fun and exciting and the cast continues to click as well as they have, that’s all I ultimately care about.

  4. nate says:

    this show is just AMAZING!!!

  5. yay says:

    I knew the beginning was about clothes too but Crane’s face totally sold what he thought of those skinny jeans! I cannot delete a single episode from my DVR.

  6. Amanda says:

    Wolowitz special and a Pier One accent. I love your recaps Kimberly Roots – LOL!!!

  7. tp says:

    Ichabod’s flinch when he sat down in those skinny jeans was too funny. Next weeks episode is gonna two hours of goodiness. I can’t wait but I don’t want it to end.

  8. Patrick Maloney says:

    An episode that really dug into the past to provide an enriching present and set up a promising future.

  9. GeoDiva says:

    Macey going all exorcist freaked me out. I too thougt that Washington could have written that date at anytime. Also, when will they figure out Luke is dead? Love the Pier 1 reference!

    • Angela says:

      She freaked me out, too-that was a seriously intense possession. I kept picturing her and Reagan from ‘The Exorcist’ in some sort of horrific demon-off or something…and I think Macey could give Reagan a good run for her money!
      In regards to Washington, yeah, he could’ve written that date at any time, but this IS Sleepy Hollow we’re talking about here. You know it’s going to mean something somewhere down the line. I’m sticking with Abbie on this one-she’s got strong gut instincts.
      As for the rest of the show? LOVED all the stuff with Abbie and Jenny (and LOL at the “meaningful eye contact” line in the review! Hey, if I were that up close and personal to Ichabod’s eyes, I’d be easily convinced to say and do a lot of things, too :D). I like the way they’re slowly continuing to grow closer and learning to trust each other again. Twisted as the things they did to protect each other were…yeah. It is still oddly sweet. That ending with them hugging, and with the Irvings all huddled together-it got to me a little, not gonna lie (also, I hope we have more of Cynthia and Macey next season, ’cause I really like them).
      And Jenny was so bad@ss in the scene with the end of days people (and on a side note, political though it might’ve been, I personally liked the little gun discussion in regards to the survivalist/militia types. Heh).
      And finally (she says), the clothing thing was indeed hilarious. I LIKE him in his usual attire! Hmph. The scene where he was helping Abbie get the lantern was cute, too.

  10. Ally Oop says:

    Nooo. Definitely not ready for the finale. Sleepy Hollow is the best new show of the season. The premise is so wonky yet the writing is so good and the acting so great and the storylines so captivating, that Iove this show and can’t bare the thought of an 8 month hiatus. Too long!

  11. Jesus crane says:

    Loved this episode. Team wtf was on point. I jumped a couple of times on the scary and laughed at the sexy skinny jeans n when abbies butt was in cranes face. Sorry but the episodes without katrina are wayyy better. I bet the ratings will be off the charts for this episode. Pay attention writers. Hopefully u will get back the 4 million viewers u lost from the first episode.

  12. scampi says:

    Enjoyed the episode. Glad Luke had something to do. No more skinny jeans, but I’d welcome occasional change of clothing. Favorite scene was getting the lantern.

    • Jesus crane says:

      Is luke dead or just knocked out. Even though I ship ichabbie I still like luke. I want to know more about him n abbies back story also how andy and abbie became best friends. The people at fox r waiting to see if these 3 episodes numbers go up n order more than 13 episodes. If u look at tv by the numbers stats for the show it hasnt been good. I want this show to be around for more than 2 seasons.

  13. scampi says:

    Thrilled to see Clancy Brown! Hoping for more next season.

  14. bunny says:

    Loved the episode!
    Side bar to Kimberly Roots – I think it was vinegar mixed with the lemon juice and baking soda, not water :)

  15. b says:

    Another great episode. Great writing, acting, and production. This is the best new show of the year, a year that also includes The Originals and The Blacklist. And The Crazy Ones, too!

  16. Liz says:

    Great episode! I don’t understand why we had to endure the break to come back for last night’s episode and then a 2 hour season finale next week though. I appreciate a straight run so much more and would rather have two more weeks of the show. September is a long time to wait for new episodes. I thought Ichabod looked sexy hot in his modern clothes but his regular clothes are so much a part of his character. I could go either way on the clothes argument.

    • uh huh says:

      Part of the reason is production times. They didn’t finish shooting the finale episode until Dec. 30, just 21 days before the air date. In those three weeks they have to edit, mix, insert special effects (of which there will no doubt be a LOT), etc. They couldn’t get it on-air any quicker.
      They will start shooting earlier next season so that they don’t have these problems.

  17. Sigh says:

    Ichabod died in what, 1776? The Bill of Rights (which contains the Second Amendment) was written in the late 1780′s. And yet, in the car, he’s talking about the founding fathers’ concerns over enacting the amendment? It’s things like this (and the whole “Middle English in Roanoke after the time of Shakespeare” thing) that really strain my enjoyment of the show. Why can’t they treat the audience like they have a brain and have maybe read a book or two in their lifetimes? It’s not like either is an esoteric historical detail–the errors should be glaring to anyone who managed to graduate high school. There’s nitpicking, and then there’s simply bad and/or inconsistent writing . . .

    • MLO says:

      Why worry about this kind of $hit? If you’re willing to jump on the whole back from the dead, headless horseman, evil witches and demons bandwagon, why get hung up on something like a date discrepancy? Just go along for the ride and enjoy.

    • uh huh says:

      Crane died in 1781. But if you will watch it again, you will notice that the words “2nd Amendment” are NEVER uttered by anyone. Crane talks about DISCUSSIONS of the possible “perverse effects” of a free right to bear arms. And it is most certainly possible that this is something that was discussed in Crane’s presence by the founding fathers (prove it wasn’t), but not acted upon until the 2nd Amendment.
      You need to pay closer attention, not the writers. Your overwhelming need to be a smartypants is, in this instance, making you look silly.

    • Bob says:

      Smackdown on Sigh by uh huh. Ouch.

  18. TvPeong says:

    Last night’s episode was so good. Can’t wait for next week’s.

    Did the same girl play regular Macey and demon-possessed Macey, or did they switch the actress?

    • Sleepy Holla says:

      Same actress. Amandla Stenberg was also the character Rue from the Hunger Games. She is an amazing young actress.

  19. Bubba says:

    So much campy, evil FUN! LOVE this show.

  20. yay says:

    Loved the episode! Did anyone kind of ship Jenny with Crazy rifle guy?

  21. Mitla96 says:

    Okay, everyone. The reason the G. Washington date is the TRUE date is…. GEORGE WASHINGTON CANNOT TELL A LIE! Duh!

  22. MysteryObsessed says:

    AArghhh
    Is it me, or is the constant background music annoy the hell out of anybody else???
    Seems like it never stops playing and it’s taking the enjoyment of the show every single moment…. STOP IT PLEASE

  23. Bob says:

    Hey, Kimberly Roots, if you’re going to quote a song, please get it right:

    “She’s a bad mama jama” NOT mammer jammer.

  24. Pat says:

    I finally was able to watch this episode on my DVR and I thought it was excellent. I cannot wait for next week, but at the same time I will be sadden that it will also be the season finale. This is such an entertaining show and I just wish Fox had ordered up more episodes to carry us through the Spring.

  25. Garvin says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Macey’s possession, especially the whole “floating in the air” thing, scared the beejeezus out of me. Kudos to the actress! Until the next episode.

  26. jazzcolfer says:

    Sleepy Hollow is now the only show that makes me laugh one minute and then screams the next so much suspense and danger. Also all the characters are so endearing. I love it.

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