Sleepy Hollow Recap: Hello Mother, Hello Father
Ponder that while we review the Sleepy Hollow season finale, an immensely satisfying couplet that finishes off the series’ freshman run. Questions are answered! Formal voicemails are recorded! Fists are bumped! Clothes are bought!
The whole spectacle is glorious madness, ending on a cliffhanger that makes us wish we could cast a spell to make the fall season arrive tomorrow. Barring that, we’ll just have to content ourselves with going over the major points of “The Indispensable Man/Bad Blood.”
MILLS MANOR | The episodes open with Abbie coming home to her place, which I don’t think we’ve seen before in the series. She leaves a voicemail for Ichabod, signing off, “I am, respectfully, Leftenant Mills,” and smiles a little as she hangs up. It’s adorable, as is her giggle when autocorrect mangles her partner’s text response: “POOR. TELEPHONE. RECEPTION.”
Her meal prep is interrupted when Andy appears in the house. “We need to talk about boundaries,” she coolly informs him, brandishing a kitchen knife and handcuffing him in place. But all he wants to do is warn her: George Washington’s Bible has instructions on how to find a map Moloch wants. He also mentions the prophecy about Ichabod delivering her soul to Purgatory like Amazon Prime the week before Christmas: It’s definitely gonna get there.
“He will desert you, just like your parents, just like everyone you have ever loved,” Andy says sadly. “Except me. No one loves you like I do.” It’s so pathetic that all Abbie can do is use her soft voice on her former colleague, but apparently his pride is not as rotten as the rest of him, and he shuts her sympathies down. When she turns her back to call Irving, Andy breaks his own thumb (hardly the grossest thing we’ve seen him do, but still, eew), slips out of the ‘cuffs and escapes.
GET UP, GEORGE | Ichabod has a flash of memory about George Washington, and I’m going to shorthand it all, because we’ve got a lot of unconsecrated ground to cover before we sleep: The first president died and was resurrected by a group that included Rev. Knapp (who the Horseman killed in the pilot), then GW used his knowledge of the spirit world and Earth to draw a map from one to the other.
“Zombie George Washington. That takes the cake,” Abbie comments. But Ichabod suddenly has Katrina-crazy eyes: If he can find the map, “I can free my wife from Purgatory.” A wary Abbie makes him agree not to let his love for his absent wife cloud his judgment (good luck with that!), then they call in Henry Parrish to meet them at Knapp’s burial site for a little light graverobbing.
‘YOLANDA WAS A BETTER LISTENER’ | Crane sadly learns the limitations of Abbie’s phone’s Siri-like feature, which is no NorthStar operator when it comes to commiserating about his love life. But there’s no time, Crane! Henry is here, and he’s on board with trying to read the sin-filled prayer beads Knapp brought to his grave. (Side note: Ichabod dated Betsy Ross?) But after the hexed jewelry nearly burns through Henry’s palm, Abbie suggests that maybe there’s a good reason to keep the map hidden. The Witnesses argue a bit but are interrupted by Moloch’s minions, whose appearance seals Ichabod’s resolve about the map: “We must find it, or this war will be lost.”
While all of this is going on, Moloch sends zillions of flying insects into the tunnels to wrap Andy in a cocoon. When he emerges, he’s a black-eyed, hairless, glistening, pointy-headed larvae of evil.
FIELD TRIP! | Thanks to pieces of visions he got from the beads, Henry is able to help the Witnesses find their way to Washington’s actual burial site, an elaborate underground tomb near Sleepy Hollow. It’s full of Mason symbology and statues that suddenly begin to flame – and it only gets weirder when Andy creeps in. He seems to have found Brad Pitt’s skull cap and Neo’s trenchcoat, and he really wants the map Ichabod has just dislodged from Washington’s cold, dead hand. One touch from Henry weakens him to the point that human Andy can emerge long enough to warn Abbie to destroy the map and also release him from his hell. She puts something pointy through his skull, but that doesn’t do the trick. As Team WTF escapes out the back door, Abbie triggers the tomb’s booby traps, which seem to take Andy out – for now.
Outside, Abbie makes Crane see that the map will only bring bad things, and so he solemly lights it on fire. “If using this map meant betraying your trust, that’s something I could not do. For the world, for our friendship. You and I will choose our own destiny. We have free will,” he says, and I die as he turns to look at Abbie. “I choose to forge my fate with you.”
But later, alone in his cabin, Sadchabod holds Katrina’s emerald necklace and seems to come to a decision. He sits at the table, tears rolling down his cheeks, and uses his eidetic memory to recreate the map. Say it ain’t so, Ichabod!
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN | While all of this is going on, Irving’s superiors are questioning his family about the deaths of Officer Jones and the priest. To save Macey, Capt. Irving confesses to the crimes and is sent away, but not before he leaves an important datebook for Abbie. (Side note: I guess that means Luke’s alive?)
THIS MEANS WAR | Jenny and Ichabod discuss his recent clothing purchase at a conveniently located Revolutionary War re-enactment (Crane’s outrage at the idea of a hipster “purveyor of artisanal marmalade” is quite funny) when Abbie arrives at the cabin with news of Irving’s confession. Soon after, Henry shows up with the news that he’s had a dream that the second Horseman of the Apocalypse, War, is going to show up by nightfall. It makes sense: Not only is an eclipse planned for later on, but it’s 13 years to the day that the Mills sisters had their supernatural freak-out among the trees.
The gang deduces that they need a witch to put a binding spell on the ground from which the second horseman will rise. And because apparently all of the Willows, Taras, Sabrinas, Pipers, Phoebes and Paiges in the surrounding area are unavailable – are there really no witches in Westchester County? – they need Katrina’s help. But she’s in Purgatory, and that map was destroyed, Abbie notes. “Wait for it,” Jenny deadpans from the peanut gallery. (Ha!) Ichabod is forced to confess that he’s recreated the map, and I’m surprised Abbie – who’s already suspicious that he’s going to sell her out – isn’t more peeved. “Admit it, you appreciate me a little,” he teases her, which eeks the tiniest of side smiles out of his stern partner as she replies, “Microscopically.” (Perfection, Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie.)
After tasking Jenny with finding out why Sheriff Corbin and Rev. Knapp were meeting so often (as outlined in the datebook), Jenny begs Abbie “Come back to me” as the sisters hug. Good God, we’re nowhere near the emotional climax of this episode, and I am already a mess.
PURG IS THE WORD | And then there’s nothing left for Abbie and Ichabod to do but clasp hands, recite an incantation and step through a portal – oh wait! Here’s Henry with some last-minute instructions: “Hold onto each other in your hearts” and don’t allow any food or drink to tempt you, or you’ll be tethered to Purgatory forever. OH MY GOD, GUYS, PURGATORY IS TOTALLY THE DUNKIN’ DONUTS NEAR MY APARTMENT.
As soon as they enter the netherworld, Abbie and Ichabod are separated. She wakes up in Corbin’s sunlit cabin, where her mentor tells her the bandage on her head is from a concussion she got during FBI training. Andy’s there, too, and everyone’s so proud of her and cheery, can you blame her for wanting to believe it’s real? (Side note: Abbie’s happiness during this scene, the way she lets down her defenses, is nearly as painful to watch as what happens later.)
Corbin serves up some apple pie a la mode, and Abbie’s just about to take a big bite when she remembers Crane and their mission. Suddenly, the pie starts bleeding, and she makes for the door as a headless Corbin and a busted-neck Andy beg her to help them.
Similarly, Crane’s set-up finds him in a happy place: England in a revisionist reality where his father (hi, Victor Garber!) hasn’t disowned him and the British won the Revolutionary War. He’s just about to join the jovial toast when he remembers Abbie, and that doesn’t sit well with Big Daddy Crane. Ich’s pop turns into a bloody-mouth, black-eyed beast.
TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE | Both Witnesses are spit out into a woodsy area full of displaced souls. With the tuneless music, amputees, disturbing visuals and random nudity, I half expect Sister Jude to walk through, swinging her rosary beads. When Ichabod finds Abbie, a fist bump (!) establishes that they’re both the real deal, then they find a gorgeous Katrina lighting candles at the church where we saw her last. (Purgatory: Terrible for your soul, great for your hair?)
The redhead warns that their plan won’t work: Even if they can get her out, Purgatory’s soul-for-a-soul plan means that one of them will have to stay behind. Crane and Mills argue about who’ll stick around. I really like that she calls him out on his earlier decision to kill himself (in “Sin Eater”) without asking for her permission, and that he in turn reminds her that she told him there is always another way. “This is the only way!” she cries, and that seems to seal it.
Katrina’s all, “Here’s an amulet that will protect you from Moloch, ‘kaythanksbye!” but Ichabod vows that he’ll be back to free her from the limbo dimension. “Remember our bond. I’ll come back for you,” he says softly, cradling Abbie to him as she tries not to cry. (Anyone else notice Mrs. Crane watching the exchange with a great deal of interest?) Then Moloch is outside, and the Cranes are gone, and Abbie uses her amulet to burn the beast before running away from him. (Side note: Baller!)
THE SAINT’S NAME | Jenny finds a lead in Corbin’s tapes, and it sends her to an abandoned church outside of town. Once there, she has a revelation and calls her sister on the drive back: When Moloch mentioned “the saint’s name,” “He meant it literally!” she cries into Abbie’s voicemail. “Whatever you do, you can’t trust—” but then the Horseman appears and shoots her off the road. Please don’t die, Jenny!
FAMILY REUNION | But who can’t we trust? To quote Jenny from earlier in the episode, wait for it. Katrina and Ichabod land back in the real world, where Henry is waiting for them. She uses her powers to lead them to the four white trees we’ve seen throughout the season, but she has trouble trying to bind the ground.
At the same time in Purgatory, Abbie finds younger versions of her and Jenny hanging out in a cartoonish dollhouse. They tell her they’re parts of her memory that Moloch hid away, because they saw something in the woods 13 years ago that they shouldn’t have. And when they finally show Abbie, she’s horrified to learn what the Cranes are about to find out…
… when Henry uses his powers to throw them up against two of the trees and hold them there with vines. Ichabod is angry and confused, but Henry transforms before our eyes into a smug, hateful man. “I gave you the answer, so many times,” he says, gloating, before explaining that the Horseman of War was unearthed 13 years ago – and that’s what the Mills sisters witnessed.
It gets worse: Henry is that horseman, and he is also Jeremy Crane, whom Moloch raised after centuries in the ground. He took his name from the first place he encountered after his resurrection: St. Henry’s parish, which is what Jenny figured out just before Headless went road-ragey on her. (That’s some pretty impressive Keyser Soze-ing for someone who wasn’t even around for The Usual Suspects. Also, how did Jeremy age so much when he was essentially dead?)
Before Ichabod can process any of this, Henremy calls to Headless, who shows up and rides off with Katrina flung across his saddle. Then, the pissed-off teen/angry old man throws his father into the box where he was held for years, binds him with roots, and covers the grave as Ichabod screams for help. With the second seal broken, Moloch’s war has begun. To quote the Stones, whose “Sympathy for the Devil” plays us off, woo-hoo!
And that, Sleepy heads, is how you hang fans off a cliff without leaving them feeling cheated. But now it’s your turn: What did you think of the finale? Sound off in the comments!