Sleepy Hollow Recap: Even in the Afterlife, Mama Knows Best

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Recap

The next time your mother won’t leave you alone, before you get all up on her case about it, double-check to make sure she’s not just trying to keep you safe from a malevolent spirit that wants to feast on your tender soul.

This has been your Lori Mills-approved tip from this week’s Sleepy Hollow, which brings Abbie and Jenny’s mom back into their lives for an interlude that’s equal parts sweet and scary.

The hour also gives Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood plenty of time to shine, and as the Mills sisters relive some tough childhood times, the actresses don’t disappoint.

Plus: Irving’s escape! Stuffed-up Crane! Minimal Hawley! The episode is basically everything that certain commenters have been asking for since the beginning of the season. Find out how it all goes down as we review “Mama.”

MEMORIES OF MOM | The episode opens with Abbie in Purgatory, as a creepily haunting version of “You Are My Sunshine” filters through the smoke and shadows. She sees a hooded figure and asks, “Mama, is that you?” Just as the figure warns Ab about demons, Ichabod sneezes loudly… and we realize that she was just dreaming during a catnap in the archives, and Crane’s honker woke her up.

Abbie notes that she’s been dreaming about her mother, Lori, all week for some reason. Ichabod says some stuff but he’s so congested that I pretty much just giggle the entire time. When Abbie gets a call from Reyes, the lieutenant insists that her fellow Witness stay put and get some rest — she even tucks him in! — while she investigates.

OLD HAUNTS | Tarrytown Psychiatric Institute has had three suicides in three days, Reyes briefs Mills, when it normally only sees one or two a year. She puts Abbie in charge of the investigation, and Jenny tags along — even though being back at the hospital isn’t her idea of the best day ever. The sisters notice a troubled-looking man near the hospital’s entrance, but a kindly nurse escorts him away before he can do or say much.

After a brief consultation with Irving, who notes that he knew the first victim and the guy wasn’t suicidal, Jenny and Abbie review surveillance footage of the man’s death. As he hangs himself in the video, they notice a flicker in the corner of the room. Further examination reveals the ghostly shape of a woman — and the sisters recognize her instantly. “That’s Mom,” Abbie says with wonder. “Back from the grave.”Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Recap

ICH DISCOVERS JEWISH PENICILLIN | Abbie returns to the archives, where a churlish Ichabod still doesn’t feel well. As she reviews her mother’s medical files, she flashes back to Lori freaking Little Abbie and Little Jenny out by yelling about demons and making them chant the family motto: “Eyes open, head up, trust no one.” Ab grimly declares that her mother is behind the Tarrytown Psych patients’ deaths.

Just then, Hawley shows up with “one of God’s greatest creations: matzah ball soup.” Ichabod complains… until he takes a big swallow of the broth, blisses out (that face!) and mutters, “That is somewhat comforting.” (Heh.) Unbeknownst to Crane, Hawley has dosed the soup with something Nyquil-ish; pretty soon, Sickabod is snoring.

NOT-SO-NICE NURSE | So Hawley accompanies the Mills ladies back to TPI. Their mission: Stop the killings and help Lori find peace. When they see the patient they met at the hospital’s entrance start to hack at his wrist with a shard of something sharp, they stop him just in time — and when Lori appears in the room, she sucks Abbie down to an abandoned wing of the hospital.

Ghost Mom is barely able to eek out “It’s not safe for you here” before Gina Lambert, the nurse we met earlier, shows up and wonders what Ab’s doing. Rather than saying “I kinda disapparated,” Abbie covers and eventually reunites with Hawley and Jenny — just in time for Lori to leave them another clue: TPRJLM12, traced onto a door.

That number corresponds to a recording of one of Lori’s therapy sessions, but back at the archive, Jenny’s not sure she wants to see it. “We do this together, like we used to when things got bad,” Abbie says, holding her sister’s face and touching their foreheads together. (Sniff!) As they watch their straitjacketed mom rail in the recording, the women clasp hands, just like we saw them do in the flashback. (Bigger sniff!) Lori goes on about how Nurse Lambert told her to kill herself, and as the sisters realize that their mom isn’t behind the suicides, we see the evil nurse cozying up to a new patient: Irving.

JUST SAY NO TO PHANTOM DRUGS | Nurse From Hell sweet-talks the former captain into taking some pills and then trying to drown himself; thankfully, the Mills and Hawley stop him in time. “Suicide seemed like the only thing to do,” he later tells Abbie, and she replies that the drugs he took “open your mind to suggestion, especially with demonic influence.” Um, is that one of the known side effects?

Some research shows that Lambert was found guilty of murder and put to death for similar patient deaths in the 1950s — and Abbie realizes that her mother is trying to stop the ghost nurse from striking again. Lori appears to her daughters once more as they’re exploring her old cell, but Lambert’s right on her apparitional heels: She drags Abbie away and temporarily incapacitates Jenny and Hawley. Lori shows up again, tasks her younger daughter with finding the protective hex in her old journal, then steps in to protect her older daughter from a ticked-off Lambert.

The nurse is just about to stuff those pills down Abbie’s throat (Side note: Are the pills ghostly? If not, how does a ghost gain access to such powerful drugs? Does she have a supernatural prescription pad?) when Lori steps in; the distraction gives Jenny and Hawley enough time to find Grace Dixon’s journal in a box of Lori’s personal effects and chant the hex that destroys Lambert.

When Abbie laments that she didn’t get to say thank you to her mom, Jenny replies, “There might be a way.” So Team WTF — including a recovered Crane — holds a séance in Lori’s old cell. (Side note: Did you notice Ichabod and Hawley’s reluctance to hold hands? Oh boys, throw the fan fic writers a bone, would ya?)

BOOS & CLUES | Mama Mills appears and drops several hints that seem like they’ll be important in the weeks to come. 1) She always knew Abbie was a Witness, and Ab is “meant to go further than any of us.” (If that means Jenny may bite it in a future episode, Sleepy Hollow, you and I are going to have to have words.) 2) Grace’s journal has “a weapon hidden in its pages” that will aid in the Witnesses’ fight.

The entire scene is very tender; the part where Lori fades away and the girls tearfully beg her not to go might have ruined me a little. Beharie and Greenwood, you’re aces here.

But before I can get too verklempt, there’s Irving to deal with: He escaped the psych hospital while Ab and Jenny were communing with the dead, and he wants help. So Abbie lets him climb into her trunk. This’ll end well!sleepyhollow_s2ep9_1

THEY GROW UP SO FAST | Over at Fredericks Manor, Henry goads Katrina into picking up Baby Moloch — “or will you forsake him as you once did me?” he sneers. As she cradles the abomination close, it does something to her that starts to turn her skin putrid; Henry, absurdly, seems jealous as he notes, “It seems you possess the maternal instinct, after all.”

But when the witch realizes what’s up, she quickly throws together a potion that will put the demon spawn out of commission for good. Too bad when she goes to deliver it, Baby Moloch has quickly aged into 5-ish-year-old Moloch, who calls her “Mother” as he lets her know he’s hungry. You’d better act quickly, Katrina, because nobody wants to experience Teen Moloch.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? 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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23 Comments
  1. Ian says:

    BEYOND BEAUTIFUL EPISODE. Emmys for Nicole, Lyndie and Aujunae. My God, they were heart-burstingly amazing.
    Best episode of Sleepy Hollow EVER.

  2. JenE says:

    Katrina is just so unnecessary and awful and annoying and boring. Please just kill her off, she drags down every scene she is in.

  3. Flo says:

    YES. This is what “certain commentors” as in most of the fandom has been asking for since the premiere. FINALLY. This is what we wanted. The gang coming back together and more of Abbie’s backstory. Hawley proved this episode just how useless he is. All he did was hold a flashlight and bring Ichabod some food. The end. Bye Hawley. Can’t wait for next week and the Sleepy Gang back together!

    • Cal says:

      See I don’t find Hawley nearly as problematic as Katrina! Hawley may not have added anything particularly useful or special, but his presence does not disrupt the group’s dynamic/overall flow of the show like Katrina’s does. In theory I don’t mind the character but the execution has been flawed. As for Katrina, I think that they need to reveal that she has an evil hidden agenda/turn her evil or kill her because she doesn’t work as written. Otherwise this episode was definitely an improvement.

      • van mar says:

        So totally agree with the assessment of both the characters Katrina adds nothing to the storyline. I find it even difficult to believe the relationship between her and Ichabod no chemistry. There is more chemistry between Abby and Ichabod characters. Hawley character does not add much to the storyline other than perhaps additional eye candy, one does get tired looking at ghost and demons all the time and there is a possibility of a love interest for one of the sisters. Katrina needs to go.

  4. Moria says:

    Can anyone help me with this info? I’ve been trying to dig up a story online without luck. I’ve seen hints that this season there are all new writers – can anyone confirm? So far the only way I can tell if this is true is to go thru imdb for each show. I can’t find an actual source for this information nor why it happened. Would love to know. Thanks!

    • lizziej1 says:

      No, it’s not all new writers. Melissa Blake, Heather Reignier, Damian Kindler, Mark Goffman, Phil Iscove are all still there.

      • Chrostina Jones says:

        Nicole Beharie stated that the writers rewrote the script recently, probably due to the ratings drop and probably listening to the fans to get the gang back together. This episode pretty much made it happen so they do troll the fanbase and smartly, they responded

  5. Angela says:

    Side note: Did you notice Ichabod and Hawley’s reluctance to hold hands? Oh boys, throw the fan fic writers a bone, would ya?
    *Snerk* I was thinking a similar thing during that part of the episode-I can just hear the slash writers out there now, cracking their knuckles as they eagerly settle themselves in front of their computers. Hehe. I do like it when Hawley and Ichabod get along, so if they can form a good friendship, I’m cool with that. Ichabod getting some guy pals could be fun.
    As for the main story: Abbie, Jenny, and Lori. That end scene with them. Oh. My. God. I was sobbing my eyes out. Abbie’s comment about wanting to say goodbye to her mom prior to that got me choked up, too, as did Jenny’s flashback with the picture she drew (that scene with her and her mom in the car was gut-wrenching). Yes. All three women should be getting some serious attention for this episode, they were all fantastic in it. Very, very moving story.
    And creepy, too! That nurse! Yeow. I had a feeling she wasn’t to be suspected when she was talking to Abbie-had that unsettlingly sweet smile on her face. I really liked Abbie getting in total fight mode in her encounter with the nurse-that scene, and the one with Irving being under her spell and trying to off himself, were both very disturbing.
    But hooray for Irving escaping! Now if they can just get Katrina away from that insanity with Henry and Moloch, and everyone can be reunited and properly gathered together and whatnot, then we’ll have one hell of a team shaping up to take the bad guys down. Next week looks intense, and I cannot wait.
    (And yes, this show had better not even THINK of ever killing off Jenny. Ever.)

  6. Alichat says:

    I wonder if Tom Mison was really sick, and they retooled the story to accommodate a lighter filming schedule for him, or if the episode was intended for Ichabod to not be around when Abbie and Jenny get to have some closure with their mom? Seems odd the Abbie’s fellow witness would not be with her to deal with her mother’s ghost.

    • Donna MaMa says:

      I was thinking the same thing, but he sounded so sick. Could be both, perfect timing

      • Joanne says:

        He’s an actor! Of course he “sounded sick”! When actors are ill, the rule is “act like you’re well.”
        It’s a damn shame, there’s finally a good episode that could have been a great episode if Crane worked with the sisters instead of Hawley! Is he the producer’s brother or something?

  7. Donna MaMa says:

    Side note: Did you notice Ichabod and Hawley’s reluctance to hold hands? Oh boys, throw the fan fic writers a bone, would ya? Do we have the start of a bromance? Loving Hawley, not so sure why the fans are hating him, he will prove himself in future episodes, just you all wait!!!

    • Not cool says:

      Because he doesn’t add anything to the show except being somewhat attractive (not my type), and he has basically been replacing Jenny. She is/was supposed to be the supernatural expert. They have barely used her before this episode.

  8. Donna MaMa says:

    Finally Irving is back – so now we have the whole scooby gang in the car, horray
    let’s get this show back on track

  9. winter says:

    Fantastic episode! Nicole, Lyndie and Aujunae were superb. There was so much emotion in those final scenes between them, they had me in tears.

  10. B says:

    I love Sleepy Hollow! I’m a Sleepyhead!! I’ve read all the recaps and comments and the article six ways to fix Sleepy Hollow, and I have to say this season isn’t as bad as some are making it out to be. I think every episode is a piece of a puzzle that won’t make sense until the puzzle is solved(until the season finale)! Mama is the best episode of this season so far. It focused on Jenny and Abbie’s relationship past and present and got Irving out of Tarrytown. As for the Hawley hate as long as he doesn’t come between Abbie and Jenny and continues to take his shirt off I’m fine with him being a regular. Katrina I think she’s going to give her life to kill Moloch or to save Ichabod. People need to keep in mind that this season is 18 episodes not 12 like last season.

  11. herman1959 says:

    I LOVED this episode, it had everything in all of the right amounts. But, um, Kimberly that boy looked much older than 5 to me. So now, with Irving sprung (if they can keep him) there are 5 soldiers to fight the demons…bring them on!

  12. rachelle says:

    Favorite episode of the season, for sure. I was in TEARS when the girls brought their mother back. The whole conversation between the three of them, their mother’s tears, their tears and their realizations during that conversation had me in tears. When Abbie told her mom that she “didn’t deserve this,” I kinda lost it. Everyone thought she was crazy and she died a terrible death when she wasn’t crazy at all. All she wanted was to protect her children. She didn’t deserve her horrible fate. What a beautiful, powerful, moving episode. Just lovely all around!

  13. Liza says:

    As in many shows, the supporting characters are often underused in this series. Mainly Irving and Jenny. I really like Hawley even though some think the character is unnecessary. A romantic interest for one of the sister’s and a pal for Crane. I think he is a good fit! And considering he is jaw-dropping gorgeous, I am fine with him sticking around long term.