Sleepy Hollow Jack the Ripper Recap Season 3

Sleepy Hollow Recap: Don't Fear the Ripper — Plus: Crane's Grand Plan

Teacher says: Every time a black rose grows, a leftenant’s sense of well-being takes a ding.

Yes, I’m twisting a classic Frank Capra line here, but you watch the final scene of this week’s Sleepy Hollow and tell me it’s not the anti-It’s a Wonderful Life: While some heavy painkillers help Ichabod wax narcotic about how happy he is to be reunited with Abbie, Mills’ fear of being left alone to fight the tribulations is so palpable, it causes a new blossom to unfurl on Pandora’s ever-growing treevil.

The concept of trust between the Witnesses is one the Fox series has explored before: charmingly and interestingly in Season 1 (via the quick affinity Ichabod and Abbie found for each other), roughly and hurt-feelings-ly in Season 2 (via Katrina’s now-what’re-you-gonna-do-with-me? introduction into the modern world). I’m interested in how the revamped series will tackle the topic as we move through the current season — because, per the look on Abbie’s face at the end of the hour, Agent Mills is seriously doubting her colonial companion, no matter how many times he pledges himself to their shared duty.

Maybe I’m reading too much into that parting shot. Maybe Abbie’s true fear is that one of these days, Ichbod is going to actually go through with killing himself in the name of saving humanity. (You only get so many free passes, Crane.) Read on as we review the action in “Blood and Fear.”

PHOTO Bones/Sleepy Hollow Crossover Photo: Abbie and Booth Get Down to Business

YOU DON’T KNOW JACK | Let’s get the baddie o’ the week out of the way straight off, because he’s kind of lame — and that’s the point. Nelson, a dorky guy lusting after a blonde co-worker, goes to a bar — is it Club Twerk?! — but can only watch from afar as the blonde dances with some some brodude from the office. As the sad sack falls ever deeper into his misery, Pandora shows up in her punky finest and whispers, “Let’s show everybody the real you.” They drink, they dance. She does some magic mojo, and he wakes up the next morning with a curved blade on his bedside table.

Not long after, Abbie is called to the scene of a murder at Nelson’s office: The guy who’d been cozying up to the blonde (whose name is Emily) has been stabbed to death and drained of all his blood. Ichabod immediately recognizes the M.O. and says he knows the killer’s identity: “You might know him as Jack the Ripper.”

THAT KNIFE LIFE | As it turns out, a teenage Ichabod’s best friend was offed in similar fashion when they were students at Eton in 1763 — but, Abbie points out, that was more than a century before London’s infamous Whitechapel murders. Ichabod’s (heretofore unmentioned) obsession with solving the killings makes him very well versed in all the details, so it’s not long before the Witnesses realize that 1) the murders have been happening for 900 years, so they’re probably supernatural in nature; 2) Pandora likely summoned the evil spirit who commits the crimes, in part because she’s aware of the Witnesses’ deepest fears (Ichabod’s involves his friend’s murder); and 3) the curved blade used for the killings are what transforms ordinary people into the Rippers by causing them to be “wholly overcome” with bloodlust.

Too bad that, at that moment, Pandora is making sure that Nelson is undergoing his final transformation: The knife becomes a permanent part of his hand.

PHOTO First Bones/Sleepy Hollow Crossover Photo: Ichabod and Brennan Confer and It’s So. Awesomely. Weird.

‘ICHABOD CRANE: AMERICAN’ | Let’s take a break to handle some of the lighter fare that happens in the hour, shall we? Ichabod rails loud and long against the town bureaucracy (I love Abbie knowingly and patiently waiting out his tirade), which is giving him trouble about making the archives into an officially recognized historic site. But Abbie eventually signs the papers for him, getting over the only-American-citizens-can-petition hurdle. As they talk, he’s so inspired by her notion of letting go of the past that he makes a grand announcement. “I’m going to do it: become a full citizen of this country,” he says proudly, and if you need a little pick-me-up, I suggest you replay Tom Mison making oratory love to the phrase “consummate my allegiance to this nation” a few times.

“Ichabod Crane: American. I like the sound of that,” Abbie says, smiling. Know who else is on board? Zoe, the woman on the receiving end of Crane’s low bow in the last episode, whose offer to shepherd Ich through the citizenship process is gratefully accepted. Her dad was an immigrant, she explains, and Ichabod’s words “really spoke to me.” Based on that look she gives Crane at the end of the scene, I’d say his highly arched brows, gallant manner and tight, Revolutionary double-jug were murmuring some sweet nothings of their own, too.

RELATED Sleepy Hollow @ New York Comic Con: An Enemy Returns, a Turncoat and More

THE PLAGUE CURE | Back to the maniacal killer: The Witnesses realize that an outbreak of sickness has occurred at the end of each historical killing spree and theorize that the knife somehow becomes tainted, putting the Ripper spirit into a mandatory time-out. So they find some malarial blood and plan to shoot it into Nelson to stop him cold.

Of course that doesn’t work, so Ichabod does the next best thing: injects himself with the infected blood and lets Nelson stab him, thus tainting the knife and ending the Ripper’s killing jag. Unfortunately, it also leaves Crane with a slashed-open torso. Abbie races to his side and pulls him into her lap, begging him to hold on until the ambulance arrives. (Side note: I adore Nicole Beharie’s line reading on “Oh my God,” which manages to cram fear, shock and a sense of “I can’t believe you’re doing something this jackassed AGAIN” into three little words.) Speaking of which, Crane? I thought you and Abbie agreed to talk about it before you decided to poison yourself for the greater good.

So Abbie skips dinner with Daniel, opting instead for a quick drink in his office (I imagine after making sure Crane was safe?) during which he puts forth a desire for them both to keep “pushing” each other toward greater things. She points out that they’re no longer equals, but it’s a friendly conversation and they leave it on a good note. Also, take a good look at Daniel’s face as Agent Mills walks out: That’s a man who hates to see Abbie go but loves to watch her leave, if you get my drift.

RELATEDBones, Sleepy Hollow Crossover Plot Scoop: ‘It’s Like a Great X-Files Episode’

FINDING THE SHARD IS HARD | Throughout all of this, Jenny and Joe are on the hunt for the Shard of Anubis she traded for his life last week. They track it to — and retrieve it from — a shifty woman who uses a lot of August Corbin’s old tricks. Jenny is thrown by how little she knows about what’s going on, but Joe seems pretty sure they’ll get to the bottom of it. And even though he’s a total neophyte in the fight against the apocalypse, he says it with conviction, so there’s that.

ICH, STITCHED | Back at home, Ichabod wakes up on the couch, where we learn that the malaria didn’t affect him because he’d already been exposed (and probably contracted it) in ye olden times. Even in his weakened state, he pontificates about how the Greeks thought Pandora was the being who taught mortals to fear the gods, but then reassures Abs that they’ll best her. “We are, after all, the Witnesses,” he says, initiating a fist bump. (Aww.) “I am most grateful, Leftenant, that you and I have found one another once again,” he slurs, drifting off into a drugged sleep. It’s very sweet, but as I mentioned before, Abbie’s dubious face worries me. And it worries me even more when Pandora, watching via pond cam or whatever the heck that reflective thing in her lair is, notices a rotten flower come to life on the treevil and gets all happy about it.

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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28 Comments
  1. Tracee says:

    They really have course corrected this show. Now, if only FOX would start promoting them as fervently as they do some of their other dramas…..Beharie and Mison were amazing tonight, as per usual.

    • Lexi says:

      Absolutely…

    • Noel Roberts says:

      They are amazing, but Abbie still seems disconnected to me-just hardened.

      • Johannes says:

        I think that is how she is directed….she is supposed to be the tough girl with a bit of a wall up, as is often with folk that had a mom that was mentally ill (at least that is what Abbie thought), a dad that abandoned her, and bouncing around in an orphanage.

    • Johannes says:

      Totally agree! I just wish it were back on Monday, or any day but Thursday. Too many good American shows are on that day and it is my busiest business travel day when in the States (not that they give a damn about me though). :)

  2. Angela says:

    I read Abbie’s expression at the end as her mulling over Pandora’s words to her, being reminded of her fear of losing Ichabod. I think she still trusts him, and knows he’s by her side. I think the events of Ichabod being injured and Pandora’s words combined just spooked her a little and made her wonder what other life-threatening risks he’ll take in the future for their mission.
    .
    But your take is an interesting one, too, worth exploring. And I definitely agree that the scene of her coming to his aid and saying “Oh, my God” was powerful and emotional (I was legit worried for a fleeting moment), and the realization that all of that with potentially losing Ichabod is her greatest fear is heartbreaking and touching all at the same time. I loved their end scene, too, and the fistbump.
    .
    I liked the take on the Ripper legend this episode, with him apparently causing havoc in some form or another for centuries. That’s an intriguing twist. And now I wonder how what Pandora learned from this little idea of hers will play out going forward, how Pandora will build on it (I’m really liking Pandora as the villain so far, she’s got this quiet eeriness about her that works for her deeds).
    .
    Loving Jenny and Joe working together, and curious to see how their plans will pan out. And YAY at the idea of Ichabod wanting to become a U.S. citizen. I can’t help but wonder if Zoe should be trusted, though-she’s so perky and innocent and I wonder if that’s a “false sense of security” thing going on. Or maybe she’s just smitten with Ichabod. Which I wouldn’t blame her for :). She reminds me a little of that woman from the reenactment group that he was friends with.
    .
    Also…
    if you need a little pick-me-up, I suggest you replay Tom Mison making oratory love to the phrase “consummate my allegiance to this nation” a few times.
    Hell, yes :D.

    • Johannes says:

      Okay, now I can’t wait to get home and re-watch the episode after reading your post.

    • mollie says:

      *If you need a little pick-me-up, I suggest you replay Tom Mison making oratory love to the phrase “consummate my allegiance to this nation” a few times.* Hell to the yes. Between his voice and his eyes….oh yeah.

      I too am wondering about Zoe. Everything just seems too right…I’m thinking of the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have to say though, I would be smitten with Ichabod myself.

      The chemistry between Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie is just amazing.

      And I am sure looking forward to the Bones ‘crossover’ episode. I hope our Ichabod gets to spend some screen time with Dr. Hodgins….

      • Angela says:

        He knows how to deliver a line, that’s for sure :D.
        Exactly! It’s all too neat-she just happens to be there for all the things he’s needed thus far. I think it’s worth keeping an eye on her. Either way, though, yes to the whole “smitten” thing all the same :).
        It really is. I’m so glad that that’s still as strong as ever-they just click so wonderfully.
        And I’m looking forward to the crossover, too! I think it’ll be fantastically weird :D. Be interesting to see how all the characters interact.

  3. McFudge says:

    I took the ending as Abbie being scared of losing Ichabod, realizing how much she loves (maybe not romantically) and depends on him. She has, after all, conveyed some of her deepest secrets to him.

  4. holagsd says:

    It’s funny — I doubt anything could ever equal the “balls to the walls” pace and shock of season 1, but I am finding this season so satisfying, building on the established history and relationships between Ichabod, Abbie, and Jenny. Even Joe Corbin fits in well. I could watch any of them reading the phone book; the chemistry is so great! Loving every minute so far! Keep it coming!

    • Johannes says:

      Well stated.

    • Morisot says:

      That’s one reason I miss the horse! It seemed to carry us through season one at break-neck speed.

    • Gdv says:

      I agree that Joe Corbin fits in well with the core cast. He and Abbie’s new boss are both solid enough actors, and their backstories are more believable than Hawley’s, though I wish Orlando Jones and John Cho were still around!!!! (Man, season 1 was GOOD.) What I can’t stand is some of the female casting this season (I’m looking at you, Nikki Reed). Also, the lighting has been pretty bad. I can’t even read some of the actors’ expressions it’s so dark all the time. (Game of Thrones is also notorious for this in my book.) but enough complaining. I’m happy it’s back!

  5. Maria says:

    I’m more concerned about what Daniel has up his sleeve towards Abbie!? The look on Daniels face as he was watching Abbie leave his office gave me a sense of deep mistrust!! I love the way the show is heading this season. I’m also kinda curious about the upcoming cross-over episode with Bones. That is going to be an interesting episode. I wonder if they are going to show the ladies swooning over that utterly roguish but sexy Ichabod walking into the Famous Jeffersonian Institute. I’m sure Ichabod is going to have some interesting things to say about the Jefferson name! I love both shows and I think it is going to be a fascinating and humorous episode.

    • Morisot says:

      I don’t trust him. But I think Abbie was a bit rueful about his diminishing their relationship. I also think how she feels about him played into her reaction at the end of the episode — conflicted, maybe, about how she feels about Ichabod and Daniels?

  6. Carol C says:

    Great recap, Kimberly, but needs a spelling correction: lieutenant is pronounced “lef”tenant in Britain (and Canada). Same spelling, different pronunciation.

  7. Betty says:

    Love Love Love the chemistry between Ichabod and Abbie! This season is fun again like the very first season. I think her OMG comment was expressing her fear of losing someone who has become her best friend, confidant, brother and family she never really had. Ichabod’s comments and reactions to today’s modern world are so entertaining!! In a previous episode I loved when they went to the Colonial Times restaurant and he was reading the menu with dishes named based on famous quotes or actions in colonial history with such annoyance!! Love the fist bump!
    Keep the fun going FOX!!

  8. Donna says:

    Love your recaps, Kim, but I absolutely did not read Abbie’s expression the way you did. I saw it as her contemplating what Pandora had said to her–thinking about what it would be like to lose Ichabod, and have to continue this fight on her own. Those kinds of thoughts are really painful for Abbie–she’s lost her share of mentors and friends–and she kind of shuts down, turns inward, as a self-protection mechanism.

    I don’t for one second think she was doubting Ichabod there. Quite the contrary, actually. I think she might have been doubting herself and her ability to continue the Witness thing without him.

  9. mollie says:

    I do like the ‘more or less complete in an episode’ thing. And you know, when she took Ichabod’s head in her lap and said “Stay with me, Crane…” I kind of felt that desperation that she really doesn’t want to have to carry on alone. Please oh please oh PLEASE don’t screw the pooch by deciding there has to be a big romance here. Their mentor/mentee brother/oldersister thingie is just right.

  10. Bonnie says:

    Can’t say I cared too much for how neatly this episode was wrapped up; the writers seem to still be a little gun-shy of going “all-out Crane” and allowing us a glimpse of the man who captured so many hearts during Season One (who could ever forget “skinny jeans” Crane, running around the cabin like he was on springs? If we could have that dynamic back, I think the Season will go well. So I’ll keep watching.

  11. dr says:

    This is what we have been waiting for; a mixture of history weaved into current events. The villian was human and seriously mentally ill, we can relate this to our current mass shootings and violent society. The witness relationship is a serious relationship built hopefully on trust and they were chosen to save mankind, sounds serious to me, and not based on a silly romantic liason between Ich and Abbie, Abbie is a prototype 21st century herione ready to take charge and is serious about her career and mission in life. Even the villian witch is damn evil and serious about destroying the witnesses. This was a great episode and a return to the true story line in season one, with twists, turns, history and mystery. Again looking forward to watching each episode.

  12. MoonTripper says:

    Good observation regarding the subtext behind Abbie’s expression in her scene with Ichabod. I’m not sure if she is so concerned about being left alone. Instead, I wonder if she has doubts about their ability to overcome Pandora – who appears to be such a powerful adversary.

    For this episode, I especially enjoyed Jenny’s scenes. I am glad the actress is getting more to do and a chance to prove she needs more screen time.

  13. greatRN60 says:

    Whenever I hear Ichabod make one of his impassioned speeches I think of another Brit, Dr. Henry Morgan of “Forever”. Both these dramedies are/were quite entertaining. I’m very happy FOX gave “Sleepy Hollow” a third season. Too often good, clean entertainment is relegated just after one season.

  14. TD says:

    I like the scaling down of the show and the return to a better Ichabod/Abbie dynamic. But, honestly, I’m finding the show kind of boring so far. For me, what really made those early first-season episodes work was a sense of over-the-top outrageousness (think Headless Horseman maniacly terrorizing Sleepy Hollow with a machine gun). Pandora, the monster of the week, and the action have been way too tame this season.