Remember that time you played a little too much Candy Crush and started seeing the patterns everywhere, even when you weren’t on your phone? And you thought about the game a little too much? Replace “Candy Crush” with “mysterious otherworldly symbol that surely is bad news,” and you’ve got a sense of what this week’s Sleepy Hollow is like for Abbie.
Agent Mills spends the hour seeing the rune from the catacombs — the one she traced in blood at the end of the previous episode — all over the place. She fears she’s losing her mind, just like her mother did. Above all, she keeps the disturbing development to herself, and by the end of the episode it’s clear she’s in the thrall of something… we’re just not sure what that something is yet.
Elsewhere, Ichabod cooks, Jenny and Joe snuggle, Papa Mills sees his girls and Nevins returns to illustrate that Team WTF learned nothing from him the first time around. Read on for the highlights of “Sins of the Father.”
DADDY ISSUES | Ichabod takes a cue from mothers everywhere and shows his love and concern for Abbie by making a giant meal, complete with wine, flowers and candles on the table. But when she comes home, though she is appreciative (and a bit softer to him than normal, which is nice to see), she bails on dinner — and the double date with Jenny and Joe to see E.T. — in favor of going to the FBI’s shooting range. Ichabod at first thinks the movie’s subject matter (“a diminutive being stranded far from home,” ha!) is too reminiscent of his fellow Witness’ recent ordeal, but she assures him she’s readjusting well enough. I can’t blame Ichabod for letting it go, because when Abbie bows to him, it’s distractingly cute.
Meanwhile, Joe drives Jenny to meet her father at a coffee shop. “I have hated you for as long as I can remember,” she tells him, but there’s no bite to it. He tells her all he wants is to assure her and Abbie that his leaving wasn’t their fault: He freaked when Lori got sick, he drank too much, and he joined the Navy in an effort to procure them health insurance/get away from the literal insanity. Oh, and he wants to talk to Abbie, too.
A BAD PENNY RETURNS | Abbie’s not having a great night at the range — bad shooting, awkward conversation with Daniel — when she gets an anonymous text telling her to go alone to meet someone in the woods in order to save people’s lives. Turns out, the texter is Nevins, the bad guy from whom Jenny stole the Eye, and he’s in really bad shape. He points Abbie toward a the nearby corpse of a dead cop and tells her he’ll help her stop the creature who offed the officer… but he wants help, too.
Pretty soon, Nevins is sitting in the archives, regaling Team WTF with tales of his exploits. Pandora didn’t kill him, but she did take out his spleen with her bare hands. And during the movie Three Kings Gulf War, he and some buddies — including August Corbin — found a cave full of gold but were attacked by a scary beast and barely escaped. The experience left such a mark on Corbin that he started researching strange happenings all over the world, leading to the genesis of his files. The monster in that cave? It’s the same one killing people in Sleepy Hollow.
QUIT BUGGING ME | The gang figures out that the demon is controlled by a golden scarab beetle, and they assume that Randall (my favorite criminal in all Sleepy Hollow history) has his hands on the bug in question. But when the demon kills Randall (noooooo!) while Sophie and Joe watch, they realize that the person controlling the hellish thug is really… Nevins.
They call the Witnesses ASAP to tell them not to trust Nevins — something I feel should not have to be said, given his history, motives and overall extremely shifty nature — but it’s too late: He’s got the scarab INSIDE HIM and he calls the ghoul to the archives to take Abbie and Ichabod out. (Side note: When all of the dust has settled, can we have a little talk about this new “Let’s let everyone into the archives all the time” policy? Because it doesn’t seem like it’s working out very well.)
Crane and Mills escape the archives via some windows I’ve literally never noticed before, and Abbie has a teeny confidence crisis before shooting the demon in the chest — where the scarab has taken up residence — and putting an end to the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Joe and Jenny track an escaped Nevins through the tunnels. The old man gets the drop on Jenny, who’s very out of it as Joe Oprah-speaks his dad’s old chum into letting Jen go. “I loved him, Atticus. We both did. And you know damn well what he’d say to you right now,” Joe says, and whether Nevins is moved or just bored, he drops Jenny and takes off with August’s stolen files under his arm.
Next time we see the grimy, grinning criminal, he’s sitting in a car with Daniel’s boss Jack Walters — the FBI bigwig he went to see a few episodes back — who has just told Daniel to back off the Nevins search. Nevins hands over the files to Walters, mentioning that they contain “exact coordinates of the nine sacred sites”… and then Walters shoots and kills him. I’m not sad to see Nevins go, but I’m half intrigued about what Walters means for the rest of the season/half scared that the introduction of another big bad will become a little too unwieldy as the season progresses. Prove me wrong, Sleepy Hollow!
THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL STARTS? | Abbie’s curiosity eventually gets the best of her, and she, too, meets her dad at the diner. She’s a little icier than Jenny was, but she’s also got a clearer motive for reestablishing contact: She wants to know what it was like when Lori started losing her mind. Unfortunately, the onslaught of her mom’s mental instabilities sound a lot like what Abbie’s going through; it slays me how much of a foregone conclusion it sounds like when Abs talks about “how the Mills women kick off: crazy and alone.” Ezra Mills says he just wants to be there for his daughters. “I have people for that now,” she says. Aww.
At home, Ichabod and Abbie have some sandwich-related banter before she shakily admits that she’s “trying really hard” to get back to normal. “And you will succeed. Just as you were by my side when you returned to Sleepy Hollow, so shall I be by yours,” he says, all kind eyes and gentle voice — and if you think this show isn’t ever-so-slightly moving these two together each episode, you’re crazier than all the patients at Tarrytown Psych combined.
Abbie sends him to the bar to grab a table, saying she’ll be there in a few minutes. What she doesn’t add: “Because I’m going out to the shed in the backyard, where I’ve painted a giant version of that symbol I keep seeing and which I’ve been obsessively doodling in my journal.” Once she’s in front of the emblem, she mimics its form by crossing her forearms reverently, then says, “You saved me. I’m yours.”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!