Sleepy Hollow Season 3 Episode 12 Recap

Sleepy Hollow Recap: I Saw the Sign

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!

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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33 Comments
  1. SKL says:

    I think that “Sleepy Hollow” has really recovered from the missteps of last year. Tonight’s was a very good episode. And I’m not mad at the writers putting Crane and Mills together!

  2. Snore says:

    “Elsewhere, Ichabod cooks,” Yup. That’s about all he does, too. Why are the writers of this show incapable of focusing on both Witnesses at the same time, and giving them both interesting stories? Last season Abbie was sidelined. This season its Crane. They’ve made him a house husband. He’s got nothing else going on. Abbie has the FBI, her sister, her dad, Danny. Crane has…. *crickets*.

    • Beth says:

      And Abbie has this whole PTSD and symbol thing going on now, too. Crane’s only got Abbie. Agreed, that doesn’t make him very interesting any more. What a great character he used to be, too. Real shame.

      • Winkle43 says:

        Seriously?! Ichabod has/had:
        1. Applying for citizenship
        2. Saving the archives
        3. Dates with Zoe
        4. Witnessing (which IS his full-time job!)
        5. Scrabble dates with Joe
        6. Jenny and Sophie
        7. Flashbacks/partnership with Betsy
        8. Unravelling the mystery of the tablet
        9. Went abroad
        10. And, he’ll have the ‘symbol thing’, too, when Abbie tells him about it

        I didn’t hear either one of you complaining when Abbie was absent for most of the mid-season opener and was pushed aside in favour of CFD. God forbid that he supports his fellow Witness, friend AND partner through her PTSD, and repays her kindness.

        Abbie is FINALLY given character development and a meaty storyline, which she missed out on for two and a half seasons and some people have a problem with it! Her arc/screen time DOES NOT IMPACT Ichabod’s. Why? Because she’s the female lead AND a Witness! It’s the boring B-plots and extraneous characters added this season that don’t allow for much focus on the Witnesses.

        Ichabod had friends in the Historical Society and re-enactment group in S2, which was shelved in S3 to focus on his love life. Besides, he’s only cooked twice this season (microwavable lasagne doesn’t count). None of which Abbie has eaten or asked him to do. But it’s what people do for those they cared about, especially when they’re going through a tough time.

        On the contrary, Ichabod has shown more growth in these last few episodes than in the whole of S2. For once, he’s thinking about someone other than himself, and not making the situation about him.

        • Wow says:

          Seriously? You are going to make the argument that applying for citizenship and trying to save the archives are storylines for Crane of the same caliber as Abbie negotiating a new job at the FBI with her ex as her boss? Really? And what have we actually seen of this fascinating paperwork, anyway? Nothing. Scrabble dates with Joe? You saw that? I didn’t. Two dates with Zoe, comprising maybe 3 total minutes of screentime,? Oh, and zzzzzzzz.
          .
          Interesting that you bring up the tablet. Yes, there are a ton of mysteries about that tablet, starting with who put it in Crane’s memorial tomb in Scotland, and why? The Ichabod Crane of seasons 1 and 2 would have been consumed with that. Would not have rested until he figured out which of his ancestors put it there, and therefore knew he was a Witness and would be back for it. Instead, we got nothing about that. This tablet gets mentioned once in a while now, nothing more. It’s been dropped, pretty much.
          .
          And you will note that the original poster DID complain that Abbie had been sidelined in season 2. Flat-out said it. Nor did she complain about Abbie getting a meaty storyline. She complained about the fact that these writers are apparently completely incapable of giving BOTH characters meaty storylines at the same time, which is absolutely true. It shouldn’t be hard–there’s only two of them. So get off your high horse, and stop making assumptions about what people mean. She meant what she said, which doesn’t actually conflict with what you said. You’re the one pretending imagined Scrabble dates with Joe is character development for Ichabod Crane. Newsflash: it’s not.

          • Winkle43 says:

            I didn’t make that connection, that was you. I simply stated what storylines Ichabod has been involved in this season. Don’t blame Abbie for the writers refusing to explore other avenues with his character. That’s a writing issue not character.

            The OP didn’t complain about Abbie being sidelined in S2; throwing it in after the fact is disingenuous.

            There you go again making assumptions. The season isn’t over yet. It’s a pretty huge plot point and linked to the Pandora/Catacombs storyline so will come into play in a big way leading up to the finale.

            Ichabod and Zoe’s dates/interactions was given more airtime than some series regulars have had screen time. As I said before, instead of showing his fight for citizenship, the focus was placed on texting, bowing, flirting, and complimenting Zoe. Off the top of my head, they had at least 9 scenes together and she was mentioned even when she wasn’t in an episode.

            Abbie becoming an agent happened off-screen while Ichabod was visiting his ancestral home. Daniel appeared in ‘Whispers in the Dark’, after her boss was killed in the premiere. All of the FBI storylines tie into the work of the Witnesses, and was done to make the crossover happen/move to Atlanta.

            Actually, S2 Ichabod was more concerned with saving his wife and child than the world.

            The scrabble dates with Joe probably went the same way as Abbie’s on-screen romances.

          • Good Lord says:

            Let’s repeat what the original poster said, shall we?
            .
            “Why are the writers of this show incapable of focusing on both Witnesses at the same time, and giving them both interesting stories? Last season Abbie was sidelined. This season its Crane. ”
            .
            NO ONE is blaming the character. EVERYONE is blaming the writers. And saying Abbie was sidelined in Season 2 was NOT thrown in “after the fact.” it was his/her MAIN POINT. Suggest you work on your reading comprehension.

      • Lisa says:

        It is weird. And frustrating. We’ll see what happens but at this point, it seems like Crane will have very little to do besides being a Witness. Which is pretty much all he had to do in the first half, along with a half hearted date. Not exactly substantive stuff. The Archives saving and citizenship were totally dropped and were boring fluff to begin with. Not sure why this show seems to struggle with balance like this.

    • Marie says:

      Team WTF?

    • Danae says:

      Totally agree. It’s disheartening that the show made the mistake once of sidelining Abbie and alienating two other factions: people that have Ichabod as favorite and people who love them equally. Now, it seems they are going the same route but with tilting on the other side. A lot of Abbie fans ( as in Abbie is favorite) may be thrilled but for viewers like me that just don’t have a favorite between these two may just drop again just like before. Every time I try to explain that this is not about being fair with Abbie ( as in since the show focused on Crane before, now it’s Abbie turn) but about being unfair twice but just changing the side. The show has one simple formula: it’s about the two. ‘Focus’ will always mean other characters taking screen time from the duo.
      For fans that have a favorite, they may think that they character alone can carry the show but that is not true. It will always alienate the other favorite group plus the group that does not have a favorite between them.
      Keep the show focused on their partnership and keep the individual development in short arc so the other witness doesn’t stay behind.
      Having the show in danger of cancelation makes even more of a risk if they again go on an unbalanced route instead of trying to keep all factions interested ( Abbie Fav + Crane Fav + Equally loved) .

      • Winkle43 says:

        You claim to love both characters equally than contradict yourself by stating that Abbie is your favourite. Ichabod has never been AND will never be sidelined on account of his race and gender as lead, and every single major plot always links back to him. Plus, he has a hand in defeating the evil of the week through remembering flashbacks of his partnership with Betsy. (Which is a significant part of his screen time.) He also has the most scenes with the main cast and guest actors.

        You make a lot of assumptions about Abbie fans none which are true. They are the ones who campaigned for better treatment for Abbie in S2 and during the S2 hiatus (Nicole’s exclusion from the DVD commentary and left out of promo, etc.), and even other characters, including Ichabod, Jenny, and Irving etc, for renewal, in polls, promotion of the show, getting the show to trend each week, asking fans to re-watch SH on all platforms, convincing old fans to come back, and keeping the conversation going online. I’m yet to see the same from Ichabod fans. I have receipts. Do you?

        • Good Lord says:

          Stop it with the “Abbie fans are the best fans” BS. It’s just that. BS.

          • Winkle43 says:

            Nowhere in my comment did I say that. If I’ve touched a nerve, then you might want to consider the reasons?

          • Oh, please says:

            “You make a lot of assumptions about Abbie fans none which are true. They are the ones who. . . . . . . I’m yet to see the same from Ichabod fans.”

            You most certainly DID say that. Unlike you, our reading comprehension skills are excellent.

  3. suzi says:

    Since August Corbin is still such a big part of Sleepy Hollow, I wish the show would find a way to bring him back. Flashbacks, the tapes he made, anything to further expand and explain his story and his place in Abbie, Jenny and Joe’s lives.

  4. Angela says:

    That ending was unsettling. I’m thinking that symbol Abbie’s obsessed with isn’t signaling anything good.
    .
    I really feel for Abbie, seeing her struggling as she is. Her worry about turning out like her mom is heartbreaking. I like seeing her and Jenny getting to know their dad better, though-and I’m glad he reassured them that they weren’t to blame for his leaving. Obviously that’s not going to heal all the pain and hurt instantly, of course, but it is something worth saying all the same.
    .
    Really curious to see where this Walters thing goes, too, especially since he knows Daniel so well. I do hope Daniel remains a good guy throughout all of this, but I wouldn’t blame Abbie for remaining a bit wary around him all the same, even if only because of their awkward past.
    .
    And finally, I am continuing to love the way Ichabod’s looking out for Abbie and taking care of her, and I’m all for more moments like that. As worrisome as a lot of these events are, if it allows Ichabod and Abbie’s bond to grow stronger and bring them closer, then yay :).

  5. Alichat says:

    So…..the rune Abbie is obsessed with…..isn’t that the rune from Mortal Instruments: City of Bones???? That was all I could think of every time it appeared on-screen.

  6. I just love the show and cant wait for the witnesses to “witness” to each other.lol….

  7. Ressa says:

    Lasagna? Ichabod was cooking spaghetti sauce from scratch! Not lasagna – thus the chopped, sauteed veggies added to sauce. Look at the plate on the table with spaghetti and sauce not a lasagna pan and definitely not microwave. Of course this took some time, several hours, which was condensed for time and his pleasure, when he tasted it before she arrived, showed he knows what he’s doing. I would have loved to have a bite of that.
    As he is from Britain and his family was well off, he would be familiar with cuisine from other European countries before the war.
    He is wanting to show Abbie some normalcy after her ordeal and being the gentleman that he is, remember he is British, they had manners in the time he is from, even though he has been in our time awhile he is still a gentleman. She was in that void for 10 months by her count and she did not eat but she had no hunger so his logic is to cook for her.
    I am anxious to see how this story arc goes. This “hidden one” god and Pandora, who I think wants all his power and will double cross him, is somehow connected to this rune and this rune is attached to a rival god and will somehow come out through Abbie.
    As far as them getting together – no, I don’t want it to happen yet.
    I would like to see the return of historical references to “our founding fathers” and their secret papers/journals/vaults/masonic stuff of which Ichabod has the inklings of.

    • Fee says:

      Lasagna is a reference to episode 9, where a despondent Ichabod tried to cook frozen, microwavable lasagna in a frying pan.

  8. APFW says:

    I have been enjoying Sleepy Hollow’s return to great form; the new storyline, the emphasis on the witnesses’ relationship, Joe Corbin’s addition to the team, Abbie’s and Jenny’s father, no Betsy Ross! I hope we get another season to really explore the zaniness called Sleepy Hollow.

  9. ninamags says:

    The only part that ticked me off was when Abbie didn’t even bother with the very elaborate meal Crane had made for her. WTF!

    He spent hours preparing it and she blows him off completely. That was harsh.

    • Winkle43 says:

      She was appreciative. She called the meal ‘splendid’, acknowledged his ‘five-star treatment’, and ask he not pamper her because she isn’t use to it and it makes her uncomfortable (see her father’s abandonment and her mother’s mental decline). Abbie hasn’t eaten since she returned from the Catacombs. She did the exact same thing last week when he wanted to go out for breakfast. She’s deflecting so that he doesn’t notice. Fortunately for her, Ichabod is patient and understanding because he knows that what she went through isn’t something she’ll recover from quickly.

  10. Aylicia says:

    The Othala rune by nature is not evil, however this is Hollywood let’s see what they make of it.

  11. Danae says:

    Totally agree. It’s disheartening that the show made the mistake once of sidelining Abbie and alienating two other factions: people that have Ichabod as favorite and people who love them equally. Now, it seems they are going the same route but with tilting on the other side. A lot of Abbie fans ( as in Abbie is favorite) may be thrilled but for viewers like me that just don’t have a favorite between these two may just drop again just like before. Every time I try to explain that this is not about being fair with Abbie ( as in since the show focused on Crane before, now it’s Abbie turn) but about being unfair twice but just changing the side. The show has one simple formula: it’s about the two. ‘Focus’ will always mean other characters taking screen time from the duo.
    For fans that have a favorite, they may think that they character alone can carry the show but that is not true. It will always alienate the other favorite group plus the group that does not have a favorite between them.
    Keep the show focused on their partnership and keep the individual development in short arc so the other witness doesn’t stay behind.
    Having the show in danger of cancelation makes even more of a risk if they again go on an unbalanced route instead of trying to keep all factions interested ( Abbie Fav + Crane Fav + Equally loved) .

    • SKL says:

      If you don’t have a favorite b/w Abby and Crane, why would you “drop again”? If you like Abby AND Crane, you’re still seeing each of them. I think that there’s only an imbalance if people see it as an imbalance. Like a real relationship, in TV shows there can’t really be any such things as a 100% focus on each person in a relationship. Yes, sometimes Crane is the focus of the pair. And other times, Abby is the focus of the pair. You can’t have each of them going through major stuff at the same time. And you can’t have either of them go through major stuff without the support of the other. But no matter who is going through ish on the show, the main focus is always them as a pair. At least that’s how it seems to me. People are making it about “choosing sides” because they want to.

  12. Winkle43 says:

    The real issue is that Abbie is the focus of Ichabod’s attention. Same complaints arose after he cooked and cleaned for her in 3.02. And for a small number of fans, that’s a problem for them.

  13. Susannah says:

    I still like the show and this episode was compelling (I’m really worried about Abbie) but just wish it was as frightening as season 1 when they were fighting Headless. He was such a scary character, not being able to be killed, chopping off people’s heads all over town and then they neuter him to become Katrina’s ex. Such a waste of a great character and really integral to the whole Sleepy Hollow lore and while I’m at it, I miss Capt. Irving too!

  14. tvdiva says:

    The writers have done a great job building Jenny and Joe’s relationship over time. But they are making a mess of Abbie and Crane even working together as Witnesses. Abbie in the boring, monotonous dimension. Abbie avoiding Crane. Abbie giving herself to some symbol. Is Abbie going to be possessed now? Let’s all take a turn being possessed on this show because the writers cannot think of anything else to do. I wish the writing staff from the first season would come back and fix this show before it gets cancelled.

  15. Dr says:

    Good episode, even the monster was good and added to the show. Hope the writers stick to the witnesses and their mission.