Sleepy Hollow Season 3 Episode 16 Recap

Sleepy Hollow Recap: Ichabod and Abbie Let Their Freak Flag Fly

Oh say can you see… that we’re nearly at the end of Sleepy Hollow‘s third season? And that it looks like the Witnesses are headed back to the catacombs? And that yet another person in their lives is privy to the secrets of the impending apocalypse?

This week’s National Anthem-centric episode drafts FBI boss Daniel Reynolds onto Team WTF, a development that both scares and emboldens Abbie to make like Oprah and live her best life. (“YOU get a mystical jug! And YOU get a mystical jug!”) Meanwhile, Jenny’s not ready to make nice with her dad, and Ichabod’s connection to Betsy Ross has never been more important (yeah, her craftsmanship of the first American flag finally comes into play). Oh, and there’s a Hamilton reference! Read on for the highlights of “Dawn’s Early Light.”

IN WHICH ICHABOD DISCOVERS KFC | That “talk” The Hidden One said last week that he and Pandora had to have? It consists of him nearly drowning his wife in their evil Jacuzzi and comparing her to a house pet he’s indulged for too long. Charming. She apologizes, but he doesn’t want to hear it, because he’s tired. “I may continue punishment later,” he says.

Over at Casa Witness, Jenny marvels at how the catacombs have helped Abbie kick her coffee habit. Does being stuck in a monotonous nether dimension for nearly a year also work on a crippling addiction to Cadbury’s Mini-Eggs? Asking for a friend. When there’s a knock on the door, it’s the ladies’ dad, Ezra, stopping by to say hello while on a work trip. Abbie greets him rather warmly; Jenny’s glare, as the trio peruses an old photo album from the girls’ youth, could freeze lava. (Side note: How cute is Baby Abbie?)

Ichabod bursts in through the back door, loudly praising fast-food fried chicken, but gets less silly when Abbie introduces him to her father. “Take good care of my daughter,” Ezra tells Crane on his way out, which is a weird thing to say to a stranger who’s not been identified as Abbie’s man, unless maybe Crane’s casual entrance led him to assume they’re together?

BOXED IN | Later, Ichabod discovers Pandora poking around the Masonic cell and pulls a gun on her. She stops him from killing her by explaining that she needs help putting her box back together in order to thwart The Hidden One’s destruction of humanity. “It is the only thing that will stop him,” she says.

But of course, there’s a catch: The box “can’t be repaired, only regenerated” where it was formed: the catacombs. And because the Witnesses destroyed treevil, aka the only known path to that godsforsaken place, the situation is quite dire. But Crane remembers Betsy Ross’ cutlass that he saw there when he appeared to Abbie, and posits that there may be another way.

ANYTHING TO GET OUT OF GOING TO JERSEY | Abbie isn’t happy to hear that the only way to subvert The Hidden One’s maniacal plan is by returning to the scene of her slow but steady undoing. Ichabod understands, telling her “this must be your decision.” Hey guys? I know I’m not a Witness and all, but couldn’t Ichabod go alone? Or with Jenny and/or Joe?

That discussion gets tabled when Ichabod brings up his earlier thought about Betsy, then remembers the last time he saw her: just before Washington’s troops crossed the Delaware in 1776. The general ordered Ichabod to stay back, something that rankled Crane in the extreme. He recalls staring off into the fog as the boats pushed away from the shore, and that’s when the Witnesses make one whopper of a logical leap, even for this show.

“What if the crossing of the Delaware was actually —” Abbie starts. “— a journey to the catacombs?” Ichabod finishes. Um, OK?

NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT | Closer inspection of the painting of the event hanging in the Archives makes Ichabod think that Betsy was aboard one of the boats that night, even though in a flashback, she’s nearly crying as she tells him she’s not part of the mission. She’s also stitching one of the first American flags as they chat in camp; he remarks on the golden thread she’s using to outline the stars.

Sleepy Hollow Season 3 Episode 16Team WTF comes up with the idea that the golden thread is the key to accessing the path to the catacombs, so all they need to do is to recover the original flag from where it’s on display at Paul Revere’s home in Boston, and they’re good. One problem: When Mills and Crane get to the historical site — and have a discussion in which Ichabod is peeved to hear that there’s a musical celebrating Alexander Hamilton (“The man had a voice like a stuck goat!”) — they realize that the flag hanging on the wall is a copy of the one they’re looking for. And when they touch it, they accidentally summon a Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart-created watchdog demon named the Eternal Soldier who hurls fire and chases them out of town. Meanwhile, as Ichabod notes, “we’re running out of time” to stop The Hidden One. So… no J.P. Licks stop, then?

REYNOLDS KNOWS | Based on photos of the flag that Abbie sends, Jenny and Joe realize that what look like burn holes in the cloth are actually the first few notes of Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner.” Bing bang boom, the Witnesses are headed to Ft. McHenry in Baltimore! But before they can get in the car, Daniel confronts Abbie: He got a call that she trashed the Revere home (thanks, Eternal Soldier), and he is mad.

Just then, the Eternal Soldier materializes and begins throwing fireballs at the trio. Daniel unloads all the bullets in his gun into the creature, but only Ichabod backing over the beast with the car saves their lives. As they make their getaway, Abbie gives her boss/ex the bare bones details of her life fighting the apocalypse, but he’s having understandable trouble processing it all. “In his hands he created fire!” Reynolds sputters, and A+ to Lance Gross for his very funny reading of that line.

EASE ON DOWN THE ROAD | Let us now pay attention to two sentiments I feel are likely key for the rest of the season. First, when Pandora astral projects into The Hidden One’s lair to taunt him, she notes Abbie and Ichabod’s close relationship. “If there is one thing I learned from those Witnesses, it is that the power of a true bond can conquer any might,” she muses. Second, Ichabod bittersweetly remembers the letter Betsy left for him after her departure, telling Abbie, “If you care for someone, you do not leave anything unsaid.” These are big, emotional sentiments, Sleepy Hollow, and I really hope they’re leading to something in the next two episodes on par with when Ich said goodbye to Abbie in Purgatory.

Back to the action! Abbie and Ichabod locate the real flag underneath Fort McHenry, and with an assist from a liquid nitrogen-toting Jenny and a sledgehammer-wielding Joe, they defeat the Eternal Soldier. Yay! Happy fun times! Back at the FBI, Abbie and Daniel kiss in his GLASS-WALLED OFFICE HOLD UP ISN’T THIS TOTALLY AGAINST BUREAU REGULATIONS? Also, don’t they still have to stop The Hidden One from ending the world? Wait, how was he going to do that again? And aren’t the 48 hours up yet?!

Eh, if Abbie and Ichabod don’t seem terribly worried about it, I won’t sweat it, either. They meet at a park at dawn, where Ichabod reveals that the gold thread needs to be hit by “the dawn’s early light” in order to work properly. And when the sun rises and glints off the flag, a 3D map of the path to the catacombs springs up to mark their way. “Are you ready to go back, leftenant?” he asks. “Let’s go,” Abbie replies.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Did you like the sweet moment Jenny had at the end? Anyone think Pandora might be playing the Witnesses like Abbie feared? 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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  1. JP says:

    I desperately need this show renewed

  2. scyren says:

    The kiss completely ruined my night. I’m running out of patience. I don’t care about Danny. I hate that there could be two episodes left and they are being pushed down my throat instead of concentrating on the witnesses bond. If Sleepy Hollow is ending, then I want the witnesses on my screen as much as possible. Hate the shipbaiting. It’s not necessary. I would rather they not be together with anyone and just fight monsters then put them with other people.

    • Abby says:

      Grow up.

      • Ohsnap says:

        @Abby: FO

      • scyren says:

        Seriously? How about you shut up. I get to have an opinion about the show. So you personally throw shade? How about you grow up. If you want to discuss the show then fine but anything else……

        • redjane12 says:

          Seriously? Who made you the authority of what amounts to ‘discussing the show’ and what doesn’t…. There are dozens of other comments on this matter so regardless of what you (or I or anyone) think, the relationship (romantic or otherwise) between the witnesses clearly seems to be important to show viewers…

    • Jenjames82 says:


      Your comments summed up my feelings perfectly! I’m so tired of the shipbaiting.

    • Alicia says:

      Exactly my thoughts also.

    • Randi Morris says:

      I feel the same way the chemistry between Crane and Abbey should be uninterrupted
      get Rid of Danny before I stop watching the show!

    • Ohsnap says:

      WELL SAID.

    • Moonlight4evr says:

      Perfectly said. Loved the episode until the kissing scene. It was totally unnecessary. A&I are supposed to be fighting bad guys from ending the world. The whole FBI cast should just be cast aside.

      • molly says:

        The writers could have a least give us a flashback of Abbie and Danny relationship ( cut out one of boring Betsy Ross flash backs).The first kiss scene Abbie gets is in her “FBI Boss GLASS-WALLED OFFICE like some two bit bimbo.

        • Winkle43 says:

          That last comment was totally uncalled for. Yes, the location was inappropriate but Abbie kissing Danny doesn’t make her a ‘two bit bimbo’.

          • molly says:

            not calling Abbie a “two bit bimbo” sorry you misunderstood my comment. For her first kissing scene she deserved better than that.

    • SleepyHollowFan#21 says:

      I totally agree. Daniel is wonderfully handsome and all but that relationship (Abbie/Daniel) is just wasting my time. The best part of the show is Abbie and Crane together – why spoil it. If the show is ending – leave us with good memories please!

    • Marsha Holland says:

      I totally agree!!

    • tru4vr says:

      totally share ur feeling, after Tom Mison said in an interview that Ichabod loves Abby. Then instead of making us wait we should see. Especially if they’re close to being cancelled. I jus started skipping part with Danny in it especially the kiss it all made me mad.

    • Rbarn948 says:

      I agree .

  3. DR says:

    Damn this episode was good. Writers stuck to the original theme of the apocalypse and the witnesses job to stop the end of the world. Like the history intertwine with the story line. Wish actors where little less Hollywood in the revolutionary segments, think that’s why people hate Betsy Ross.

  4. Orion's Belt says:

    Cancel this show already or just give all the shippers what they want, then cancel the show already. It’s not even Sleepy Hollow anymore. No headless, no SH. They gave the criers what they want. The Abbie Show. She has her sister, her dad, now her boyfriend. Crane has no one, no real connection to his past. They bring up Betsy and the criers shriek. The writers get nervous fingers an f**k up even more.
    Just cancel.

    • Jen says:

      People complain about Betsy because the acting is horrendous. If you can’t see Crane is part of THEIR family then you aren’t paying attention. No reason to hate on Abbie. Do you think the writers are really giving us what we want?! Reynolds shows up and is now part of the gang? The way he spoke to Crane in the garage was not cool at all. Someone better check him.

      • Orion's Belt says:

        Erh no shippers want Crane to be part of the Mills (Abbie) family. But look at it objectively Crane has NO LINK to his real timeline. That was suppose to be his unique draw. The fact that he is stuck in the modern world drawn from the past. His ‘cute’ discoveries of the modern world aren’t even cute anymore. All he is to the Mills is a squatter and shipping bait. You seriously mean you didn’t see the shrieks when they promoted Betsy at the begining. An everytime she appears on screen the wailing that followers. These writers have nervous fingers. They hear the funeral criers from the shippers, they change any character development Betsy is suppose to have. They cry even more. Vicious cycle from toxic mix of fans and writers. I’m not a fan of SH anymore I just want my favourite characters out of this S**tfest so they can shine somewhere else.

        • scyren says:

          It is not Abby’s fault. First, Crane is 250 years old. His wife turned evil as well as his son (a poorly written crapfest, but I digress). I wouldn’t expect that he’d have any other links because of the situation. Crane is a witness and that is everything to him right now. Do you want them to conjure up someone from the past? If Katrina were still alive, I cant see them being besties. To say that Abbie doesn’t care about Crane and that he is just a squatter is ridiculous. She might now be in love with him, but she loves him and he loves her. They are partners. You act like they are nothing (maybe you’re related to one of the writers). Betsy is not alive. She is a flashback and they totally re-wrote the character. Crane said he didn’t like her before and now all of a sudden she loved him? She sucked up so much time instead of focusing on the true plot, something I’m sure you get. I didn’t want the Abbie show. I wanted the Ichabbie show. Yes, I was tired of them only focusing on Crane and his family drama, but it seems they don’t know how to focus on them both. It’s either one or the other. Did you complain about everything being about Crane or is it you just don’t like Abbie? Actually, I can see that discussing this with you is fruitless because you have your own agenda so go back to insulting everyone that doesn’t have the same one as you. Have at it.

          • G says:

            Scyren, I agree with you completely. Thank you

          • Raven says:

            I have valid reasons just as you have. I heard your and gave you my opinion. If you can’t bothered to respect mine and debate like an adult. Just ignore and move along…..Kotah!

  5. Alicia says:

    I’m seriously annoyed and disappointed. That’s all I can muster up to say right now.

  6. G says:

    We had two seasons of CFD, and it nearly ruined the show (and frankly, IMO, is why SH is teetering on the brink of cancellation). Why, shouldn’t we know more about Abbie’s family??? Afterall, she too is a Witness. I still love SH. The show is exhausting at times but, I still see it’s merit. If it bothered me as much as some of the posters, I’d simply stop watching. I hope it gets another season, but if not, I’ll remember SH, it’s Special Effects and, Nicole, Tom, Lyndie, Zach, Jessica, Nikki,
    and Orlando fondly. I think they’ve done a great job.

    • Marybeth says:

      I agree with you. Either way I am going to miss the show. I like the original plot of the apocalypse and the historical twists they incorporated in the story, it was almost like watching National Treasure but with a scary twist more like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer. I believe that the historical twists and flashbacks from Ichabod and the chemistry between the characters are one of the main reasons the show worked so well for Season 1 and self destroyed for Season 2 and now in Season 3 is rather better but not as good as Season 1. My only hope is that the ending will be somewhat good and not too disappointing.

  7. Frances says:

    When the critics get a bit salty you know the show is just down the tubes. This show is just dead in the water. The story is boring and completely ridiculous. The acting is stale. It took real work to kill the chemistry between Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, whether you wanted their characters to become romantic or not, the chemistry is just dead. Congratulations writers, you are officially the worst ever to exist on television. Good luck getting a season 4.

  8. Ohsnap says:

    No No NO…I DO NOT want Abbie with Danny. NO!! I am sorry but that ruined the episode for me.So what? Now they go back to the catacombs and get Betsy for Crane? I swear the producers will do ANYTHING to sever the relationship between Abbie and Ichabod. A big thumbs down!

    • Marybeth says:

      I agree 100 percent with you. I am afraid that they will bring back Betsy Ross from the catacombs for Crane and will stuck Abbie with Danny. Why the writers keep trying everything but Abbie and Crane? If the show gets cancelled and it ends with Abbie and Danny and Ichabod and Betsy I will be very disappointed, but unfortunately there is nothing I can’t do about it. If they cancel the show and the Witnesses do not end together, I will imagine a whole different ending,an ending were they defeat the Sumerian god with the help of Pandora’s box, were Sophie will confess to Crane and Abbie that she is their granddaughter who came from the future per her mother’s instructions to ask them for help to find her parents who are held hostage by a Mayan god in another dimension inside a pyramid (Sophie’s parents according to one of the episodes disappeared during an expedition in Central America), then and incredulous Abbie and Crane will ask Sophie her mom’s name and she will say something like “her maiden name is Betsy (middle name same as Abbie’s mother name) Crane, then immediately after that the camera will switched to a different scene were Abbie and Crane are in New York City entering a baseball stadium (in one of the episodes of the first season Abbie promised Ichabod that she was going to take him to a major league baseball game one day) with a smiling beautiful toddler in tow riding on Ichabod’s shoulder resembling both of them and Abbie ending the scene by asking Ichabod ” Crane did you bring Betsy’s blanket from the car? and Crane answering,” no I thought you did, I was busy telling Betsy the real story of this great nation, you know how much she likes to hear about Benjamin Franklin, quite bizarre indeed” then Abbie smiling will say, well the apple doesn’t fall to far away from the tree, after all, she is a Crane.” and that is my happy ending with a promise of more family adventures.

      • SleepyHollowFan#21 says:

        I would watch this … if it were an episode.

        • Marybeth says:

          Thank you! It shows that we don’t have to be professional Hollywood writers to have better ideas on how to save the show, but unfortunately the ones in charge still don’t get it.

        • herman1959 says:

          Me too, that was beautiful. Now, unfortunately, back to reality…

      • Marsha Holland says:

        Love your story! Great job! You should email that to the writers of the show!

        • Marybeth says:

          Thank you ! I wish I could mail it to them. Too late though since the season is already wrapped up. Hopefully we get a final season with a nice ending.

  9. antisocialbutterflie says:

    Have you tried the Royal Dark Cadbury mini-eggs? I thought mini-eggs couldn’t get any better, but they did.

  10. Pat says:

    I feel that someone is going to die and my guess is Daniel. I really like how they incorporated the first flag as a map used to enter the catacombs. As for Pandora, can you really trust her? She sounds sincere about not wanting all of humanity, including herself to be destroyed by the Hidden One, but again, can we really trust her? I hope that this show gets renewed because I really enjoy watching it and all the crazy and unique storylines with a little history thrown in to them.

    • Denver says:

      Pandora wants power and she wants her abilities restored and the only way that can happen is if she has the box and destroys the hidden one.

    • ohsnap says:

      Interesting idea about Daniel. I was thinking that Abbie has to make some kind of critical decision involving Daniel or Crane and she chooses Crane and follows him or they sacrifice their lives together in some apocalyptic decision.

  11. Loved everything about the episode EXCEPT Abbie and Danny kissing! I’m #Ichabbie all day long… But the the flag’s purpose and crossing the Delaware was actually going to the catacombs was genius! This is back to Season 1 levels of goodness! I need FOX to renew this show so we can get on with speculating for Season 4!

  12. Tenney says:

    I absolutely loved this recap! I really enjoy watching Sleepy Hollow, but it is far from the best written show on TV and this recap kind of makes fun of that. It cracked me up.

  13. Denver says:

    This season should’ve been season two and maybe it would still have a possibility of continuing. I think it’s too little too late they finally have a great pace and I can see them expanding the ideology of the witnesses even further but we will see.

    Also, don’t let everybody be distracted by the romantic entanglements. I am amazed by the number of comments that are geared towards relationships instead of the actual plots of the show, that indicates to the the writers and the producers that the show itself is not interesting only the relationships and I think that is why the show is a strong contender for being canceled. The fans of the show are simply showing them that they are not interested in the show itself.

    Also, yes of course I want Abby and Ichabod to be together but we will see.
    I just melted when Pandora said that the witnesses love each other and also when Ezra told Icabod to take care of his daughter.

    I really am interested in the subplot of the FBI keeping an eye on Abby and what role Sophie will have to play in the future. Remember Sofie May have been trained by August Corban because Jenny said that she moved like August Corbin, why have the not talked about that more? Also if everybody goes back and watch I think they’re trying to hook up Sophie and Ichabod because when Ichabod is in a room with Sophie he’s very uncomfortable.

    • Orion's Belt says:

      “I am amazed by the number of comments that are geared towards relationships instead of the actual plots of the show, that indicates to the the writers and the producers that the show itself is not interesting only the relationships and I think that is why the show is a strong contender for being canceled. The fans of the show are simply showing them that they are not interested in the show itself”

      YES, Thank you. These so called ‘fans’ are refusing any and all plot and character development because all, they seem to chant is Ichabbie. The writers have resolved to give them bite size moments to push the greater story along but NO, they scream “not enough Ichabbie.” I’m at a stage where I want the witnesses thrown together naked just so their shippers would shut up and let other characters get a simple background for themselves.

      • scyren says:

        The focus on relationships killed the ratings to begin with. The problem is the bite sized baiting. If they would just stick to something instead of having them obsessed one minute and then nothing the next, people wouldn’t be so upset. There was no Ichabbie relationship in season 1 and I was fine with that. The writing was stellar and their bond and chem were incredible and then the writers tried to kill it. They are the stars of the show of course I want more of them instead of separating them. It was a combination of the historical and the witnesses that made me watch. I thought you weren’t even watching because you don’t want Tom and Nicole on the show anymore? I don’t want them thrown together naked. I want season 1 writing and their chem back if not anything else. I don’t why you can’t see that the witnesses are the show. They forgot that and the ratings fell. It’s the shippers fault that the writers tried to squelch the good that they had.

        • Orion's Belt says:

          “It’s the shippers fault that the writers tried to squelch the good that they had”

          English is my second language but I really didn’t think it was that bad. Yes that is what I’m saying. Shippers ruined it by demanding too soon. The writers ruined it by having nerves fingers. I want Tom and Nicole in another show were they can play their roles to better writers and more grown up fans. By the way the whole Miharie thing the shippers go on about is creepy. He is a married man with an infant child. But I’ve read fans wanting Tom and Nicole to happen for real. That is the kind of shipper SH has.

    • scyren says:

      The relationships are part of the show and have dragged it down. Are we supposed to ignore it? The writing hasn’t been all good. When it’s good, I tweet them and tell them how great it is and when it sucks I do the same. The writers focusing on relationships is what killed the show.

    • redjane12 says:

      I am not normally all that interested in ‘ships’ but Sleepy Hollow seems to be intent on annoying fans who do by, at the same time, repeating over and over how much the witnesses love each other (last night it was Pandora but there have been regular mentions throughout this season at least) while planting the seeds for the Danny-Abbie rekindling of their earlier romantic relationship… The writers seem to be going out of their way to be ruffle the fans / shippers’ feathers….

  14. csg says:

    I salute anyone who can summarize this convoluted script. That said, I love SH best when it plays with twistory. And I wince at the stunning lack of character development. So now we have a kiss for Abbie (minus much eye contact) with Daniel. That took a while. Ezra meets Crane. Check. The Betsy story is wrapped. Check. And we are on our way back to the Catacombs. (Someday we’ll see a map of all the underground spaces of this show.) I’m resigned to the fact that this tale is told and the shippers will be disappointed whatever happens. Time to see it to the finish and move along.

    • TrickyGreyArea says:

      I desperately wish the Betsy story was wrapped…but I have a feeling they have just set it up to bring her into the Present Day side of things. And then we’ll never be rid of her. :(

      • ohsnap says:

        Yeah, can’t stand the Betsy Ross character. Her mannerisms and voice are too modern. Listen to the way Crane speaks (and I’m not talking about the words) or how Katrina (perish the thought) spoke. Close your eyes and you can imagine the time period they are from. The actress who plays Betsy Ross gives her speech inflections too modern a sound. And she’s not that great of an actress.

  15. navamske says:

    How come no one ever says, after Crane introduces himself, “You mean, like the character in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?” Did Washington Irving not exist in the Sleepy Hollow universe?

  16. I’m getting frustrated that Abbie and Ichabod are still not together. That Daniel kiss just added to my frustration. Ugh. At The VERY LEAST Ichabod should confess his love to her!

  17. helen says:

    Fingers crossed this show is cancelled so Tom Mison can return to the UK and get some good roles.

    • Angela says:

      I agree. Cancel this sh*t show and let the shippers go ruin Beharie’s other shows.

      • Winkle43 says:

        Not true. Bad writing and poor storytelling is what ruined the show. Plus there are plenty of shippers who are not NB fans. Abbie and Ichabod are not together and the ratings have steadily declined. Yet many ships have sailed on the show. One did, however, bring the show to the verge of cancellation in S2. That should tell you where the fault lies: it’s not with Ichabbie or NB fans, but at the hands of FOX, the EPs, and writers. On another note, the show has never treated NB/Abbie well, or given her material worthy of her talent. I hope the show is cancelled because she deserves better and so do her fans, who’ve stuck it out for so long in order to support her.

  18. Anna says:

    I’m sorry that in general we can’t have nice things or, in this case, great stories/shows about partners or close friendships between because shippers immediately begin insisting the characters become romantic and i find it offensive and incredibly disappointing that the only goal these people can see for a strong relationship of a woman and man is sexual. Of course, in the age of slash, shippers push for same sex friends/colleagues to become couples as well, but writers at least don’t give in whereas with men/women they give in EVERY SINGLE TIME. (You people need to buy vibrators and mom porn and leave fandoms alone.) The writers of Elementary have promised they won’t do this. If they’re lying I’m going to send 50 pizzas to their houses every week and hide dead fish in their cars forever. Fair warning.