Ichabod Crane’s jug-band Christmas gets off to a less than merry start in this week’s Sleepy Hollow, and can you blame the guy for not wanting to dig into the figgy pudding or sip the wassail?
If your first Thanksgiving in the 21st century were marked by finding out about a son whom your trapped-bound wife never thought to mention, you might not be all that into decking the halls, either. And what Crane discovers about his chip off the ol’chabod this week is enough to put any dad in a funk that would last long past Groundhog Day. So strap on your kerchiefs, throw back the sash and settle in as we review what happened in “The Golem.”
KATRINA, YOU GOT SOME ‘SPLAININ’ TO DO | Abbie finds Ichabod angrily chopping wood outside the cabin, grousing about the upcoming holiday and primly correcting her about eggnog’s origins. “During my time, the term was egg and grog,” he says. Neither of them are wearing anything approximating winter gear, and while I want to make a huge deal out of how cold Decembers usually are in the northeast, it was 60 degrees in New York city last week. You win this one, Hollow. When Ichabod stops for a moment, he admits, “My head is swimming with questions” about his son and Katrina. Abbie posits that Ich’s witch of a wife probably kept their child’s existence secret for a good reason, but Crane won’t settle for his partner’s platitudes: He wants answers, and he knows who can help him get them.
Enter sin eater Henry Parrish, who arrives via taxi and promptly announces he’s not there to be a conduit to the other side. Plus, doing so would put Ichabod in grave danger. (I love how both Abbie and Ichabod’s faces are like, “Yeah, so?” when he says this.) Abbie states that she’s not leaving while the freaky-deeky is going down, and then before you know it, Henry literally chokes Ichabod into another world. “The closer he is to death,” Parrish explains to a horrified Abbie, “the shorter the distance to travel.”
BABY BLUES | Once inside the Meatloaf video that is Purgatory, Ichabod immediately begins badgering Katrina for answers about their son. Here it is in a nutshell: She named the kid Jeremy, after Ichabod’s grandfather; she didn’t know she was pregnant when Ichabod died; and knowing that her coven would try to harm the child, she gave him to Abbie’s ancestor Grace to raise.
We watch Katrina hand over the child to Grace and her minister husband. “I made you a little friend,” Katrina tells the baby, who is so adorably cute I want to eat him and OH MY GOD KATRINA WHAT THE HELL KIND OF DOLL IS THAT? It’s the thing Abbie saw in her vision, that misshapen rag toy that looks more like a voodoo figurine than Ye Olde Beanie Baby. Kat hands the kiddo and his nightmarish nursery companion over to the couple, then leaves in tears. “And that was the last time I laid eyes on our son,” she whispers to her chagrined husband.
Katrina also lets slip that her own coven banished her to the nether world. Ichabod vows once more to free her, but before anything else can happen, a monster breaks into the room and Crane is yanked back into the present day, where he does some fast math. “I could have as many as 6,000 offspring,” he muses, and Abbie seems to find the thought as mind-blowing as he does.
KING JEREMY THE WICKED | After the Witnesses cajole Henry into staying in town a while longer, all three head to the local historical society to research the church in which Jeremy was raised. Ichabod notes the mistletoe hanging in the office – “That you recognize?” Abbie remarks — but calm yourselves, ‘shippers; that’s the extent of the moment. (Side note: Kudos to the show for the restraint there. Neither the time nor place, am I right?)
The trio discovers that Jeremy was a little firestarter — thanks to the powers he inherited from Katrina — who burned down the church and killed Grace and her husband. Cue Ichabod’s monster guilt for something that was in no way his fault! “My son was responsible for the death of your ancestors,” he laments, but Mills assures him she doesn’t hold him accountable.
The pity party is interrupted when Henry senses some real bad juju coming off a book that once belonged to a witch from Katrina’s coven. In it is a drawing of the doll Katrina made to
scare the bejesus out of me protect her son. The vibes are so bad and so strong that, through Henry, we see Jeremy grow up in an orphanage where he is repeatedly whipped for his mystical powers. One day, some of the boy’s blood drips onto the rag doll. Jeremy’s blood + all of his angst + supernatural abilities he can’t control = the doll coming to life as a faceless, brutish protector who kills anyone who threatens the boy. Oops.
And that doll, which Ichabod identifies as a golem? It followed Ichabod back from Purgatory and just smashed the historical society’s librarian… who was actually a witch. There are others from Katrina’s coven still around, Abbie and Ichabod realize, and if they can reverse Katrina’s banishment, the Witnesses have to find the magical women before the Doll-em pulverizes them.
STEP RIGHT UP | Luckily, the smooshed librarian has been keeping tabs on the witches, who have turned themselves into a carnival sideshow, and they’re conveniently in a nearby town. The ladies – all scary eyes and in serious need of orthodontia – reveal that they put a hex on Jeremy to stop his heart, then buried him. Good God, can Ichabod catch any break? As for stopping the Doll-em, the ladies say, “Your son’s blood gave it life. Only his blood can end it.” (Side note: Note how the witches only say their spell stopped Jeremy’s heart, not that they killed him… Maybe a counterspell can restart the teen’s ticker?)
When the beast attacks the carnival, breaking a funhouse mirror in the process, a shard ends up in Ichabod’s chest. Ich pulls it out and, in a conclusion that was evident from the moment the witches spoke, Henry says that Ichabod’s blood is part of Jeremy’s blood: His red stuff can kill the Doll-em, too.
So Crane tries to reason with the lumbering creature (“Jeremy is gone… You have to let him go. We both have to let him go”), then stabs it and holds its hand as it dies.
SINISTER CLAUS | Upside? Henry, convinced that he has a purpose in Abbie and Ichabod’s fight, is the newest member of Team WTF. But still, Crane’s taken quite the beating these last few weeks, so Abbie gives him his Christmas present a little early. “You embroidered my name on some oversize hosiery,” he says upon seeing hi Christmas stocking, and I beg you to rewind that scene just to listen to Tom Mison pronounce every single vowel in “hosiery.” It’s a cute exchange, and they wish each other Merry Christmas before she steps out for a bite to eat. Thought you were going to get another warm, fuzzy, possibly rum-fueled end to a holiday episode? MOLOCH WANTS YOU TO THINK AGAIN. The horny one brings Crane through the looking glass, beats him up and leaves him with a truly disturbing message before sending him back for Abbie to find on the floor.
“He’s coming for your soul,” Ichabod says, tears running down his face as he grasps her hand. “He says I will deliver it to him.” God bless us, every one!
Now it’s your turn. What do we think about the demon (or whatever it is) dogging Capt. Irving’s daughter? Was the “aweful intercourse” line the funniest of the episode? And is anyone else thinking that bringing Henry into the fold may backfire, big time? Sound off in the comments!