Recap/Review

‘Sleepy Hollow’ S1 Ep 2 recap: Black magic woman

sleepy-hollow-s1-ep-2

What surprises await Ichabod in the shadows?  (Photo credit: Brownie Harris/ FOX via FoxFlash)

‘Sleepy Hollow’ holds up against some steep competition and lures viewers back for more thrills and chills in the fantastic follow-up episode, “Blood Moon.” This week’s engaging escapades send Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) on a witch hunt as they begin to fight off the Apocalypse one evil foe at a time.

‘Sleepy Hollow,’ you have bewitched me, body and soul.

In the opening scene, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse charge after Crane, chasing him through the woods until he’s wrapped up in branches and gets sucked into a hidden underground lair. Suddenly, his wife Katrina appears to him. This is another vision in which Crane has traveled in-between worlds to receive a warning about the challenges that await him.

Katrina explains that the Four Horsemen are Conquest, War, Famine and Death. Before they unleash Hell on earth, the Horsemen will gradually raise an army of evil. Katrina reveals that the first dark spirit is “one of us” and Crane eventually realizes that she is referring to a witch who is out for revenge. Ichabod awakens in a hotel room covered in post-it notes instructing him how to operate light switches, the shower (that was fun to watch!), a coffee machine, TV and pretty much everything inside since it is all new to him. While he grows accustomed to the 21st century, Abbie defends Crane’s authenticity to Captain Irving (Orlando Jones).

It turns out the two cops who corroborated Abbie’s story about the Headless Horseman have recanted, so Irving is growing more skeptical of Crane and Mills’ story. When Mills mentions the mysterious and violent death of Officer Andy Brooks (John Cho) as evidence, Irving shows her the security footage and it illustrates a totally different picture. The demonic ram-like beast or some force evil manipulated the image, so it looks like Brooks bashed his head against the mirror. When Abbie asks Irving if he thinks she and Crane are both crazy, he admits they possibly could be. Nonetheless, they are the only choice he has given the bizarre nature of the suspicious and supernatural happenings in Sleepy Hollow. Irving says he will be going back to the camp in Albany and he is giving Mills some “latitude” while he is gone. (What’s in Albany? Who is Irving visiting there? Will supernatural forces strike the camp and make a believer out of Irving? We can’t wait to find out!)

Abbie goes to the hotel to pick-up Ichabod and he is peeved. Crane doesn’t appreciate being imprisoned in a hotel room and feels insulted by Abbie’s behavior, even though she is simply following the law and protecting him. Crane quickly fills Abbie in on his latest vision and it makes her feel uneasy. Mills is worried about how people perceive them. She’s already been labeled as crazy before and she does not want to go through that again. However, Crane offers her comfort by saying that “belief is sanity.” As long as they both believe and continue to battle evil together, there is no reason for either of them to feel crazy. Beharie and Mison play these scenes so beautifully. Conflict, camaraderie and compassion are all conveyed in a single look. It is a delight to watch the ebb and flow of their partnership.

On the way to Sheriff Corbin’s (Clancy Brown) funeral, Abbie asks Ichabod how he could have been blind to Katrina’s secret life as a witch. She lied to him in the past, so can she be trusted now? Crane is quick to defend his beloved Katrina arguing that she lied to protect him and America’s future. Katrina and her coven of good witches could not risk discovery and death in the heart of the witch trials, the fate of America rested in their hands. As Abbie buries her dear friend, Crane takes another look at his wife’s tombstone and figures out the meaning of Katrina’s message. Meanwhile, there is another shocking surprise in Sleepy Hollow.

The demon resurrects Brooks in the morgue (the thing with his neck is gross looking and very well done, the special effects are spectacular) and gives him orders. In an ancient a bizarre language, the demon instructs Brooks to resurrect the witch and gives him a pendent etched with supernatural symbols that will help unlock her spirit. Brooks goes to historic Sleepy Hollow and uses the pendant to unleash her spirit. A dark, decayed witch rises from the pit. The creepy witch asks for the ashes of the pious because she needs to take their flesh in order to reclaim her own. Next thing you know, Brooks has pulled over an innocent man and asks for his full name. After Jeremy Firth reveals his name, Brooks says this is nothing personal and walks away from the car. The radio switches channels and stops on Frank Sinatra’s “Witchcraft” (very cheeky and ironically appropriate, love the song choices on this show!), which plays in the background as the evil witch claims her first victim.

Back at the police station, Mills is rightfully on edge after the funeral. Crane asks her about Sheriff Corbin because he can tell they had a special relationship. Abbie says that after seeing the demon in the woods, her sister Jenny got stuck in a string of institutions to cope with the trauma. Abbie surprisingly turned to drugs. The sheriff caught her robbing a pharmacy. Instead of taking her to jail, they went to the diner for some apple pie a la mode. Sheriff Corbin gave Abbie a choice and she had five minutes (until the ice cream melted) to decide if she wanted to change her life or go to jail. The sheriff gave her “more fathering in five minutes” than she received throughout her whole life. Crane and Mills’ moment of bonding is cut short when a call comes in for some unusual activity. They arrive at the scene of the witch’s crime and Crane instantly realizes exactly what they are dealing with when he sees Jeremy’s charcoaled remains. Cue the flashback…

Crane saw bodies like this during the Revolutionary War when the blood moon hung low in the lunar cycle. Men were reduced to ash and their hearts were pulled out of their chests. It was the work of a dark coven’s high priestess named Serilda of Abaddon. Now that Crane knows what to research, they return to the station to check out Corbin’s files. As Abbie discovers that sheriff’s office has been cleared out, Ichabod makes a new acquaintance.

Detective Luke Morales (Nicholas Gonzalez) grills Crane, asking where he came from and what he is doing in Sleepy Hollow. Crane explains that he is a visiting professor on leave from Oxford University who specializes in the American Revolutionary war. Morales mocks Crane, teasing the Brit for teaching about a war he lost and “we” won. The detective also boasts about fighting in the Iraq war in an effort to further shame the seemingly non-threatening professor. Luckily, Abbie steps in before things get really ugly. She and Crane leave Det. Morales and head to the station’s storage facility.

On their way, Ichabod questions Abbie about her “betrothed.” She assures Crane that there was “no betrothing,” Morales is just an ex-boyfriend. They broke up when she decided to go to Quantico. Now that Abbie is staying in Sleepy Hollow, Crane says she can still date Morales. She gets annoyed with his prying, but he asserts that he is entitled to his query given all the questions she asks and judgment she passes on his relationship with Katrina. He then bashes through a wall and leads Abbie through an underground passage-way beneath the station. Washington used the tunnels for the secret transportation of ammunitions and supplies during the war. At the end of one of the off-shoot tunnels is where they buried the bones of convicted witches. We know Katrina’s bones were not in her grave, so Abbie questions where they could be. Crane simply answers, “Katrina’s remains remain a mystery” (a mystery that will hopefully be solved this season.) They follow the tunnels to a storage room full of historical artifacts and Corbin’s secret file cabinet. Crane says the Battle of Lexington was planned in this room and Abbie quickly puts him to work by splitting Corbin’s case files.

During the investigation, we learn more about Ichabod. It turns out he is a bit of genius with a photographic memory and the ability to recall sights, sounds, etc. He quickly reads about the surrender of Serilda of Abaddon and the way in which she was burned at the stake. Katrina’s coven (The Sisterhood of Radiant Hearts) used white magic to weaken Serilda. Before they burned her, the evil witch cast a curse, vowing to live again. The ashes of the magistrate’s descendants will bring her back to life. Their flesh will be her flesh. The magistrate had a son with the last name Firth and a daughter who married a man named Hemington. Serilda already got to Firth, but Abbie and Crane could still save Hemington before it is too late.

Brooks found out that Mr. Hemington had died, but his little boy, Kyle is still alive. That night Serilda comes for Kyle. As the boy screams, his mother frantically rushes downstairs and Kyle says he saw a woman on fire. Abbie and Ichabod burst into their home, hoping to catch Serilda in time. They learn that Kyle was adopted and Mr. Hemington’s urn is missing from the home. They rush back to the secret tunnels to stop Serilda by burning her with “great enthusiasm.”

Brooks has dug out Serilda’s bones, so she pours the ashes over them, chants a spell and starts reassembling them. The witch lies down on the bones and comes back to life. Crane catches up with her and uses Abbie’s gun to fire a single shot. The witch catches the bullet in her hand, so Ichabod tosses the gun and runs for the crypts. Serilda taunts Crane, saying he carries Katrina’s stench in his heart and she is fated to be sealed as a captive between the worlds of the living and the dead. Abbie follows Crane to the crypts, snapping at him for tossing the gun when it still had a lot more bullets left in it. Crane is surprised that it had more bullets, makes sure she settles in a safe position and then ignites the gunpowder, sufficiently blowing Serilda into bits. With the wicked witch gone, Crane begins to look on the bright side.

If Katrina is trapped in a realm between worlds, then perhaps Crane can still find a way to free her. Abbie is still struggling with the shock of the craziness that will become part of her everyday life now. She has journeyed a long way down the rabbit hole and just wants to go back to before. Ichabod sweetly says, “I do take comfort in knowing that this strange road we find ourselves on can only be traveled together.” Awww! While Crane goes to bring her a cup of coffee, Abbie goes to Sheriff’s Corbin’s office.

Abbie opens the and surprisingly finds him sitting at his desk. She quips, “If you’re gonna haunt me be helpful, okay?” Corbin advises her to have faith and to stop being afraid. Fear is what causes doubt and she should never doubt herself. He says, “Do not be afraid of number 49. That is where you’ll find you’re not alone.” When Ichabod returns with a cup of coffee, Abbie’s vision of Corbin has vanished.

As the episode ends, we see Abbie’s sister, Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood.) She is living in room number 49 in a mental institution. She is being treated for delusional disorder and she seems to be training for something big. She completes a set of push-ups, pretends to take medication from a nurse and then moves on to do pull-ups in the corner of her room. As she starting pulling her head over the bar, the ram-like demon appears over her shoulder.

Another awesome episode! We learned some interesting things and have a lot more questions.

Afterthoughts:

  • Abbie and Ichabod’s partnership: Many fans are already “shipping” Crane and Mills, but I think their relationship is here to provide more than another stereotypical procedural romance. In “Blood Moon,” their relationship reminded me of Sherlock and Watson on CBS’ ‘Elementary.’ They rely on each other and deeply care for one another. They make a wonderful team, perfectly complimenting each other will all of the quirky qualities and special skills they each have to offer. However, I would not want Sherlock and Watson to become a romantic couple. It would taint the beauty of their current relationship, which offers something unique and heartwarming. While it is fun to see Ichabod and Abbie banter and jest with each other, I am not reading more into it too much at this time. Ichabod is pining after his wife and wants to free Katrina from this supernatural prison. Even if he grows fond of Abbie, I don’t think he will look at her longingly any time soon because he is a married man who has been separated from his wife for 250 years. Likewise, Abbie has just gotten out of a relationship and she still seems to be working with her ex, Det. Morales. Given all of the changes in her life right now, she probably isn’t looking for romance either. Crane and Mills need each other to get through this crazy Apocalypse together. Tempting their budding friendship with the slightest inkling of flirtation could jeopardize what has started off as a solid and productive partnership. Do you want Ichabod and Abbie to get hot and heavy? Would you rather see them as confidants and partners supernatural crime-fighting? Sound off in the comments below.
  • Special effects: Wow this show is stunning! Everything is executed at feature film quality. The details in Brooks’ neck were eerily realistic and just gross enough not to make you sick. The burnt appearance of Serilda was very cool and unexpected. She was burned at the stake, so it was a nice touch to bring her back that way.
  • Coven wars: We got a first look Katrina’s coven, the Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart, and learned they used white magic to fight evil. The pilot episode revealed that Corbin discovered more good and evil covens scattered throughout America. How many people in America practice magic? Who else knows about this impending war between good and evil? Could recently announced guest-stars- James Frain’s villainous Rutledge and John Noble’s helpful Henry Parrish – be part of the grand plan? Will more members of the dark coven rise in this army of evil? Do demons lead some of these covens? Ichabod read that Serilda of Abaddon was the high priestess of her coven. Abaddon, according to Wikipedia, appears “in the Bible as a place of destruction and an angel, respectively.” Clearly Abaddon is a fallen angel, which makes her a demon. Will more of her brethren ascend upon Sleepy Hollow? What kind of powers will they possess?
  • Ichabod Crane in the modern world :It was such fun to see Crane adjust to modern appliances. From his hotel room to the rant on taxes and the tastiness of the donut, Mison plays all of Crane’s discoveries so convincingly. It is adorable to see a grown man be easily mesmerized by the little things we have taken for granted in our ever evolving lives. It is always fascinating to see the complexity of a character presented in such obvious parallels: he is a genius and quick study, yet he knows so little about our world. His hubris is also amusing. Of course he knows how to shoot gun, oh wait, this one has more than one bullet…oops. There will come a day when Ichabod will stoop to our sub-par use of grammar and say in a poised British accent, “Deeply sorry leftenant, that was, how you say, my bad.”
  • Abbie’s visions: There was a lot of talk about Abbie’s visions before the show aired and now I see why they are so important. Abbie has a sixth sense, much like Ichabod. She and her sister must be part of something special. They saw the demon and now Abbie can see her dead friend, Sheriff Corbin, as he tries to guide her from the beyond. I love her reaction to seeing Corbin. Abbie isn’t scared to see him; she just wants this odd experience to serve a purpose. Has she been haunted in the past? Do Abbie’s ancestors have ties to a coven? It will be very interesting to learn more about her past. Wouldn’t it be cool if Ichabod or Katrina encountered Abbie’s ancestors 250 years ago? Anything is possible in Sleepy Hollow, so it will be very exciting to see what the writers come up with.
  • The dialogue: Kudos again to the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ writers because this dialogue is hilarious. The one-liners, the way the conversation unfolds between Abbie and Ichabod, and the contrast between the ways they both speak is so clever. This show is going to be very quotable.

What did you think of “Blood Moon”? What surprised you most? Do you have any burning questions? Did you come up with any new theories on the show’s mythology? How do you feel about Crane and Mills’ relationship?

Share your thoughts below and stay tuned for more news!

‘Sleepy Hollow’ airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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