‘Sleepy Hollow’ S1 Ep 9 recap: Finding your roots

We learn not to mess with Crane in “Sanctuary”. (Photo credit: FOX via FoxFlash)

Monday night’s “Sanctuary” was a very dark, yet illuminating episode. ‘Sleepy Hollow’ has mastered the art of capturing just the right ambiance. Through the perfect blend of eerie suspense and fascinating flashbacks, we discovered how Ichabod and Abbie’s destiny was sealed ages ago.

Lena Gilbert, a young billionaire, purchases an ancient family estate, Fredericks’ manor, and researches its mysterious history. When Lena and her bodyguard Sam reach their creepy destination, he says the place looks haunted. She foreshadows, “Things happened here that need to be remembered.” As Lena checks the place out, she opens a closet door and gets sucked in by a bunch of scary branches (Excellent special effects. Everything looked so real, which made it all extra chilling.) Fast forward a couple of days and she becomes Ichabod and Abbie’s new case.

Poor Ichabod Crane is bothered. Tis the season to be merry, but he finds it hard to give thanks and celebrate when his beloved Katrina is trapped in Purgatory and the Apocalypse remains an immediate threat. He is irked by all the festive reminders and finds comfort in only one thing, his friendship with Abbie. After lamenting, he kindly tells her, “Your company holds the greatest value to me.” Sigh. Even when Ichabod is grumpy, he still manages to be irresistibly sweet. Luckily, Crane catches a case that ends up giving him a very welcomed surprise.

Captain Irving tells Ichabod and Abbie about Gilbert’s disappearance. In searching through her paperwork on the estate, Irving found Katrina’s name. Upon hearing that, Ichabod admits that this cannot be a coincidence. They soon realize that Gilbert has ties to the founding fathers. Her maternal family tree links to Lachlan Fredericks, a supporter of the Revolutionary War and the owner of that creepy manor. When Ichabod and Abbie visit the estate, flashbacks and Crane’s narrative tell us the importance of this place.

Ichabod recalls that Fredericks was close friends with George Washington. This estate was known as a safe haven and sanctuary because it offered protection to those who needed it. Fredericks had freed his slaves and employed them as paid workers on his property. On a rare day off, Ichabod took Katrina there for a gathering. Now he marvels at how such a place of beauty has fallen into great ruin.

Once Abbie and Ichabod step inside, they see Sam has been attacked and they think it was caused by some feral animal. Crane follows a set of bloody handprints on the floor and surmises that someone was dragged away. Abbie calls it in, but her phone has no signal. Suddenly all the doors lock them in and Abbie snippily says, “We’re in a damned haunted house.” Clearly they’re trapped in there for a reason and Abbie’s sighting of a female ghost indicates that this manor has quite a story to tell. Ichabod offers his partner some comfort, given all the life-threatening obstacles they’ve overcome together, they “can brave this little crisis.” So they carry on with their investigation.

Ichabod discovers Katrina’s copy of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and it still contains the “if I die” letter he had written before he left to confront the Horseman. Crane doesn’t understand why the book is in this house. He thinks back to his visit and remembers Fredericks as a warm, charming and intelligent man. He mentions meeting an African-American matron who worked with Fredericks to help protect those in need. Ichabod then recalls that this place also offered refuge from supernatural threats. Obviously, the protection spell has worn off because this spooky house is coming to life and attacking people from within.

Ichabod follows the set of bloody handprints and discovers Lena bound by branches in the downstairs closet. He hacks away at the branches and they start spewing out blood. As the branches bleed, the creepy scarecrow covered with crows in the front yard comes to life and walks into the house. Meanwhile, Ichabod calms Lena and starts getting some answers.

According to Lena’s records, Katrina was the last person to come to the manor for sanctuary. I love how Abbie quickly steps in to say that Katrina was an ancestor of Ichabod’s before he has a chance to chime in with the crazy truth. Lena reveals a family legend which claims that Fredericks was involved in witchcraft. Ichabod finally puts the pieces together, Fredericks was part of Katrina’s coven and as a warlock he cast a protection spell over the manor. Somehow evil infested the property and has now manifested itself in the form of this psycho scarecrow. As the creature starts coming after them, Abbie and Ichabod split up and hide in the walls. Crane tries to protect Lena, but she gets taken by the scarecrow. Elsewhere in the house, Abbie calls out for Crane and finds guidance from an unexpected source.

The ghost appears to Abbie again and this time we know for sure that she is the matron Ichabod spoke of. The matron cryptically tells Abbie, “Its time…Its coming. Hurry!” Abbie follows the matron and has a vision of the past. Katrina came to the manor so she could give birth to a baby boy in a safe environment. As the baby is born a crow attacks the window and tries to break into the house. The vision ends and we squee with delight that there is a baby Crane! Ichabod grabs Abbie and they try to find Lena. As they make their way through the house, Abbie tells Crane about her vision of the baby. He is utterly shocked and says in disbelief, “She would’ve told me.” But Abbie explains that Katrina had to keep it secret. She wanted to keep the baby safe by having him in the manor under the protection of their hex. She tells Ichabod that he had a son and that something happened when he was born.

Another flashback resumes Abbie’s vision and we see a flock of crows crashing through the window and infesting the house. The scarecrow creature grew from within the protected property, so it was able to break through the hex. The scarecrow attacked the moment Baby Crane was born. Moloch sent the scarecrow and it killed Fredericks. Unfortunately, Abbie doesn’t know what happened to Baby Crane afterwards. Suddenly they hear Lena scream and they go to save her.

As the scarecrow strangles Lena, she tells Ichabod and Abbie to run. Ichabod sees the scarecrow’s roots and Abbie shoots them. As the scarecrow bleeds, the matron’s ghost shows Abbie the way out. In another vision Abbie realizes that the matron helped Katrina and Baby Crane escape. This scene was so well done. ‘Sleepy Hollow’ excellently executes these flashbacks and visions. It gave me serious goosebumps. Get ready for the really juicy part. They all make it to the car and Abbie is ready to take Lena and get the hell out of there, but Crane isn’t leaving just yet.

Ichabod grabs an axe out of the trunk and tells Abbie, “My business here is not finished…It came after my son…Heed my words. Do not follow me.” Crane is kicking ass and taking names. I like it! Who else got chills at that moment? Ichabod taking charge is always a swoon-worthy. Carrying on… Ichabod goes back in with the axe. Everything is pitch dark so he throws a flare and catches sight of the scarecrow. As Ichabod closes in on the creature he unloads, “I know who you serve…think you can attack who I love without consequences?! You came after my wife…my child!” He hacks the scarecrow up into splinters. Covered in branch blood, Ichabod instructs the scarecrow, “Give Moloch my regards.” Then he strikes the final blow, sending the creature back to Hell. Crane emerges from the manor and coolly tells Abbie, “I shall like to go home now.”

Hot damn! I can really get used to seeing more of badass Crane. Moloch has no idea of what kind of wrath Ichabod is prepared to unleash on him. Their ultimate confrontation is going to be so epic.

While Abbie and Ichabod have been fighting off a crazy scarecrow and learning more about the past, Irving has been getting a wake-up call for his future.

Jenny stops by Irving’s office to invite him to a Thanksgiving dinner she will be hosting at Abbie’s. As they quip, Irving’s ex-wife Cynthia and daughter Macey show up and catch the two of them laughing. Macey assumes Jenny is her dad’s new girlfriend and confronts her in the hallway afterwards. Jenny assures Macey that they are not dating, but she admits that Irving isn’t as bad as he seems, so Macey should give him a chance. I have to admit, Macey makes a strong first impression. She is obviously guarded and tries to act like she is happy being in the city with her mom. But she also says she thinks it is cool that Jenny has a cop sister who will look out for her. It sounds like Macey doesn’t feel as though Irving has her back, even though he’s a cop too. I think this scene shows a sweet moment between two people who share the same kind of feisty spirit and no-nonsense attitude. While Macey chats with Jenny, Cynthia rips Irving a new one.

He’s been slacking off as a dad ever since he moved to Sleepy Hollow. Being out of the city was supposed to give him more time with Macey. What could be so demanding in a quite small town like Sleepy Hollow? Why can’t he pass his work off to others? Irving insists, “It has to be me!” (Does Irving know more than he’s been letting on? Did he know he was supposed to play a part in the Apocalypse even before Crane surfaced? Or does this just mean that he knows the truth about what’s happening and no one else can be trusted? Despite everything we’ve seen, Irving can still be a questionable character.)

Cynthia lays her cards out on the table. Irving cannot hide from his responsibilities as a father and he needs to provide stability for Macey. Cynthia has drawn up papers for sole custody. If Irving cancels one more weekend with Macey, she will file the paperwork. Thanksgiving certainly serves as turning point for Irving. Will he rise to the challenge and be there for his daughter? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Saving the best moment for last, we get another delightful scene between Abbie and Ichabod. She invites him to Jenny’s dinner and tries enticing him with rum, but he respectfully declines because he will not be “pleasant company.” Abbie assures Crane that the holiday isn’t easy for a lot of people. As a child, Abbie envied all the happy families celebrating the holidays. Crane says he had a happy family and childhood in England. He followed in his father’s footsteps and remembered Papa Crane’s pride. Ichabod hoped to one day feel so proud of his future son. Aww. But for now, they must be happy with what they’ve got.

Crane changes the subject and tells Abbie that a package came for her, presumably from “the amazon” (how cute!). It is actually information from Lena. She sent Abbie her research on Fredericks’ manor, which includes a family tree of the people who lived there. Abbie begins at the top with the matron, Grace Dixon, whose ghost she saw at the manor. As she makes her way down the tree she discovers that the line ends with Lorie Roberts, who is…wait for iiit…Abbie’s mother!

While watching the episode, we knew Abbie and Crane both had ties to the house. When the ghost first appeared to Abbie, I figured that she probably had ties to the matron since she was guiding Abbie and giving her visions. But we never expected how the matron played such an important role in the Crane’s past. Abbie and Jenny both said their mother was a woman of faith who sent the girls to Sunday school. Did Abbie’s mom know about her history? Was she aware of the evil in Sleepy Hollow? There is a lot left to explore on Abbie’s side of things and I can’t wait to see more about her past. For now, we can relish in the present.

As Abbie pours Ichabod a drink he adorably asks for more and notes, “It seems our paths were entwined from the start.” Then they make a toast. Abbie: “To family.” Crane: “To finding family.”

I am really enjoying all of the incredible twists popping up on ‘Sleepy Hollow.’ I love this new connection Ichabod and Abbie share. There is also so much that Katrina and Ichabod have to catch up on. She had a son and Ichabod had no clue about it. Now all we can think about is what happened to Baby Crane.


  • The Irvings: Given Irving’s ultimatumit looks like we’ll be seeing more of Macey soon. I am interested to learn more about her. It was surprising to see her in a wheelchair and I’m eager to learn story behind it. I look forward to seeing her again and I’m very curious to see what her interaction with Crane will be like. So far, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ gave us a gripping first impression of the Irving family.
  • Baby Crane: Did he turn out to be a prominent figure in American History? Did Katrina cast a spell on him so he’s still alive somewhere? Did he follow in Katrina’s footsteps and become a warlock? Will Crane be able to find living relatives who descended from his son? I can’t wait to learn more about him!
  • Badass Crane: Tom Mison is seriously killing it as Crane. He hits all the layers in Ichabod: sweet naïve bookworm, perceptive quirky genius, heartbroken and longing romantic, and a super skilled soldier ready to raise Hell on those who cross him. I know the series opened with Ichabod chopping off the mercenary’s head, but these past two episodes have really exposed Crane’s darker side. I am loving Crane’s character more and more with each episode.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ returns with “The Golem” on Monday Dec. 9 at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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