‘Sleepy Hollow’ S2 Ep 13 recap: Portrait of a madman

Will Ichabod and Katrina be able to rekindle their romance? (FOX via Twitter)

Monday’s “Sleepy Hollow” may have been one of the most chilling episodes yet. There was some classic horror imagery that sent chills down our spines and we loved every second of it. In “Pittura Infamante,” the Cranes’ date night is interrupted by a centuries old psycho killer who gets released from his painted prison and resumes his murderous ways. Ichabod and Katrina gradually begin rekindling their romance as they work together to stop this madman with the help of clues left behind by Katrina’s old BFF, Abigail Adams (Michelle Trachtenberg). Meanwhile, Abbie has her hands full with another mystery. Irving returns to the station after his confusing resurrection and he hopes to be welcomed by his dear friend. Instead, Abbie remains understandably suspicious. Has the real Irving returned to Sleepy Hollow or has his soul been tainted by Henry’s deal? Only time will tell.

Abbie takes care of the finishing touches of Ichabod’s formal attire for his date with Katrina. As he settles into his clothing we wonder if Caroline had made these for him before her passing (RIP Caroline. We still miss you.) Abbie has her reservations about Katrina, but she wishes Crane all the best and lets him know she still has his back. She’s also happy to see that he found a suitable event to attend with his homesick wife. The Cranes are viewing The Adams’ Collection at the Historical Society. Sounds innocent enough, but as we know, this is Sleepy Hollow and nothing is ever as it seems.

Katrina emerges in her turn of the century inspired modern gown and she is eager to make things right with her husband. The Cranes take it easy (with the exception of Kat’s hands-y ass-grab, but hey, can you really blame her?) and mingle with new friends they’ve made and examine the items on display. Katrina spots Abigail Adams’ desk and telling flashbacks reveal their past.

Katrina was Abigail’s dear friend and midwife. Although Abigail herself was not a witch, she was aware of Katrina’s coven and the dangers that threatened them. She was a champion for underdogs and frequently wrote her husband, John Adams, letters expressing her political views, which aided in him politically. And she was one of the first people to congratulate Katrina on her pregnancy with Jeremy. As Katrina reminisces and misses her friend, she can sense that something is amiss.

Art restorer, Grant Hollister, has become one of Crane’s acquaintances. He was working on a painting of James Colby, which is currently on display. While he was working, the painting began bleeding on him. The blood stains are still on his hands as he asks Crane if he believes in spirits, especially given Sleepy Hollow’s unusual history. As he says this, someone else touches the painting and Katrina suddenly feels faint. She tells Ichabod that she senses a dark presence. Grant also felt something haunting throughout the day, so the Cranes remain on guard. The next thing you know, Grant is found hanging from a chandelier. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of the night’s chaotic events.

Back at the police station, Abbie is reading through her ancestors’ journal, when she’s called to the hallway. Irving has his hands up, as guns are all pointed at him. The Captain just came to see his trusted friend. Sadly, he’s treated as a suspect until they can be sure he’s the real deal. Abbie tells Ichabod about Irving’s arrival and he agrees with her. It is possible that Irving was resurrected like Andy Brooks. He could be working his way back into the fold to destroy the team from the inside. Even though Irving doesn’t look all twisted-up and evil the way Andy did. Nonetheless, we can’t blame Team Witness for being cautious. Ichabod also tells Abbie that he fears Moloch may have released another entity that is now haunting their shindig. Even in the midst of this craziness, Abbie asks how the date is going. How sweet! Crane says it is going well and Katrina seems to be doing better in these familiar surroundings. Abbie goes back to questioning Irving, while Ichabod addresses the bizarre murder at hand.

Sherriff Reyes arrives at the scene of the crime and meets Katrina for the first time. Katrina pulls Ichabod aside and voices her concerns. The hanging looks just like a tarot card. Crane remembers seeing them at home before he knew that Katrina was a witch. He is aware of the hanged man card. Katrina knows the authorities will never understand the truth, but she has a theory.

The hanged man reflects struggle from death to rebirth and it is identical to a series of murders from 1781 known as the Tarot Killings. Katrina explains how John Adams was the lawyer for those victims. Abigail told her all about the case and she fought for those who remained unrepresented. Orphans, vagrants, and people who not be easily missed were all hanged and their throats were slit in the same way. Abigail thought the killer may have had a medical background. Sadly, the murders went unsolved.

The Cranes wonder if the artist could have been the killer. Suddenly the figure in the painting turns his head. Goosebumps! (Brace yourselves for another #SuperSleepy reference: This totally reminds me of “Supernatural’s” “Provenance” in which the killer was trapped inside a painting. It was an early fan favorite for good reason. These types of haunting storylines always succeed in giving us chills.) They wonder if the painting was disturbed during its restoration, causing the spirit to be released. Then we learn the truth about the horrid man in the painting.

James Colby was a doctor at the birth of America. He was a drunkard and Washington’s circle cast him out. He survived by painting portraits for room and board. In 1782 he disappeared after a string of these killings had taken place. The Cranes suspect Colby is trapped inside the paining and a disturbance set him free. They also realize that anyone who touches the painting is destined to die. Crane’s friend, Evan Miller, touched the painting, so they warn him to flee. But they are too late.

Bloodied Colby has come to collect his latest victim. He pulls Miller into the painting. Ichabod grips his friend’s legs, but it is no use. Colby drags Miller into the painting and positions him into the hanged man pose. Crane notices fractures in the frame and Katrina says they indicate the markings of an entrapment hex. Abigail used herself as bait and lured him into a trap. With Reverend Knapp’s magical assistance, Abigail imprisoned Colby inside the painting. Now Colby is trying to resurrect himself by finishing the painting within his own portrait by completing the image of the hanged man. They realize that when Grant tried removing the frame, he released Colby from the spell. They take the painting back to Grant’s workstation and figure out an interesting way to stop Colby. While they set their plan into motion, Abbie is digging deeper into Irving’s suspicious resurrection.

Abbie turns the microphone off before speaking with her friend. He remembers using the sword, but then everything goes blank. He didn’t realize he died. Abbie says they all buried him. (Well that answers one question.) Does this make him a walking corpse? He doesn’t feel like one. Abbie told Cynthia and Macy the truth about what happened, but to the rest of world, Irving just went missing. Abbie expresses her concerns. His soul belongs to The Horseman of War. Irving’s resurrection could be a sign of Henry’s return. Irving pleads his case. He came looking for Abbie because she is a trusted friend. Abbie emotionally admits she wants Irving to be the old friend she’s been grieving. Irving believes his wife would be able to tell if he is the real deal, so Abbie will break the news to Cynthia. But before that, she fills Jenny on what’s happening.

Abbie tells Jenny about Irving and the younger Mills sister tries making a case for Irving. He is different than Brooks because he didn’t make that deal with Henry willingly. Abbie is still worried since he died and randomly came back six weeks later. Seriously, what gives? Jenny remains optimistic. Maybe Irving’s soul was released when Henry killed Moloch. They are doing a normal physical on him to make sure he’s all human, but they want to have a supernatural physical done too. (Yeah, that would be cool to see!) Abbie would love Irving to be normal, but she’s preparing for the worst just in case. She wants Jenny to find a weapon and the Mills hope they won’t have to use it on Irving. Meanwhile, Abbie meets with Cynthia.

Abbie tells Cynthia about Irving and shows her the live feed from the interrogation room. For civilians, the manhunt is over to others. To them, Irving is back from dead and they need to know if he’s dangerous. Cynthia understands. Hopefully she’ll be able to help them see if Irving is his true self or not. Until then, Jenny goes to great disgusting lengths to get that weapon.

Hawley is out of town, but he tells Jenny where she can find what they need. In a very visceral scene, Jenny combs through a zombie corpse’s wounds to retrieve special bullets that are guaranteed to kill such creatures. She curses Hawley out for misleading her like this and for not warning her to leave one of the bullets inside the body. At least she’s able to share her pain with Abbie over the phone during this horrendous experience. The look on Nicole Beharie’s face is priceless. So gross! Once Abbie has the bullets on hand, she calls Ichabod to give him the update and check in on his case. When he doesn’t answer, she begins to worry. If only she knew what kind of trouble the Cranes were getting themselves into.

The Cranes are done working apart and will fix this problem together. Well it’s about time! Katrina asks for a doorway and in a super cool transition, the Cranes enter Colby’s painting. They see a crow, which indicates that they have entered the murder’s mind. As they walk through Colby’s house, they see how he has struggled and has been rejected. His talents were always questioned and that pushed this nut-job over the edge. They finally find Miller and are relieved to see he’s still alive. They are able to lower Miller from the hanged man’s position, so Colby’s painting remains incomplete. Katrina magically starts taking them back out of the painting.

In another badass sequence, Colby chillingly rises out of a pool of blood. He tells them that they are too late. Crane instructs his wife to finish it and she completes the spell that gets them out of the painting. Now they see Colby hanging in his painting. Crane takes paint thinner and starts dousing it all over the painting when Colby’s hand bursts out and grabs Ichabod by the throat. Colby slowly emerges from the painting. Holy crap!!! This is intensely awesome! We are all on the edge of our seats. How will the Cranes get out of this jam?!

Abbie makes a kickass entrance into the room and shoots Colby. Once he’s released Ichabod, she’s told to shoot at the painting. Abbie fires in the shape of the hanged man’s cross in the painting and their battle is finally over. When Crane wonders how and why Abbie appeared, she simply says, “You didn’t answer.” That’s why he heart Ichabbie.

Reyes comes in and scolds Abbie for disobeying her direct orders and questioning Irving. She wants Abbie to start following instructions, but she admits that once again, Abbie did a great job taking down another killer who she just believes was a vagrant.

Ichabod witnesses their conversation and quips that one of them will always be out of Reyes’ favor. He also admits that the enchanted bullet was a nice touch. Abbie saved the day this time, but she tells Crane to text her the next time before he pulls a stunt like this. Aww. Team Witness love.

Ichabod and Katrina decompress after their wild night out. He is tickled by the way in which one Abigail has guided Katrina to another. Then they reassess their relationship. They have been in a strange state of suspension. The evil forces that kept them apart are now gone and they must find a new way to be together. Even if you are against the Cranes, you have to admit that you can’t expect these two to simply give up on a 250 year-long romance. Katrina was pining for her husband in Purgatory and Ichabod unyielding fought to be reunited with his wife. Despite their differences and Katrina’s lies, there is a true and deep love between these two. They have to give themselves a proper chance at finding that passion once more.

As the episode concludes, Abbie apologizes to Reyes. The Sheriff understands her loyalty to Irving. They are going to find out why this all happened and look for evidence that could set him free. Wow, our hearts really break for Irving. He’s been locked up all season long. He breaks free only to die and now that he’s returned, he’s imprisoned again.

Can Irving be trusted? Is he telling the truth about everything going blank? How did he return? Did he rise out of his coffin and blank that part out too? Is Henry using Irving to do his bidding from afar?

What did you think of this episode, Sleepy Heads? Did you love the iconic horror imagery? Were you unsettled by the haunting painting? Did you like our introduction to Abigail Adams? Do you think we will see more of her? Would you like to? Did you feel bad for Jenny during her gross encounter? Will she make Hawley pay for it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

“Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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