Recap/Review

‘Sleepy Hollow’ S2 Ep 15 recap: Hello darkness

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Will Katrina succumb to the darkness? (Photo credit: FOX via Twitter)

Whoa! Is your head still reeling from “Spellcaster”? Albert Kim delivered another epic, intense, riveting and game-changing episode. A badass warlock, Solomon Kent (“That Thing You Do’s” Johnathon Schaech), is searching for the Grand Grimoire, a powerful black magic spell-book. When bodies start dropping, Ichabod and Abbie jump on the case and ask Irving for some assistance. Katrina provides interesting insight on Kent’s history with her family and she finds herself at a crossroads when she learns very vital information about the source of her magic power. While the gang battles this new baddie, we finally see where Henry has been hiding since he killed Moloch and what tricks he has hiding up his sleeve. This phenomenal episode was a roller coaster ride from beginning to end, full of surprises and huge turning points.

“Spellcaster” opens with a bang. A couple of museum employees are cataloging artifacts when the lights flicker and a mysterious man appears. His debut is striking, like he jumped right off the page of a graphic novel. So awesome! He takes the journal of dark magic, slits his wrists so that his blood boils and pours onto the floor, causing the two museum employees to magically die. Okay, Sir, you have our attention.

Elsewhere in town, Ichabod has Abbie meet at him at an open house. This scene, again, demonstrates everything we love about Ichabbie. He knows they will need to move on with their lives and he doesn’t expect to crash at Corbin’s cabin forever. He needs to build a life of his own and take on new responsibilities in the modern world, beginning with a new place to live. He wants Abbie by his side, so that he clearly understands the trappings of real estate. Abbie does a little decoding, he quickly picks up on the lingo and eagerly munches on the yummy muffins. Once Ichabod is satisfied with this “exercise in optimism,” Abbie gets back to work. She shows Crane her file on the stolen Grimoire. They know John Dee was a scholar who wanted to hide the dangerous book, but they need to reach out to Katrina for more information.

They find Katrina practicing her magic in the woods. For those who were still frustrated by the lack of Katrina’s magical prowess, this scene offers some explanation. The witch is still working on her craft. Purgatory took a toll on her, so regaining her magical strength has not been easy. Now she feels her powers are finally peaking. She fears another tormented soul may have escaped from Purgatory and could have taken the book of dark magic. She hopes that killing Moloch has brought Henry some peace, but the Horrid King managed to cause lingering chaos before he was expelled from existence.

Katrina accompanies Ichabod and Abbie to the crime scene. She explains the moonflower found in the blood pool augments this warlock’s abilities. Blood magic is the source of his power, whereas Katrina draws her magic from nature. The big difference is that blood magic is dark and taps into evil forces. Yeah, we figured that much. Luckily, Abbie is able to zoom in on the security footage from the murders. Ichabod learns what pixels are and once the image is clear, Katrina identifies the murderer as Solomon Kent. Time for another awesome “Sleepy” twistory lesson!

Kent is the warlock that all witches fear. Katrina says, “Where he goes, terror follows.” Gulp! That’s ominous. Like all tortured souls, Kent has a really interesting and heartbreaking backstory. Solomon was born in 1661 born and grew up to be a great leader in Salem. He was a spiritual and political pillar of their close-knit community and served as their trusted reverend. Katrina’s grandmother, Helena van Tassel, was part of his “prayer group,” which was a cover for their small coven. They tried tapping into nature to help end the drought. During their meetings, Kent fell in love with Sarah Oswald, but she did not reciprocate his feelings. Helena knew about his unrequited love, but she didn’t foresee the tragedy that would soon follow.

In a stolen moment, Solomon gives Sarah blade as a gift and leans in to kiss her. When she rejects his advances, Kent accidently stabs her. Then he uses blood magic to make her face look demonic and evil. He calls the townspeople over and says she’s a witch. Oh that’s cold! He claimed he killed her in self-defense. Helena tries to appeal to him. If he only explained the truth, the townspeople would understand what happened. He should trust in their kindness. But Kent is too afraid. He turns on Helena and sets her up as another scapegoat. With these acts of betrayal Solomon Kent gave birth to Salem Witch Trials. Katrina’s grandma Helena was one of the first three women hanged in Salem for practicing witchcraft. After that, Katrina’s mother and her family fled Salem. Kent survived, but he was eventually exiled into Purgatory.

Kudos to Mr. Kim for this brilliant storyline. This is such a great backstory for Katrina and a very creative way to bring magic back to the forefront in a very important and big way on “Sleepy Hollow.” This is exactly the kind of pivotal episode we need building up to the Season 2 finale. “Spellcaster” has us on the edge of our seats!

As Kent casts a spell to draw the second half of the book to him, Katrina touches the display cases and magically sees what he is doing. She can sense that book has been split in two and they need to find the second half before Solomon gets it. Abbie heads out to check the delayed shipment. Suddenly, Irving emerges from the shadows.

He has been tailing her because he wasn’t sure she’d take his call. He admits that he’s pissed she didn’t trust him, especially after Katrina cleared him of a clean soul. Yet he doesn’t blame Abbie for not trusting him. Abbie and Irving agree on having a fresh start with no grudges. So Abbie and the Captain are all good. As she leaves, she teases him saying how she knew he was there whole time. Awww. We missed this dynamic.

Abbie tells Ichabod about Irving and how she’s trying to let go of the past. This gives them an idea. Kent spent 400 years thinking about his mistakes and he can’t let go. They think he may be looking for a resurrection spell in the book, so that he can bring back his beloved Sarah. But doing so would open the gates to the afterlife. A world of the living would be overwhelmed by the dead. Yikes! Crane believes Katrina would be able to know what’s up with Kent, her “spidey senses” should alert them to impending dangers. (Way to go, Ichabod! He’s quickly catching up on pop culture references. Edward R. Murrow, Spiderman, pixels, house hunting. We’re so proud of our Ichie!)

Abbie compares Kent to Crane, but she emphasizes how Ichabod made the right choices. It is amazing how much regret can change the direction of one’s life. This conversation even applies to Abraham. It is interesting how all of these men have turned to evil so easily after their hearts have been broken. Especially since they started off as good guys, working for a better world. Perhaps it is because they allowed themselves to be consumed by darkness instead of focusing on the all the good they had left to live for. On that note, Abbie reveals her doubts about their future.

Abbie doesn’t have a vision of the life in store for them. All she knows now is the life of a Witness. So Crane encourages her to think about what they are fighting for instead of worrying about what they need to overcome. They are fighting for love, family, and life. Ichabod says, “Never lose sight of what’s important for that is what drove Kent into darkness.” Wise words.

Ichabod, Katrina and Abbie track down Kent. He blows them back and Katrina attacks him with her magic. Solomon recognizes her as Helena. Katrina identifies herself and says the darkness has turned him mad. Kent senses darkness within her and says she is walking the wrong path. He knows she is not one with herself, so she can’t beat him. Kent claims he will set it right. He starts bleeding out again and demons rise from his blood. Again, spectacular graphics. People rising from pools of blood will always be creepy. Ichabod and Abbie go after the dispersed demons, while Katrina tries to stop Kent from running off with the completed spell-book.

Ichabbie kicks some demon ass as they always do. You have to love Crane’s budding attitude: “Curb thy foul stench, unholy minion!” Abbie teases that he needs to work on his trash talk. It’s all fun and cute and badass until Kent and Katrina have their showdown.

Solomon stops Katrina and blows her back with the book. He taunts her, saying she is a vulnerable witch because she resists reaching her full potential. Katrina will find her true self in darkness. Uh oh. Suddenly, her eyes turn white, like the Horseman’s skull. Oh no! Kent lords over her: “Now you see.” Oh this is SO bad, SleepyHeads.

Katrina is no match for Kent now that all of her powers have been exhausted. Crane takes her back to the cabin and will work on Plan B. Ichabod vows that when he finds Kent, there’s no magic in world that’ll protect him. Oh, Ichie, we love it when you get all assertive and badass. Kent is about to see Ichabod’s wrath and it is going to be awesome. Until then, Abbie meets Irving for a drink and enlists his help since their down a couple of ass-kicking ladies.

Irving doesn’t remember anything about coming back and has no idea where he surfaced. But he’s totally on board to help with their undead problem. When he hears that morale is low, he gives Abbie a rousing speech saying that no matter what happens, they must keep fighting. He asserts, “Don’t back down, don’t make excuses.” Yup, Irving 2.0 is definitely more jacked up than before. Didn’t expect that after the light-hearted and jest filled opening he had with Abbie when they first sat down. He claims, “Nothing like dying to give you new perspective on life.” Well, he may have a point, but his expression is discomforting. Abbie is walking a fine line with him. She acts trusting, but she’s keeping her guard up. Too many crazy things have happened for her to blindly have faith in her old boss and bud. There may be more to Irving, just like we all feared. Oh please say it isn’t so! We’ll hold onto hope until there’s proof, so for now, the Captain is helping his pals out.

Ichabod and Abbie need to figure it out how to defeat Kent without Karina. You have to absolutely love Abbie in this moment. They vanquished evil before Katrina arrived and they can definitely still kick some demonic warlock ass without her. So they start doing some more research and rehashing what happened with Kent. Ichabod recalls Kent’s Aramaic phrase: “I am the traveler” and Abbie remembers reading about a traveler spell in Grace’s journal.

The spell allows the user to jump into the past and travel through time. Awesome, but dangerous. Ichabbie realizes that Kent is trying to go back to Sarah and change the past. If he rewrites history, then everything is changed forever. Including our cherished Witnesses. There is a way to stop him and it happens to be on this very night when there will be a convergence of mystical fields at midnight. Abbie tells Ichabod that since Jenny is “off chasing orb of mystical awesomeness,” (hilarious!), she asked Irving to help them out. Crane still has his reservations, but he’s cool with it. They know that Katrina’s magic taps into the elements, so they decide to fake it with equipment. It’s like modern day magic. Really clever move, actually. So off they go to confront Kent in the woods.

Kent casts a spell that opens the portal to the past and he sees Sarah. BOOM! Ichabod shoots him with his crossbow and announces, “You do not belong here!” Kent claims these tricks won’t defeat him, but Ichabbie quickly gets to work. They dose him with atropine, which makes him vulnerable to the elements. Then they create lightning and electrocute him. Awesome! Now for the best part.

Ichabod wails on Solomon. The last time he gave someone a proper thrashing like this was when he pounced on the scarecrow in “Sanctuary.” In both instances, Crane was fighting for his family. Every fiber of being pours into each punch as he pummels Kent for bringing harm to his beloved spellcaster, Katrina, and her family. Holy crap! What an intense, gripping, stirring, chilling and satisfying moment to behold. Hot damn, Tom Mison, way to let it all out.

Okay, let’s take a breather for a minute and gander at Henry’s whereabouts. While his father is off defending his mother, Henry has been curled up in a motel room watching crappy TV and stewing in his feelings. He murdered his father figure and he isn’t taking it too well. He’s trying really hard to forget about the past and run from his troubles, but we all know that can’t happen. He just needs something to instigate him back into action and interestingly enough he finds motivation in the motel manager’s teenage son, Ronnie.

When Ronnie comes by to fix Henry’s faucet, the two of them realize they have some things in common. They like building models and they’ve had a rough hand in life. Ronnie’s mom was clipped by a drunk driver and injured in the accident, but she never complains about it. She’s a strong woman. She clearly needs to be since there is no father in the picture. Henry gives the boy his two cents: “Fathers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”

Wow, tell us how you really feel. Let’s hope Henry didn’t watch the Super Bowl because those great dad ads would have gutted him. Anyway, Henry sees a sort of kindred spirit in Ronnie, so when a group of punks pick on the kid, we aren’t really surprised by Henry’s retaliation. The slow build and thoughtfulness is what’s most interesting about Henry’s actions. He could’ve instantly killed those rude dudes, but he mulled it over first. He doesn’t need a dad telling him what to do and he certainly doesn’t need to wallow in a debilitating sense of regret.

Henry is sick of hiding and he’s tired of feeling sorry. He instinctively felt drawn to the humanity he saw in Ronnie and his mother. Then he remembered the natural order of things and he restores it by killing those punks with the flick of his wrist like a black-eyed BAMF. Whoa! John Noble is so delectably badass. He sure knows how to make a chilling comeback. Henry may no longer be the Horseman of War, but he’s still a force to be reckoned with. Henry isn’t the only one hitting a deadly streak.

Irving disappeared during Ichabbie’s attack on Kent, but once the Witnesses head back to the cabin, he returns to get the Grimoire. In a brutal move, Frank callously snaps Kent’s neck with his foot and steals the book. He tells Ichabbie that Kent and the Grimoire disintegrated. Oh no he didn’t! This is madness! Ugh! Regardless, they believe this was a good win for Team Witness and they cut their losses.

Gasp! Nooooo! This is horrible. We feared this might happen, but we never wanted to believe it. Oh this is going to be very frustrating to watch. Heads are throbbing in anger right now. At least we have a sweet Ichabbie moment to smooth the sting.

Ichabod ices his hand back at the cabin. Abbie is surprised by how Crane went all Rambo on Kent. Ichabod admits that Solomon’s story struck a nerve. How could he betray the people who trust him most? Oh the bitter irony. These are dangerous times and as Crane says, they are “all walking a razor’s edge between darkness and light.” But enough dreary chatter, Team Witness deserves to let off some steam. Since Katrina is still resting, Ichabbie heads out to celebrate their win over a cold brew. As they leave, Ichabod wonders if his trash talking was better the second time around. Sigh! Ichabod and Abbie are awesome together. Their bond is only growing stronger. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Katrina and her husband.

After Ichabbie leaves, Katrina comes out of her room. She takes the red flower she magically blossomed earlier and her eyes turn white as she taps into her dark magic. As she grows more powerful, her nose bleeds and the flower bursts into an ashy explosion. Oh boo! This sucks too. Irving and Katrina are going to the dark side. How much worse can it get?!

Apparently a lot worse. Henry meets Irving in the woods. Dammit! No! Irving says this is where it all came to an end and assures that the Witnesses trust him again. Anybody else cringing at this moment? Ewww! Henry claims that Moloch is dead and so are his plans. He is no longer the Horseman of War and no longer defined by anyone else. From now on, destiny bends to his will. The episode closes with Henry’s ominous declaration, “This is where it all begins.”

Afterthoughts:

Holy crap, Sleepy Heads! This is horrifying. Once again, we have so many questions about Henry and Irving’s partnership. Does Henry still control Irving’s soul? Is he the one who brought Frank back to life? It would be awesome to see Irving’s actual resurrection. How did he return? Did he burst out of his grave? Does Henry have the mojo to bring someone back to life or did he need to tap into another dark force? What is Henry and Irving’s common goal? Do they still want to raise Hell on earth? Is there any way to break their bond to each other? How did Irving pass Katrina’s test? Or could she have sensed something was off and hid it from the others?

Katrina has always acted like a good witch. She’s spent centuries fighting evil. If she was going to use dark magic, you’d think she would have done so to get out of Purgatory. Unless this dark magic mojo is something new. After all, Katrina had a demon baby growing inside of her. Maybe this was part of Henry’s plan. He could’ve planted the seed for Katrina to use blood magic and be drawn to the dark side. Solomon Kent has awoken a great darkness in Katrina by showing her what she can be capable of. The powers of blood magic seem to pale in comparison to the nature fueled magic Katrina’s been trying to cultivate. If she’s in a jam and needs a magical boost, what’s to stop her from tapping into the dark side to get what she wants?

This is very scary, Sleepy Heads. Katrina already has a soft spot for Henry and now the stage is set for her to join him in practicing blood magic. If Katrina had this within her all along, then it is no surprise that Henry turned dark. It is a strange twist of fate for someone who is destined to be evil to seek out a Witness and such a strong willed soul who will always fight for good. Abbie has tried to keep Ichabod focused on their mission. Now we fear he may be faced with the worst dilemma of them all. What if Crane has to kill his wife and son to save the world from damnation?

Kudos to Kim for penning this magnificent episode. “Spellcaster” perfectly revs us up for what will surely be an epic string of episodes leading up to another mind-blowing finale. Sleepy Heads have a lot to digest and we know more twists are on the horizon. And the performances were all so brilliant.

Katia Winter beautifully played double duty as Katrina and Helena. Winter wonderfully conveys how difficult this discovery is for Katrina. She has used her magic to fight for good, she discovered Ichabod, recognized him as a Witness and opened his eyes to a whole new world and his life’s purpose. Despite their squabbles, the Cranes’ bond is profound. They will face great difficulties in the episodes ahead.

Mison and Nicole Beharie are perfect, as always. We don’t get to see Crane lose his cool like that very often, but Mison sure knows how to pack a punch with those heated moments. His love for Katrina could be felt with every blow. Swoon! And Beharie plays so magnetically off of Mison. They truly are one of the best pairs in TV history.

As for Orlando Jones and John Noble, talk about some serious badassery. Oh the bitter betrayal from Irving. Watching Jones and Noble team-up as baddies is going to be infuriating, yet delightful. They tug on our heartstrings and convey so much emotion with such subtlety, all while being devilishly evil. According to Sleepy Cast, Jones came up with the idea of stepping on Kent’s neck. Now that’s a serious BAMF move.

Speaking of which, Schaech was fantastic as Solomon Kent. He expressed a huge emotional journey in such a brief amount of time. He’s a wonderful addition to the Sleepy family and hopefully we’ll see him again in some clever supernatural twist or flashback.

On the next “Sleepy Hollow”

Here is FOX’s official description for Monday’s new episode, “What Lies Beneath”

DEMONS ABOUND ON AN ALL-NEW “SLEEPY HOLLOW” MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, ON FOX

Ichabod and Abbie face demonic creatures that guard a secret crypt and encounter Thomas Jefferson (guest star Steven Weber) in their quest to fight evil. Meanwhile, Jenny learns a shocking secret about Frank Irving in the all-new “What Lies Beneath” episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW, airing Monday, Feb. 9 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (SLH-216) (TV-14 L, V)

Cast: Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane; Nicole Beharie as Lt. Abbie Mills; Orlando Jones as Captain Frank Irving; Katia Winter as Katrina Crane; John Noble as Henry Parish, Lyndie Greenwood as Jenny Mills.

Guest Cast: Steven Weber as Thomas Jefferson

Well, the good news is that it seems Jenny will discover Irving’s secret before Team Witness get totally bamboozled by their former friend. We will also finally meet Ichabod’s old buzzed about buddy, Thomas Jefferson. We can’t wait to see Weber’s take on Jefferson and discover “Sleepy’s” twistory on what this founding father tried to hide from Crane. Check out this video for a fascinating sneak peek at “What Lies Beneath.”

But wait, there’s more! SpoilerTV has compiled all five sneak peeks from “What Lies Beneath.” We get our first look at Calvin Riggs (“White Collar’s” Sharif Atkins), an award-winning photojournalist who may be a new love interest for Abbie. We also see the scary dangers Ichabbie will face as they try to protect the secret crypt. Watch the scenes HERE.

What do you think, Sleepy Heads? Are you worried about our heroes’ fate? Will Henry and Irving be defeated? Will Katrina turn to the dark side? Can Jefferson offer Team Witness some assistance with his cryptic words of wisdom? Are you excited by the sneak peeks? Do you think Weber is a great fit for Jefferson? What are your first impressions of Calvin? Share your thoughts below!

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

 

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