‘Sleepy Hollow’ S2 Ep 17 recap: Turn back time

How will the Witnesses stop Henry and Katrina? (Photo credit: FOX via Twitter)

“Sleepy Hollow” has done it again! If anyone dozed off during any point of Season 2, Monday’s “Awakening” definitely shook everyone out of the slumber of a sophomore slump. Katrina and Henry team-up to bring forth a new wicked agenda. Team Witness unite to face their foes once more. Allegiances are brutally tested when Ichabod is forced to make a difficult choice. And a jaw-dropping twist ending leaves us painfully anticipating what we can only assume to be another mind-blowing finale.

A faux Liberty Bell rings out in Sleepy Hollow, awakening the witch-spawned bloodlines within the town’s unknowing citizens. Henry and Katrina plan to raise their coven, so that their kind can emerge out of the shadows and live freely. Henry killed Moloch and saved his mother because he needs her power to bring on the grand awakening of witches. Henry is half human and cannot do this alone, but if Katrina surrenders to the extra powerful dark magic that courses through her blood, then she can live in the kind of world she always dreamed of, a world in which witches can live openly and without persecution. Well that doesn’t sound good for Team Witness!

Ichabod and Abbie are gathering supplies at the hardware store (Ichabod mimicking the bobble head gnome is definitely a new favorite #SleepyMoment) when Henry makes his first attempt at sounding the bell. A few people are affected. Their eyes turn white just as Katrina’s did and their inherit powers instinctively burst out and cause some damage. This is simply a taste of the devastation that will come. Ichabbie has some serious work to do.

After a bit of research and a fun flashback (Washington ordered Ichabod to cause a distraction by bombing the Liberty Bell, hence the crack), Ichabbie learns that the only way to stop the Awakening is by destroying the bell. If they can lower the bell into the underground tunnels, they can blow it up without causing harm to innocent civilians. Nearly everyone in Sleepy Hollow has witchcraft in their blood. If Henry’s plan succeeds, Katrina’s coven will basically run the town.

The time has officially arrived and clear lines have been drawn: Team Witness vs Blood Magic Witches. We’ve seen Ichabbie’s bond grow stronger over the past few episodes and now Ichabod will be put to the ultimate test. Will he uphold his destined duty as a Witness or will he waiver in the face of his family? Time will tell soon enough. Brace yourselves for one of “Sleepy Hollow’s” most epic showdowns.

As if having Katrina on his side wasn’t bad enough, Henry is using Evil Irving as his BAMF army of one. Jenny deals with Irving by leading him into Jefferson’s Masonic cell. Evil Irving wants to know where his family is, but Jenny stays strong. She waits to see if Frank will win the internal battle against Evil Irving. Ichabbie saved the gorgon’s head and have been searching for way to undo the gorgon’s curse in order to save Grace Dixon from spending eternity as a stone statue. Instead of killing Evil Irving, they tell Jenny to turn him into stone. Still, Jenny saves stoning her cursed friend as the absolute last resort. She watches and waits for a soul-saving miracle, while Ichabbie saves Sleepy Hollow from becoming Witches: The Next Generation.

Now the moment we have all been waiting for! Ichabod and Abbie go to take care of the bell, but they find Henry and Katrina standing in their way. At first Crane thinks Henry has taken Katrina hostage, but he quickly realizes the bitter truth. Oh the betrayal! Ichabod tries talking some sense into his wife, but it is no use. She whole-heartedly agrees with their son.

George Washington promised her that witches would be able to live openly after the Revolutionary War, yet witches still live in fear. Even worse, people don’t even know they are really witches. Katrina may have been rescued from Purgatory, but she still feels like a prisoner in this modern world void of her kinfolk. Henry and Katrina are only getting what they were promised, no thanks to Ichabod Crane and his beloved Founding Fathers.

Katrina begins unloading centuries of resentment and brutally lashes out at Ichabod. He is merely human, so he cannot understand her plight, nor is he trying to. Crane urges Katrina to choose her words carefully before she says something she can never take back. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, right? Except that Ichabod never wronged Katrina, so this is totally uncalled for. Nonetheless, Katrina makes her stance very clear: she is choosing Henry and her people over Ichabod. For shame!

Katrina has her magic fireballs ready and proves that she’s not afraid to use them. Now that the game has slightly changed, Ichabbie needs to come up with a better plan of attack. They need to cause a distraction to lure Henry and Katrina away from the bell long enough for them to destroy it.

It feels like a high noon duel as Ichabod calls Henry out into the dark street and gives his misguided son a proper scolding. They exchange verbal jabs, noting each other’s shortcomings. Ichabod takes a shot at Henry. In a kickass graphic novel-esque sequence, the bullet slowly pierces through the air and Henry magically stops it. As the bullet drops, we see Abbie’s jeep revving off to the side. Crane was simply a misdirect and Abbie is there to run Henry down. Suddenly, Katrina bursts onto the scene in a fit of rage. She blasts a magic fireball at the jeep and we fear that Abbie has been consumed by the fire. Noooo!

We hold our breaths as we get a slow-panning peek into the car. Phew! Abbie is not in the jeep. This was all part of their plan. Ichabod stages an epic misdirect while Abbie sneaks inside to blow up the bell. Unfortunately, she’s stopped just short of ignition. Abbie and Ichabod are bound together, forced to watch as Henry and Katrina arrogantly carry out their plan. Really, do they have such little faith in Team Witness? They should know Ichabbie would go down swinging.

They quickly hatch a new plan. As they cut themselves free, Abbie asks if Ichabod is prepared to do the unthinkable. After months of tirelessly trying to see the good in his son’s wretched soul, Crane realizes that he has been left with no other choice. They each step forward to do their part. During the heated and violent confrontation, Abbie shoots Henry.

Oh my God. They killed Henry! Henry evaporates before their eyes. Luckily, Henry’s death frees Frank’s soul. Irving coughs out the evil demon smoke and asks Jenny about his family. Once Jenny realizes that the real Capt. Irving is back, she runs into the cell and gives him a heartfelt hug. Awww. Mr and Mrs BAMF are reunited and it feels so good. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Cranes.

Katrina is livid. Remember how Ichabod wailed on the scarecrow in “Sanctuary” and beat the crap out of Solomon Kent in “Spellcaster”? Yeah, that’s just a fraction of the pain Katrina wants to unleash on Crane. Katrina says she should have let Ichabod die. At least then she would’ve been there to raise her precious boy. Whoa! Harsh, much? With fire in her eyes, Katrina begins reciting a spell from the Grimoire. Abbie runs to stop her and both women magically vanish before Ichabod’s eyes. As they disappear into the unknown, Crane calls out for his dear Leftenant. Sigh…Ichabbie! Here comes the best part…

“Sleepy Hollow” perfectly calls back to the pilot episode. Abbie rises to her feet in the middle of a dirt road. She stumbles to the side, nearly getting run over by a horse-drawn carriage. A classical version of The Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy For the Devil” plays as we see the Sleepy Hollow town sign with a raven perched on top. Goosebumps!!! Well played, M. Raven Metzner and Doug Aarniokoski!

Abbie enters town and realizes she’s in 1781. A couple of soldiers approach and ask for her papers. She sasses them in classic Abbie style. Since she has no proof of freedom, they lock her up in jail. Again, paralleling Ichabod’s imprisonment in the pilot, Abbie is tossed into a cell. She will only speak with Captain Ichabod Crane. Brilliant!!!

Elsewhere, Katrina resumes her position in the past and finds herself as a nurse during the war. She catches her reflection and is elated to see that the time-traveling spell worked. This time around, she will let Ichabod Crane die at the hands of the Headless Horseman out on the battlefield. She caresses her newly pregnant belly and promises a better life for her yet to be born son.

Hot damn! What an awesome episode. There is so much to love and so many questions to ask. “Awakening” was the Sleepy Writers way of saying “suck it” to all the Sleepy haters brutally ragging on the show all season long. Yes, “Sleepy Hollow” was a better structured and more well-rounded show in Season 1, but Season 2 never deserved such drastic abandonment.

These past few episodes have been drawing the focus back to what matters most: Ichabod and Abbie’s solid partnership and unparalleled bond. It is obvious that Sleepy Writers are trying to give the show sort of a fresh start. Some of the things that caused problems throughout the season have been dropped by the wayside: troublesome Abraham has disappeared, Katrina is now an official baddie who can no longer cause a rift between Ichabbie, and Jenny and Irving are back in action.

However, there are new people who drew focus this year that have now been put on the back-burner. Hawley ran off to chase down his crazy Godmother, the kickass Kindred has been missing since the second episode and we’re dying to know what he’s been up to, and Orion swooped in like a badass only to fly off into the great unknown. Will we see any of these characters again? Can they still help Team Witness if this altered past changes the course of the future?

Let’s face it. This new time-travel angle is a clever way to reboot the series. It is a creative way of showing viewers that Sleepy Writers want to come back for Season 3 and give us more of what we’re always dying to see: Ichabbie at their best. While watching this shocking twist I couldn’t help but wonder if time-travel was always part of the game plan. Was this twist part of the creators’s initial presentation to FOX? Did they include Abbie’s blast to the past in their original series outline or was this a new idea that surfaced in the writers’ room this season? It would be interesting to see what they have planned from here on and how much it differs from what they had in mind for “Sleepy Hollow” when they first started plotting Season 2.

Given Henry and Katrina’s behavior throughout the season, it seems like they were always destined to unite against Ichabod. Henry has been baiting Ichabod into killing him from the start. Seeing Henry die by Ichabod’s hand isn’t super shocking. But is this really the last we’ve seen of John Noble?! He’s too good to go! We love watching him so much. Noble really milked every second of his screen time. Henry is deliciously evil and a true force to be reckoned with. Noble’s booming baritone, the malicious sparkle in his eyes, his salacious turn of phrase, and his phenomenal ability to be simultaneously commanding and so childlike will all be missed. We really hope this is not the last we see of him on “Sleepy Hollow.”

As always, everybody brought their A-game. Katia Winter especially had the chance to shine in this episode. She gave us chills as centuries of wrath consumed Katrina. She had pure hatred in her eyes and nothing but contempt for Ichabod. Katrina’s descent into darkness has been on a slow burn this season. It seems like she flipped on a dime, but she’s been walking a fine line from the start. Solomon Kent just opened her eyes to the kind of power she could possess and Henry kept tugging on her heartstrings until she succumbed to her fate.

What did you think Sleepy Heads? Has “Awakening” become one of your new favorites? What were your top #SleepyMoment in this episode? How did you feel about that twist ending? Do you think the future has already been altered forever? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Check out the newly released finale promo featuring interviews with the cast. Tune in to the “Sleepy Hollow” finale this Monday, Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. Be sure to tweet about the show throughout the weekend and show your support using #RenewSleepyHollow.

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