“Sleepy Hollow” is most definitely catering to Sleepy Heads’ desires this season. “Whispers in the Dark” was filled with the kind of Ichabbie moments we’ve been dying to see. The opening sequence alone would have kept us squee-ing for weeks, but M. Raven Metzner topped Ichabod Crane’s housekeeping skills with a double-dose of severe side-eye and one helluva a bow. Ichabod’s swoon-worthy moments aside, this was a very well-rounded episode. Abbie and Crane strengthen their partnership in a few fun and tender scenes, Jenny and Joe develop a promising new partnership, Pandora unleashes a new menace on society, Agent Reynolds makes his debut, Betsy Ross ruffles feathers in a flashback, and Team Witness identifies the new Big Bad in town (what a relief!). Time to relish those delicious moments all over again!
The opening montage will go down in history as another Sleepy Head favorite. Ichabod is crashing at Abbie’s and he shows his gratitude by helping out around the house. He washes windows, vacuums, does the laundry (Abbie’s “unmentionables”!), and even tries cooking. Okay, so he’s a crappy cook, but still…Could he be anymore adorable? Sleepy Heads would take him on as a roomie in a heartbeat. Everything about this scene was to die for, including how sweet Abbie is about the whole situation. Of course, everything can’t stay this perfect for long. Abbie gets a phone call and they must hurry off to work.
Pandora has released a new evil from her box. Her tiny black plant has blossomed into a huge rose tree. (Still not sure what’s up with the dark shrubbery, but seems like we should be worried that it keeps growing). She does some more chanting, water swirling and what-not until she conjures up the creature she desires. This week we meet the Whispering Wraith, a creature that haunts those with deep dark secrets. The burden of their secret kills them when the wraith attacks. Again, phenomenal work from Corey Castellano.
The wraith’s first victim is Paul Everett. He’s attacked when he calls the FBI and tries to come clean. Mid-phone call, the creature whispers, “Secrets kill.” Super creepy! Then Everett drops dead of a heart attack. His phone call made this official FBI business, so Abbie and Ichabod explore the crime scene for clues. A thirty-something dropping dead of heart attack is definitely sketchy. But, let’s be honest, the case is the last thing we care least about in this magnificent moment.
Agent Daniel Reynolds (Lance Gross) arrives on the scene and Ichabod’s interest is immediately peaked when Abbie’s body language clearly indicates that she shares a history with this new chap. He even calls her “Abs.” The sexual tension is palpable and Ichabod does not like it. As we already know, Reynolds and Abbie used to be trainees with benefits back in Quantico. They made quite the team. It looks like Reynolds kept climbing the ranks while Abbie was busy saving the world from eternal damnation. Still, it is going to be weird for Abbie to have her former classmate, lover and partner as her official superior. At least Crane made one thing clear, he will open up a can of whoop-ass on Reynolds if he should cause Abbie pain in anyway. Seriously, Tom Mison’s double-make that-triple take side-eye tops all others that came before it. The look he flashed Hawley last season was nothing compared to this glare. Indeed, Sleepy Heads live for moments like this. Despite Crane’s suspicions, Abbie can handle it and dismisses Ichabod from his protective post.
While Reynolds and Abbie catch up, Crane bumps into Pandora, who is posing as a café owner. As he heads outside to meet up with Abbie, he spots a creepy shadow fade across the building. Crane’s Spidey senses start tingling, so they hit the archives. By the way, Ichabod isn’t giving up on the archives just yet. He’s in the process of declaring it as a historical landmark. Ichabod takes great pride in his efforts. He was a bit melancholy over whether or not he belongs in the modern world, but he has changed his tune. Crane’s new philosophy is to find a place in the new world but “never at the expense of [his] colonial soul.” What a great line. Well done!
So their center for research is still secure and they hit the old books. Which leads to a flashback, of course! Ichabod recalls a mission he had that involved a shadowy creature. On September 25, 1776, General Howell raised a whispering wraith. The demonic shadow was bonded to a human host, a turncoat named Marcus Collins. Crane enters enemy territory to pass the vital message along to their embedded spies. Naturally, he bumps into Betsy Ross. They catch each other up on their respective missions over a dance and agree to meet shortly.
Betsy rushes out in her “unmentionables” to see Crane. She’s done whatever is necessary to keep the General preoccupied, but hasn’t gone quite as far as Ichabod fears. Questionable morality aside, when Betsy and Crane finally meet up, their two comrades have already fallen. The shadow slithers away when Betsy calls Marcus Collins out as a traitor. Ichabod and Betsy hightail it out of there before it is too late. Now Ichabod and Abbie have an idea of what they are facing. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to save all of the wraith’s targets.
Richard Williams, one of the guys in on Everett’s secret becomes the next victim. Ichabod and Abbie finally discover the secret they’ve hiding. Everett and two of his co-workers where in on the comptroller’s scheme to steal money from the city’s pension fund. Now that they know the secret, they are also on the wraith’s hit-list. They even have close call with the creature, which brings their secrets to light…well, Ichabod’s more than Abbie. As they regroup, Ichabod opens up to his partner about his moment of weakness. Cue the flash-back!
Ichabod was captured by Howell and given a choice: betray his fellow spies or die. Ichabod, with pen in hand, actually entertained the thought of betraying his comrades for a brief moment. But he did not. Nonetheless, Crane feels so ashamed that he even had a second of doubt. Poor Ichabod. Now that he’s got that off his chest, he gives Abbie the chance to come clean, but she keeps quite. Awww. Come on, Abbie! Open up to your partner. Instead, she remains focused on the case. Their next move is to protect Susan James, the last person who’s in on the secret scandal.
Luckily, Reynolds trusts Abbie’s instincts. He doesn’t want there to be any awkwardness between them. They used to be a great team and he doesn’t want that to change just because things didn’t work out romantically. So he won’t be in on Abbie’s secret double life as A Witness, but he’ll be cool enough to cut her some slack because he trusts her. Sounds like a sweet set-up! Guess that means he won’t ask too many questions when Ichabbie takes Susan to a warehouse where they manage to save her life and defeat the wraith.
They establish a safe-zone by creating a perimeter of florescent lights. Susan stays inside, while Ichabod and Abbie lure the wraith away. It starts attacking Crane, so Abbie tells him to think back to his past encounter with the creature. What did Betsy do to scare it off? All she did was cry out Marcus’ name. That’s it! The wraith is still Marcus Collins. Crane bellows his name, with each shame inducing shout, the smoke takes shape and Marcus emerges. Ichabod and Abbie are able to kill the creature once it has taken human form. Ichabod impales Marcus and he’s a goner. Kind of surprising that it ends up being that easy, but it’ll do. Good has defeated Evil once more. Now Susan will pay for her crimes with some good old fashioned justice.
With their supernatural mystery solved, Ichabod and Abbie have a chance to decompress. Crane enjoys a drink on the porch. He’s been boozing quite a bit this season, hasn’t he? He looks even more distinguished with drink in hand. But we digress. Ichabod seizes this opportunity to try and bond with partner. Confessing a secret is very liberating. Hint, hint. Plus, they are partners. If she doesn’t trust him with her secret, then who can she trust? Good point. So Abbie fesses up. After everything that happened last year with her mother and Grace Dixon, she wanted to know more about her father. Abbie did some digging a while ago and she found out that he’s been living just a little bit north of them in Saratoga. Since then, she’s been watching him. But she hasn’t conjured the courage to face him just yet. And she doesn’t want to tell Jenny because her little sis will want to act on it ASAP. Abbie needs time to take it all in. Fortunately, she has Ichabod to lean on during this time. Nothing compares to the Witnesses’ bond. As Crane eloquently puts it, “Having you by my side is my greatest boon.” Sigh.
Elsewhere, Jenny and Joe are establishing their own partnership or sorts. Joe has been back in town for six months and he’s become an EMT. He returned home because the Mills Sisters are like family and they are the closest connection his father. It is kind of a cute dynamic, really. Although Joe is more than capable of taking care of himself, Jenny plays the part of a protective older sister. He wants in on all the supernatural stuff, but she doesn’t want him to get hurt. And a rogue baddie kind of proves her point.
Out of the blue, the trailer is ransacked and then Joe gets taken. Randall Martin, a guy from Jenny’s past, has come calling and he wants the Shard of Anubis. Interesting! Is Egyptian mythology going to play a part in this season too? Jenny valiantly rescues Joe and gives the baddie a swift whooping just to prove that she hasn’t gone soft. She also hands over the shard. Before the dude leaves, he warns that it better be the real thing. Hopefully that means Jenny kept the real goods and gave this guy a replica. We certainly don’t want a powerful artifact falling into the wrong hands.
Once Randall has limps away, Joe pleads his case. August Corbin was working on something big when he died. Fate brought the Mills and Corbin together. He was more of a father to those girls than he was to Joe. Father and son had their grievances in the past, but now that August is gone, Joe wants to carry on his work. He died before he had the chance to read his son in on this secret life. Joe really wants to pick up where August left off. Jenny can’t argue with a passionate plea like that, so she agrees. Jenny and Joe will go after the Shard of Anubis. Sweet! This is a nice pairing. The writers probably intended for Hawley to join in and have a side partnership with Jenny, but that all turned into a hot mess. Mostly because Hawley’s motives and crushes were constantly shifting. Joe is driven and goal oriented. He’s on a mission to carry on his father’s legacy and he views the Mills as family. Plus, Joe had a kick-ass introduction last season. He’s character we’re eager to learn more about and he fits in well with Team Witness. Let the new adventure begin!
Now for the grand finale. Ichabod checks on the statues of his efforts to declare the archives a historical landmark. Zoe Corinth (Maya Kazan) is working on his and she tells him that he must become a U.S. citizen to file such a request. Ahhh, so this is the smitten young woman with whom Crane will have future flirtations (as Mison teased in an earlier report). It will be fun to see them take on this endeavor together. Whether he realizes it or not, Crane is already laying on the charm. How can you resist a gentleman who takes leave with such a deep bow? Oh Mr. Metzner, we are putty in your hands. Thank you, Good Sir.
Cuteness aside, Ichabod’s meeting with Zoe leads to a pertinent discovery. He notices that the café is suddenly closed and he remembers having just bumped into the owner the other day. Abbie pulls up the footage and says she met Pandora at the bar. Phew! We feared Pandora’s identity would remain a secret and that she’d string Team Witness along. It is such a relief to know that will not be the case. Ichabbie has idea of who they are up against. Now it is time to do some research and map out a strategic defense against the kinds of evils Pandora plans to unleash in Sleepy Hollow.
Bravo! “Sleepy Hollow” totally has its groove back. Awesome episode, chalk full of so many satisfying moments. What did you think, Sleepy Heads? What were your favorite moments? What are your first impressions of Agent Reynolds and Zoe? How do you like Jenny and Joe’s pairing? Do you think Team Witness will be able to stop Pandora more successfully since they know who they are up against so soon in the season? Share your thoughts below!
In case you missed it, a video of “Sleepy Hollow’s” New York Comic Con panel on Sunday has been posted on You Tube (watch HERE). Some of the highlights include Zach Appelman delivering a hilarious reading of an email/text from Mison (Best. Email. Ever. Side-note: Zach sounds an awful lot like Ioan Gruffudd with that accent, no?). Metzner also provides a few teasers: someone from their “extended crew” will switch sides, Abbie will get into a bit of trouble at the FBI (which makes sense with the secret she’s keeping), and Crane will come face-to-face with a nemesis from his past (uh-oh, start hedging your bets!).
“Sleepy Hollow” airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on FOX.