WOW! Friday night’s “Sleepy Hollow” was amazing. If you strayed away from this show, then it is time for you to come back. “Incident at Stone Manor” delivers on all levels and reminds viewers why they fell in love with this series to begin with. Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills’ relationship has always been “Sleepy Hollow’s” greatest strength. This season, Sleepy Writers have remedied their Season 2 missteps and are showcasing Ichabbie in a way that brings so much joy to loyal Sleepy Heads. Crane and Mills’ heartwarming reunion is only one of the many stellar moments in this gripping episode. Jenny and Joe work with Sophie to take down a creepy gargoyle, Papa Mills (perfectly portrayed by “NYPD Blue’s” James McDaniel) makes his highly anticipated debut, and lastly, Pandora and The Hidden One expose their desperation. There’s just so much to love, so let’s get to it!
A whirlwind of events draws us in even before the opening credits roll. We finally see what Abbie has been up to over the hiatus. She is in The Hidden One’s catacombs. We have no clue where that is, but Abbie has clearly documented the layout of the land, as we can see by the detailed map she’s created on the cave wall. All she’s recovered through her exploration is a rusty old cutlass sticking out of a stone beside a well. We’re not sure how useful it’ll be, but it’s better than nothing. (On a superficial note, thank you for keeping it real by not having Abbie’s hair all perfectly coiffed. We’ll buy all the bizarre supernatural scenarios, but perfect hair under dire conditions is just too far fetched, you know?) While Abbie is trying to find a way out, Team Witness is tirelessly working on a way to bring her home.
Jenny and Joe sweetly work together on a small theft op. Joe knocks on the front door and keeps the homeowner preoccupied while Jenny steals what she needs from inside the house. Joe’s cover is very realistic and his conversation is candid. But the best part is when he asks for the man’s name and discovers a fact that we’re already aware of. Meet Ezra Mills, Jenny and Abbie’s father. Joe barely hides his surprise. Jenny pulled a fast one on him and you can’t blame her. We all know Joe would have tried to make a big deal out of this family reunion of sorts and this just isn’t the time. The reason for the cloak and dagger theft is of utmost importance.
Team Witness is making a bold move and Crane will embark on a daring rescue mission. They are sending his astral projection into the great unknown, hoping that his spirit can find Abbie and bring her home. Awesome! While the dynamic duo was away, Crane built a spirit cabinet. Hey, a little cabinet is nothing when you’re used to raising barns. He even rubs in how he beat Joe with a triple word score in Scrabble. Crane uttering the words, “haters gonna hate” is priceless. We are dying! By the way, is there anything Crane can’t do (other than confess his undying love for Abbie)? Sleepy Writer M. Raven Metzner is just pandering at this point and we immensely thank him for it because it only gets better and better.
Okay, so here’s how the cabinet and spell works. Jenny gathered a few items with ties to Abbie (hence breaking into dear old Dad’s for a lighter). Despite Jenny’s blood ties to her sister, they all agree that the Witnesses’ bond is something special, so Crane is their best chance at finding Abbie (hells yeah! #IchabbieForever). Crane’s physical body will remain seated in the spirit cabinet, while his soul wanders through the metaphysical realm. A candle burns beside him, it represents the tie between his body and spirit. Once the flame goes out, his spirit will return to his body. Jenny reads the incantation to send him on his way. Go get het her, Crane! We are literally on the edge of our seats. Deep breaths…
In the midst of Crane’s departure, Sophie and Reynolds catch a strange case at Stone Manor. Remember how a bunch of stuff happened before opening credits? Yeah, well another thing is that a stone gargoyle came to life and killed a construction worker. Pandora and The Hidden One’s summons is working. This gargoyle is one of many monsters that are about to flood Sleepy Hollow. At the crime scene, Sophie decides she’ll need Crane’s expertise on this case. Yup! She’s trying to make Abbie’s man her supernatural side-kick. We can’t help but wonder when Reynolds will catch on to her new secret partnership. It can only be a matter of time, right?
Sophie arrives at the archives and learns that Crane is out of commission. She’ll have to settle for Jenny and Joe in his stead. Can we all admit that Jenny’s reaction to Sophie is how most Sleepy Heads feel right now? Jenny is in Mama Bear mode and we totally get it. Although, we need to keep an open mind because Sophie does have her strengths. When they examine the crime scene, Sophie’s knowledge of archaeology comes in pretty handy. Turns out, she almost considered following in her parents footsteps. Well, at least they have a sense of what they’re dealing with. But still, it just feels strange without Ichabbie. Luckily, Jenny and Joe fill their absence with a bit of role play. Seriously, how precious is this scene? Zach Appelman and Lyndie Greenwood do a spot-on Crane and Abbie discussing the approach that should be taken to dealing with this mysterious case. Such fun! Since we’re sorely missing our favorite duo, it’s time to check in on them.
Abbie spends her days playing chess and conversing with Crane because that’s how Team Witness solves these problems. They bounce ideas off of one another. Even when apart, they know what the other is thinking. It is adorable to see that Ichabod and Abbie are handling their separation in the same way. Swoon! Abbie chats with imaginary Crane when she suddenly hears his voice responding. Is this her breaking point? Has she finally gone mad? Nope! Ichabod’s image appears and flickers like a flame. He assures his dear friend that she is not crazy. As anyone of us would do, Abbie rushes in to give Crane a big hug. Our hearts break when her arms collapse through the figment of his intangible visage. We cannot wait for Ichabbie to be reunited in the flesh so that they can complete that hug. It will be EPIC. Time to put our mushy feelings aside and get down to business.
A month in our reality equals ten months in the catacombs. Poor Abbie! Can you believe being stranded for nearly a year?! No wonder she has the whole place mapped out and thinks she’s going insane. Abbie quickly catches Crane up on her life in limbo and shows him all of her findings, including the rusty cutlass. As it turns out, the weapon belonged to Betsy Ross. How did she end up the catacombs? More importantly…how the hell did she get out of there?! Hmmm, could this be a bit of foreshadowing? Speaking of Betsy, Ichabbie’s not the only one following in her footsteps.
Team Witness’ earthbound half discovers that Betsy also encountered the gargoyles. Ok, the whole dynamic between Jenny, Joe and Sophie is hilarious. Joe is terrified of getting caught in the middle of a cat-fight as Jenny and Sophie debate over how they should proceed with the gargoyle. The look on Joe’s face! This is serious stuff, we know, but it is too funny. He is walking a fine line here. He can’t piss-off his girlfriend, but he has to remain objective in their mission.
When Joe suggests to hear Sophie out, we fear Jenny will toss him in the doghouse. Instead, she appreciates how well he’s been handling all of this. He’s a genuine, sensitive dude who really tries to be there for Jenny. He gets it. Love like that is rare. So he gets a smooch instead of a scolding. Awww! Ultimately, Sophie and Jenny’s strategies are combined in a kick-ass gargoyle take-down. Jenny uses holy water from hallowed ground to weaken the creature, while Sophie seals the deal with a cement gun. It’s all pretty badass, but it is also one of our lesser concerns at this moment because Abbie and Crane just got caught up in a heap of trouble over in the catacombs.
Before we have a chance to relish all the Ichabbie awesomeness, Pandora appears in astral form. Remember when The Hidden One told her to find Abbie and get the Eye? Yeah, well this is what he meant by it. Pandora is playing hardball. She’ll help Abbie get home if they hand over the Eye. Ha! Ichabbie is no pushover. Crane is already there to escort his sweet lady back home. Pandora cannot take “No” for an answer and gives Abbie extra incentive. She severs Ichabod’s spirit tie to his body. What?! Oh hell no!!! Poor Crane is floating around the great unknown. Now you really can’t help but think that somebody should’ve stayed behind to babysit his body because this is bad. Ichabod’s soul can stay stranded forever if he doesn’t find the way back to his body soon. As Crane floats, Abbie crushes Pandora’s last bit of hope.
This is why Abbie is the best. She stares Pandora down and shatters the Eye. She may have damned herself to an eternity in the catacombs, but at least Pandora leaves empty handed. The Hidden One is going to be so pissed, but it is totally worth it. Go Abbie! We have faith in you. There’s always another way. Pandora cuts her own tie and dissipates. Once Pandora is gone, Abbie quickly gets to work. Again, we see how Ichabod and Abbie complete each other.
In an absolutely wonderful sequence, we see how Abbie desperately tries to hold onto her ties with Crane. She keeps speaking with him, making sure that he follows her voice and finds his way back home. She works through their problem by talking it out with Crane. The Witnesses are always connected. Nothing can break their bond, no matter what form they are in. Ichabbie is so in sync, even when they are apart (#Soulmates). Finally the light bulb goes off. She goes back to the site where she found Betsy’s cutlass. Anything Betsy can do, Abbie can do better, right? She climbs down the well and finds her way back home. Still not sure exactly how this portal works, but it doesn’t matter. Abbie is home!!!!
Abbie bursts into the archives, gives Jenny a big hug, and rushes to Crane’s side. Sophie, Jenny and Joe were worried about Crane since the flame went out and he didn’t wake up. Abbie keeps talking to Crane, urging him to follow her voice and find his way back to her. Alas, Crane awakes. Sigh. We can all breathe again. And we are all mush, teary, weepy, anxiety-riddled mush. We are all dying to see what Crane will say to Abbie. Even Joe looks at Crane’s face and wonders if this is it. Will Crane confess his true feelings? Is he going to tell Abbie he loves her?!
Crane takes Abbie’s hand into his and sort of caresses/holds/shakes it. We hold our breaths for what feels like an eternity. His lips part and out comes a cheeky quip about their chess match. Oh come on, it is not like we really thought he’d say it now. Did we? We wished for it, but we knew it wouldn’t happen. Not like this. But you have to admit, Sleepy Writers are getting us all primed and ready for the big moment. We can feel it drawing near. When Crane does finally say that he loves Abbie it will be magical. This Ichabbie hopeful imagines a “Pride and Prejudice” scenario in which Crane stumbles over his grand overture with a sweet and tender announcement of his unyielding affection: “Leftenant, I love…I love…I love you.” Ah, a girl can dream. Right?! Sorry, back to reality…
Thank God, Team Witness is back together and everybody is one piece. Pandora’s mission failed, but The Hidden One still managed to recharge his battery. In a desperate move, Pandora offers up her own magical mojo. The Hidden One has no qualms with sucking the life-force out of his dear wife. She’s left a withered shell of what she once was. We have no idea how or if her mojo will regenerate, but THO got what he wanted all along. While he has enough juice to build them a new home in what looks like the catacombs, Pandora sheds a blood tear. Maybe he wants Pandora to hang back and recharge while he prepares for their major monster meeting. We’ll have to wait and see.
There really is so much to love in this episode. Thank you Mr. Metzner for taking us on another spellbinding roller coaster ride. As always, high praise is in order for Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison. Their performances never fail to touch our hearts. Bravo to the whole Sleepy Team! We know you all have even more goodies in store for us, especially since the Kindred is finally making a comeback.
On the next “Sleepy Hollow”
Here is FOX’s official press release for “Kindred Spirits”:
“ABBIE AND CRANE FACE AN UNEXPECTED BLAST FROM THE PAST ON AN ALL-NEW “SLEEPY HOLLOW” FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, ON FOX
As Abbie, Crane and Jenny struggle to find normalcy, The Kindred reemerges as a new threat. While the team attempts to figure out why The Kindred has turned to evil, Crane finds that his romantic encounters with Zoe may have caused long-lasting trouble in the all-new “Kindred Spirits” episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Friday, Feb. 19 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (SLH-311) (TV-14 L, S, V)
Cast: Cast: Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane; Nicole Beharie as Lt. Abbie Mills; Lyndie Greenwood as Jenny Mills, Nikki Reed as Betsy Ross, Shannyn Sossamon as Pandora, Lance Gross as FBI Agent Daniel Reynolds and Zach Appelman as Joe Corbin; Jessica Camacho as Sophie Foster
Guest Cast: Derek Mears as The Kindred; Maya Kazan as Zoe Corinth”
Yay! The Kindred finally returns and rumor has it that he’s looking for a lady love. His pursuit of love is gruesome and we can’t help but be intrigued. Luckily, we have a few sneak peeks to whet out appetites. In “Miracle Grow”, Abbie chastises Ichabod for letting her plants die. Reynolds tries easing Abbie back to work in “The Least I Can Do.” Lastly, TVLine gives us a peek at Abbie breaking the news about the big guy’s return to Crane HERE. It also looks like Zoe might get caught in the crossfire.
Maya Kazan has been on the interview circuit this week and she’s been very candid about her character. She knows that fans ship Abbie and Ichabod, so she’s aware of Zoe unpopularity among Ichabbie diehards. She thinks it is sweet and gives us some insight on the tension between Zoe and Crane in Friday’s new episode. Check out her interview with TVLine.
What do you think Sleepy Heads? Did you love “Incident at Stone Manor”? Were you moved by all of those wonderful Ichabbie moments? Did Joe have you stitches? Are hesitant like Jenny in welcoming Sophie to Team Witness? What were first impressions of Ezra Mills? Will Pandora get her mojo back? Are you thrilled for “Kindred Spirits”? Do you think Zoe and Crane will break-up? Share your thoughts below!
“Sleepy Hollow” airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on FOX.
I have an insatiable passion for TV, Film, Music & Entertainment news (which is really a fancy way of saying I'm a TV addicted couch potato). I'm currently a National Examiner for "Galavant," "Once Upon A Time," "Saving Hope," and "Sleepy Hollow" on Examiner.com. I provide detailed, thoughtful, witty, and occasionally saucy recaps/reviews, as well as some fun and interesting interviews. You'll frequently see me tweeting away about my favorite shows. If you love chatting about TV as much I do, then join the fun and Talk TV with Tiffany!