‘Sleepy Hollow’ S3 Ep 12 recap: Papa don’t preach

Abbie finally has that long-awaited chat with her father. (Photo credit: Tina Rowden/FOX via FoxFlash)

“Sleepy Hollow” delivered some answers and then left us hanging with a disturbing image of Abbie in a troubling, grim and ever-so slightly unconventional episode. We’ve grown accustomed to Crane’s delightful flashbacks, so it was a little surprising to see someone else’s past experiences offer insights on Team Witness’ latest mysterious monster. The gang takes a big risk by trusting Atticus Nevins (Bill Irwin) and we learn more about his shared history with August Corbin. Meanwhile, the Sisters Mills take a chance on their father, Ezra (James McDaniel), and individually meet with the man who abandoned them as little girls. However, all of this is overshadowed by our growing concern for Abbie who is plagued by haunting visions. Is she bound to The Hidden One?! Buckle up, Sleepy Heads! We’re in for a really bumpy ride.

Let’s start off on a bittersweet high note. Ichabod Crane is boisterously singing and happily preparing a delicious gourmet meal with great finesse. He eagerly presents his efforts (complete with candlelight, wine, and snazzy table dressings) to Abbie. We are swooning over this romantic dinner for two that sweet Crane has prepared for his partner in crime. After their delectable meal, they can meet Joe and Jenny at the movies. Be still our fluttering hearts! Even Abbie is a little flushed over the way he spoils her so. This sounds an awful lot like an adorable Team Witness double-date, no? Sadly, Abbie plays the role of Ms. Buzzkill and turns Ichabod down on both fronts.

We have mixed feelings about this. At first, we can’t help but be super bummed. Some TV screens were yelled at as Ichabbie hopefuls lamented her decision. We feel Crane’s heartbreak and cry out: “Awww, come on, Abbie! Your friends are just trying to help.” Then we took a breath and simmered down. We know Abbie is going through a tough time and the catacombs really did a number on her. She’s having some severe PTSD and those visions are creepy. You can’t blame her for wanting some space. She goes to the shooting range to clear her head because that’s what total badasses do, while others choose to stay home and wallow in a tub of ice cream (either way, we shouldn’t judge, okay?).

Abbie’s aim is shaky and she’s worried. Reynolds just happens to be firing beside her and he’s hitting his targets like a boss. He’s still being kind, supportive, and gazes upon her face with a twinkle in his eye. He doesn’t want her to get weirded out by the chat they had…the one in which he said he was in love wither he back at Quantico. There’s no reason they can’t be professional and friendly. Ugh. Back-off, Danny Boy. It’s time for Ichabbie, so shoo! Naturally, all thoughts of romance are bumped to the back burner when fresh chaos ensues in Sleepy Hollow.

Nevins is back in town and wants to help or at least warn Team Witness about a new threat. They buckle him down in their Masonic cell because nobody trusts this weasel. Time for a good old fashioned interrogation! Crane uses Washington’s tactic and offers Nevins a delicious Cornish game hen in exchange for some serious info. Well, at least someone appreciates Ichabod’s fine cooking. Now for something less appetizing (other than the sight of Nevins eating).

Pandora has taken a literal pound of flesh from Nevins, in the form of his spleen. Ewww! He shows the scar to prove it and we begin imagining all sorts of Hannibal-esque action taking place at Pandora’s dinner table. Double ewww! Fine, Nevins. Point graphically made. Team Witness goes out on a limb and trusts him. There is a hellish new monster ripping people to shreds and it needs to be stopped. Oddly enough, Nevins has had a previous encounter with the creature. Cue the flashback!

Nevins recalls his days on the battlefield with August Corbin. They came across a hidden chest of Iraqi gold tucked away in a cave. Like Nevins said before, Corbin wasn’t always a goodie-two-shoes. Their unit decides to steel the gold. The Ghoul attacks when they go in to claim their booty. Only August and Nevins remain unscathed. Whoa! So this is Corbin’s first encounter with the supernatural. That scenario is not at all what we expected.

The Ghoul was Corbin’s first case file and it ends up being carefully hidden away in his cabinet. We learn that the Ghoul originated from Mesopotamia and can be controlled by a golden scarab (kind of like the critters from “The Mummy”). Crane keeps watch over Nevins and fills his belly with more yummy food, while Joe and Sophie track down the Ghoul before it strikes again.

It seems like every supernatural errand leads straight to Randall. Just when we’re starting to get beyond sick of this guy, the Ghoul gets rid of him for us. Having a Ghoul’s fist punched through your chest is a grisly way to go. RIP Randall. Good riddance to ya. This was all a trap, which means that Ichabod is in trouble!

The scarab has been inside of Nevins this whole time. It crawls out of the scar on his stomach. So much for Pandora’s splenectomy. Nevins sends the Ghoul after Crane and he tries his damnedest to fight-off the ruthless creature. Way to use the American Flag, Crane. Betsy Ross would be proud. Of course, Crane cannot succeed in defeating the monster on his own. The only way to stop it is to kill the scarab.

Abbie must shoot the critter while it is burrowed beneath Nevins’ skin. Crane has complete faith in his partner. As Abbie hesitates after her sub-par target practice, Ichabod reaches new octaves as he calls out for the Leftenant to shoot. Abbie hits her mark. Like we would have ever doubted her. Her aim is steadier than before, but the flashbacks and visions are getting worse. We are freaking out about this, but we’ll get back to it in a moment. First, we must settle this Nevins debacle.

Nevins nearly made us question Sheriff Corbin’s intentions. Now, he finally admits that Joe’s father was always an honorable man. Nevins grimaces, “You could choke on his saintliness.” Yes! That’s the Sheriff Corbin we know and respect. Joe’s emotional reaction is getting us teary-eyed. It is so sweet to see Jenny and Joe embrace each other after having such a challenging day dealing with their fathers. We also notice that “Sleepy Hollow” used Ichabbie’s score in the background. A whisper of that first note gives us goosebumps, but we think it is time for Jenny and Joe to have their own theme song. This is Ichabbie’s special song, no need to share it, right? Moving on…

This episode focused on a lot of daddy issues. Jenny finally confronted Ezra and learned why he left. He’s off to a good start when he says, “You don’t owe me anything…I’m here to listen.” Sadly, his excuse for abandoning his family is lame. He didn’t know what to do when Mama Mills started going “crazy.” Since he was no use at home, he decided to serve his country instead and enlisted in back-to-back tours with the Navy. That isn’t service, Sir. That is just an excuse to escape. On top of that, he wants his girls to know it was not their fault that he left. Seriously?! Duh, it isn’t their fault! We had such high hopes, but Papa Mills did not score any points with this confrontation. He gets a second chance when Abbie agrees to meet with him.

Abbie makes it very clear to Ezra that her visit is not for mushy emotional reasons. She wants to know if her mother displayed any symptoms before get situation got out of control. Could it be a Mills family curse that causes these strong women to end up “crazy and alone”? Papa Mills worries that she’ll follow in her mother’s footsteps and assures his daughter that he will be there for her from now on. But Abbie isn’t there asking for a hand to hold. She just wants the facts. Once she gets her answer, she tells Ezra that she already has a family. Loneliness is not her concern. Poor Abbie! This is a heart-wrenching exchange. Ezra has a lot of making-up to do before the Sisters Mills welcome him into their lives with open arms. Abbie’s self-awareness waivers, which makes this extra difficult to watch, but we’ll delve into that in a moment.

Like we said earlier, “Sleepy Hollow” provides some answers before leaving us with a bombshell. One of those big revelations is the identity of Reynold’s mysterious FBI contact. His name is Jack Walter and he is up to no good. He’s been working with Nevins. The Ghoul was released as a distraction and a means for Nevins to infiltrate Team Witness headquarters so that he could retrieve Corbin’s secret case file about the Nine Sacred Sights. Walters coldly shoots Nevins after getting what he wants. Holy moly! That was a lot to take in.

Now we have a bunch of questions: What are the Nine Sacred Sights? Do they have something to do with the Witnesses or the Apocalypse? How much has Walters told Reynolds about his secret side mission? Does Reynolds know the truth about Abbie and is he playing dumb? Does Reynolds really love Abbie or is he trying to woo her to gain her trust and get info for their shady secret op? Who else is involved in Walters’s scheme? How far up the FBI ladder does this go? Exactly how severely should we be freaking out about this?! Our brains are about to blow.

As if that isn’t bad enough, we are all a hot mess over Abbie’s condition. Flashbacks and visions are bad. Her keeping this all a secret from Ichabod just plain sucks. He is trying so hard to be there for her. Crane assures Abbie that he will always be by her side. Sigh! If only she would confide in her partner. He is so understanding. He’d fight this battle with her. He’d stop at nothing to help, as we’ve seen. Instead, Abbie keeps it a secret. The next thing we know, Abbie is hiding out with The Hidden One’s symbol drawn on a wall. She kneels before the image and appears to be worshiping it. She says, “You saved me. I’m yours.”

What?! Is she referring to THO? He didn’t save her. Team Witness saved her. Crane freaking spirit walked to her and almost got stranded in limbo to rescue her. This is so not cool! What are you doing, Abbie? Snap out of it! Has The Hidden One brainwashed her? We know he managed to cast some kind of spell over Pandora. She gave him her power and now he’s cruelly messing with her. He restores a tiny bit of her power and just leaves her wanting more so that she can feel the misery he’s been in. If he can do that to a goddess, then imagine what plans he has for Abbie. Oh the horror!

What did you think of “Sins of the Father”? How did you feel about the Sisters Mills’ conversations with Ezra? Did your heart break for Crane when Abbie turned him down for dinner and movie? Is he trying to gently nudge Ichabbie into a dating scenario? What are your theories on Reynolds and Walters? What are the Nine Sacred Sights? Could the catacombs be one of them? Have we seen any of them yet? Maybe the next episode offer more clues.

Here is FOX’s synopsis for “Dark Mirror”:     


As a monster resembling the fabled New Jersey Devil ravages SLEEPY HOLLOW, Crane must draw on his past to find the connection. Meanwhile, Jenny and Joe stumble as they navigate their new relationship and Abbie continues to struggle with the aftermath of her trauma. Don’t miss the all-new “Dark Mirror” episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Friday, March 4 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (SLH-313) (TV-14 L, 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: Charles Aitken as Dr. Leeds / The Jersey Devil; Peter Mensah as The Hidden One”

The New Jersey Devil sure sounds like a formidable foe. We can’t wait to see Crane’s twistory on Dr. Leeds aka the Jersey Devil. Judging from the promo, it looks like the doc was into some shady business. What role will the Jersey Devil play in The Hidden One’s evil plan? How can this “menagerie” of monsters be defeated? More importantly, what condition will Abbie be in? Will are Witness realize she’s devoting herself to The Hidden One? Will someone catch her in the act of idolatry? Will Pandora finally snap out of it and help Team Witness overcome The Hidden One? We can’t wait to find out!

“Sleepy Hollow” airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on FOX.

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