‘Sleepy Hollow’ S3 Ep 16 recap: Hail the red, white and blue

Betsy Ross continues to help Team Witness from beyond the grave. (Photo credit: FOX via Twitter)

“Dawn’s Early Light” offered up some of the coolest twistory yet as we discover how crucial Betsy Ross’ contribution was to the Founding Fathers’ secret supernatural mission during the American Revolutionary War. Thanks to Betsy, the iconic stars and stripes play a key role in the legendary Crossing of the Delaware River in 1776. Tensions rise and jaws drop as the Witnesses welcome new allies to the team, all in an effort to defeat The Hidden One and save humanity. Let’s have fun reliving this fantastic episode of “Sleepy Hollow”!

The Hidden One lords over Pandora, slurring insults and threats after learning of her betrayal. How dare his “house pet” conspire against him! Ugh. This is getting old. Pandora is a goddess in her own right, so why is she putting up with his crap? Loving him is not a good enough reason at this point because she knows he is bad in every way. Something needs to change because we are so over this dynamic. Moving on…

Ezra Mills stops by to pay his daughters a visit and drop off an old family photo album. He is really trying to make amends. Abbie seems more receptive to reconciling, but Jenny is keeping her guard up. She pretends not to remember the candy shop where he’d buy their favorite taffy. Hey, you can’t blame her. Jenny has already show a ton of emotional growth this season, thanks to Joe. Ezra needs to earn her trust again and that’s totally understandable. When Jenny keeps taking jabs at him for abandoning their mother, he drops this nugget of wisdom: “A relationship can survive almost anything except secrets.” Well that’s a loaded statement. Fortunately, keeping secrets isn’t a problem for Ichabbie. Speaking of which, Ichabod’s unexpected arrival makes this moment extra sweet.

Crane and Papa Mills are officially introduced and it is adorable. Ezra already has a feel of Ichabbie’s unique dynamic. He tells Ichabod to take care of his daughter. Interesting how he says “daughter,” meaning Abbie, instead of daughters. Right?! No worries, Papa Mills, Crane has been taking excellent care of Abbie. Squee! Also, by episode’s end, Ezra seems to be winning Jenny over when he drops off her favorite pink taffy. Well played, Daddio. Ok, time to get back to business.

The only way to stop The Hidden One is by trapping him in Pandora’s Box, but there’s a catch. They must rebuild the box in the Catacombs of the Dead. Yikes! Ichabod is completely sensitive to Abbie’s PTSD and will not force her to return to that wretched place. Ha! Like Abbie would ever leave Ichabod hanging on a Witness mission. There is no backing down and she is all in with her partner. She just has one problem: Abbie wants to fill Reynolds in on their secret.

Nooo! He was a total jerk during the retreat and she still wants to open up to him. This is not good, plus he has something on the side with sketchy Agent Walters, so we still don’t trust him. This is annoying. Please don’t tell him, Abbie. Even so, Ichabod is careful not to overstep his bounds, or come off like a jealous/overly protective boyfriend. He suggests she proceed with caution, but remains supportive. Crane is all Aces this season, which makes Abbie’s fondness for Danny even more frustrating. This is stirring up too many unpleasant feelings, so let’s shift our focus to some kickass twistory.

Abbie found her way out of the Catacombs, but they have no clue how to get back inside. Since she found Betsy’s dagger there, clearly Crane’s older partner knew a way in. Team Witness does their thing and we get a pretty awesome history lesson. Betsy Ross not only participated in the Crossing of the Delaware, she actually created a map to the Catacombs aka the American flag! A flashback reveals how Betsy wove a special gold thread into the flag, which will help them enter the Catacombs. Ichabbie sets out to retrieve the flag from Paul Revere’s historical estate. This leads to a hilarious Crane tangent on “Hamilton,” as well as a dangerous hiccup.

They end up finding a faux flag at Revere’s, but it is still of import and Ichabbie stumbles upon some trouble. The Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart (been a while since we’ve heard about them, eh?) created an Eternal Soldier to protect the flag. Like all the other monsters on “Sleepy Hollow,” this dude is brutal and will not back down. While they try to evade the Eternal Soldier, Jenny and Joe unveil the meaning of the strange patterned holes in the flag Ichabbie recovered.

At first, we thought the holes may be bullet holes, but they are actually notes. Very clever! Jenny deduces that Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” was a Mason. The national anthem’s music and lyrics are a code. Awesome twist, right?! Of course, Team Witness can’t make a breakthrough without dealing with some major trouble.

The Eternal Soldier tracks Ichabbie down and Reynolds gets caught in the middle of their parking lot duel. Guess the secret is out now! Crane takes the wheel and Reynolds hops into their car, baffled as to why his bullets didn’t take this psycho out. Crane runs over the Eternal Soldier like a badass and they zoom out of there. Ugh, now they have no choice but to clue Reynolds into their supernatural shenanigans. After Abbie’s succinct explanation of the perils they protect the world from, Reynolds finally loses the chip on his shoulder. He understands why she’s always running off with Crane and inexplicably disappearing. Oh good for you, Danny. Now you’re in the know, but can you handle the Team Witness lifestyle? Abbie finds peace in telling him the truth, but Crane (and Sleepy Heads) don’t seem happy about it (#TeamIchabbie).

Team Witness aren’t the only ones making progress, Pandora has finally decided to stand up to her abusive husband. While she’s safe in the woods, her hologram does all the talking and she lets The Hidden One have it in their lair. She is his equal and she will not tolerate this behavior any more. He is foolish and cruel and she is so done with him. About time! Geesh, it’s like pulling teeth with this one. Now that she’s against THO, she could use Team Witness as back-up. Plus, she wants to fix her box and Ichabbie’s her only hope.

Pandora gears Ichabbie up for their trip into the Catacombs. During their pow-wow, she makes a very keen observation. She can see that these two are soulmates and basically confirms that she believes in Ichabbie. (And we can add another supporter to the #TeamIchabbie column!) While they are bracing themselves for another life-threatening mission, Reynolds is still trying to wrap his brain around what he saw.

Sophie Foster and Reynolds have a good chat about this stuff. She explains how you kind of need to pulled into this life of supernatural smiting. You really won’t believe it until you see it. It also takes some getting used to. Sophie is getting a hang of it, soon Reynolds will too. With all of these agents joining the ranks, Team Witness seems to be slowly expanding into a “Men in Black” type of organization, right?! It’s great to have federal back-up, but still…Boo! Shoo, Reynolds, shoo!!!

What makes us even more nervous is that Ichabod is not stopping Abbie from pursuing a relationship with Reynolds. After recalling Betsy’s goodbye love letter, Crane shares his former partner’s advice with Abbie: “If you care for someone, do not leave anything unsaid.” Before entering the Catacombs, Abbie should tell Reynolds how she really feels. No, no, no. This should be about Ichabbie. This is way too annoying, so let’s go back to the mission!

Team Witness needs to retrieve Betsy’s real flag from a secret lair hidden beneath a not-so-subtle statue of Orpheus. Ichabod keys in the “Star Spangled Banner” code and they enter another kickass Masonic man cave. Ichabbie grabs the flag, while Joe and Jenny work together to extinguish the fire-skulled Eternal Soldier and beat him into oblivion. Loving Jenny and Joe’s partnership so much. Great job, Team Witness! Now that they’ve got the flag, Operation Catacombs is a sure thing, so Abbie decides to take Ichabod’s advice.

Abbie has a heart-to-heart with Reynolds, resulting in a kiss. Since they’re on the same page, they may actually be able to have a successful relationship after all. Bah! This is so not how it is supposed to go. Poor sweet lovelorn Ichabod. This sucks! At least the episode ends on a pleasant note.

Ichabod and Abbie follow the song’s instructions and sit in the exact right spot at dawn’s early light. The sunlight reflects off of Betsy’s gold thread and illuminates a map to the Catacombs. The sight is absolutely breathtaking. This is one the series’ best twistories and the graphics are stunning. Crane knows this is going to be very difficult for Abbie, but he’s got her back, no matter what. Sigh, if only Ichabbie were the ones getting together instead. Maybe Reynolds joining Team Witness is a sign that he won’t be around much longer. One could hope so, for Ichabbie’s sake, right?

What did you think of “Dawn’s Early Light”, Sleepy Heads? Are you bummed about Abbie and Reynolds’ smooch? Did you love the twistory? Share your thoughts below!

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

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