‘Sleepy Hollow’ S4 Ep 9 review: Will Molly rescue herself from Malcolm?


Friday night’s “Child’s Play” was another whirlwind episode of “Sleepy Hollow.” Although we saw the Golem twist coming, Sleepy Writers still managed to shock us with an unforeseen encounter, which left fans reeling. Let’s try to process the craziness that went down.

Molly is in a bit of funk, rightfully so. She’s rattled by her disturbing vision of grizzly Crane shackled in a dungeon. We are too! To cheer her up, Diana takes her to the Vault. Watching her bond with the rest of Team Witness is adorable! While she’s learning more about their “occupational descendants” and such, we see that Miss Molly is on someone else’s mind as well.

Malcolm is getting creepier by the minute! It looks like he needs to be in a heightened state of pain to have visions (either that or he’s just a plain old masochist). This time he sees Molly and the two of them are bonding. Nooo! This is NOT good, Sleepy Heads. There’s no way this can happen, right?! I need a happy distraction, so let’s talk about Jake…

Jake is too cute! He’s been adorkable in every episode. The way he idolizes and respects Crane, his willingness to sacrifice his life for Alex without a second thought, his failed attempts at flirting with Jenny, his brotherly behavior with Molly, and all the other moments in-between make us like him more and more.

He’s training and trying to get into shape to better face their formidable foes. Alex says he’s just trying to impress Jenny. He doesn’t totally deny it either. Ever since he saved Alex, she seems to be acting a little differently around him. I think they even had a bit of “moment” before they were interrupted. As Sleepy Writers put it, a lot of fans are on #TeamAjax 🙂

Although Jake is openly crushing on Jenny, we feel like he’s really in love with Alex. He just doesn’t realize it yet. The funny thing is that Alex seems to have fallen for him too. If he wasn’t such a guy, he’d pick-up on her hints. It’s obvious in the way she looks at him. These two will probably kiss before season’s end…that is if Evil forces don’t get in their way. Speaking of which, back to the Golem and Malcolm’s creepiness.

Molly shows them a drawing of her imaginary childhood friend, Mr. Stitch, a creepy looking rag man made out of her baby blanket. She starts humming a lullaby. Thanks to Mary Powers, we now know she was singing “All the Pretty Little Horses” (check out the lyric video and let me know what you make of it). For whatever reason, this tune animates Mr. Stitch and his life as a Golem begins. He first targets Molly’s teacher for having wronged her earlier that day. Bye-bye teach! Then he sets his sights on Diana.

I was initially shocked to see Diana as his target, but the way this episode is carefully crafted, it all makes sense. Molly learns a lot of big lessons. She’s been secretly resenting her mother, so at first she doesn’t even realize how upset she’s been. Then she hears some wise words: “Sometimes the people we like the most are the people who upset us the most.” Which eventually leads us to a pivotal mother-daughter moment.

Jenny and Diana head to the rundown amusement park to take out Mr. Stitch. Luckily, Molly comes just in time to simmer down her not-so-imaginary friend before he attacks Diana. Jenny finishes the incantation and burns Molly’s baby blanket. As the spell takes effect, Mr. Stitch ignites and softly explodes into pieces of firey confetti. A stunning visual effect. Molly hugs her mother and apologizes. With the goosebump inducing “Sleepy Hollow” theme song playing in the background, Molly explains her frustration.

Molly is angry because she’s sick and tired of Diana’s lies. She knows things are not going to be okay and she wants to stop pretending that it will be. Molly understands what life as a Witness entails and she just wants her mother to be honest and realistic about it all. Diana holds Molly and assures her that it is good to be angry and the overwhelmed girl has every right to feel that way. From now on, they’ll be on the same page. Awww! This was a fantastic scene, beautifully acted by Janina Gavankar and Oona Yaffe

Now, let’s discuss the most unnerving moments in “Child’s Play.” Before eliminating Mr. Stitch, Molly meets Malcolm. She takes liberality with Crane’s advice and “rescues herself” from the confined belly of the Vault and stumbles upon a creepy, leering Malcolm when she surfaces from underground. He tells her she’s special. Seriously, I almost expected him to offer her candy and shove her in a van. Someone call Chris Hansen! Luckily, Alex and Jake start calling for Molly and Malcolm slithers into the darkness like a snake before they appear.

Later, Malcolm shuts down his corporate headquarters and tells Jobe that he will be the father figure Molly needs in her life. Ewww! NO. We will not allow it! And we have so many questions! How did Malcolm know Molly would be there at that moment? Did he see it in another super specific vision? Are they supernaturally bound together because of the Philosopher’s Stone and mixing blood? Does he really think Molly will fall for his manipulation? Is he using Molly to trap Crane? Will Jobe help him entrap or brainwash Molly?

I’m still on the fence about Jobe. I don’t think he likes Malcolm. I feel like he’s stuck in a bad deal and there’s no easy way out of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually reaches out to Team Witness for help. Perhaps the right clue has been staring us in the face from the start. Mary Powers tweeted “Jobe means persecuted; Malcolm means usurper.” We know Malcolm plans to take over the world, beginning with the United States. Jobe doesn’t seem to have a say in his role with Malcolm. He’s kind of like a pet, a very powerful one at that. But Malcolm does seem to keep him on a leash, which is a form of persecution. We also  can’t help but wonder if Malcolm is getting in over his head. He’s gathering his troops: Headless, Logan, Djinn, Jobe…what or who else is he waiting for?

The other thing that has us scratching our heads is Alex and Jake’s discovery of their expired predecessor at the Vault. They track down Claudia Russell and find a corpse with a bleak message: “Evil always finds a way.” Her partner Michael seems to have died before she did and then she died trying to find him. So who is this mysterious Michael?  What evil were they fighting? Did they have the help of Witnesses? I don’t think so since it was just before Crane and Abbie’s time. In which case, Alex and Jake are already fairing better than Claudia and Michael…right?

What do you think Sleepy Heads? How did you feel about this episode? Do you have any theories on Malcolm, Jobe, Michael and/or Claudia? I’d love to hear your theories. Share your thoughts below or chat with me on Twitter!

Side-note: This episode reminded me a lot of Season 1’s “Golem” which is still one of my favorite episodes, in case you feel like reliving it, check out my recap.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on FOX.






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