The SuperSleepy Dispatch

Recap and Review: Sleepy Hollow 2:9 “Mama”

The Mills Sisters bond with their dead Mama whilst the menfolk are superfluous.  Hawley and Ichabod are forced to hold hands to support the Sisters.  Meanwhile,  Katrina simply can’t deal.

Abbie is napping at work and experiences a reoccurring dream in which she’s still in Purgatory and encounters her mother singing (You are My Sunshine) and crying amidst some ruins.  

She awakens in the Archives as Ichabod staggers in sneezing, looking like the walking dead.  I can currently relate to Ichabod’s sad state.

Abbie plays both nursemaid and mother as Ichabod tries to soldier through his cold.  He fought at Saratoga with dysentery,  don’t you know.

Since Ichabod is out of action,  Abbie goes into work and receives a case from Captain Reyes who was mightily impressed that Abbie singlehandedly uncovered a satanic cult.  Reyes wants Abbie to investigate a series of suicides at Tarrytown Psychiatric Hospital.   Abbie is surprised that Reyes chose her because Mama Mills committed suicide there.   I find it odd myself.   Reyes is starting to look like she knows more about Sleepy Hollow’s occult past than she lets on. 

Abbie takes the assignment and brings Jenny the former inmate and convict as her partner!  This must be the out of on the box thinking that Reyes’ was complimenting her on.  Jenny is freaking out in the lobby when a quietly deranged man tries to make contact.

Abbie arranges to interview Irving first.  He had nothing to do with the deaths. She had to ask because Henry the Horseman of War owns his soul.  Cue unnecessary flashback. 

He knew the first suicide from their Grouptheir sessions;  the man was on his meds and had found God. In other words,  he was not a likely suicide.

Next they review security footage.  Abbie resolves a blurred spot in the corner using filters.  Oh my it’s Mama!  They assume she’s driving patients to kill themselves the way she did.  Jenny shares a sad memory of visiting Mama at the hospital.

Abbie is back at the Archives checking on Ichabod.  She’s remembering the past as well.  She tells Ichabod that she never knew which version of her mother she would encounter day to day.  We see her memory of Mama reminding the sisters to be safe. “Eyes open, head up, trust no one.”  These are words after Fox Mulder’s (The X-Files) heart.

Oddly it is Ichabod that reminds us that Mama was tormented by real demons as well as the “demons” of mental illness.  He suggests that the real demons are making her do this to others fifteen years after her death.

Abbie still refuses Ichabod’s help and to his chagrin she has called Hawley to the rescue in his stead.  Hawley has brought Ichabod roofied matzo ball soup.  A sip of this treasured cure-all calms Ichabod enough for him to admit it’s soothing.   Another few sips knocks him out.

Show it’s not nice to roofie someone against their will.  Please aspire to goodness if not greatness…

Before Ichabod falls asleep he pulls out one of George Washington’s special maps that includes psychic lay lines on top of the terrain.  Tarrytown is located on a lay line that intersects with the spot in the woods where our world overlaps with Purgatory.   He hypothesized that Moloch’s crossover may have thinned the walls wrecking havoc in susceptible locations.  ZZZZZ…

This prompts Abbie to remind him that they haven’t heard from his wife the formidable operative.  This upsets Ichabod and sets him off again because he’s sick (and Katrina’s utility and loyalty have become touchy subjects I suspect).

We check in with Katrina, Henry and baby Moloch at Frederick’s Manor.  Henry is as facile with guilt trips as he is with sin eating and dark magic.  In no time she’s cuddling baby Moloch and turning a demonic shade of dark green  wherever the baby has touched her.  Henry is pleased in the way only a diabolical evil mastermind can be.

Hawley has joined Abbie and Jenny on the hunt at Tarrytown.  Jenny’s friends with benefits flirtation with him has been iced this episode.  They see a patient attempting suicide with broken glass and rush to stop him.  It’s the fellow they saw in the lobby.  Mama shows up and disappears with Abbie.

Abbie appears to be in an abandoned wing.  Mama trues to speak to her but they’re interrupted by Nurse Lambert who’s using kindness to mask a cold disposition and serious control issues. 

Jenny finds her there and Abbie shows her the message Mama left on a door.   Abbie recognizes it as a code for a recording in their mother’s psychiatric file.

We cut back to Frederick’s Manor.   Katrina has noticed the skin discoloration resulting from cuddling Moloch. She freaks out and appears to be back on point in regards to killing Moloch.   She finds a blooming tree in the yard which is presumably poisonous and uses it to make a tincture. Unfortunately,  by the time it’s ready Moloch has blossomed into a robust, angelic, tow-headed  boy.  It’s obvious that Katrina can’t kill him because EMOTIONS.

It’s girl bonding time at the Archives as the sisters watch the tape.  They learn that Nurse Lambert haunted their mother and forced her to commit suicide.  Abbie realizes that she’s met Nurse Lambert; also poor Irving is in danger.

He certainly is.  Nurse Lambert is currently slipping him pills and priming his pain.  Irving manages to make it to the Hydrotherapy room where he nearly drowns.   Hawley cuts him loose and they pull him out just in time.  Lab results indicate that he had taken psychotropic drugs which made him susceptible to ghostly suggestions.

It’s time for more Archives research.   They discover that Gina Lambert was a notorious angel of mercy serial killer in the fifties who was executed.  The new theory is that their mother has been trying to stop the suicides.

They visit their mother’s old room in the abandoned wing and discover a fabulous mural underneath the plaster which depicts the Mills sisters front and center,  along with the lyrics to You Are my Sunshine.  The mural reminds me of the outsider artist Henry Darger who was obsessed with telling the epic apocalyptic story  of the seven Vivian Sisters ( 

Mama sang You Are my Sunshine in Abbie’s reoccurring dream,  and Jenny remembers a forgotten day in the car with Mama when the song was on the radio. With horror she realizes that Mama nearly killed them by running the exhaust too long in a closed garage.  In the flashback we see a demon lock the doors.  Mama saves Jenny by accelerating in reverse and breaking down the door.

Abbie is strong and stoic in this episode which is her role in the family as the older sister.   Jenny is fragile and close to breaking.  The tough, gun toting sister we met in season 1 is still very much the sensitive little sister, looking up to her big sister and needing her protection.

Mama shows up and tells them that there’s a way to defeat the ghost, an ancient hex.  She can’t remember what to do; however,  it’s written  in her journal which was handed down to her from their ancestor Grace Dixon.

Mama suddenly gets agitated and tells them it’s not safe.  The nasty ghost nurse shows up, flings Jenny and Hawley to the walks and kidnaps Abbie.  She’s decided that Abbie’s pain is too much for her.  Time to die!  She forces Abbie into a wheelchair and buckles the restraints.  She tries to force pills down her throat.  Mama blips in to try to stop Nurse Lambert.

Jenny and Hawley go to the hospital’s archives and find Mama’s stuff.  She kept a, sweet drawing that Jenny had made.  Ah…! 

Luckily they find the journal too.  It dates back to Grace’s time at Frederick’s Manor, where she met the Cranes and delivered Henry.  Cue  unnecessary flashback unless we have forgotten Abbie’s familial connection to the Cranes.

Jenny rifles through the journal and settles on a West African spell to exorcism evil witch doctor ghosts.  I guess with great power comes great responsibility to go into the light.

Jenny recites the hex repeatedly with Hawley egging her on to chant it again and again.   He’s really into saving Abbie, our lovestruck,  curly mopped  blondie.   Finally unmistakable occult shenanigans start up and the nasty nurse, who is quite angry by this point, burns away to nothing, screaming all the while.

Jenny and Hawley find Abbie strapped in the chair.  They free her.  Abbie tells Jenny how their mother fought for her life.  Abbie regrets being unable to say thank you.

Jenny suggests a seance.  Happily Ichabod is well enough after his drug-induced sleep to participate and bring the candles and other necessary accouterments.  He nearly draws the line at holding hands with Hawley, but finally acquiesces.

Mama confirms that demons were after them as children and that Moloch sent Nurse Lambert to kill her.  She’s been trapped at Tarrytown Psychiatric since her death.  She watched over Jenny when she was there.  Why don’t the Sisters ask her to watch over Irving?

Mama also tells them that the journal speaks of a weapon that can defeat Moloch.  This is a very timely séance indeed!  She also tells Abbie that she’s the one that’s meant to win the War against EVIL.  Abbie realizes that Mama always knew that she was a Witness. Now that the evil ghost Nurse Ratched ( One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) has departed, Mama is free to go (poor Irving).  It’s a bittersweet emotional moment for the Mills sisters.

As they drive away a man runs in front of their car.  It’s Irving.   He’s run away and is seeking sanctuary in the trunk of the car.  Having tried to commit suicide makes the hospital a worsea fate than everfate before.  Who can say no to that face?

Additional Thoughts: 

“Mama” was written by Damian Kindler and directed by Wendey Stanzler.

Can they just shoot whoever decided to intersperse these stupid flashbacks to previous episodes whenever their plot is referenced in the current story.  I hate them.  At the least, please take yet another page from Supernatural and put the relevant flashbacks at the front of the episode in a special “Then” moment.  Supernatural fans really dig the “Thens”, especially the lengthy ones for the season finales scored to Boston’s Carry on my Wayward Son.  They’ve become a really big thing for that show.

This episode didn’t really add anything to the Mills ‘ family saga.  So I ask myself why now?  My answer: To hammer in the idea of Abbie and Jenny being special,  gifted, chosen because of their lineage.  Abbie AND Jenny. 

Mama was responding to Abbie’s questions which gave the impression that Abbie was the only Witness in the Mills family with Ichabod being the other.   This has also been Ichabod’s assumption, one that he got from Katrina and passed on to Abbie.  

I think an upcoming twist will be that we learn Ichabod is not the second Witness,  Jenny is.  Or perhaps Ichabod was a Revolutionary Ear era Witness, but his time has passed.  We know that Katrina was punished for keeping him alive and magicing him to sleep until awakening in the future.  

I am positive that we will have a future reveal for Jenny to be the second Witness for our End of Days. Sheriff Corbin trained her after all, and appeared to Abbie after his death to lead her back to Jenny.

In fact I would go so far as to say that sidelining Ichabod in this episode was a big hint that he’s really the sidekick to the Apocalypse and not a star.  Think on it.  It was a curious thing to have Ichabod absent for the meat of this episode. Mental hospitals are unsettling.   Abandoned wings in mental hospitals are truly creepy.   This episode didn’t really deliver the horror scares, although  I was afraid for the patients because of lax security and easy access to dangerous treatment rooms and abandoned wings.   Scary stuff that.

So we have a weapon that will destroy Moloch.  This is fabulous news, and so useful and timely considering that the Winter Finale is two short episodes away.  They need all the help they can get with sentimental Katrina on their team!

This episode worked as well as it did because of the performances of Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood who were outstanding.  They have the strong big sister and the fragile little sister schtick down pat.  They are also able to emote the strong love between the two despite everything.

Kudos also to Orlando Jones who really showed us Irving’s pain and desperation.  Of course I am still digging smitten Hawley.  Tom Mison’s performance is always perfection.

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