The Super Sleepy Dispatch
Recap and Review: Sleepy Hollow 2:2: The Kindred
Summary: Abbie tells it like it is yet she still allows Ichabod to have his way with monstrous results. Irving’s doom is written in blood. Katrina’s milkshake brings all of the boys to the yard.
The episode starts with an impending blood sacrifice. The Headless Horseman (Abraham) drags Katrina to a circular clearing in the woods ringed with fire with two wooden stakes in the center. He chains her to them. Henry is there, talking about the need to sanctify the bond between Abraham and Katrina. He uses his power to immobilize the struggling woman and slices her hand to allow the blood from Abraham’s own cut hand to mingle with hers. Henry intones that Katrina must be like Abraham in every way, as Abraham decapitates Katrina with his broadaxe. Cue Ichabod waking up in horror.
Of course out Ichabod is having another one of his frightening nightmares/prophetic dreams. He wakes up and explains the source of his Hammer Horror inner tableau to Abbie. He read about the ritual in a Coptic text, the apocryphal Codex Tchacos, from their Heroic Archives that depicts a demonic binding ritual between a human bride and a harbinger of the Apocalypse. He is sure in his heart of hearts that Abraham, the friggin’ apocalyptic Horseman of Death, plans to perform this ritual to bind Katrina to him forever.
As far as Ichabod is concerned finding the Horseman and freeing Katrina is the first item on Team Witness’ agenda. They narrow the search to a perimeter based on how far a man might travel on horseback before sunrise, and narrow the possibilities further by looking for properties that the highfalutin Abraham would consider acceptable. Eventually Ichabod remembers that Abraham proposed to Katrina at his family’s estate which is conveniently located in nearby Dobbs Ferry.
They head to the station when Abbie realizes that she’s late for an important date with the new captain. Crane wants her to make friends; however both Abbie and Ichabod, and later Jenny, fail miserably because the new boss is nothing like the old boss. She’s tough and no-nonsense, casting aspersions on what has become Abbie’s life’s work and flat out rejecting Ichabod as a useful consultant for a police department. Later she catches Jenny in the Archives with an enormous duffle bag of weapons that Abbie told her to retrieve. Jenny doesn’t rat on her sister and Sheriff Reyes immediately reads Jenny her rights and cuffs her. Did I mention that Reyes is pretty badass herself, has met and probably arrested the Mills sisters’ mother, and is a native of Sleepy Hollow.
Raye knows criminals and loves her town. She jumped on this opportunity and intends to restore sanity to Sleepy Hollow. I think that this is easy to say when you have no firsthand knowledge of the supernatural or that demonic Horseman that decapitates in the dead of night. I know some folks think she’s evil because she’s a hardass. I think she’s performing her job to the best of her abilities. Y’all might remember that I faulted Irving for being too accommodating before he had his eyes opened wide by the sight of the headless and very scary Abraham. She might be antagonistic at the moment because she’s not giving them carte blanche; however there’s no particular reason to doubt her motives yet. She seems extremely sane to me.
Abbie and Ichabod have a chat on the way to Abraham’s house. Abbie believes that Ichabod’s insistence that they focus their efforts on rescuing Katrina is causing them to lose sight of their duty to fight Moloch. Hell yes Abbie! Blessed be. You did learn something by being left in Purgatory because of Ichabod’s insistence that rescuing Katrina was the most important thing ever.
Letting Ichabod have his way then almost lost Team Witness the war. Ichabod uses nearly the same argument as he did last season (she is a powerful witch thus useful to the cause), whilst admitting that he feels he owes her the courtesy of a rescue because he is her loving husband. Methinks Ichabod can be glib and always wants things his way. I am glad he’s no longer the perfect Mary Sue AND I am worried what his flaws mean for Abbie and their cause as Witnesses.
Our heroes arrive at the estate at night, which seems like poor planning on their part, and commence surveillance. They see Katrina, Abraham and his infernal pale horse which Ichabod insists on rousing with a thrown rock. Such a bad boy when he wants to be! Ichabod wants to charge in and Abbie wants to wait until they have appropriate firepower and a plan. This time Abbie’s good sense prevails. I love that Abbie is asserting herself and taking control of the team more and more this episode.
Her good sense loses the day back at the cabin as Ichabod formulates a plan with Abbie and Jenny. Ichabod has the coptic text open and Jenny touches it in recognition because she acquired this occult object for Corbin. Ichabod is visibly miffed that she violated his book; or perhaps he’s miffed that she denied him an opportunity for another know-it-all exposition. Anyhow Ichabod is interested in the page that tells how to make and raise a patchwork soldier, equal in strength to a Horseman, called the Kindred. This veritable Frankenstein’s monster is made from the body parts of multiple slain soldiers; however the key ingredient is a piece of Abraham.
The sketch is reminiscent of a famous image from Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks, the Vitruvian Man. Since Leonardo worked on battle defenses and weaponry as well as painting, this opens up potentially delicious back story taking the war against evil to Renaissance times.
As luck would have it, no other than Benjamin Franklin tried to make a Kindred with the help of the Sisters of the Radiant Heart, Katrina’s coven. We cut to a flashback that shows the old goat winking at Katrina and she loves it.
In the present Abbie and Jenny are gobsmacked because this plans requires them to release a hellish and powerful monster on earth and take it on this book’s say so that this monster will serve them faithfully. It also requires them to remove Abraham’s head from hiding and risk him getting it and gaining him more power. Abbie sees this act as the good guys stooping to the level of the bad guys.
Ichabod insists that it’s not any monster, it’s their monster! He thinks it’s a smart way to even the playing field so he can rescue Katrina. Of course Ichabod gets his way despite the reservations of both sisters. Jenny is sent to retrieve their weapons cache (OH OH). Abbie and Ichabod comprise the head and body squad. Apparently Irving hid the head and the patchwork corpse was stashed by Franklin in a super secret location in those wonderful tunnels below Sleepy Hollow. Could it be anywhere else?
We take this moment to check in with Henry quietly playing with a woman’s hairbrush at his desk (whose?). Moloch calls in via his demonic magic mirror.
Henry kowtows again, calls Moloch “father” and apologizes once more for failing him, insisting that he will find a way for him to cross over. Moloch is still pretty chill, telling Henry that he will find a a way himself. He has a new task for Henry and he better not fail this time.
I have to think that Moloch’s plan worked out perfectly. What did he do to Abbie? Is she a Manchurian candidate (see the film of the same name)? Is the real Abbie still in Purgatory? Will she bear the Antichrist/be cloned/betray Ichabod for a change? There will be a twist. Mark my words.
Abraham is still the romantic optimist at the family homestead, hoping the charmed necklace will sway sweet Katrina. It doesn’t so he resorts to his plan b, sowing jealousy and mistrust of Ichabod in Katrina. He reminds her thar Ichabod rushed to save Abbie after mere hours while Katrina herself languished there for more than two centuries. Katrina remembering the warm embrace that she witnessed between the two Witnesses. Later on she tells Abraham that the witnesses’ fates are predestined despite whatever plans WE may have for them. He scoffs because she is quoting more Apocrypha, some of which is spurious.
This is a curious response from Katrina suggesting both that she knows something about the Witnesses that we don’t and that she herself has plans for Ichabod and/or Abbie. I am reminded that she insisted Abbie take the contraband necklace in Purgatory and she manipulated Ichabod (in my opinion) to become a patriot and fall in love with her. She’s clearly not allied with Abraham… so what is her stake in all of this…
Abraham has done everything for her in his mind and hopes that she willingly submits to Moloch’s plan for them. The planned ritual makes me double down on my earlier prediction that she will become the Horseman of Famine, and it doesn’t matter whether she’s good or bad for that to happen. I am also concerned that the powerful witch Henry was playing with her hairbrush. Was he reading her soul or using it for a spell.
Abbie visits Irving in the slammer. He’s worse for the wear, sporting bruises, abrasions and contusions. It’s bad luck to be a cop in jail. She tells him that she wants the head and advises him to get into the looney bin. He balks momentarily at giving her the head but quickly gives her its location. The head is in a safe deposit box behind a vault at the most secure bank in town. Irving has never been able to say no to Abbie.
Abbie and Ichabod go to the bank. It sounds like a children’s book however it plays more like a comedy sketch. Abbie takes care of the paperwork while Ichabod fusses about banks, weddings, pens on chains and credit cards. He is not amused by any of these things. Is it my imagination or has Ichabod really upped the dial to 11 for maximum crankiness.
At about the same time as this exchange Jenny is being arrested by Reyes at the Archives for trespassing and weapons possession. It’s worth noting that Reyes knows all about Jenny’s past including her recent jams (escaping the mental hospital and leaving the scene of an accident). Mums the word for Jenny because she knows what happens with Team Witness stays with Team Witness.
Abbie and Ichabod show up just in time to see Jenny taken to jail. Abbie tries to intervene but is shut down by both Jenny and Reyes. Reyes fires Ichabod on the spot because she sees no need for a history consultant on a police force. Ichabod is outraged at the mention of sanity until Abbie explains that Reyes knew her mother and her mother was looney tunes. Methinks Abbie’s mother was well acquainted with the supernatural shenanigans of her hometown and Reyes is a true straight man and completely innocent of the town’s mojo for the time being.
It’s time for Captain Irving’s lie detector test and he decides to go full on crazy by telling the truth about the evil happenings in Sleepy Hollow. He’s copying Jenny’s truthsayer role to a tee with the same results. Irving will be transferred to Terrytown Psychiatric Hospital before this episode ends.
Reyes is suspicious of Irving’s story and threatens him with the horrors of invasive psychiatric medicine. Somehow I think that psychotropic drugs or shock therapy would be a respite from the truth. Headless demonic assassins and creeping demonic armies are far scarier. Nonetheless, Reyes makes nurse Ratched (One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest) seem like a pussycat. She’s a realist who has no room for supernatural EVIL in her life. I wonder if she will cling to her denial like a security blanket when repeatedly confronted with the aftermath of things not from this world. Jones capably depicted Irving as a man on the verge of understanding even as he remained innocent of the truth. When he reviewed crime scenes it was clear that he sensed the unnatural nature of the perpetrators.
As Irving commits himself by telling the truth, Abbie and Ichabod are committed to finding “Franklinstein’s monster.” Abbie is always good for an apropos pop culture mash-up. This one is particularly appropriate because the essentials of the kindred’s construction could be cribbed from Frankenstein’s journal. Also the Kindred’s body is hidden by an electrified gilt bronze plaque decorated with the arms of Luigi Galvani the 18th century scientist who experimented with electrochemical current and used it to reanimate frogs legs; electrochemical energy is also known as a galvanic cell and is the premise behind a battery. His research was read by Mary Shelley in preparation for writing her magnum opus Frankenstein. Of interest is the fact his rival Alessandro Volta was the person that developed the first battery. Dear Ichabod is not as well read or infallible as he would like us to believe! See
As much as I like quipster Abbie, I really want more for the character. This episode delivers that. Not only has she taken charge of our heroic duo; she continually talks Ichabod down from his mad impulses, is the voice of common sense and their moral center. She has even identified their respective fatal flaws. Surprisingly Ichabod has one more serious than hubris.
Their tunnel sojourn is worthy of the X-Files. They disturb a bevy of bats which fly at them in a huge swarm, then beyond. Abbie is visably traumatized because it reminds her of Purgatory and Moloch’s lair. Did something very bad go down Abbie?
Ichabod mentions that she hasn’t spoken much about her ordeal. Surprisingly what has really stuck with her are the lessons she learned. She describes her overwhelming joy at seeing fake Ichabod; his presence was all it took to let her guard down. She was so close to drinking that water even though she knew it was wrong. I think she knew all along that going to Purgatory to rescue Katrina was the wrong move for then to make; and she feels that rescuing Katrina now is the wrong move too. It’s just that her faith in Ichabod is her greatest weakness. Brava Abbie! To thine own self be true.
She also thinks that Ichabod’s family is his weakness; however he voices her concern before she can say the words. He is hurt and astonished really. Remember Ichabod assumes that he is always in the right and he never questions the rightness of his decisions. Abbie believes that by chasing after Katrina he also is avoiding confrontation with Henry. Two birds with one crazy caper. Ichabod believes he can fulfill his duties as a witness and a husband at the same time. Abbie and I think one has to take precedence for obvious reasons.
Abbie sees the fancy gilt bronze plaque so out of place and reaches to touch it. Ichabod recognizes Galvani’s crest and stops her from being electrocuted. He discharges the trap and Abbie gets to push the button which opens the crypt. Voila, it’s a Kindred!
We cut back to Abraham’s house. Henry is updating Abraham on the latest news from Moloch as Katrina spies. Henry sees her and teleports in front of her to grandstand in style. His parents’ emotions and their delusion that Henry is their son are their weaknesses. They will lose. They will die. Mwahahaha!
He knows that Team Witness is on their way. “They’re coming to save you. The question is, Who will save them?” It’s looking like Abbie and Henry are well matched intellectual adversaries save the powerful magical and demonic mojo. I am banking on Abbie coming from a line of strong, good magic herself. Why else would her ancestor be House Matron in Frederick’s fortress of salvation?
Their plan is raise the Kindred to fight Abraham with Abbie’s help while Ichabod uses the chaos of the melee to rescue Katrina. Ichabod decides to raise the Kindred within eyeshot of Abraham’s house. It seems risky but then I think a theme for Ichabod this episode is that he is not his best when he focuses on family issues because he can’t think clearly.
The head opens it’s eyes as Abbie habdles it, totally freaking her out. Ichabod notes that Abraham probably knows they are there. Abbie wonders if they need candles and is shot down by Ichabod with a withering look with words to match. Ichabod recites the incantation to no effect. He is miffed and bitchy and making excuses: he may have mispronounced some words and he’s not the witch in the family. He tries again with haste because Abraham is coming. It works the second time, just in time. Of course it does.
Inside the house, Abraham ties Katrina to a chair so he can deal with her rescue party He promises that Ichabod’s’s life will end on the evening that her new life begins. Is he saying this because he knows Ichabod is there and/or he really really wants Ichabod dead, or is Ichabod’s death necessary to complete the bonding ritual? Her wording is curious. I think Katrina is a fool if she thinks she can control Abraham’s desires with her charms.
Katrina asks Abraham to be patient with her because it was his impatience that drove her into Ichabod’s arms centuries ago. She asks Abraham to “Let me accept of my own free will,” and he appears to accept her plea. This is no guarantee that he won’t force the demonic binding ritual on her when it suits him or Moloch. I think she has overplayed her hand.
The Kindred leaps up and engages Abraham who is in full Headless Horseman mode. Unfortunately they didn’t plan on Henry and his suited personification of the Horseman of War who also jumps into the fray with flaming sword. The Kindred helps Abbie when she’s in trouble, a true undead comrade in arms. She runs to find Ichabod. This was a cool sequence but a terrible plan.
More so because Katrina has decided to stay because she believes that she has Abraham wrapped around her finger. Seriously is she this full of herself, mad or under Henry’s control?
Ichabod greets his wife with such tenderness and joy. My heart is a flutter because Mison sells this scene so well. Acting! Then Katrina drops the bomb. She will be their mole and at the same time try to save their son from his dark path because it’s her duty as a mother. She pleads with Ichabod to leave despite how much it pains her to be without him. I see her mouth move but feel nothing. They kiss.
Sadly their reunion is short-lived because Abbie runs in saying that they need to go now. She is stunned that Katrina is staying but says nothing. Her eyes say
“WTF! I risked my life for these two fools!”
Team Witness escapes, the Kindred rides off to parts unknown with both Horsemen in pursuit, and Katrina uses the fact that she didn’t run away with Ichabod as proof of her loyalty to Abraham.
Back at Corbin’s cabin Abbie admits that the Kindred had their back. She also seems jazzed that Katrina is remaining with Abraham and Henry as their spy. Is that the only reason that you like the idea Abbie? She assures Ichabod that Katrina will be fine. I am pretty sure that she won’t and wonder if Abbie is just putting on a brave force for her friend or making sure Ichabod doesnt lose focus again.
Ichabod admits that they are better than Moloch and shouldn’t be raising monsters. Better late than never I suppose. They wonder where their new monster comrade is. Neither worry whether he lost the battle and was decapitated. I wonder if he will ride to their assistance whenever they are in danger, in the cloak of night I presume.
We end the episode by checking in with our incarcerated friends. Abbie thanks Jenny for taking one for the team and asks her sister to sit tight for now. There’s nothing to be done with Reyes’ attitude at the moment. Here’s a thought. Ask your Kindred to pay her a friendly visit. There’s no rationalizing that hunk of a man.
Jenny tells her sister not to take thirteen years to rescue her. This is a reference to her long stints in the mental hospital after their run in with Moloch.
Reyes visits Irving in Tarrytown Psych. Two more decapitations showed up and she thinks he knows something. Irving tells her that he used to be just like her (dude you weren’t); now with everything he’s seen he cannot go back to being blind. “The end is near”.
A man enters the room and introduces himself as Henry’s lawyer. In Ichabod’s rush to free Katrina no one thought to fill Irving in on recent events, and no one was paying attention to Henry. Henry presents Reyes with an injunction against involuntary treatments earning Irving’s trust. Irving signs Henry’s paperwork without a glance using Henry’s special pen which he jerry rigged to cut and spill Irving’s blood into the pen nib. Irving signs away his soul in blood. I am guessing that Henry didn’t fail Moloch this time. Poor poor Irving.
What a great ending to a great episode.
Vital Statistics: “The Kindred” was directed by Paul Edwards and written by Mark Goffman & Albert Kim.
Additional Thoughts: I had mixed feelings about Irving’s arc last season. Given the thirteen episode run, the writers’ need for speed necessitated Irving play very good cop when frankly he should have been acting exactly like Reyes is now. It made the character seem incompetent and diminished the power of the moment when he sees the Headless Horseman with his own two eyes. That said, I loved his subsequent moments especially his meeting with his Priest where he seems to wearily accept that he must fight the good fight and he will likely die doing it. This was a guy that lost a piece of himself when his daughter was injured. It was great to see the character become stronger and man up in the face of such a powerful and dreadful enemy.
It breaks my heart that this man was tricked into selling his soul to Moloch. I hope his arc goes the way of Andy Brooks even as I suspect he will be turned into the Horseman of Pestilence. After all Orlando Jones is a big, strapping fellow. And Henry followed through on securing Irving for Team Moloch quickly after receiving instructions from Moloch.
Soooo… it seems I may have been wrong about Katrina, or was I? Ichabod sold the love and passion in their reunion scene; I’m not sure that she did. She also was able to manipulate both men to acquiesce to her agenda despite their own heartfelt desires, just like she did centuries ago. She’s too good at manipulating men.
I know most folks feel that she has been shackled as a character by being either an exposition fairy or damsel in distress. It’s true that she’s played these roles; however she’s also been shown to be a grand manipulator, skilled liar and promise breaker. I can’t help but feel that there is more to her story. I cannot get the backstory we were shown in “Sacrifice” out of my mind, or the fact that her coven turned on her so aggressively and the Masons dropped her as an ally. So while I am willing to believe she might have been used as a distraction or red herring from Henry’s deception last season, I am still expecting some twist regarding her character. At the least I see her chosing Henry over Ichabod if push came to shove. She may not have a choice if that hairbrush was hers.
At any rate she’s a lousy mole since she completely misread what she overheard. It appears to me that Moloch will handle his grand entrance himself. Abraham and Henry are charged with creating the remaining Horsemen. That’s my read at the moment! She will likely be channeling information to Henry via the hairbrush, or someone will be. If the Kindred was a one shot deal our heroes wasted their only ace in the hole. Team Moloch is ahead again.
Things aren’t copacetic between our two Witnesses. I expect whatever tension there is to be resolved shortly somehow. Their relationship is what makes this show sing. Regardless of how much I love their relationship I am glad that there is fallout for Ichabod’s decision to throw it all away and leave Abbie in Purgatory in exchange Katrina. He was friggin’ taunted by Moloch that he would be tricked and he still did it! There should be tension between them. She should be questioning everything and she is; as a result she is now the leader of Team Witness.
Abbie tells Ichabod that her relationship with him is a problem because he’s her weakness and Ichabod’s family is problematic because they’re his weakness. It hasn’t come to a head yet this season; it will. Did anyone else noted the abundance of close shots when the two were together. They were barely shown in the same frame.
I don’t see Jenny getting sprung until Reyes is Team Witness. I am even sadder about Irving’s damnation because now I am reminded of the great chemistry between Jenny and Abbie’s old boss.
Since there was a deliberate visual shout out to the X-Files I wanted to mention that they did a great take on Frankenstein, “The Post-Modern Prometheus”.
The Codex Tchacos is real and is best known for containing the Book of Judas.
(screencaps from http://screencapped.net/tv/sleepyhollow/)