The Super Sleepy Dispatch

Recap and Review: Sleepy Hollow 2:4

Go Where I Send Thee… 

Wherein Abbie marches to the music of a fearsome piper and Ichabod continues to play jealous partner.  Irving is gifted with his first vision and the dude makes for a badass demonic minion!  Once again Henry appears to be up to no good and several steps ahead of our intrepid heroes.

The episode opens with a child dressed for beddie bye time leaving her bedroom to go outside for a walk in the woods with a complacent look on her face, apparently lured by a haunting flute tune.

The next morning Abbie is attempting to teach Ichabod how to drive. Unbeknownst to her the tall, skinny dude with the eidetic memory has more than mastered this life skill. She knows that he’s been learning on her car with Jenny’s help because Franklin’s odious odometer doesnt lie.  She has no idea that he has learned to become one with the power of his metal steed. He takes her through such fast and furious maneuvers that one would think Vin Diesel (2 Fast 2 Furious franchise) him on speed dial.  Abbie squeals in terror and righteously fusses.  He even “drifts” prior to coming to a dead stop.  Crane is pleased with his newfound prowess.  He’s so never allowed to drive her car again. She tells him that she’s within her rights to arrest him for reckless operation of a vehicle.

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Did I forget to mention the obligatory rant that a license is required to drive. Revolutionary umbrage at too much government notwithstanding, Ichabod is starting to adapt to modern society,  and as this episode shows… it feels good!

Apparently her sojourn in Purgatory has made Abbie more pragmatic than ever. She’s been making sure that Ichabod is self sufficient in case anything untoward happens to her.  He’s realized this and tells her they’re fated to succeed or fail together, and chats up their budding spy network (Katrina?!) and the fact that their army for good is growing.

This sweet moment is interrupted by Ichabod getting a text!  It’s an Amber Alert for the missing girl. Abbie is more than committed to finding the girl because the mother was the social worker that made a difference in her life. The mother blames herself for falling asleep before she set the alarm.

As Abbie excels at being the dedicated and compassionate law enforcement officer,  Ichabod is skulking and snooping, trying to remain unseen because he cannot sit idle whilst a child is in danger. He sees the family heirlooms from the Lancaster family revolutionary forefather, Daniel Lancaster.

“So, they’re celebrating a scoundrel.” Ichabod was not a fan it seems. 

FYI, this apparently made up dude doesn’t ring a bell on Google, but according to Ichabod he was conveniently late converting to the patriot’s side, and of course our first President and proud zombie General George Washington despised this fair weather revolutionary.

During their weekly traipse through the woods Ichabod once again channels his inner mountain man and finds blood spatter and evidence of a struggle. Then Abbie surveils the scene and finds more blood leading to a creepy bone flute.  Ichabod, becoming the professorial know-it-all we love to love, recognizes the instrument as ancient Chinese and starts to play a lovely tune as only Ichabod can. 

FYI, he’s an accomplished flautist because one can’t carry a cello onto the battlefield. I’m guessing he accomplished in that as well.

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His manly playing of the bone flute turns Abbie’s pragmatic noggin to mush and she begins to march to the unearthly music to parts unknown, nearly drowning in a swamp before Ichabod finally notices her compromised state.  Luckily her out of mind near death experience tells smarty pants Ichabod the name of the supernatural foe that they’re facing. It’s a Pied Piper! The blood drains from my face as I imagine the upcoming horrors of mismatched clothing.  Only the two Witnesses can help us now!

They meet chez Archives which Ichabod must sneak into now because he’s not an employee.  Cue rant against Sheriff Reyes despite Ichabod being smart enough to understand the need for official protocols.  Despite his chagrin at Reyes’ homeland security based policies, he’s determined that their new toy is similar to a piccolo but pitched half a note higher.   

Also he’s recollected a timely story from ye olde patriot days that features an extremely adept killer Piper that dispatched an entire Redcoat garrison.  Huh? That sounds exactly like what I would expect from a revolutionary Pied Piper in Sleepy Hollow.  Ichabod assumes that this is the perpetrator because the modus operandi matches.  Not really thinks Abbie.  Sadly Ichabod’s memories of yore are their only lead.

Abbie recalls feeling compelled to go in a specific direction, causing Ichabod to believe the flute’s music is a summoning spell.  He hatches a plan to record the music and have her listen via headphones so Ichabod can follow her. I am loving this new geek Ichabod. As he notes later on he’s a just a tall gillygaloofus! This is a nickname that Abbie suggests he drop immediately.

In the woods the plan works perfectly.  Ichabod sees a figure lurking and he rouses Abbie out of her happy place and she draws her weapon…

Hey! Our feisty friendly mercenary profiteer know-it-all Hawley is out here too and he is very worse for wear. He tells them that the girl,  Sara, is still alive.  As Abbie gives him first aid and Ichabod snoops through his things, Hawley tells them that he was searching for a new artifact;  naturally it’s flute made of bone because as Ichabod has previously noted there are no coincidences in Sleepy Hollow.

Anyhow,  he was out in the woods hunting for the precious when he saw Sara being attacked.  He tried to intervene and was thwarted by her attacker.  Hawley also provides some important intel.  He knew to hunt for the flute on Sara’s tenth birthday because of the Lancaster family curse.

To wit, a Redcoat garrison was freeloading at the scoundrel Daniel Lancaster’s house.  He contracted with the Piper to lure them away and dispatch them to the hereafter because there were making untoward advances to his daughters.  Cue the “historic” background to Ichabod’s vague recollection.

Lancaster was a cheap scoundel who reneged on their deal by killing the Piper and disposing of his body.  Bad deal that. Especially since it turns out that the Piper was a mercenary who had given his soul to a demon leading to his formidable knife skills.  Thus is born the curse on the family to lose one daughter per generation. He uses the bones to make his flutes,  each bone casting a different spell. Oh and he lures them away at the age of ten when their bones are perfect for flute making.

Oh how I love this silly show which never fails to forget in the end that it is prime time horror. This is dark stuff and a gorgeously macabre use of the Pied Piper story.  I cannot believe I expected the worst from this storyline.

Of course Hawley doesn’t believe that the legend is true. He’s just looking for his latest paycheck.  Nonetheless we note his previous heroics lost him the bone and caused him serious bodily harm.  There’s hope for Blondie yet to discover his heart and the goodness of his soul!  In the meantime Abbie knows how to lure him temporarily to the cause.  She shows him the magic flute and says it is his for the taking if he helps them save the girl.

We cut to poor Irving trapped in the looney bin; he is torn up about gaining his freedom at the hands of a major bad dude and apocryphal Horseman.  He’s reading up on the four Horseman in the Bible and suddenly experiences a vision of himself as demonic minion mercenary with considerable dark mojo, as the armored Horseman of War rides with flaming sword held high,  bringing riot and chaos to the town.  As the vision ends the Bible bursts into flames.   Oh oh.  Methinks poor poor Irving has had his first prophetic vision.

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Hawley has agreed to help! The men follow Abbie as she is lured to a crumbling foundation with a trap door, found by Ichabod of course. They go in and it’s a creepy haunted house/demonic torture lair.  Seriously it’s all kinds of scary as they view all of the bone remains of dismembered little Lancaster girls.  Good grief!  This is high horror. 

Silly Hawley still doesn’t get that he’s in a horror show about demon spawn bringing about the end of days.  He wanders off from the herd in great horror tradition,mesmerized by the bone wind chimes hanging all over the place.

In short order because that clock is ticking, Abbie finds Sara unconscious and starts to free her.  Hawley finds the Piper whos a terrifying white faced ghoul.  He shoots in fear but misses the fleeting spectre.  Ichabod goes to help Hawley when the shots are fired. Both men are knocked down, then incapacitated by a magic bone whirligig/staff that emits a high pitched whine that drives them mad.  Hawley manages to toss a live grenade which explodes knocking the Piper over.  They lay charges as they escape into the woods with Abbie and Sara in the lead.

Our heroic duo plan to take Sara home after which they will load up on weapons and ammo to take the demonic Piper down. Hawley wants no part of the grand plan and reckons his part is done.  Ichabod rants and calls him some choice words.  Abbie is gobsmacked that he choses to walk away in the wake of demonic forces heralding the Apocalypse. Seriously,  who does that?!  Apparently people who have not yet found their inner hero.

Hawley asks which Apocalypse? They all have their lucrative artifacts which means his business is booming. Sure he’s freaked out that monsters are real… but fighting them to save this world is not his

problem… YET methinks. Hawley is clearly an attempt to introduce a Hans Solo type character to the mix; one who will become a reluctant ally for hire, then friend and finally a freedom fighter against evil.

Things get tense between Hawley and Abbie until she agrees to honor their deal.  To Ichabod’s delight she breaks the flute before giving it to him.  She says that she broke it because it’s too powerful to give to anyone, but I think she doesn’t believe he’s earned it (on multiple levels).

Our heroes return the child to her parents.   The father is overjoyed.  Mom still seems pretty upset.

At the archives there’s a sweet moment when Ichabod sports his first pair of noise cancelling earplugs. A discussion of Beth Lancaster’s unexpected reaction to her daughter’s return prompts Ichabod to ask Abbie to perform the logging on ceremony and they access the digital archives which extend back to the 18th century.  Sleepy Hollow is blessed with top drawer archivists! These verify Hawley’s description of the legend. A daughter has disappeared on her tenth birthday in every generation except for one, when searchers found the girl and returned her.  Afterwards all of the children sickened and died.  The curse is more ruthless than they knew. 

They also learn that Beth is obviously aware of the Lancaster curse because her older sister was the most recent victim before Sara.   They soon discover that she has taken the girl back to the woods to sacrifice her to save her other children.

Ichabod steals the Lancaster cutlass because it is a renowned instrument and he so wants to best the Piper at swordplay.  I think that any man paying attention to his Leftenant (cough Hawley cough) brings out his competitive side.

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This leads to an emotional confrontation in the woods during which mother and child cry and Abbie and Ichabod plead for Beth to let them make things right.  Beth drops her gun in tears and the Piper attacks.  Ichabod, both armed and ready for a rematch, charges. 

Abbie proves to be a Crack shot as she hits the Piper repeatedly.  He is forced to take cover in his serial killer hide hole. 

Ichabod jumps in, then puts in his trusty earplugs.  Engarde! They engage and Ichabod matches him thrust for parry until the demonic Piper’s superior strength prevails. 

Ichabod falls and loses an earplug. The Piper uses his whirligig staff to render Ichabod insane and his unprotected ear bleeds.  Ichabod gamely continues to fight but it all seems lost until the Piper falls, and is skewered by Abbie with the long bone staff before he can attack again.  Her strong upward thrust was unexpected to say the least! Ichabod is slightly miffed to be saved by a lady but happy to be alive.

They have their Heroic victory tete a tete on the waterfront with cappuccinos, prompting Ichabod to rant about Italian thievery charging enough to buy three Tennessee horses for one swallow of coffee.    “Sadistic larceny! This is typical of the Italians. A gaudy hillock of overheated milk atop a thimble’s worth of coffee!” As an Italian American I take umbrage at Ichabod’s outdated Anglocentric notions.  Not really… it’s all in character for dear dear gillygaloofus Ichabod!

Then he takes a sip… mustache covered with foam, “I can see why this might be popular.” Of course Mison milks this scene for all its worth. Abbie is amused and enjoys their victory.

It’s a small victory.  Irving tries to cut his ties with Henry only to learn that he’s sold his soul to him by signing a contract in blood.  Hawley passes the broken flute to the buyer who brings it to Henry. Broken or not it still serves his nefarious purpose.  He takes a fragment and violently crushes it in a mortar and pestle.   He tastes a bit of the powder and smiled because he is very pleased with what he will wrought. “Perfect. “

Perfect indeed. I am very pleased with this episode despite my initial trepedition.  Kudos to director Doug Aarniokoski and writer Damian Kindler!

After a few tense episodes our Witnesses are back working as a team with the friendship fully mended.  Their enjoyment with each other is palpable.

We also seem to be done more or less with highlighting Ichabod’s flaws.  Or at least that job has been relegated to Hawley for now; he who always seems to get the better of Ichabod because he’s generally witty and he just doesn’t care.  He’s pretty secure with himself and his place in the world.  Ichabod’s insults get no play.

This episode showed Hawley’s first encounter with the indisputable face of the supernatural.  He acted pretty chill but he was clearly rattled.  He didn’t look nearly as calm afterwards at the bar.  The newfound knowledge is eating at him and I suspect his relationship with one or both of the Mills sisters will turn the tide on his growing conscious. 

Still for my taste the character is too milquetoast. I wish he had more snark and channeled a lot more Harrison Ford; nonetheless I appreciate the reason for his introduction.  It was starting to look ridiculous for our previous info dump characters to have such breadth of knowledge and continuing to provide all of the show’s necessary intel. Seriously. 

Ichabod’s revolutionary connections are wearing thin, although I did love Abbie teasing him about being stalked by Betsy Ross because he was the cutest courier at the Continental Congress!  Jenny would only know about artifacts that she retrieved for Corbin. Katrina’s role seems relegated to manipulative damsel in distress this season; despite being a spy against the Horsemen she’s yet to uncover any useful intel.

Therefore Hawley serves to credibly provide intel from a wider range of artifacts and lore.  He’s provided critical information in every episode that he’s appeared.   He’s also an excellent foil for Ichabod mocking his old fashioned appearance and sensibilities in words, appearance and actions.  Just the idea of Hawley is an affront to everything Ichabod stands for.  It’s comic gold for Mison.

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On the surface this episode did little to further the greater mytharc.  We did learn that Irving is fated to be a reluctant minion of War.

I also found the mother theme interesting in lieu of Abbie’s previous observation that a mother will always chose to support her children. Beth Lancaster was willing to sacrifice her own flesh and blood child to save her adopted ones.  This suggests that not everyone will chose to save their child over the well being of their spouse, or the greater good of all.  It’s rather ironic that an episode notable for its lack of Katrina provides hope that she will prove herself to be loyal, noble and good in the long run.

Given this show’s excellent take on the Pied Piper myth, I am looking forward to seeing them tackle the weeping woman, woman in white myth which has become de rigueur amongst horror genre shows.  Both Supernatural and Grimm have utilized this theme in earlier seasons.

Anon and goodnight fellow Sleepyheads!

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