Now well into its first season, Sleepy Hollow has been compared to the likes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even Law and Order: SVU. This week, the Buffy comparison made perfect sense as it became clear that the town of Sleepy Hollow is the new Sunnydale Hellmouth, with some other, delicious horror awaiting us each week. In the last episode it was a real, live scarecrow, and this week we met the golem, a living doll whose evil was complicated by the fact that it was meant to be a protector for Crane’s son. But let’s start at the beginning.
The episode opens with Crane chopping down wood and scoffing at Mills’s reference to Christmas trees and other holiday treats (like egg nog, the etymology of which Crane was happy to share). Still preoccupied with recent revelation of fatherhood, Crane has contacted an old friend from episode six—the Sin Eater, a.k.a. Henry Parrish. Although Parrish (played brilliantly by John Noble, who viewers might recognize from his guest spots on The Good Wife) was reluctant to use his gift of crossing over to other realms for non sin-eating purposes, he ultimately helps Crane make it to Katrina. As Crane mentally summons his wife, Parrish must bring him close to death, choking him until he begins to pass out, with Mills looking on. Crane meets Katrina in Purgatory, where she delves into the complicated story of their son’s birth.
Katrina had been on the run from her coven (a group of witches known as the Four Who Speak As One), after casting the spell on Crane and linking him to the Headless Horseman. She explains to Crane that she had not known she was pregnant when Crane went into his final battle, and she’d sought safe haven for herself and the baby at the Fredericks household (the haunted house from episode six) and gave baby Jeremy to Grace Dixon, ancestor of Abbie Mills. Crane realizes that he and Mills are linked in time once again, but the connection grows ominous when some library research tells them that Jeremy had accidentally killed the Dixons. His unique bloodline gave him powers that he was too young to control and in a scene slightly reminiscent of one from the 2012 film Looper, we see Jeremy as a small child whose cries set fire to whole households. Crane’s son ends up in an orphanage, where a priest physically abuses him. His pain and anger (and actual blood) create a monster of sorts—the golem, which is the living, breathing, murdering version of the doll Katrina made for Jeremy when he was just a young babe. The frightful being existed in Katrina’s realm, but followed Crane when he was resurrected into Sleepy Hollow.
Although this is a lot to pack into one episode, it’s great stuff. However, things lull a bit when the episode turns to Captain Frank Irving, who makes his way to the city to spend time with his daughter. Writers attempted to make this personal visit relevant to the episode, as Irving meets with his old pastor and gets a few answers to questions about the role of the two witnesses in the Bible. We see that his exposure to these new evils has caused him to question his faith, as he asks his pastor, “If God has a plan, who’s it for? Me or him?” A brief encounter in the park with a demon that jumps from one body to the next foreshadows a new problem for the witnesses and their apostle-like followers.
While researching Crane’s progeny in the library, a previously unhelpful librarian is killed by the golem. Crane, Mills and Parrish (who functioned as the comic relief in this episode, desperately attempting and failing to catch multiple trains out of Sleepy Hollow, and calming his nerves with crossword puzzles) realize that she was actually a witch of Katrina’s coven, and they are led to the very eerie Four Who Speak As One. These witches confess that they buried Jeremy, and that they are prepared to die as they are meant to—with Crane’s arrival.
Although Crane defeats the coven and the golem as well, he learns immediately thereafter that the fight is far from over. The Moloch (that creepy, flesh-toned being that appears in reflections) returns in a vision and tells Crane that, as a witness, he must die. Moloch also declares the soul of Abbie Mills will soon belong to him. He promises that the end of days is coming, and Crane vows to stop it.
This episode was lacking a certain je ne sais quoi, which very well might have been Abbie’s sister, Jenny. And, truth be told, Abbie herself did not have much of a storyline in “The Golem,” so here’s hoping her story starts to have a greater impact on future episodes.
Favorite Quote of the Episode (Christmas Edition): “You embroidered my name onto some over-sized hosiery. How odd.” (Crane)