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TV  |  Reviews

Sleepy Hollow Review: “The Indispensable Man” and “Bad Blood” (Episodes 1.12 and 1.13)

January 21, 2014  |  7:39pm
<i>Sleepy Hollow</i> Review: &#8220;The Indispensable Man&#8221; and &#8220;Bad Blood&#8221; (Episodes 1.12 and 1.13)

If you’re not into cliffhangers, last night’s episode of Sleepy Hollow was not for you. If you’re not into surprises of epic, familial proportions, “Bad Blood” probably irked you. And if you’ve never been curious as to what purgatory might look like, then you may not have been impressed with Abbie and Ichabod’s journey into the intermediary realm. However, if all of those things float your supernatural drama boat, you most likely had the time of your life during the two-part season finale of FOX’s hit show. And you were not alone.

All of Abbie’s hard work trying to acclimate Ichabod with the glories of contemporary life finally paid off last night, as we bore witness to a Sleepy Hollow miracle: Ichabod sending a text message. Next to the big reveal about his son, this was probably the most exciting, unforeseen event of the episode. Do we exaggerate? Very well then, we exaggerate. But still, it was a huge deal. And things got even more hilarious as he railed against the greedy, capitalistic ideals behind cellular phone upgrades, only to confess that he did sort of want a smartphone. (Even Ichabod could see that his flip phone was starting to look very 2008.)

“The Indispensable Man” was an episode concerned with prophecy. Everywhere they turned—Washington’s bible, Brooks, the Sin Eater (Henry Parrish)—Abbie and Ichabod were warned of a coming betrayal. Ichabod would forsake his fellow witness and leave Abbie to die at the hands of Moloch in purgatory. Abbie became a bit obsessed, wondering if the prophecy was true, yet not wanting to believe it. The Sin Eater also made an interesting point to her—that the prophecy was more likely to come into existence the more she focused on it. All of this brought up the question of whether or not prophecies can be broken, and if they are spoken into existence.

Washington’s bible revealed more secrets, as Ichabod and Abbie discovered another message (from zombie Washington, since he wrote it after he died) that explained the coming apocalypse and ways to stop it. First, they’d have to retrieve the map he had drawn up, which would direct them from Earth to purgatory. This was especially enticing for Ichabod, as he immediately realized he would be able to free his wife, Katrina. However, Abbie had been visited by Brooks earlier in the episode and had another plan for the map. She was of the opinion that it needed to be destroyed since Moloch was after it—an idea that Ichabod clearly struggled with, since it called for a major sacrifice on his part. Sacrifice, along with prophecy, was another big theme for the finale, and it has to be said that Sleepy Hollow plays around with religion (specifically Christianity) and biblical text so well—it’s sort of like being in the coolest Bible study class ever.

The Sin Eater, Henry Parrish, also played a major role in the finale (even before the big, epic, insane reveal). He used the dead priest’s beads to help figure out the location of Washington’s corpse, which was also the location of the map. After finding the map and fighting off a newly transformed and demonic Brooks (actually, Brooks might really be dead this time around), Ichabod did the unthinkable and burned the map, destroying his only hope at rescuing Katrina … or, so we thought.

Although Ichabod made what was essentially the ultimate sacrifice, “The Indispensable Man” (a shouts-out to Washington) ended with bad news all around: the apocalypse was still coming (so said Henry Parrish), and Captain Irving had to turn himself in after authorities began looking into the murders that his daughter technically committed while she was under demonic possession in “The Vessel.”

“Bad Blood” began with a scene many of us saw coming. Ichabod’s act of burning up the map to purgatory had been far less sacrificial than it seemed, thanks to his eidetic memory. Try as he might, he could not get the image out of his mind (along with the thought, surely, of rescuing his wife), and he began to draw the map from memory. He wept, as he knew he had misled Abbie and was risking her life by giving them a chance to end up in purgatory. Jenny joined in on the research, and they soon discovered that, although Ichabod had lied, his new map would be completely necessary in stopping the apocalypse. Katrina was the only witch left who could perform a spell mentioned in Washington’s bible, and that spell would keep the second horseman from riding. So, this trip to purgatory was going down after all. And even though Jenny tried to stop Abbie (convinced that the prophecy would prove true, and she would lose her sister once again), the witness in Abbie was ready to face their demon, regardless of the risk.

The scenes in purgatory were unforgettable. Abbie and Ichabod were tempted with false images and scenarios based on their individual desires for alternate realities. (Ichabod’s included a special cameo from his father, played by Victor Garber.) But having been warned by Henry, the two managed to evade these tricks of the underworld and shared a fist bump of epic proportions when they finally found each other amongst all of the nameless, faceless (literally) beings. When Ichabod reunited with Katrina, the moment was far less romantic than we might have anticipated. Seriously—what was that about? Sure, there was a lot going on but you’d think the two would have been more excited to see each other. Interestingly enough, Abbie and Ichabod shared more intimate moments in this episode.

Katrina was full of bad news. She couldn’t just up and leave purgatory because it would upset the whole balance of Heaven, Earth and Hell. But she could trade places with another soul, which is how the prophecy came to be fulfilled. Abbie chose to stay behind and face Moloch while Ichabod took Katrina to Earth.

And here’s where ish got cray, for lack of a better description of the final moments in “Bad Blood.” Jenny was the first to figure out the true threat, as she entered St. Henry’s parish and realized—paying close attention to the name—that their ally was truly their enemy. Just as she was warning Abbie (who was still in purgatory walking around this amazing, life-sized dollhouse with the younger version of her and Jenny), the Headless Horseman showed up, and shot her right off the road. Jenny appears to be dead, but would they really kill off Lyndie Greenwood’s character when she is so damn cool?! Hopefully not.

As Abbie relives the first time she saw Moloch in the forest, 13 years ago to the date, she remembers a very important detail that had been lost—the Sin Eater had been there, and not in a good way.

Katrina prepared to perform the spell that would stop the second horseman, only to discover that he was right there beside her: the Sin Eater! Who then reveals his true identity, as a little boy buried alive by a coven of witches. And we all gasped in shock as we finally met the son of Ichabod Crane; little Jeremy, all growed up and really, really mad at his parents. It’s an old, familiar tale, but it works every time. Jeremy revealed that he had been “saved” by Moloch—his true father—while Katrina and Crane had abandoned him (his interpretation of events). He invited the Headless Horseman who showed up and rode off with Katrina, and then he released Papa Crane from the vines that had been holding him, and threw him in the same box/coffin from whence he’d been retrieved by Moloch. It doesn’t get much worse than meeting your long-lost son, who is now older than you, ready to bury you alive and bring on the apocalypse with your enemy.

So at the end of a pretty wicked season, we have Ichabod in his son’s coffin, Abbie in dollhouse limbo, Frank in prison, and Jenny maybe (but, please don’t be) dead. Fall can’t come soon enough.

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