Warning: Spoiler Alert
I am lost. Last time we experienced a Sleepy Hollow episode, if memory serves, Abbey Mills was stuck in purgatory, Ichabod Crane was buried alive by his son-also known now as War the second Horseman of the Apocalypse, Jenny Mills was in a car accident and Frank Irving turned himself in for murders he didn’t commit. So why does it seem like everything is fine? Abbey and Ichabod are just proceeding as if none of that were true.
They are called to investigate a crime scene, which is a welcoming change for Ichabod who is very much ‘over’ our contemporary birthday traditions. They are following leads that seem to point in the direction of Benjamin Franklin. As it turns out, Ichabod was Franklin’s apprentice. Surprise surprise. The key upon the kite that brought electricity to the masses was to be destroyed by way of lightning. The ‘experiment’ had nothing to do with creating electricity.
The key that Franklin tied to the kite to be flown amidst the storm to discover electricity is actually, wait for it, the key to lock or unlock Purgatory. Despite their best efforts, the key’s location still eludes them. So the next logical, albeit unpopular, move is to get the answer from Henry. Nothing like questioning your son for information, who is also a Horseman of the Apocalypse.
Keeping in mind that nothing is exactly what it seems, we have “IchAbbey” (the term that the Sleepy Hollow fandom has given to the two main characters, IchAbbey just like Br-Angelina) searching for this key. Abbey recalls a time when Corbin asked Jenny (Mills-allegedly dead at this point in the timeline) to go to Philadelphia to secure an object. Which proves to be a dead-end at this point. More importantly Ichabod nor Abbey can recall exactly how Henry was captured. Which is about the moment you should suspect that Henry/War will put an end to this rouse.
And just like that, all the tumblers fall into place. They are still in purgatory. All of this, all 15 minutes of the episode thus far is the shroud pulled over our main characters to blind them from the fact that they are not actually in reality. Or at least, Abbey is not. Abbey in purgatory and Ichabod in the pine box. Just like I was expecting it to pick up. Well played writing staff, well-played indeed.
And, Jenny isn’t dead either. Always remember that in fictional scripted television, especially anything with a fantasy or sci-fi element, no one is every really dead. Jenny is unable to suppress the memory that the sin eater part of Henry can easily find. It is however, written in a code that will need to be deciphered.
They attempt to retrace steps which has Ichabod remembering that Henry turned over Katrina to Abraham. The original suitor for Katrina and former friend to Ichabod. Consequently also known as the headless horseman. Not that far away from Ichabod’s location, Katrina tries to escape her tied up state.
In purgatory, Andy Brooks (John Cho of Harold and Kumar fame) snatches Abbey. There is resistance considering their history. Low and behold, the detail we all knew was coming. Moloch (the demon creature that put Abbey and Jenny in this predicament in the first place and soul in charge of purgatory) is building a demon army and plans to enter the human realm once the gates of purgatory are opened by Benjamin Franklin’s key.
With Ichabod Crane stuck in a pine box buried underground, his situation is looking difficult. Following a few attempts to use technology to aid him, he resorts to something more familiar considering when he’s from. He can taste the sulfur in the dirt and proceeds to concoct a rudimentary fuse. He literally blows the top off the pine box and the dirt on top of it. 18th century McGuyver type stuff.
Jenny’s phone receives a text message from Ichabod, which is enough to inspire her to whip some captures tail and flip the advantage. She texts Ichabod back giving a hint as to her location. As luck would have it, there is a possibility that Ichabod is not that far away. Ichabod jumps a treacherous fence while Jenny tries to shoot her way out. Then an Ambulance crashes through the loading bay door. Ichabod shrugs his shoulders as Jenny jumps in. The scene ends with a frazzled Ichabod frustrated when he can’t figure out how to put the van in reverse.
“I need to learn how to drive.” – Ichabod Crane
In another flashback sequence to Benjamin Franklin, Ichabod remembers that Franklin created his own alphabet. Which I’m guessing could be use as a cipher. The key apparently is with Benjamin Franklin, who is not buried in Sleepy Hollow.
Abbey makes her way in to Moloch’s lair to use the mirror that can transport (temporarily) a person from one plain to the next. IchAbbie share an embrace and spill the beans on what the other has been up to. As Ichabod lays out a plan, Abbie goes the other way. “What if that’s what they want us to do? Deliver the key to them?” Which quickly becomes the self-sacrificing act of Abbey staying behind.
Crane: Leave you here…? NO. Left Tenant, I do not accept good-bye.
Mills: I need you to protect the key. We’re fighting a war Crane, coming back for me is a risk I cannot let you take.
Crane: The bible foretells of two witnesses. You and I must stay together if there is any hope of victory. The only risk Left Tenant is in leaving you behind.
One of the fun little themes at play here is the Ben Franklin->Ichabod Crane then the current Ichabod and Jenny Mills going all “National Treasure” following clues on top of clues. Down to the last detail of pulling out an old brick from an old building. If it has triple lenses glasses, I might lose it. Nope, just the key they are looking for. As they arrive back at the portal to purgatory, Jenny hugs Ichabod tightly and says, “remember the rules. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t accept anything from anyone.” Which will inevitably come up later.
Here’s an interesting development, the headless horseman places a necklace on Katrina that allows her to see who he really is. And of course, Abraham still sees this as property returned to him. The entire headless horseman thing has been predicated on the idea that Ichabod stole Katrina from Abraham. Revisionist history being what it is, Katrina does not see it that way.
Ichabod returns to find Abbey frantically looking for the amulet Katrina gave her to protect her from Moloch. They hug and she holds on. Then Ichabod says, “you’re parched” as he pulls out a flask. Even if I didn’t remember the bit about the ‘rules’, the use of a flask is almost always treacherous. Ichabod fights Ichabod (one of them clearly is Moloch). The Ichabod standing in victory is holding a key. Abbey immediately gets up to run with that Ichabod, considering the key is what Moloch is after.
Aaannnd, I’ve been duped again. They run into the clearing amidst man rifles and swords stabbed into the ground. Abbey hunches over in discomfort. Ichabod asks if she’s alright then proceeds to say what they need to do to be reunited with her sister. Then he says the one thing. THE ONE THING, that would tip his hand as not being the real Ichabod. He calls Abbey “Lieutenant”. Never once in the history of this show has Ichabod Crane referred to Abbey professionally as anything other than “Left Tenant”. Abbey reaches for a sword and sliced the imposter Ichabod’s head clean off his shoulders. Which is followed by a fist bump. Comedy gold watching an 18th century British man fighting for the American revolution thrust into the 2010s and seeing him execute a proper ‘fist bump’.
They retreat towards the rendezvous point reciting the incantation as they approach. As per normal, the matter before the trees begins to shatter like glass. Once the glass is shattered they should be left with a clean exit point. Except in this particular instance, there is a gate behind the glass. Ichabod pulls out Franklin’s key and unlocks the gate. Moloch, in tune with every square inch of his prison known as purgatory, senses the key in the lock. IchAbbie escape. From their view from the ground they see Moloch atop a horse charging in their direction. As soon as Moloch gets dangerously close, the portal closes. Surprisingly quickly. The key dissolves in Ichabod’s hand. Then Abbey looks up and says, “Well, I hope we’ll never need that again.” Rest assured, you will. At some point.
The final scene in a Marvel Universe way, introduces the new chess piece. Henry walks through a dark room. He approaches a mirror on a wall. Moloch’s image lunges toward him. Henry apologizes for failing. Moloch says, “there is new work to be done” and through the brick wall manifests armor. The armor seems to walk and move as if it were worn by an invisible man. Henry can manipulate the armor with his thoughts.
Moloch: You are the second Horseman….WAR