Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sleepy Hollow, Season 1, Episode Six: The Sin Eater

Abbie has taken Ichabod to a baseball and when she starts to scream at the umpire, Ichabod does not understand.  Abbie explains that baseball makes a person feel safe because the rules don't change, it requires teamwork and anyone can play regardless of who they are.  Ichabod extrapolates that baseball is like democracy and cusses out the umpire.  Unfortunately, the umpire didn't actually make a call.  When they leave, Abbie promises to take Ichabod to a Mets game.  They leave separately because Ichabod now feels comfortable around town.  If Ichabod is so comfortable in present day Sleepy Hollow, why oh why can't he visit the Gap and get some damn jeans and a t shirt? Oh I know, the writers are worried we will forget that he is a man outside of time, though they remind us every damn chance they get.

Ichabod goes to visit Katrina's grave. He isn't there two minutes before some men roll up, shoot him with a tranquilizer, then kidnap him.

Abbie is driving when Katrina pops her into the dream world.  I guess since this is fantasy, there's no need to worry about Abbie ending up in a ditch.  Abbie finds herself in a dated home surrounded by lit candles.  When she hears a baby crying, she gets up but all she can see is a shoddy stroller. The horseman appears and Abby goes running. Abbey ends up in a room where four women shrouded in black are obviously doing some kind of spell. Katrina finally makes her appearance and says that the horseman will return to Sleepy Hollow by nightfall and you guessed it, he can only be stopped by the two witnesses. Yes, Sleepy Hollow is getting predictable.  Katrina informs Abby that Ichabod has been abducted by people who have marked his surroundings by a protective seal. Katrina believes that Ichabod was taken because of his blood tie with the horseman but not all is lost, because Katrina has found a sin eater. Katrina says that they are running out of time but tells Abbey that Ichabod must be sanctified.  Katrina adds that the sin eater will know how to find Ichabod. Abbey finds herself back in the car and having drifted out of her lane, she has to swerve to avoid an 18 wheeler. 

The next day, Abbey informs Captain Frank that the headless horseman is coming back. Abbey explains that she knows this because Crane's wife who is a witch told her.  Abbey adds that Ichabod and the horseman are connected, which means they cannot hurt the horseman without hurting Ichabod.  Franks says that he is going to hold onto his skepticism but Abbey argues that Crane wouldn't just disappear like that. Abbey says that she needs to find the sineater and will therefore need access to Jenny.

Abby shows up at the hospital and informs Jenny that she needs help finding a sin eater to save Ichabod.  Abby reminds Jenny that she went around the world looking for connections and then asks about sin eaters. Jenny says that they need to move fast.

Ichabod wakes to find himself in a room lit by candlelight and two men in suits. Rutledge places a book in front of Ichabod and tells him that it is the true story of his life. Proving that Sleepy Hollow cannot stop itself from absurd and ridiculous leaps, Ichabod surmises who Rutledge is from his cuff links and resemblance to Edward Rutledge, the youngest person to sign The Declaration of Independence. And because one leap just isn't fun, Ichabod goes on to surmise that because Rutledge's hands are rough, that he works with his hands, and apparently some discoloration on his knuckles, means that he wears a Freemason ring.  Sherlock Holmes could not have done it better; it's elementary my dear Watson. Ichabod questions what he is doing there since they are both Freemasons. Rutledge again questions whether or not Ichabod is who he says is because of course demons and stuff.  Rutledge questions when Ichabod first heard the phrase, "order from chaos."

It's flashback time.  The British were sent to the home of Arthur Bernard - a freed slave accused of treason. Arthur Bernard is accused of writing a pamphlet advocating American rebellion.  Bernard points out that the author of the pamphlet is Cicero  and Ichabod is tasked to question him with a promise of promotion if he does well. Before the torture can begin, they are interrupted by Katrina, who is now a nurse from the local Quaker community.  Katrina wants to know on who's authority they are holding Bernard a prisoner in his home. Ichabod explains by authority of the King but Katrina is not pacified and wants an explanation for Bernard's wounds. Ichabod explains that because Bernard is charged with treason, this justifies his treatment. Ichabod didn't even have to declare Bernard and enemy non-combatant, I bet the U.S. longs for the good ole days. Katrina demands to treat Bernard and adds that Ichabod's eyes suggests that he wants to show Bernard mercy.

In present day, Jane explains what a sin eater is and says that for a time, she had followed a man who was meeting with death row inmates whose last words were "sanctified." but was never able to make a connection with him. Abbey suggests that Jenny lost track of the sin eater because she was working alone.

Flashback time.  Bernard is taking a beating and Ichabod finally calls a halt to it. Ichabod offers Bernard freedom if he will just tell him who Cicero is. Bernard questions whether Ichabod would sacrifice the life of a man with a family, knowing he would be responsible for his death and their misery. Ichabod reminds Bernard that his captain will not hesitate to kill but the brave Bernard replies "the love of power is the demon of all men."  Bernard then let's Ichabod in on the big secret - there are demons all around them who disguise themselves as men. Bernard asks Ichabod to help him fight the demons but Ichabod believes that poor battered Bernard has lost his ever loving mind.

Back in he present, Rutledge points out that Ichabod interrogated Bernard for days without results.

In a quickie flashback, we learn that Ichabod's captain wanted to make an example of a group of men convicted to treason and had them hanged. Ichabod argues with his captain about why it was unwise to kill these men but the captain threatens him with hanging as well. Suddenly, the captains face morphs into the face of a demon.  Later, Ichabod meets with Katrina and says that the deaths are not his fault.  Katrina believes that Ichabod is having an attack of conscience. They then have a conversation about destiny and Ichabod reveals that he heard stories about demons.  Katrina surmises that Ichabod is a witness and is valuable in this fight.

Abbie and Jenny are not having much luck finding the sin eater.  Jenny realizes that Abbie really cares about Ichabod. It seems that Ichabod made Abbie feel that she had a purposes.  Jenny instructs Abbie to tell Katrina that she needs to be more specific. Abbie checks the list again and realises that the sin eater takes on the name of dead death row inmates.

Abbie and Jenny head to Parish's house and explain that they know what he did and what he is.  Abbie asks for help because Ichabod is missing but Parish said he doesn't do it anymore. Parish explains that using his skill was causing him to lose himself. The sisters reveal Ichabod's blood tie  and argue that the horseman is a sin and an abomination. Parish tries to leave and Abbie grabs him, causing Parish to catch a glimpse of where Ichabod is.  Jenny and Abbie quickly make a connection to the Freemasons.Jenny and Abbie head down to the tunnels.

Ichabod returns to continue the interrogation of Bernard and he is ordered to take Bernard into the forest to die. Ichabod walks Bernard into the woods, as Bernard assures Ichabod that he is invaluable to the cause. Ichabod argues that he cannot betray his country, or give up his family and home for the unknown. Bernard says that sacrifices are worth making and warns Ichabod that if he pulls the trigger, he will carry sin inside his heart forever. Ichabod then shoots but does not hit Bernard.  Bernard tells Ichabod to find Katrina because she can lead Ichabod to General Washington. Before turning to leave, Bernard tells Ichabod to tell Katrina the words, "order from chaos" to confirm what side he is on.  Bernard does not get far before he is shot by Ichabod's captain. Ichabod bayonets the captain in the stomach but of course, the captain goes all demon. When other soldiers appear, the captain disappears. A wounded Ichabod finds Katrina and speaks the password.

In the present, Ichabod is guilty that he didn't act soon enough to save Bernard.  Rutledge confirms that he believes Ichabod is who he says he is.  Ichabod asks who wrote the account of his life and is informed that Katrina did it. Rutledge says that we were in league with Katrina's coven until the coven hid Ichabod's body. Ichabod surmises that the Masons wanted him dead but the Masons point out that the outcome of Ichabod's tie with the horseman is not good.  Rutledge asks Ichabod to commit suicide and offers him poison, suggesting that this is the only way to end the reign of the horseman. 

Jenny and Abbie find where they are keeping Crane and he assures Abbie that he is fine.  Crane asks for time alone with Abbie and reveals that if he dies, the horseman will die.  Abbie does not accept this but Ichabod points out that he swore an oath to die for freedom. Aww shucks folks, isn't he noble? Abbie says that she found the sin eater and plans to bring Ichabod to him but Ichabod does not feel that there is time and adds that his de-coupling would only free the horseman to act.  Abbie argues that there is another way. Ichabod and Abbie share a moment despite horrendously bad acting from Abbie, which proves all of this shipping of Abbie and Crane is ridiculous because the two lack any kind of chemistry. Ichabod suggests that Abbie leave but Abbie is determined to say goodbye to Crane. Crane drinks the poison and apologizes to Abbie.

The sin eater shows up and orders everyone out of the room. The sin eater tells Ichabod that he can remove the sin and the poison.  Ichabod says Bernard's name and the sin eater demands that Ichabod summon him.  Bernard makes an appearance and Ichabod tells him that his death is on his soul.  Bernard argues that his death saved Ichabod's soul and says that Crane needs to let go to end the horseman's hold over him.  Bernard assures him that with Abbie's help they will defeat the horseman.  Blood appears on the table and the sin eater sops it up with bread and eats it.  Ichabod is declared sanctified and he tells Abbie that she was right because there is always another way. Rutledge enters and informs Abbie and Crane that the sun has set, which mean the horseman will come for them.

We see see the horseman make his way to the cave where Ichabod was buried for so long.

This show brings the snark out in me because the entire premise of it absolutely ridiculous. This episode we got Bernard the long suffering negro who existed to absolve Ichabod of his sins.  Really? No, he's not upset that he died, or even that Ichabod had him tortured because he's just so damn noble. Bernard was nothing more than a walking trope and died to advance the plot. I am not amused.

This episode was supposed to establish the growing bond between Ichabod and Abbie.  The problem is that Nicole Beharie's acting was so bad, it wasn't even remotely believable. Tom Mison tried to carry the scene but couldn't save it.   There is no real chemistry between these two actors whatsoever. 

Speaking if Ichabod, I know that I said this in the re cap but why can't he wear clothing of this time period.  Everywhere he goes he sticks out and I see no sense in him wearing the same clothing every damn day. When does he have the time to get them cleaned? He must stink to high heaven which is probably fine to his nose, given when he is from, but what about everyone else? Abbie can introduce him to baseball but heaven forbid he wear some khakis or a pair of jeans.

Ichabod did more of his Sherlock Holmes thing this week.  I know that there are many who find this show original but to me the more I watch, the more it feels that it is pieced together from many different shows and Ichabod an amalgamation of many different characters.  Sleepy Hollow has a been there done that feel to it.