Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sleepy Hollow, Season One, Episode Seven: The Midnight Ride

We begin with a flashback to Paul Revere's ride announcing that the English are coming.  The men are riding through the countryside when who should appear but the headless horseman. One by one, he slaughters the mind riding behind Revere.

In present day Crane is astonished with the amount of food Abbey has stockpiled and declares that if they had these kind of supplies during the war, they could have taken Lexington within a day.  Abbey has decided to stockpile supplies in case they need to stay in one place and hide from he horseman for an extended period of time. Ichabod grabs a bottle of water and is astounded that Abbey would pay for water.  He suggests that they should drink tap water or from the lake but Abbey argues that tap water has chemicals in it and that the lake is too polluted.  Abbey's alarm goes off, letting her know that sundown is one hour away.  Abbey says that she will grab Corbin's shotgun from the precinct while Crane meets with the Masons. Ichabod replies that the Masons believe that they have discovered a way to exploit the horseman's weakness and questions Abbey's decision to miss the meeting. Abbey makes it clear that she is not welcome around the Masons because she is a woman.

On her way to the precinct Abbey runs into Morales.  Abbey moves quickly and explains that she is trying to get ready for Jenny's release from the institution tomorrow. Morales says that he wants to talk to her for a few minutes with Crane hanging over her shoulder and admits that while things have been awkward between them, he would like to spend some time with her. Morales asks if they can be friends and Abbie agrees to have coffee with him the next afternoon.

That evening, Morales is walking when he hears someone call his name from an alley.  It turns out that it's Brooks and Morales draws his gun.  Morales says that he thought Brooks was dead and Brooks responds that rumors of his demise are pretty much true.  Brooks advises Morales to stay away from Abbie and adds that he is the only one who can protect her at the end.  Brooks tells Morale that the time is coming when he will have to pick a side.

Abbey heads to her car and when she checks her phone, she has a message from Crane saying that he is going to talk to the Masons about excluding her.  Crane asks Abbie to meet him.  When Crane arrives at the Mason's he hears a sound similar to two gun shots.  Abbie pulls up outside and sees the headless horseman in the window so she grabs her gun.  When Ichabod moves through the house, he finds the Masons headless.  The horseman manages to escape.

Frank at the Mason house hoping that the perpetrator isn't headless. Frank questions why the Masons got their heads chopped off and Crane explains that for five hundred years, the Masons have been involved in secret war between good and evil. Frank asks where he heads are and Abbie explains that they were taken.  Exasperated, Frank declares this ritual suicide because he has run out of theories to cover for the supernatural events in his reports. Frank points out that he doesn't have proof that the horseman exists and adds that he has to notify the families before leaving.

Crane is going through the Masons files desperate to find information on the horseman.  Crane says that this isn't the first time he has lost friends in battle and this won't be the last.  Crane comes across a book with a page ripped out and throws it on the floor in anger. Abbie wonders if the horseman came looking for him  and Crane vows that he will not leave this earth with the horseman still in it.  Abbie reminds Crane that the horseman beheaded August Corbin and that she to has a stake in what happens. Crane noticed a picture of Washington with a slash through it and then surmises that the horseman was looking for his skull. Abbie replies that the last time the horseman went after his skull, Katrina warned them that this would hasten the end of days and give rise to the three other horseman.

Back at the station Frank questions Crane and Abbie about wanting to destroy the horseman's skull.  They are interrupted by an officer who reports that Frank has numerous messages from the FBI. Abbie explains that if she destroys the skull that it will never come back to him but Frank reveals that he sent to skull out to another lab. Crane points out that the horseman will kill every night until he gets the skull which will force Frank to inform more families of the death of their loved one. Abbie asks Frank to trust them.

Frank heads to the lab and calls out for Paul.  He finds Paul at the microscope and thanks him for coming in so late.  Paul reveals that the biopsy on the skull came back unreal but are still waiting for carbon dating.  Frank asks for a box to transport the skull, just as outside the horseman is arriving. The door opens and the horseman enters firing an automatic weapon, so Frank dives for cover.  Frank actually manages to shoot the horseman a few time but of course the horseman is unharmed. Frank grabs the skull and makes it out of the lab to his car and leaves the lot as the horseman looks on.

Frank places the skull in front of Abbie and says that he called his guys to get the tape at the lab but all of the camera shut down.  Abbie points out that it was like that at the precinct with Brooks and that they cannot be seen unless they want to be seen. Frank realises that everything he has been told by Abbie and Crane since day one is all true.  Frank says that he has to call the governor and Ichabod questions what Frank is going to tell him. Frank snarks about telling the governor about the horseman and says that he wanted this to all be a lie.  Abbie and Ichabod talk about destroying the skull.

Ichabod takes a sledge hammer to the skull and then drops it in a vat of acid but it turns out that skull is indestructible. Abbie and Crane leave the precinct hoping to find another way to destroy the skull when Crane notices four lanterns lit.  Crane brings up Revere's system of lanterns and Abbie wonders what four lanterns mean. They head to a rooftop and notice that the lanterns are actually heads.  Abbie wonders why the horseman would do this and Crane responds that because they are tampering with the horseman's head, he is responding in kind. Upon further investigation, Abbie learns the heads are lined with silver and Crane points out that Revere lined the lamps with silver to enhance their illumination.

Another flashback and we return once again to the night of the famous ride. Crane was guarding the safe guard where Adams and Hancock were hiding.  Crane then alerted them that the redcoats were coming by sea and watched  as Adams handed Revere a document which was a continuous manuscript kept by the Masons. The document contained information that could be used to defeat the crown.  Apparently, there was a symbol on the manuscript that Crane recognized in Corbin's files. Both Abbie and Crane realise that it was a secret to conquering evil.  Crane then realises that it was the horseman who chased Revere on his ride.  Crane suggests that the manuscript must contain a secret about the horseman and suggests that this was the information the Masons wanted to share with them.

Crane and Abbie head to a museum and of course Crane is not pleased with what the tour guide is telling his group about Revere.  Crane then approaches to a security guard to ask if he paid for the water he is drinking and complains that this should be an inalienable right. Crane heads back to the tour group and listen's as the guard talks about The Midnight Ride and intervenes to correct the tour. Abbie calls Crane Steve and tells the group that he forgot to take his medication.  Abbie then escorts Crane outside and tells him that the manuscript is on loan to a museum in London but the good news is that the manuscript is available online. Crane replies that it is good news and Abbie snarks that he has no idea about what she is talking about.

Crane is at the computer and is pushing buttons wildly causing Abbie to walk over and hit the escape key to get him back to the original page.  Abbie questions why he printed the manuscript ten times and Crane informs her that it's a fail safe in case the picture vanishes from the screen again. Abbie closes the laptop and hands Crane the manuscript saying that it was written in a code.  Crane says that to read the manuscript they need a code word to decrypt it.  Abbie calls it his area of expertise.  Abbie's alarm goes off and she excuses herself causing Crane to tell her that if she is going to end her relationship with the man across the street that she should do it in person.

At the station keeps replaying what Brooks told him in the alley. When Abbie calls, he remembers Brooks telling him to stay away from Abbie and sends the phone to voicemail.  Abbie leaves a message cancelling their plans and says that they will figure out another time. Andy appears and Abbie says that he was supposed to be dead and asks what happened.  Brooks says that he wants this to happen and Abbie points out that he sold his soul.  Brooks tells Abbie that he is trying to protect her.

Crane is still working away at the computer when some internet porn pops up.  In horror he closes the computer briefly but when he opens it again the porn is still on the screen.  Crane get up and walks over to the skull.  After examining it, he discovers the word Cicero on the back of the teeth and declares that the password.

Brook tells Abbie that the horseman won't stop coming after her until he get his dead.  Abbie says that this is not going to happen and so Brooks reminds her that the horseman is indestructible because he is death. Brooks tells Abbie that she can trap the horseman but not kill him. 

Crane looks over the manuscript and it looks like he has found a solution to their problem.

Abbie is still holding a gun on Brooks while he professes to care about her. Ichabod joins them and says that he saw Andy die in that cell.  Crane questions whether or not Brooks is still in communication with the horseman and Brook replies yes and adds that he wants to help Abbie. Crane says that Brooks can help by telling the horseman that if he wants his head back to meet him at the cemetery at nightfall. Brooks agrees to deliver the message and Crane informs him that there will be consequences if Brooks returns.  Brook disappears after telling Crane not to threaten him. Crane reveals that he has a way to trap the horseman.

Crane and Abbie are back to work and Crane says that there is a way to defeat the horseman. The manuscript says that the horseman can be caged and they must use a witch to turn moonlight into sunlight while the horseman is exposed.  Abbie asks where they are going to get a witch and says that it's too bad they cannot summon Crane's wife.  Crane admits that the though had crossed his mind but for other reasons. Abbie apologizes and Crane questions whether there are witches in Sleepy Hollow. Abbie points out that they UV light now which will simulate the sun. Crane agrees to go along since the plan does not include the internet. Crane slurps on some water declaring that it was free and the market and Abbie tells him that it came with arsenic.  Abbie asks about luring the horseman and Ichabod replies that he has a few ideas.

Ichabod and Abbie decide to enlist Frank in their plan to trap the horseman.  Frank questions where they plan to store the horseman and Ichabod reveals the Masons have a place protected by a supernatural barrier. They begin a conversation on Thomas Jefferson and Frank questions how Jefferson justified owning slaves.  Ichabod says that Jefferson did not support slavery and Abbie brings up Hemmings.  Ichabod defends Jefferson and calls him a loyal husband as they continue to work.  Frank then explains that DNA proves that Jefferson father six kids by Jefferson. Ichabod replies that we don't really know people.

Abbie again checks her phone to see how far away sunset it and Ichabod quips that she is properly looking for a message from Morales.  Abbie says that her friendship with Morales probably wouldn't have worked out anyway. Abbie says that she is always going to busy and that the most important parts of her life will be off limits. Ichabod reveals that Katrina once said something similar because she believed a relationship with him would compromise her war effort.  Ichabod says that Katrina wasn't wrong and Abbie points out that if Katrina wasn't in love with him she would have let him die with the horseman and he wouldn't be here, nor would she be stuck in purgatory.  Ichabod says that he is here and everyone he cares about has been dead for 200 years.  Abbie reveals that she feels alone sometimes as well and Crane calls it the sacrifice that witnesses must carry because all they really get is each other.  Abbie points out that the sun is almost done and Ichabod announces that it is time.

At the cemetery, the horseman shows up and Ichabod shows him the skull before riding away as fast as he can.  The horseman shoots but Ichabod ducks and continues to ride. Ichabod hops off his horse and heads underground into a tunnel, taking the skull with him.  Ichabod keeps moving and the horseman follows.  Every few feet, the horseman comes across a fake skull and crushes it with rage. Abbie makes an appearance holding the real skull and the horseman takes off after her.  Abbie pauses to blow out the light in the skull and continues moving.  Abbie calls out to Crane says that she broke her ankle and is laying on the ground as the horseman approaches. Abbie crawls backwards and screams now, so Frank flips the switch, causing the horseman to be trapped by the UV rays.  The horseman falls to his knees and is clearly in immense pain.

This episode, we had a lot of man outside of time stuff going on with Ichabod.  In earlier episodes, though it fit the story, it irritated me quite a bit.  I have to admit that in The Midnight Ride, I found it entertaining.  It makes sense to me that someone like him would struggle with technology and find it frustrating. Him going on about paying for water in particular had me cracking up.  Yes, people need to turn on the tap and stop buying bottled water.

I liked that we saw a lot more of Frank this episode.  I would still like to know more about his backstory given that in earlier episodes, they made it clear that at the very least, Frank was onto Corbin.  Is Frank more than he seems? 

The highlight for me was the conversation about Thomas Jefferson.  So many see him as a founding father and a highly moral man without admitting that he was not only a slave owner but a rapist.  There was no love affair between Jefferson and Hemmings for the simple fact that she was his slave.  If she didn't have the freedom to deny his advances, then she couldn't consent.  I am however disappointed that what chanced Ichabod's mind about Jefferson was not his rape of Hemmings but the fact that he stole a quote from him.  I guess the rape and the abuse of a Black woman is no big deal.

Well, they have trapped the horseman and I suppose the question is now what?  Who or what is going to be the antagonist now?  It all seemed really easy and in fact, hitting the horseman with some UV lights should have occurred to Abbie much earlier given that she knew he only came out at night. I am curious to see what happens next.