Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sleepy Hollow, Season One, Episode 13: Bad Blood

Parish awakes suddenly after dreaming of Maloch.

Ichabod stands by a river and moves to follow a woman he believes to be Karina.  He arrives at what looks like an encampment of revolutionary soldiers.  When he catches up with the woman, he discovers she is not Katrina and is congratulated on the authenticity of his costume.  Ichabod believes that he is dreaming because she got the historical facts wrong.  She then informs him that he is in the middle of a re-enactment and that he is not wearing the official clothing. The conversation is cut short when Parish calls.

Back at the cabin, Ichabod is wearing a new outfit from the re-enactment.  Abbie reveals that Frank's hearing is this morning and that she promised Cynthia she would attend.  Ichabod reminds Abbie that Parish said the meeting was of the utmost importance. Abbie points out that Irving signed a confession to the murders of Devon Jones and Father Boleyn and that she believes this falls under the category of urgent.  Jenny pipes up and adds that Frank confessed to protect Macey.  Ichabod however, does not see this as a problem, as he has faith in the criminal justice system, until Jenny reminds him of her experience.

Parish bursts in saying that Maloch is going to release hell on earth.  Parish goes on to add that in his vision, he saw Maloch surrounded by four white trees, raising something from the earth.  Frank expands and talks about a man on a flaming horse, riding against a solar eclipse.  Jenny, Ichabod and Abbie quickly realise that the vision refers to the second of the four horsemen - war. Parish says that there will be a solar eclipse by today's end. Jenny believes that this cannot be a coincidence because today marks the 13th anniversary of the day she and Abbie first met Maloch.  For Parish this proves his dream was correct and that war is coming to Sleepy Hollow.

Abbie heads to the precinct and finds Frank's office cleared out.  An officee enters and says that Frank has been transferred upstate already but  that he left something for her.  Abbie opens the envelope and finds a book with a note saying, "read the marked pages."

Abbie returns to the cabin and Crane reveals that according to Washington's bible, a binding spell cast upon the soil upon which the horseman will emerge from will prevent him from entering this world. Abbie is not surprised that this will involve witchcraft. Ichabod says that unfortunately all of the witches they have met are now deceased.  Parish pipes up and brings up Katrina but Abbie reminds him that they burned the only map to purgatory. Ichabod pulls out the drawing of the map he made and Abbie calls him a liar.  Ichabod says that he had no intention of using the map without her consent and adds that Katrina is the only one who can stop the second horseman. Parish and Ichabod explain the ley lines on the map. Abbie then reveals that Frank found out that Knapp and Corbin were working together and asks Jenny to go through the tapes.  

Jenny pulls Abbie aside and asks if she really plans to break into purgatory to free Katrina. Abbie points out that they don't have a back plan.  Jenny brings up the issue of Crane handing over Abbie's soul but Abbie argues that she is no longer afraid. Jenny tells Abbie that she cannot lose her again and Abbie says that it took her time to come to terms with what happened to her and she vows that she will not lose her sister again.  Jenny makes it clear that she will hunt her down if she is not back by sunset.

Ichabod, Parish and Abbie follow the GPS to the point they have determined for the crossing. Parish warns that they must take this seriously and not accept any food or drink they are offered in purgatory. Parish warns that they could be trapped in purgatory forever if they embrace it.  They arrive at the spot and Ichabod pulls out the incantation that Washington said would open the doorway.  Parish once again tells them to cling to hope and their link to each other because purgatory will try to make them forget it.  Parish adds that they were chosen for this moment.  Parish steps back and Ichabod and Abbie say the incantation.

A gateway appears and Abbie and Ichabod join hands.  They walk through the gateway as Parish watches.  Abbe finds herself on a bed with jazz music playing in the background.  She catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror and notices a bandage on her head. She is in the cabin and is greeted by Andy and Corbin.   Abbie demands to see Ichabod but Corbin tells her that the doctor said what she is experiencing is normal after being knocked out in a live fire exercise at the FBI.   Corbin encourages Abbie to rest because her place is secure.  Abbie smiles and hugs Corbin. Abbie realises that she is supposed to remember something.

Ichabod finds himself outside of church and he calls out for Abbie.  He follows the sound of a harpsicord into a dinner party.  He meets his father who tells him that he has returned home as a hero to his country after fighting on behalf of the British during the revolutionary war.  He is told that he has been granted a professorship.  Crane says that he disavowed England but his father suggests that he was joking. Ichabod and his father embrace.  Ichabod's father offers him a drink.

In the cabin, Corbin places a plate of apple pie a la mode in front of Abbie. Abbie lifts her fork but stops when she get a vision of Ichabod. Once she realises that this isn't real, the food on the table starts to bleed.  Abbie quickly gets up and forces her way out the door, even as a now headless Corbin implores her not to leave.

Ichabod stands with a drink in his hand as his father makes a toast.  Ichabod raises the glass to his lips but he has a flash of Abbie and puts the glass down.  Ichabod realises that it isn't real and his father starts talking about Crane turning his back on his heritage.  His father pleads with him to drink but Crane is not convinced and he throws his glass into the fireplace.  Crane runs out of the room.

Back in Sleepy Hollow, Jenny is listening to the tape that Frank handed over. On the tape Corbin talks about finding a pamphlet which talks about a sermon at church outside of town. Abbie gathers her things and rushes out.

Crane is now in a forested area and it is dark.  He sees a naked woman crying on a chair and when he approaches he discovers she has no face.  Crane quickly leaves the area until he finds Abbie laying face down on the ground.  Abbie doubts that Crane is real and  he doubts that she is real as well. They fist pound as proof and Crane says that the pound serves a purpose after all.  Ichabod is now intent on finding Katrina.  He realises that they are in the woods were he first met Katrina.  They make their way to a clearing, where they find lost souls searching for salvation.

Crane and Abbey enter a church and find Katrina who is not happy to see Ichabod.  Crane reveals that Washington's bible allowed them create a doorway to purgatory. Ichabod says that he is going to bring Kartina home and that she has to stop the second horseman. Katrina refuses to leave because her soul has not received forgiveness and therefore her absence would break down the walls between the worlds. Ichabod makes it clear they are not leaving without her because with war's arrival, their destruction is assured either way.  Katrina says that the alternative requires a sacrifice.  Apparently, her soul can leave if another takes her place.

Crane volunteers but Abbie says that it is her.  Abbie and Crane argue but Abbie makes it clear that they were chosen to sacrifice themselves so that humanity could endure.  Crane points out that this fulfills Maloch's prophecy. Katrina gives Abbie an amulet to protect her from Maloch and promises to return to set her free once they have stopped War's arrival. Ichabod swears that for as long as he breathes he will come back.  Ichabod and Abbie hug and he reminds her of their bond. Maloch starts to bash against the church door, so Crane and Katrina say the incantation and quickly leave.

Katrina and Ichabod arrive through the gateway and Crane explains that Katrina could not be freed unless another soul took her place.  In purgatory, Maloch attacks Abbie and strangles her.  Abbie pulls off the amulet and forces it into Maloch's flesh causing him to release her.  Katrina is in ecstasy over being on this side.  Crane asks Katrina to find the location where she first saw Maloch.  Katrina tries to use her powers but has to struggle because they have been weakened.

Jenny pulls up to a church but finds it all boarded up.

Katrina announces they have arrived because she senses the presence of a great evil.  Parish looks around and realises that it matches his dream.

Jenny is still listening to Corbin on tape, as he talks about why someone would want to hide the name of an abandoned church.  Jenny looks up to find the eclipse is beginning.  Jenny finds a metal plate and jumps in her car.  Jenny gets on the phone while driving to try to give Abbie a warning and she is shot  by the headless horseman.  Her truck doubles over several times leaving her unconscious.

Abbie is still running as fast as she can from Maloch.  Abbie falls and finds herself in a building with the words "don't get scared", written on the walls.  Abbie follows a young girl to a tea party.  It seems that it is a younger version of her and Jenny.  They tell Abbie that they are their memories, which Maloch took out of their head.

Ichabod notices that the eclipse is nearly complete.  Katrina says that the binding spell is not working and believes they are at the wrong spot. Parish suddenly attacks and Katrina and Ichabod find them bound by the limbs of a tree.  Parish says that Ichabod's desire to be reunited with Katrina and Abbie's desire to believe there's a purpose to her pain blinded them to him.  It seems that Parish was playing the long game all of this time.  Parish reveals that the binding spell had no effect because there was nothing to bind. It seems the second horseman was on earth over a decade ago on this very day and has waited all this time to come forward.

Abbie and Jenny's memories start to tell her about Maloch.  Abbie is given a flashback of the second
horseman rising from the ground.

Katrina finally realises that Parish is the second horseman.  Parish replies "I am what you made me mother, father."  Parish says that he was condemned as an orphan and left to wither in a plain pine box.  Parish cuts his hand and says that their blood was strong enough to bring life back into his lungs, just as it gave his golemn life when he was a child.  Ichabod realises that this is why Parish knew how to kill the golemn.  It seems that Parish lay in the grave for two centuries crying out for his parents who abandoned him to eternal suffering. Ichabod realises that Parish is  Jeremy and tells him that Maloch is not his father.

Abbie starts rushing around but her memory says that the doorway is closed and that it is too late.  Her memory self tells Abbie that this is her home now.  Abbie is trapped in a doll house.

It seems that Henry took the name of the very church where he was abandoned.  Katrina tells Parish she made choices trying to protect him.  Parish calls it their first family spat and tells them their words are meaningless.  The headless horseman rides into the clearing and Parish tells him that Katrina is finally his.  The horseman rides off with Katrina and Parish releases Ichabod into his old coffin. Parish tells Ichabod that he will now know what it's like to lose faith.  Paris breaks the second seal saying that war is beginning before slamming the lid on the coffin.

That is the season finale of Sleepy Hollow. Some might have found it exiting but leaving Abbie and Ichabod in peril did not excite me in the least.  We all know that neither of them are going to die because that would end the show.  I am in fact more concerned with what is going to happen to Jenny and Frank because they are in a sense disposable.

It's no secret that I really haven't been a huge fan of Sleepy Hollow but I will say that racially speaking, it certainly has done well to be inclusive.  There are a number of characters of colour in background roles and of course we have Abbie who is a protagonist and necessary to Sleepy Hollow's continuation.  I like that Abbie's mystical nature is not tied to her race, as so often happens in modern urban fantasy an sci-fi. 

I was extremely happy to see John Noble this season and now that we know that he is the second horseman as well as Ichabod and Katrina's son, it's safe to assume that we will be seeing him next year.  Sleepy Hollow could not have made a better casting choice as far as I am concerned. I love the way that Noble's character was constructed and I never for one moment guessed that he was actually the second horseman and yet in the flashback they showed, clearly there were so many clues that something just wasn't right with him. 

The most irritating thing to me about this show is Ichabod.  I understand that he is a man outside of time but he reads like a badly written Sherlock Holmes.  His massive leaps of logic make zero sense to me and his Eidetic memory is nothing more than a cheap writers device.  I think they need to make a decision as to whether or not to properly acclimate his personality with modern times or not.  Also dressing him in period appropriate clothing would be a much better choice.  Every time I see him, all I can think about is how much he must smell, wearing the same clothing day after day.

Sleepy Hollow has been full of a lot of American propaganda that I can most certainly do without. The English as servants of evil is something I can really do without out.  Yes the English empire did some horrible things but the Americans are no better when it comes to their record on colonization.  Sleepy Hollow at times seems to do nothing but reinforce American myths about the country itself while conveniently ignoring the horrible truth.  Yes, I get that this is fantasy but the point should not be ignored.  Having Ichabod say that he is against slavery is fine because from his time there were people who were staunch abolitionists but that does not mean they wanted Black people at their dinner table.  They have kept him largely race neutral to avoid delving into the complicated and ugly history of race relations in America. 

What were your thoughts on the first season of Sleepy Hollow?