Sleepy Hollow begins with a child walking inside a massive house, down a spiral staircase and then finally outside to the woods, to the sound of a wooden pipe playing.
We switch to Abby who is preparing to teach Ichabod how to drive. Of course he delivers the usual bluff and bluster about driving, while complaining about not understanding why everyone has to learn to do this. Abby makes it clear that if they are to win this war, Ichabod will have to learn certain skills. Ichabod immediately floors the gas and wheels around the parking lot at such a speed that he puts Abby into a panic. It quickly becomes clear that Ichabod is more than comfortable behind the wheel of the car. Ichabod admits that he realises that Abby wants him to learn these skills in case something to her but he makes it clear that they are either going to survive together or die together. The conversation shifts when Ichabod gets an amber alert on his phone and so he and Abby head off to investigate, after Abby rightfully confiscates the car keys.
Abby sits down to speak the parents of the now missing Sarah. The parents want to be out looking and the father says that the mother needs to forgive herself for not setting the alarm the night before because she fell asleep in the office. Later, Abby talks with Beth, the mother, outside. who says that her family is cursed. Abby says that the storm will pass. It turns out that Beth was Abby's caseworker when she and Jenny become wards of the state. Abby vows that she will find Sarah.
Crane peers through the windows at the weapons which belonged to Daniel Lancaster and declares that they are celebrating a scoundrel. Abby arrives on the scene just in time to stop Crane from breaking in through the windows and orders him to meet her in the woods. Crane tells Abby that Lancaster was no patriot and only sided with the rebels when it became clear that the British were going to lose. Abby directs Crane's attention back to the present and Crane sees the site of a struggle and blood splatter. The trail quickly grows cold but Abby finds a hollow bone on the ground with holes in it. After examination, Crane says that the object is actually a bone flute; the oldest known instrument which originated in China. After pressing the flute to his mouth, Crane begins to play and Abby begins to hallucinate and become dizzy, even as she moves away from Crane towards the swamp. Crane barely manages to pull her from her daze in time. Crane tells Abby that Sarah was lured into the woods by a pied piper.
After sneaking back into the headquarters because Reyes is still rightfully suspicious of Ichabod, Abby and Crane sit to discuss the evidence they have found. Ichabod says that during the height of the war, a mysterious man lured a garrison outside with music, only to kill each soldier. Apparently, Ichabod didn't think that this was paranormal until he saw how the pipe effected Abby. Abby questions the connection between that incident and the now missing Sarah. Abby suggests having Crane play the pipe in the hopes that it will lead her to the pipers lair. Before leaving, Crane records the pipe in a thirty second loop.
Once they arrive at the location in the woods, Crane hands Abby the phone with the recording and promises to be with her every second. From almost the first notes, Abby becomes entranced and begins to move forward, with Crane following closely behind her. After a few feet, Crane pulls Abby's airbuds out, saying that they may have found their target. They sneak up on a man hiding behind a group of rocks, only to find Hawley, who says that there is still time to save Sarah.
Hawley reports having seen The Piper while he was out on a job. Apparently, The Piper attacked Hawley while he was searching for a flute made of bone. Ichabod questions how Hawley knew The Piper would strike that night and Hawley explains that he knew about the curse on the Lancaster family, as well as the fact that Sarah was turning ten. We learn that it was Daniel who hired the original Pied Piper - a man who had given his soul to a demon. Daniel then killed the Pied Piper, which caused the Piper to regenerate in present day and lure Sarah into the woods when she turned ten. Ten apparently, is the age at which the bones become the right size to make a pipe, with each pipe having a different effect on its victims. Hawley says that he got blindsided by a sicko with a costume and most certainly does not believe in the legend. Hawley adds that the victims dies of exposure and starvation and Abby realises that because it has been less than 36 hours, they still have time to save Sarah. Abby and Crane agree to hand over the pipe, as long as Hawley helps them with the case, even as Ichabod expresses doubts on the trustworthiness of Hawley.
In the meantime, Irving is in the mental institution reading from the book of Revelations. Suddenly. we a flash to Irving in an all out end of days battle about to face a rider on horse back. When Irving's bible bursts into flames and he drops it on the ground and is pulled back from his vision.
Back with Ichabod, Hawley and a once again captivated Abby in the woods. Hawley thinks this is a gag, when Abby does not respond to his presence, as she marches through the woods but Ichabod declares that Abby is enchanted. Once again, Ichabod stops Abby and they start to move more slowly with guns drawn. Ichabod stops them when he comes across a loose board in the ground, which leads to what appears to be an underground cellar. The trio head down, flashlights in the ready with weapons drawn. Abby finds Sarah alive and shackled, as Hawley continues his search and Crane stands guard. The moment Crane realises that they are not alone, Hawley comes across a man who looks like he is wearing a mask. Hawley opens fire, as Abby struggles to free Sarah. The Piper moves to face Hawley who misses with gun, causing Ichabod to come to his aid. They all rush out of the cellar, leaving an explosive device in their wake, which detonates shortly after they reach outside. With Sarah in Ichabod's arms, the groups rushs through the forest determined to find safety.
Ichabod says that the explosion would only have slowed the creature down and for his part, Hawley makes it clear that his part in this story is over, unless they are willing to further negotiate his fee. This leads to Ichabod calling Hawley a self serving reprobate but Hawley is not moved. Abby tells Hawley that the creature is part of the end of days but Hawley is only interested in getting the flute. Abby hands it over saying that she was hoping he was better than this. Abby takes out the flute and then breaks in two before dropping it at Hawley's feet, saying that there was no way they were giving him a weapon that powerful intact. Hawley grabs the broken pieces, wishes them luck and takes his leave.
Sarah is returned home and Beth rushes across the front lawn to greet her. Abby explains where they found Sarah and tells the family to stay inside, with the promise that this will all be over soon. The grateful family embrace once more and head inside.
Ichabod and Abby charge into their version of a bat cave, and load up on weapons, including noise canceling headphones. Crane comments on the fact that Sarah's mother Beth didn't show enough relief and he now believes that The Piper has been taking Lancaster girls for a century. They head to the computer and learn that The Piper has indeed been taking Lancaster girls, including Beth's older sister Lucy. Only one person escaped the piper but then the other siblings died shortly afterwards of a mysterious fever. They realise that Beth now understands that the only way to save her adopted son's was to sacrifice Sarah.
When Ichabod and Crane pull up to the house, Beth's husband is wheeling out his sons. Beth and Sarah are both gone and so Icabod and Abby take off into the woods, after Ichabod steals Daniel Lancaster's sword from the wall.
Beth continues to drag Sarah through the woods, as Sarah cries saying that she doesn't want to go any further. Abby and Crane catch up with Sarah and Beth and Beth pulls a weapon on them. Abby tries to argue that there is another way but Beth makes it clear that the Piper takes one child or the curse takes them all. Crane asks Beth to trust them and Beth drops the gun crying and embraces Sarah.
The Piper makes his appearance and the fight is on. Crane engages with his sword and Abby shoots her gun. The Piper then leaps away into yet another underground cellar and Ichabod pops in his noise canceling headphones and starts to engage. Crane is knocked on his back, causing the headphones to pop out and he is quickly overwhelmed by the cacophony raised by the Piper. In desperation, Crane grabs a rock and slams it down on The Piper's foot. The battle begins again, with Crane appearing to be out of league. Abby sneaks behind the Piper and stabs him through the back saying, "no more kids."
At Tarrytown, Irving sits down Parish, informing Parish that he knows that he is the biblical horseman of war. Parish claims that he has not lied to Irving and adds that if Irving does not want his help that means that Parish will stop the funding he has provided for Irving's wife, which help with Lacey's medical needs. Irving warns Parish to stay away from his family, as Parish threatens that Irving's court hearing will be delayed indefinitely. When Irving asks what Parish really wants, Parish claims that his objective is to set things right - calling war an instrument of justice. Parish asks Irving to question whether Crane and Abby have done anything but bring misery into his life. Parish stands to leave saying that he is a phone call away but Irving stops Parish to ask what he has done to him. Parish tells Irving to find solace in the bible, particularly Ezekiel 18:4. Irving heads to the garbage where he digs up his bible and reads the passage.
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Irving flashes back to when he signed the contract to have Parish represent him and realises that he signed in blood, thus giving away his soul.
Abby and Ichabod sit to share a cappuccino together and of course, Ichabod has to complain about how this is typical of the Italians and that cappuccino is such a rip off. Okay, I giggled (yes I know it was wrong) at that one. Ichabod takes a long sip and with his face covered in foam, admits he understand why cappuccino might be popular. The two begin to discuss if The Piper was indeed a creation of Maloch's. Abby is happy that they made it right and Ichabod declares the break over, after chugging the cappuccino adding that they have a war to win.
Hawley is eating when he is approached by a man. Full of excuses, Hawley hands over the broken pipe and is told that he has already been paid though the merchandise is broken. The broken pipe is take back to Parish, who then places it into a mortar and uses a pestle to smash the bones with a look of absolute rage on his face. Once complete, Parish tastes some of the dust released by the bones and calls it perfect.
This was only episode four and already we have been reduced to a monster of the week with only a few events to move forward the main narrative. This does not bode well for Sleepy Hollow. This week we had the legendary Pied Piper tied to one of the cursed families. We were introduced to the notion of cursed families last season, when we learned of Sleepy Hollow's first born children disappearing. This seems to be a simple continuation on theme.
Once again, we have Ichabod playing his man outside of time routine. I must admit that while this was charming in the first season, it is quickly beginning to wear on my last nerves. They manage to make him an expert at everything, yet still have him railing at modern conveniences every episode. Of course, after only just being introduced to cars, he is immediately a better driver than Abby and is tossed they keys when they suddenly need a good driver. Um yeah, screaming pile of fucking SEXISM. Thanks for that Sleepy Hollow.
I must bring up the issue of Hawley. Once again, Ichabod curses the man out and repeatedly calls him untrustworthy. I however fail to see exactly how it is that Hawley has misrepresented himself. Hawley's only real crime as I can see it, it is to fail to do Abby and Crane's bidding when they see fit. He didn't sign up to help the witnesses or engage in any kind of paranormal battle. If anything, all of the interchanges between Hawley and Ichabod serve to make the latter look like a sanctimonious blow hard. Yes I said it, blow hard!
The only addition we had to the metaplot this week was Irving's interaction with Parish. These tiny tidbits in fact were the only real interesting parts of this week's episode. I do find it hilarious that Irving would be some sort of end of day's ninja. I did however feel Irving's pain when he realised that he had signed away his soul to a devil and the true nature of the bind that he now finds himself in. Parish is right to point out, when exactly have Ichabod or Abby ever really been there for him. It seems that they take care of each other but spend the rest of the time expect everyone else to come to heel quickly when they call.
I have always found the whole British in league with demons nonsense at best and American propaganda at worse but now the religious leaning the story is taking is becoming boring and trite. As an atheist who already has zero belief in what is printed in the bible, the idea of a blueprint to be found in the Book Revelations or similarly other books in the bible begs more than a suspension of belief but all out leap down the rabbit hole. I am not sure if Sleepy Hollow is at all worth the leap at this point.