A Whole Pec Of Trouble
Moloch bends reality, Benjamin Franklin eschews clothing, and the Headless Horseman serves bread and roses in the season premiere of Sleepy Hollow.
Ichabod Crane died, then was resurrected in the present day thanks to a limbo spell cast by his witch wife Katrina, then almost got hit by a semi, then said "leftenant" a lot while fighting the Headless-Horseman-led apocalypse with Abbie Mills! The Horseman kidnapped Katrina and sent Abbie to purgat'ry! Ichabod's son Henry buried Ichabod alive!
For He's A Jolly Good Fellow (For A 251-Year-Old We Kind Of Thought Was Buried Alive)
What's the occasion? Ichabod's birthday, apparently, as he creeps into his darkened house and is surprised by Abbie.
What are the refreshments? A festively patriotic cupcake, compliments of Abbie; cluelessness about modern natal-day traditions, compliments of Ichabod.
Whose embarrassing public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? Abbie's exposition dump, though she's comparatively discreet about it. "We both lost someone we loved," she says, so evidently Jennie is dead and either Katrina also kroaked or she's now Bride Of Horseman, which is almost worse. Fortunately (at least in Ichabod's opinion) the party's interrupted by a call from the sheriff's station.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Headed Off At The Pass
Ichabod and Abbie arrive at the cop shop to find a deputy already divested of his head, the visiting professor they were called to meet with similarly decraniumized,
the prof's desk bonsai doing creepy wormy things with its roots,
and the office trashed. Seems the Horseman came for the same info they did: files on Benjamin Franklin, whom Ichabod wastes no time shit-talking as a "blowhard, braggart, blatherskite, and gasbag" Ichabod was forced to apprentice with at George Washington's "insistence." Just as Ichabod hits the jackpot with a false-bottomed drawer full of Franklin files, everyone's favorite skull-challenged baddie comes in blasting! But Abbie's not trying to hear that even a little and literally empties both barrels into HH.
HH comes back with what looks like a flare gun. What?
Ichabod responds with a laser-sighted Buffy-style crossbow.
That sends HH crashing into a display case.
But he shakes it off and busts out a flash-bang (...seriously, what? Where's he getting this shit, UndeadMilitia.com?), then peaces out via the window. Ichabod starts to go after him, bellowing "HE KILLED MY WIFE" when Abbie tries to stop him, but when she adds that she gets it -- "he killed my sister" -- but they're low on ammo and they have to "stay on mission," he subsides. Also, he has an attack of shortness of breath, indicating that perhaps this reality is not actual reality.
Winner: Ichabod seems to think that "we have what he came for" is a victory, not a death sentence, so let's call it a tie.
That Quote"...Harvard University. That place still exists?"Ichabod Crane
Rainy Days And Hell Keys Always Get Me Down
Ichabod and Abbie return to their (homey and candlelit...hmm) lair so Ichabod can reveal that Franklin didn't perform the legendary key trick to prove anything about electricity (and also that we can probably add nudism to the list of Franklin's inventions).
He did it because, after going undercover in an anti-colonial-freedom organization called The Hellfire Club, he realized he had to try to destroy the key in question using lightning.
Alas, the key could not be destroyed, so Franklin resolved to hide it "from evil's grasp."
What's the game? Get Out Of Purgatory.
What's the first rule of Purgatory? Don't talk about Purgatory.
...No, seriously. Okay, actually it's that one soul can't leave until another takes its place.
Unless? Unless you have the key Franklin hid, the Ghenna Key. "Ghenna" = the realm between life and death, so: there you go.
Who's playing? Abbie and Ichabod; Henry and Moloch.
What's at stake? The fate of the world.
Who wins? Henry, whom Abbie and Ichabod have no choice but to consult for information on where Franklin might have stashed the GK.
Hank's For Nothing
Who called the meeting? Moloch.
What's it about? Abbie and Ichabod, who think THEY called the meeting, want to see what Henry -- who is their prisoner -- knows about the Ghenna Key. Henry's chained to a table in a large interrogation room filled with candles and plants; bribing him with yet another succulent doesn't get them any information, so they head behind the two-way glass to discuss the fact that Jenny mentioned going to Philadelphia to find a Franklin sketchbook for Corbin. Then Ichabod has that shortness of breath again, realizes his memory of the last year is devoid of specifics (HOW did they lock Henry up, exactly? Abbie doesn't remember either), and realizes at the same time Abbie does that they've been set up and none of this is actually happening...except the part where they just told Moloch what he needs to know to resume the earthly plane with an undead army and bring on the end of days. Oops?
How'd it go? See above. No doubt Moloch, who set up this whole alternate reality so that Abbie would accidentally divulge some subconscious information to Henry about the key, is having a fine old time typing up the minutes -- but Ichabod is of course still in that coffin, and Abbie is of course still in purgatory. Before they're torn apart she orders Ichabod to get out, find Jenny, and get the key.
Plot Lightning Round
Once she's tied to a chair, Henry wakes Jenny up with a shot of epinephrine, then brain-sucks a mental picture of the key and its coded instructions from her. He tells a creeper henchman to keep her alive while he's deciphering the code.
On The Menu
What's On The Jailhouse Menu At The Horseman's Abandoned-House Lair?
Bread: Thoughtfully unwrapped by the Horseman. A cutlass is also provided for slicing, and Katrina is untied in order to do so herself.
Gore: Katrina takes one bite of bread, then uses the knife to start hacking at the Horseman. Nope! She only opens up his hand before he throttles her into submission, then ties her back up again.
Who called the meeting? Brooks, also wandering around Purgatory (at least his head is facing the right way) (for now).
What's it about? Brooks warns Abbie about Moloch's master plan to enter the earthly realm and bring his demon posse along with.
How'd it go? Pretty well; Abbie's skeptical of Brooks's intel at first, then asks him how she can warn Ichabod using the same inter-world comms system Katrina used to.
Boom Goes The Crane-omite
After recording a valiant "I never stopped fighting" video on his phone (which he then cannot save because the phone's out of memory; heh), Ichabod MacGyvers together some gunpowder using soil, a thread fuse, and the delightful crazeballishness of the writers' room, blasts himself out of the grave, and heads towards town.
Jenny On The Spot
Henry's creeper henchman strokes Jenny's face ickily just as Jenny's cell rings. It's Ichabod. She's like, aaaand fuck this officially. Henchie gets kicked in the balls and headbutted, and when he makes a move for his gun, he gets a knife to the chest. Jenny snags his pistol and texts Ichabod to let her know she's breaking out of Shaw-Hank Prison. Jenny rules.
for breaking and entering, grand theft ambu, aiding and abetting a fugitive from sin-tasting, destruction of property
Name: Ichabod Crane.
Last Seen: Picking the locks at Shaw-Hank while covered in sulfuric soil.
Likely Punishment: None, since his accomplice's sister is a cop. May have to spend some time in driving school since he doesn't know how to put a vehicle in reverse.
Reward: Jenny doesn't shoot you.
J. Walter Weatherman Lesson
Through The Looking Glass
Told by Brooks how to use the mirrors in Moloch's lair to communicate with Ichabod, Abbie sneaks into the lair, ducks some bats, performs the recitation, and summons Ichabod to Purgatory.
...Aw. Ichabod lets Abbie know Jenny's okay, though she "is having a rather trying day as well" (hee), and Abbie briefs Ichabod on Moloch's plan, worrying that, if he frees her, it might lead the forces of evil to the key, so she should stay in Purgatory just in case. "Leave you here? No," Ichabod says, reminding her that the Bible foretells two witnesses. She sighs that he's going to come back no matter what she says, isn't he. He tells her to find the charm Katrina gave her. She says it's in the woods behind the church and she'll meet him there, so basically Moloch's screwed.
Plot Lightning Round
Ichabod is thrilled to learn that the alternative alphabet Franklin urged him to memorize never caught on -- even more thrilled than he is to realize it's the code, which tells them the key is buried with Franklin. Too bad Henry has also realized that, so when he and Jenny get to the town square, they find the Hessians already digging under the statue of Franklin. Another flashback lets Ichabod know that Franklin's imperious "you should get up earlier, whippersnapper" exhortation was actually telling him where the key would be hidden. He and Jenny find a brick with "B.F." etched into it, and the key behind the brick.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
The Shirtless Horseman
Okay, so while Katrina is tied up, the Horseman comes home, and passes the doorway peeling off his topcoat all "looooong day at work gonna take a dip in the pool brah," which is hilarious enough, AND THEN:
I mean: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT! And he takes a PAUSE on the way by, too, so she can get a good look at his headless pecs! I love this show so goddamn much. Then he comes out in his casual togs and puts the emerald necklace on Katrina while she makes "oh, gross" faces, and then his head materializes so he's Abraham Van Brunt again.
Katrina is like, I don't believe a part of you is still human, but nice try. Abraheadless condescends that she'll come around; she's gone through a lot since she was "stolen from" him. They both have.
Katrina reminds him that she only loves Ichabod, and Abraheadless tells her Ichabod will be dead by midnight so she might want to consider loving the one she's with.
THIS HAPPENED. What a time to be alive. ...Or to be the embodiment of death, I guess.
Wrap It Up
Ichabod prepares to open the portal to Purgatory. Jenny wants to come with, but he insists on doing it alone. She reminds
the audienceIchabod not to eat or drink anything, or take anything from anyone, while he's there. He recites the incantation and passes through the flying green glass to Purgatory.
On the other side, Abbie is searching in vain for Katrina's charm. Ichabod appears and starts to give her a drink, but as she's raising his canteen to her lips, the real Ichabod actually comes through the portal and wails, "NOOOOO!" And then Ichabod and Molochabod fight. One of them knocks down the other and comes to retrieve Abbie, but when he calls her "lieu-tenant," she knows it's not the real one, so she grabs a sword and beheads him in one stroke.
There's only time for a quick fist-bump
before they grab the key and bolt, because here comes Moloch's zombie regiment, clawing its way aboveground.
Moloch spots them as they flee. The incantation opens the portal, but there's a huge gate now, and Ichabod fumbles with the key as Moloch approaches -- but they get through. The portal closes just as Moloch arrives at it.
The key turns to dust in Ichabod's hand. Hugs all around. Then it's back to the Ichahaus for a debrief. Ichabod studies a map and grouses that "my wife is now a captive of the Horseman of Death, and the Horseman of War...is my son." He and the Millses agree that war is still coming. And War is literally coming, as Moloch appears to Henry in a mirror, hears his apology, and tells him there's "new work to be done." And Henry's getting an intern to help out with that.
Yeah, not good. And Lord knows what kind of trouble we're in when THIS one takes its shirt off.