Recap: ‘Sleepy Hollow’ – Everything’s coming up War in ‘And the Abyss Gazes Back’

Deputy Entertainment Editor
10.27.14

FOX

After the 800th time it was revealed that Katrina lied to her husband via omission last week, can Ichabod still trust his wife? Have all the her secrets even been revealed? Smart money is on no.

But while Crane deals with his marriage crisis, there are other threads unraveling in “And the Abyss Gazes Back.”

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Ichabod Crane has withstood numerous tortures, but yoga is where he draws the line. Inversions might help Abbie clear her mind and work her buns – a word that is somehow offensive to Crane –  but her attempts to teach inner peace to her partner fail miserably. On the plus side, Crane looks good in a modern shirt and with his hair down.

But how can Ichabod concentrate on relaxation with Katrina on his mind? Abbie manages to coax a few truths from him: Crane is peeved and hurt by his wife”s actions and would much rather get drunk and forget. Mills acquiesces. To the pub!

Ichabod toasts George Washington and I begin to wonder if the name of our first President is some sort of incantation. If Crane doesn”t say it at least once a day, will the centuries crash down upon his body, causing him to rapidly age and turn to dust? It is the only explanation.

Before our heroes can get nice and sloshed though, a bar fight breaks out and Abbie has to go be a cop. Lame. But it”s not just any bar fight, it”s one started by Joe Corbin. Yes, as in the returning prodigal son of the late Sheriff Corbin. The barkeep tosses out the troublemakers and Abbie follows. But little Joey Corbin is not happy to see her. Maybe Mills shouldn”t have cold opened with “Hey, I (and presumably the rest of the town) heard about your platoon dying and your honorable discharge from the army. So how”s life otherwise?” The young Corbin blows her off with a remark about never forgiving Abbie for getting his dad killed. Well, he ain”t wrong.

Sidenote: We”ve heard plenty about Mrs. Mills being haunted by demons, but nary a peep about Mr. Mills. I wonder what supernatural skeletons are hiding on THAT side of the family tree.

Meanwhile in the woods, a monster with glaucoma and/or vaseline in it”s eyes prepares to murder some rednecks.

Abbie is driving Ichabod home and we get some more background on her relationship with Joe. She used to babysit him and the child was obsessed with Superman. Crane tries to place Supes” alter-ego but lands on Peter Parker instead of Clark Kent. WHERE IS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY NOW, CRANE?

Oh wait, he”s just drunk enough to “win” the breathalyzer test. Fine, he gets a pass. But Crane gets to sober up quick because out of nowhere, a demonic deer! Yep, it totally ate those rednecks. RIP. 

But not all of them. Joe survived the encounter. Well, “survived” is relative since he is calling for his dad and ominously repeating “It”s gonna kill us all” over and over while staring at nothing.

The next day, Abbie shows up at the hospital to get a statement, but young Corbin is still hung up on this whole “My dad liked you better than me and you repaid his favoritism with death” thing. Mills points out she”s here as a cop and Joe was the only survivor, but hey don”t let a festering emotional wound get in the way of obstructing a police investigation. Corbin pouts.

Over at Terrytown, War is still gloating over tricking Captain Irving into selling his soul. I still cry foul, but it”s not like there”s a hotline to call to get demons disbarred for not playing fair. Henry tells Irving the only way to get his soul back is to kill another person, a soul for a soul. To me this sounds a lot like a genie deal where Henry is technically telling the truth but you know it”s a trap. You just don”t know how. Irving is equally suspicious but Henry presents an enticing carrot. The drunk that hit Irving”s daughter is also in Terrytown. The good Captain doesn”t have to murder an INNOCENT person.

War, you sneaky shit.

At the Exposition Library, Crane quickly cuts to the heart of the matter. Joe Corbin is obviously the monster. The question is what kind? His evidence seems lacking at first: “Dying men cry for their mothers, not their fathers.” But then he is vindicated when Abbie realizes young Corbin”s platoon was attacked the exact same way. Everyone died but Joe and one of the victims was missing his organs. Either that”s one hell of a coincidence or Joe is eating people.

Obviously this reminds Crane of his good friend Daniel Boone – insert my indignant eyeroll here – and Boone”s younger brother Squire. Abbie neglects to ask “Who names their kid Squire?” as Ichabod talks about soldiers who were never the same after battle. Some of them just never came back mentally. Mills is like “We call that PTSD now, but please go on with your story about Daniel Boone”s cannibalistic brother.” Turns out Squire tried to kill and eat Daniel Boone because he was traumatized and/or was a Wendigo.

Living in a universe with Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Demons-of-the-Week, our heroes figure this is a legit theory and head to Corbin”s house to confront him. Joe isn”t in but there”s meat on the counter and a video game on pause. Crane is confounded by the modern age”s ideas of relaxation. Mills finds a clue, which cuts Ichabod”s pretentious “Back in my day” rant short. Looks like Joe was reading his dad”s will, in which the elder Corbin left his son in charge of some serious artifacts. Including one hidden right near where the Wendigo attack was last night.

The Scooby gang springs into action! Well, more like they slow crawl into action because it is the middle of the night before Crane and Mills stumble across Joe. Corbin has just unburied in ancient box/urn, but he”s not giving up this prized possession to dumb old Abbie. He bolts and our heroes give chase. It doesn”t take long for Ichabod to cut himself on some barbed wire, and that”s all it takes for Joe to go all Wendigo-y, which honestly looks like the world”s most terrifying Jackalope. 

They run. But for an unwieldy, top-heavy demon, Corbin is surprisingly agile. He quickly overtakes Crane and for the umpteenth time Abbie comes to the rescue. This time in the form of tranquilizer darts. Forewarned is forearmed, indeed.

Speaking of Hawley”s motto, enter Southern Gentleman Aquaman. Joe, still in Wendigo form, is chained up under Sleepy Hollow. That room has been way more practical than I would”ve originally thought. SGA thought he had a cure for Wendigo-ism but that cure was “kill it” but now that”s not an option because the monster is a friend, not foe. 

Jenny arrives with Wendigo Snax and the gang”s all here. She and Hawley share a look I choose to interpret as sexually charged but the mood is ruined when she basically says “Here”s the dead guy organs you ordered. I stole them from the hospital.” The ill-gotten organs do the trick though, and within moments Joe is back to his petulant human self. Hawley cuts out to research cures while Abbie tries once more to reach an accord with what used to be a sweet kid who wanted to be Superman. 

Abbie explains what happened and we learn some interesting tidbits. Joe had no idea what he was turning into. Afghanistan was the first incident and he didn”t even realize blood was the trigger until the unfortunate rednecks. It all started when he got an white powder in an envelope, along with a note to the effect of “Mwa-ha-ha-ha, I curse you! Come home and get me this box/urn or face a miserable existence. xoxo, Henry Parish.”

Well, now we know what War wanted the bone flute for. Just to be clear, Joe Corbin accidentally huffed the powered remains of a dead child”s femur. 

So what”s the in box? WHAT”S IN THE BOX? Oh, it”s just poison. From southern China. Super potent poison. How…mundane. 

Crane is prompted to apologize for his son”s behavior and Joe is like “Just tell him you love him, man.” Which is sweet, if comically naive, advice.

Back at the Exposition Library, Hawley and Abbie haven”t found a Wendigo cure but they did find more bad news. If Joe turns one more time, the transformation is permanent. Luckily Crane knows some Shawnee…haha, just kidding! For once, someone else has connections. Southern Gentleman Aquaman gets roped into taking Ichabod to meet said Shawnee contacts though. Field trip!

Big Ash, the Shawnee spokesperson, is not happy to see SGA. Turns out when American Indians give you a priceless magical tribal mask to protect, they tend to frown on you selling it to the highest bidder. Ichabod intercedes, promising Hawley will retrieve the mask…sounds like a set up for another episode!

From there, Crane takes over the encounter. Using his extensive knowledge of Shawnee customs, he impresses the tribe enough for them to drop the pretense of saying Wendigoes (Wendigii?) aren”t real. Hawley is not happy with this turn of events. 

Also, there should totally be more shamans named Frank.

While the boys out, Abbie is trying to cheer up Joe with a story about when she decided Corbin was worth putting up with. It wasn”t during the pie story, but when the Sheriff spoke so lovingly of his son. Abbie wanted to be a part of a family like that. Awwww.

Suddenly, Henry and his nameless goons burst in to ruin the reconciliation. But Jenny has a gun too and now they”ve got themselves a good, old-fashioned Mexican stand-off. War is amused because WAR, duh.

Henry threatens to have his men kill Abbie if they don”t procure the poison. Joe, having no idea who this guy is, falls for the oldest trick in the book. Henry promises not to hurt the Mills” if Joe cooperates. Dude, no. Villains LIE. 

For some reason Abbie stands idly by while Joe retrieves the poison and agrees to go with Henry to get the Wendigo cure. I mean, I know under normal circumstances blurting out “Don”t believe him! He”s a Horseman of the Apocalypse and, as such, is not trustworthy!” would sound insane, but dude has been turning into a mythical monster and eating his friends. Insane is relative right now.

But she doesn”t say it, so Joe goes and of course Henry IMMEDIATELY betrays him by slicing Joe”s arm open to start the final transformation.

Everything”s coming up War, because over at Terrytown Irving is confronting the man that paralyzed his daughter. Dude is not as contrite as one might hope in the face of barely controlled parental rage and things play out exactly as expected. Irving is choking out the drunk that ruined his life, but gets it together at the last possible second and stops. Even I”m not sure if that was the right decision.

The boys return from their field trip and good news, everyone! Frank the shaman gave them the Wendigo cure. All they have to do is get Joe”s blood into this human skull, using this obsidian knife, and then repeat the incantation on the human skull. Or they could just stab Joe with the knife and kill him if he”s gone, as Hawley so elegantly puts it “Big, white, and horny.” Either/or.

Crane and Mills slice open their hands to be bait while Jenny and Hawley trick themselves out with guns. Okay, everyone just needs to have sex and get it over with! The audience is drowning in sexual tension.

Because Wendigii have a bloodhound”s nose, Joe comes a running and our heroes trap him in an alley. Somehow they manage to get his blood into the human skull without being eaten and Crane recites the incantation in perfect Shawnee.

Nothing happens.

Well, not nothing. I mean, Wendi-Joe isn”t attacking Abbie despite being less than a foot from her. So there”s either still a person still inside there or Wendigo are naturally dramatic as a species. 

It”s the former. The show blows the entire week”s special effects budget on young Corbin”s return to human form and damn, but it shows. Cue rainbows and unikitties! The gang saved the day!

Sometime later, Abbie shows the Exposition Library to Joe to drive home how serious the elder Corbin was about this supernatural war against evil. Off in the corner, Crane has caved to the siren song of first-person shooters and is talking online smack with the best of them. It”s freakin” adorable. Joe reconciles with Abbie, even asking her for a recommendation to give to Quantico, so he can keep his dad”s legacy alive.

As Joe leaves, Irving FINALLY calls Abbie to let her know what”s been up with him. The Captain is doubting himself but still trusts Mills and Crane to fix this whole “Whoops I sold my soul to War” thing.

We end with Crane trying to convince Mills they can”t give up on Henry. After all, Joe proves there is still good in everyone. Um, Ichabod, that”s a bit like comparing apples to nuclear fission. Obviously the show agrees with me because as Crane is stating his case, we”re watching Henry turn the poison into a spider and let it loose in Katrina”s bedroom. Where it crawls. Into. Her mouth.

NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.

So what did you guys think? How pissed is Moloch gonna be when he finds out Henry can”t leave Katrina alone? Where the hell is the new Sheriff? Will Irving”s vision of his future come true?

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