Recap: ‘Sleepy Hollow’ – ‘The Akeda’ proves common sense is overrated

12.01.14 3 years ago

FOX

This is it, y”all. We made it to the mid-season finale! After tonight it will be farewell until after the first of the year. So let”s squeeze ever last insane drop out of “The Akeda,” like a giant shake”n”bake of mythology and history.

Abbie and Ichabod have the sword of Methuselah, and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse have Moloch. Who will triumph?

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Thunder and lightning greet the audience to let us know things are about to Get Real™. Ichabod and Abbie are headed straight to Fredrick”s Manor with the sword, because time is of the essence. Henry has blown the horn to signal the rise of Moloch. 

I kind of wonder what the range on that thing is? All across the tri-state area, the top news story tonight is about the strange trumpeting sound being reported by hundreds of people. More at 11.

Ichabod is giving directions the old-fashioned way, and a good thing too, because no sooner has Abbie derided his ye olden ways than lightning STRIKES THE CAR and shorts out the GPS. But doesn”t electrify them? Undeterred, they push the car – I assume since there”s no tow truck in sight – to a local gas station but BAM! Lightning strikes again, shorting out all the lights and making repairs impossible. Thor really wants Ragnarok to happen, you guys.

Being an officer of the law, Abbie steals…commandeers…a motorcycle while the repairman fades into the mist of Tertiary Characters. We learn Abbie had a motorcycle as a teen and there is no way the lightning can short it out since it has no electrical parts. She”s right, but I mean…it could still just strike them dead on the spot, right? Third time”s the charm, after all.

Except tonight. Our heroes arrive on the scene and Crane adorably proclaims, “I want one of these as soon as this is over!” It”s like a horse, but without all the manure and getting kicked in the stomach!

With no time to spare on fripperies like “reconnaissance,” Crane and Mills burst into the Manor. Lucky for them, it”s been abandoned. Or unlucky, since Abbie went through all that effort to upgrade from a handgun to a sub-machine gun. All that remains in the house is Henry”s tiny Quasimodo replica of Sleepy Hollow, complete with suspicious markers. A few bits of red string later and Henry”s evil plan becomes clear: he had to draw a pentagram and/or pentacle over the city! That bastard? To what purpose remains a mystery. 

Ichabod manages to shoehorn in a reference to George Washington”s Bible and how a demon will rain Hell on Earth. Everyone keeps assuming this demon is Moloch, but considering we”re two Horseman shy of an Apocalypse, this seems like premature Armageddon. 

Katrina”s screams keep anyone in-universe from putting two and two together though. Ichabod and Abbie rush outside to stop the binding ritual. Katrina is all tied up and the boys are gonna fight over her. Do we really have time for this? Shouldn”t “You stole my girl!” be third tier concerns right now?

Crane gets the better of his former friend and Death is down for the count. Ichabod is seconds away from skewering Abraham when he hesitates. Just standing there. Dude, no. The pointy end goes into his fleshy bits. It”s not hard. 

Oh, apparently our heroes need to know where Moloch has gone and Death is the only one who knows. I mean, it”s not like he”d be in the center of the pentagram drawn over the city. Or like they have a witch who could perform a tracking spell. Nope. They only have a witch who can expand her illusion so we can all hear Abraham talk. Sigh.

Once Abraham properly has his head again, he wastes no time in throwing a wrench into everyone”s plan. “All magic has a cost,” he says. Calm down, Rumpelstiltskin. But he”s right. The sword of Methuselah demands a sacrifice. In order to wield the power to destroy demons, in return the sword kills the man who wields it and takes his soul.

Ichabod is suspicious because it seems too convenient. I am suspicious because I”ve seen “Lord of the Rings.” In a group consisting mostly of XX chromosomes, surely this is an “I AM NO MAN” scenario?

While the Scooby gang looks into the veracity of Death”s claims, they decide to take him back as a hostage. Now Katrina is tying up Abraham….how the tables have turned. Ichabod and Abbie discuss the strain on the Crane marriage and if it can withstand everything it has been through. Considering Katrina is properly Stockholm Syndrome”d? I”m gonna go with no. Regardless, they leave the former kidnap victim alone to interrogate her captor. This should go great.

Red lightning flashes over the cabin, signaling Moloch has leveled up. Jenny meets up with the heroes with bad news. Death wasn”t lying. The sword will definitely murder any man who uses it. But wait? Didn”t Methuselah kill thousands of demons? Is there a Fill Meter on the blade or something? How do you know when the sword is coming to collect?

But Genre Savvy Jenny has a plan. The sword can”t consume the soul of someone who doesn”t possess one. Someone like Captain Frank Irving. Now they just need to find him.

Meanwhile, Henry and New Dad are having bonding experience, chatting about complex modern family dynamics, raising Purgatory into the plane of the living…you know, normal blended family stuff. Henry basically says “You”re so much cooler than my real dad. He never let”s me do anything fun.”

Armed with knowledge that the sword is a tricky shit, Ichabod goes to retrieve his wife. But Katrina is too good at her femme fatale schtick, as evidenced by even her husband believing she truly still has feelings for the Headless Horseman. Tensions run high as Ichabod asks if Katrina would have the stones to kill Henry to get to Moloch, because it might (definitely) come to that. Katrina is still Team Delusional and fails the test utterly. Rather than face reality, Mrs. Crane opts to stay and “interrogate” Abraham further.

Ichabod is forced to return to the cabin empty handed. He rages a bit at the unfairness of being forced to murder his own son, tying it in to the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abbie points out that Isaac was an innocent child, not a murderous Horseman of the Apocalypse. Mills is still solidly Team Common Frickin” Sense. 

Jenny saves everything from getting too philosophical by pulling up the voicemail Irving left when he abandoned her near the Canadian border. At the end, he leaft a series of numbers. A code! It”s a date. September 23, 1780. Is everyone in this universe a history buff and if so, how do I get there because MY PEOPLE!

Ichabod teases out the meaning of the date. Something, something…under the historical garrison in downtown Sleepy Hollow. Coward that he is, Crane opts to go find Irving with Jenny and leaves the business of retrieving Katrina to Abbie. Abbie makes an appropriate “judging you” noise and the gang splits up.

In the 24 hours since his escape from Tarrytown prison, Frank Irving has acquired both a shotgun and the supplies necessary to set up trip wires in the Sleepy Hollow underground. Captain Irving doesn”t mess around when he turns to the life of ninja mercenary. Jenny and Ichabod explain the situation, which should sound crazy but the bar is set too high. Instead of confusion or disbelief, Irving makes Jenny swear to watch after his wife and daughter if this kills him…which more or less is the fictional equivalent of signing your own death warrant.

Jenny swears she will. Great, you might as well just run him through with the sword while you”re at it. WHERE”S YOUR GENRE SAVVINESS NOW!?

Armed with Methuselah”s sword, it”s time to make the canary sing. Frank Irving, Righteous Slayer of Demons makes it abundantly clear that he is 100% okay with murdering Abraham if he doesn”t tell the Scooby gang where to find Moloch and War. Abraham tries to mind game his way out of it, but no dice. He finally caves. Moloch is back where it all began: the four white trees. Only now, each will be blackened with flame.

The first tree brought (red) lightning. The second tree will bring (red) blood. The third tree will bring (Red Shirts™) the demon army. The final tree will bring (fiery red) Hell on Earth. I”m sensing a theme.

Now devoid of useful information, the group should kill Abraham. No use leaving loose ends. Which is when Katrina overplays her hand, arguing Death might have more useful information later and sending the final nail into the coffin containing her marriage. RIP. But her pleas for mercy work, because Abbie is the only one with a half-functioning paranoid sense of self-preservation. 

Wait, no. It must be a Mills trait because Jenny points out that while Irving is ready to go, the rest of the gang needs to “weapon up.”

Enter everyone”s favorite Southern Gentleman Aquaman, Hawley. He”s at the bar with the ladies but is more than willing to abandon his hedonistic ways to hang with the Mills” women. However, he is skeptical to Jenny”s claim about End of Days™. After all, doomsday-ers have been batting zero for last 10,000 years. The Apocalypse will suffer no skeptics though, and sends of hail of blood to wash away any lingering doubts Hawley might have.

SGA empties his entire stash for this run: Blackbeard”s flintlocks and a katana with strength of all previous owners. Katrina finally decides to be useful and offers to jump start the magic in the weapons. While she does that, Abbie takes Hawley on a field trip to see Death behind glass. The empty room is the best place to let him down gently…the group is leaving Hawley to babysit Abraham. Abbie tries to sugarcoat it by saying “Hey, maybe some demons might try to bust him out? So no friends, no parties.” 

Abbie leaves the Cranes alone for two minutes and Ichabod chooses now to bring up Katrina”s odd attachment to her former fiancee. Guys? Is now really the time to dissect your marital problems and hasten the death of your marriage? I guess it is, because they are actually having this fight. The first casualty of the Apocalypse is the dissolution of the Crane marriage. Ichabbie shippers rejoice! 

Out in the woods, Moloch is super annoyed at how late Abraham is. There”s always that one asshole who sees eight on the invitation and thinks it means they can show up at ten. Tired of waiting for the Horseman of Death, Moloch says “Screw it, let”s get this party started!” Colonial demon zombies rise and an astrally projected Henry leads them into battle against the heroes.

Yessss, this is gonna be a fight for the age…um, Abbie goes down like a sack of bricks within the first two seconds. Jenny tactically retreats with her injured sister, but Ichabod and Irving cut through the swarm like a hot knife through butter. Clearly Moloch doesn”t know that if you don”t have enough demons for a zerg rush, it”s best to sit in your base and churn out more before attacking.

Enter the Avatar of War. He locks his fiery sword with Irving”s sword of Methuselah. I have to wonder if the sword came with Matrix-esque instructions? You know, you touch it and instantly have the knowledge needed to wield it proficiently? Because Frank Irving is kicking War”s ass. So much so, the Captain gets cocky. Fancy sword work looks wicked cool, but he gets punted in the stomach his trouble. Both warriors get in serious blows, but War goes down. Plate armor does nothing and War collapses into a puddle of bleeding lava. Back at the trees, Henry doesn”t look so good.

Neither does Captain Irving. War got in one mortal wound. Despite all hopes to the contrary, despite all Katrina”s healing magic, life slips from Frank Irving”s body. I would be more sad if he hadn”t sold his soul to War/Moloch. I get the sneaking suspicion this isn”t the last we”ve seen of the good Captain. 

Sidenote: When the Cranes” return to the church to tell Jenny and Abbie what happened, what is the point of Ichabod holding Abbie back from running to Irving”s body? Death by sword isn”t contagious and there was no immediate danger. Nobody likes a drama queen for the sake of drama, Crane. Let the woman grieve!

With Irving dead, the group devolves into a round robin of self-sacrifice. Abbie will wield the sword. No, Ichabod will since he”s been living on borrowed time anyway. Eventually, they decide Abbie will go first and when she dies, THEN Ichabod will take it up, THEN Katrina, and finally Jenny. So, the sword of Methuselah is the Idiot Ball made real then?

Moloch has just about had it with his bumbling minions and demands Henry go distract the heroes, even without his armor. “There have been Horsemen before you, there will be Horsemen after you,” he says. I hear you Moloch…I HEAR YOU. Petition for Frank Irving to be the Horseman of Conquest. After a lifetime of channelling his Daddy-issues into Moloch, Henry realizes New Dad doesn”t give a damn about him. Slightly shaken, he does as he is bid.

Henry arrives at the church, full of bluster. Abbie confronts him with the sword but he dispatches her with BDSM roots in short order. Jenny gets off a perfect shot to the chest but it does nothing. The roots take hold of her, too. War takes up the sword, but Katrina reveals it to be fake just as Ichabod puts the real one to Henry”s throat.

Well played. Good team effort!

But then, Henry calls Ichabod”s bluff. ”Kill me,” he taunts. Abbie is like “Yes. Seriously. Kill him. He”s even asking you do to it.” Instead, Ichabod relates the story of Abraham and Isaac and how Moloch can be the ram to sacrifice instead of his son. Henry is touched by his parents inability to give up on him…and bemused by their naivety as he chokes out his dad.

Team Common Sense never wins. 

And now we”re all on a field trip to the demon trees. Hell is prepared to rise. All Henry must do is kill Katrina. Her blood will light the final tree. War balks…surely Katrina was meant as a reward for Abraham. But Horsemen of the Apocalypse that get captured by humans don”t get treats, so now Moloch is rewarding Henry instead.

Of course, Ichabod begs his son to take his life instead of Katrina”s. Now it”s Henry”s turn to relate the story of Abraham and Isaac, only with the more realistic angle. You know, how messed up the Binding of Isaac – also known as the Akeda – is. Who could worship a deity who would demand you sacrifice your own child? 

OR PARENT!?

In a Hail Mary save for Team Delusional, Henry turns the sword on Moloch, running the demon through. The villain disappears in a cloud of (red) smoke. Self-cleaning demon: leaves only the fresh smell of pine.

Huh…

Well, that”s it for the year. What did you guys think? Is Irving truly dead? Will Henry join the heroes now? When are the last two Horsemen showing up because they are super late…

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