When we last left the gang at the end of Season One, everyone who wasn”t John Noble was having the worst day ever. Abbie Mills was trapped in a dollhouse with her twelve year old self – which is honestly more hell than Purgatory. Jenny Mills was unconscious in an overturned truck. Katrina Crane was being Princess Peach”d away by Headless and Ichabod had been buried alive.
We”ve all been waiting months to see how the Scooby gang is gonna get out of this mess. Because “This Is War.”
Ichabod is right where we left him, living out our collective worst nightmare of being buried alive in a pine box by our evil son. Somewhere Jerry Springer is kicking himself for not thinking of this bit first. But wait! Where are the vines holding Crane down? CONTINUITY ERR-
Oh, he was having a flashback. Crane is back in at Cabin Mission Control. And it”s his birthday? Did someone accidentally splice in the wrong episode? Abbie is here and she got him a very festive cupcake. Red, white, and blue. Awwww. It even has a flag candle! They”re celebrating Crane”s 251st birthday. As you do.
In the never-ending list of things colonial Americans didn”t do, Crane has no idea what our birthday traditions are. Surprise parties, making a wish but not out loud, blowing out the candle…he”s adorable and perplexed by this ritual. It”s kind of amazing how many traditions we just take for granted to the point of invisibility. While this is going on, Mills is all “It”s been almost a year,” but almost a year since what? Since the events at the end of Season One? Since Crane was first resurrected? ANSWER ME, SCRIPTWRITERS!
But no. The cruel gods of pacing mock us all. Instead of answers, we”re kept off balance with more questions as the Sheriff”s Department calls. This is accompanied by thunder and the door spookily banging open, so we know it”s serious. Seriously a bad idea to go downtown.
So obviously Crane and Mills book it directly the local Historical Society where a professor has specifically summoned them. In the middle of the night. On the one year anniversary of some serious shit going down. Nope. Nothing here smells like a trap.
OH SHIT IT WAS A TRAP! At the Historical Society, there is an officer of the law just chilling in the grass. Which would be weird enough if he weren”t also missing his head. At least our protagonists are smart enough to arm themselves. Crane gets a crossbow because archery is super in vogue right now. (Thanks Katniss!)
To the surprise of no one, the professor is also missing his head. Weirdly both heads are not only removed, but missing all togehter? Is that new? Has Headless moved into serial killer territory where he takes a souvenir? Because, come on man. The Governor already called dibs on “Creepy Room of Severed Heads.”
Headless was so busy collecting his prizes, he left behind all the evidence. Whatever Crane and Mills were summoned to find out had to do with Ben Franklin. Who Crane knew because of course he did. I love him, but Ichabod is obviously a huge colonial groupie. But unlike his bro-crush on Washington, Franklin was on Crane”s shitlist for being insufferable. Franklin was weird. And getting laid a lot. And always had to be the smartest guy in the room. and Crane was totes jealous, you guys.
But he was also a good apprentice of Franklin and it doesn”t take long until they find the HIDDEN FILES. But before they can figure out what was worth dying over, Headless returns! Serious question: Where does a giant headless man wearing 18th century clothing go to buy ammo? A question to ponder while our heroes engage in a shoutout with the Horseman of Death. But it”s a new season, which means EVERYONE has new toys. In Headless”s case, the shiny new toy is bombs. In a puff of explosive smoke, he BAMFs away before they can finish him off.
In a rage, Crane is ready to hunt their foe to the ends of the Earth but Mills urges restraint. Even if Headless did kill Katrina and Jenny. Wait. Go back. Katrina and Jenny are dead? Dammit, I hate Anachronic episodes. Why are you torturing us like this? Headless wanted Katrina alive for – sketchy – reasons so what happened?
Cooler heads prevail and instead of running off after an immortal being probably leading them into a trap, our heroes take a look at the files. Inside is a charcoal rubbing of a key, which Crane recognizes as belonging to Ben Franklin. It”s the key he stole – probably – from the Hellfire Club (Emma Frost is gonna be pissed) and Crane was there when Franklin conducted the famous kite electricity experiment on it. Well, I”m glad our Founding Fathers knew how important Ichabod Crane was or we”d all be in trouble. Of course, one wonders HOW they knew…
Anyway, Franklin didn”t give two figs about figuring out how to harness electricity, which would lead to the dawn of a golden age of technological growth. He just wanted to destroy the damn key because it could open a portal between the world of the living and Purgatory. But even the power of Zeus wasn”t enough and Franklin runs off to hide the deus ex machina lest it fall into the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, the notes don”t leave a detailed map to the key”s location because George Washington”s lich only had a finite amount of time, probably. But there is one person who can help. Henry Parrish. Wait. Go back. Again. Henry is alive? And a prisoner of Crane and Mills? And is going by Henry again? WHAT. IS. HAPPENING? How do you trap the Horseman of War? Something here doesn”t add up. I”m starting to suspect this is an illusion or a Purgatory trick.
Despite the fact they can”t trust Henry as far as they can throw him, they take him the notes that could free Moloch directly to him. Guys, no. You”ve even got him locked away like a “Sleepy Hollow” Magneto. Henry is like, “Wow, y”all don”t learn do you?” before lying through his teeth about how he can”t sense anything in the paperwork about the key”s location. But it triggers Mill”s memory and she recalls Jenny probably knows where the key is because of her work with Corbin.
Which is what Henry has been waiting for. Suddenly, Crane can”t remember anything from the last year. This is some “Dark City” stuff right here. It was all a lie. Moloch and Henry created a trap to ascertain the location of the loophole that”ll allow the gates of Purgatory to be opened. Now they just have to torture it out of Jenny. Lovely.
Without preamble, Abbie is back in Purgatory and Ichabod is back in his pine coffin, complete with restrictive vines this time.
The minions of Hell are nothing if not efficient. Jenny has been freed from the car and taken to a nondescript location by the Hessians and Henry. After zip-tying her to a chair, the Horseman of War eats Jenny”s sins to learn the location of the key. He even monologues a bit but I forgive him, because when you know you”re going to get the information you want, a little gloating is only human. You”d think now that her usefulness is over, War would kill Jenny but he blunders into a classic villain mistake and keeps her alive. Maybe in case he can”t crack Franklin”s secret code?
Back in the pine box, Crane”s hold on sanity has slipped. He is tasting the the grave dirt leaking into his coffin. Does it taste like chocolate? Did War bury his father under the world”s largest Oreo dirt cup? No, it”s just sulfur. Perhaps instead of ammonia, demons pee sulfur. Let that thought just stay with you forever.
We finally check in on Katrina, who is tied to a chair of her own, in a barn. Headless tries to be domestic by offering her some bread but he”s moving too fast. She”s still too angry to have Stockholm Syndrome and stabs him right in the hand with the bread knife. Whoo! She runs but doesn”t make it very far before Headless catches up. Girl, this is why you use magic first and THEN run. Back to the chair she goes and he reties her hands. I can only hope that since she”s conscious now, she remembered to hold her wrists apart so she can wiggle to freedom later.
In Purgatory, Mills has escaped the dollhouse somehow but no time to question it because suddenly Sulu is here! I mean, Andy is here! Despite being a murderous stalker who used manipulation and deceit in an attempt to force Abbie into a relationship, she opts to trust Andy to help her find a way to communicate with Crane before Moloch finishes his equestrian ritual prancing that will unleash the armies of Purgatory upon the Earth. Any port in an apocalypse, I suppose.
Meanwhile, Crane is trying to Vine his last words to the world but his phone”s memory is full. Full of what exactly? What could possible be eating up gigs and gigs of space..? With no way to leave word of his demise, Crane steals himself and blows the sulfur-laced dirt to kingdom come and busts his way to freedom. I”m no scientist, but I”m at least 60% sure that explosion should have killed him.
In the warehouse, Jenny is over this Mickey Mouse bullshit. One of the Hessians tries to get fresh and gets a knife in the chest for his trouble. This is what happens when you don”t tie down your victim”s feet. In what might be the most genre savvy move ever, Jenny frees herself, takes down her attackers, arms herself with their guns, figures out her location, and texts it to Crane. I I nominate Jenny for of Queen of Everything!
True to his word, Andy has led Mills to the location Katrina used to communicate with them across realms. The visions were coming from inside the lair! Katrina was sneaking into Moloch”s house to make phone calls while he was out. That is ballsy as hell! Abbie thanks Andy, who says he needed to do this to remind himself he was human but she”ll never see him again (because he”s moving on to “Selfie” – another area of Purgatory).
Because coincidence is the mother of plot movement, Crane was very close to the place Henry was holding Jenny. He arrives just in time to hear gunshots. Jenny has this shit under control, thank you very much. But Crane, always a gentleman, drives an ambulance through the doors to help. Of course, he can”t figure out how to put it in reverse and there”s a quick round of bucket seat musical chairs before the speed off.
I really expect Henry to be standing in the middle of the road to stop them, but the downside of putting the Horseman of War in a senior citizen”s body is he doesn”t hear the firefight, I guess.
Back in Moloch”s lair, we discover demon houses are related to the TARDIS. The bats that traumatized young Bruce Wayne make an appearance but Abbie Mills is made of sterner stuff than Batman. Lucky for our heroine, Moloch has a terrible memory and the incantation to project oneself into a mirrored surface on Earth is etched into the stone under the scrying mirror. It”s the demon equivalent of leaving post-it notes with emergency contacts numbers by the phone.
Mills makes the call. Crane is pulled over and they have a super long Friendship Hug™. Ichabbie shippers will cling to this moment while Icharina proponents seethe. Ichabod sums up everything that Abbie missed and Mills worries this is another trap. She offers to just stay in Purgatory indefinitely so they can destroy the key instead of risking it to get her out. But Crane leaves no man behind. He”ll metaphorically carry Abbie over that hill on his shoulders if he has too.
Perhaps now is a good time to point out Katrina said last season that a soul can leave Purgatory when they”ve received forgiveness. Which is too vague to not mean something. Forgiveness from whom? Yourself, probably.
Also, how much time would the Scooby gang save if we added up all times someone stopped to say “We don”t have much time.”?
Jenny and Ichabod make it to Ben Franklin”s statue in Sleepy Hollow but the Hessians have beat them to it and are digging away in the most non-discrete way possible. But Crane knows something they don”t. Ben Franklin was a pompous ass. Who always did riddles in three because he is The Riddler”s great-great-great grandfather. So instead of hiding the key under the statue, he actually hid it in this brick wall Crane and Jenny are hiding behind.
At this point I would accept the Founding Fathers were time travelers more readily than all these things are coincidences.
Oh no. Oh noooooo. Back at the barn, Headless has taken his shirt off and he is hot. No. That is not okay. I forbid it.
Luckily he must have heard me, because he puts the emerald necklace on Katrina and – imbued with magic – it allows her to see him as he used to be: a bewigged Englishmen. Lady boner gone. Both mine and Katrina”s. She”s straight up is like, “Yeah this isn”t any better.” To which Headless brags that is doesn”t matter since Crane will be dead by dawn. Girl, fireball his face or something. This is insufferable.
Having returned to the ley lines, Jenny gives us all a primer on what not to do in Purgatory and Crane opens the doorway once more. Near the Purgachurch, Mills is searching for the amulet of protection Katrina gave her but it”s nowhere to be seen. I”m pretty sure Moloch is still wearing it as a punk new body modification. But then Crane is there to save the day! But something seems off. Abbie is never this panicky and weepy and ahhhhhhh he offered her water. It”s a trap! TRUST NO CRANE. But then the real Ichabod appears and NegaCrane freaks out and attacks him. Oh my God. Are they going to do it? Yes, yes they are.
In the scuffle, we can no longer tell which Crane is which. It”s an evil twin shell game. One of the Cranes breaks free, and he and Abbie scramble away. But he is the false Witness, calling Abbie Lieutenant instead of Leftenant, with his charming inflection. Without hesitation, Mills beheads him. I can hear the Ichabbie shippers squeeing in delight from here. SHE RECOGNIZED THE FAKE ACCENT.
Now reunited with the right Crane, it”s time to blow this popsicle stand. Right in front of Moloch, who is still summoning an unholy army. Line of sight in Purgatory is freakin” terrible. Moloch, dude. They”re RIGHT THERE. But no, he”s too busy raising colonial zombies. I guess this means the grown-up Putties from last season have been retired? Sad face.
Time to go! Crane and Mills summon the doorway between worlds. But without a soul to trade, the way is locked. Which is why they have the key, duh. Moloch finally seems to realize what”s going on, but”s too little, too late. Our heroes are gone and door is sealed. Within seconds, the key disintegrates. Obviously it was a single use item. Abbie, Ichabod, and Jenny head back to Cabin Control to celebrate and plan their next move.
We end with Moloch appearing before Henry. The Horseman of War is understandably terrified. He failed. Failed utterly. But to the surprise of everyone, Moloch ain”t even mad. He”s like “No big deal, we”ll make another plan. Check it out! I got you a living suit of armor and a giant flaming sword.” (somewhere in Westeros, Melisandre is crying).
Well, well, well. I think we just figured out who Moloch”s favorite child is.
What did you guys think? Did it live up to your expectations? How sad were you that Orlando Jones wasn”t in this episode? Do you think Headless is jealous of Moloch”s obvious favoritism?