Monday, November 11, 2013

Sleepy Hollow Review - Episode 6 - The Sin Eater - "Finally a diet I can get behind." *UPDATED*

After an extended break to Sleepy Hollow, for sport, we are back. And what awaits us in the newest episode of Sleepy Hollow? ...Oh! I almost don't want to know! So much is at stake. Will be be live? Will people undie? Will Ichabod get a new set of clothing?

Let's consider what we got.

The truth of the matter is that this episode does advance things. It introduces new players to the field. It also has Ichabod face his past and address actions that haunt him still.

"Sir? How many horsemen
am I holding up?"
But, like "Cousin Oliver" last time...I mean "John Doe", it touches on the show's themes. It touches on the looming apocalypse and how Ichabod was sent through time, continuing the revelations. And it opens up the spigots more. We now see how Ichabod chose to betray his king. We see how he met Katrina. We see how he became aware of the greater danger that was held in the American Revolution.

It was interesting. And for fans of the show, it takes you further into the show's mythology.

And that is appreciated. The episode also, finally, bring together the Mills sisters again. And while Jennifer is perfectly happy to poke and provoke Abbie some, it has become far less pointed, and far more sisterly.

And the Horseman is coming. Yeah, just like at the end of the previous episode, he's still coming. What? Did he get stuck in traffic? Well, it does seem now that he's more focused on his hunt. (And did one clip from next week almost have shades of The Terminator?)

As it is, I feel like this is part 1 of an unofficial two-parter. We will see how next week fits with this episode to judge it properly.

"Thank you, Lt. Mills, for introducing me to a sport more
boring than cricket."
So, let's see what happen this week.

The episode opens up on a baseball game...frick! I though the World Series was over!

Wait, it's a small town league game. Ah, we are in Sleepy Hollow. I was worried there for a moment. ...Still, I am watching baseball. It's not a good sign.

Abbie is yelling at the umpire. And Ichabod is wondering what the hell is going on. So Abbie talks about why she likes the sport of baseball, reflecting on her life and how the rules and feel of the game have given her solace. It fits nicely into her character, and adds to her depths.

"What do you mean you don't have
tea and finger sandwiches? What is
this? The Dark Ages?"
Ichabod is interested and enjoys the fact that Abbie is opening up more to him. So he joins in and randomly yells at the umpire at well.

Thankfully that ends our outing to the ballpark, and outside Abbie and Ichabod talk more. It is clear they've become more relaxed with each other. Abbie is at peace with her role in this ridiculous supernatural kerfuffle of the show. Ichabod is becoming attuned to the modern world, and getting more relaxed in actually engaging in it. Up to now, he has been usually standoffish and stayed out of the way, except where he felt it was an emergency that he needed to engage.

"Finally after all these years of conversations with my
wife I can get a word in."
The two part, Ichabod saying he can walk home. ...All the way to the cabin? How far is that? Anyway, he wanted to go to the cemetery. He sits down at his wife's grave, and I am not sure what he's doing there. He knows she isn't buried there. Still, I guess it's the closest thing he has as a way to physically connect to her. I do wish we had a more specific idea of why he stopped there.

Wild Cranes needed to be darted and quickly tagged and
But we won't be finding out, as he is set upon just as he sits. First someone shoots him with a dart gun. Then more run up to put a bag on his head and carry him off.

Later that night, Abbie is driving out in the woods. She suddenly finds herself loosing consciousness. When she is able to look around, she doesn't know where she is at.

Status Update: Abbie Is Not Amused
But it is clear that she is in some house. It is dark and decrepit. She slowly gets up from the chair she is in. She slowly moves around, and sees candles everywhere. Then she comes to a bedroom, and in it she sees a doll of a revolutionary war soldier, and a stroller. In the stroller she finds a weird doll.

Then behind her, the Horseman appears. He pulls out his trusty ax. And Abbie runs. She heads down some stairs and runs to an open door, the Horseman close on her heels.

And that's when Abbie realized she'd stumbled into an
average sorority.
Once in the room, she slams the door shut. She realizes she isn't alone. Four women in black are sitting at a table chanting. She is then drawn to an open book and a page turning in it. Then she hears a laugh and looks back to see the women gone. And it looks like they were sitting over some sort of Ouija board.

Ah, Ouija. No darker force than that brought to you by the makers G.I. Joe and My Little Pony toys.

Obviously this is a dream state. The show makes this apparent with some oddities of the visuals and an ongoing echoing of the sounds.

Abbie turns to see another figure in the room with her. Katrina. Now these two meet. Once the introductions are out of the way, Katrina gets to explaining her vague way.

...And the shipping begins.
She explains that this place is an echo of the home that she lived in with Ichabod back in the day. ...Which is interesting when you consider the baby stroller. Was there a child? A lineage? Or, were they in hiding at the house, along with another family that was there?

She tells Abbie that she reached out to her as she is one of the witnesses (along with Ichabod). She needs Abbie's help. Ichabod is in trouble. He is cut off, and out of her reach. Apparently the people holding him know how to prevent her from seeing his location, or talking to him. Neat trick.

Abbie is surprised he was grabbed as she was just with him. And this seems odd to me. It was night when Abbie slipped between worlds. And it was sometime in the day when she last saw Ichabod. It seems like it's been quite awhile. But this show sometimes has a funny sense of time, at least to me it does.

Making matters worse for Sleepy Hollow, the Horseman is returning. (Finally!) And he will be coming for Ichabod. But there is hope. Ichabod needs the Sin Eater. It can break the blood tie that was forged between Ichabod and the Horseman when Katrina saved Ichabod.

Ouija Board. The third most evil game to come from
Parker Brothers.
Things are still quite vague. There is no clue as to where Ichabod is. The Sin Eater is a complete mystery. So, it's a perfect time for Katrina to go!

This happens when the Ouija board dealy bob suddenly move. Katrina says their time is up, but that the Sin Eater can find Ichabod and save him. Then Ichabod will be sanctified. But it must be done by the next sundown, or all is lost.

And suddenly Abbie is back in her car, and heading at a semi truck. (Thanks Katrina.) Abbie swerves off the road...and the semi keeps going, leaving her. Nice.

Then we get the title sequence. And it's gone as soon as you realize it's started. Hmm. Must have a lot to cover this episode?

"Mills? Why can't you bring me something simple, like
a double murder, sometimes?"
Abbie heads in to the sheriff's office and goes right to Irving. She is in a rush and tries to get him to believe her. So she does her best to explain Ichabod's disappearance, Katrina appearing, and the idea the Horseman is about to strike again.

...And Irving isn't thrilled. ... It's a lot to ask. Then he agrees to help. (I do hope that he isn't evil, or he isn't going to get killed off. But he's on board.) He okays Jennifer getting a temporary release, and then he is on standby until the next episode.

Abbie goes to get her sister. And Jennifer ribs her concern for Ichabod. But she gets more serious when the Sin Eater is brought up.

"Jennifer? This isn't the time to go on Instagram."
They head to the Archive and start going through the secret files for any clues. Abbie is frustrated by the lack of data. But Jennifer explains that back in her days of working for Sheriff Clancy Brown that she'd worked hard to track down a strange man. He seemed to visit death row inmates before their deaths, and when they were executed they would all say that they were sanctified. But she could never catch a lead on the man. He never used the same name twice. But where is he now?

Where ever Ichabod is, he's now awake. It's a room full of odd jars and symbols, and plenty of candles. (The Sleepy Hollow Bath and Body must do amazing business.) He looks around as his head clears, and men in suits approach him.

They apologize, and are quite cordial, for kidnappers. They say they are there to verify just who Ichabod is. They carry the true account of the life of Ichabod Crane, and now want to gauge him.

Oh crap! They're lawyers from the Washington Irving family!
Ichabod sees them for what they are. The man before him is a Rutledge. He deduces this by his cufflinks, lack of a notable ring, and the bearing of his face. He decides to go very Sherlock Holmes on us.

You see, Ichabod Crane knew many interesting people back in the day. (Like George Washington, don't you know?) Another famous person he knew well was Edward Rutledge, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. (Take a drink.) And this man looks very much like Edward Rutledge. And this leads him to not the marks and coloring where a ring should be, a masonic ring. (Rutledge was a Mason, along with Ichabod.)

And it's interesting to learn now Ichabod is a Mason. It does further justify his connection to George Washington, and other notables. He was deep in the club.

So he knows this man is a Rutledge. More important he knows this man is a Freemason. But why have they come after him? They want to verify he is true, and not some demon or trickster.

So they ask him if he knows the Latin phrase for Order from Chaos. And this takes him back to another time. A time when a dying man gave him the words.

"Wait? So I'm in a historic flashback, and am not a figure
from history? This isn't looking good for me."
It was Arthur Bernard, a suspected traitor. He was a freed slave who was publishing a seditious pamphlet.

I wonder if at any point in writing the episode they thought of making Arthur Bernard a freeman? Someone who's family wasn't enslaved. It was somewhat more common occurrence up North. It's just I can imagine some production note coming down saying to just call him an ex-slave so some people aren't confused. Eh. I doubt it matters.

The Brits want to know who is writing the pamphlets. They want the author, and they want Arthur to give the name. He makes a joke of it, so he's struck. Arthur is accused of conspiring, and the big bad Brits hold him prisoner...


...Sorry, I was just waiting to see if Mel Gibson was going to show up.

...Sorry. Isn't his little wig cute?
Instead, Ichabod shows up. The flashbacks baddie gives him orders to interrogate Arthur and find answers. And do whatever it takes.

As he starts, Katrina makes an appearance, non dream based for once. She and Ichabod note each other. And she demands to know what is happening to Arthur. Ichabod doesn't have the heart to sternly argue the matter, as he is unsure of the things he's been asked to do. As Ichabod tries to explain and justify Arthur being detained, she demands that she be allowed to treat his injuries.

"Yeah. This is what the costuming department gave me."
Ichabod is uncertain about the idea, eyeing his superior down the hall. Katrina is interested in the fact he is conflicted about what he's doing. But she leaves saying that he has a conscious.

 As Ichabod continues over days to interrogate Arthur, he has to standby as Arthur is continually beaten to draw out answers. It troubles him greatly. When Ichabod asks him to give the name needed up , Arthur says it would be worse to surrender it.

He then tells Ichabod that there are demons all around. They hide among men, and turn people against each other. (How did he figure that out without AM radio?) Ichabod doesn't want to hear this.

"Wait. Does this mean David Ickes is right about the
British monarchy?"
Days later he is obliged to watch as some other suspected traitors are being hanged. And as he looks around the square where the hangings are occurring he sees his superior officer. And, just for a moment, the officer is no longer human. This throws Ichabod for a loop.

...Human faces slipping into lizard faces for a moment...Do I even want to get into that world of conspiracy theory right now?

Alright. Simply put, there are the stories of the lizard people, who secretly rule us. I don't think more has to be said about that, right? If a person ever brings that up to you, yes, back out of the room.

This idea often gets "bolstered" by odd video clips...It's just weird. They point to anomaly in how the video shows a famous person (odd lighting, video flaws, etc.) and declare it proof that they are lizards (the mask or illusion is slipping). News people, presidents, celebrities, all part of it. ...Yeah, it's like listening to Right Wing radio explain the world.

It's nutty. One of many forms of nutty. But don't worry. Me pointing this out just confirms that I'm part of the grand conspiracy. Score.

Ichabod walks away from the sighting, and crosses paths again with Katrina. She talks with him a little, and is surprised that he could sense what the man really was. She tells him that it must because he has the gift to Witness (See Shining.). She begs him to realize the truth and help her and Arthur.

Back in the world of not flashbacks, Abbie and Jennifer are trying to solve the mystery of the Sin Eater.

Looking at the records they do have of his visits, Abbie finally breaks the case. He always uses the identity of the last death row inmate he visits to create a new identity.

"If this badge isn't enough, I'd like to remind you...
We're the Mills sisters.
So knowing the last known visit he made, they begin tracking the name.

And it leads them right to him. Abbie uses her badge to push her way in, And the Sin Eater reluctantly accepts that they are on to him.

And...Hey! It's the crazy scientist from that one show...Fringe! Oh, wow. Is this a crossover then? (Honestly though, it's nice to see John Noble. A good choice for playing out a sad and troubled figure that can heft some gravitas into a role.)

They explain what is happening, and he wants none of it. He says it's in his past. But then he touches Abbie, and his powers kick in.

And his powers involve this black eye effect. I'm trying to think now about how many shows and movies give us black eyes as an indicator...Still, they usually are creepy to see on people.

Well, at least he didn't say Ichabod was under a big W.
He senses that Ichabod is underground and behind a door with the masonic symbol on it. But that is all the help the Sin Eater (real name, Henry Parrish). Unable to get the Sin Eater to come, Abbie decides to go save Ichabod. And based on what she heard about his location, Abbie has a pretty good idea of where Ichabod is. Down in the tunnels under Sleepy Hollow.

"Which of us is Mulder, and which is Scully?"
So the Mills Sisters head off to explore the tunnels. They move through them and begin checking the various doors for the right markings.

What else is down here, hmm? You have the witch burial area. You have the masonic room. Is there a room of comfy chairs to?

Well, while Abbie and Jennifer search, Ichabod continues recollecting.

Eventually Ichabod's superior demanded that he take Arthur out into the woods to shoot him, to show that Ichabod can be trusted. He's reluctant, but does take Arthur out into the wood.

He finally decides that he can't murder him. So he let's him go. 

Arthur tells Ichabod to go to Katrina, and give her the Latin phrase, Ordo Ab Chao. She will know then that Ichabod can be trusted. 

But then, as he walks away, Arthur is shot. Ichabod's demonic superior followed him and shot Arthur, and now calls Ichabod a traitor.

"I hate you! You ruin everything!"
Ichabod rushes him and stabs him in the stomach with his sword. He reacts by changing form and becoming the demon that Ichabod saw the previous day.

"I can see my house from here."
He's not too pleased to be stabbed. So he backhands Ichabod across the clearing. Ichabod lands hard. And then, as the creature approached him, British soldiers ride close by, and the creature just backed away, and disappeared.

Oh. Guess he's done then. I wonder if he'll pop up again? Seems like they should come back to him some day.

"Isn't everything kind of white?" "Welcome to your
flashbacks, Ichabod."
Alone, beaten, and bloodied, Ichabod limps to where Katrina is treating other sick and injured. He comes through the door, and gives her the Latin phrase. He then collapses, and she embraces him.

And they manage to cram in some imagery with this. The whole flashback, Katrina has been dressed all in white. Now that Ichabod has chosen to side with Katrina, he's shown all in white, and the walls around them are white. Imagery!

The Masons are finely satisfied that Ichabod is who he says he is. And they formally welcome him back as a brother. But then there's the bad news.

They didn't want him back. While Katrina was an ally, and did write a history of Ichabod to be kept, she had broken with them. She cast the spell to save him, and then when the Masons realized that he was tied to the Horseman, she hid him away in the secret cave, with all it's magical protections. These acts kept Ichabod out of the hands of the Masons for centuries.

The Mason's concern is that Ichabod is tied to the Horseman, the specter of Death. If Ichabod dies, he will banish Death, thoroughly disrupting Moloch's schemes.

So now that they have found Ichabod, they want him to kill himself. They won't kill him, they respect him too much for that. But they'd like him to do the job. ...Yup. These are Masons.

Ichabod Crane. We formally welcome you back to the He Man Women Haters Club.
Meanwhile, the long search is over, and Abbie has finally found the right door. Armed Masons come out and start pointing gun at Abbie. She stares them down, outgunned. Shen then threatens to bring down the law on them if they don't show her Ichabod. They seem impressed. You don't mess with a Mills.

Abbie is brought in to see Ichabod. He is surprised to see her, but explains what is going on. He also explains that he's agreed to kill himself, for the greater good.

"Abbie the only answer if for me to die. Please don't kill me!"

Ichabod explains that it will be for the sake of everyone. He can stop the Horseman here and now.

Ah. The holy hand grenade. Always the answer.
 So he reveals the method that the Masons brought. A jar of...something. He will drink it, and then he will pass.

Abbie is quite upset at this news. She doesn't want him to do this, but he's committed to completing his mission. She understands the need to defeat this threat, and respects Ichabod's decision.

So she sits and joins him. He drinks the poison and the two hold hands and wait.
"Crane? This is why we don't hang out that often."
Ichabod begins passing, and starts having his life flash passed his eyes. And in the midst of this there is commotion. The Sin Eater has come. And he has to decided to help. And by help I mean he's going to stab Ichabod in the hand and draw the nastiness out of him.

Then he makes Ichabod face his sin, his sense of guilt. He has Ichabod call on Arthur to appear to him (or the Sin Eater makes you think you are seeing the person you have sinned against). He talks to him and expresses his anger that even though he tried to help Arthur, Arthur still died. Ichabod failed him. Arthur says it had to happen, it was part of the path Ichabod was on. (The perks of being a secondary character in the life story of someone else.)

Once Ichabod accepts this, the Sin Eater dobs up the bad blood drawn from Ichabod, and eats it. ...I'm sure that's normal.

Ichabod's sanctified.

Ichabod rises, the poison seemingly drawn out of him as well. Abbie embraces Ichabod, relieved that he seems to be okay.

Ichabod finds that he no longer feels the Horseman. He is no longer tied to him.

But the Sin Eater warns that he senses that the Horseman is coming, as night is beginning to fall.

And I am feeling a little unclear about what happen. Was the poison only meant to affect someone tied to the Horseman? Or did the Sin Eater draw it out? And now that the Sin Eater drew out the spell from Ichabod, did it pass to the Sin Eater? He can sense the Horseman. Is that because he's the Sin Eater, or is he now changed?

Also, how sound was this plan? On the one hand they wanted to break the spell on Ichabod so he would be safe when they try to beat the Horseman. But the Masons were acting, thinking that Ichabod's death will destroy the Horseman. Sure, Ichabod is safe(r) now. But the one way that looked to endanger the Horseman is gone now.

...Unless the Sin Eater is in play, for eating the sin/spell.

...Of course, Moloch and his minions have been open to kill Ichabod at times. Maybe the idea is bunk. Or, is it the bottle of poisonous goo? Is it made to pass down through the spell connection? ...I have questions.

"...Crap. I'm lost."
Well, whatever the answers, the Horseman rides. And the Masons say they will be preparing for him to come. That could be interesting. What can they bring to the game? Magic? Weapons?

And what role will they play passed the next episode? They should have power and clout, that would or could change how Abbie and Ichabod operate. Or, they could go back into the shadows to wait. Or, something else could happen.

But the Horseman isn't waiting to find out. He's on the move in the forest outside Sleepy Hollow. He stops near a small dam that is very familiar from the pilot and then moves on to find a cave. The very cave Ichabod awoke in all the way back at the start of the series. He searches around it, and then touches the dirt Ichabod arose from. He flashes to Ichabod's resurrection. He looks to be stalking Ichabod's path, so he can find him, and Horseman's head.

And NEXT TIME. We have a showdown. The Horseman rides into town. The sheriff's office is attacked. Lives will be on the line. And, will the Horseman remain headless?


This episode, despite the extensive flashback to the Revolutionary War, feels very basic.

We learned a lot about Ichabod's origins, but it was a rather straightforward tale. We are introduced to the Masons, but they act as framing for the flashbacks. Abbie and Jennifer are back together, but Jennifer didn't have much to do. And we have the hunt for the Sin Eater, which proved to be very much B/C-Plot, and a very simple mystery.

Don't misunderstand. I enjoyed the episode. All the above is good stuff. But pressed together it feels quashed. It would almost be better as two parts. The first episode detailing Abbie and Jennifer hunting for Ichabod and the Sin Eater, and ending with finding the masonic door, and seeing Ichabod. Then the second episode would take us through what happen to Ichabod and spend more time learning about the Masons and about Ichabod's past.

The trouble is, I am assuming, this episode is meant to be prologue for the next episode. So a three-parter may have been a bit much. This is also why I don't want to judge this episode fully yet. I want to see how it fits with the next show.

How will the Sin Eater, Masons, Horseman, and the other peices come together? Heck, maybe the demon that Ichabod fought will come back.


Also I want to note that the NEXT TIME clips from the last episode showed scenes that didn't happen in this episode. Iwill be peeved if we don't see them in the next episode. Peeved!


I also meant to consider what has been revealed about Ichabod compares to what he's said before. Overall I think it holds up.

He's a Freemason. He never revealed this, but it's a secret society, he's not supposed to.

He's had at least one supernatural run in before the Horseman. He has talked a lot about his work for George Washington (Feel free to take a drink. Try Chamomile.). But we have learned that he's brushed up near things like witches before. But he's not shared much of this with Abbie or the police. But he has enough trouble explaining a headless Horseman, he may just know it's better to let this stuff out slowly. Also, the next point...

He told Abbie a little about meeting Katrina. He said that she didn't like him and it was an unpleasant experience. And the events around meeting Katrina were unpleasant. And she was hostile to him at first. The fact he was not up front in talking about it with Abbie makes sense. It is a period he carries massive guilt over. He doesn't like addressing it, or thinking about it. It adds new context to that earlier episode and scene.

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