Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sleepy Hollow Review - Episode 13 - Bad Blood - "Ichabod Crane. You are the father!"

There's been a distinct lack of indefatigable black leading ladies, anachronistic spies, and headless people in my life lately. What would help with that?

Oh, yeah the finale of Season 1 of Sleepy Hollow. (At long last, right?) The last episode was the first part of a two-hour finale. And the two episodes go together well enough. But I decided to divide the reviews by the episode breaks. Just a breather before we enter this last hour, when everything will go to heck...What am I writing? Things will be literally going to Hell.

Let's check out some "Bad Blood".

"Wait. Which universe am I in right
Everyone is stressed out after the last episode. They need to figure out their next step (Though it's obvious Ichabod has some ideas of his own.). Ichabod goes for a walk to consider what is at risk. As he does he has a surreal time.

"...And you? You're wearing that rifle on the wrong shoulder."
It almost seems he's stepped back in time, and is in the war. Is it a dream? Well, he thinks it is at first. And apparently his dreams are a place where he constantly gets to correct people.

No. It's reenactors. But the experience does offer him something good. A source for clothing more to his liking. So no skinny jeans for Ichabod Crane. Good. Wear what you like, Ichabod.

He even gets to meet one of the cast of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Bonus.

Ichabod? Stop staring at yourself. We have to save the world.

Abbie is troubled that Irving is locked up and charged for a crime he's innocent of. Jenny, who's present again, isn't to hopeful either. But before they can consider what they can do to help, Parrish runs in with ill tidings. Moloch is getting ready to act.

"Good news, everybody! ...Wait am I playing an older mad scientist in this

"...No! I am NOT Groot!"
Parrish saw a vision of what was coming. Moloch will go to a set of white ash trees. These trees are familiar to the Mills sisters, as it's where their problems started. There Moloch will enact his will.

Something will arise. The sun will be eclipsed. War will ride across the Earth.

You know how it feels when you've been in the saddle all day? Yeah, a bit
like that.

War, the next horseman is coming.

So do the rest of the horsemen raze Headless?
(You know, I don't see the above War armor in this picture? Weird. I am guessing they updated the armor since this shot was filmed first.)

Worse for the team, by the end of the day an eclipse, like that in the vision, will occur. Time is up. It's also 13 years since the Mills sisters went into the woods and first crossed Moloch. Ominous.

Looking for answers, they find a spell in Washington's trusty bible that could be used to keep the Horseman of War from rising near the white ash trees. But that will mean having a witch or warlock available. But all the ones they know or have met are die pretty quickly. (Funny, they really need to start connecting with some witches or warlocks and not let them get killed.) The best option would seem to be Katrina. Apparently being in Purgatory doesn't really count as being dead.

But that'd mean having that dang map Ichabod destroyed last episode...

Abbie's "I Would Kill You, But We Have To Stop Armageddon First" Look.
Ichabod finally reveals that he actually memorized and redrew the map. But he would never have used the map unless Abbie agreed...

Also, marks for Jenny Mills making a Zombie Washington joke. You are a national treasure, madam.

Nice to see, Irving isn't total gone from the show. He'd done his own private research before he surrendered himself. He found that Reverend Knapp (beheaded in the pilot and still haunting the shows narrative) and Sheriff Clancy Brown were meeting regularly. Jenny hadn't even known of the meetings. Perhaps the two learned more than the team has yet found.

Abbie asks Jenny to dig through the sheriff's old audio tapes for information they don't have. Jenny isn't thrilled with any of this. They are facing a return of Moloch, who has haunted their lives. She doesn't want her sister to be going up against all of that. And if she does, it shouldn't be alone.

"What do you mean, 'You don't get to kick someone's ass this episode'? I have my ass kicking shoes on!"

"Holodeck! End Program." ...I said it!
Abbie makes it clear to Jenny: she finally wants to face Moloch. Don't know is that's determination, fatalism, or foolish optimism. The two share a moment as sisters, worried that Abbie's trip to Purgatory will be one way.

As Abbie, Ichabod, and Parrish head into the woods to find the door to Purgatory, Parrish warns them about Purgatory. They will be tempted and tricked to stay. If they eat or drink anything while there, they will be trapped. It reminds of a number of the tropes about the living entering the Underworld in Greek Myth. Like Persephone eating pomegranate seeds and being linked forever to the Underworld.

"Head concussions. I make them look good."

"...You can see us now? That's going to make your showers more awkward
all around." 
After entering Purgatory, Abbie finds herself in a bed at Ichabod's cabin. But he's not there. Instead she finds the late Sheriff Clancy Brown and Undead Andy, now less dead than last episode.

They tell her she has a concussion, and came here to recover. The two wanted to be sure she was okay, after getting hurt during FBI training.

And now, the sheriff has some of her favorite pie ready to share.

You think this is weird? Yesterday I was dredging up Zombie George

"Why are my dreams constantly historically inaccurate?!"
Ichabod finds himself standing in familiar grounds. His father's college grounds. He's also quite differently dressed, now attired as an academic of the day.

Going inside, he finds his father waiting. They are celebrating his return from the war. His work for the king now done, he can at last enter academia proper and teach and study beside his father.

His father offers him a toast in celebration.

"Welcome, son. Now take...God, he's already nitpicking..."

But it isn't right in either case. These are the hopes and dreams that they had. Normal lives they would have loved instead of the horrors they face. When they resist the call of their dreams, the dreams get wonky.

Dad's got a drinking problem.
Purgatory. Represented by an angsty music video.
Suddenly they find themselves in Purgatory proper. (It is much as we've seen it before when Abbie and Ichabod have skimmed passed it.

Oh,god! Constant piano music. This is Hell!
"Hey, Bob." Hey, Earl. Where you going?" "Left side of Purgatory."
"Cool. See you when you get back."

Worm people. Because, why not.

Luckily it is easy enough once they are free of the test to find Katrina.

Oh, look. Ichabod brought a date to his reunion with his wife.

But it isn't going to be easy for her to leave. She's bound to Purgatory. Katrina isn't allowed freedom from it without clemency. Reluctantly, she slowly admits their is one other way. Someone else's soul would have to stay in her place. I guess Purgatory has a "One Out and One In" policy.

Abbie and Ichabod bicker about who should stay, but Abbie puts her foot down. She was meant to come and trade places. And, she wants to face Moloch.

"Holodeck! End..." "We already did that bit."
Before leaving, Katrina gives Abbie a charmed pendent, which should help keep Moloch at bay. Then she and Ichabod head back to the realm of the living.

The You Better Be Coming Back For Me, Or I Will Find
You Look.
Meanwhile, Jenny has been left going over days of audio tapes with only hours left before the end of the world. It is not fun work.

I had no idea Sheriff Clancy Brown was so into mix tapes.

But it does point her to a clue. Their (theMills sisters) ancestor's church, Trinity Church, has some clue as to Moloch's riddle of about "the saint's name pointing the way".

Mmmm. Hotdish...

Jenny heads to the site, and begins searching. More of Sheriff Clancy Brown's notes suggest that the place went through several name changes over it's uses, and one of those names is the key. The last name it held before it was abandoned.

"Ah. So the murderer is..."

Jenny finally discovers that name and realizes how serious their problems are. But as she races to find her sister, her trouble becomes more immediate as the Headless Horseman emerges to challenge her with weapons fire.

"Nobody expects the...Oh, you knew I was coming? Spoilers, dude!"

Repeated blasts lead her to loose control of the vehicle, and it begins to repeatedly flip over.

"Sucker didn't double tap to the head. Rookie..."

And then the Horseman runs off. Wonder what he's in a rush about.

"And know I'll turn and ride away, assuming my opponent is dead. What?!"

Really, it's shoddy work. No beheadings? No witty remar...Nevermind.

And nothing bad ever happen to them again...

Over with Ichabod and Katrina...or Ichabina? ...Nah. They're out, and overjoyed to be able to finally see each other outside a hellish dreamscape. (Also known as marriage. Am I ri...Nevermind.)

Ichabod introduces her to Parrish, and they move to find the site the Second Horseman will emerge from. Katrina struggles some, and conjours a compass to lead them to it. Her powers are weakened at present.

Downside. She keeps getting stuck to the refrigerator.

Finally, they arrive at the white ashes. Katrina senses evil is near, and they move to act.

Parrish? Neither of these two will get a Barney Miller joke. Most people
today won't get a Barney Miller joke.

Meanwhile back with Abbie, things aren't great. I mean beyond being in Purgatory, Moloch has found her. Most of the denizens of Purgatory drop to the ground and crap themselves when Moloch appears.

It is freaking harder to screencap Moloch than take a clear
picture of Bigfoot. 
 Abbie is eager for a fight though, and takes a shot at Moloch...

But it's Moloch, lord of Purgatory. She gets lifted off the ground by a gloating Moloch.

Everyone has there own workout regimen.

Yet that pendent that Katrina gave her comes in useful, as Abbie slams it into Moloch's shoulder.

Ouch time.

It burns him, or something, and he drops her. Abbie runs as Moloch freaks out like someone spilled water on his new leather jacket.

Running, Abbie suddenly finds herself in a strange building. It's very familiar.

As she moves around what seems to be a large house, she finds...herself.

"One of us. One of us. ...Literally."

It seems this is a place of safety from Moloch. It's also a place made by Moloch to lock away memories from Abbie and her sister. Those memories are of what actually happen 13 years before. They show how the two girls were drawn to the white ashes to stop Moloch (somehow). 13 years before Moloch went to those trees and drew a lone figure out of the ground. Then he stoled Abbie and Jenny's memories of the event.

Like Jenny had discovered, Abbie now knows the person meant to become Moloch's avatar of War.

And luckily Ichabod and Katrina are also finding out. Katrina realizes that no being is waiting at the Ashes to be released. The future horseman is long since free.

"Sorry, Henry. I am not following your point. ...And how did we end up tied to these trees again?"

Drawn from the ground 13 years before, War has long since sworn unwavering loyalty to Moloch. It was an decision for him after spending centuries buried alive.

What your parents thought happened at the average heavy metal concert.

Henry Parrish. (Which is in part the last name of the church, St. Henry Parrish.)

"It's...decades to late for that joke, right?"
You see, Parrish isn't really Parrish. It's a identity he assumed 13 years before, as he did the bidding of Moloch, and waited. It was an eager opportunity for Parrish. It would mean he could finally meet his family. Ichbod and Katrina Crane.

As was clear after learning what Katrina's coven did to their son in "Golem", it was clear that Jeremy Crane was not dead. He was extremely powerful, and put in a suspended state. That was ripe for a return.

And here he is!

"...And I want to start staying up passed my bed time!"

...And he's pissed. Centuries trapped in a box underground. At some point Moloch reached out to him and promised him everything he ever desired. He turned Jeremy to his service.

And now, he gets to face mom and dad and say, "Fuck you, mom and dad!"

Once that's done, he gets with their final torment. First, he knocks Katrina out and allows the Headless Horseman to take off with her, as a gift. (As you may remember, The Horseman was once Katrina's fiance, and was "kinda" bitter when spurned.)

"I'm so nervous. I wish I'd combed my...Damn..."

As for dad? Well, dad got off easy in a death state for centuries. Now dad can see what it was like for his kid.

No! You're grounded, dad!

Standing over Ichabod, Parrish takes out a seal that the Horseman passed him.

And I bet it taste like Devil's Food.

Gloating to dad, he snaps it in two, breaking the second seal.

And War is empowered to act in Sleepy Hollow.

Cue the credits! Cue the Rolling Stone's "Sympathy for the Devil". (A callback to the pilot.)

Oh, wait!!!

What did happen to Abbie? She's trapped in the place her lost memories reside. The safest and happiest place of her childhood. An old playhouse she and her sister found and fixed up.

...Now residing in some form in Purgatory. Hundred Acre Woods is is not.
"When I find Pee Wee, we are going to have words."

And that's Season 1 of Sleepy Hollow.

Wow! That is a way to head out of a season. How long will I have to wait to find out what happens? ...Oh, right. I should just go check my DVR once I finish this up.


As I've said with other episodes of the show. The idea for this story is pretty straightforward. And like with those cases, it isn't a detriment. They need to do a spell, so they enter Purgatory to get Katrina, they do a trade, and things go crazy at the end. It works to draw you in and keep you until the end credits.

I wouldn't have believed it, but they actually have Katrina out of Purgatory and in our world. I didn't think they'd do it in the first season. But the show seems unwilling to let things lie, and in a season that was only 13 episodes long. I look forward to see how things race ahead in the next season. I assume we won't be left long seeing everyone's state, how they deal with it, and move to regroup. Can't wait.

The Headless Horseman has disappeared for much of the season, which is a good thing as it allows him to stay special, potent, and surprising. If he was there every episode he's devolve into Gargamel.

(Okay. He has had so definition as the spurned fiance. Some don't like that. But it helps to better focus the Horseman as Ichabod's foe and a threat to his family. ...And now his son is in league with him.)

Abbie has come a long way. She's found her faith in Ichabod and her sister, and makes good use of her internal strength to face her fears and dread. She now knows what happen to her 13 years back, why her sister was distant from her, and started to make amends. What will she do next, after she punches Purgatory until it sends her home. I want to see where she goes next season.

Ichabod gets to dragged around emotional and psychologically. He has a way to save his wife, but it has a price he can't stomach. But, at least temporarily, it is for a greater good. Then he's betrayed by his new friend, and learns his son lives and despises him. And to top it off, War has risen, his wife is the prisoner of the Horseman, and he's now been buried alive.

And, Jenny. Damn it! On the plus side, she was wearing her seat belt. Also, the Horseman was sloppy. If you're sloppy in fighting Jenny Mills, you will pay for it. Overall for Jenny, I am glad to see her properly intigrated into the team. I want to see more of her next season!!!

Oh, and Irving? You better be coming back. 

I know Jenny can survive that crash. I expect her to pull herself out, bruised, but breathing. But how does Ichabod get out? And how does someone get to Abbie? Or, how does she find an exit. (And is Irving going to get some good legal help?)



Broke my heart, man! You broke it. As I have said, I have really enjoyed the character. He is interesting to watch. He was built to open like a flower. Shy and distant at first. Then, Ichabod and Abbie have to draw him in, and watch him go to work on their questions. And he becomes part of the family.

But I have to assume it was all a ploy. Once he was revealed he seemed conpletely unable/unwilling to connect in anyway to his parents. He just wanted to vent and gloat.

I have to assume every interaction was a means to an end. Looking back at the previous episode you can see him pushing subtly to an end. He wanted them to get the map to Purgatory. He wanted them distracted with doubts. And with this episode he marched in with a vision to push them to the places that Moloch wanted them. It was all about the goal.

Now, after 13 years, he gets to taste victory. I wonder how it will taste to him?

How long was Moloch whispering to him. Did Moloch just wait the centuries for him to snap? Does he have anything other than his pain, rage, and Moloch?

I guess we'll see how Season 2 defines the character. I am not sure, but I am assuming that he will be maintain, at least at times, his human form.

As it is I have to say I prefer this to having a teenage Jeremy Crane running around the present. When we got to "Golem" I was worried that was where we were heading. Instead, we get John Noble. It's a trade up.

We can also finally learn who's alive and who's dead. Is Undead Andy gone forever? How about Abbie's Ex?

I'd also like to note that I found the representation of War early in the episode interesting.

And empty suit of armor. Was this meant to show that they didn't know who it was yet? Or was it meant to show the state of War before an avatar took it on?

You can get curious about the various horsemen. We've already seen Pestilence active centuries beforehand. Did it already have an avatar then? Does it still?

Questions to seek answers to in Season 2.

Let's get to that season then.

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