Sleepy Hollow – “And the Abyss Gazes Back”

I’ve decided I like the fact that Sleepy Hollow makes their case of the week baddies part of the overarching narrative. Yeah, it can feel a bit forced, but I got a genuine kick out of the fact that Henry’s bone-smashing from the earlier episode paid off here. It means the writers are actually planning something, instead of just coming up with random things on the way. It gives me hope that Henry’s “plan” might actually pay off in spades.

That’s not to say that his plan is a bit roundabout. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t he have powers of a sort? I’m pretty sure he set a bed on fire just by raising his hand. And wrapped up Katrina in a tree. And sealed the lid on Ichabod’s coffin. Yeah, see, he’s being a bit “hands off” when it comes to this whole apocalypse thing, even though he surely has the means to basically bring it on by himself if he could. Maybe that is part of Moloch’s deal? That he, ya know, can’t do that.

I’ll chalk it up to that just to keep enjoying the show, which I do, almost with no reservations (that anxiety about Henry’s plan being a big one). Speaking of reservations…Native Americans! (Hehheh. Good one, Warren.) In this week’s sort of convoluted storyline, Joe Corbin, Detective Corbin’s son, returns from Afghanistan after being honorably discharged from the marines. Why, you ask? Because at the sight of blood he turns into a wendigo and kills everyone around him and eats their organs. Not a bad reason to kick someone out of the armed troops. He runs into Abbi, who we all know had a close relationship with Corbin, and our leads have to find a way to cure him of his wendigo-ness.

The only one who can offer to do that, though, is Henry, who offers a cure in exchange for some sort of blood…thing called…um…I forget the name of it. It is something close to “Inky” though, and I remember it sounding weird and kind of silly, especially when they’re like:

Henry: Give me the inky.

Ichabod: No. You can’t have the inky.

Henry: I demand the inky.

And so on. Henry gets it, he goes back on his deal, and Joe is cursed to remain a wendigo forever unless Ichabod and Hawley (for some reason) can find a cure from local Shawnees, because they have a cure for wendigos because of something something Daniel Boone.

Look. I really do like this show, and love the way it ties a lot of things in (Joe being Corbin’s son, Hawley doing deals with the Shawnee, Ichabod knowing Daniel Boone who ran with the Shawnees, Henry being the one who cast the curse on Joe, etc) but sometimes there’s just…a lot. And writing this now, the day after watching it, I am beginning to notice that. Again, it’s cool that there is a purpose to everything. It’s just…sometimes a bit too convenient. I didn’t mind that Joe had a personal connection to Abbi, but does Ichabod have to know every goddamn important historical figure from back then? Did they have some sort of Colonial Facebook to make everything easier? I doubt it! Because they didn’t even have electricity back then!! (Duh, dummy!)

Still, the wendigo looked cool, and we had some more nasty gore, and I liked that. Plus, Joe was a nice character (I say was because, hey, who knows if we’ll see him again) and he provided a bit more backstory for Abbi. He also enlightened Ichabod to keep trying with his son, even if he was, ya know, the Horseman of Frickin’ War. There still might be good in him! Uh huh. And I’m the queen of France. Speaking of evil, in the C(?) plot, Irving realizes he gave his soul to Henry, and the only way to get it back is to offer up one in return. In a glaringly annoying coincidence, the man who got drunk and hit his daughter with his car, paralyzing her, is also in the same holding area as Irving. Isn’t he in a psych ward? Why would someone with a DUI be in a psych ward? And surely they would look at their backgrounds and go, hmm, let’s not get them anywhere near each other, right?

But logic aside, Irving nearly kills the man when, for no reason at all, the guy is a completely remorseless dick about it. Come on. This is dumb. Find another way to push Irving close to the edge. Say he’s possessed or something. Or he’s making up a narrative. But having the guy actually say stuff like “she ruined my life too” and “sorry she didn’t get out of the way” is just lazy and offensive. Didn’t feel organic at all. Just when I thought the Irving story might be okay in the long run, shit like this happens and I have my doubts. Luckily, he realizes the err of his ways, seemingly without repercussion. Ya know, for attempted murder. He calls Abbi, explains it all, and that sets up what will happen to him later which is…redemption? I don’t know.

The tag of the episode involves Henry using the “Inky” to forge a spider that crawls into Katrina’s mouth and presumably will mess up her shit somehow. Spider baby? Demon spider baby? Spider Katrina? Not sure yet. But it should stir things up a bit. Again, though: why does Henry have to go through all that trouble? Can’t he just use some other magic or something? I mean, he has to acquire the bone, grind it up, send it to Joe, who has to get the Inky, and then he has to acquire it from him and…yeesh. It just seems so convoluted, while meanwhile the Headless Horseman has a good ol’ fashioned shotgun. Get it together, Team Apocalypse!

I still hold hope that it will all make sense, that all of these little pieces were planned for something bigger. Or, who knows, that they were a distraction from what Henry was really doing. That would be cool. And I have faith in the writers. They haven’t steered me wrong, yet. But we’ll see, won’t we?

Review Grade: B

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