Holy everloving Headless Horseman with an automatic weapon, what a pair of episodes! And now we have to wait months for season two. Since I know some of our readers are on the fence about giving Sleepy Hollow a try, I just want to say this up front: The phrase “zombie George Washington” was uttered multiple times during this, the two-part season finale. So you might wanna catch up during the hiatus. Just sayin’. Join us.
We start off with a bit of comic relief in the form of Ichabod having some difficulty with voicemail and text messages but trucking through admirably well. Better than this guy, anyway. Abbie’s in a pretty cheerful mood—the apocalypse is coming, but hey, she’ll handle it, she’s ABBIE FREAKING MILLS—until
THE CHOVERLORD Andy Brooks shows up to pull his “Abbie, please don’t get killed by Moloch, I love you!” routine again. Yeah, yeah. Everyone on this show loves Abbie, romantically or otherwise. Get in line, dude. He tells her that Ichabod is prophecized to deliver her soul to Moloch, which is something Ichabod already told her, gawd Andy. But before breaking out of the cuffs Abbie snapped him in and scuttling away into the tunnels he gives her some new info: Moloch wants Washington’s Bible because there’s something in it that points the way to a very important map.
Meanwhile Ichabod figures that out for himself by remembering a single word–Lazarus–that Washington dropped in one of their conversations. I’d call BS on Ichabod picking up on the worst clue ever if it were not already established that he’s Washington’s #1 fanboy. He called him “My dear General” in this scene and I did this. You know before he died he transcribed every single conversation the two of them had in a scrapbook filled with doodled hearts. The clue leads Ichabod to a secret Bible message, which tells Ichabod that after Washington died, warlocks—one of whom was Knapp, the priest the Headless Horseman killed at the beginning of the season—resurrected him so he could draw a map to purgatory.
I joked about zombie George Washington in last week’s recap, but I didn’t think it would actually happen! Granted, G-Wash got zombiefied only briefly in a flashback scene, and he didn’t even have a hankering for brains, but still. I’ll take what I can get.
Also, it was revealed in this episode that Ichabod used to date Betsy Ross. Who knew she had such good taste?
After Ichabod gets a bit pissy at Abbie about how he only has a crappy old flip phone—aw, he grows up so fast!—they share their intel on the map and Ichabod’s destined betrayal. Abbie’s open about the fact that the latter point is really bugging her, not because she doesn’t trust Ichabod, but because of her own issues stemming from childhood betrayal.
Someone’s going to give someone else up. I can feel it.
Ichabod, meanwhile, is all Yaaaaay, I can rescue my wife from Purgatory until Abbie reminds him that stopping the Apocalypse is really the priority here, OK? They go off to indulge in a bit of corpse robbing—turns out Knapp’s prayer beads were involved in the resurrection ritual, so if Henry the Sin-Eater can get his hands on them he might be able to figure out where the map is.
But soft! A quick Irving interlude! He’s not in this episode much (*sob*), but what he has is really good (in the dramatic sense, that is). Turns out the policemen in this show do actual police work, so when the cop and the priest from last episode got killed while guarding Macey they decided to look into it instead of being easily distracted as if they were on another supernatural drama. All the evidence points to Macey, but instead of trying to explain that his daughter was possessed by a demon when she snapped the priest’s neck (good call—that probably wouldn’t work) Irving confesses to the murders himself.
Season two. Jenny, you and Macey are teaming up to bust him out of prison, right?
In the graveyard Henry’s all ready to nom some tasty, tasty sins from Knapp’s prayer beads, but they’re guarded by a hex. Abbie floats the idea that maybe they should just let the map be—Washington wanted Ichabod to find it, sure, but things have gone down since then and Mr. President wasn’t exactly around to update the plan. Messing with Purgatory could cause the Apocalypse, not prevent it. But one of Moloch’s soldiers attacking Henry makes him and Ichabod even more determined to find the map and win the battle of good vs evil once and for all.
Using what brief flashes Henry was able to get from the beads Our Heroes determine that the map must be buried with Washington in a secret burial site on an island along the Hudson river. When they get there Ichabod uses his Masonic Tracking Skills (free with 12 cereal boxtops, plus shipping and handling) to find the secret tomb. Which, incidentally, is booby-trapped. That’ll be relevant later. They get the map, but their escape is blocked by none other than THE CHOVERLORD, who begged Moloch to turn him into a weapon after Abbie rejected his “You don’t really have to fight the Apocalypse!” offer.
Also, in Conversations That Are Way More Creepy In Retrospect, on the way to the tomb Abbie and Henry had a nice chat about the prophecy that Ichabod would betray Abbie’s soul to Moloch. It is a legit prophecy, Henry admits, but it’s from a rejected tesament, so it probably won’t even happen. Go to Purgatory! You’ll be fiiiiiine.
Henry sin-eats Bug Monster Andy a little (that sounds wrong), and it’s enough to knock him for a loop and let his non-demon self come to the fore for a split second. He tells Abbie to destroy the map and begs her to release him, which she does with a poker to the brain. RIP, CHOVERLORD.
BUT WAIT. Andy being a disruptive little servant of evil has caused the opening to the tomb to collapse, but Ichabod uses his Secret Mason Knowledge to find what is essentially an ancient elevator. The poker to the brain wasn’t enough to kill Andy, so Abbie triggers the tomb’s booby traps, which causes the tomb to collapse around him. So… he’s trapped, not dead, right? He’s coming back? I need more Cho.
Back on the surface Abbie tells Ichabod what Andy said about destroying the map, and he agrees that it’s probably a good idea, so he lights it on fire. That makes Henry upset, because he’s awwwwwful gung-ho on the two Witnesses getting to Purgatory all of a sudden. Hmm.
Abbie promises Ichabod that even without the map they’ll find a way to free Katrina. That’s more true than she knows: Once Ichabod gets back to the cabin he uses his eidetic memory to redraw it. There’s a single manly tear sitch going on as he does it, as he’s effectively betrayed Abbie and the Apocalypse-fighting cause for the sake of rescuing his wife. But it all turns out well. HA HA, NO.
We begin the second episode with Henry having a dream in which Moloch summons the second Horseman to life. Also there’s an eclipse, because every super-dramatic quasi-Biblical climax needs one. Ichabod is also having a dramatic, plot-defining dream of his own… except nah. He actually just stumbles across American Revolution reenactors and is very confused for a second before he rolls with it and proceeds to buy the exact same outfit as the one he currently wears, except this one wasn’t worn by a corpse for 250 years. This is how you fanservice. Bless. Back in the cabin he tells Jenny (Jenny’s here, yaaaaaay) that he refuses to ditch his coat because he doesn’t want hipsters to have it. Except he calls them “artisanal marmalade connoisseurs,” but whatever. Same diff.
By deciphering Henry’s dream the anti-Apocalyspe crew figures out that Moloch plans to summon War, the second of the four Horseman, that very day. Oh, and this happens to be taking place exactly 13 years after Abbie and Jenny’s own Moloch encounter. War can be prevented from popping by for a visit by placing a binding spell on the patch of ground he’ll be coming from, but the only person who can cast that spell is a witch. And the only witch they know is trapped in Purgatory, which they can’t get to, ’cause Ichabod burned the map…
… and then redrew it.
Abbie, Ichabod, and Henry will follow the map and find the entry to Purgatory, while Jenny will stay behind and pore over Sheriff Corbin’s records to try and figure out what the hell Moloch was talking about when he taunted Ichabod about the “Saint’s name.” Those tapes, by the way, come courtesy of Irving, who thought to hook Abbie up them even though he was just arrested for murder. I am so regretting the lack of time I have to make a crappy Frank Irving sunglasses gif right now.
There’s a great emotional scene between the Mills sisters before Abbie sets off. Henry warns Abbie and Ichabod that Purgatory will try to trick them, and that if they eat or drink anything while they’re there they’ll have to stay FOR-EV-ER. You know, standard mythology stuff. Once they go through the gateway Ichabod and Abbie are separated immediately. Abbie finds herself chilling with Corbin and Andy, and Ichabod gets whisked away to his dad’s place in England. Both fantasies are engineered to trick their subjects into thinking they’re living the lives they always wanted before all this messy Apocalypse stuff started to go down. Abbie’s top of her class in Quantico. Ichabod, never having turned to the colonial side of the Revolution, is basking in fatherly approval. Both of them figure out what’s going on riiiiight before eating or drinking something.
And this episode’s Headless Horseman With an Automatic Weapon Award for Ultimate Ridiculousness goes to this delightful pair of shots:
I want to wallpaper my house in these. I want to marry them. I want Headless Corbin and Pez Dispenser Brooks to start a band.
Abbie and Ichabod find each other and confirm that they are who they say they are with their Epic Fistbump Of Friendship and Excellent Excellence. They get to the church and find Katrina, who seems remarkably unsurprised to see them, but whatever. She harshes their “We’re gonna get you out of here!” buzz by informing them that, sorry, a soul needs forgiveness to leave Purgatory. Didn’t you know?
KATRINA. You couldn’t have told them that earlier? You knew Ichabod was trying to find a way to get you out! You need to work on your crypticness problem.
But there is one way Katrina can leave: If another soul stays behind in her place.
Ichabod and Abbie both offer to stay behind, but it’s Abbie who wins the fight. She doesn’t want to stay in Purgatory so Katrina can escape and Ichabod can be with his wife. She doesn’t even want to stay so Katrina can use her witchy magic to bind War. No. She wants to stay in Purgatory because that’s where Moloch is and she has unfinished business with that motherfrakker. So all that betrayal stuff was a red herring: The prophecy about one Witnesses “giving up ” the other’s soul to Purgatory is technically true, but it was done in such a way that Abbie made the choice herself, retaining both her agency and her ETERNAL AWESOMENESS.
Ichabod promises to come back and get her, and Katrina gives her a special medallion that’ll help her fight Moloch. After Ichabod and Katrina leave Purgatory Abbie has a bit of a tussle with Moloch, after which she runs away to regroup. She ends in trapped in a dollhouse—a specific one from Abbie and Jenny’s childhood, not just a random dollhouse that popped up in Purgatory’s foggy forests—with childhood versions of herself and her sister.
Jenny’s gonna be piiiiiiissed that her sister’s trapped. Speaking of Jenny, if you had any doubts, she and “stay behind” don’t go together at all. Upon hearing Corbin talk about a church in one of his tapes she goes off to investigate. While there she figures out the riddle of the “Saint’s name” right away. There are details, but what it all boils down to is that Henry’s on Moloch’s side. She’s on her way to tell Abbie, not knowing that her sister’s trapped in Purgatory, when the Headless Horseman shows up and causes her to wreck her car. And then just rides away without checking that she’s dead. Where’s your head, sir? Where’s your head?!
So, yes. Henry’s actually War, the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse. Ichabod and Katrina find that out when Katrina tries to bind War but discovers, whoops, his body’s not there anymore. Abbie finds out when young!Abbie explains to her that she and young!Jenny are actually memories taken from the two sisters after their first encounter with Moloch. See, Moloch didn’t just pop up from Purgatory for some Starbucks. That day in the forest was actually when War was being summoned, which is why Abbie was led there too. Only, being a kid and not even knowing she was a Witness, there was nothing she could do to stop it. Moloch taking their memories is why neither Abbie nor Jenny recognized Henry for who he really was.
A plot twist, but not a hugely surprising one. After all this talk about betrayal someone was gonna be evil. Henry was acting pretty off this whole episode, and it’s only a short jump from “Henry’s working for Moloch” to “Henry’s the second Horseman.” Man, and I’d heard there was going to be some insane twist in the last five minutes, too. I expected much mo—what’s that? HENRY IS ALSO ICHABOD AND KATRINA’S SON JEREMY?!
Turns out being buried by Katrina’s coven for over 200 years drove Jeremy loco bonkers, and when Moloch summoned him he was all too willing to help his new master out and become the Horseman, all so he could screw over the only two people he really had to direct his rage against: The parents who unwillingly abandoned him. He was the one who appeared to Katrina in Purgatory and told her about the Sin Eaters, which is what in turn caused Katrina to tell Abbie about them, which is how Abbie came to track Henry/Jeremy/War down. The Headless Horseman rides on up and gives Henry the second seal in exchange for—you guessed it—Katrina, whom Henry (her son) knocks unconscious with his super-magic and packs off to be with her ex-fiancé. Henry breaks the seal, effectively activating himself as War and bringing about the second stage of the Apocalypse. As for Ichabod, Henry buries him alive in the very grave Henry himself was trapped in for so many years.
This… wow. I thought that Henry would go bad. And I thought Jeremy would come back at some point. But I never thought they’d be the same person! So now Death is Katrina’s jilted lover and War is Katrina and Ichabod’s orphaned son. Who else did they piss off while they were alive? Could a waitress they forgot to tip one time be Pestilence? Is an aunt who didn’t get invited to the wedding Famine?
I kid, but this finale was good. Man, what a cliffhanger. Abbie’s trapped in Purgatory. Katrina’s been spirited away somewhere by Headless. Ichabod’s buried alive and presumably trapped by magic. If Irving’s not in jail now, he will be soon. Jenny will probably be OK after her car wreck (if she’s dead, so help me), but still, those aren’t good odds.
SAVE THEM, MACEY!
(Predictions: The Masons are coming back to provide a little deus ex machine assistance. Casting James Frain and then killing him off after only one episode was a little fishy.)
It’s been fun, friends. I’ll be back with more Sleepy Hollow recaps when the show returns in… whenever the show ends up returning. Thanks for reading!