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Sleepy Hollow Recap: The Golem


Before we start, has everyone seen Orlando Jones‘ Twitter account? Because he’s been Tweeting manips of Ichabod in various (non-colonial) outfits. For example: Here’s him as Ralphie from A Christmas Story. Lady Gaga. A skateboarder (“Gen Washington invented the varial heelflip to battle the forces of evil.” Sounds about right). Oliver Queen from Arrow. Other shows wish they had Orlando.

OK, now we can start.

Last episode saw Ichabod find out that after his death Katrina gave birth to a son. Understandably he starts out The Golem in something of a testy mood, angrily chopping wood while Abbie tries to explain Christmas traditions to him. Abbie stands up for Katrina, saying she probably didn’t tell her hubby about being pregnant in order to protect him from something, as that’s kind of her modus operandi. (You can say what you like about that being a cliché, but there are so many instances in this show of women protecting, rescuing, and looking out for men, and I can’t help but love it.)

Ichabod agrees, saying Katrina’s shiftiness about their kid probably has something to do with Moloch, because what doesn’t? To find out what happened to Crane Jr. Ichabod has enlisted the help of Denethor John Noble the Sin Eater, real name Henry Parrish, who has spectacular timing, because he rolls up right then.

Ichabod convinces a reluctant Henry to try and send him to Purgatory so he can have a chat with his quasi-dead witch wife. But doing that isn’t as easy as eating tasty, tasty sins—to go to Purgatory Ichabod will have to be near death. Henry warns Abbie that things are about to get freaky, so if she has any doubts she might want to leave.

No, I think she’ll be fine.

Henry tells Ichabod to think of his wife and then proceeds to throttle him. Fun times in Sleepy Hollow! He comes to in a church, where he sees his son’s baby carriage and that creepy doll that Abbie saw in The Sin Eater. Katrina’s there too, and she’s more than a bit worried to see him because of the whole “If you’re in Purgatory it means you’re just about dead” thing.

“I’m fine,” explains Ichabod. “There was a Sin Eater. Whatever, it’s not important. DID WE HAVE A SON? WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THAT YOU WERE PREGNANT? WHAT’S HIS NAME?

We go into flashback land, where we find out that Katrina didn’t even know she was pregnant when Ichabod died, jeez dude, stare at a picture of George Washington for a while and calm down.

I don’t know why I love that revelation so much—it was here and gone in like two seconds—but I am cackling. Ichabod was angsting over “My wife is keeping secrets from me again!,” only to be informed that’s not how it was at all, so shut down your manpain please and thank you.

Ichabod, you dork.

Anyway. The son’s name is Jeremy. When Katrina found out she was pregnant she went back to Europe to find a spell that would unbind Ichabod from the Horseman (could that be the subject of a future flashback for Ichabod’s dad to show up in?). Obviously she didn’t find one, and when she got back her coven found out she was pregnant and started coming after her. So she escaped to Fredericks Manor (in a puff of smoke, yeeeeah Katrina) and had her kid in secret, not to avoid Moloch, but to avoid her fellow witches. (Is it ever established why they hate her being pregnant so much?)

Katrina knew that Jeremy would never be safe with her, so she left him in the care of Grace Dixon and her hubby (??) Joseph. It’s a little cheesy, but I’ll allow it. She knew she’d never be able to see her son again, so she gave him the creepy doll as a sort of surrogate witch mom.

Katrina explains that it was her coven, not Moloch, that trapped her in purgatory, though the two were working together. Specifically the ones to blame are the head witches, known as the Four Who Speak As One. Am I imagining Ichabod’s suspicious look when she says that?

I might be wrong, but I’m thinking there’s something Katrina’s not saying about this whole witch business.

Anyway, he promises that he’ll find out what happened to their son, and then an orc-looking thing—the Golem, we find out later—busts through the doors. Ichabod wakes up on the cabin floor and tells Abbie what he knows. She promises that they’ll do everything they can to find out what happened to Jeremy and recommends that they try the historical society library, which is chock full of old records. Sounds like paradise for him. Henry says thank you but he won’t be tagging along, since his train leaves in 18 minutes.

Ichabod tries to convince him to stay, pointing out that his purpose is to help the Witnesses in their fight. “Which I did when I separated you from the Horseman,” he points out. “Now step aside, fools. I have a crossword to do.”

Abbie steps up to the plate and goes into backstory mode, explaining how she knows Henry has no family left. She and Ichabod don’t have much family either. They need to hold onto what they have. And anyway, if the two of them die then all Henry’s done so far will have been in vain, so he might as well stow his crossword and help out, y’dig?

Only it was more polite than that. Her spiel works, and Henry agrees to stay for a few more hours. While all this is going on the Golem’s come to life out in the forest and has proceeded to creep on them.

There’s a quick detour to the Big Apple, where Irving’s talking to his old pastor about what the Bible has to say about the two witnesses. There’s a bit of angstiness from Irving—his dedication to his work has already cost him so much, and if he helps Abbie and Ichabod it could very well cost him his life, too.

But here’s what’s most interesting: Mr. Pastor says that, according to the Bible, the two Witnesses die.

Not here for that. Not gonna happen. I refuse.

Over at the historical society the librarian is being more than a little transparent in not wanting Ichabod to find the records he needs. “Trinity what? Trinity Church? What’s a church? No records. What are those? Wow, so weird.”  Ichabod calls on her it, giving her a quick lesson on the founding of the town and saying surely you have something, hmm?

Yeeeah, that’s right. You just got history’d by Ichabod Crane. One who could probably recite the entire history of the church and  just lied about there being records because she’s an evil witch. But Ichabod’s not had a great time of things lately. Let him have this.

There’s a moment where Ichabod and Abbie see a spring of mistletoe and have a bit of banter about Christmas traditions. I’m like 99% sure at this point that Ichabbie is endgame. Which is fine. Whatever. They’re cute. But Jenny/Irving looks like it’s happening, and… I don’t know. I just really want there to be a show where all the leads don’t get paired off. We need more platonic male/female friendships on TV.

Records are found, and part of the story of Jeremy Crane is delivered: He inherited his mother’s powers, and when still a toddler he started a fire that killed his adoptive parents. People thought he was some kind of monster, and he was sent to an orphanage for children of war. Ichabod gets all sad—if he’d been there not only could he have raised his son, but said son would never have killed Abbie’s ancestors. Abbie reassures him that no, really, it’s OK. I’m not pissed because you dying to save your country meant that you couldn’t stop your son from accidentally killing my great-great-great-grandmother. Stop looking for things to angst about. Henry senses that the librarian was lying about something, but when they go outside to find her they see the Golem’s been by and killed her already.

Over in the History Batcave Abbie and Ichabod are going through the librarian’s possessions while Henry sits in the corner soliloquizing about crossword puzzles. I feel you, man. I feel you. There’s a conversation between Abbie and Ichabod on the mutability of language (yessssss) that’s rather fun. The linguistics party is interrupted (awwww) when Henry senses that there’s something evil about one of the boxes that the librarian owned. On it is the crest of Katrina’s coven, meaning that the librarian was a witch and must’ve recognized Ichabod. In the box is a book, and in the book is a drawing of the doll Katrina gave to baby Jeremy. Ichabod instantly remembers seeing the doll in purgatory, and Abbie says she did too. Henry does a little magic-fu and imparts some more Jeremy back story.

Turns out the poor kid had a really horrible life at the orphanage. He was routinely beaten, and one day he just snapped and accidentally used his powers to bring the doll to life. The doll killed the priest who was beating Jeremy and afterwards became his protector, killing anyone who messed with him. That’s why it killed the librarian—she was part of the coven that banished his mom.

There’s a bonding moment between Henry and Ichabod—they talk about fathers, and Henry says he thinks Jeremy was a good man because he was “molded from [Ichabod]’s clay.” In true Sleepy Hollow fashion, Ichabod expounds “Molded from clay! Of course! Washington’s Bible!”

Oh, show. I am fond of your cheese.

Ichabod remembers how Katrina told him she buried the Bible with him so it could help him through tough times. In going through it he realizes that the doll is a Golem, basically a magical attack dog created from an inanimate object. Abbie, in going through the librarian’s belongings, realizes that the Four Who Speak As One are set up at a carnival not far from town. They must be who the Golem’s going to go after next, so Our Heroes have to go and stop him/it.

Quick detour for some Irving and Macy! There’s an Emotional Relationship Moment between Irving and his ex-wife Cynthia before he and his daughter go to spend some time in the park. He notices her looking wistfully at some guys playing frisbee and says that he could try getting her into a wheelchair sports camp.

Her response is basically that she know he means well, but sometimes when he says things like that he makes her feel helpless. Irving, instead of trying to defend himself, immediately respects what his daughter’s saying and apologizes. Holy crap. Sleepy Hollow just overtly, respectfully tackled how people often unintentionally say the wrong thing to people with disabilities. Does your favorite show do this? I think not.

He goes to get her some hot chocolate, and the vendor is a creepy demon dude who goes all white-eyed and threatens Macy. Irving grabs him and the demon energy skedaddles to another person, making Irving look more than a bit unbalanced in front of his daughter.

Irving, Abbie, and Henry roll up to a creepy carnival, and Ichabod asks that Abbie stay behind and wait for him, since the witches banished his wife and ruined the life of his son, so he’d really like to talk to them in private. Abbie agrees, setting off to case the carnival.

The witches explain to Ichabod that his arriving means that they’ll die that night, and nothing he can do will change that. Nothing will rescue his wife either, by the way. She screwed with fate (presumably by having her son), and now she’s in Purgatory. That’s what happens. They tell him that word of the Golem spread, so it and Jeremy became hunted. The coven offered Jeremy a place with them, but he refused. The four imprisoned the Golem in purgatory, but Jeremy had too much power to do that, so the coven came together and put a hex “to stop his heart” on him.

Anyone think Jeremy’s coming back? Something about how this scene went down made me think they Snow White-d him, burying him alive in a coma, instead of killing him outright. Though “stopping his heart” is pretty deadly, so maybe he is a goner for good. I’m going to say not, though.

The Golem starts rattling around outside, and the witches disappear. The only thing they tell him before they go is that Jeremy’s blood gave life to the Golem, so only his blood can kill it. It’s pretty obvious how this is gonna go down—Jeremy’s blood is Ichabod’s blood, so Ichabod’s blood can do the deed, too. Henry tells him that’s what’s up, and Ichabod ends up stabbing the Golem with a shard of mirror, killing it, while Abbie stands guard. That’s the basics of the climax. Now here’s a detail I particularly liked:

Ichabod is startled by the presence of a funhouse mirror and asks “When did irony become a national past time?” At first I thought that was a bit of a dig at the Internet generation—aka the show’s viewers—in the same way that Steven Moffat occasionally works in anti-Twitter jokes on Doctor Who. But then I realized: This is basically the show’s mission statement. So much of entertainment nowadays is built on artifice, with “gritty” characters being false to one another and not working through their issues and everything bad happening all the time. Not Sleepy Hollow. It’s just a genuine show. And sure, it’s one that’s clichéd as hell. Evil witches, creepy carnivals, convenient plot twists. I completely respect that that’s not for everyone. But, as for me, I find it so refreshing that the show makes no bones about what it is. It takes these clichés, and it crafts a damn good show out of them, filled with good characters and humor and diversity and representation.

And then the funhouse mirror is broken by the Golem busting through it, which is a nice cap on what was basically a character delivering the show’s tagline.

The Golem dies in Ichabod’s arms—there are no hard feelings, what with it being the thing that protected his son all those years. It seems like Ichabod reaches some emotional closure about his son… but that won’t last if the son comes back. Just saying.

The final scene has Abbie giving Ichabod a Christmas stocking, which he is thoroughly unimpressed by. “A large stocking with my name embroidered on it? … Nice.” They wish each other a Merry Christmas, and it’s sweet. Then she leaves to get food and a mirror in the room turns into a portal to Purgatory. Ichabod is whisked in for an audience with Moloch, who says both he and Abbie will die. In fact, he’s touched Abbie’s soul before, and soon he’ll get the rest of it. Ichabod will deliver it to him.

Ichabod gets spit out back at the station, where he immediately tells Abbie what Moloch said about her being in danger, because this is not Supernatural.

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