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And He’s About To Break: Sleepy Hollow “Sanctuary” Review

By on November 26, 2013

Pictured: Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane -- Photo by: Brownie Harris/FOX

Ichabod Crane was a man on a war path during this week’s hour of Sleepy Hollow.

A young billionaire who is visiting Sleepy Hollow goes missing, so Mills and Crane are put on the case. When they arrive at the home Ichabod’s memory is triggered. The place used to be a former estate for freed slaves and was owned by a man Katrina knew well. Once inside they discover the missing woman’s chauffer and traces of a struggle. Abbie attempts to call for back up, but the house isn’t having it. Suddenly all the possible exits are sealed with our two witnesses trapped inside. Instead of standing around for the haunted house to make another move, they go to find the woman.

They are lead to a closet where they find her swathed in branches. When they remove to her find out what happened, all hell breaks loose. The house isn’t haunted, but inhabited by one of Moloch’s demons who won’t stop until his has the billionaire back. As Ichabod and Abbie race to get out of the house, they get separated and Ichabod comes face to face with the demon. Abbie on the other hand is busy making ghost friends and seeing visions of Katrina Crane’s return to the house.

After Ichabod’s death, Katrina returned to the estate to have a child under the protection of the estate owner who was a fellow member of her coven. But Moloch’s demon managed to get under the magic barrier and attacked the house, leaving the fate of Ichabod’s son lost to time. Upon hearing the news from Abbie, Ichabod slowly sinks into rage and when they finally escape the house – thanks to Abbie’s ghost friend – he decides to exact a little revenge. Despite Abbie’s numerous warnings, Ichabod goes back into the house and in probably his least glorious moment, takes down Moloch’s demon.

Back at the precint, Jenny and Frank are bonding over returned weapons. Their conversation snowballs from a tit-for-a-tat into a Thanksgiving dinner invitation… with undertones of something more. Before things go any farther though, Frank’s ex-wife Cynthia (guest star Jill Marie Jones) shows up to drop his daughter Macey (guest star Amandla Stenberg) off. Macey mistakes Jenny for a girlfriend, but once they get that worked out, they find they have quite a bit in common. As for Frank, Cythnia has come to tell him to step up with their daughter or lose custody of her.

“Sanctuary” reveals Crane’s connection to Abbie, which is through his wife and is over 250 years old. As for Ichabod, he has quite a few impassioned and testy moments, earning him the title of Sleepy Hollow’s grumpiest old man. (He is pretty old if you count all those years he spent in the ground.) While his bat out of hell moment might have shocked or excited you, it didn’t seem to move him very much in terms of his own development until his final scene with Abbie. This scene also happened to be a subtle development moment for her as well. As our two witnesses share their (lack of) good memories and hurt over lost loved ones, Abbie softly notes that perhaps all of this should make them appreciate what they have – what’s right in front of them – a bit more.

It’s a small line, but it speaks volumes about their development as a duo. When the show began Abbie was not just hesitant to accept her fate, but to accept Ichabod as a partner and a part of her life. In episode five and six,  she not only renews her faith and accepts her destiny, she believes in Ichabod as much as he believes in her. She proves how much she believes by saving his life twice. Abbie Mills, a.k.a. a “hard ass” according to her younger sister, puts her walls down to really care about someone for the first time since Corbin died.

In these last handful of episodes we have watched Ichabod pull away from Abbie, dealing more (outwardly) with his emotions regarding time whiplash and the loss of his wife. This episode Moloch added a son to Ichabod’s list of things taken, making his line to Abbie about only having each other ring true. Abbie lost her family for her destiny and now it appears he has, too. This realization puts Ichabod over the edge, so much so that he becomes more emotionally comprised than last week, making him a danger to himself and others. Abbie tries again to bring him back, but unlike in “The Sin Eater,” her voice doesn’t cut through the haze.

Ichabod isn’t listening and by not listening he’s testing our faith not just in his ability to carry the weight of witnessing, but inadvertently in his bond with Abbie. Suddenly Abbie – the only person he has in this world – isn’t enough anymore and she’s noticed. That’s why this small line, a wonderful illustration of Abbie’s quiet strength, can be quite moving. She’s reaching out to him in the only way she knows how. Instead of pushing her away again, he toasts not just to finding out about his family, but to finding his new one with her.

Ichabod’s anger this episode also made his relationship with Katrina feel a little more palpable. The two haven’t spent nearly as much time on screen illustrating that epic romance, but his breakdown should have been somewhat convincing. When you think about it Ichabod – in a boiling rage – walked back into the house to confront the monster, alone, knowing full well that he might die. If he died Abbie would not just be left alone, but the world would be down one witness which is quite frankly really, really bad. But he did this because of love. Well, lost love. Moloch had taken everything from him so he was going to take something back. Makes that whole epic thing seem a little more legit, yes?

Pictured: Tom Mison and Katia Winter -- © 2013 Fox Broadcasting Co.

Pictured: Tom Mison and Katia Winter — © 2013 Fox Broadcasting Co.

Outside of Ichabod’s second development centric episode, we had a great moment between Jenny and Frank. Their personalities and life experiences make them the epitome of opposite. But as they say opposites attract and that seems to be exactly what was happening between them. Since Ichabod rose from the ground, none of our characters have had much of a relaxing moment, so scenes like these are always a nice cutaway. In addition to his time with Jenny, Frank’s scene with his wife Cynthia showed us that he’s a man who has dedicated more time to his work than his family, part of why he transferred to Sleepy Hollow.

Getting scooped up in the apocalypse mess has made spending more time with his daughter Macey harder, but it doesn’t negate his responsibilities. Now Frank has something else to fight for outside of his new calling and it should be an interesting plot line to explore. Especially as the show has shied away from further exploring the family angle with Abbie and Jenny. Speaking again of Jenny, Lyndie Greenwood and Amandla Stenberg exude a wonderfully warm chemistry that this show has been lacking recently. Hopefully their characters will be spending more time together before the season ends.

Overall this episode was big on the reveal, but not so big in terms of character development outside of Ichabod. Katrina’s inclusion while nice to see still served to develop her husband more than her. However, the episode also seemed to signal an end to this portion of Ichabod’s development cycle, so hopefully we’ll get to move on in two weeks to more screen time with other characters and the exploration of some new and old relationships.

What did you think about this week’s episode? Share your thoughts in the comments, then watch Sleepy Hollow Mondays at 9:00 – 10:00 pm ET/PT on FOX. 

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