By Jennie Bragg
Sleepy Hollow had an eventful hiatus. After the season two finale (easily the season’s best episode), Katrina and Henry were dead, and Moloch and Hawley were long dispatched. Then we learned over the summer that Frank Irving wouldn’t be coming back and that the Headless Horseman, the iconic image of Sleepy Hollow, was sitting on the bench this season. Add to that several new characters, including Betsy Ross, and the season three reboot was clearly going to be pretty major.
So where are our Witnesses now? Well, Ichabod is back in Sleepy Hollow after having, apparently, been gone for nine months. I don’t know why they picked nine months but don’t get excited, he’s not pregnant, and neither is Abbie. But he has returned with something important: an artifact, one that he believes has significance for his and Abbie’s role as witnesses. And Crane misses being a Witness, or at least having some purpose. Abbie, not so much. She’s gone back to the mission she had before she learned she was a Witness – becoming an agent in the FBI. She’s also found herself another mentor: her new boss. He’s a bit gruff but believes in Abbie and provides her guidance, like Corbin did and then Irving after him and…uh oh.
With Moloch and his minions gone, what will Abbie and Ichabod’s new purpose be? Fortunately a new baddie is in town: Pandora. Her past and her plans for Sleepy Hollow are pretty murky still but she’s definitely got some devilish designs. Much like the evil masterminds of seasons one and two, Pandora is able to conjure demons to create terror in town. Once she does, Abbie is forced, reluctantly, back into the fight and her partnership with Ichabod, as he works to discover who the new demon is – and the demon’s weakness. Solving this mystery obviously requires a visit to the Archives, which are now scheduled for demolition – really, really a lot happened in nine months – and Jenny is there and the team is back in business.
How Abbie and Ichabod Got their Groove Back
This episode recreates the Abbie-Ichabod dynamic from the show’s original pilot. Abbie is once again the skeptic and Ichabod the believer who urgently wants her to accept that evil has come to Sleepy Hollow – and that she is meant to fight it with him. Abbie’s skepticism is a little puzzling given that she ended season two rallying Jenny, Ichabod and Irving with renewed purpose after her ancestor Grace revealed to her that their fight wouldn’t be over. But season 3 Sleepy Hollow really doesn’t want you to dwell on the events of the finale. Poor Ichabod, who killed his own wife and helped engineer his son’s death, gets a small remembrance in the form of Katrina’s necklace. It’s the necklace that lets him know something evil has come to town when he feels it drained of its powers, signifying that Headless is gone and that dark forces have come to town.
I’m sad to see Headless go for now, but Pandora is dark and weird, talks in multiple accents and tongues, and is genuinely creepy. She stops Headless in a dark road outside of town and quickly takes control of him, sucking him and his horse into her box. (Of course she has a box. ) It’s a one-for-one deal, as the box sends her an ugly red demon that creates, and thrives on, fear. This was a clever way to deal with Headless, leaving open the possibility he could return some day. Or not.
We learn that Ichabod hasn’t been in touch with Abbie for nine months, and only reaches out to her after he senses that something is amiss with the necklace. And that he’s locked up in a detention center, after custom officials seized the artifact he’s brought back with him. Abbie and Ichabod’s reunion is icy, since, you know, she hasn’t heard from him in nine months. Fortunately we’re soon back in a familiar setting: Ichabod and Abbie in her car, with a bit of the old banter as he tries to convince her that this artifact he found at his ancestral home in Scotland bears critical information for their role as Witnesses and she points out how ridiculous it all sounds and generally busts his chops. She’s not on board at all but fortunately a report comes in of two dead bodies, and Ichabod is once again accompanying Abbie on a crime scene investigation.
Oh and two of the most important things people have really wanted to know:
- They’ve both cut their hair. We don’t know why.
- Yes he’s still going to call her leftenant. I mean, really, was that in doubt?
As the investigation leads Abbie, very unwillingly, back to the Archives and back to the fight against evil, we get to see her once again commit to her role as a Witness. Abbie has the most important path to take in this episode, as she clearly felt abandoned by Ichabod and had found her way back to the FBI job she’d dreamed of but had to give up when he came into her life. She’s even got a posh new office and an assistant (who seems awfully interested in Ichabod). We spend the episode watching her slowly realize that she can’t run away from this new challenge as the demon wreaks havoc in Sleepy Hollow – including killing her yet another of Abbie’s bosses. Really, someone might want to warn the next guy. The payoff comes during the final confrontation with the demon, when she swoops in to kill it and then embraces Ichabod, letting us know that they’re ok. Phew.
As for Ichabod and Jenny – we get to see them in action together, always a highlight in seasons past. They are both a bit adrift in their lives now, without the mission and focus that Abbie has. It was a nice moment when Jenny welcomed Crane back, saying “Now you and I can NOT fit in together.” I hope they explore this shared lack of fitting in more, as Jenny and Ichabod’s chemistry – different than Ichabod and Abbie’s – is fun to watch.