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Sleepy Hollow – S1E6 – The Sin Eater

Previously, on Sleepy Hollow: “John Doe


New Characters:

  • Henry Parrish – the titular Sin Eater.
  • J. Rutledge – descendent of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence.

After a three week (and ill-timed, for a supernatural show) October hiatus, Sleepy Hollow is back—now with more Headless Horseman!

Sleepy Hollow | Ballgame

Tonight’s episode starts off with the great American pastime. Abbie heckles the (probably volunteer) ump at a local baseball game and Icky gets on her about it because she’s being a rude American. That’s not what he said, specifically, but he’s British, so he probably just thought it. She explains to him the tenets of baseball (tradition, teamwork, and an even playing field); it’s the embodiment of the American dream, and her speech rousts Icky to give free speech heckling a try (and a fail). When the game is over, he declines a ride home for exercise and fresh air, and makes a visit to Katrina’s grave on the way. A crackling is heard from behind, though, and all of a sudden Crane is hit in the neck by a blowdart.

Abbie is still driving home from the game (how far did she let Crane walk?) and drifts into a dreamy state of partial consciousness. In one of the weirdest and most incoherent dream sequences, she walks through some sort of mansion where there is, in this order: the sound of a baby crying, candles everywhere , a pram that rolls by with no baby (but an octopus doll), an empty wrought iron bed, a music box that plays on its own, and the Headless Horseman! He follows Abbie up and down the stairs and around the house. She hides behind a wooden door and sees Katrina’s hawk—she’s happened in on a bedroom where the ghosts of a witches’ coven is performing some sort of chanting ritual. All of a sudden the ghosts disappear, and Katrina appears to Abbie. She warns her that the HH will return to Sleepy Hollow by nightfall and he can only be stopped by the two witnesses. This would be fantastic news if Icky hadn’t just been abducted. Katrina can separate the bond between Icky and the HH with the help of the Sin Eater, but Abbie has to recover Crane and it has be done before sundown. That’s also great news! What’s a Sin Eater, again?

Abbie tells the Cap’n about the dream and that warns him that the HH is coming back to the Hollow. This episode features incredulous Cap’n, so he has a hard time buying what she’s selling. Abbie explains Katrina the witch and how they have to separate the HH from icky so that they can stop the HH, otherwise they’ll be hurting icky at the same time—it’s the blood ties that bind them. They need this Sin Eater guy and they need to believe her crazy hallucination and save Crane. Incredulous Cap’s for some reason agrees to get her what she needs to save Crane…which also includes getting her sister out on furlough. Jennie is non-plussed about having to help Abbie, even though she likes Crane. Luckily for Abbie (and Crane) Jennie knows what a Sin Eater is!!

Sleepy Hollow | Sherlicky

Crane comes to in a candle-lit basement. His captors are all well-dressed guys in snazzy suits, one of whom he recognizes as a descendent of Rutledge—the family resemblance is uncanny, and also he knew the guy in real life. He notices the hexes around the room to ward off evil and (in a Sherlockian turn) realizes all of these Men’s Warehouse salesmen are fellow Freemasons. They have what they claim is the full and true journal account of one Ichabod Crane and force Icky to tell his story to proof his identity:

Crane speaks the words “Order From Chaos”, which were last spoken to him by a dying Arthur Bernard, a freed slave suspected of treason that Crane was sent to arrest. His orders were to “coax” a confession from Bernard; Katrina, a Quaker at the time, shows up to defend Bernard. She and Crane verbally spar about the meaning of freedom and life, but his eyes betray his true conscience and she knows they are really on the same side. Bernard will not betray “Ciscero”, the writer of a political pamphlet, and soon the British start executing innocent villagers as a scare tactic. Crane tries to put a stop to it, and during an argument with his superior officer the other man’s face flashes into a pig demon! The next day Crane tells Katrina that feels bad about the executions, even though he didn’t stop them. They finally exchange some pleasant words instead of arguing, and they both realize that they feel like they have met before. He tells Kartina about the Officer Pig Demon, and instead of calling him crazy, she says he is a Witness and a good man.

Sleepy Hollow | Pig demon

Jennie explains Sin Eaters to Abbie—every culture has one, be it a Catholic priest or a Voodoo shaman, and the Sin Eater reaches inside your soul and eats your sins to cleanse you. There was a guy long ago that she chased all over the world who “sanctified” death row inmates, but he disappeared one day and was never seen again. No one knows his name, even though he was in and out of max security facilities as a visitor. She realizes that Abbie really cares about Crane–he makes her understand her purpose. All of a sudden, Abbie figures out the Sin Eater’s MO and where he’s hiding. They knock on his door with a fake warrant and he lets them in to his lush greenhouse apartment. Abbie knows who and what he is and needs his help, but he doesn’t eat sin anymore and can’t help them. Jennie and Abbie goad him into accepting his power as “responsibility”. I wonder if Spiderman gets royalties every time someone uses that line. Abbie quotes the Book of Revelation to him about the horsemen and the Sin Eater (real name: Henry Parrish) understands that he is needed to break the connection between Crane and HH. Parrish can only find Icky if Abbie’s connection to him is strong enough…and it is. Of course it is. He sees Icky’s location—underground with a door marked with a compass, which Jennie recognizes as the symbol of the Freemasons even though it was barely a description. Hopefully they’re going to play Pictionary later, because she might be a ringer.

In the same tunnels under Sleepy Hollow—the ones where they store old gunpowder and witches’ bones–there is a secret Freemason’s room. Icky is still telling the longest story ever—he has just returned to continue Bernard’s interrogation, but is instead ordered to kill him in the woods. Tension builds between him and Bernard, and even though Bernard doesn’t think he’ll do it, Crane makes him start his paces. Crane cocks his gun, aims, and fires a shot—that jerk just shot Bernard in the back!! Wait, no he didn’t…he just shot at him! Crane is letting Bernard go! Bernard tells icky to find Katrina, that she will guide him to his true path, and then as he walks away Officer Pig Demon rides over the hill and shoots Bernard in the back. Pig Demon and Crane grapple in the woods and for a split second his true Pig Demon form is revealed in a flash of lightening as Crane runs him through with his sword. That only servers to piss Piggie off, and as the demon descends on Icky, two mysterious men on horseback ride upon them chase Piggie off through the woods. Icky stumbles into Katrina’s house, giving her Bernard’s secret password (Order From Chaos), and collapses into her arms.

As he finishes his story to the Mason, he admits that his sin was that he couldn’t save Bernard. They believe his identity finally because his story matches their journal…written by Katrina! She used to be a partner of the Masons until she betrayed them by secreting Icky away from them for his own protection. She knew the inevitable outcome of his tie to the HH and hid him from the Masons, who just want to kill him (and now will). They present him with a box that will ensure the end of the HH…which means it’s probably going to be the end of Iicky, too.

Sleepy Hollow | Suicide box

Abbie and Jennie find the Mason-marked door and police talk their way around the armed guards. Abbie finds Crane and he introduces his brothers the Masons; he explains how the box o’ suicide would be for the greater good, and then Abbie explains the Sin Eater and how Katrina appeared to her with the info because there is another way. Crane doesn’t think there is time to get back to Parrish and would be better off drinking the poison because it is the only way and also his fate. He calls her Abbie for the first time and waxes poetic about them finding each other and being grateful–not the dying words of your very best time travelling buddy! She won’t leave his side even as he drinks the poison.

As the poison sets in, Crane hallucinates between the worlds of his two ladies, Katrina and Abbie. Parrish appears out of nowhere to save him—I guess everyone knows about the “secret” tunnels of Sleepy Hollow. They’re short on time, so what does he do but narrate his inner monologue about how Sin Eating works and how Crane can be saved. Get on with it, man! Parrish can remove the sins AND separate him from the HH so that the poison doesn’t take him, but as long as he carries his sin in his heart, the HH will stay with him—but Icky already knew that because Bernard told him that 250 years ago. Parrish morphs into Bernard, who then explains that his own death was really Icky’s salvation and that he must forgive himself to release the HH from his bond. Icky repeats the magic spell and the blood on the table separates into two puddles. He’s free. But the wind starts blowing and lights are exploding, and Parrish dips what looks like a chunk of eucharist into one of the puddles of blood and, in the weirdest communion ever—eats it. Crane can feel the HH no more. And as his first act as sinless Crane, he and Abbie hug!

Sleepy Hollow | Hug it out

The horseman rides as the sun sets on Sleepy Hollow, but Crane will be ready (or so his voiceover tells us). HH opens the door to Crane’s underground sleeping cave and “looks” around the room. He must find Crane before Crane finds him. Now the hunted becomes the hunter. And also the hunted.

Next week on Sleepy Hollow: more HH than we’ve seen all season!

About Robyn Horton (94 Articles)
Robyn grew up a military brat whose parents let her indulge in her love of literature, mythology, movies, musicals, and Kings Quest (without telling her how nerdy they were). She is now a reformed graphic designer with a husband, two dogs, a Sweeney Todd themed bathroom, and a burning need to know how many books really can fit in one house.

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