Previously, on Sleepy Hollow: “The Sin Eater”
Boston, 1771: The midnight ride of Paul Revere is mid-canter, and the Regulars (code for British) are coming! Paul Revere and his wolfpack are riding through the woods to deliver the message when the Horseman, replete with head, rides up behind them and starts axing them in their various body parts. Paul looks back in terror just in time to see his #2 become the headless horseman’s prototype.
In present day and back at Cabin Basecamp, Abbie has warehouse shopped for supplies in case the end of days comes early; Crane, who has never seen such processed food in such quantity, is a little bit disgusted at the greedy American mentality. Way to really be a typical European, Crane! He’s also a bit of a self-righteous tree-hugger, chiding Abbie on her generation’s waste of natural resources. Even though the cabin has a great location with tons of natural light, Abbie has set herself a reminder that the sun will, in fact, go down. She send Crane off to meet the Masons and get their intel on HH while she goes to the station to get Corbin’s shotgun.
As she walks up to the station, Ex Boyfriend Morales catches up with her for the sole purpose of making things awkward. They agree to a coffee date, not knowing that they’re being watched by a secret shadowing figure. Later in the evening, as Morales is walking down the street, he hears his name called from down a dark alley; naturally, he goes to investigate. As he approaches the hooded figure, it turns around and it’s Recurring Guest Star John Cho!!!
He’s back, and all he gets for his trouble is Morales’ gun in his face. In his most serious and creepy choked up voice, he warns Morales to stay away from Abbie Mills; Cho is the only one who can protect her when the end arrives. There are others like him in Sleepy Hollow, watching and waiting for the secret war (of evil) to begin.
As Crane walks into the Mason’s lodge, which is cleverly disguised as someone’s house, Abbie listens to the voicemail he left her. He’s making great strides with technology—he now seems to have his own cell phone! He’s going to get her into that Mason-gynistic lodge, despite of her feminine bits, so that they plan for the HH’s attack. As he walks into the lodge, though, something is very wrong. Mason lodges are usually filled with cigar smoke and brandy and scantily clad women, and here everything is quiet and empty. Two gunshots sound from another room, and Crane pulls out the official Mason’s Foyer Sword to go investigate. He quite literally is taking a sword to a gun fight. Abbie pulls up to see both Crane and the HH sneaking through the house. Crane walks through the dining room to find several bodies of his Mason brothers without their heads. Smart man, he takes a gun from one of the bodies and then almost shoots Abbie as she sneaks up behind him. A horse cries from outside the house, and the heroes arrive at the window just in time to see the HH ride away with a bag full of heads.
The Cap’n lets the other detectives in to the Mason House Massacre and tries to keep his incredulity to a minimum at the evidence before him. Crane explains that all of the victims were Freemasons, and that they had been involved in a secret war between good and evil. Abbie pipes in that the Headless Horseman (or just Horseman, since Cap’n made it clear he wants his perp to have a head when the paperwork gets turned in) took the heads when he rode off, so they decide that for now it’s going to be ruled as a ritual cult suicide.
While they discuss the logistics of a murder-murder-murder-suicide, Crane searches the house for any record the Mason’s might have kept on the Horseman. He finally finds the book he’s looking for, only to find the pertinent pages missing. It turns that instead of looking for Crane, the HH slashed through the Mason’s lodge looking for his skull–the prophecy said that if he got his skull back, his three horseman brothers would get to walk the Earth and hasten the end of days. Crane and Mills must find the skull first! But wait–weren’t they the last ones to have it, back in episode 1? Where did they stash it??
The answer: in the evidence locker, and Cap’n is none too happy that they’re requesting his signature on the official Destroy Evidence form. Or is he just covering his tracks because he sent the skull out to another lab for “testing”?
Cap’n shows up at the other lab to pick the skull up, and that thing is just a-grinnin’ and a-winkin’ at the Cap’n. Unfortunately, the lab tech wasn’t able to find anything out about the skull–other than it looking like a skull, none of the tests were able to find anything at all out about it. The Cap’n, refusing to carry the skull in it’s convenient carrying case, needs a box for transportation, and as he and the tech search the lab for one, machine-gun wielding HH stomps into the lab, opening fire. Dodging axes like Neo dodges bullets, Cap’n grabs the skull by it’s handle and escapes the lab.
It seems the Cap’n has become a believer, and might even be on the verge of a hysterical breakdown. Everything that has happened in the last 6 episodes was true! Since Cap’n managed to escape with the skull, Crane and Abby set about destroying it…or that’s the plan, at least, but in a modern Fellowship of the Ring montage, the one true skull cannot be destroyed by acid or by dynamite or even by a sledgehammer.
As they get into the car to explore more destructive options, Crane notices 4 lanterns lit in a tower and is reminded of Paul Revere and his midnight ride. He dashes off (again–he does that a lot, according to the look on Abbie’s face) before he can explain what 4 lanterns means.
They climb the tower and approach the lanterns, and we learn that 1 lantern means land, 2 lanterns means sea, and 4 lanterns means that the Horseman has turned your head into a Christmas ornament. There the Mason’s heads hang, lit from inside like a jack o’lantern and lined with silver for an extra festive measure.
Actually, as Crane voiceovers, Paul Revere did the same silver-lining trick to his lanterns so they would give off extra light. The night of his famous ride, Adams secreted Revere a manuscript to take on his ride, marked by a Devil’s Trap. When Revere recounted his journey, he spoke of someone who chased him through the woods–it was the Horseman (pre-Headless), trying to retrieve Revere’s parcel, the paperwork that contained information about him and his Horseman brothers. Crane is sure that the Masons were going to share that same information with him the night they died, and he and Abbie must find that manuscript.
The Tarrytown Museum of Colonial History is where the manuscript is found, and the heroes try not to interrupt the elementary school field-trip in the museum while they look for the document. Or rather, Abbie tries not to interrupt–Crane stalks behind the group and snarkily corrects the docent with his first-hand knowledge of the events. Abbie discovers that the manuscript is on loan to a museum in London, but luckily for them it has been loaded online. Crane is relieved at the news, even though he has no idea where this “online” is.
He may have mastered voicemail and VCRs, but Abbie’s laptop still has him befuddled. He checks out the hard copies of the manuscript and discovers that Adams used the Vigenère Cipher (the famous indecipherable cipher) to code the document. He tongue twists his way through an explanation of it to Abbie, who clearly would have had to retake Code Breaking 101 if she had gone to the FBI Academy. Since Crane doesn’t know the internet—he could have just clicked on the link above–he has to break the cipher by hand, giving Abbie time to go break her coffee date with Let. Morales. Morales is in the middle of a sweaty breakdown at his desk, haunted by the words of Recurring Guest Star John Cho and concerned for Mills’ safety. As Mills leaves him a voicemail from somewhere directly below his desk–for some reason she had to go to the tunnels below the precinct to make a private phone call—Recurring Guest Star John Cho sneaks up behind her, warranting a blow to the jaw. Caught off guard by Cho’s reanimation, she doesn’t believe him when he says he’s just trying to protect her.
Back in the batcave, Crane discovers porn on the internet; as he averts his eyes from the busty lady on the screen, they rest on the HH’s skull, spotlighted in the afternoon sun. He realizes that the skull must be a clue, and discovers the word Cicero engraved in silver on the back of the skull’s teeth. Revere had hidden the password to the manuscript in the skull of the Headless Horseman, that clever old rum-beggar!
Recurring Guest Star John Cho, now in Mills Protecting Mode, tells her that she’ll never be able to kill Death; he’ll just keep coming until he gets his head. They can trap him, though, if they can figure out the secret Death-trapping method that Cho doesn’t actually know. Crane finds them in the tunnel, and relays a message for the Horseman: the skull, at midnight, at the cemetery. Once Cho leaves, Crane tells Abbie that he cracked the cipher and knows how to trap Death. They need a witch to transform the sun into the moon at midnight so that they can capture Death in sunlight. No big deal, right? But Abbie has a better idea–they can simulate sunlight using UV lights.
Enlisting the Cap’n to help them with their supplies, which look like papier mâché skulls, and explains that they will trap Death and hold him in a supernatural cage designed by Thomas Jefferson. The conversation derails into the morality of Jefferson as a slave owner, and Crane is indignant at the information that Jefferson had an affair with his slave Sally Hemmings.
Seven minutes to sundown and showdown, and Abbie and Crane philosophically comparing relationship notes on keeping secrets from their respective loved ones…you know, cause there’s nothing else really going on right now. Crane addresses the Horseman as he enters the cemetery, taunting him with his own glowing skull. That Horseman has an uncanny sense of direction (and aim) considering he has no head. Crane jumps off his own horse and throws the skull down a secret trap door in the cemetery, and the Horseman follows.
He leads him through the twists and turns of the underground tunnels, and in every corner floats the Horseman’s glowing skull–they’re not the real skulls, but the decoys, and the Horseman’s anger is rising with every trick. The Horseman, scanning the tunnels with his shoulders, somehow follows the sound of Abbie’s voice down a tunnel; as he raises his axe over the feinting Abbie, Crane and Cap’n throw a switch and the UV lights blaze on. Locked over a seal on the floor and paralyzed by the sunlight, they’ve captured the Horseman!
Next week on Sleepy Hollow: Crane is starting to lose his shit. Also, Hessian ninjas!