Previously on Sleepy Hollow, ‘The Art of War’
Pandora baptizes the god she raised (Peter Mensah) in a forest pond and removes his bandages to reveal a wizened face lamenting the pollution of the world he created. She urges him to “use” the Witnesses as they did in ancient days. He levitates Jenny, then draws glowing Eye power from her to revive himself like the Mummy.
Since Nevins isn’t talking, Abbie and Sophie square off in front of Danny and Joe and Crane track Jenny into the forest, mentioning the powerful ley lines that haven’t been brought up since Henry’s yarn pentagram. Abbie quickly huffs out of the office to join Team Witness. As they close in on Pandora’s crew, the god awakes the power of the Eye in Jenny and transports them away, leaving behind a cloth of Sumerian writing that suggests he is indeed their first god, Etu ‘Ilu (literally translated “dark god”), or the Hidden One.
Fortunately, Jenny scribbled messages all over the Masonic cell, which for some reason they are just now bothering to read, including a drawing of the All-Seeing Eye aka the Eye of Providence, featured on the back of our currency along with “Novus Ordo Seclorum” (new order of the ages) thanks to one Benjamin Franklin. He left a Masonic text hidden in the oldest Masonic temple of the US amongst “the most brilliant, learned minds in academia.” SUNY at Albany, the #1 party school in America, proceeds to earn its title with a toga party that Crane, Joe, and Abbie try to wade through. Crane attempts the Master Mason secret handshake, but a sucker punch by Joe gets them inside to procure the perfectly-preserved secret awesome book in the secret awesome chamber.
Flashback! Please don’t be Betsy Ross. Whew, it’s only Revere and Washington with the Eye, encased in an Egyptian-looking staff, hoping to turn the tide against Howe’s army of darkness. Revere’s nephew makes the same mistake as Jenny, and ultimately must sacrifice himself when the Eye’s power becomes too great, nuking a forest with his death.
In the book margins, Crane discovers a Dumas encryption from Revere indicating the Eye’s ultimate fate. He drew the Eye from the scorched earth with the staff, then melted the staff to conceal the stone. Crane flashes back to visiting the Boston silversmithy in 1776 to find Revere doing just that. Revere counsels: “Don’t let anyone in too close. When you lose them, it’ll break you.
Telling, no? Back in the present, Crane huffs that of course he can sketch the melted staff, even though he only saw the process through a window and didn’t look in the mold. But why are we talking about logic? Happy Trees!
“I was painting oils while Gilbert Stuart was still shredding snuff in Narragansett!”
He draws the Second Worst Prop in the World. I get it now—Revere was making the world’s first Hide-a-Key. They realize it can hide the Eye from Pandora, so Abbie runs to lockup to retrieve the blob from Nevins’ personal items.
Being strapped to a creepy tree altar can’t stop Jenny’s sass. She insults Pandora’s “ugly date” but the Hidden One reminds her that it’s humans that have seriously screwed his world up.
Like the Mummy, the god grows more complete each energy withdrawal.
Sophie butters up Nevins as the best crooked criminal boss she ever had, but he stays mum unless she gets Abbie to help him. Reluctantly she grabs Abbie on her way out of stuffing her bag full of evidence and offers to put her in the DOOMED van with Nevins. Unfortunately it’s too late—FBI agent Pandora locks herself in the van with him and, seeing as how she can’t let her husband find out a mere mortal “used her box” (not a euphemism), he’s gotta die. By the time Sophie and Abbie get there, Nevins is a puddle of blood.
Sophie stays to handle the fallout while Abbie follows Pandora, who tries to talk her into settling into her role as Witness in the new world, praising her loyalty. She senses Abbie’s old wound of failing to protect Jenny as children, then disappears.
Back at the armory, Crane catches Joe acting squirrelly and notices a shiny new book on the shelf: The Grimoire of Lycanthropic Curses. Finally we address the WendiJoe in the room! Crane sternly advises Joe against using an uncontrollable power to save Miss Jenny, crooning pointedly:
“Often when love grips the heart, logic can abandon the mind.”
Please don’t flash back to Betsy Ross! Mercifully, the statement stands as is with all of its delicious Ichabbie implications and Crane states that Jenny wants a man, not a beast. Speak for yourself, Crane! A Wendigo on Team Witness would be pretty freaking amazing.
Irritated by the quickness with which his operation is unraveling, Reynolds busts Abbie for the trick she pulled while he was gone, then pulls rank. She accuses him of making it personal, acts totally cagey, and finally stomps out after handing over her badge and gun. He then calls Walters with a 911 on “losing the asset.” He’s totally some kind of secret present-day Mason, right? He then leaves a sad message for Abbie, saying they’re on the same side, when Sophie reports that Abbie left with an armload of tactical gear including ordinance. He doesn’t realize she also made off with Nevins’ book, the Ynlinga Saga—sadly not related to Yuengling the beer—which Abbie terms “old, magical, and Crane-ish.” Full of Norse summoning spells, Crane gets hyped about using Pandora’s box against her.
While Pandora floats down her chamber to “watch” the Hidden One use the last bit of Jenny’s energy, Crane and Abbie review their victories as they skulk through the woods. She makes sure she’s not being absolutely crazy for endangering them to save Jenny, but he believes their caring empowers them, “Come what may.”
“You ready to fight some bad guys, Crane?”
Did it just get hot in here? Finding Jenny alive, Abbie calls Joe to begin the shock-and-awe. Abbie tells Pandora, “I thought about your offer and I came to tell you to go to hell.” Well, someone will be going to hell, so to speak. She of course fires on Pandora to no effect, while Joe sends a few grenades into the tree and Crane tazes Pandora from behind. Abbie grenades the Hidden One and uses the Revere Blob Rock to draw the energy safely from Jenny as Crane summons Pandora’s Box with his sexy voice. Just as Abbie is nearly done, the Hidden One awakes and tosses her to the side, crushing the rock. Crane, on the other hand, successfully levitates the box and chant-battles with Pandora.
Joe’s had enough waiting outside not being a wendigo and shoots a rocket at the Hidden One who explodes it in his hand, then strangles Joe. Abbie holds the Revere Blob shards together and draws out the remaining energy from Jenny, but Pandora gains the upper hand on Crane. Just as things are looking grim, the Tree Portal reopens and Abbie runs to the opening, telling Crane and Jenny to take care of each other as he shouts after her. The portal closes and explodes, blowing up the box. When Crane wakes, he finds Jenny and Joe alive, Pandora and the Hidden One gone, and the portal to the underworld destroyed. Oh noes!
Discussion, Mythos, & Rampant Conjecture
Alas, this is the fall finale so we must wait until February when Sleepy Hollow returns on Fridays, but at least it’s still due to return. After a bit of fan trolling a few weeks back about how they aren’t pursuing Ichabbie at this time, it is clear in this episode that Crane’s sentiments regarding love and his bond with Abbie are primary in his mind. In this interview with showrunner Clifton Campbell, he says, “I don’t think there’s ever been a question that he’s in love with her.” But of course, what does that mean? In the short run, probably nothing, other than Ichabod’s determination to bring Abbie back from what is almost certainly the underworld.
Who might this Hidden One be? As we discussed on the podcast, Pandora seems to be an older deity like the Sumerian Inanna/Ishtar, who famously is the only female to descend to the underworld and return. While Inanna was queen over the world, her sister counterpart Ereshkigal ruled the underworld. Considered part of the Anunnaki, children of the primordial creation gods, they could appear as snake-like dragons. Ereshkigal was married to Nergal, god of the underworld and plague, which might be seen as a necessary, cleansing force. Both of these roles seem to fit, but it also raises an interesting question about Abbie’s powers and why she seems to be the stronger Witness. Could she be a member of Inanna’s lineage or even an embodiment of the goddess herself?
Speaking of nature and lineage, Pandora’s implication is that Witnesses/Destroyers have always been a part of the world, like slayers or Witchblade wielders. Could this mean something even more unfortunate, such as, dare I say it, Betsy Ross? It’s been nice to have a two-episode break from her flashbacks, and I’d like to think that means they’re listening to the fans, but more likely it means they’ve got something much bigger for her, like traveling to the future to help bring Abbie back. Or, slightly less offensive but still annoying, Zoe could be a continuation of that line. Either way, I don’t see us spending much time in the actual Underworld with Abbie due to budget constraints, so the mechanism will most likely come from the present.
The closing of the portal blew Pandora’s Box to smithereens, so I’m wondering if this has destroyed or released the monsters trapped inside, if not into the immediate cavern perhaps out into Dem Woods. This would allow for Headless to return and menace Sleepy Hollow once more, as he should.
As for our Scooby Gang, Abbie laid out some major attitude in great way, between throwing down at the FBI, giving up her job for Jenny, growling “My man!” at Crane, and telling Pandora to go to hell. It was nice to have the old wounds haunting Abbie and Jenny healed finally and forever. Joe and Crane have truly struck up a great bromance as they trade anecdotes and adorable reactions regarding too much beer, Crane’s name dropping, and, most of all, love. Joe has become the perfect balance in the force when it comes to the crew, and I’m thrilled with the idea that he may explore the wendigo storyline yet again, making for a Hulk-like teammate—beneficial and yet occasionally uncontrollable, with Jenny as his Black Widow counterpart. Depending on how the writers go, there is potential for the entire team to have been changed by this arc, imbuing all with various powers that could prove interesting and useful in the future.
See you SleepyHeads on the flipside! Have a safe and happy holiday season.
Sleepy Hollow S3E8
While there were a few slightly-awkward moments, like the many staged kisses between Pandora and the Hidden One, and Jenny didn’t have much to do but look pained, this mid-season finale was overall a winner. Exciting action, feelings expressed, dangerous thoughts, badassery across the board, and a total lack of Zoe and Betsy Ross kept the story moving in a positive direction. Everyone looked fantastic, too. I’m definitely looking forward to the second half of the season after this episode, which is promising.