The villain of this season isn’t going to be Moloch. It’s going to be relationships – Ichabod’s unwillingness to let go of them and Abby’s unwillingness to hold on to those who can help her.
Our witness and his witch start the episode pontificating on the meaning of love. After closeups of their pleading faces, we cut to a shot of a Bachelor type show. Katrina is captivated, Ichabod finds it “shameless kabuki.”
The adorable scene turns sweet as the two relish their time together. Ichabod is still his wife’s doormat. He’s not forgetting her secrets, but he is seduced by her soft spoken words of love.
Abby bursts in to discuss Henry, who we see in the next scene pulling a beating heart out of a giant urn. With it he casts a spell and creates a succubus, with whom he “has much to do.”
There’s no better place for a spirit sucking woman than a nightclub. It’s a hipster nightclub, which is kind of amusing.
It turns out that Ichabod was a true underground rebel in his days – he danced the waltz in secret clubs. I have this great vision of Revolutionary era speakeasies in my mind. The waltz may not sound scandalous to us, but it was controversial back then. Revolutionary and New era Americans were not as harsh on dancing as the Puritans, but many still found it vulgar. For us, the waltz sounds tame. We get as close as we can to one another when we dance. Despite the distance, the waltz and other such dances were still part of the human mating ritual. It’s not surprising there would be some underground waltzing going on.
Even after seeing the drained body of the succubus victim, Ichabod is unwilling to accept his son’s evil heart. I wonder if the show is playing for an eventual schism between our two witnesses. Will Abby kill or severely injure Henry? Or will Ichabod’s refusal to admit his son is lost cause the death of someone important to Abby? If anything drives these two apart, it will be Henry.
And of course, Katrina’s emotions are always in play.
Katrina may be the one to turn Abraham to the side of good. She was his reward for joining Moloch and now she is gone. Abraham is smart enough to know that Moloch has the power to return her, but he is unwilling because she is no longer part of his plans. Abraham has no real interest in Moloch or his apocalypse. He only wants the woman he loves. He has no reason to do the demon’s bidding without the promise of Katrina.
We know Moloch needs to enter this world to carry out his mission. Katrina failed him at that. The succubus is his plan B.
I can’t remember if I said this last time, but Sleepy Hollow has some of the best opening credits that I’ve ever seen.
I am not a fan of Katrina being a member of Team Witness because I’m in the camp that thinks she’s evil, but having a witch comes in handy when you’re investigating underworld crimes. Abby and Ichabod are baffled by their latest victim. Katrina diagnoses the cause of death from one look at a crime scene photo. She knows what a body drained of life looks like. She doesn’t know the exact creature, but she points them in the right direction.
Katrina has an odd vision of a crying baby in a crib intercut with images of Henry and the beating heart that he used to cast his most recent spell. She waves off her vision as residual pain from her baby Moloch possession. Ichabod whisks his wife away to the cabin to rest. I know she’s helping them uncover the truth about the recent drained victims, but her ability to manipulate her husband makes it hard to trust Katrina.
Going on a hunch that an artifact might be to blame for the recent deaths, Ichabod consults his handy dandy Franklin notebooks and Abby consults her handy dandy crush, Hawley. Unfortunately, this one mystical crime he knows nothing about.
It finally dawns on Abby that this might be a sexually based crime. It may have taken her a while, but she figures out that the only reason the first victim would have been in the back of his car is if he was planning on having sex with his assailant.
Everyone on Team Witness pat themselves on the back for solving this puzzle days after they should have.
Abby has yet again puts Hawley in danger. (Not that she’s at fault for any of his perils, it’s just the way that it is) The succubus targets him for his loneliness.
The good news for him is that Katrina believes she can track the succubus’ location. Of course, she’s on Hawley’s boat. Predictably, the Witnesses rescue him just in time, but the succubus gets away.
Now that they’ve identified the culprit, they need to determine why Henry summoned her. Before they can get to business, they need to have a heart to heart about Katrina and Ichabod’s marriage. Why not, right? There’s an evil succubus on the lose but let’s talk about Ichabod’s witchy wife!
Despite my snark on this scene, I love these moments between Ichabod and Abby. The show needs to highlight their friendship for their dynamic to work. Ichabod continues to have his doubts about his wife, but his doubts never amount to anything. He does take this opportunity to give Abby his stamp of approval on her relationship with Hawley – a relationship which she has no idea is going on, at least she pretends she has no idea. Abby says that relationships and open hearts don’t belong in the apocalypse. They’re complications.
I tend to agree. Ichabod can’t be rational around his wife or his son. There’s been a lot of foreshadowing in this episode that those relationships will cause traumatic grief before this season is over.
At the same time, relationships, romantic or otherwise, keep you grounded. These two are carrying the world. They need some support or the weight will crush them.
Back at the cabin, Katrina is still having visions, which she believes she is still connected to the baby she lost, the baby that was an incarnation of Moloch.
As they try to find out why the succubus is feeding so much, Katrina tries to control her visions to see if they reveal the new plan. She learns what we already know, somehow baby Moloch survived and the succubus is providing him with the life-force he needs to come into being. Their efforts in the last episode didn’t stop Moloch’s arrival, they only delayed it.
Katrina and Ichabod immediately set to their default: They can save Henry and he will help them defeat Moloch. The writers need to resolve this storyline. I understand that it real life parents would cling to the goodness in their children, but it does not make for good television.
Katrina and Abby fight about Henry because Abby is just as tired of this shit as I am. Both ladies chill out and get back to researching where they discover that the only way to kill this particular succubus, an Incordata (heartless creature, they must destroy her heart, which is stored outside of her body.
The trio heads to a bar and enlists Hawley to help them find the succubus. While Ichabod finds it tiresome when the two women in his life fight, he certainly finds the time to ask Hawley what his intentions are toward his best friend. Hawley bites back with the situation being none of Ichabod’s business. Hawley’s right. I hate scenes like that “be good to my friend/sibling or else.” They’re dumb – on TV and in real life.
While on the search for heart, Katrina tries to manipulate Abby into accepting how she feels about Henry. Smartly, Abby says that family isn’t about blood. It’s about those who support and respect you. Love has to be earned. After a moment of blankly staring at Abby, Katrina says, “You think my son hasn’t earned my love?”
Um… no Katrina, he hasn’t. He’s spent the past several hundred years plotting the destruction of mankind and selling you as a sex slave to a horseman of the apocalypse.
Abby answers with “There are somethings even a mother’s love can’t fix.” Love is important, but it isn’t always the answer. Love can’t cure cancer. Love can’t stop car accidents. Love can support and encourage, but it can’t always save lives. It’s not a dues ex machina or a magical spell that can set things right in the world. You can’t cure all curses with true love’s kiss.
The ladies find the urn that contains the heart, but there’s a rather unpleasant surprise inside. There’s a protective spell on the urn that causes them both to see different things when they look inside. Abby sees maggots, Katrina sees rats. Hoping that this is only an illusion, Abby reaches into the urn and pulls out the heart.
Meanwhile at the bar, Ichabod and Hawley track down the succubus. She senses Ichabod’s doubt for Katrina’s intentions and plays on it to seduce him. Simultaneously, Katrina is casting the spell to destroy the creature’s heart. Her husband isn’t phased by the monster and he stabs her in the stomach. Unexpectedly, this knocks Katrina off of her feet.
As Hawley and Ichabod fight her off, Abby tries to revive Katrina. Then she remembers that she’s a magical Witness and can cast spells too. Wouldn’t it be nice if she remembered that all of the time?
She succeeds and the Incordata ends up crispy fried.
Katrina and Abby have what is supposed to be a nice moment, but it feels forced to me. Abby tells Katrina that they are stronger with her on their team. That’s true. Even though Abby can cast spells, she doesn’t have Katrina’s knowledge. Still, Katrina is a manipulative liar. Hopefully, Abby isn’t letting her guard down.
The witch is relenting a bit, too, acknowledging that she needs to put saving the world before her love for her son. She’s not giving up, but she’s putting him second. Her primary goal is to kill Moloch – which means she needs to go back to Abraham.
I’m all for this. Katrina isn’t as strong-willed as she seems and it’s only a matter of time before Abraham and Henry poison her mind. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It’s cliche, but it fits here. Katrina being part of Team Witness has grown stale. She needs to move on for now to add some energy into the story.
I also wonder if Katrina is leaving for her own reasons. I don’t think she loves Abraham, but she and Ichabod are not the same. Time and lies built distance between them, a distance for which there is no bridge. As much as they try to cling to one another, it’s painful to be in each other’s presence.
Abby returns to the cabin where Hawley is tending to his wounds. She gives him the charred remains of the succubus’ heart. Aw, the symbolism is so sweet. Okay, maybe not. Still, it’s too obvious to ignore that Abby’s heart is charred by loss. She’s lost love, she lost herself and she’s lost the world she thought she knew. While she’s regaining her sense of self and rebuilding her relationship with her sister, those old wounds have yet to heal.
Now comes the hard part of breaking Ichabod’s heart. That doesn’t happen, though. What Katrina did is smart. Not only that, he accepts that their relationship has evolved. They may still love each other, but it’s not the same. They love a past life, not a present one. He doesn’t say that outright, but he does admit that his wife is a “highly skilled operative” and as such, she is not the woman with whom he fell in love. She’s more than that. He can’t hold onto the woman he thought she was.
Both Abraham and Henry welcome Katrina back into the fold. Before Henry sees her, he inquires as to whether or not she’s still wearing her necklace, which she is.
She enters the room from her visions. As she approaches the crib her necklace glows. When she sees her baby, Moloch, in the crib her it glows even more. The episode closes with her relieved and smiling face gazing down at her child.
I didn’t expect the consequences of Katrina’s blind love to show up so soon, but I’m glad it has. All of her talk about motherly love has been just that, talk. It’s good that the writers are giving her a storyline that allows her love to impact the story. It also goes to Abby’s point that only she and Ichabod are witnesses. They aren’t as easily corruptible as everyone else. Like his wife, Ichabod has a blind belief in people’s goodness. If he can resist evil then so can they. He forgets that he has an added layer of protection against manipulation of the soul. This is what keeps him doubting Katrina.
Now that she is playing mommy to Rosemary’s Baby, I wonder how this will end. I think the show is setting us up for a big death. Possibly Henry, Katrina or Jenny. They need an impactful death. It can’t be a secondary character. The show’s not against love, but it’s clearly against blind faith over logic and duty. For that message to stick, the consequences need to resonate.