It’s interesting that a show as heavily based in biblical myth as Sleepy Hollow has been, it suddenly decided to go the Greek route, but here we are with Pandora and her box. As she did in the last episode, Pandora spends “Whispers in the Dark” releasing monsters to harvest food for her creepy plant, reciting nursery rhymes, and disguising herself as a hipster to spy on our protagonists. What’s her angle besides demonic gardening? We’ll find out soon.
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New Boss, Old Love
Pandora’s monster of the week is a shadow wraith that both kills and steals secrets from its victims. Its first victim is Paul Everett, who comes to Abbie’s attention because he calls the FBI for help right before he dies. The cause of death is listed as a heart attack, and there’s initially no tangible proof that anything supernatural has taken place, but luckily for Team Witness, they aren’t hampered by rules. Abbie’s new boss is Daniel Reynolds, a police academy classmate and former flame of hers. (I already love him) He’s hot, totally cool with letting Abbie do whatever she feels necessary in a case, and finally calls out the fact that Ichabod probably shouldn’t be at FBI crime scenes.
Though Abbie is still hoping to move on to a career that isn’t dominated by the supernatural, she quickly realizes that today is not the day that dream comes true. Ichabod and Pandora, dressed as a barista, see the shadow wraith hiding in the building across the street. “Quite a facade, isn’t it?” she says. (I see what you did there.)
While Ichabod researches shadow creatures in the still-in-danger-of-being-demolished archives, Abbie reviews the voice recording of Paul’s call to the FBI. She hears a voice saying “secrets” and “I will kill.” You know, typical white noise. This reminds Ichabod of a passage in Grace Dixon’s journal, which refers to a similar creature conjured by British General Howe during the Revolutionary War. This, of course, leads to a flashback.
Betsy is Back
I am genuinely confused about what is happening with Betsy Ross on Sleepy Hollow. We’re getting entire scenes that are obviously put into the episode just to feature her, but with no way for her to be incorporated into the present action of the plot. Is she going to pull a Katrina and travel through time? Is she secretly Pandora? I’m going to be cautiously optimistic about this, as it’s only been two episodes, but I’m not sure how long the “Betsy Ross is Awesome in Corsets” show can go on before it gets old.
In the current flashback, Betsy is Washington’s spymaster, infiltrating Howe’s redcoat ball. Ichabod arrives in disguise to tell her that a man named Marcus Collins has become a turncoat and sold out Betsy and her two accomplices. Ichabod gets the carriage ready while Betsy does something with Howe that involves losing her clothes, but the other two spies are killed by the shadow wraith before they can escape. Betsy actually approaches the wraith in a barn, but it retreats from her rather than attacking.
What’s Your Secret?
In the present, Abbie and Ichabod go to Paul’s partner’s house. His name is Richard Williams, and he bolts almost as soon as they get there. Before he drives away and takes the shadow wraith with him, though, Team Witness encounters the monster up close. It doesn’t get the chance to kill them, but does bring up the memories of secrets they’ve been keeping.
Given that secrets are at the core of the wraith’s power, Ichabod confesses his to Abbie. During the Revolution, he was captured by Howe and given the same option as Marcus Collins; if he gave up the names of American spies, he would be pardoned. Ichabod didn’t do it, but his secret is that, for a moment, he nearly did. The guilt of that has stayed with him for centuries.
Abbie doesn’t reveal her secret, but does find out what Paul and Richard (who was also killed by the wraith) were hiding. They uncovered an embezzlement plan at work, and a woman named Susan James was helping them report it. I’m not sure why the wraith is targeting people with this particular secret, since I’m sure it could find a wealth of them anywhere in the general population, but its pattern shows that Susan will be the next victim.
Meanwhile, in Subplot Land
Before we finish with that storyline, let’s check in with Jenny. She’s out of the main action because she spends the episode helping Joe Corbin, the deceased Sheriff’s son. Joe’s trailer is broken into, but nothing appears to be missing. Whoever broke in was looking for something specific. He uses this opportunity to ask Jenny about his father’s lifelong work, which Jenny refuses to discuss. You can’t exactly unlearn all the horrible supernatural things that she knows, and she doesn’t want Joe to have to deal with that life. More importantly, she knows that the Sheriff wouldn’t want him to either.
Unfortunately, that life finds Joe, as he’s abducted by an artifact hunter. The abductor’s name is Randall and he’s an old stealing accomplice of Jenny’s. He calls Jenny and barters Joe’s release for a hunk of rock called the Shard of Anubis. She gives it to him, along with a mild ass-kicking.
Jenny seems perfectly fine with losing the artifact. Like Abbie, she seems eager to have a little less weirdness in her life. But Joe wants to get it back because knows that it was important to his father, and that makes it important to him. Jenny, realizing that Joe is not going to give up, agrees to go on the hunt with him.
A New Family Member
Back in the land of shadow demons, Abbie and Ichabod locate Susan and take her to a circle of bright lights. Since there are no shadows, the wraith can’t harm her. But as continually happens when they use this technique, someone messes with the electricity. Ichabod has to leave the circle to fix the problem, and in the process comes face-to-blob with the wraith.
Abbie swoops in with a flare gun before the wraith can kill Ichabod, but they only have so much time before it gets them. Abbie realizes that the only person they know of who’s come near the wraith and gotten away unharmed was Betsy Ross. Thinking back to the day of the previous flashback, Ichabod realizes that the wraith retreated when Betsy said the name “Marcus Collins.” For Marcus Collins wasn’t granted clemency when he became a turncoat! He was instead turned into a secret-harvesting hellbeast. And like many hellbeasts, it can’t stand to hear his own name. Ichabod says the name over and over until the wraith has been forced to take on physical form, at which point he kills it.
Having achieved one more victory over the forces of evil, Abbie and Ichabod celebrate with some secret sharing. Abbie admits that she recently located her long-absent father and has been essentially stalking the man for months. She hasn’t introduced herself or told Jenny, because she isn’t sure that she’s ready to do anything else but watch him from afar yet.
Ichabod deals with this revelation in the standard “I am your friend and I support you” manner, but neither of them have time to deal with Abbie’s family drama. Ichabod realizes that the coffee shop from the scene of Paul’s murder has completely vanished. When they look at the security tapes of the area and see the barista, Abbie recognizes her as Pandora. Neither of them have any doubt that she’s the Pandora of “box full of all the evils in the world” fame. It’s a good thing they’ve caught on so quickly, because Pandora’s evil tree is starting to bloom.
Things that Outrage Ichabod This Week
- Conventional ovens. Being roommates is difficult, especially if one or both of you don’t know how to cook. Luckily there is takeout.
- Apothecaries, particularly if they stand to replace beloved old buildings. Really, anything that threatens beloved old buildings outrages him.
- Turncoats. Which is ironic, because Ichabod himself was a traitor. He just happened to desert to the winning side. If Britain had won the war we might be talking about that fiendish Captain Crane over tea and scones.
Sleepy Hollow airs Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)