When we last left our friends in Sleepy Hollow, Katrina became suddenly evil, tried to rewrite history, and was killed by Ichabod for trying to murder Abbie. The third season premiere, “I, Witness,” takes place nine months later. Abbie has a new job with the FBI and a new business bob to go with it. I assume hunting drug lords and human traffickers is a nice break for her, but this vacation is interrupted by a call from Customs and Immigration. They have one Ichabod Crane in their custody, and he’d like to speak with her.
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Farewell to Death
Abbie isn’t too thrilled to see Ichabod, not only because he’s integrated into prison life unsettlingly well and has cut his hair, but also because he’s been completely AWOL for nine months. Apparently, he went for a walk to clear his “I just watched my son die and killed my wife” blues, and those blues take a lot of walking to clear. In that time, he’s gathered two key pieces of information. First, he found a 4000 year old tablet in his ancestral Scottish home, which impossibly bears the very meta title, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” He believes this tablet is a new prophecy regarding the witnesses, and would translate it if the damn customs office would return it. His eidetic memory is not used or mentioned.
Second, he still has Katrina’s enchanted necklace, which has magically let him know that Abraham Van Headless is dead. We also know this to be true, because we witnessed it happen. Abraham was riding along, doing his Horseman thing, when a cloaked woman sang a song about sparrows and turned him into mist. She put him in a box, apparently in exchange for a new demon. Personally, I hope that he’s not actually dead, but just resting. The Horseman lost a lot of his edge last season, but it’s hard to imagine the story without him.
Heavens to Betsy
The demon gets to work by killing two rednecks who are having a spat. Abbie brings Ichabod to the crime scene, which he gets to explore because apparently they don’t teach “suspicion of unqualified people in anachronistic garb” at Quantico. Immediately, Abbie and Ichabod have a different approach to the situation. Ichabod fully believes something demonic is afoot, largely because he’s felt very alone since the death of his family. Since they’ve defeated Moloch and his Horsemen, he’s no longer sure what his purpose is in life, and meeting the second of the seven tribulations sounds great to him. Abbie, however, is enjoying her new job and haircut, and isn’t itching to get back into the line of work that sent her to purgatory. She even has a friend at the agency, whose death she has sealed simply by mentioning that she likes him.
The pair finds a few clues at the crime scene and then meet up with Jenny to identify the possible demon at large. They figure out that it’s a Yao Guai, or Battlefield Demon. It feeds on fear, which is what the creepy cloaked woman asked for after putting the Horseman in her box. Ichabod quickly realizes that this demon was present at the Battle of Bunker Hill, but this detail is really only in the episode to give us a flashback of our new character, Betsy Ross.
Betsy, it turns out, was kind of a badass. The seamstress gig was a cover for her real job as a spy and military operative for Washington. She wears trousers, flirts continuously, and makes out with Ichabod on the way to Bunker Hill. I don’t know if Ross is a maiden name in this version of history, because I doubt Ichabod would be so casual about an affair with a married woman. Last time he went for someone in a relationship he accidentally created a Horseman of the Apocalypse.
A New Big Bad
The message Washington sent with Betsy contains information about the demon’s weakness, so Abbie steals the scroll and gives it to Ichabod and Jenny to decode while she goes back to work with the FBI. They’re taking down a drug lord named Lorenzo Chang and she can’t miss it.
Jenny and Ichabod quickly learn that the demon is drawn to gunpowder and anger, making Abbie’s sting, his likely next target. Unfortunately, they’re right. Abbie and Chang watch as the demon kills her FBI friend. Abbie does manage to wound it with a shot, though. The team realizes that the demon is vulnerable when it’s feeding on fear and its eyes become white. Hence that famous quote from the Battle of Bunker Hill, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”
They don’t have trouble figuring out where the demon will be next because Chang is dealing with his horrible experience by taking hostages and demanding to speak with Abbie. Abbie goes in and tells him the truth: that she is a witness who fights evil regularly and kicks ass doing it. In this speech, Abbie rediscovers her purpose in the world, which also asserts the purpose Ichabod is clinging to. She has rejoined the team emotionally and physically, and arrives just in time to help Ichabod kill the demon.
Afterwards, Abbie helps Ichabod get his tablet back. It’s revealed to have a hidden panel with a drawing of two people who strongly resemble them. Ichabod translates the caption of the picture to “Destroyers.” (Not a bad title, in my opinion.) And it will probably be needed soon, because the creepy cloaked woman has arrived in Sleepy Hollow. After spending the episode reciting demented nursery rhymes and watering a dead plant, she changes into modern garb and seemingly stalks Abbie and Ichabod. Oh, and she introduces herself as Pandora. Nothing ominous there!
Things That Outrage Ichabod This Week:
- Colonial Times, the restaurant. It’s a tourist trap mockery of all things founding fathers, selling desserts like “I Cannot Tell a Lie Cherry Pie.” It’s hilarious, but it also speaks to Ichabod’s very real and poignant disappointment about what America has come to be.
- Urban development, particularly at the cost of erasing beautiful historical buildings and culture for mini malls. I’m right there with you, buddy. Mini malls are the real purgatory.
- Customs and Immigration. For obvious reasons.
- Irving’s departure from the show. Okay, that’s actually my outrage. Irving leaves to protect his family, but it’s really because the writers don’t know what to do with him anymore. I suppose it’s good that they won’t be putting him in a painfully dragged out storyline as they did last season, but I will miss him.
Sleepy Hollow airs Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV