Ichabod has been living with guilt for over 250 years and there’s only one way he can rid himself of that and the Horseman in one fell swoop….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s been three weeks since Sleepy Hollow had a new episode (damn you World Series!) but the series picked right up where it left off while even paying a slight tribute to the sport that kept them off the air for the better part of a month.
One of the greatest parts about Sleepy Hollow is that the show accepts the fact that it’s over the top and beyond belief, but the interactions between Leftenant Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane feel as genuine as any scenes could between a modern day police officer and a soldier in the Revolutionary Army woken up 250 years after he should have been dead. The opening scene in tonight’s episode titled ‘The Sin Eater’ were a perfect example of that dynamic and one that really drives home the potential greatness of this show.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
The episode opens with Abbie and Ichabod enjoying a local baseball game. She’s giving the umpire a hard time (as most baseball fans tend to do) and Ichabod, who is a sporting fellow doesn’t quite understand why she has to get so raucous with her jeers aimed at the referee. She explains her love of baseball (it’s three-fold and really doesn’t play into the plot so we’ll skip it) and in turn Ichabod lets looks a verbal lashing towards the umpire. Good try, Ichabod, but next time wait until the guy does something wrong first!
They leave the game and Abbie offers to give Ichabod a ride home, but he’s got his bearings about this city now and he wants to walk a bit, catch a breath of fresh air and enjoy the view on the way to his hotel. Instead, Ichabod’s path takes him to his wife’s gravesite where he sits until a mysterious car arrives, shooting him with a tranquilizer dart and kidnapping him from the scene.
These Dreams Go On When I Close My Eyes
Abbie is making her way home, although the scene has suddenly turned dark after a night daylight baseball game. Regardless, Abbie’s road is getting hazy and the next thing she knows she awakens in a house where she quickly comes eye to stump with the Headless Horseman. She darts away from the ghastly beast, but upon her escape she enters a room where she meets Katrina Van Tassell — aka Ichabod’s wife. She’s not able to reach him, which means he’s in trouble, so she needs Abbie to find him and also find a man known as the sin eater as well.
As explained in a past episode, Ichabod and the Horseman are connected after they died together and their blood mingled. Katrina says that the sin eater is the only way to break that eternal connection between her husband and the man known as death.
Abbie quickly calls on Captain Irving to secure a 24 hour day pass so she can get her sister Jenny a release from the mental institution to get her on the case as well. Jenny isn’t all that willing until she hears the words ‘sin eater’ and now she’s ready to jump on board. Turns out this sin eater was a person Jenny along with the late Sheriff Corbin were tracking for some time, but never got a beat on who he was exactly. This ‘sin eater’ is a person who can absolve a person of all of their sins, literally taking all of their misdeeds and transgressions into himself, leaving a clean soul on the other side. The sin eater that Corbin and Jenny were tracking was visiting death row inmates and after he visited they all said the exact same thing.
“I am sanctified” (also a very good Nine Inch Nails song for those curious)
A little detective work and they track down the sin eater whose real name is Harry Parrish (played by Fringe star John Noble). Harry has given up his old life and now just wants to pass his days watering plants and not eating sins apparently and he wants no part of Abbie and Jenny’s hunt for Ichabod. A brief touch, however, gives him a vision to hand over to Abbie to help find her time misplaced friend. He’s being held in the tunnels beneath Sleepy Hollow by the freemasons.
Arthur Bernard and Past Sins Revisited
The freemasons are a well known group throughout history and it turns out that Ichabod was also a member. Unfortunately this group of freemasons who kidnapped him have been duped before so they are forcing Ichabod to remember a rather painful time in his life — the first time he heard the words ordo ab chao — Latin for order from chaos.
Ichabod then tells the tale of a freed slave named Arthur Bernard, who he was charged with torturing to find out information about an uprising planned by the colonists against their British masters and the king back on the isle. Ichabod does his best to get Bernard to give up information, but he’s not bending. At the same time a lovely young woman named Katrina has paid him a visit, begging for him to leave this man alone.
Finally, Ichabod decides to let him go after being ordered to execute him in the woods. Bernard tells Ichabod to find Katrina and utter those words ‘ordo ab chao’ and she will find a place for him in General Washington’s new army. Before Bernard can escape, however, Crane’s commanding officer shoots him dead and this is the sin that Ichabod has been carrying deep inside his soul for all these centuries. His guilt over not being able to save this man. In turn, Ichabod runs his sword through his commanding officer’s belly, but he quickly turns into a demonic blue monster who slaps him away like swatting a fly. Turns out the British army has been infected with all manner of monsters as we’ve learned throughout this series. As the other soldiers start to arrive after hearing gunshots, the demon commander flutters away and Ichabod is left as a man without a country.
Killing in the Name Of
Once Ichabod regales his tale from days of old, the freemasons are convinced that he’s on the level. They must not do their bidding — Ichabod must drink a vile of poison that will kill him, thus killing the Horseman because they are connected by blood. Abbie and Jenny arrive and find Ichabod, but he informs them that this is what he has to do to stop the Horseman once and for all. He drinks down the poison just as the sin eater arrives.
The sin eater performs a ceremony (after stabbing Ichabod’s hand to get some blood) that allows Ichabod to come face to face with Arthur Bernard one more time. Arthur tells Ichabod that he has no reason to feel guilt over his death, and he needs to let the past go. The blood on the table separates and the sin eater dips up some with some Italian bread and swallows it down, literally chowing down on Ichabod’s sin. Now Ichabod and the Horseman are no longer connected and he can go about his business of stopping this agent of the apocalypse and all the other friends he’s bringing with him.
The heart and soul of the series comes full circle as Abbie and Ichabod embrace, happy to have each other and happy to be alive. A little flirtation going on between these two, although not sure witchy and trapped in a netherworld Katrina will be too happy about that. And just when we have a happy ending — the Horseman awakens and appears at the gravesite where Ichabod first rose from the dead. He enters the chamber as the episode comes to an end…
Return next week for the latest recap of Sleepy Hollow on FOX.