In the Sleepy Hollow mid-season finale recap, Ichabod and Abbie race against time to stop Henry and Moloch from raising hell on Earth while a beloved character meets their demise before the credits roll….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer One of the most famous stories in the Biblical book of Genesis is the story of Abraham, his boy Isaac and a commandment from God asking a father to slay his son as an act of obedience. Abraham binds his son before placing him on an alter and placing a knife at his throat ready to follow God’s will when the omnipotent force calls down upon his servant and says that this was all just a test. God wanted to prove Abraham feared him and would follow his commands, even if it meant sacrificing his only son. The actual act of binding Isaac is also known as ‘The Akeda’, which happens to be the title of Monday’s mid-season finale for ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and it’s easy to guess that the show shared several parallels with the iconic story from the bible when speaking about both Ichabod and his son Henry as well as Henry’s adopted relationship with master demon, Moloch. It was one of the most action packed hours for the show all season as a lot of questions were answered, even more were raised and we said goodbye to a fan favorite character in one of the most heartbreaking moments in the history of the show. Without further ado, let’s talk Sleepy Hollow ‘The Akeda’
Race Against Time
The episode this week picks up moments after the horn sounded across Sleepy Hollow seven days ago signaling the coming of Moloch. Abbie and Ichabod are racing off to Fredrick’s Manor to find Henry, hopefully find Katrina and stop the apocalypse. All in a day’s work for these two witnesses. The only problem is Abbie’s car doesn’t go very far once its struck by lightning so the dynamic duo are forced to hijack a motorcycle instead to speed off to the scene of the crime. There’s something rather hilarious about Ichabod’s hair whipping in the wind while holding onto Abbie for dear life considering she’s maybe half his size. The best part might have been when they dismounted and Ichabod said that when this ‘end of days’ thing is finished, his next mission is to get one of those! There’s your iconic image ladies — Ichabod Crane, poet at heart, motorcycle badass to boot. When they arrive at the manor, nobody is home. They do find a creepy Beetlejuice-esque model set built in the image of Sleepy Hollow and that’s when the witnesses put two and two together. All of the sites where Henry has unleashed his power — Fredrick’s manor, St. Henry’s Parrish, etc — when connected they form a pentagram. The same pentagram that occupies Moloch’s bedroom in purgatory. They deduce that somewhere in the center of this pentagram, Henry and Moloch plan to unleash hell on Earth. A few seconds later they see Katrina tied up outside and old Headless Horseman about to enact the ‘binding ceremony” (there’s that word again) so they can be betrothed to one another for eternity. Ichabod’s not playing games any more, especially now that he has the sword of Methuselah and that’s a weapon capable of undoing any evil in the world — even a Horseman of death. Ichabod quickly beats up Headless while Abbie rescues Katrina because the only thing she can do is get rescued. Katrina does manage to cast a spell to extend the magic in her amulet to allow everybody to see Abraham with head so they can hold a conversation. Ichabod demands to know where Moloch is rising and Abraham more or less tells him to piss off. Ichabod is just about to strike the death blow when Abraham tells him a minor detail about this mythical sword — any man who wields it and ends another life then gives up his own soul in the process. So if Ichabod kills Not-So-Headless, he’ll die in the process. Rather than risk it, they decide to chain Abraham up in the archives while they research to find out if he’s feeding them a line to save his undead life or if he’s actually telling the truth.
Down in the basement, Katrina chains up Headless using her magic while chatting up her former beau and basically admitting she still has feelings for him, the rest of the group does the actual work. Jenny discovers through research that Abraham was telling the truth (dammit, why does there always have to be a catch!) and if Ichabod uses the sword, he will die in the process. Jenny has a better idea — why not use a friend who already has no soul to use the sword because if he can’t give up what’s already gone then he can slay away with impunity. It’s time to find Frank Irving! A voicemail message left for Jenny with code words about the Revolutionary war spy John Andre (who helped Benedict Arnold for those curious) intended for Ichabod led them to a military outpost inside Sleepy Hollow where Irving is holding up for the time being. They tell Irving about their plan — he’s already lost his soul to Henry so he might be the only one capable of using the sword of Methuselah and stopping the end of the world. Irving agrees to help and they fly back to the archives to question Not-So-Headless and hopefully with a mystical demon killing sword at his throat and a man unable to die holding it, he’ll cave and give up Moloch’s location. Once they arrive in the archives, Irving wastes no time picking up the sword and putting it to Abraham’s throat. He’s not fucking around. And with no soul to give he can lop Headless up into bite sized pieces and nothing bad will happen to him that’s not already going to happen when he dies and Henry gains control of his soul anyways. Abraham rolls over like a low-level mob stooge and gives up the information. Henry and Moloch are at the site of the four white trees (where Henry was buried and found, where Abbie and Jenny first spot Moloch as kids, where Ichabod is buried and Katrina bound in the season one finale, etc). Unfortunately, the white trees are being burnt and with each one turned to ashes another door is opened to the end of the world. The four trees symbolize lightning, blood raining from the sky, Moloch’s army being raised and eventually purgatory merging with Earth — thus the end of days. Well, shit. Katrina convinces them not to off Headless because she’s got the butterflies in her stomach for the undead ghoul and Ichabod’s had about enough of this crap. He finally has it out with his lady love and they decide to go into this battle as nothing more than comrades. The whole marriage thing is on hold. In other words — we are on a break! They don’t have anymore time for this Dawson’s Creek junk because it’s time to race off and save the freaking world!
The War of One-Four
To combat the forces of evil, the Scooby Gang is going to need a lot of weaponry — enter a reason to put Hawley into this episode! They find him drunk in a bar before asking him to give up his stash of mystical weapons to help in the battle against Moloch. He complies while giving them a pair of pistols once used by Black Beard the pirate, a sword passed down from generations of samurais, a crossbow that once belonged to Daryl Dixon (I made that part up) and some other stuff as well. Katrina awakens the magic in each item but also manages to waste her mystical supply because as purgatory starts to merge with Earth, she’s losing her witchy powers. No time to waste, let’s go kill em! When they arrive at the battlefield, Moloch’s army is already coming out of the ground, but don’t fear — Captain Frank and his sword of destiny are here! He wipes out a bunch of colonial zombies, Crane shoots a couple more, but then the big boss of this level of the game appears. It’s the Horseman of War — or at least his suit of armor commanded by Henry’s mind. He fights Irving back and forth, even losing a hand in the process but in the end the good Captain plunges the sword of Methuselah into the demon’s belly and he fades away in a pile of molten lava. Henry is hurt when his armor falls, but the wind is quickly taken from all of our collective sails when Irving falls to the ground clutching his side. Before he died, the Horseman of War got in a strike on Irving’s stomach and he’s bleeding out. No amount of magic can save him and Irving sadly fades away after helping to save the world. It was kind of disappointing how ‘Sleepy Hollow’ treated Irving in season two after he became such a vital part of the story in season one, but this ending seemed fitting for where he was going at the time. His soul was already captured and this was Irving’s chance to go out in a blaze of glory. Of course, Irving will be back as already confirmed by the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ show runners but here’s my theory — Thus far we’ve only met two horsemen of the apocalypse. War and death. There’s still famine and conquest/victory left to go. I believe Captain Irving will come back as one of the other two horsemen of the apocalypse. See if I’m right when season 2 picks up next year.
All for One and One for All
Abbie is broken up when she realizes that Irving is dead. She grabs the sword and decides she’s going to cut Moloch up even if it means giving up her own life. Ichabod stops her and demands the sword for himself. He tells Abbie that this was his mission all along. He was sent here to stop the end of days.
“I’ve been on borrowed time for far too long. I awoke in this strange time for no reason other than this moment. It ends now with purpose.” ~ Ichabod
Abbie has another idea — she believes that the way this thing works is she goes after Moloch. If she fails, Ichabod picks up the sword. If he fails, Jenny picks up the sword. If she fails, Katrina picks up the sword (and obviously fucks it up) but you get the point. Before they can take the battle to Moloch, he sends war to them. Literally. Moloch demands that Henry go find the Scoobies and get the sword from them. If it means he has to give his own life in the process, he should thank heaven and Earth that he has the privilege to die for his master’s ascension. Henry’s weak after losing his armor, but like a good boy he goes off to find his parents and take the sword from them. When he arrives, Abbie challegnes him with the sword, but he quickly dispatches of her and makes short work of Jenny as well with some Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire vine work. Katrina pops out but she’s just a distraction because Ichabod was waiting in the shadows with the real sword of Methuselah just waiting to get the drop on his son. The argument amongst the group earlier was Ichabod or Katrina’s willingness to sacrifice their own son if he refused to get out of the way and allow Moloch to die. Ichabod was ready to make that call. Katrina not so much. Either way here they are — Ichabod ready to slit Henry’s throat if that’s what it takes. Ichabod pleads with his son to allow them to kill Moloch and in the process save his soul. It appears Henry is cracking and a slight hint of humanity is starting to creep back in until he knocks the sword away from his father and picks him up by the throat.
“Faith, hope and charity — the holy trinity has brought you to your knees again, father” ~ Henry
End of Days
Henry takes the group out to the woods where they will witness Moloch finally taking his rightful throne as the king of hell on Earth, but first the final tree must get burned to the ground and the best way to ignite it is to kill Katrina because I’m guessing witches spontaneously combust when murdered? Henry is hesitant to carry out the act of matricide, but offers up some words before doing the deed.
“Who would worship a deity who commands a man to sacrifice his own son? Those days have come to an end. The true lesson of the story comes not from Abraham, but from Isaac. The chasm between father and son was never bridged. They never spoke again. And just be so for any man willing to sacrifice his child should die!” ~ Henry
The parallel in this case is Henry’s relationship with his adopted father, not Ichabod. Ichabod has tried at every turn to save Henry and even in the most dire moments he just couldn’t find it in his heart to kill his only son. Meanwhile, Moloch is an asshole who basically told him to go get killed just for the honor of dying as a martyr for the sake of his own ascension to king. So Henry tells Moloch to get bent and plunges the sword of Methuselah into his gun. Moloch cries out and the demon is quickly eviscerated into nothingness. End of scene, end of Sleepy Hollow until 2015. A great episode from start to finish — sad to see Irving go, but as I’ve already said he’ll be back and something tells me he’s not going to be a good guy when it happens. It was strange to see the ultimate big bad in the show die halfway through season two because I thought the entire point of the witnesses were to stop the apocalypse via Moloch? Maybe there’s more coming like the other two horsemen still yet to appear? Plus let’s not forget, Henry may have killed Moloch but that doesn’t mean he’s part of the Scooby gang just yet. Maybe the Horseman of War is ready to lead the charge in place of his father. Remember Isaiah 14:12 when thinking about Henry’s rise, fall and rise again and the Biblical story he might mimic… “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.” “Sleepy Hollow” returns in January 2015 with seven more episodes to go in season 2