“Sleepy Hollow” Recap “And the Abyss Gazes Back”: Gods and Monsters

In the latest Sleepy Hollow recap, the dynamic duo battles a Wendigo this week, but the creature of myth is actually connected to Abbie’s mentor Sheriff Corbin….

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Ichabod Crane might be a character plucked out of history from more than 200 years ago, but it’s easy to tell from the opening scenes of tonight’s episode of Sleepy Hollow titled “And the Abyss Gazes Back” that he’s a modern man at heart. The first sign of this was when he was put through the torture of yoga to get his heart centered after finding out his wife lied to him (again) and left him feeling betrayed (again). Abbie has no problem standing on her head and doing the other positions yoga contorts her body into, but Ichabod would much rather complain as to why we call the buttocks ‘buns’ instead of ‘double jugs’ and go off and have a few pints to drink away his misery.

I’m with you Ichabod.

Ichabod makes a grand toast to General Washington, but just as he’s about to chug down his beer, a fight breaks out and Abbie has to go into cop mode. When she stops the two bar patrons from slugging it out she recognizes one of the rabble rousers. Yep, it’s Joe Corbin — son of the late great Sheriff Corbin — returned home following an honorable discharge from the Marines where he’s spent the last few years fighting in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a family reunion because Joe doesn’t care for Abbie too much. You see when he was growing up, his father spent so much time devoted to teaching Abbie how to be a cop that he forgot his son needed attention as well. Time for Joe’s football game? No, Abbie needs to learn how to shoot. It’s hard to argue against Joe’s pet peeves. So to finally shine on his father and get out on his own, Joe joined the Marines and the last thing he wanted to see when he got home was the woman he blames for his father’s untimely death.

He’s got a bigger problem after escaping the nightmare of his youth because Abbie and Ichabod find him later that night at a place called Pioneer Point, the only survivor after a creature of some sort killed one man and ripped another apart and ate his internal organs. Nothing like munching on some heart and liver to get started this episode!

The Curse of the Wendigo

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The pattern of the attack leads Ichabod to remember an encounter he had with an old friend from back in the day named Daniel Boone — because Ichabod knew EVERYBODY in those days. It turns out Daniel Boone wore his famous raccoon cap (he actually preferred beaver pelts, but that’s neither here nor there) because his head was terribly scarred and bald in some spots after his brother Squire attacked him. Why did Squire attack him you ask?

Well, Squire was one of the men in the Battle of Valley Forge and over the many days the soldiers were engaged in battle, food supplies ran short and as a matter of survival they actually started eating each other to make it through the war. When Squire returned home, he found out in the most awful way possible that he had been cursed with the spirit of the Wendigo — an ancient creature conjured by the Shawnee Indian tribe that’s part werewolf and all predator, who craves human flesh and turns after smelling blood.

When the two witnesses put their heads together they figure out that the creature in the woods didn’t leave Joe alive — the creature was Joe! So they race off to find him, but when they arrive at his place he’s nowhere to be found, but his father’s will is open and Ichabod soon deduces that the numbers on the paper are actually coordinates. It seems Sheriff Corbin left his son an inheritance of sorts and he’s gone off to collect it.

They find the spot and there’s Joe digging up whatever it is his father left him. Ichabod and Abbie try to grab him, but Joe’s off to the races. Unfortunately in the chase, Ichabod gets a cut on his hand from barbed wire and that’s all it takes for Joe to flip into Wendigo mode and he’s on the hunt for some Crane organs.

Luckily, Abbie brought a tranquilizer gun and after pumping some knockout juice into Wendi-Joe, he knocks out. When he wakes up, he’s been chained in the same room where the Headless Horseman once resided and he’s not going to turn back into good old Joe until he eats some human flesh. Abbie of course calls on Hawley for help because he has to find a way into every episode now. Her excuse is Hawley might know a cure for the Wendigo curse. The problems only mount when Jenny shows up with a random organ she’s stolen from the hospital to feed Joe and she happens to spot Hawley (her friend with benefits mind you) making goofy eyes at her sister.

Anyone else thinking that a Hawbbie connection might send Jenny over the edge and spiraling towards becoming the third Horseman of the Apocalypse? Just a theory.

Not Him Again

Since Hawley apparently knows more than anybody else when it comes to supernatural cause and effect these days, he figures out a way to possibly cure Joe before time runs out. It seems the curse of the Wendigo is a cycle just like a werewolf, except when the person turns from the fourth time, they stay in beast mode forever.

To compound matters, Joe reveals how he got cursed in the first place. It seems he received a letter in the mail covered in some strange white powder and it turned him into the Wendigo. His honorable discharge happened after his platoon was ransacked and slaughtered and he was the only one left alive. In reality, he turned into the Wendigo and killed everybody. The letter as it turns out was sent by none other than Henry Parrish after he crushed up the Pied Piper’s bone pipe, dropped some black magic on it, and boom — Wendigo formula! He even contacted Joe and promised him a cure if he would give him the “gift” his father left him when he died.

When Ichabod and Abbie open the package that Sheriff Corbin gave his son, they find a vile of Jincan, an ancient Chinese toxin that was made when several venomous creatures (snakes, scorpions, spiders, etc) were locked together and as one at the other, the eventual winner would be left with the most poisonous concoction ever known to mankind. Henry wants this stuff so clearly it’s bad.

So Ichabod and Hawley race off to find the cure before Joe turns into a Wendigo for a fourth time and before Henry tracks them down to take up the younger Corbin on their original deal.

Never Trust a Horseman

Ichabod and Hawley make it to the Shawnee tribe located in Sleepy Hollow and they look more like they are ready to join Sons of Anarchy than the team meant to save the world, but thankfully some smooth talking from Mr. 250 years old charms them out of the cure and they are off to the races to try and save Joe before it’s too late.

It’s too late.

Henry shows up at the catacombs just after his father left and he’s got a couple Hessian goons with him to procure the poison. He agrees to help Joe in return for him willingly turning over the Jincan solution. Abbie tries to talk him out of it, but Joe takes Henry at his word and hands over the vile. Yeah, don’t ever trust a horseman of the apocalypse you schmuck. Henry double crosses him (of course) before slicing his hand, which as it turns out even smelling his own blood will kick in the Wendigo curse. Joe asks why he did this to him and Henry’s answer is pretty amazing.

“Your true curse is humanity”
~ Henry

Now that Joe is in full on Wendigo mode, Henry leaves with the poison and when Ichabod returns with the cure, Abbie’s not sure it’s going to do much good. The dynamic duo decides to give it a try anyways so they both slice into their hands to give off some blood to lure in Wendi-Joe and quickly enough he comes in looking for a snack. Abbie is able to fend off his attacks long enough for Ichabod to cast his spell. It’s slow but pays off because despite Joe’s transformation for the fourth time, he still turns back into his old self and the curse is broken. So at least one win today!

Before he goes, Joe asks Abbie for a recommendation so he can go to Quantico to become a Federal agent (the job she was supposed to have before all hell broke loose) and he leaves Ichabod with some words of wisdom. No matter how bad his son is right now — and Henry is pretty freaking bad — if Ichabod still loves him he needs to tell him before the end of days actually plays out. Hallmark moment, but it’s a little marred considering Henry’s undying mission to kill his parents. Just saying.

Gods and Monsters

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Henry was particularly devilish this week and I’m quite certain that writers behind Sleepy Hollow know just how lucky they are to have John Noble as part of the cast each week. His voice alone sends shivers down the spine, but then he gets to deliver the best lines in every episode!

For instance this week he pays a visit to Captain Irving, still locked up in the crazy ward, except now he knows that he signed over his soul to the Horseman of War (by accident). Henry tells him that as soon as he dies, Irving belongs to him, but there’s a way out of deal — he just has to kill somebody. As it turns out, Henry’s even provided him with the perfect specimen ready to go. It’s the drunk driver who hit his daughter Macy and paralyzed her from the waist down.

Irving already wanted to tear this guy limb from limb, but now he’s just a few feet away for the slaughter. When Irving finally confronts the guy, he shows remorse at first, which backs off the former police captain, but then he does something awfully dumb. He can’t remember much about the little girl and eventually blames the accident on her being in the wrong place where she shouldn’t have been (he was drunk driving so of course it was her fault!). Irving snaps, tackles the guy and starts to choke the life out of him.

At that moment he gets the vision back in his head of the age of apocalypse when he was dressed all in black and going HAM on anything and anyone around him since he was a soldier of war aka a soldier of Moloch. Irving lets go of the man’s throat and the words that Henry spoke to him earlier ring truer than ever before.

“Those who fight monsters should see to it that in the process they do not become one. When one gazes long enough into the abyss, the abyss gazes back, doesn’t it Captain?”
~ Henry

Now that he know he’s capable of taking a life and convinced that Henry was right about him, Irving calls Abbie and confesses that he’s pretty much done at this point. His soul is damned, his mind is mush and Henry will soon be adding him to the ranks of the army from hell. She tries to convince him that he’s a good man and not the dark soul Henry has convinced him he’s become lately.

“Even God thought the Devil was beautiful before he fell.”
~ Irving

Harsh words but a cool quote nonetheless.

In the final scene we see Henry opening up the spoils of his plot with the Jincan poison all laid out on a table in front of him. He casts a spell and all that awful venom transforms into a small black widow spider. It craws into Henry’s hand as gently as can be and then a few moments later we see the eight-legged creature popping up in Katrina’s bed as she sleeps. If you’re terrified of spiders this was rough, but it crawls into Katrina’s mouth and as she swallows and chokes, it’s clear that things are about to get really rough for Mrs. Crane. The Headless Horseman may want Katrina alive, but it’s clear her son has other plans and a diabolical way of committing matricide.

Washington’s Bible

— Ichabod falling in love with online gaming has to be one of the highlights of the entire series. As he’s shouting what I can only imagine have to be a slew of 18th century curse words at a computer screen, Ichabod picked up maybe the most addictive habit since he awoke in the year 2013.

— The superhero name game was also a particularly fun scene. Abbie tells a story about Superman and Ichabod tries really hard to figure out his alter ego but instead comes up with that ‘arachnid fellow’ Peter Parker. It’s good to see a show that seems like its born directly from a comic book pay homage to the trade.

On the next Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod and Abbie fight to save Katrina’s life after the spider filled with Jincam starts tearing her apart from the inside out.

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