Maria Millage ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Fans of Teen Wolf or Supernatural will be familiar with this week’s episode’s villain of choice: a wendigo, or flesh-eating monster with a penchant for murdering and consuming human organs. The monster was, in a shocking turn of events, the late Sheriff Corbin’s (Remember that guy who had his head chopped off in the pilot? Yeah, him) son, Joe (Zach Appelman); a situation that brought up quite a few difficult feelings in Abbie (Nicole Beharie). His affliction also presented the perfect opportunity for the writers to explore Ichabod’s feelings for his own son, Henry (John Noble), who was floating around in the background of the episode doing creepy things just as he has all season.
Joe was cursed by Henry in an attempt to trade a cure for the wendigo curse for a poison that Sheriff Corbin left for his son before his death. Needless to say, it worked. Henry proceeded to stab Joe in the back, and it was up to Ichabod (Tom Mison), Abbie, and their classically fantastic camaraderie to save the day (which as always it did).
This was technically Sleepy Hollow’s “Halloween” episode but with this show (and the horror genre in particular) it can be a bit difficult to differentiate one’s specifically Halloween episode in a manner other than its placement in the season. Nevertheless, the main plot-line of the episode was another filler with elements that still drove the season’s arc forward, much like the last few weeks’ episodes.
The writers appear to be dragging in Hawley (Matt Barr) more securely with this episode as he didn’t need to be coerced into helping this time around unlike in the past. There also was some mildly awkward flirting between him and Abbie, which more than likely is going to develop into the relationship that the production team had been hinting at since before the season’s premiere. Hawley’s main contribution to the episode was introducing Ichabod to a handful of Shawnee, the tribe that documented a wendigo occurrence back in the days of the Revolutionary War and who also gave Ichabod and Hawley the cure that saved Joe from permanently being a man-eating monster. The animosity between Ichabod and Hawley was excellently written and is certainly going to become a major sticking point with those two characters as Hawley is drawn more securely into the team and Abbie grows closer to him. There also were hints in last week’s episode that Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) and Hawley had some sort of romantic relationship at some point in the past, which is going to complicate his feelings for Abbie and hers for him.
While all of this was happening, Henry was quietly tinkering in the background. Captain Irving (Orlando Jones) confronted Henry about him stealing his soul to which Henry responded by saying that to get it back, he has to kill a man. Irving almost does, coming very close to strangling a fellow patient, the man who ran over his daughter, but stops himself at the last minute because he knows that it’s what Henry wants. At the end of the episode, Henry turns the poison that he tricked Joe into giving him into a very creepy looking spider which then proceeded to crawl inside of Katrina’s (Katia Winter) mouth while she was sleeping. And yes, it was as gross to watch as it sounds.
The careful insertion of scenes that contribute to the season’s arc while the main plot of the episode is unique each week has become a tenet of Sleepy Hollow this season, and one that certainly seems to be working for them. The writers have been carefully crafting plots that, at first glance, appear to be unrelated to the goings on in Sleepy Hollow and the oncoming apocalypse, but really are intricately designed ways to push forward the season’s main arc. This is proving to be intriguing and ingenious and fans are now coming into each episode wondering how the writers are going to connect the dots this time.
On a final note, this episode also did a brilliant number with the dialogue. One of the definite draws of Sleepy Hollow as a show is absolutely the characters and how they interact with each other. Namely this applies to Ichabod and Abbie, however Hawley is quickly proving to be another character with great dialogue. The dialogue in “And the Abyss Gazes Back” is some of the best in recent episodes as the writers keep coming up with new modern situations to plop Ichabod into. This week it was yoga (which he was definitely not a fan of) and video games (which he definitely was).
Overall the episode was well done and entertaining, complete with a terrifying horned blue wendigo, and the season just keeps getting better.
Overall Episode Grade: A