Maria Millage ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It always feels good to get an episode that wholly pushes forward a season’s arc, and that’s exactly what Sleepy Hollow fans got this week in it’s typical gruesome fashion.
The episode picked up exactly where last week’s left off (with that creepy spider) with Katrina (Katia Winter) experiencing some kind of unknown illness that bewilders both her and Abraham (Neil Jackson) aka the Horseman of Death, who no one has seen in a while. It turns out that Henry (John Noble) forced Katrina to carry a demon. And not just any demon, either, but Moloch, the one that Abbie (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod (Tom Mison) have been trying to keep out of the mortal world since the beginning of the show. So, in other words, if you had ‘witness demon pregnancy’ on your bucket list, you can cross it off after watching this episode. And yes, it was gross.
Henry was working with the Hellfire Club, an organization that dates back to colonial days and pledged themselves to serving evil. The club’s members who were collaborating with Henry also unknowingly possessed the secret to dispelling Moloch from Katrina before she was forced to give birth to him, an event that also would have ended in her death. This plot point came in the form of a prism crafted by Benjamin Franklin that replicates the effects of the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, and was hidden in the back of the tablet that the club had used to plant Moloch inside Katrina.
The quest to save Katrina and banish Moloch again was of course successful, but it also dug up some serious character conflict that’s been appearing occasionally all season, and without a doubt will continue to do so. The audience was given a fight between Abbie and the Cranes, who were actually reunited for real for the first time since the show’s beginning. Before discovering Ben Franklin’s prism, the trio thought that their only chance of saving Katrina would be appealing to Henry, the Sin Eater, who could theoretically remove Moloch from her. Here, viewers got an emotionally charged scene between Ichabod and Henry in which Ichabod attempts to appeal to Henry’s emotional side that still maybe has feelings for his parents despite his negative actions toward them.
Needless to say, it didn’t work but it set up a couple other confrontations throughout the rest of the episode in which it became clear that Ichabod, and especially Katrina, have not given up on their son. Katrina’s maternal instinct was especially strong in this week’s episode and it’s likely going to be something that the writers milk as much as they can to stir up strife in future episodes.
The concept of “saving” Henry, if that’s even possible, is being set up to become a major theme this season and it could be inferred that that will be one of Katrina’s main roles in this arc. After all, it is the motherly stereotype to want to save your child and believe the best of them—even when your child is a certifiable homicidal maniac who wants to raise a demon and cause the Apocalypse—and that is definitely a trait we’ve seen frequently with Katrina so far.
As Abbie is very clearly signed up on the “anti-Henry” team, Ichabod is likely going to be the character that has to break that tie. We saw that this episode when it came time to decide if they were going to appeal to Henry for help, and that likely is a situation that will appear again in later episodes. Which side he will eventually come down on is something that will remain to be seen. Though certainly at this point he seems to want to save Henry, surely he can only watch his son do terrible things with no remorse for so long before he becomes jaded with the idea and decides he needs to be taken down instead. If that is what happens, there is going to be a big domestic problem in the Crane household.
The episode definitely was well written, entertaining, and solid in progressing the season’s arc but the relationship focus this week was very clearly on the Cranes, and by that, this writer means Ichabod, Katrina, and Henry. Abbie floated around in the background and appeared when she was needed to help Katrina or acquire the prism, but the focus was definitely off of her and Ichabod, which is usually where it is. There was also a surprising lack of banter between the two of them, likely because they didn’t share a great many scenes that didn’t include Moloch trying to puncture his way out of a screaming Katrina’s stomach. One can assume that that is a bit of a mood killer. However, as a result of the lack of their typical interactions, the episode was very dark and lacking in some of the humor that usually lightens Sleepy Hollow episodes and left this writer feeling like something was missing.
Overall Episode Grade: B+