Sleepy Hollow S1 Ep04: The Lesser Key of Solomon

This is the point in Sleepy Hollow‘s first season where you’re either hooked or completely lost. It’s not a show you can jump into at any point and know what’s going on — and for those (including myself) who worried that it would skew more procedural than serial, that’s a good thing. It’s definitely a serial.

This week brings us major Jenny backstory, scary Germans, and a name for the horned demon that haunts the fans’ dreams. The episode starts with a flashback to the Boston Tea Party (sans colonists dressed like Indians), and — surprise — Ichabod is there. A Hessian (remember, the AWOL Headless Horseman is a Hessian, i.e. a German mercenary) blows himself up, taking out a bunch of people in front of Ichabod.  The scene cuts to blurry flashback images of Katrina, with an Ichabod voiceover talking about “the bravest love” that “bewilders with its magnificence.”

Is Ichabod dreaming? Has he decided to stop indefinitely putting off trying to save Katrina from Purgatory or whatever? Should Ichabbie shippers be worried? Not today. It turns out Ichabod is sitting in a car telling his story of love lost to the OnStar lady. Apparently he locked himself in the ca or something, figured out the OnStar button, and got to talking with his helper, the tearful Yolanda. He proceeds to give her terrible relationship advice about not giving up no matter how cruelly her probably good-for-nothing love interest treats her. Really, Ichabod? Well, we now know that Katrina treated him like crap and stopped for some reason. And that Yolanda should probably OnStar Abbie for relationship advice in the future.

Sleepy-Hollow-S1Ep4-jennyincabinAnyway. Beautiful badass Jenny Mills has escaped the mental hospital, and goes to pick up a sack of her stuff from a bartender friend at some dive bar. Unfortunately for the bartender, some new Hessians show up soon after and start to torture him brutally on a pool table. This is all before the first commercial break. After the break, we learn that he’s been beheaded and killed, like the earlier victims. Chief Irving, at the scene with Luke, isn’t fooled: the wounds aren’t cauterised. Which is actually way worse is you think about it. The Headless Horseman kills swiftly, before the victim knows what’s happening. No such luck for the bartender.

So the monster-of-the-week isn’t a hollow-eyed demon or a zombie witch, it’s a couple of German guys. OK, they’re not regular guys, but they’re human, I think.

Abbie and Ichabod are desperate to find Jenny before the authorities — you know, the non-Biblical Witness authorities — do. They visit one of Jenny’s former foster mothers. Abbie becomes distracted by an apparently neglected teenage girl in the woman’s care, and threatens to report her if she doesn’t give her information on where Jenny might have gone. Foster mom tells her about a remote cabin she might have gone to. Abbie calls CPS anyway. That’s how you do it, Ichabod.

Ichabbie get to the cabin, and Abbie breaks in, which obviously excites Ichabod. Once inside, they realize that this was Sheriff Corbin’s cabin… and find a photo of Corbin and Jenny together. Wait, what? Was Jenny Corbin’s secret lover? His secret daughter? His secret apprentice that he internationally trained to fight demons when the time came? Well, why don’t they just ask her? Because she’s right there in the cabin.

After a sister vs. sister standoff that ends with Ichabod giving each of them a stern talking to, things start to move fast, so pay attention, because all of this no doubt will come up later. We learn about Jenny’s history with Corbin and why she had to return to the cabin; we go back to the Boston Tea Party (or “The Destruction of the Tea,” as Ichabod calls it), which Ichabod staged as a diversion to steal The Lesser Key of Solomon from the British; we also learn what the heck the Lesser Key of Solomon is, and who the scary demon is. The Hessians attack the cabin — and have you noticed that by this episode, Abbie and Ichabod communicate non-verbally a lot? (Sigh.) Then there’s the climaxy climax that ends with a good six minutes of show left.

Then something almost jarring happens: Abbie and Jennie have a five-minute conversation by themselves. At one point Abbie tells Jennie that she may be one of the Witnesses of Revelation. Jenny believes her, but is pretty pissed off, because she’s the one who’s been preparing all these years.

Which begs the question: Did Corbin back the wrong sister, or did he consciously help mold each sister to play her fated role in saving the world? Is Jenny in fact the second Witness, and Ichabod was brought back to life to guide them? Can a mainstream supernatural show with two female black leads actually exist? I mean, we’ve seen Founding Fathers fight monsters, Sleepy Hollow‘s casting choices, not so much.

Next week: Infected Pilgrim kid!