Sleepy Hollow S1 Ep5 — John Doe

With Sleepy Hollow going on a three-week hiatus due to the FOX network’s World Series Baseball commitment, Episode 5 is the de-facto Halloween episode for a series that could really do a creeptacular episode for Halloween. And, while “John Doe” keeps the momentum going, it’s probably the one with the least amount of jump-out-of-your-seat scares so far. So forget about the Halloween episode thing. Rewatch the Pilot or the super-creepy Sandman episode (S1 Ep3, “For the Triumph of Evil”) for Halloween instead.

“John Doe” has Abbie and Ichabod returning to Corbin’s cabin, where Ichabod has decided to live. It’s fitting — the rustic cabin offers all of the modern conveniences he wants (like electricity), with none of technological excesses he hasn’t quite acclimated himself to yet. As he settles in, Ichabod asks Abbie if he looks out-of-place in the modern world. Abbie thinks he looks fine, essentially robbing us of a shopping montage set to Hall and Oates’ “Out of Touch,” which really needs to happen. There’s no Jenny this week, but Luke is around being jealous and suspicious of Ichabod, and the blonde detective guy from last week’s episode finally gets some lines.

sleepyhollows1e5spiderwebThe monster of the week? It’s the plague. Or to be more accurate, a little boy from the lost colony of Roanoke, the plague, and the Horseman Pestilence. Basically, the kid shows up in the woods and is lured into Sleepy Hollow by a cute little girl, unleashing a centuries-old disease that modern immune systems are not equipped to fight. Biological warfare, demon-style.

Ichabod and Abbie are pulled into the case, naturally. The boy, like Ichabod, appears to be displaced in time, in his Medieval-looking clothing and Middle English language. The use of Middle English, a functionally dead language that sounds closer to German than English, seems to be a couple of hundred years off, considering it’s established that the boy is from a late 16th Century colony (English was recognizable as English by then — see Shakespeare). But, hey, it makes for some interesting linguistics conversation, and maybe they were a sect that continued to speak an old language, like the Amish, who were paralleled with the Roanoke colonists more than once.

Anyway. The boy is sick with a plague that turns the victims’ veins black. The plague starts to spread in Sleepy Hollow. The CDC is called, and it’s the guy from that awesome Star Wars Halloween Verizon commercial. There’s a quarantine, but fears are spreading that the infection may become apocalyptic. Abbie and Ichabod search the woods for clues, and Ichabod Sherlocks them to a tiny island with a hidden bridge, where they find the lost colony, frozen in time. Everyone is infected, but no one is actually sick.

By the time they get back to the CDC quarantine, Ichabod is infected. He’s taken from Abbie in dramatic fashion as he blacks out and wakes up in the woods with Katrina. He kisses her, but she’s not happy to see him. It turns out that the place where Katrina is trapped is, in fact, Purgatory, and for Ichabod to have shown up like he did meant he was dead or dying. She also reveals that she’s trapped in Purgatory permanently, and that she thinks she knows why, but she doesn’t say. It’s more development of Katrina’s character than we’ve seen since the show started, and for the first time you get the sense that she’s trapped. Also, she’s 100% dead.

During this time, Abbie goes to the chapel and prays for Ichabod. It’s really more of a desperate one-sided conversation, but observing one of the faithful entering the chapel leads to an epiphany. She convinces Chief Irving to allow her to bring Ichabod and the boy back to the lost colony. Because Irving knows everything and is surprised by nothing, he agrees, saying he knows a way they can do it. I thought it would be, like all-terrain gurneys or something, but no, Abbie, Ichabod and the kid return on foot. They make it back just in time, and Abbie’s epiphany turns out to be right. All-better Ichabod is proud of her and says it’s time to go home, which sounds like they’re going back to Corbin’s cabin together, amiright, Ichabbie shippers?