You could see it coming – you know, that Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane were practicing yoga and not in any highly dramatic situation – but the opener was still a really fun bit of levity the show is famous for. Fans of Ichabbie (fandom shout out!) were no doubt squeeing to see the pair in their relaxed, yet form-fitting, workout wear. But 3 cheers to my man, Crane, for his idea of relaxation: hitting the pub for some beer. Namaste, indeed.
But, the real story comes as Abbie recognizes Joe Corbin, the son of dearly departed Sheriff Corbin, in a minor bar altercation fresh from his military assignment in Afghanistan. Obviously it’s not something I paid a lot of attention to, but did we know Sheriff Corbin had a son? Well, he did and said son has apparently always resented Abbie for garnering more of his father’s attention than he did. Abbie attempts to mollify his anger towards her to seemingly no avail. Now, these plot set-ups usually end in one of 2 ways: either the bitter, resentful character learns the error of his/her ways and gets all BFF with our protagonist, or the resentment lingers and further conflict is expected in future episodes. We already have conflict with Crane junior, Henry Parrish, so no need to add any new tensions. I’m likely not the only viewer who placed bets on a happy outcome for this pseudo-family reunion. Toss in some Wendigo mythology (raise your hand if your first thought was, “Supernatural went to the boards on the Wendigo myth, so, been there, done that”?) with Joe himself being the ill-fated monster of the week, and that’s mostly the episode. Mostly, but not entirely.
Woven into this thin plot is the fact that Joe was cursed with being the Wendigo very recently. Typically, when we’re introduced to our monsters, we get decades – if not centuries – old origin stories. For this to be so recent is actually pretty interesting, as it is Henry’s doing as a result of the pestle bone crushing from the Demon Mercenary episode (recall the bone flute). It’s rather appealing that TPTB didn’t just pull out a by-the-book monster to slap in front of Halloween, but instead had it drive the arc: Henry needed Joe to find an artifact that Sheriff Corbin was guarding. It was bequeathed to Joe, who found a map in Dad’s files and retrieved it. And the artifact can’t be a fluffy bunny, no; it has to be a wicked poison, essentially fermented for a really long time to be the deadliest in the world. Of course it is. Henry’s deal was for Joe to hand over the juju juice for the cure to his own ailment. After a close encounter with Wendigo!Joe wherein he’s captured by our team and kept in the archive tunnels, we are rewarded with our history lesson of the day from Crane: Daniel Boone’s younger brother, Squire, was also likely Wendigo cursed but the Shawnee tribe the Boone’s were friendly with didn’t save him in time. Bummer. Also, Crane knew the Boones! This guy got around back in his day, a real social butterfly.
And of course having Hawley there serves a greater purpose for plot development, since he just happens to know some local Shawnee in a biker group! Leave it to Crane to work his love of history (well, what he just calls “his past”) on the biker boys and procures the remedy for Joe’s curse. But wait, what’s this? Before Crane and Hawley return with the good news Henry comes a-knocking and convinces Joe that by handing over the poison, he will indeed free him of the curse. Since Joe and Abbie reconciled their differences in moments of reflection on Sheriff Corbin and his absolute love for Joe, it’s no wonder Abbie is upset that Joe agrees to go with Henry. And naturally, Henry takes the poison and then simply slashes poor Joe (4th time’s the charm with Wendigo curses, and if Joe tastes human flesh, a Wendigo he remains) informing him that the curse he is relieving Joe of is his humanity. Hint: Never go with Henry! Crane and Abbie head out after Joe but when the recitation of the Shawnee anti-curse verse doesn’t cure Joe, Crane gives up hope. But Abbie, that girl has faith in the boy, and says to give him some time. Sure enough, he’s just a slow reverser, but is back to human form, for good. So, now Joe and Abbie are besties, but Henry has the poison, which he’s transformed into a nasty spider-thing that has worked its way into Katrina’s body. Through her mouth, while she was sleeping. Nope, nope, nope.
Let’s not forget the small but important bits of info we learned in this episode. First, Crane didn’t find yoga very cleansing but he did admit he was hurt and angered by Katrina’s deceit in the death of Mary Wells (The Weeping Lady) which is good, because we were, too. I was worried Crane would still be blinded by his love for Katrina, so it’s good to see that he’s not lost all sense of reason with her. Oh, and he’s leveling up on his comic book lore (yay!) and has discovered video games (uh-oh), which he’s apparently very adept at already. And what’s the deal with the Mills’ ladies and Hawley? We already know Jenny and Hawley have a “history” (I’m hoping it was just more than booty calls) together, but this episode I got the feeling TPTB were attempting to show us there was a spark there between Abbie and Hawley, too. Especially when Crane walked in on them and seemed a bit flustered by their newfound friendliness. Odd, and I really hope it’s not the intent, as I just don’t see anything in Hawley – and I mean anything – of interest other than his floppy boyish hair. His integrity is not even questionable, it’s vastly lacking, and he’s about as trustworthy as a cat in a tuna boat. But, guess we’ll see. Oh, also, doesn’t Abbie have her day job to worry about, you know, playing detective on non-paranormal cases that new Sheriff Reyes won’t find suspicious? Abbie sure makes use of flex time!
And I would be remiss to not mention our dear Captain Frank Irving, still biding his time in the local psych hospital, now knowing that he sold his soul to Henry through nefarious and underhanded means. (Hint: Never sign anything Henry gives you!). It was a close call there when Henry tempted Irving with nullifying the deal if Irving would kill for Henry. “A soul for a soul”, Henry says. Shouldn’t that just be printed on t-shirts for every demon to wear at this point? Anyway, glad that Irving resisted – this time. It’s going to be a struggle to get Irving out of the psych hospital and out of Henry’s grasp when you consider our team, growing as it is, has to also deal with Moloch, Headless and Katrina’s situation, and the no doubt real threat of Abbie getting put on desk duty by Sheriff Reyes one of these days.
Sleepy Hollow airs on Mondays at 9/8c on Fox. Watch full episodes on FOX.com, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.