Recap: 'Sleepy Hollow' - 'Spellcaster' is powerful magic, actually makes Katrina likable
After a week of Mills’ sister shenanigans, backstory on Hawley, and non-Christian mythology in Kali Yuga, “Sleepy Hollow” pivots back to Ichabod and Katrina’s world. More specifically, Katrina’s family history.
But even with Mrs. Crane finally getting a chance to shine in “Spellcaster,” is it enough to save her in the eyes of the fans? Ehhh…maybe.
The theme that “Sleepy Hollow” seems to be running with this week is “Potential for Evil.” Whether it’s Ichabod staring into the abyss of “What If?” that is his evil twin, Katrina admitting to herself that she’d be 1000% more interesting as a character if she gave in to the dark side, Henry using petty thugs to remind himself that he is a boot amongst ants, or Irving winning the award for “Most Convincing Performance By A Soulless Monster,” just about everyone got take a turn on the existential crisis over the inherent evilness of mankind carousel. In fact, Abbie is the only one to escape this fate. Hold on to that thought, we’ll be revisiting it in a minute.
If I were a betting gal, I’d say the “Sleepy Hollow” writers are fans of Harry Dresden and/or the Dark Tower because the Man in Black fled across the museum and the Gunslinger (security guard) followed…and died for his effort. As far as Monsters-of-the-Week go, Solomon Kent hits all the right notes. He epitomizes evil, using blood magic to boil unsuspecting extras from the inside-out. He subjects the town of Salem to horrific hangings to save his own skin, and he’s willing to upend the order of the universe because he got friend-zoned 400 years ago. Kent is a convenient vessel for backstory about the van Tassel family coven, he shows up to play Darth Vader to Katrina’s Luke Skywalker, and he dies unrepentant, giving the audience no reason to mourn his loss.
My only real issue is with how long it takes our heroes to figure out Solomon’s plan. After all, if Kent resurrecting the girl he accidentally murdered while sexually assaulting would rend open the gates to the underworld, wouldn’t we already be awash in ghosts and/or zombies since Irving already returned from the dead? Come on, guys.
Perhaps the greatest service Solomon Kent did to the world though was plant the seed of doubt in Katrina’s mind. Her stalwart refusal to give up on Henry and strong attachment to Headless has always made me think one day she would choose evil. And ever since her demonic pregnancy, I’ve been suspicious that Mrs. Crane is the future Horseman of Pestilence. If Katrina embraces dark magic, it will make her at least 85% less obnoxious, since then her obsession with reconnecting with her son would have a plot purpose.
Speaking of the prodigal son, I spent most of this episode waffling on whether or not Henry remained the Horseman of War, or if the powers had transferred to Frank Irving. Even with the reveal at the end, the question lingers. If Henry is the new Moloch, is Irving the new Henry? Irving’s betrayal also begs the question: was Katrina simply not strong enough to sense the bond between Frank and War? Or did she sense it and choose to remain silent in her ever-present hope to find her kid and return him to the light? The fact that she didn’t tell Ichabod and Abbie that she even performed the metaphysical exam on Irving makes me question her motives. Regardless, Abbie is too genre-savvy for Irving’s ruse to last very long.
Odd & Ends
• Abbie teaching Ichabod how to speak “realtor” was a delight. He is ever the quick study.
• Remember how Abbie was immune to this week’s theme? Katrina states “Magic is an innate talent,” that must be nurtured. I still think Abbie has latent powers for Good Witchery™.
• Take me to church, because Solomon Kent is BUILT for a 17th century preacher!
• Abbie got meta, declared the CSI computer program to be “magic,” a nice wink to how advanced technology made up for crime shows is pretty much indistinguishable from magic.
• Riddle me this, if blood
bending magic is innately evil, then explain Katara??