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‘Sleepy Hollow’ recap: Father figure

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“The Golem” was even better than I expected, which isn’t a surprise really, since ‘Sleepy Hollow’ never disappoints. The mythical Golem has appeared on other shows before, so I was very curious to see ‘Sleepy’s’ spin on it and I absolutely adore the story they created. The writers went above and beyond my wildest imagination because at the end of the day we realize that the Golem was not a monster, rather he was a protective father figure to Ichabod and Katrina Crane’s orphaned son, Jeremy.

Before jumping into my recap, I have to say that this may have been ‘Sleepy Hollow’s’ most emotional episode yet. I was in tears, especially during Ichabod’s heartbreaking scene with the Golem. What this show does best is take something outlandish and ground it in a profound sense of reality. This fearsome monster served as a surrogate father. Although Ichabod had no choice but to kill him, he ended the creature’s life with great compassion and gratitude. Despite the chaos the Golem caused and the death he left in his wake, Ichabod appreciates the fact that he did it all to protect Jeremy. It is a beautiful and tender moment in the midst of tragic violence. This moment demonstrates how ‘Sleepy Hollow’ truly has it all.

Okay, on with the recap.

Crane takes his wrath and frustration out on the chopping block. Abbie catches him in quite a mood and calls him a scrooge. It’s funny, however old Charles Dickens’ tales feel, we realize that they are still ahead of Crane’s time. Abbie’s Christmas-themed commentary prompts Ichabod to go on one of his ever-so-charming riffs on where our modern traditions came from (i.e. He scoffs at the term “egg-nog,” noting how it comes from too much rum causing aching noggin’s. I think we surmised that much on our own, but it is always fun to see Ichabod break it down.) Yuletide blues aside, Abbie knows that Crane needs to learn about his son. Last time they “moved mountains” to get in touch with Katrina, so how does Ichabod plan to pull it off this time?

Unbeknownst to Abbie, Crane has already requested Henry Parrish’s assistance. When Henry pulls up to the cabin, Crane cuts to the chase and tells the sin eater to use his metaphysical mojo to put Ichabod in contact with Katrina. Henry has never done anything like this before, but Crane believes that he can do it. If Henry can summon up the spirit of Crane’s long-dead friend, then it can’t be too hard to reach out to Katrina. But it won’t be easy because making contact with someone in Purgatory is very risky. Henry bluntly warns Crane that his life will be placed in danger. Parrish poetically says that our lives are like a tapestry, if you pull one thread, then the whole thing can come undone. Crane wants answers and he’s prepared to face the consequences. Henry then turns to Abbie and tells her that things are about to get extra creepy, so she should leave if she has any reservations. Abbie assures Crane that she’s got his back saying, “Thanks for the warning. I’m not going anywhere.” Ichabod smiles at Abbie, causing Ichabbie fans to squeal with delight. (I’m really enjoying the development of their partnership and relationship. It is so sweet to see how much they truly care for each other.) With that settled, Henry apologizes and lunges at Crane’s throat, literally bringing him closer to death by strangling him.

Ichabod finds himself transported to a chapel. He observes a baby carriage with a strange looking doll inside, while Katrina lights a candle. Crane confronts his wife and asks for their son’s name. She called him Jeremy, after Ichabod’s grandfather. She apologizes to Ichabod and explains that she didn’t know she was pregnant when she buried him. Her coven was already angry with her over the spell she cast on Ichabod and her life was in grave danger. She did not want to put their baby at risk as well. Katrina found sanctuary at Frederick’s, but once Jeremy was born, she knew it would still be too dangerous to keep him. She did not want to condemn their son to the life of a fugitive and thought it was better to let him go.

In a flashback, Katrina kisses baby Jeremy goodbye and gives him a gift. She made a doll, a little friend to keep him safe, so that he never feels alone. (Those of you familiar with Golem lore may have started to catch on to ‘Sleepy’s’ twist at this point. Plus, the doll is super spooky looking. Kudos to fellow supernatural story addicts who had a hunch here.) Katrina hands Jeremy over to Abbie’s ancestor, Grace Dixon, so that she may raise the boy in a safe place.

Katrina tells Ichabod that she regularly visits this chapel and lights a candle in prayer for Jeremy’s soul. She reveals that her coven banished her to Purgatory as punishment. Unfortunately, Katrina doesn’t know what became of Jeremy. Suddenly a horrifying monster bursts through the doors and Ichabod goes reeling back into the real world.

Ichabod awakes in shock, shouting, “You strangled me!” But a near death experience is the least of his problems. As Crane gathers his bearings, we see the creature emerge in the woods. While the Golem tracks Crane down, the gang gets back to business. Ichabod tells Abbie what he learned about Jeremy. He is excited at the thought of having offspring and quickly does the math. If Jeremey got married and had three children, which was the norm in his day, then there could be six thousand Crane copies scattered around the world in the present day. Abbie tells Crane that they could track his ancestors down by researching Revolutionary War records at the local library. At this point, Henry feels he has served his purpose and he’s eager to catch the noon train back home. However, Abbie and Ichabod convince him to stay. Henry is one of them now. His purpose in life is to help their cause. Plus, none of them really have much family to fall back on, so Henry can understand the great importance of Ichabod’s desire to learn more about his family and figure out how it plays into the bigger picture. Henry agrees to stay and help and Abbie promises to get him on the next train out of Sleepy Hollow. As they head to the library, the Golem keeps a watchful eye over them.

While Crane & Co. dig deeper into his past, we learn a little more about Captain Irving’s life before Sleepy Hollow. He stops by his old church in the big city and visits with Reverend Boland, who has become a confident over the years. Irving asks the priest about the Book of Revelations and the Witnesses’ role in the Bible. Rev. Boland tells Irving that the Witnesses are martyrs destined to die for their testimony, much like Jesus’ apostles. Irving is troubled and has lost his faith. We discover that his daughter is in a wheelchair because she was hit by car. Shortly thereafter, his wife left him. Now he learns that his role in fighting off the impending Apocalypse or just being a cop to unknowing civilians will result in death. Poor Irving can’t seem to catch a break. Naturally, the wise reverend assures the Captain that all of this is part of God’s plan. But Irving isn’t feeling it. He quips back, “If God has a plan who is for? Me or Him?” Rev. Boland starts to worry about Irving and wants to know what he is hiding. All of this ominous talk of death is very concerning, but Irving stays mum about it. Finding no comfort in what the priest preaches, Irving admits that he remembers why he stopped going to church.

This was a great scene, which finally gave us some much needed information on Irving and delightfully displayed Orlando Jones’ dramatic acting chops. For years, Irving has been grappling with his faith and now he is thrust in the middle of this supernatural war, which confirms the unfathomable threats he has heard about in church. Will Irving’s participation in this war strengthen his faith? Will he be able to resist the temptations of evil and stand strongly by Ichabod and Abbie’s side? We may soon find out. In the meantime, we hope Henry, Abbie and Ichabod find more concrete answers at the library.

Crane gets a little flirty with Ms. Hudson, the librarian (who seems very suspicious), and charms her into giving them the records on Trinity Church. After a little Ichabbie “mistletease” (cheeky writers), they discover some scoop. Grace Dixon died at the age of 33 in a house-fire. Records say the townspeople feared Jeremy because he was known to cause fires as a young child simply by crying. Ichabod realizes that Jeremy inherited Katrina’s powers (I hope we get some flashback showing her using some major mojo). The morning after the deadly fire, young Jeremy was found unharmed and he was taken to a home for children orphaned by the war. Ichabod feels terrible because his son was responsible for the death of Abbie’s ancestors. She comforts Crane, telling him it wasn’t Ichabod’s fault, but still he believes he should have been there to care for his child and prevent such disasters. Henry assures Ichabod there is nothing he could’ve done. They fear the librarian can’t offer any more information, but Henry knows she is hiding something. Lying is a sin, so he can tell that she knows more than she lets on. They rush outside to catch Ms. Hudson and we see she’s been attacked by the Golem. As we’re left wondering what’ll happen with the Golem, we realize that Crane & Co. aren’t the only one’s directly threatened by evil.

Irving goes to pick up his daughter and he apologizes to his wife for his poor behavior and absence over the years. He says, “I’m sorry. You deserved better.” She admits that if he had said that a year ago, he’d still be in their house. This says a lot about their relationship. Cynthia didn’t just give up on her husband, it seems like he withdrew from his family. Now he realizes how much he lost and he’s aware of how much will be a stake during this war against evil. At least Irving is making progress with his family now. Better late than never, right? He takes his daughter to the park for some father-daughter bonding. She teaches him about vine videos and they share a tender moment in which we see that Macey is a fighter. She isn’t letting her handicap stop her from enjoying life. Irving once told her to “keep fighting,” now it looks like he needs to take his own advice when he gets a taste of Sleepy Hollow in the big city. He goes to get a couple of hot chocolates and the vendor comments on how Macey seems like a tough kid. Then he asks, “How strong is she?...Is she strong enough to fight for her soul? God may have a plan, Captain. [The vendor’s eyes turn white like a demon] But we have one too.” Irving grabs the man’s collar and as he’s about to go all crazy on him, the demon drifts out of the man and into a nearby woman. As Irving and Macey leave the park, the demon lady smiles, repeating, “We have one too.” Creepy! Demons are possessing people, threatening Irving and really upping their game. War is definitely coming. But the gang has to tackle one evil battle at a time. Right now, Ichabod must focus on the challenge at hand.

Ichabod, Abbie and Henry search through the librarian’s belongings and find a box. Henry says it is full of pain. Ichabod identifies a symbol on the box as the crest of Katrina’s coven. The librarian was a witch who belonged to the Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart, so she recognized Crane. Henry warns that whatever is in the box reeks of anger, death and pain. Ichabod opens the box and takes out an illustration of Jeremy’s doll. Abbie remembers seeing the doll in her vision. Henry holds the drawing and immediately feels that the pain and misery inside the box belongs to Jeremy. Henry narrates a flashback depicting the abuse Jeremy endured at the hands of the cruel priest who ran the orphanage. One day as the priest violently beat down on Jeremy’s back, the pain within the boy swelled so deeply that it fulfilled Katrina’s wish. A single drop of his blood falls on the doll and summons the boy’s power. Jeremy’s pain and suffering manifests itself in the doll, transforming the token of Katrina’s affection into a living breathing monster. The creature strangles the abusive priest and then gently touches Jeremy’s cheek.

Ichabod now realizes the creature he saw in Purgatory is Jeremy’s “champion” and protector. The creature attacked the librarian because she was part of Katrina’s coven and banished her into Purgatory, robbing Jeremy of his mother. Ichabod fears that more death will follow at the hands of this misguided monster. Naturally, Ichabod feels guilty for not being there to protect Jeremy himself. He tells Henry something that his father always used to say: “When you have a child, he will follow your example more than your advice.” Ichabod realizes that this is not his fault, but he feels responsible for bringing Jeremy’s rage into the world. Henry offers Ichabod some comfort. He says “It is a father’s task to impart wisdom.” Henry’s father taught him not to fear his power and the sin eater was thankful for that. Although Ichabod was not there in the past, he can speak for his son in the present. Henry believes Jeremy was a good man. He tells Crane, “He was, after all, molded from your clay.” (I’m really enjoying John Noble and Tom Mison’s scenes together. They are both fantastic!) This comment jogs Ichabod’s memory and he turns to Washington’s Bible for some pertinent information.

In both Psalms and the Talmud there is a reference to the Golem, “a magical attack dog,” as Abbie describes it. An inanimate object molded from the earth comes to life when it manifests its owner’s “most ardent passion.” Jeremy’s doll became his Golem. Abbie notices an antique carnival flyer for “The Four Who Speak as One,” they are the four veiled women from her vision. The librarian has ticket stubs from carnivals they’ve been with over the centuries. Ichabod knows these are the four women who banished Katrina into Purgatory, so the Golem will be going after them next. Crane also believes the four witches could bring Katrina back from Purgatory. As Henry says, this would “strike a powerful blow against Moloch.” Luckily, their most recent carnival is still in town, so the gang heads down to Dobb’s Ferry.

Ichabod asks to have a private word with the four women, he convinces Abbie to let him go on his own, while she and Henry “gongoozle [their] asses off.” Crane steps into their tent and things get super creepy quickly. They sense his ora is displaced and read his palm, accurately identifying him as Ichabod Crane. They say his arrival will seal their fate for tonight these spooky, dental hygienically challenged chicks will die. Crane then lays some clairvoyance down on them and warns that their looming death comes in the form of a Golem. The witches are pissed at Ichabod for making Katrina’s same mistake by defying fate once again when he entered Purgatory to speak with her. Now he brought back the creature they worked so hard to lock away. The witches explain how they had to interfere in Jeremy’s life. Even as a teenager Jeremy was hunted because of the chaos he left behind, this time the damage was continuously caused by his Golem. When the foursome realized who Jeremy was, they offered their help, but he refused. Jeremy chose to be alone with his Golem. Crane defends his son, but the women continue explaining the severity of the situation. Their spells did not work the Golem, so they had to imprison the creature in Purgatory. Here’s where it gets even more interesting: Jeremy was immune to the witches’ because his powers had grown too great. They offered him a place in their coven and he refused their help again. The sisterhood bound together and created a hex to stop Jeremy’s heart. A flashback reveals Jeremy in a coffin lowered into the earth as the coven casts their spell over him. As the coffin closes and the dirt rains down, it looks like the spell has to take effect, almost as though Jeremy felt like he was being buried alive. Ichabod chastises the witches for murdering his son. (Ichabod believes Jeremy died as a result of the spell, but I have my suspicions. Is he really dead? Or is he “Crane” dead? Perhaps the boy can be brought back to life if the spell is reversed. It is probably just wishful thinking on my part, but hey, anything can happen in Sleepy Hollow. What do you think Sleepy Heads?) The witches coldly reply, “Death begets death,” as though the Crane family had it coming to them. Ichabod knows they are running out of time, so he asks how he can stop the Golem. They say Jeremy’s blood gave the Golem life, so only his blood can end it. The Golem approaches the tent and Crane runs back to his partners.

As the witches meet their “just fate” at the hands of the Golem, Ichabod relays this new information to Abbie and Henry. The Golem wreaks havoc on the carnival and they run. Crane is hilariously perplexed by the “hellish” fun house when the Golem crashes through the mirrors. As Ichabod and Henry take cover they realize Crane has been hurt. He pulls the bloody shard of glass out of his chest and Henry realizes that Crane’s blood can also destroy the Golem: “Your son’s blood is your blood. Your blood can destroy it.” The Golem closes in on Abbie and Ichabod calls out to grab the Golem’s attention. He holds out the glass dagger and introduces himself as Jeremy’s father.

In an emotionally charged scene Crane bonds with the creature. Mison’s delivery here is astounding. I dare you not to be in tears by the end of this scene. Ichabod tells the Golem:

“You exist because I did not. If there was any way I could go back and change this, believe me, with all my heart I would. But Fate bestowed this task on you, his only friend, his guardian, and in many ways a father to him. For that I owe you my life. But now I am begging you to stop. Jeremy is gone. There is nothing left for you to protect. You have to let him go. We both have to let him go.”

Acting on instinct, the Golem lunges at Crane, so he stabs the creature, dropping the beast to the ground with howl-like groan that tapers off into doggish whimper. We can see Crane’s blood taking effect as the Golem’s veins turn black. Crane takes the creature’s hand into his own, saying, “You’ve endured enough pain. Bear it no more. My son, be at peace.” The Golem transforms back into Jeremy’s doll and in one moment it is all over. (Again, I am rendered speechless by how stunning this whole scene is. The Sleepy Writers nailed it when they referred to the creature as “Old Golem Yeller” during the live tweet. It was heartbreaking to see a part of Jeremy die, yet it had to be done. This episode was very thoughtfully crafted and truly tugged at the heartstring.)

Later at the station, Henry tells Crane that he is indeed a part of their fate. He now realizes how great of a role he plays in Ichabod’s destiny. Crane thanks him for sharing his gift with them, although he is beginning to realize that you cannot escape Fate. Henry sees it a little differently now; he says, “For the first time I feel that Fate has delivered me a blessing by bringing you both into my life.” Aww. Before he leaves Henry tells Crane, “We never bury the dead, son. We take them with us. It’s the price of living.” Noble was fantastic in this episode. His scenes with Mison are so deep and powerful. I love his addition to the series. I hope we get to see a lot more of him because I’m really enjoying Henry’s dynamic with Abbie and Ichabod.

After Henry leaves, Abbie cheers Ichabod up by giving him an early Christmas present. He opens the box and takes out a stocking. He tries to be excited, but can’t conceal is puzzlement: “Oh, you’ve embroidered my name on some oversized hosiery. How odd.” She smiles at his reaction and explains that it’s a Christmas tradition. I love how Abbie calls Ichabod out and enjoys teasing him. He is surprised and confused by some modern things, yet he is so intelligent and savvy. Nicole Beharie has done a magnificent job of playing with Mison. They’ve found the perfect rhythm together and their characters getter better and more pleasant to watch with each new episode. Abbie lets Crane mull over the concept of a stocking and she steps out for a few minutes to grab some comfort food. As soon as she leaves, the mirror on the wall shatters, opening a portal to Purgatory.

Suddenly, Crane is Purgatory and he tells Moloch to reveal himself and face him. Moloch issues a warning: “When you know my name, war will take form. Then the end of days.” Crane says there will be no end of days. Moloch promises that before the war is over, Ichabod and Abbie will die. He butts Crane to the ground like an ornery goat, looms overhead and menacingly prophesizes, “I touched her soul once. Soon it will be mine forever and you will give it to me.”

Ichabod reappears in Abbie’s office. Breathless and in a manic sweat, Ichabod forewarns Abbie: “Moloch is coming for your soul. He says I will deliver it to him.”

Uh oh! War is definitely coming to Sleepy Hollow. It looks like he will be the next horseman we get to meet before this season ends. How will Abbie and Ichabod prepare for War’s arrival? Can Henry help them fend of the new Horseman in town?

Afterthoughts

· Jeremy: Wow! We learned a lot of interesting and heartbreaking facts about Baby Crane. This kid had a really rough life that was cut so short. Ichabod was hoping to learn he had six thousand descendants, but it looks like Jeremy never even had the chance to get married. Which is a major bummer. I really wanted to meet a new generation of Cranes. Just imagine Ichabod’s first meeting with a modern version of himself. It would make for TV gold. Oh well, I guess we can still hope for a cool ‘Sleepy Hollow’ twist. Anyway, given Katrina and Ichabod's individual talents, it shouldn't have been surprising to learn that they created a super kid. Jeremy had Katrina's powers, but without proper guardians he didn't know how to harness and cultivate his supernatural skillset. It makes you wonder just how much Jeremy was capable of. If crying sparked fires, then imagine what else he could do. I'd also like to think that he inherited Ichabod's innate brilliance and quirky way of thinking. If Jeremy could intuit and deduce the people around him, then he probably figured he could never truly trust anyone except his protective friend and champion, the Golem. I’m still hoping to see more of Jeremy. Part of me thinks he can come back from the dead, if the spell really stuck in the first place. The four witches admitted that Jeremy was a challenge. Maybe the spell didn’t work. What if Jeremy miraculously survived and managed to have a life? Or if his heart did stop because of spell, then could the spell be reversed? What if they could find a way to bring Jeremy back the same way Ichabod awoke from the dead? That would be pretty awesome. What do you think, Sleepy Heads?

· The Golem: This creature was awesome. Much like the Headless Horseman, it was challenging to give a being who can’t speak or emote such personality. When the Golem groaned, we could feel his pain. Ichabod’s interaction with the creature conjured a very human-like essence within the man made of clay. The climactic confrontation scene was well written, but the acting really brought the concept to life. Mison conviction, the anguish in his eyes, and his inconsolable heartache was all very palpable. The way he treated the Golem caused us to feel sad when the creature died. To Crane, this may have been the closest he’d ever get to his son. The Golem was an extension of Jeremy, so Ichabod treated him with tenderness, gratitude and compassion. The special effects also brought the Golem to life so beautifully. Well done, Team Sleepy Hollow!

· Captain Irving: We got some juicy scenes featuring Orlando Jones. He is doing a great job in this dramatic role. I was fascinated by Irving conversation with the Reverend. Will Irving be a martyr? Is he willing to sacrifice his life and put his family at risk? It looks like he has a come a long way since he split from Cynthia. Frank is finally getting his life on the right track. He’s patching things up with his family. If he continued proving himself, maybe Cynthia would even give him a second chance. But this Apocalypse debacle changes things. Will Irving withdraw from his family again in order to protect them? The demons flat-out threatened him, so he knows thing will only get worse from here on. Will he try to tell his family the truth? How can he protect them from evil if they don’t know what’s really going on? I’m interested in seeing more the Irvings and how they will evolve as a family.

· Good God Y’all: War is coming! I guess Moloch’s minions are entering phase two of their mast plan. This episode upped the creepy factor. Demons are personally threatening Irving and Moloch meets face-to-face with Crane. In both encounters, their loved ones are threatened. Even worse, their deaths will be Irving and Crane’s fault. Irving got himself involved with the Witnesses, so he brought this deadly fate upon himself and his family. Ichabod now fears that he will do something to personally deliver Abbie’s soul to Moloch. There is no way Crane would willing do that. Will Moloch and his minions trick Ichabod into giving Abbie up unknowingly? Will War force Ichabod’s hand? This was a very heavy and intense episode and that final scene really caused a lot of worry. We’ve seen what Death can do. I don’t even want to imagine how bad it will be when War joins him. What do you think Moloch meant when he said Ichabod would deliver Abbie’s soul?

What did you think of “The Golem”? Did you have any favorite moments? What surprised you the most? What did you hope to see? DO you think we’ll see Jeremy again?

Share your thoughts below and stay tuned for more news!

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‘Sleepy Hollow’ airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX.

Reminder: A new episode of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ airs on Monday, Jan. 13 at 9p.m. The two-part season finale airs Jan 20 from 8-10p.m.

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