Sleepy Hollow S01E04 – “The Lesser Key of Solomon”
Sleepy Hollow “The Lesser Key of Solomon”
Written by Damian Kindler
Directed by Paul Edwards
This was my favorite episode yet of Sleepy Hollow, it had a well-written reconnection of two family members that both loved each other but had very different goals and lives. There was also a conspiracy of evil Germans, historical WTFs, a mystery, police doing actual police work, crazy demonic stuff, and plenty of cute little scenes. If Sleepy Hollow keeps this quality up, it will be an amazing show.
Since last week, Sleepy Hollow has been renewed for a second season, which means there will be at least one more year of me staying up late at night on Mondays furiously typing notes as my family begs for attention and I scream “NO!” Yes, the title of the series is true, I will be sleepy and will be hollow from lack of interaction with loved ones. Kidding! Like most of my writing, it’s all done after everyone else is fast asleep thanks to the power of being an insomniac.
Sleepy Hollow has taught us that the only Hessians we should ever trust are the Hessians with no Aggression as seen in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. There being a conspiracy cult of Hessians are great, because it allows Sleepy Hollow to have creepy German villains without making them cliched Nazis.
The opening of this week’s Sleepy Hollow jumps right into the historical conspiracy angles. The Boston Tea Party was actually a distraction created by Ichabod Crane and his men to retrieve an artifact guarded by an explosive Hessian soldier. I like that for once I can write about the tea party and it’s not referring to a bunch of racist fuckbuckets.
This Revolutionary Era revelation is followed by a cute recanting of true love over time by Ichabod with scenes of him and his trapped in time wife, which is revealed to be a story he’s telling car service Northstar representative Yolanda as gratitude for explaining the entertainment system of the vehicle he’s waiting for Abbie in. Yolanda is in tears, this is golden. We’re also picking up right as last week ended with Jenny having just escaped, Abbie informing Ichabod of this fact.
Abbie manages to convince Captain Irving to give 12 hours to find Jenny before it goes to a nationwide warrant.
Jenny is incognito dressed as the Unabomber. If you are trying to be inconspicuous, don’t dress suspiciously! Jenny gets supplies from the bartender at the amazingly named “BAR GR”, which she had stashed away in their safe.
A guy with demonic voice calls a piano teacher to inform him that Jennifer Mills has escaped and is after Item 37, that the Piano Guy should get Item 37,and a cleanup crew is on the way. Piano teachers get these calls all the time, that’s why you never trust your piano teacher.
Piano Guy and his cleanup crew backup go to bartender (and know him by name!), torturing and murdering him to get info on Jennifer.
Abbie explains her foster past to Ichabod quickly because she doesn’t like to talk about it. Basically dad ran off, mom eventually had a mental breakdown, and Abbie and Jenny were shuttled off to foster care – Abbie being not labeled crazy was in one home, while Jenny was passed around like a hot potato.
Jenny has tons of money and passports and guns in her bag – and newspaper clippings of her sister.
Captain Irving and Detective Luke Morales (Nicholas Gonzalez) are called in on the murder of the Bartender at BAR GR. His headless body is impaled on the wall, while the head is on the pool table in a pool rack. Captain Irving immediately knows this killing is different from the Headless Horseman – no cauterized wounds, the head was cut off after the fact, and the man was tortured first – but also wants this off radio. It’s cool seeing Captain Irving both be an awesome cop and be sensible on how to handle another weirdo murder in his town.
Abbie and Ichabod talk to Jenny’s last foster mom, who is one of those bad foster moms that goes through dozens of kids to collect the checks while the kids live in squalor. Abbie threatens her enough to get information about a cabin, while the foster mom bites back with digs about how Abbie was a terrible sister.
At the cabin by the lake, Abbie reveals her lockpicking skills.
“Imagine the delinquency we could perpetrate if we really put our minds to it!” — Ichabod says, in an awesome quote that I just quoted because that’s what you do with quotes.
Shock — it’s Sheriff Corbin’s cabin! That Abbie knew nothing about. Also Abbie and Jenny are now pointing guns at each other and arguing. Ichabod breaks through the family reunion enough to get Jenny talking. She reveals that Sheriff Corbin sent her to go find rare objects, which is why she’s been all over the world. She knows she has to get an important object – a sextant. Ichabod has seen the markings on the cover of the sextant before…
Ichabod then explains the back story that it was on the device Washington sent them to steal and they used the Boston Tea Party as cover. It was a rumor that it was a weapon that would let the British win the war, but all Ichabod knows is that it was a stone chest with markings on it. Also the Revolutionary War hadn’t started yet, but la la la…
The crazy Hessian blows himself up, everyone is dead except Ichabod, and the stone chest is hidden away without Ichabod knowing what is inside.
And we go completely National Treasure bonkers with the revelation that the sextant is a projector of a map of Sleepy Hollow from the 1770s and marks where the chest is buried! This is the type of crazy adventure stuff that I like.
No time to bask in appreciation, Piano Guy and Cleanup Crew are attacking with guns! They grab the sextant, but the heroes manage to capture Piano Guy.
Piano Guy has a tattoo – The Mark of Reinhessen – Shadow Warriors – 5th Battalion. It’s the same tattoo the Headless Horseman has. And it means he’s a Hessian! Hessian Piano Guy rattles on about 72 demons trapped by the Lesser Key of Solomon. The Lesser Key of Solomon is a legend of book of black magic written by King Solomon that will let the trapped demons into our world. Supposedly the book was found by knights during the Crusades.
Abbie refers to sleeper cells of Hessians and asks who his boss is. Hessian Piano Guy knows all their names because Blurry Demon From Legend told him. At the same time, the police lead by Captain Irving and Detective Morales have tracked Piano Guy to his home and bust in, finding all sorts of creepy witchcraft stuff in it. Yes, Captain Irving and Det. Morales did real police work and found related evidence even if they don’t factor into the story. It shows these characters are not just dummies but are also smart and capable even if they aren’t the chosen ones to fight the demons.
Hessian Piano Guy bites down on a cyanide pill and dies, but not before saying “Moloch shall rise!” Besides throwing around knowledge of Milton’s Paradise Lost, this also names Blurry Demon From Legend as Moloch, and thus we’re going to switch over names from now on.
Ichabod can just redraw the map because of his photographic memory – if the sisters stop fighting long enough for him to do it! Oh, sisters, I know you’re doing it on your own, but let a man draw a map! Nice use of the photographic memory, by the way.
One of the bad Hessian guys is tasting concrete while looking for the stone chest/book. This allows him to find it hidden in a fireplace. The two Hessians unlock it with blood and talk about Ars Goetia – Damn, that “Somebody I Used to Know” song has been around that long??? Soon a fountain is spewing flames and liquids and demons are writhing around it.
Jenny has weapons training because she’s been all over the world fighting evil warlords. That’s why she handles a gun like the trained professional Abbie. Ichabod can use a gun because….he used a musket? Okay, maybe his photographic memory lets him use a gun better.
The three attack the two Hessians as the fountain brews the demons. One demon looks like Gollum! Some mild action and suspense here, but luckily tossing the magic book into the pit of fiery goo is what you need to do to deactivate the magic. Evil stopped, Hessians also tossed into the pit so no worries about them or their ranting German.
The sisters chat a bit as they reconnect but are still punishing each other while making up. You can’t fix everything in a day, but they’re still connecting and all that stuff. It’s better written than I made it sound, like two relatives beginning to heal but aware that there are years of mistrust and bitterness that the need to get over. Abbie is going to help Jenny get out of institutions in a few months (though Jenny doesn’t sign the papers on camera…)
Ichabod then whips out Milton’s Paradise Lost and starts quoting from it, for those of you who didn’t recognize it right away. I haven’t read it in years and maybe I should refresh my memory. This shows going to test my Bible quotes knowledge which is about 15 years out of practice. Heck, even the Mills sisters were slinging Bible quotes around (their mother drilled them into their heads before she was hospitalized.)
Here’s to next week! Keep up the good work, Sleepy Hollow!