Sleepy Hollow “Magnum Opus”
Written by Donald Todd
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski
Abbie and Ichabod are playing an iPhone party game of Who Am I? because FBI profilers do it when stuck on cases. They’ve been relentlessly going over her ancestor’s journal for clues about what will kill Molloch, but are still stuck.
“George Washington? He was our liar in chief!” – Ichabod rants when he finds out the Washington tale of never telling a lie.
Katrina calls the pair by mirror to say she didn’t kill Molloch and he’ll be big enough to take over the planet in like two days, so they need to hurry. Then she has to go. She provides enough of a distraction to Ichabod he can now figure out the obscure clues to determine the goal is Enoch’s Sword, which Henry overhears as he’s spying via the same mirror Katrina used. Sleepy Hollow not only is a nexus for every Revolutionary War and Apocalyptic artifact, but it also has a river that is the exact same shape as the “Join or Die” snake from Franklin’s famous cartoon, a river that hasn’t changed shape in 250 years, and reveals the cartoon is a treasure map to the sword, with the sword being located at the mouth.
Yes, things have gotten that convoluted and wacky, which is why Sleepy Hollow packs in the fun. This episode packs in two extra things that help out a lot: A crazy monster, and the Headless Horseman becoming threatening once again.
It’s true this season the Headless Horseman has become the Chump Horseman, spending half his time being tossed around and dismissed by Henry, the rest being played by Katrina. Giving him a head outside of special events was a disappointment, Abraham Van Brunt is too whiny outside of action scenes compared to his Headless Horseman alter ego. When the Headless Horseman was the Headless Horseman, he was a silent threatening figure that you know wanted to kill you. Abraham’s head appearing should only be happening in episodes like this one, where he gets a head due to magic in a cave, allowing him and Ichabod to spar with words as well as sword/axes.
The cave they locate the sword in is guarded by a gorgon, the monster of Greek myth that will turn you to stone if you look at it. To drive home that point, the cave is full of statues of various explorers throughout history that have been turned to stone, including an ancestor of Abbie. The gorgon is a snakelike monster with human arms and a vaguely human face beneath the scales and head of snake hair. That also matches with the snake clues from before, so good job Sleepy Hollow! The heroes correctly decide the only way to defeat a monster who can turn you to stone if you look at it is to use someone without eyes, aka the Headless Horseman.
That also leads to one of the biggest conflictions of plot in a Sleepy Hollow episode, because the other gimmick of the cave is you must know yourself, and your true self will appear. This basically means the Headless Horseman gets his head back, allowing Ichabod and Abbie to see him as Abraham Van Brunt. This doesn’t happen until he defeats the gorgon, which is convenient but also the inconsistent thing mentioned. They could have easily made him immune from being turned to stone because he’s a Horseman of the Apocalypse.
Having the head does let him converse with Ichabod for their war of words, where each one gets in some deep jabs while fighting with each other with actual weapons. We see Abraham’s jealously of Ichabod and his blame of him for stealing everything he had (Katrina, going to the new world, becoming a hero) What is interesting is if the cave is correct and we see the true forms of people, then the true form of the Headless Horseman is Abraham, not Abraham being the Headless Horseman. I don’t know if that will come into play or not (I’m still catching up on the series)
Despite Frank Irving busting out last week, he makes a sparse appearance this week with Jenny trying to drive him to Canada, the pair encountering roadblocks, and Irving hiding in the woods and telling Jenny he’s not going to run, but will stay and fight. That’s actually more of Frank’s character, he’s fought the Headless Horseman and lived to tell, and battled other demons. He doesn’t run away, he stands up.
The episode was a nice mix of questing fun, characterizations getting back on track, and furthering of the overall arching plot. Basically, what we want the series to be. There was some fun lines, such as Ichabod’s “Well….one can never have enough….torches.” said after he explains the complex process he did to make torches, while Abbie just brought flares. And, yes, the torches come in handy in addition to the flares. The ending promises the end of the world next week, but as the world is still around, that probably doesn’t happen. Yet. But Molloch is out and about in full Molloch demon from Legend form, so expect something bad to happen! Until then, stay sleepy!