“Even God thought the Devil was beautiful… until he fell.”
A fitting quote for an episode that centers largely on Abbie believing the most in an old friend, one who most see as a monster, and for the beginnings of Ichabod trying to find goodness in Henry, despite him being evil incarnate.
The episode begins with Ichabod being adorably befuddled which, in my opinion, is the best way for any episode of Sleepy Hollow to start. Abbie is instructing him through some yoga moves due to him being wound tight since last week’s revelation of Katrina’s aptitude for lying. He’s in sweatpants and modern clothes, and I wish the show had more time for scenes such as this. Ichabod believes he’d relax better the old-fashioned way: by grabbing a drink.
It’s while they’re out at a bar that they run into a young man, Joe, who was Officer Corbin’s son. Corbin, for those of you who don’t remember, was Abbie’s mentor who was killed in the first episode. She had a close relationship with the family, but now back from being in active duty in Afghanistan, he’s embittered toward Abbie, calling her his father’s charity case. He leaves and she’s hurt, telling Ichabod about how she used to babysit him when he was younger.
While they’re mulling over his attitude change they get a call about something going on out in the woods, and go out to investigate. It’s there they find two dead, mutilated bodies with their organs devoured and Joe huddled by a tree in shock. Joe is brought to the hospital and Ichabod and Abbie get to investigating. They come to the conclusion that the beast was Joe and Joe is a wendigo. A wendigo is a creature that transforms at the smell of blood and can only return to its human form after consuming human organs. So, Joe having been left at a hospital doesn’t seem like a great idea in retrospect.
Abbie and Ichabod find him in the woods digging for a box. However, he transforms after Ichabod scratches himself and tries to attack before Abbie subdues him and knocks him cold. They hold him captive until Jenny shows up to give him some blood stolen from the hospital. Hawley also appears to try and help them find a cure, which becomes more and more necessary as they learn more of Joe’s story. Joe tells them that he received a letter telling him he’d been cursed, but didn’t realize it until he attacked his fellow soldiers. Ichabod and Abbie realize that the curse was sent by Henry and that now that Joe is missing, Henry will be looking for him. Joe tells them that Henry promised him a cure if he found an artifact that his dad buried, which turns out to be an extremely deadly poison. They tell him that Henry is not to be trusted and to not hand anything over to him.
They also learn that his time is running out and the next time he changes, it will be eternal.
The gang gets to cure hunting, and Ichabod and Hawley begrudgingly team up to go, asking a nearby tribe if they know of any cures. Ichabod is able to get the information they need, but it may be too late as Henry finds where Joe is being hidden and forcibly takes him and the poison from Abbie. Henry does what Ichabod and Abbie warned Joe he would do and betrays him, instead forcing him to transform into the wendigo.
Ichabod returns with Hawley to tell them of what they’ve discovered and learns of the dire news. Ichabod and Abbie decide to go and confront the beast together. Abbie holds him off as Ichabod recants the incantation. For a moment it seems to be too late, but Abbie’s belief in Joe, the kid who used to play as superman, pays off as that extra second reveals to be all that was needed as he returns to his human form, saved from the curse.
The B-plotline involves Irving’s further descent as one of Henry’s pawns as he nearly kills the man who paralyzed his daughter but stops himself before feeding into Henry’s plans. Irving isn’t interesting enough on his own to hold my attention, but it does pay off at the end when he manages a call to Abbie to tell him of what’s befallen him, of how he accidentally sold his soul to Henry, a harbinger of war.
I enjoyed this week’s episode more than most of season two due to a few factors. It allowed us more silly, indignant Ichabod, which is always appreciated, and the mood harkened back to season one and the stakes were raised tremendously. We finally saw some of Henry’s plans put into motion, which included him somewhat infecting Katrina with the poison at the episode’s closing moments. It truly set the season into motion, revving up after a few episodes of meandering storylines and redundant character moments. Ichabod and Abbie don’t get their moments of relaxation. They must put a stop to Henry’s plans, but not without Ichabod first getting a try and finding any good that may be left in his son.
A strong episode overall, although I still haven’t warmed to Hawley and am dreading any potential love triangle nonsense they’re setting up with him and the Mills sisters.