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Sleepy Hollow recap: 'The Vessel'

A nasty demon possesses a passel of Sleepy stars in turn, including the adorable Amandla Stenberg

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Brownie Harris/FOX

Sleepy Hollow

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, John Cho, Katia Winter
Mystery and Thriller, Crime, Sci-fi and Fantasy

Repent, my fellow Sleepy Heads, for the apocalypse is almost upon us. By that, I’m referring to Sleepy‘s first season finale, which comes just one week hence — a mere five months after Ichabod, Abbie, Jenny, Irving, and a murderers’ row of demonic hellbeasts first came into our lives. (Oh, and Katrina, I guess. Katrina’s in there somewhere too.) Then we’ll have to wait until September to get our next fix. It’s not exactly a 250-year nap, but still: what have we done to deserve such a cruel fate?

Ah well. At least season one’s pen-penultimate episode — next week, we’re getting two whole hours of show; huzzah! — was a cracking example of Sleepy at its best, borrowed Exorcist imagery and all. (Thank Moloch poor Macey never got her hands on a cross; I couldn’t have handled seeing Rue defile herself a la Linda Blair.)

Honestly, I think everyone would have gone home happy even if tonight’s episode had ended at the three-minute mark. Why? Because the hour opened with an image both awesome and terrible to behold — something monumental, breathtaking, powerful enough to stop an entire fandom in its tracks.

I’m speaking, of course, about Ichabod in skinny jeans. I repeat: Ichabod in skinny jeans.

Like all beautiful moments, our glimpse of Crane clad in modern-day garb — sorry, finery — was all too fleeting. Who has time for a chick flick-style shopping montage when there’s evil afoot? Specifically: Our Monster of the Week is a particularly nasty demon named Ancitif who has the ability to jump from human vessel to human vessel. (Like most of Sleepy‘s nasties, his name and backstory come from an “actual” historical incident, in this case a series of possessions that supposedly wreaked havoc on a French convent in 1647.) You may remember that this latest fiend threatened Captain Irving in the park during Sleepy‘s last episode, while housed in the body of a perfectly normal-seeming guy.

But Ancitif isn’t content merely to play a never-ending game of Evil Leapfrog. No, he’s got bigger plan, ones that involve George Washington’s all-important bible — which somehow holds the key to averting Armageddon. (No, the answer is not “just release Deep Impact two months earlier.”) Because he’s apparently too busy to look for the damn book himself, the demon instead elects to draft Irving as his courier — and if Irving doesn’t cooperate, Ancitif plans to spirit Irving’s daughter Macey to a hell far worse than a Hunger Games arena. The demon relays this message to the police captain via phone call, sounding for all the world like an up-and-comer auditioning to play the killer in Scream 5. For good measure, he also writes “THE BIBLE” in disappearing blood ink on the precinct’s wall. It really ties the room together.

NEXT: Possession and Persuasion