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Sleepy Hollow recap: 'Kali Yuga'

Hawley gets some backstory—though Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship is the episode’s true star.

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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

Tonight’s episode of Sleepy Hollow is brought to you by the letter “F”—which stands for both friendship (hooray!) and Ford (nope nope nope).

Those gratuitous shots of Hawley’s cherry-red Mustang flying down the streets of Sleepy Hollow, inspiring Ichabod to doff his imaginary cap to its exemplary horsepower even as it miraculously never inspired any of Abbie’s comrades to issue a big, fat speeding ticket? Not great, Bob. If you could get past the hour’s blatant sponsorship, though, “Kali Yuga” carried a message that should have been music to the ears of Sleepyheads the world over: Ichabod and Abbie know they’ve been out of sorts lately, and they’re going to do everything they can to shore up their bond so they’re never torn apart by Katrina’s heaving bosom again. I’ll drink to that—especially if it’s scored by a delightfully off-kilter rendition of “Proud Mary.”

That said, the Witness’ relationship is actually not the episode’s primary concern. Instead, “Kali Yuga” foregrounds another one of season 2’s bugbears: Nick Hawley, who hasn’t resonated with viewers quite the way that Sleepy‘s writers were hoping he would. Do you feel more tenderly toward him knowing that he was raised (between the ages of 12 and 18, anyway) by a hot goth lady who’s only, like, eight years older than he is at most? No? What if I tossed in the fact that she used to murder people in Miami—and that she’s also a vetala, i.e. a vengeful spirit out of Hindu mythology who boasts super speed, near-indestructibility, and one killer manicure?

Personally, I’d say all those elements sweeten the pot. And while English actress Jaime Murray’s portrayal of Hawley’s long-lost guardian wasn’t quite oomph-y enough to make the vetala Carmilla Vine (try saying that three times fast) seem like more than a garden-variety Monster of the Week, I do appreciate when the series attempts to broaden its universe—and neglects to wrap things up tidily at 9 o’clock, despite the network’s directive to be more episodic.

But as usual, I’m jumping the crossbow. Let’s take a step back: Carmilla—named, I assume, for one of fiction’s very first vampires—turns up in Sleepy Hollow to enlist Hawley on a mission. She, like him, is a notorious treasure hunter (which, in Sleepy-ese, translates to “white person who steals occult stuff from other cultures”), and she’s currently in need of a Very Important Object: the Bajrayogini statue of the Hindu deity Kali, the goddess of “time, change, power, and destruction.” (Kali is also the star of a very silly chick lit book I read circa 2005.)

See, Carmilla wasn’t always an undead minion of the many-armed immortal; she got transformed into one years ago, when chasing a runaway Hawley all the way across the globe. (Was he running away because he realized that a college junior really had no business taking in a 12-year-old child?) According to Carmilla, gaining possession of the statue will allow her to reverse the curse, transforming Carmilla back into her human self. Hawley accepts this explanation without a second thought. This shouldn’t be a surprise, considering he has, in the past, a) not realized his date was a straight-up succubus until the very moment she started to remove his soul, and b) fallen for one Mills, then transferred his affections to her sister without rhyme, reason, or explanation.

NEXT: A hard Knox life