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Sleepy Hollow recap: 'Root of All Evil'

There’s a corrupt coin polluting the people of Sleepy Hollow—one with a (sort of) surprising connection to a famous Revolutionary figure.

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Sleepy Hollow
Fred Norris/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

There’s only one show that could get a “Benedict” trending—at least, one whose last name isn’t “Cumberbatch.”

Of course, because we’re talking about Sleepy Hollow and not, like, Turn, an hour focused on Benedict Arnold alone would never do. No, “Root of All Evil” also found ways to incorporate Judas Iscariot, the 30 pieces of silver he was supposedly paid for betraying Jesus, the Revolution-era counterfeiters known as “shovers,” a gay Prussian general, Benjamin Franklin again… and Nick Hawley, the newest addition to the Sleepy family. That’s right, ladies: This tall drink of water is sticking around, at least through the first half of season 2. And just when you thought the eye candy on this show couldn’t get any sweeter.

After a gangbusters finale, a reset-button-pushing premiere, and a second episode that functioned as the season’s real beginning, “Root of All Evil”—the fourth episode of season 2 shot, but the third to air—had a tricky job to do. Namely, it serves as Hollow‘s return to the good old Monster of the Week format: Something weird is happening in Sleepy Hollow. Abbie and Ichabod investigate, only to find that the bad stuff is caused by a demonic force tied to Crane’s colonial past—and only he and Mills (and maybe an auxiliary Scooby Gang member like Jenny or Irving) can stop it. Oh, and along the way, we’ll get at least one scene of Ichabod interacting amusingly with the modern world. Fin.

For an episode that follows this formula to a T, “Root of All Evil” did manage to do a lot of things that’ll show dividends as the season progresses—including introducing Hawley (swoon) and delving deeper into the story of Abbie and Jenny’s mother, who’s bound to become more and more important. Just as vitally, it also revealed that Ichabod’s a closet Gleek. (Who do you think his favorite cast member is? I’m gonna guess Rachel. “It’s not Miss Berry’s fault that she’s more talented than her cohort! Why must they continually toss those frigid beverages upon her?”)

So yeah: As the name implies, tonight’s MacGuffin is a wicked Tyrian shekel—not to be confused with one of Tyrion‘s shekels, which are much less evil but much more likely to have passed through a whorehouse at one point or another. The innocent-looking silver coin, originally housed in Judas’s infamous bag of silver, has the power to bring forth the darkness within any person, tempting them especially toward betraying the thing they hold most dear—making a devoted bank teller turn against her longtime place of employment, for example, or a mild-mannered florist turn against his father. Or a Revolutionary War general turn against his nascent nation. Or, perhaps, a mental patient with a gun turn against her formerly estranged sister.

NEXT: More like Nick HOTley, amiright?