Maybe Sleepy Hollow‘s second season has a secret subtitle: Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.
Time has passed over the past eight episodes; our heroes have battled all kinds of things that go bump in the night, from an evil Pied Piper to a Wendigo to, er, some haunted coins. (Perhaps not everything has been equally spooky.) This episode adds another item to the monster laundry list: a sexy Succubus, who finds those burning with secret desires, transforms into a facsimile of the one that they want, and slurps their life force away like a kid with a tall glass of chocolate milk. There’s no doubt that she, like the other residents of Sleepy‘s beastly repertory company, is a cool-looking monster; it’s also nice to see gender equity in the demon community for a change.
Yet the Succubus comes and goes, and the show’s master plot remains basically stalled where it’s been since, oh, episode 2: Henry is scheming and brooding and growing stronger. Moloch’s ascension is getting closer by the hour (but, you know, still hasn’t happened yet). After a brief sojourn into the outside world, Katrina has gone back to Abraham—ostensibly to work against him, but maybe also because she wants to be with her son (and because she just might have a soft spot for ol’ Headless). The show keeps rustling feathers, then returning to square one—and while the hamster-wheel effect may not be a totally unexpected development, it sure is less exciting than the balls-to-the-wall plot propulsion of season 1. Alas, we all knew it’d be too beautiful to last.
That said, “Heartless” does take some baby steps toward actual new story developments—and also draws to the surface a few things that’ve been buried just underneath it. Mainly: Hotley’s hot for Abbie, even though he used to boink her sister. Awkward!
But we’ll get to that. First, the Succubus: She, like everyone else we’ve met this year, is working with/for Henry, who’s storing the life forces she obtains (from a poor bespectacled nerd bro and a lady who’s secretly pining for a female friend) inside the most evil lava lamp he could find in Spencer’s Gifts.
Abbie and Crane don’t know this yet; they do, however, start to figure out what they’re up against after new Scooby Gang member Katrina notes the markings on the victims, which indicate that something’s been sucking their life force dry. It’s exceedingly nice to see the witch finally make herself useful, though Abbie hasn’t quite gotten used to Mrs. Crane’s presence. And to be fair, neither has Ichabod, really—especially when Katrina has an unsettling vision (evil crib, cries of a demon baby), then requests some quince tea to calm her nerves. Why? Because it’s something Abraham gave her once under similar circumstances. Oof; guess they don’t teach tact at the Salem Witch Academy.
The Witnesses plus one put together the pieces of this week’s puzzle when Abbie realizes that Victim #1 was found in the backseat of his own car. Why would he be there? Two options: Either he’s a Lincoln Lawyer, or, he was getting busy when he died. Abbie uses the idiom before realizing that Ichabod probably has no idea what she’s talking about. Ichabod, however, knows exactly what she’s getting at: “Ahhhh, macking. He was macking on a lady.” Hey, turns out watching crappy reality TV can be educational after all!
NEXT: Ichabod and Hawley ask “what is love?”