Sleepy Hollow recap: Incident at Stone Manor
Abbie's not in Kansas anymore.
Forget the Archives; let’s have the well that brought Abbie and Crane home declared a historic landmark. Sure, some might argue that it’s “on another plane” or that it exists “outside time,” but if Abbie didn’t let either of those technicalities stop her, then neither should we. Sleepy Hollow just gave Nicole Beharie the showcase she deserves. I feel like there’s no coming back from this — and I never want to.
For everyone but Abbie, it’s been one month since she stepped into that tree. For Abbie, it’s been 10. Time works differently where she is — and since the sun doesn’t set, and she doesn’t need to eat or sleep, it’s time that’s the problem here. As the monotony eats away at her, Abbie keeps madness at bay by playing a game of chess with (who else?) the Crane who lives in her head. We should all be so lucky.
Back in Sleepy Hollow, the actual Crane, who lives in his own head, is trying to get out of it — literally. He’s built a “Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe thing” to take advantage of a planetary convergence, during which time his spirit can leave his body and travel to different planes of reality as an astral projection. That’s the second best thing about this episode: how often everyone says “astral projection” like it’s nothing.
The spell requires a series of totems from Abbie’s family, so Jenny, using Joe as a distraction, breaks into her father’s home and steals his lighter. Nice to meet you, Ezra Mills. We’ll talk more later. Armed with the lighter, a necklace, and Grace Dixon’s journal, Jenny recites a spell that sends Crane into the great beyond, tied to his body only by the flame of a candle. He has until the candle burns out to find his partner.
If Crane runs into any dead ends when he first crosses over, we don’t waste our time with them, and I could not be happier about that. We’ve seen Crane stumble around in the darkness looking for Abbie; now it’s time to get her side of the story. Abbie doesn’t stumble. She does, however, play chess. Deep in game 1,072 (conservative estimate), Abbie hears Crane call out for his “leftenant.” His spirit comes to her — flickering at first, but she pulls him in by thinking about their bond. Have you ever, at any point, not wanted Abbie and Crane to get together? Enjoy having your opinion changed by this episode.
The usual “thanks for tracking me down in this hell dimension” pleasantries are exchanged, but, as is their way, the Witnesses waste no time getting down to business. There’s a puzzle in front of them, and they have to solve it. Reading the hieroglyphics on the wall, Crane figures out that this was the Hidden One’s temple and that he was called here using the Eye. The Eye, then, could bring Abbie home — but if she brings it back with her, the Hidden One gets what he wants.
And that’s exactly how Pandora likes it. Pandora follows Crane’s astral projection (now they’ve got me doing it) to find him with Abbie, promising to show her how to get home in exchange for the Eye. Abbie figures pretty quickly that she holds the cards in this situation — as a projection, Pandora can’t touch her — but she doesn’t account for the fact that Pandora’s projection can touch Crane’s. Pandora severs Crane’s connection to his body, leaving his soul to roam for eternity unless Abbie gives her what she wants.
NEXT: The sword in the stump
Abbie weighs the odds. She admits that she’s come close to madness in her time here, and she might cross that line in the future. Nicole Beharie lets just one tear fall, just to remind you how good she is. And then Abbie smashes the Eye with a rock — because the one mad decision that she can’t stand the thought of ever making is the one that would put her needs over anyone else’s. Pandora, obviously upset, leaves her to her fate. More time passes. It might be a lot more.
But Abbie still hears Crane’s voice in her head, and their ability to “work things out together” is about to save her life. She remembers Crane recognizing the sword that she found on her first day in this world; it used to belong to Betsy Ross. If Betsy’s sword wound up here, then Betsy might have, too — and she got out. You heard right: Betsy is the key. It was all an Obligatory Betsy Ross Tie-In this whole time! And it’s so beautiful that I can’t even be mad at it.
Abbie returns to the old tree stump where she first found the sword and puts together the evidence in front of her: Betsy rappelled down a nearby well using a vine that she’d tied to the tree, held in place by her sword. Abbie does the same. Before she descends, she calls out to Crane, whose now-unseen spirit still hovers around her calling out “leftenant” like the worst game of Marco Polo. She’s not going alone. If her partner needs a totem, he can use her.
Abbie comes back into our world through a lake, conveniently located within walking distance of the Archives — where Jenny and Joe are just back from an adventure of their own. They trapped a gargoyle in cement with Sophie’s help. It was fun for everyone. Now back to Abbie. She walks through the door just in time to find Jenny and Joe puzzling over the mystery of Crane’s burned-out candle (coming soon to a Nancy Drew series near you), which should have awakened him from his trance. It didn’t.
Abbie hugs her sister and fills everyone in on what they missed, then takes Crane’s hand, reminding him that she told him to stay with her, and he’s going to. The candle lights again, and Crane wakes up. “I heard your voice,” he says. “I followed.” They’re still holding hands — a connection that means even more after watching them interact without touching for a whole episode. Abbie cries, and it looks like things are about to get really serious, but Crane lightens the mood with a joke about chess. Back to business as usual? Maybe, but I’ve never wanted them to make out more than I do at this moment.
- It deserves to be mentioned again: Nicole Beharie owns this episode, committing to Abbie’s grief and trauma even in the way she moves. There’s something sharper to her, but there’s also the sense that she could break at any time.
- “I meant what I said before: You’re always here with me, ever since we first met. There’s no explaining it. Two people could not be any more different, but we work things out together. I know exactly what you would say: ‘Come now, leftenant. If there is an eternity before us, let’s face it with chin held high.’”
- I can’t believe that this episode was so good that Jenny went after a gargoyle with a sledgehammer and it’s just a bullet point.
- The Hidden One has taken Pandora’s strength. She might be blind. We’ll figure that out later.
- “Uh, yes and no. He’s released his astral form on a journey to find Abbie.”
- “And what, Jefferson was a hologram?” “He told you about that?”