One of Sleepy Hollow’s finest puns has been reanimated: “Franklinstein’s Monster” is back. And if by chance it’s been too long since you last saw The Kindred — if you’ve forgotten the exquisitely joyful nonsense of it all — there’s a whole “previously on Sleepy Hollow” segment contained in that pun. Franklinstein’s Monster is all you need to know. Ben Franklin played creator and raised himself a patchwork soldier with the help of some witches, and Abbie and Co. raised him again with the help of the Horseman’s head. But it’s almost like Mary Shelley knew what she was talking about: Summoning monsters doesn’t always go as planned.
The Kindred has joined the Hidden One’s ranks and started killing couples who dare to experience the love that he cannot — not that he knows what love looks like. In a cold open that says some really great things about the human condition, The Kindred pulls a man out of a car as he’s assaulting a woman. The woman is so grateful to be saved that she thinks nothing of the fact that her apparent rescuer just ran a man through with a blade and might still be dangerous. When she tries to thank him, he kills her, too. He wasn’t trying to be gallant! He thought he was murdering true love! Chivalry is a dangerous lie, kids.
We’ve got all kinds of cynical definitions of love on tap tonight. First up: love as the idea that I know what’s good for you better than you do. Reynolds, who never handed in Abbie’s resignation, tries to draw her back to the Bureau by calling her down to the site of The Kindred’s latest murders. He has no idea how much trauma she’s still working through. Abbie hasn’t slept properly since she got back, and she’s channeling her PTSD into pop culture references. “You were my Wilson,” she tells Crane, thanking him for keeping her grounded in a world where “time was a flat circle.” Someone really missed consuming media. She also probably missed that confused face Crane makes when he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Crane encourages Abbie to talk about the year (!) she spent in that other dimension, but she assures him that she’s doing pretty well, all things considering.
Facing The Kindred’s handiwork does not help. Abbie backs straight out of that crime scene as soon as she realizes what they’re dealing with, telling Reynolds to assign the case to Sophie instead. It’s not that Abbie’s trying to wash her hands of their creation. She just needs to talk this over with people who get it. Here’s an idea: What if Reynolds were one of those people? Not to argue with the fact that she needs time to recover (she does) or with the part of her that doesn’t entirely trust his motives (same), but it seems like the only option at this point if she ever wants to reconcile her job at the FBI with her role as a Witness.
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The Mills sisters don’t expand their circle of trust without a lot of pushing. Joe learns that the hard way when he encourages Jenny to meet up with her father, an idea she doesn’t love. (“I don’t want to have a latte with my deadbeat dad.”) They’ve both got fair points. On the one hand, this is the closest Joe has ever come to the “I know what’s good for you better than you do” school of love, which is never a good school. On the other, he knows what it’s like to lose a father while you’re on bad terms, and he doesn’t want Jenny to have any regrets. The fact that she’s still carrying her dad’s lighter doesn’t help her cause.
Sleepy Hollow’s Cool Definition of Love No. 2: love as the kind of pain we keep subjecting ourselves to over and over, because it’s in our biology. The Kindred, like all of Frankenstein’s undead creations, is becoming more human over time, hence his desire for a relationship. Franklin’s journals suggest a (typically human) moderating influence: music. The sound of a glass harmonica should help soothe the lovesick beast, so Joe and Jenny break into a theater to steal one. Meanwhile, Abbie and Crane look for the right tune to set the mood. Mmm.
NEXT: Call Mr. Darcy
All set to lure The Kindred into the Masonic cell, Team Witness sets up camp in the tunnels — but Crane forgets his sheet music. (“Zoonds.”) When he dashes back to the Archives, he’s greeted by Zoe, bearer of Cool Definition of Love No. 3: If you think you both feel it, you’re probably wrong. Crane’s relationship with Zoe fell by the wayside after Abbie disappeared, and the gap between them has been painfully obvious ever since they ran into each other at the local garden center. Zoe knows ghosting when she sees it, even if Crane doesn’t.
Ready to put this behind her, Zoe shows up to retrieve a book that she lent Crane. He doesn’t know where it is. Now isn’t really the best time — there’s an actual undead creature waking up around the corner — but Crane is too upstanding to ever ghost someone in person, so he stays to talk it out. There’s a lot to say. Zoe even asked her brother-in-law to help with his immigration, which is by far the worst I’ve ever felt about wanting this relationship to end. Their conversation escalates until the sound of Zoe’s voice echoes through the tunnels, and The Kindred turns away from Joe’s Christmas music and toward the sound of a woman. He grabs her — then, warning that Zoe dies if anyone follows, Franklinstein’s Monster bolts. (Pun definitely intended.)
Could this week’s Obligatory Betsy Ross Tie-In save the day again? Crane and Betsy’s first assignment from Franklin was to hide some “medical supplies” in a wall at the same theater where Joe and Jenny found the glass harmonica. The medical supplies turn out to be a bride for The Kindred. After tracking their monster to the carriage house (It’s back!), one half of Team Witness distracts The Kindred and frees Zoe, who’s conveniently fainted. The other half raises The Kindress from the dead. As the carriage house burns (oh), everyone gathers outside to watch Sleepy Hollow become Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
As soon as The Kindred and The Kindress lock eyes, they lose interest in fighting with anyone else. The two undead creations enjoy a classy meet-cute, complete with deep bows, caressing each other’s faces, and kissing her dead lips to his dead teeth, because he doesn’t have lips. It’s uncomfortable for everyone. This relationship is progressing faster than a Disney animated movie. When you know, you know, I guess. The monsters hold hands and promenade off, at which point Crane finally admits, “That was odd.” You think?
Is this what Sleepy Hollow really thinks of love — that it distracts people from all of their other purposes? If so, the Hidden One agrees. He blows up The Kindred for abandoning his post, killing The Kindress right along with him, and monologues in Pandora’s direction about how “unnecessary partnerships” are a “weakness.” Elsewhere in unnecessary partnerships: Zoe and Crane are finally ready for some closure. He returns her book, and she tells him that she doesn’t think commitment is his problem. He’s just not that into her.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Zoe stick around in a non-romantic capacity, but if this is it, it’s too bad that she couldn’t leave with a clearer understanding of the supernatural side of Crane’s life. (This is why I’m not a Witness; I’d obviously tell everyone.) I know her fainting spell was just the old “Scully misses the aliens because she drops her flashlight” trick, but it sidelined her as a female character when she could have been brought into the fray. As things stand now, she just writes off The Kindred as a huge, disfigured man — which is basically exactly what Crane complained that Temperance Brennan would think of Moloch — and leaves none the wiser.
And now the Witnesses are keeping secrets from each other, too. Abbie cuts her hand during a late-night game of chess with Crane and absentmindedly traces a pattern on the table in blood — the same one she drew on the wall of her cavern. She doesn’t tell her partner. I’m emotionally exhausted already.