Jenny and Abbie's father enters the picture as Abbie takes a surprising turn.

By Kelly Connolly
February 27, 2016 at 02:07 PM EST
Tina Rowden/Fox
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As far as Sleepy Hollow villains go, the Hidden One isn’t at the top of the heap. He’s a god, so his only weaknesses are the really boring ones, like pride and an overreliance on silk bedding. Even his title is empty: the Hidden One. With a name like that, of course he isn’t relatable. He can’t even understand why Pandora misses her powers, and he was in the exact same boat just a few months ago. In his mind, his pain was and is so much worse than anything Pandora has ever endured — but he’s willing to change that.

Tired of Pandora’s moping, the Hidden One grants her a fraction of her original powers back. Now, like him, she can know what it is to be so close and yet so far. “You wish to be my equal,” he says. “Then as I suffer, so shall you.” And then it all becomes clear: the Hidden One isn’t one of those ordinary monsters and demons. He’s a god. He’s not a character; he’s the writers. As the Hidden One does to Pandora, so the show does to our heroes: It spreads the pain.

High on the list of Types of Pain That Everyone on Sleepy Hollow Must Experience, you’ll find, “Realizing you didn’t know everything about August Corbin,” “Being let down by your father,” and, classically, “Demon possession.” All three are in play tonight as Atticus Nevins returns to town. After watching a creature kill a cop who’d cornered him in the woods, Nevins texts Abbie to meet him at the dead body. (Fun fact about this town: 75 percent of meetings take place at dead bodies. Maybe more.) Nevins insists that only he can help stop the creature, but Abbie isn’t sure that she believes him, so she locks him in the Masonic cell and lets her friends question him for a while first.

Nevins claims that he first saw the creature when he was serving in Iraq back in 1991. He and some of his platoon buddies, Corbin included, heard about a stash of gold in a nearby cave and went to check it out. The creature interrupted them, setting Corbin on the supernatural quest that would define the rest of his life. Team Witness argues that none of Corbin’s files say anything about this creature, but — surprise! — those file cabinets have hidden compartments. I’m honestly disappointed that no one figured this out before.

The files reveal the creature to be an ancient Mesopotamian demonic ghoul that can only be controlled by a golden scarab. Suspecting that Randall might have the scarab, Sophie and Joe head to the criminal’s warehouse to do some digging, but they’re proven very wrong when the ghoul shows up and sticks his hand through Randall’s chest. Before it can kill Sophie and Joe, the creature is called away by a high-pitched signal — which is sort of a good news/ bad news situation. Sophie and Joe are spared, but Abbie and Crane are about to be in the line of fire.

Nevins is the one controlling the ghoul; he’s got an open wound in his stomach thanks to Pandora, and he used it to stash the living, crawling scarab beneath his skin. Enjoy your nightmares. Nevins has the ghoul break him out of his chains, lets it absorb the scarab back into its chest, and sets the creature on Abbie and Crane. And so, in a fight that really should be scored by a fife and drum corps, the Witnesses and the ghoul fight their way around the Archives. Crane uses a Betsy Ross flag as a weapon. This is why we are all here.

NEXT: Target practice

As the fight moves outside, Crane figures it out: The scarab is the ghoul’s Achilles heel. Abbie, still traumatized and off her game, is worried that she can’t hit it, but with Crane’s life on the line, she makes the shot. The ghoul falls, Crane and Abbie exchange a meaningful look, and Sophie lightens the mood by asking if all of the monsters they fight are this ugly. Moloch would be so disappointed in her standards.

Down in the tunnels, Joe corners Nevins, but Nevins has already cornered Jenny. While his father’s old friend holds a gun to Jenny’s head, Joe tries to reason with him, suggesting that they both know what it feels like to want August Corbin’s approval more than they’re willing to let on. Nevins doesn’t surrender himself, but he does spare Jenny’s life before he runs off, leaving Joe to cradle Jenny in his arms. You like that? Try this: Back at Jenny’s trailer, she curls up on top of him on the couch like it’s nothing, and they brag about how good they are at demon hunting. This is their bedroom talk.

The conversation gets serious when it turns to their fathers; Joe still wishes that he could tell his dad how much he admires him. Jenny wishes the same thing, but not because she can’t talk to her dad. She’s got that part covered. Thanks to a push from Joe, Jenny accepts her father’s invitation to meet at a local diner. Ezra says most of the right things: He’s sorry, he wants to listen, and he needs Jenny and Abbie to know that it’s not their fault. But it still feels like there’s something he isn’t saying, and it still feels good to hear Jenny rip into him.

Abbie has other concerns. When she sits down with her father after the case is done, she gets right to the point, grilling him on the details of her mother’s illness. “When she began to unravel,” Abbie asks, “what were the first signs, and how fast did it come on?” She’s not asking for fun. Abbie keeps seeing that symbol from the other world everywhere — she even hallucinated it in the office during an FBI briefing. Ezra explains that it was like her mother was living in two worlds; Abbie knows the feeling. He offers to help his daughter through whatever she’s going through, but she tells him that she’s already got people for that.

Now she just has to talk to them, and not about sandwiches. After making fun of Crane’s dinner, Abbie sends her partner off to prepare a place for them both at the bar; she just has to finish a bit of “work” before she joins him. Sure. As soon as Crane is gone, Abbie takes her journal with her to a shed out back. Hidden behind a tarp in the corner of the room is that symbol on the wall. Abbie touches it lovingly, then kneels and folds her arms. “You saved me,” she says. “I’m yours.” The symbol is scribbled on every page of her journal.

Reasonably, I know I should be tired of this. We’ve done a possession storyline every season, sometimes more than once. But Sleepy Hollow must exist in that underworld, because even when it repeats itself end over end, I’m just not tired. Let’s do this.

Doughnut Holes:

  • Reynolds’ superior strikes a deal with Nevins to get one of Corbin’s old files, then kills Nevins rather than give him the safe passage he promised. Is the whole FBI going to turn out to be this corrupt? That might actually make Abbie’s life easier.
  • “That’s the way the Mills women kick off: crazy and alone.”
  • A month ago, Crane couldn’t even microwave lasagna, and now he’s preparing Italian feasts. It’s amazing what the return of your partner can do to your cooking abilities.
  • Reynolds didn’t mean to use the word “love” with Abbie. Too late!
  • E.T., which apparently concerns a diminutive being stranded far from home.”
  • “I refuse to be taunted by his blatant apathy.”
  • “Looks ghoul-size to me.”
  • “The bald boy with awful luck? Good grief.”
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    • 09/16/13
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