Sleepy Hollow recap: Whispers in the Dark
Secrets, secrets are no fun — especially not when a wraith is dredging them up.
It’s been two weeks, and Pandora is already at least twice as exciting as the Horseman of Death ever was. What’s her deal? Does she want to unleash evil upon Sleepy Hollow, or does she just want to use dark magic to decorate her cavernous lair? I get that. Pandora is a villain at home in our time; evil is her aesthetic, and she’s making it work. She’s added a skylight. She’s growing a tree. She’s even updated her wardrobe so she won’t look out of place at the local coffeeshop — which she also designed from scratch. That’s how you use untold power.
Her shadowy pet might be harder to explain. Pandora conjures a Dementor-like wraith from her box and takes it into town, where she sets it on a man named Paul Everett. Everett has a secret. He calls the FBI to give it up, but the wraith gets to him first, sucking the secret out of him and draining his life in the process. Since his last call was to the Bureau — and since men so young don’t generally drop dead of heart attacks — the case falls in Abbie’s lap. Crane tags along to help. This is what he does, right? No one will ask questions. And if anyone does ask, it definitely won’t be Abbie’s former flame. Right?
Red alert on the romance front. Since Granger was killed by the yaoguai, the Westchester branch of the FBI had an opening for a new regional chief, and they’ve filled it — with Agent Daniel Reynolds, a classmate of Abbie’s from Quantico. They definitely hooked up, and it was the right call. They’re both beautiful overachievers. But Daniel doesn’t see what Crane is doing here, and Abbie needs a moment, forcing Crane to retreat. As he goes, he makes sure to remind Daniel that he’s well mannered and has excellent vocabulary: “Agent Reynolds, the pleasure is ineffably mine.” Oh, and also he’s living with Abbie. (It’s just until he finds his own place, but if Daniel wants to assume something else, Crane isn’t going to correct him.)
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Outside, Crane senses the wraith’s presence. It’s only for a second — Coffeeshop Pandora interrupts — but it’s long enough to give him an idea that the shadows hold the key. (They don’t let just anyone teach at Oxford.) Abbie runs Everett’s last phone call through a voice recognition program. When she enhances the last bit of white noise, she hears two of his coworkers — and a low, hissing whisper begging for secrets. “I will kill,” it says. Sleep with the lights on tonight, kids.
Crane has heard this before; he remembers it from Grace Dixon’s journals. General Howe, a British officer stationed in occupied New York City, wanted to root out colonial spies, but rather than just send a turncoat into his ranks, Howe literally turned one of them: He bonded a man named Marcus Collins with some demonic shadows, just because he could. When Crane went to retrieve Betsy Ross from Howe’s company, Collins killed two of their fellow spies. Crane and Betsy escaped, but Crane never saw what Collins had become.
Abbie identifies the coworkers on the call as Richard Williams and Susan James. Williams and Everett had discovered an embezzlement scheme planned by the Westchester County comptroller. Susan, the secretary, was helping them compile the evidence. Now that the wraith is on the trail, Susan and Williams are next on its list. Abbie and Crane start with Williams, but they’re interrupted by the wraith, which goes full Dementor on their secrets — and they’ve both got a few. It feeds on everything they keep to themselves, but before it can stop their hearts, Williams speeds off down the road. The wraith hops in the backseat and makes him crash.
NEXT: Landscaping for villains
If Abbie and Crane are going to defeat this monster, they’ll have to think like his owner. It’s all about aesthetic. A shadow can’t live in the light. Channeling his inner modern art museum curator, Crane arranges a ring of fluorescent bulbs in a factory with exposed brick walls. Abbie retrieves Susan, but as soon as she’s safely seated in her circle of light, it starts to flicker. The wraith is in the fuse box. It cuts the power and comes for Crane, whose secret — Howe offered him a deal if he’d name the rest of Washington’s spies, and he was tempted to take it — is almost the death of him.
Abbie intervenes with flares. She prompts Crane to think back to the day Betsy met the wraith; what did she do to get away? Crane remembers hearing her repeat “Marcus Collins” and realizes that calling the wraith by its actual name undoes its power. Betsy’s stilted dialogue saved her life.
Crane calls out to Marcus, naming him again and again until he’s dwindled to just a man. They fight, and Crane impales him with a pipe, yelling that he held fast against the temptation to betray his cause. But even though he made the right decision, he’s still haunted by the moment when he almost made the wrong one.
Abbie knows a thing or two about that guilt. She doesn’t want to talk about the secret Collins almost took from her, but a raised eyebrow from Crane has her spilling the truth. While Crane was away, she tracked down her real father — the man who abandoned their family when Abbie was 6. He lives in Syracuse. She follows him sometimes, but she hasn’t made contact, and she’s not sure she’s ready to take the next step. She hasn’t even told Jenny.
At least one secret is out: With the help of security footage, Abbie and Ichabod now know that Pandora’s up to something. If she knows that they know, she doesn’t care. She’s too busy watering her little tree. I love her.
- If there were ever a reason to keep Joe Corbin out of the loop, his kidnapping probably rendered it moot. An ex-con named Randall nabs Joe in exchange for a Very Important Shard in Jenny’s possession. She gives it up, but Joe wants to go take it back. Go rogue, young Corbin.
- This show does a great job at keeping Corbin’s memory alive — we only knew him in the pilot, but he still looms. His death still feels like a loss.
- “Daniel is a climber” is a great innuendo, but I still don’t trust him.
- “I can walk already. You’re the one with the limp.”
- If Crane wants to have the archives declared a historical landmark, he’ll have to become an American citizen first. This should be fun.
- Crane sings while he cleans.
- “Our first week as roommates and I befoul the kitchen.”
- “I’ve been keeping it super low key lately.”