[photos: Tina Rowden/FOX]
It’s the midwinter premiere, and Abbie is still gone. Crane is going crazy trying to find her. He’s hunting in every doghouse, outhouse, henhouse, demon’s lair and mirror. Keep searching, Crane, because there’s a lot missing in the show without her.
Crane (Tom Mison) and Betsy Ross (Nikki Reed) are leisurely strolling by a lovely colonial house; in other words, they are casing the joint, noting how many British guards there are, and when they change the guard. They catch Nathan Hale (Griffin Freeman) peering through a spy glass. Nathan gets thoroughly scolded by Crane and Betsy. She even threatens him with her parasol. Crane reminds him that he only has one life, and tells him he should be patient and not reckless.
This segues into a motorcycle crashing through a wooden fence and being chased by trucks. It’s immediately suspicious that it’s Crane, although it leaves one to wonder when he learned to drive a motorcycle. The fellas chasing him look like they should be occupying a bird sanctuary in Oregon. They go through one of those lovely covered bridges and then the motorcycle plunges off the road and into the water, sinking from sight. The survivalists leave in disgust, and we see that the driver has jumped off the bike and is hiding behind a tree. He takes off his helmet and it is Crane, holding an ancient jug.
Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) and Joe (Zach Appleman) are not impressed with Crane’s booty. He says it’s a Lydian jug. This is a good choice for the writers to use for a magical artifact, as the Lydian hoard has a history of secrecy, theft and curses behind it in real life. On the show, Crane says Orpheus found Eurydice with it in Hell, and there’s another spell he has that will activate it. Crane’s manner is not convincing. He’s running around maniacally. Jenny and Joe try to convince him that he is grasping at straws and after all, it’s been a month. They tell Crane they have a lead on an artifact that might lead them to Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) and therefore Abbie (Nicole Beharie). Ichabod agrees that he needs a respite.
I know where Pandora is! She’s in a rustic old mill with her husband. I like these little touches of New England scenery. He’s whining because he can’t kill off all of humanity and his powers have shrunk until he can only throw old mill wheels across the room. He blames Pandora and she gets a fragment of the box and conjures something to help them. Weird, fake looking light pulses out of the mill.
Ichabod is not resting, of course. He does his spell, which is about bringing wandering spirits home, which sounds ominous. Nothing happens. He is accosted by Agent Foster (Jessica Camacho), who has been tasked with finding Abbie. He gives her nothing. Then we see the jug glowing and a red light spreads from it to the tree that leads to the underworld and a face comes out of the tree.
In the meantime, Joe and Jenny look for a magical map, which is now owned by our old pal Randall.
Agent Foster convinces Reynolds, who is also going nuts looking for Abbie, to take a break at his cabin. Does everyone in law enforcement have a cabin?
Crane tries to deal with frozen lasagna. He throws it in a pan over a fire. I don’t think that’s going to work. He hears a noise. Luckily for Abbie’s house he turns the fire off before looking. “Help Me, Crane” writes itself on the mirror and an arm comes out of the mirror and grabs Crane.
Mirror people are terrifying to me. It made me jump. It left a mark on his arm, sort of a stylized P. He gets woken up by his phone, having stayed up all night at the mirror waiting for it to do something again. Agent Foster is on the phone, accusing him of punking her. She has “Help me, Crane” scratched into her floorboards and the same mark on her arm, mirror image. The only reason that I can think of that Agent Foster is involved is because she was nearby when Ichabod recited the spell.
They conclude that the clue that is important is the mirror. So they get ready to enter a mirror. (Crane has a flashback to Nathan Hale getting caught). Crane ties Foster to him with a rope. I would think that the lighter person should be the one entering the alternate dimension, but Crane has to do it because he is the hero. Sure enough, after he goes through the mirror, Foster has a hard time not being dragged after. But she pulls him back and he has a woman in his arms. It’s a hideous ghoul creature! Not Abbie. She attacks Crane and Foster unsuccessfully and disappears into the tunnels.
Crane is crushed and Foster is shocked. She tells Crane he’s gone too far, but comes back when a body is found that may have been killed by their mirror monster. Crane decides it’s a Japanese vengeance demon, an onryo (Katie Malia), which is usually a wronged woman. This one in particular preys on desperation, which is why it was attracted to him. I think it was summoned by Pandora for him to find. It turns out that Foster’s parents disappeared on a Mayan dig when she was a kid, and she has been looking for the supernatural ever since. Sophie Foster decides that the demon will go after Daniel Reynolds next, due to his desperation to find Abbie.
We immediately find out that the demon was the one Pandora summoned. She mentions to the Hidden One that their ghoul has been heard. He thinks it would be better if she found Abbie, who took the eye with her, and threatens Pandora if she doesn’t find her.
Jenny and Joe go to a storage locker, which they have found from financial info they got about Randall, and get the map which is supposed to help them find Pandora. Randall and his goons show up and Joe is dragged offstage. We hear sounds of a fight and a gun go off. Jenny is horrified but Joe pops up and takes out Randall. Yay, Joe!
We see a figure in Reynold’s cabin and the onryo sneaks up on it. It’s Crane, who blasts the creature with shrapnel from the mirror it came from and wounds it. It runs away and straight at Foster, but Foster’s image is in a mirror and it is trapped in it. It bangs against the glass and Foster shatters the mirror.
Jenny and Joe are in the trailer. Jenny gives him a short speech about her problems with getting close to people and admits she loves him. That is all he has been waiting for.
It turns out that Sophie Foster lured Reynolds away with a false Abbie sighting. He was bored at the cabin anyway. She tells him Crane wouldn’t have done anything to Abbie.
Crane is left alone with his memories of Nathan Hale’s death and his famous line. Alone, that is, until Agent Foster, Jenny and Joe show up. Jenny and Joe have the map and it shows demonic presences, all of whom are converging on Sleepy Hollow.
In a change of scene, we finally see Abbie. She’s in a strange, cave like place.
Whew! A lot happened in this episode. I don’t think very much screen time was spent on the monster of the week. We got to see that Crane will do anything to find Abbie and won’t admit she might be dead. Jenny and Joe finally consummated their relationship. Agent Foster was inducted into the supernatural world and is now working with the gang. And I thought she was going to turn out to be a bad guy, or at least a thorn in their sides. There were quite a few flashbacks to Crane’s past. And almost all of it was a red herring.
Having Agent Foster take Abbie’s place in this episode with Crane and in interactions with Daniel Reynolds made it seem very likely that Abbie would not be back. Crane’s memories of the past all revolved around a time that someone was sacrificed to save the revolution, and no last minute reprieve or rescue happened. No miracles. But this is not true. Abbie will be back. As Jenny said, “Because there’s no alternative.”
Unlike their usual monsters, the Japanese vengeance demon was just as frightening as anything in a Sarah Michelle Gellar movie. The scenes with the onryo in them and the three times that people went into or came out of mirrors were genuinely creepy.
We know now that Pandora’s husband is a wife abuser. He blames all of his troubles on her and threatens her. Why did she want him back? Honestly, I never expected to feel badly for Pandora, but she resurrected him all on her own, at great personal trouble, and this is what she gets? I hope she dumps him.
Lyndie Greenwood, who plays Jenny, was not convincing in her two more dramatic moments: when she told Crane that she did want to save her sister, and when she told Joe she loved him. The character is supposed to be awkward and unattached, not the kind of person who admits to softer feelings, but it just didn’t ring true. If she’s being tough, or practical, she seems fine. This is in contrast to Crane, who can say the craziest of things and is always convincing. Those two scenes were not the finest performances for her.
It appears from the previews that it will be an all out hunt for Abbie in the next episode for both the good guys and the bad guys. Of course, appearances can be deceiving.
Sleepy Hollow is now airing on Friday 8/7c on FOX.