[Photos: Tina Rowden/FOX]
Did you ever watch something that was getting really ridiculous but you enjoyed it anyway? That’s how I felt about this episode. Maybe because there was more comedy in it than usual, or because Crane finally had to say something nice about Benjamin Franklin.
Two runners run through the wood-one just runs, the other leaps over rocks and does cartwheels. It’s not too surprising that she leaps sideways into the trees but the guy is immediately panic stricken and then finds her dead body. He is attacked as well and the camera on his chest records a devilish face, which should lead to some interesting found footage like The Blair Witch Project but as far as I can tell is never mentioned again. The Hidden One (Peter Mensah) and the devilish man thing meet up and the devil bows to the Hidden One.
The Sleepy Gang is having brunch. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) rants about his Eggs Benedict and Kaiser rolls. Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) almost uncovers Abbie’s (Nicole Beharie) shrine but Abbie distracts her with champagne; they are planning to have Mimosas. Abbie gets a call, but is it to visit the crime scene we just witnessed?
No, it’s to visit a scene in an apartment where two antiquarians have been killed with something that has snake venom, wolf’s claws and scorpion venom. This they deduce on the very tiniest of evidence. Crane has heard a rumor of a creature like that, something called the Jersey Devil. Abbie has heard of this one as well. The antiquarians had ancient gold artifacts that have been stolen.
Abbie finds out about the murders of the joggers. From the location Crane connects it to a man he met while apprenticed to Benjamin Franklin, a Dr. Leeds (Charles Aitken). He is there to complain about something Franklin said about him in his almanac. He also says that his electrostatic inducer is better than Franklin’s lightning rod. At least he didn’t say it in a presidential debate. He tells Crane he is apprenticed to the wrong person.
Finding a copy of Poor Richard’s in the archives, Crane finds that Franklin knew that while he was putting together pieces of bodies and playing Frankenstein, Leeds was playing Dr. Moreau on himself. This was already obvious to the audience since the Leeds from the past with the strange grey hair is recognizable as the monster with the strange pinkish grey hair, yellow skin, goat horns and wolf claws that Crane and Abbie haven’t seen yet.
Meanwhile, Jenny and Joe (Zach Appelman) have plumbing problems in the trailer. Joe’s answer to this is to buy Jenny a new trailer.
Abbie and Crane go to the park and find the ruins of Leeds’ place. There is a Franklin stove standing out in the elements. In 1742 Franklin invented a better stove, which he gave to the world instead of keeping the patent. This is not really a Franklin stove, it’s an entrance to an underground alchemist’s laboratory. While looking at the stairs leading down, Abbie tells Crane she went first last time. After going into the underworld to save everyone, I think she gets a pass on going first for the rest of forever.
They look around Leeds’ laboratorium, as he calls it, for a while. They find the symbol, which mesmerizes Abbie, tied to a wax cylinder which is part of an early movie projector. It tells the story of Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) and the Hidden One. He was a god whom the other gods shunned and hid away. Pandora served him and brought him a flower. He gave her the box full of the evils of the world. She used it against his brother, a creature of light, which destroyed him and released the Hidden One.
SO my question is, is this a movie Leeds made with actors? Animation? Or actually a time machine movie projector? Which would be way cooler than a movie making machine that he invented way before it was invented but which he could have replaced with something bought from a store (maybe on Halloween, when no one would have cared about the horns) that was generations better.
Leeds comes home and smacks Crane with his scorpion tail and runs away. It appears that besides being very long lived, he’s impervious to bullets. Crane croaks out the recipe for a cure, which Abbie puts together out of ingredients Leeds has. She then trips and spills the cure. She becomes fascinated with the symbol again while Crane lies there dying. She comes out of it and makes the potion again and gives it to Crane, who lives.
Jenny is furious that Joe has replaced her trailer and is looking for a book that she needs for info for Abbie. Joe put her stuff in the archives. She tells Abbie that Leeds needs “Fire of the Gods” to complete his spell.
Crane and Abbie know that Leeds has to go to a high place to get lightning, the “Fire of the Gods” that he has to have to make the glass and gold he has collected into an hour glass for the Hidden One. They figure out where he is going to be. Leeds is quite surprised that Crane survived being poisoned. Crane distracts Leeds while Abbie stabs him with a lightning rod. Or maybe an electrostatic inducer. Leeds says it was a clever ruse. “I was mentored by one of the greatest minds in history,” Crane says. Lightning hits Leeds and he explodes into a bloody mess. Unfortunately, the materials have disappeared and the Hidden One pulls a fully formed hour glass out of Pandora’s pool. (He also puts a flower in Pandora’s hair.)
Joe brings Jenny’s old trailer back. She tells him not to touch her stuff again, kisses him, and locks him out of the trailer.
Crane and Abbie talk about her obsession with the symbol. She says she needed it when she was in purgatory. He says soldiers need to do what they need to do. They take it way too casually. It’s obvious by now that it is associated with the Hidden One and that it takes Abbie over when Crane needs to be rescued, but they are both pretending it’s something like a heroin addiction.
Thoughts: This is a pretty silly episode. Leeds is an arrogant jerk when Crane meets him, he’s an arrogant jerk when he makes himself into a monster, and an arrogant jerk when he meets Crane again. But doesn’t he at all regret making himself into a monster? With a couple of hundred years to play with, couldn’t he make retractable claws and a face that’s not bumpy and yellow and get rid of the goat’s horns? The horns are completely ineffective. I suppose the snake’s ‘scales’ could have something to do with being bullet proof. But if he could pass as human, he would have had a better life. And he hasn’t been inventing new stuff. With nothing but time on his hands, wouldn’t he? He seems to be perfectly happy staying out of sight and eating the occasional jogger when he says that he worships the Hidden One because he will be rewarded for his brilliance, and when he won’t let Franklin get away with hurting his reputation in Franklin’s almanac. Secrecy is at odds with his narcissism.
And Jenny — yes, I know she’s making a point. I know it’s also establishing that her character cares about combating evil and not about having nice things. But dang, girl, it’s a new trailer! You’re going to regret that next time something goes kablooey on the old one.
I like that they have someone playing Tesla to Franklin’s Edison, although I don’t suppose we will see him again in the present time. I also like that this was an episode that was light on the supporting characters, and had more screen time for Abbie and Crane than we’ve had lately. This episode was the opposite of what we’ve seen recently-they destroyed the monster but didn’t stop the event.
Sleepy Hollow airs Fridays at 8/7c on Fox.