Sleepy Hollow: “Spellcaster” — Feb. 2, 2015
Theme: The show is finally listening to fan input about Season Two.
Ichabod and Abbie sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Okay, I may or may not have made that part up, but let’s not forget that Ichabbie shippers are still squeeing over this Tom Mison interview and this one. In any case, the show is making it pretty clear that the snoozy Katrina is about to go rogue. Also, we got to see the return of Henry, who is in top form and some stunning moments from Captain Frank Irving.
First Appearances: Solomon Kent (Johnathon Schaech) and Helena Van Tassel (Katia Winter)
Ichabod faces off with evil warlock, Solomon Kent.
Abbie: You really need to work on your trash talk.
Later on, after Solomon’s defeat.
Ichabod: The epithets I hurled at Kent during battle, that was good… good trash talk?
Abbie: Wasn’t bad. But for some real practice, we’re gonna have to take you to a hockey game.
Bloody Hell: The shows opens at a White Plains auction house, where we meet Solomon Kent. Actor Jonathan Schaech is appropriately nightmare-inducing with a massive Pilgrim hat, creeper gait and eerie silence. Solomon performs a blood ritual which kills two extras who get in his way as he’s swiping the mystical thingy of the week: the Grand Grimoire, a book of forbidden black magic. The specifics about Solomon’s mission and misdeeds are more or less irrelevant. Aside from one major moment, He’s significant as a plot device in an episode devoted to foreshadowing major character and storyline changes. You’ll get more details in Solomon’s bio, but for right now here’s all you need to know:
- Katrina identifies Solomon as the warlock all witches fear.
- Solomon was a Puritan minister and benevolent warlock until he accidentally killed Sarah Osborne, a woman he had a crush on. In a panic, he used his powers to pretend that she attacked him with witchcraft, making him the cause of the Salem Witch Trials. Katrina’s grandmother, Helena Van Tassel (Katia Winter gets a double role) urged him to tell the truth, so he saw to it that she was hanged, too. The warlock was subsequently consumed by evil. Sleepy Hollow gets a high-five for dispelling the myth that accused witches were burned at the stake in Salem. That. Never. Happened.
- Surviving members of Kent’s coven tossed his ass into Purgatory, but of course he escaped when Moloch was killed. Apparently, Officer Andy Brooks is the only Purgatory dweller without a hall pass. So vexing.
- At first Team Witness (with a mild assist from Katrina and a mighty heaping of Ichabod jabbing his finger in the air as discoveries unfold) believe Solomon is attempting to resurrect Sarah Osborne. In fact, he intends to travel back in time. Abbie and Ichabod have both seen Back to the Future and are aware of the catastrophic effects of paradoxes and what have you, which could alter the fate of history.
Okay, let’s go.
Witch, Please: Katrina’s in the woods displaying that her powers are “growing stronger.” Kat’s quite pleased with herself; she can make a flower change colors and float in the air. Meh, Willow Rosenberg was levitating a pencil back at Sunnydale High, and she had much less time to practice her craft. Don’t get a big head, Red, you’ll be shown to be a so-so team member by episode’s end.
Witness Represent: Abbie came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum and she is all out of bubblegum. Lieutenant Mills is as over Katrina as the audience and is blatantly shading the witch. I mean our girl is going in. She even reminds Ichabod that “Before Katrina was here, we took down all kinds of supernatural threats without magic.” Preach! For his part, Ichabod is still showing devotion to his wife, as well he should. Solomon’s smug remark about defeating the spellcaster are the last words he ever utters because Ichabod delivers an epic beatdown. It’s so magnificent that I hope we get to see Crane curb stomp someone else. But Ichabod also issues statements about how “Letting go can be difficult.” When Abbie comments about the direction of life, he asks “Do you have a vision of the life in store for us?” That sounds very Team Witness to me, and that’s a duet — not unlike karaoke. Abbie challenges Ichabod to remember that Witnessing is not a 9 to 5 job. In other words, the Crane Family Drama Hour is over. Sidenote: Abbie’s admonishments won’t go over well with certain Ichatrina fans who have been Tweeting about her “tone” and “attitude.” Let’s give those comments side-eye and keep it moving. Back to the episode, it wasn’t all drama, we got that heavy-duty Ichabbie charm and chemistry when Ichabod attended an Open House because Ichabod doesn’t understand how realty works. It’s not a no-cash-down kind of thing.
Buffering, Buffering, Buffering: Some Ichatrina fans yearn to see Katrina “take her rightful place as part of the team.” She just isn’t. Never gonna happen, at least not in the foreseeable future. As part of the Scooby Gang, she is utterly useless and that’s not viewer bias. The show dropped an anvil to show that fighting on the side of good is not her role. Aside from a whispery telling of Solomon’s backstory and her mystical floral arrangements, Mrs. Crane did very little to help. Apparently she’s an iPhone and her power consistently runs out of battery. From the very beginning, I found Katrina to be suspect and was under the impression that upon her release from Purgatory, she would soon be revealed as the Big Bad. Finally, there were obvious hints. Solomon said she couldn’t defeat him because she’s on the “wrong path” and advised her to embrace the darkness. It only took a minute for Katrina’s eyes to glaze over in white. We all know that means trouble.
Something Wicked This Way Comes: Remember that brief scene in the Pilot when Orlando Jones turned to the camera with the “Captain Irving is secretly evil” face? Well, prophecy fulfilled. After winning back Abbie’s trust and joining Team Witness in the battle against Solomon, Irving took some time alone to break Solomon’s neck and make him disintegrate (Somehow, Frank can do this using one foot) he grabs the Grimoire and pretends that it also was destroyed. OMG, guess who’s back, you guys? It’s Henry. John Noble returns to play Parish as he was portrayed in Season One, simmering and enigmatic. He’s holed up at a low-rent motel whittling (His model includes a tiny Moloch, which is symbolic and hilarious.) Now that he’s no longer Moloch’s bitch, he’s got plans of his own — and tremendous power. He manages to give some thugs violent deaths just by waving his hands. He reunites with Irving in the woods and they shake hands. Henry has a newsflash, he’s no longer the Horseman of War. We were promised the Apocalypse, Show, but okay.
Cliffhanger: Back to Katrina. At the end of the episode, Crane and his “Leftenant” go out for beers — alone — because Katrina is “resting.” The moment they leave she emerges from the other room with the white eyes and much more menacing flower arranging. Now this is the show!