“Sleepy Hollow” 12/9/2013 (spoilers): What Ever Happened to Baby Crane?

Henry Parrish, John Noble, Sleepy Hollow

Henry Parrish looks at Rupert Giles and laughs, “Now THIS is a reference book!”

Tonight’s new episode of Sleepy Hollow, “The Golem”, spoils a little of its own mystery in the title alone. Regardless, you’ll never see a few twists ahead in an overstuffed episode that covers the secret origin of Baby Boy Crane, an interview with Katrina’s jailers, the return of John Noble as the sin-eater, and your vocabulary words for the week, “gumplefik” and “gongoozler”.

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers.

Last time around, our man Ichabod had learned the hard way that 200+ years ago he and Katrina had a son he never knew existed. Thus does the 18th-century tale unfold of the baby that would be called Jeremy Crane:

Katrina didn’t know she was pregnant until after she buried her husband in the wake of his near-fatal duel with the Horseman. Thus she has an excuse for not mentioning the baby back then; for failing to mention him in the first eight episodes, she falls back on the old line about “protecting him”, which makes no sense if the kid’s actually dead. So…is he, then?

Anyway: Katrina was traveling in Europe when she received the diagnosis, while seeking aid for the war on evil. Before she could seek proper prenatal care, she was accosted by members of her own coven, a quartet of representatives from the Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart who call themselves the Four Who Speak as One. (I feel like I just wrote the opening line to a young-adult fantasy novel.) They sought to punish Katrina for having “altered the ordained path” in secreting away Crane’s remains. Betrayed by her own coven, she sought refuge at Lachlan Fredericks’ protective manor (see last episode), where she gave birth to baby Jeremy, and — again, in the name of “protecting him” — left him in the care of Fredericks’ servant Grace Dixon (Abbie’s descendant, also from last week) and her husband Joseph, a pastor at one Trinity Church.

Unfortunately, Katrina’s witch skills manifested in li’l Jeremy at too young an age. His first display of pyrokinetic power runs amuck, burning their home to the ground and killing both Dixons (presumably leaving at least one child alive to continue the family line on down to Abbie, then?). Jeremy winds up at an evil orphanage where flogging is part of the curriculum. After one whipcrack too many, Jeremy turns to his favorite doll — a handful of burlap stittched into a vaguely humanoid shape — and, with the aid of a drop of his blood, upgrades it to a full-on killer golem that dispatches his oppressor off this mortal coil. (Shades of “Jeremy spoke in class today.”) At this point Jeremy was no longer an accidental murderer, and his life was fast on its way to relocating in that spooky-childhood neighborhood of The Twilight Zone between “Living Doll” and “It’s a Good Life”.

Alas, Jeremy’s rebellious kill-spree was cut short by the Four Who Speak as One, who caught him ahead of all other manhunters that were on his trail, placed a hex on him “stopped his heart” (as they cagily put it), and buried him in secret, not unlike what Katrina did for Ichabod. So by the turn of the century, that’s the entire Crane family in the ground, all thanks to Moloch’s machinations. It remains to be seen if Jeremy follows suit so that Mom and Dad will have the chance to welcome him to the world of tomorrow.

Fast-forward to today: after Crane spends an afternoon chopping wood to relieve stress (in the spirit of other wizened figures such as John Adams and Tsar Nicholas II), he concocts a plan to learn his son’s final fate with a little help from Henry Parrish (John Noble again!), the sin-eater who helped sever the blood connection between himself and the Horseman. Since Parrish’s ritual involved summoning the spirit of the Revolutionary ex-slave-turned-poet codenamed Cicero, Crane calls on home for more assistance in talking with the dead, by which we mean contacting Katrina in Purgatory. Parrish admits he can do it, but needs Crane as close to death as possible in order for the connection to take hold. So Parrish begins strangling him.

Presto! Crane pops into Katrina’s limbo, which takes the form of Trinity Church, and convinces a frightened Katrina to divulge what she knows about Jeremy. She reveals what she knows up to the point where her own coven burned her at the stake. (No mention is made that burning witches at the stake was largely the preferred witch-disposal method of the French. Here in America, with one exception (Giles Corey, crushed under piled stones) we hanged our witches. Leave it to the Sisterhood to favor French culture over ours.)

While he’s in the neighborhood, Crane happens to notice an ominous baby carriage carrying what we later learn is Jeremy’s doll, which also appeared briefly in Abbie’s vision when she met Katrina the other week. Crane’s intrusion unfortunately also awakens Jeremy’s golem, which the Four had also imprisoned in Purgatory. When Crane exits, the golem also breaks free and enters our world, all muscular and covered with stitches, played like a silent Frankenstein’s monster by Derek Mears, whose resumé includes stints as Jason Voorhees, a Predator, and Community‘s Kickpuncher.

A visit to the Sleepy Hollow Historical Society yields a little more research, plus the cold shoulder from a lying librarian named Miss Hudson (Kathleen York), whom they don’t get the chance to interrogate because her clean getaway is rudely interrupted when the golem crushes her car with her in it. The effects they recover from the Historical Society after her passing include a box with the coven’s seal. Contents include Jeremy’s doll, some drawings, and waves of psychic childhood pains that Parrish can feel trapped inside, and from which he gleans more of the story. Parrish is also randomly reminded of Psalm 139, in which King David sings of how he was once “unformed” until his Creator gave him shape and defined who he was — “fearfully and wonderfully made”, as it happens. Too bad young Jeremy wasn’t quite in the same Creation league.

Four Who Speak as One, Sleepy Hollow

Two of the “Four Who Speak as One”, which would make them the Two Who Speak as One-Half. I think.

The librarian’s effects also point them in the direction of the Four Who Are One, still alive and employed by a traveling circus whose nationwide tour fortuitously has them performing at nearby Dobbs Ferry, which is five miles south of Tarrytown in our reality. What amazing luck. If they were performing in Oakland, this would’ve been a much longer, very different episode.

Thus Crane comes face to face with his wife’s captors. They gleefully violate the standard fiction rule of three witches per story; they have shark teeth; and when one smokes a hookah, another exhales for her. They fill in the remaining gaps in Jeremy’s story and prophesy their imminent demise. Moments later, the golem arrives and knocks over their tent, sloppily and unconvincingly fulfilling the prophecy, and then proceeds to smash up some carnival props. The casualties include a funhouse mirror, yet another modern object to perplex Crane, especially when a mirror shard lodges in his side. Between him and Parrish, they discern that a curse that began with blood needs to end with the same blood. Jeremy’s samples may not be handy, but Dad’s suffices. When the golem refuses an offer to surrender quietly, Crane stabs him once and ends the curse. The golem shrinks back into its original doll form, leaving one heck of a mess for Our Heroes to explain to Dobbs Ferry authorities.

This time, though, Captain Irving isn’t around to cover for them. He spends this episode moping about the fact that all of this supernatural warfare may require some martyrs, probably even himself since he’s not the star of the show. A visit to a Catholic preacher (David Fonteno, who’s been a judge on both Law & Order and The Good Wife) only yields the kind of trite, unhelpful dialogue typical of Hollywood minister characters whose writers know nothing about the Bible except what other Hollywood productions taught them. Irving peps up a little more after visiting his ex-wife Cynthia and daughter Macey (who both debuted last week — a busy episode, that was), whose wheelchair infirmity we learn was the result of being hit by a car. One has to wonder what the odds are that the season finale will tell us that This Was No Random Accident? Those odds become a near-certainty when a father/daughter walk in the park runs afoul of a hot chocolate vendor possessed by Moloch just long enough to threaten Macey’s well-being when she’s not listening, and enough to make Irving look insane when he lashes out one second too late after Moloch’s already switched hosts.

Final scenes: Parrish agrees to join their cause officially because it gives him purpose and someone ought to do it. Crane and Abbie relax and share a moment of Christmas cheer. When Abbie leaves the room to fetch food, Moloch sucks Crane into the nearest mirror for a quick chat to share two tidbits:

1. Another prophecy: “A saint’s name is a sign.” When Crane notices something like that, he’ll know the war has truly begun.

2. Moloch wants Abbie’s soul…and Crane will allegedly be the one to deliver it to him.

On the non-prophetic tip, this week’s fun random trivia:

1. Crane attributes the town’s 1655 founding to Dutch lawyer Adriaen van der Donck, who gave it a different name and died not long after.

2. The archaic word “gumpelfik” means “fidgety and restless”.

3. The also archaic word “gongoozler” refers to unhelpful watchers.

4. Eggnog was originally called “egg and grog”, but was renamed over the years by no-good sloppy Americans with no respect for proper etymology.

5. Crane doesn’t get Christmas trees or stockings, and 19th-century Scrooge jokes are wasted on him.

To be continued! But not until the show returns January 13th, because once again holidays.

* * * * *

If you missed a previous episode of Sleepy Hollow, the last few episodes can be watched online at Fox’s official site, or MCC recaps are listed below for handy reference. Enjoy!

9/16/2013: “Pilot
9/23/2013: “Blood Moon
9/30/2013: “For the Triumph of Evil
10/7/2013: “The Lesser Key of Solomon
10/14/2013: “John Doe
11/4/2013: “The Sin-Eater
11/11/2013: “The Midnight Ride
11/18/2013: “Necromancer
11/25/2013: “Sanctuary

4 responses

  1. This is my favorite show right now, and I’m so happy I found your blog thanks to the brilliantly clever title. It’s a thorough recap and covers moments I might have missed while blinking!


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