Previously on Sleepy Hollow: We learned the absolutely true story of the eternal Jack the Ripper; our man Crane boldly decided to become a legal immigrant; Jenny Mills caught yet another competitive relic hunter stepping on her turf; and “fan favorite” Joe Corbin was, y’know, there.
On tonight’s new episode, “The Sisters Mills”: the season’s best outing so far sees Abbie and Jenny comparing notes over family matters, Crane and Zoe Corinth trading designer emoji, and we’re told Everything You Know About the Tooth Fairy Is WRONG. Tonight is brought to you by guest director Guillermo Navarro, best known as the cinematographer on most of Guillermo del Toro’s films, having won an Academy Award for his memorable work on Pan’s Labyrinth, and helmed half a dozen episodes of NBC’s Hannibal. As you’d expect, this week’s monster looks fabulously disturbing.
For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…
…remember that story your parents told you about how the Tooth Fairy will come to your house when you’ve lost a tooth and buy it out from under your pillow, and it’s a completely benign tradition? LIES. ALL OF IT. Your ancestors should be ashamed of themselves.
This so-called “fairy” has lots of omnidirectionally swiveling joints, disgusting skin issues, and invisibility to grown-ups. It’s actually a Sumerian demon called the Abyzou, known for preying on children and, in the Sleepy Hollow version, collects their teeth like trophies. Then it sucks out their lifeforce or something and leaves them with 48 hours to live. We learn in flashback that an Abyzou once attacked the niece of Crane’s old pal Betsy Ross, Star of All Flashbacks Forevermore. (Ms. Ross bears virtually no relevance to present events, and only showed up in a single flashback in the first two seasons, and yet the show now insists she really truly totally always mattered all the time. I’m thinking later in the season she either (a) time-travels to the present to make Ichabbie ‘shippers cry, (b) pops out of Pandora’s box in some twisted final-boss form as Crane’s new worst enemy, or (c) reveals she IS Pandora, and boy, did Crane make her bitter somehow. Time will tell…)
Little did the Abyzou reckon on the resources of our 18th-century forefathers. The hero that day: Paul Revere, famed midnight rider, professional silversmith, and George Washington’s dental care provider of choice. Revere knew the beast’s one weakness: silver! Silver coins repel it but don’t hurt it; coating it with silver dust reveals and annoys it; stabbing it with silver blades finishes the job. Revere saves the day, the niece lives, and Betsy and Crane decide they’re a couple. And they all live happily ever after. The End.
Fast-forward 250 years: Pandora lets another Abyzou out of her box for fun. It attacks a young girl named Jessica Paynter and leaves her in a coma. Her slightly bigger sister Saffron (Alana Cavanaugh from AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire) tries to tell the grown-ups about the monster she saw, but grown-ups never listen to monster stories, not even in Sleepy Hollow. Fortunately for Saffron, Abbie and Jenny Mills know a little something about being a frightened child with a rejected monster testimony. Adult dismissal is what made the Mills sisters what they are today.
Speaking of adults who suck: for the past two months Abbie has been sitting on the fact that she discovered the whereabouts of their abusive, deadbeat dad who abandoned them decades ago. She’s been agonizing over whether or not to tell Jenny. Tonight she does, and Abbie’s stupefied reaction is priceless when Jenny tells her she already found him five years ago, wasn’t impressed, didn’t approach him, barely remembered him, and got on with living. They take turns with a short game of “Why Didn’t You Tell Me?” before forgiving each other and agreeing they’re better off without him. So that was a subplot almost worth noticing.
Anyway: figuring the Abyzou will strike again, Crane and Jenny visit a school in the Paynter girls’ neighborhood, where Crane guest-speaks to a random class posing as a curator from the fictional-for-now Hudson Valley Historical Society and Armory. The kids are frightened and confused by references to “the threat of the rod”, Washington hemp rumors, laudanum tinctures, and the old wooden-teeth story. A bemused Jenny films his Everything You Kids These Days Know Is WRONG performance with her phone for hilarious posterity. But the ploy works: they discover two kids with loose teeth who might be the Abyzou’s next victim. One never matters, but the other is a boy named Gregory who’s already seen the monster once in his closet but lucked out when it left early that night, maybe because his tooth hadn’t yet fallen out, or maybe it had a hair appointment.
Abbie and Jenny plan to jump the Abyzou when it shows up the next night. Its invisibility shtick complicates their attempt at a fight scene. Jenny makes it briefly visible with a water hose and sprinkler, because the Sleepy Hollow water supply contains trace amounts of silver nitrate, possibly drawn from the same contaminated reservoir used by Pawnee, Indiana. It hates the silver and hates being seen, but the impromptu shower does no harm. In return, it bounces Abbie off a wall hard enough to put her in the hospital and out of the fight, leaving Jenny and Crane to do all the work for the rest of the episode.
Sure, maybe new “fan favorite” Joe Corbin could help, but he uses up his two-scene allotment too quickly — once while he’s on the clock at his EMT job to tell Our Heroes “Hey, there’s this little girl at the hospital who says she saw a monster, you gotta come see”, and once to hang out with Crane and laugh at how much he and Zoe Corinth are texting each other all the time now, one of them having gone so far as to make an emoji of Crane riding a bald eagle while bearing an American flag. Joe pokes fun, but Crane swears Ms. Corinth is just acting as a dragoman (read: tutor) helping him with his immigration papers, and no one should construe anything from their dozens of daily exchanges. So yeah, Joe’s done his hero work for this week.
While Abbie’s unconscious, a visibly shaken Crane assures her, “Your duty in this battle is now to heal. This is not your time, my friend.” Then he’s on the warpath and it’s personal.
Later, Abbie wakes up to the sight of Evil Nurse Pandora.
Crane’s research tells him the Pandora of Greek myth is merely an archetype, that this particular Pandora is one of many and dates back at least to Sumerian times (hence the Abyzou). But in Abbie’s moment of weakness, Pandora talks about her own abusive, deadbeat dad, who believed he was a godly man even while selling her into slavery after beating her. She laments the loss of her “prelapsarian innocence”, hinting that perhaps Sumeria postdates her. Then, lest we sympathize or make cracks about daddy issues, she gloats about li’l Jessica’s impending doom and ducks out.
Before that, Pandora also tries to corrupt li’l Saffron’s view on adult promises, such as Jenny’s tender “We’re gonna get this monster” promise. Pandora hands her a tiny golden baggie as a parting gift. Saffron, smart cookie that she is, doesn’t buy it and sticks with Crane and Jenny for their next plan, which involves Crane again impersonating a curator (putting together an imaginary exhibit called “Forging the Forefathers: The Men Behind the Masters” — sounds haughty enough to be real) and making calls to borrow Paul Revere’s personal bag of dental hygiene tools from the Colonial Raleigh Museum. Either they go pick it up or Fed Ex rushes it over before li’l Jessica shuffles off this mortal coil. At first Crane thinks he’s been cheated because the bag contains what appear to be ordinary old dental tools. Then he realizes they’re interlocking parts that assemble into a fancy pistol that shoots bursts of silver nitrate, much like the flash photography equipment of ye olden tymes.
Thus Our Heroes try one more time. Saffron offers herself and her newly freed tooth as bait, which the Abyzou takes; Crane fires with the silver nitrate gun and turns it visible for several seconds. When that wears off, it’s invisible again and it’s like fighting a Predator. Crane blows a handful of silver dust in its face and reveals it once more, just long enough for Jenny to stab it with a silver poker. The day is saved, thanks to silver!
Crane celebrates with his very first trip to a 21st-century dentist. His cumulative dental damage is so extensive, thanks in part to his fondness for today’s processed sugars, that he has to be sedated with classic dental wacky gas. It’s an old, old joke, but it’s funny because legal drugs! I guess!
Other notes along the way:
* Pandora is still growing blue roses underground for reasons. She briefly flashes a weird tattoo, animal pattern, or other marking on her face that probably means things.
* Last week’s relic hunter played by Jessica Camacho was named Sophie Foster. That’s not mentioned at all till this week, when it barely matters. Her mysterious boss is named Atticus Nevins, and that’s all we get for now. More on them in the future, I’m assuming.
* Before Pandora disappears from the hospital, she refers to Abbie and Crane as “fellow napalutu“, which Crane says means “destroyers”, exactly as it read on the Sumerian “LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW” tablet from the season premiere. So how are Abbie, Crane, and Pandora all “destroyers”? Unless there’s some other language where napalutu means something else like “magic-users” or “adventurers” or “superstars”.
To be continued! Next week: a very special Bones/Sleepy Hollow Halloween crossover! Agent Abbie Mills meets New Girl’s sister and Ichabod Crane meets TV’s Angel! Don’t miss it!
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If you missed any previous episodes of Sleepy Hollow, you can see what’s available online at Fox’s official site, or check out MCC’s own ongoing recaps. Visit our recap checklists for season one and season two, or this season’s recaps linked below for handy reference. Enjoy!