“Sleepy Hollow” 11/19/2015: Sumerian Gothic


“I got a rock.”

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: a Norse monster pack tore each other apart; Pandora summoned her evil husband into our plane of reality; Jenny got powers but was summoned to the Dark Side; Sophie Foster, relic hunter, stood revealed as Agent Foster, FBI; and “fan favorite” Joe Corbin got kissed, pretty much his career highlight.

On tonight’s fall finale, “Novus Ordo Seclorum”: Pandora stands by her man, who’s not Anubis! Ichabod Crane goes to college! Joe is tempted to get tough! And when the dust settles, one of our cast members is gone!

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…

…so apparently the mysterious hooded figure with a sickle that Pandora summoned wasn’t the Egyptian god Anubis, even though the Shard of Anubis has been quite the discussion piece all season long, and the guy keeps claiming it as his own. But no, his true name stands revealed as a “god” called Etu’ilu (Sumerian for literally “dark god”, no specific figure attached to it), though he also goes by “The Hidden One” despite how his very entrance into the world and this show belies the whole “hidden” aspect. But “The Revealed One” sounds less intimidating, and both “The Ancient One” and “The Chosen One” are taken.

Anyway: Pandora and The Hidden One are husband and wife, reunited at last in the same time zone. Mister One arrives looking like an average decaying mummy, but luckily for him his powerful binding stone has embedded itself in Jenny and turned her into his personal battery charger. Most of his scenes are spent waving his hands over her and sucking out all the CG energy in hopes of revivifying himself and then destroying all humanity, who spent millennia spoiling “his” planet in his absence and really upsetting him. Pandora loves her man and she’s on board with crushing us wee bugs.

Naturally Our Heroes have a problem with this. Fortunately before Jenny was drawn out of safekeeping, in her mesmerized state she scratched Sumerian graffiti all over the columns along with a drawing of the Eye of Providence, the creepy pyramid from the back of the American $1 bill that sits atop a banner reading “Novus Ordo Seclorum”, which means “New Order of the Ages” and can refer to any random conspiracy of your choice. Jenny’s bizarre impulse art project reminds Crane of an essay his old colleague Benjamin Franklin kept in the most classified Masonic Order text of them all, a volume considered too sacred by the Master Masons to keep on any well-guarded bookshelf along with all the other sacred texts we’ve seen throughout the series. No, this one has to be stored someplace special: inside a secret room at an Albany college frat-house whose hidden door could’ve been triggered by chance anytime within the last 250 years just by a drunken teen leaning on the wall in just the right way.

Our Heroes drive two hours north from Tarrytown to Albany; locate the frat; start a massive free-for-all when Crane interrupts a kegger with a poorly timed “Tubalcain” secret Masonic handshake (surprise! Crane learns not all frat brothers are Masons! Who knew!); find the secret room undisturbed and free of dirt, dust, or spiders; find the tome; and flip to the story they need. The article, written by famous silversmith Paul Revere (Dustin Lewis), chronicles the tragic tale of when his nephew Jonathan Revere (Richard Kohberger) stumbled across a funky staff containing the stone and found himself in the same predicament as Jenny. In his case he sacrificed himself before anything nefarious could come of his possession. In his time of great sorrow, Paul melted down the staff into a secure container for the stone — an ugly metal Pokeball later renamed the Shard of Anubis.

This gives Crane an idea: get the Shard back, hold it over Jenny, suck the stone back out of her, save the day. Point of order here: if Joe Happy Helper had thought to mention hours earlier, “Y’know, the stone was fine when we kept it inside the Shard, but the problems began once it got out,” I like to think Crane might’ve been smart enough to think of this same plan without requiring a four-hour road trip to achieve identical results. THANKS, JOE.

Abbie is presently on the outs with her commander ex-boyfriend Agent Reynolds, but is still on payroll enough to return to FBI HQ, enter the completely unmanned and unsecured evidence room, and break the law retrieving the Shard from storage where it’s being kept as part of the Augustus Nevins investigation. Nevins was taken into custody last week by undercover Agent Sophie Foster, but this time he has only a few chances to talk tough before Pandora shows up dressed as a policewoman wearing her badge on a chain like Flavor Flav and murders him for touching her precious monster-box. She also slaughters some agents along the way, surprises Abbie, reminds her of that time she let Jenny get condemned to a mental asylum when they were kids, and vanishes. So technically the Shard isn’t needed as evidence against Nevins anymore, but there are some legal issues here nonetheless.

Since she’s already in deep anyway, Abbie also grabs Nevins’ copy of The Yngling Saga, the Old Norse storybook that Sleepy Hollow insists is a spellbook (because Everything You Know About Old Norse Sagas Is WRONG), which Nevins used last week to summon the three berserkers from Pandora’s box. This bonus treasure item gives Crane a wicked idea. While they’re gearing up for the final battle, Joe Boyfriend contemplates using the Grimoire of Lycanthropic Curses to become the ferocious Wendigo once again and save his gal Jenny. Crane tells him no because human honor, but cheerfully trusts him with a giant Aliens Colonial Marines gun and some grenades instead, obviously the less problematic way to become a true Hero.

Abbie prepares for the fight in her own way: she turns in her FBI badge and gun when Reynolds demands a single truthful answer from her one time too many. Reynolds refuses to turn in her resignation but feels obliged to call a mysterious superior (named only “Walters” by the closed captioning), inform him of Abbie’s decision, and refer to her creepily as “the asset we were cultivating”. That’s right, fans: Everything You Know About Agent Daniel Reynolds Is WRONG. But his story is left hanging there for the time being, his motives not yet fathomed. He also pauses to let Agent Foster tell him Abbie placed a large order before she left, requesting night-vision gear and heavy ordnance. The looks they exchange show doubt that they’re gonna get any of their official FBI property back intact.

After one last heart-to-heart pep talk between Crane and Abbie for the Ichabbie ‘shippers out there — honestly, it’s the episode’s best moment — it’s time for the final showdown at Mr. and Mrs. Sumeria’s evil underground lair! While Joe Rambo distracts The Hidden One from his Jenny-leeching with some useless explosions, Abbie confronts Pandora. Her usual opening gambit of shooting lots of bullets doesn’t faze the Sumerian goddess, but Crane has better luck surprising her with a mortal stun-gun shock that leaves her senseless for a few key moments. While Abbie holds the Shard above a helpless Jenny and waits for it to vacuum all that glowiness out of her, Crane whips out The Yngling Saga and tries to summon evil monsters out of the box and to the rescue, presumably on the assumption that they’d simply obey his every order and not murder him first. Pandora recovers and engages him in a test of wills for control of the box — ancient sorceress who owns the box versus non-wizard guy with a borrowed spellbook. Somehow they’re evenly matched for more than three seconds.

Abbie completes her part of the final boss battle first before Crane can summon a single monster and before Joe can inflict a single point of damage on the Hidden One. With the power of Not-Anubis successfully tucked back inside the fragments of the now-shattered Shard of Anubis, Abbie realizes there’s only one way to save the day and it’s something she has to do for herself: she walks with the Shard inside Pandora’s dimension-hopping tree and vanishes.

The tree explodes. The Sumerians vanish, screaming. Pandora’s box seemingly disintegrates in the blast. Crane, Jenny, and Joe Punisher are knocked around pretty hard but still breathing. The tree is smashed to bits.

Crane is aghast. His greatest friend of all time, his Leftenant Mills, is gone. They have no idea where she went, no idea how to find her, and no idea all that FBI equipment was borrowed and needs to be returned.

To be continued!

Sleepy Hollow will return in February on its new day and time, Fridays at 8 p.m. Eastern, part of that Death Row cell block where Fox traditionally sends its genre shows to die. Come join us in wishing it a really slow farewell!

* * * * *

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!

10/1/2015: “I, Witness
10/8/2015: “Whispers in the Dark
10/15/2015: “Blood and Fear
10/22/2015: “The Sisters Mills
10/29/2015: “Dead Men Tell No Tales
11/5/2015: “This Red Lady from Caribee
11/12/2015: “The Art of War

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