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Sleepy Hollow: Sanctuary

Abbie: "To family."
Ichabod: "To finding family."

This was a Thanksgiving episode about family, both the kind we grow up with and the kind we make for ourselves as adults. Well, and a haunted house. And a secret baby plot.

As Lena Gilbert was exploring the house in the opener, the first thing I thought was, this woman is a billionaire and she's never seen a horror movie? I'll give them this, though: that freaking walking tree was scary. The roots dragging Lena into the closet worked, too. And since this was an episode about family trees, isn't it interesting that Ichabod spent a lot of this episode cutting evil roots with an axe?

I'm not a fan of the secret baby plot, but this one was sad. Lonely out-of-time Ichabod discovered that he had a posthumous son that he will never get to know. Unless there is something supernatural and time travel-y about Ichabod's son, and of course, that is probably the case because his birth broke Lachlan Fredericks's witchy protections around the house, with crows smashing themselves against the windows and everything.

I kept expecting to discover that Lena Gilbert was Ichabod's descendant, but no — it was about Abbie meeting her ancestor, Grace Dixon, who delivered Ichabod's son, and wasn't that lovely? Abbie knew how much learning about his son would upset Ichabod, and I liked that she didn't even consider keeping it from him. (I also liked the gentle way she told him.) I wonder what Katrina named the baby? I like the lead on this show so much that I'm starting to think that Ichabod is not such a bad name for a baby boy. Ichabod Junior. Works for me.

(Since I'm talking about names: Lena Gilbert, supernatural family, descendant of the founding fathers? How far are we from Mystic Falls?)

In a nice little complementary plot, we learned that Frank Irving has an ex-wife named Cynthia and a disabled daughter named Macey, and he's about to lose joint custody because he's keeping his daughter at a distance. It sounded like whatever happened to Macey broke them up. Jenny told Macey that her dad was a good guy. That was nice, considering Jenny doesn't have nice things to say about anyone.

I can't decide if it was good or bad that we didn't see our heroes sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner together. At least Abbie and Ichabod had a private drink afterward, and that was nice. Maybe next year.

Bits and pieces:

-- This week's man-out-of-time goodies: Ichabod's critique of McDonalds, and his aghast face when he learned that a person could be a billionaire.

-- At one point I was thinking about Hitchcock's The Birds. At another, I was thinking of Ripley and the flares in Aliens.

-- Lena's bodyguard. Sucks to be him, poor guy.

-- I really like how they keep returning to the cause of abolition and the situation of free African Americans during a time of slavery.

-- In this week's hair report, Ichabod's was out of its ponytail for a good bit of the episode. Well, he did let his hair down to some extent.

-- The scenes in between the walls reminded me of the Supernatural episode "No Exit." A lot of Sleepy Hollow reminds me of Supernatural. The two shows could exist in the same universe, couldn't they? If they weren't on different networks, that is.

-- The next episode airs in two weeks.


Ichabod: "Not that the 'drive-through' wasn't impressive. And despite this establishment's nomenclature, this resembles no Scottish meal I've ever eaten. These (holding up a McDonald's French fry) are from the Austrian Netherlands, for one thing, dreadfully prepared."

Abbie: "Turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, you know, all the stuff the pilgrims ate."
Ichabod: "The pilgrims didn't have any sugar to make a sauce, let alone a pie. And venison, not turkey, was served. It would have been a miracle for a single half-starved pheasant to trot past during such a harsh winter."

Abbie: "What are holidays for if not airing our grievances?"

Ichabod: "I can't fathom how such beauty fell into such ruin."
Abbie: "Or why somebody who dated George Clooney would want to buy it."
Ichabod: "An… an Irishman?"

Haunted houses are not my cup of tea, but the family angle was cool and of course, they did a good job with the material. Three out of four fries from the Austrian Netherlands,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I think it's really unrealistic to portray everyone in flashbacks as being not racist.

  2. I liked the episode overall. It reminded me a lot of Supernatural. And no, it really REALLY doesn't make sense that Lena went into that house in the first place. Especially because she knew that her ancestor was interested in the occult.

    Crows never mean good things.

    The secret baby didn't piss me off as much as the magic baby thing. I always hate that. This baby is the most special baby that's ever been born in the history of babies. I don't know why but that trope always bothers me.

  3. lisam, I get your point, but I don't think they're ignoring the existence of racism. I think they're just showing the abolitionist side. Ichabod said early on that he was an abolitionist, and Katrina was a Quaker; the Quakers were active abolitionists, too. Having another member of Katrina's coven as an avid abolitionist seems believable to me.

  4. I went to the same place you did when the name Lena Gilbert was given us. That can't have been a coincidence!

    Speaking of family, I liked the scenes with Jenny this week. I liked how she included Frank in the dinner invitation and I really liked her conversation with Macey. The sisters are more alike than they let on.

    I have to say that my favorite man-out-of-time moment was "perhaps it's something else from the Amazon." These little quips are so well done, because they are almost throw-away lines. I look forward to them every week.

    And, can we just pause for a moment to reflect on Crane with his hair down… Sigh...

  5. Having finished my marathon, I can now say that I'm glad you encouraged me to watch this show, Billie. It's quite fun and very touching.

    -- At one point I was thinking about Hitchcock's The Birds. At another, I was thinking of Ripley and the flares in Aliens.

    I was thinking of the episode of Buffy in Season Seven when she and [redacted] go into a very dark underground place. The commentary (by Jeffrey Bell?) talks about how they put tinfoil on the cameras so the flashlights would reflect back onto the actors, a trick he'd learned on the X-Files.

  6. This one started out rather lightweight and cliche, but got much, much better as it went along. I loved the reveals about Ichabod's son (which was vaguely hinted at in 'The Sin Eater,' so it didn't feel out of left field) and Abbie being a descendant of the woman who delivered and saved his child. Definitely a lovely, unexpected historical connection. And, as you note, even the stuff with Captain Irving's fatherhood issues felt thematically relevant. My only complaint is that I spent the back half of the episode thinking "I am Groot." (Maybe it would have been scarier if I'd watched it when it originally aired.)

    Superficial note: Katrina looks so much prettier without all the heavy eye makeup. She looked just lovely holding her newborn son.


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