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Sleepy Hollow: The Sin Eater

"Order from chaos."

Best episode so far. It got to me.

And not because Ichabod nearly died, because he's the star of the series and I was relatively certain he'd survive. It got to me because this particular episode showed that he was an even better person than we knew. His sin wasn't that he couldn't save someone's life, even though he did his best. It was that he couldn't change his mind set and an entire lifetime of loyalties fast enough to save someone's life. That wasn't a sin. It was a regret, and one that has haunted him.

The Revolutionary War flashbacks were also the best so far; I'll admit I've found them a tiny bit tiresome in the past. Maybe it was Ichabod in a red uniform and a prissy wig. No, of course it was his crisis of conscience. Who wouldn't feel bad for Arthur Bernard, a.k.a. Cicero? He had such a sweet face, such a dignified manner. He even managed to pull off a white wig. Who looks good in a white wig?

Arthur Bernard recognized Ichabod from the moment they met, and even knew that Ichabod would cause his death. Katrina and Ichabod knew each other when they met, too. We learned (we didn't know before, did we?) that Katrina was a Quaker nurse as well as a witch, making her so much cooler. Witches were working with freemasons under General Washington. Wow.

As Ichabod and Katrina met for the first time, and Ichabod came to a crisis of conscience because of his demonic captain's treatment of Arthur Bernard, Abbie and Jenny were connecting beautifully while tracking down the sin eater. It was touching to watch them so simpatico after such a long period of estrangement. Although the Ichabod/Katrina scene when he came to her and fell into her arms was sweet, Abbie staying with Ichabod when he was going to kill himself was better. Their connection feels a lot stronger to me. Their hug was better, too.

As I was watching the opening credits, I let out girlie shrieks twice — James Frain (shriek!) and John Noble (shriek!). And they both turned out to be good guys! How did that happen? I hope this isn't a one time gig for either of them.

At least I think they're good guys. James Frain was trying to save the world by kidnapping Ichabod and helping him kill himself. His intentions were good. Probably. Since Frain has an exceptional acting range, maybe they can keep him around and let him turn evil or something.

John Noble's Henry Parrish was a bit more interesting. He was so obviously sick of the evil he'd absorbed, so much so that he might have missed the raison d'etre of his entire existence, which was sanctifying Ichabod Crane. They did some interesting things with Parrish's eyes: going Supernatural demon black, the glinting off his strange glasses, etc. And the scene where he became Arthur Bernard was lovely. If they bring Parrish back, and I hope they do, here's hoping they rethink his hairstyle.

One brief comment about the opening scene. Being an American is comfortable and familiar to Abbie. She grew up here, she likes baseball and apple pie (well, baseball, anyway). Ichabod had a completely different life and death experience that made him an American, quite a contrast. I liked that Ichabod is actively trying to fit into the 21st century, even if he still has to work on the details.

Bits and pieces:

-- The annoying Beetlejuice-esque credits are gone! The saga sell is still there, though. Which is fine.

-- Abbie was listening to my namesake, Billie Holiday, in the car when she had the vision. Why was there baby paraphernalia in the Crane house? Did Ichabod and Katrina have a child? (And did you notice the world's ugliest doll?)

-- It's touching that Ichabod spends his free time at Katrina's grave. Katrina's maiden name was Van Tassel. Dutch? [Note from later, now that I've listened to Tom Mison narrating The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, yes, I forgot that she was Ichabod's love interest in the Irving story.]

-- James Frain's character was a descendant of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence.

-- We got the "hand thing" again when Parrish stabbed Ichabod's palm.

-- I was thinking that "Sleepy Hollow Sheriff's Department!" outside your door doesn't sound quite as intimidating as, say, "NYPD!"


Ichabod: "Open your eyes, sir! You, the basket face. I thought only horses slept standing up!"
Abbie: "Good. Feels good. Exercise your right to free speech. Next time, wait for the ump to make a call?"

Captain Irving: "You know, there are two things in life I believe a person should hold on to as long as possible: virginity and skepticism. Surprisingly, I already lost the first thing, so I'm going to hold on to the second one for as long as possible."

I just realized that the Sleepy Hollow police captain was named after Washington Irving. Wake up, Billie.

What do you say? Is it too early to give an episode four out of four masons?

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


  1. Katrina Van Tassel is the name of Crane's love interest in the original story. He disappears before he can propose to her, though. Also in the story, Sleepy Hollow is part of a Dutch settlement in New York State. :)

    John Noble was a little too Walter Bishop-y for me. I wish he and/or the director had made a different choice there. It's always weird seeing James Frain in modern clothes.

  2. I like this show, but I don't love it. I kind of have a hard time getting really into it... and it should be right up my alley. I need to get attached to the characters to start loving a show, and so far, it hasn't happened. And I really could do without Jenny. I don't know if it's the actress or just the character, but she's not working for me. Lucky for them that Tom Mison is so adorable as Ichabod, that's what has kept me watching so far. And I like the history angle in the show (even though I'm Canadian, not American!).

    But the monster aspect of things is not really drawing me in so far. As I told sunbunny a few weeks ago on Twitter, Supernatural and Grimm already give me enough monsters for my tastes, so Sleepy Hollow feels kind of superfluous.

    It was actually funny seeing James Frain appear on Sleepy Hollow this week. *Spoilers for the first two episodes of Grimm season 3* His recurring character was just killed off on Grimm (if he's really dead, who knows with these shows!), and the week after he's there on Sleepy Hollow!

  3. I realized the other day that of all the shows that premiered this fall, this is the only one I am still watching -- and I love it. And, it's not just because I can watch Tom Mison for an hour every week. Can we just pause and reflect for a moment on that man in a red coat? Hmmm…

    What I really liked about this episode was the juxtaposition of seeing Crane/Katrina begin their relationship at the same time as we saw Crane/Abbie begin to realize what the other means to them. I agree, Billie, that the connection with Abbie seems stronger and more real.

    I agree with sunbunny that Parrish was a bit too like Walter Bishop for me, but I would like to see him again. James Frain was amazing as well, but I withhold judgement just yet on what kind of person he may turn out to be.

    Finally, I thought the baseball opening was a nice touch as the show has been on hiatus so we could all watch the World Series. I like it when shows acknowledge the world in which they broadcast.

  4. Definitely the strongest episode of the season so far, no question. LOVED the baseball scene at the beginning :)

    Pleasantly surprised to see the group who abducted Ichabod turn out to be good guys, at least so far. Seems a little too easy to give Our Heroes so many allies this soon.

    John Noble is always wonderful to see, but I agree he was a little too Walter Bishop-y. I half expected him to mutter something like, "Back in the 70's, Belly & I developed a machine that could extract the sin right out of a person and into edible form!"

    LOVED getting more of the backstory, of both Ichabod and the War in general. And it was nice to see them get back to the Headless Horseman after a few "Monster Of The Week" episodes.


  5. I thought it was interesting that Parrish sopped up Ichabod's sinny blood with a chunk of bread. Simpler and more symbolic than some CGI sin-sucking scene.

  6. When I saw the "chunk of bread" and the dark blood/wine, I thought of "communion wafer" and the sacrament of the Eucharist.

  7. Definitely the best so far. It was so meaty that it made it hard for me to immediately call to mind anything from the previous episode, even though I watched them back to back. Just so much good material this week. And no credits! Yea! A permanent change, or just special for this week?

    The notion of Katrina as a Quaker had me hooting with laughter. Her head was covered all modest-like, but she sure was flaunting the cleavage. Ha! I did like the concept of the Quaker witches and freemasons working together though.

    I, for one, did not care that John Noble was Walter Bishop-y. Part of the reason I came to this party was to see John Noble do what John Noble does best, so woot! :)

    Also, Craig Parker (shriek)! As a huge fan of Spartacus, I was delighted to see him reprising his evil ways here. And since his demon self ran off into the woods, he might even turn up again, too.

    The song playing in the car definitely caught my attention. It sounded like "God Bless the Child," which coming right before the appearance of the baby carriage (and "the world's ugliest doll") certainly doesn't strike me as a coincidence. "Mama may have, Papa may have, but God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own ..."

    I find Captain Irving fascinating. He's sort of part of the team, but kind of outside it. Despite holding on to his skepticism, he's usually willing to actively help Abbie. After his little scene with Morales (was that this episode or last one?), and bland blonde cop's suggestion that maybe he knows more than they do, I again started wondering if he's more involved in the mythology than it might appear. Especially since his name is Irving!


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