SLEEPY HOLLOW Recap: 'Magnum Opus' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SLEEPY HOLLOW Recap: ‘Magnum Opus’

November 25, 2014 by  


Does anyone else feel like this season of SLEEPY HOLLOW just got started? Abbie and Ichabod finally have a lead in the fight against Moloch: her ancestor’s journal, which could contain a weapon strong enough to cut down the demon. Everything is moving in one direction again. A sense of purpose looks as good on this show as it does on our Witnesses.

The War

While Abbie and Ichabod search Grace Dixon’s journal for clues, Katrina appears in a mirror to tell them that Moloch has grown too powerful for her spells. He could be at full strength any day now. Her message opens a portal that Henry uses to spy on the Witnesses as they decode a note Grace left in the journal. It leads them to an ancient Hebrew text, the Book of Enoch, which tells the story of a man who used a sword to kill a thousand demons. It also leads them to a map — which, in true SLEEPY HOLLOW fashion, is hidden in plain sight in the history books of America.

Getting clever with reflective surfaces, Ichabod realizes that Grace drew a picture of the “Join or Die” snake, America’s first political cartoon. The snake follows the shape of a nearby river, and this time, it’s the tongue that marks the spot. Abbie and Ichabod are off to find it, but the Book of Enoch leaves them with a warning: if they do not know themselves completely, they will die. Abbie doesn’t back down. This is her legacy, and completing her family’s mission will bring meaning to their suffering, not to mention hers.

The map leads them to the old brick structure that Abbie dreamed about when she saw her mom. Thanks to Henry’s eavesdropping, Headless isn’t far behind. He makes his way to a circular symbol on the wall, but he’s distracted when Abbie makes a noise behind him. Ichabod rushes in to draw Headless’s fire for a few minutes, which is all the time he needs for dawn to break. Headless retreats, and Ichabod celebrates upgrading his old flip phone. Timing a sunrise down to the minute has never been more important.

Abbie describes the circular symbol to Ichabod, and he identifies it as an Ouroboros, which stands for the connection between heaven and earth: “As above, so below.” Taking it literally, Abbie and Ichabod find a trap door beneath the building, following a flight of stairs to a chamber of old stone soldiers. These aren’t statues. They’re actual people, frozen to stone at the sight of a monster called the Gorgon. Abbie and Ichabod rush out without looking back.

The enemy of their enemy might really be their friend right now: Headless can fight the Gorgon without seeing it, buying them time to locate the sword. Abbie and Ichabod gather supplies — he painstakingly crafts two torches, while she grabs a couple of flares — and they wait. Right on cue, the Horseman arrives. As soon as Headless is engaged with the monster, Abbie and Ichabod sneak into another chamber. It’s full of swords, but like any good Indiana Jones adventure, it’s a test. They might only have one shot to choose the right weapon.

While Abbie considers the options, Ichabod fights Headless, who — thanks to the magic of the chamber — suddenly has Abraham’s head for all to see. Abraham accuses Ichabod of stealing his life; it was his idea to come to America, and Katrina was his fiancée. Ichabod counters that Abraham brought it on himself when he chose to serve Moloch. If this chamber asks you to know yourself, then it seems people are defined by their choices. Abbie chooses incorrectly. All of the swords in the chamber turn to snakes.

Convinced that the sword was a lie, Abraham aims his gun at Ichabod. He insists that he chose this life; he wants to be the Horseman. He leaves to follow Moloch’s call. Ichabod worries that he can’t see the sword because he doesn’t know himself, but Abbie reminds him that he’s a patriot and a hero who just kept his head with a gun to his chest. He was willing to die for his ideals, and that means he knows what he stands for.

Ichabod thanks Abbie and tells her that he sees himself most clearly through her eyes. That gives him an idea: according to the prophecy, those who don’t know themselves will perish when they attempt to see, and the only reflective surface in this chamber is a fountain. Realizing that it’s actually full of oil, Ichabod tries lighting it with his lamp, but it burns out. Fortunately, he and Abbie have something that none of the other sword-hunters could claim. They have each other. Together, their two lamps are enough to light the oil, revealing a glowing sword within. They have what they need to stop Moloch.

Across town, Henry summons Moloch’s followers with the sound of a trumpet while Katrina watches from inside the house. A circle of fire surrounds two posts in the yard; it looks like someone is done waiting for Katrina to change sides on her own. She might be in for a demonic wedding.

The Key Players

Everyone in this town has been at least a little bit helpless for most of the season. Irving lost his soul, Katrina was captured, and the Cranes continued to insist that Henry was powerless against Moloch’s influence. Now, suddenly, choice is everywhere. If we accept that everyone has a decision to make, and that our choices define us, then we also have to admit that Henry was the architect of his own downfall. It’s time for him to face the consequences.

Irving is also ready to make a stand this week. He’s on the run with Jenny, who’s shuttling him across the border to Canada (and just when I was starting to worry that this show had forgotten about their glorious chemistry). When they hit a checkpoint, Irving runs into the woods and promises to meet up with her later, only to leave a message that he isn’t coming. He’s going to lay low, but he’s also going to fight.

The Witnesses

“It is through your eyes that I see myself most clearly.” It is through your eyes that I see myself most clearly. Just keep repeating that. Abbie and Ichabod are more certain of each other than they are of themselves. Whenever one of them questions their call, the other is there to offer reassurance. They were each chosen for a reason.

Now that she’s made peace with her mother, Abbie is feeling pretty secure in her mission. It’s Ichabod who doubts himself, because he can’t even be sure that he chose anything about this life. It was Abraham’s idea to come to America, and it was Katrina’s spell that brought him to this century. Now, Katrina seems to keep choosing Abraham over and over again. Abbie knows what it’s like to feel helpless, but she asks Ichabod to believe that he’s worthy. She definitely thinks he is. No matter what brought him here, he chooses every day not to give up. At least we know that Abbie and Ichabod have each other’s backs as they head into battle with Moloch.

What did you think of the episode?

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One Response to “SLEEPY HOLLOW Recap: ‘Magnum Opus’”

  1. Eliseo Siangco on March 21st, 2015 10:19 am

    An extremely intriguing examine, I may not agree completely, but you do make some extremely legitimate factors.