TV Recap: 'Sleepy Hollow' Episode 106 - 'The Sin Eater'


sleepy hollowSleepy Hollow Episode 106
“The Sin Eater”
Teleplay By: Alex Kurtzman & Mark Goffman
Story By: Aaron Rahsaan Thomas
Directed By: Ken Olin
Original Airdate: 4 November 2013

In This Episode...

Abbie takes Ichabod to a neighborhood baseball game. He decides to walk home, and stops by Katrina’s grave. He is shot in the neck with a tranquilizer dart and abducted by a man who puts a black hood over his head.

That evening, Abbie is driving home when she starts to doze / hallucinate. She is in the creepiest of creepy haunted houses, long abandoned. The Horseman is there, and chases Abbie into a room where she finds Katrina. She introduces herself and explains that she can reach the witnesses (Ichabod and Abbie) through this dream space. She tells Abbie that Ichabod has been abducted, but he is in a place that is warded so she cannot locate him. The Horseman returns tonight, and Ichabod will die if his blood tie is not severed. Ichabod must be “sanctified” by a “sin eater” or “all will be lost.” With that, Abbie blinks back into the real world - and into oncoming traffic. She narrowly avoids getting crushed by a long-haul truck.

Abbie explains all of this to Captain Washington who, surprisingly, does not have Abbie committed. Instead, he grants Jenny a 24 hour furlough so she can help Abbie track down Ichabod. Jenny was familiar with sin eaters, who reach into your soul and eat your sins. She and Corbin had been trying to track one down. They found a string of death row inmates who all had the same last words: “I am sanctified,” but she was never able to find a common link. Abbie does: the sin eater takes on the identity of the last inmate he saw. From there, it is easy enough to track down Ian Kellen. His real name is Henry Parrish, an older gentleman who has been beaten up by life. His “gift” has destroyed him, as he is haunted by the sins he eats. He has retired, and flat-out refuses to help Abbie. She grabs him by the arm, and he has a vision, flashes of where Ichabod is being held: an underground system of tunnels, behind a door marked with the symbol of the Freemasons. 

Ichabod has, indeed, been taken by the Freemasons. He himself was a member, and leading his abduction is J. R. Rutledge, a descendent of John Rutledge, one of the signers of the Constitution. He and his order have been looking for Ichabod, but have been tricked before. He has in front of him “The Account of Ichabod Crane,” a journal we later find out was written by Katrina, and asks Ichabod to explain when he first heard the phrase “order from chaos.”

We go to flashbacks. Ichabod was still a redcoat and he and his platoon stormed the house of Arthur Bernard, a freed slave who was believed to have helped write a treasonous pamphlet. Ichabod’s commanding officer instructs him to torture Bernard until he gives up the true identity of the author. Before they begin, a Quaker nurse - Katrina - asks for an audience, and pleads with them not to hurt Bernard. She sees a conscience in Ichabod, but ultimately Ichabod is a soldier, and he follows orders. After several days of abuse with no answers, Ichabod is asked to oversee the hanging of three men for treason. Katrina is there with the son of one of the hanged. Ichabod speaks against the public display, but his C.O. doesn’t see it the same way. As he walks away, Ichabod is flummoxed when he thinks he sees a demonic pig-like face on his C.O. Katrina finds Ichabod later, in the forest, and he tries to defend himself, by saying that the executions were not by his hand. “You think you will be forgiven just because you didn’t pull the lever?” Katrina also feels as if they have known each other their whole lives. Ichabod too. Katrina knows that “they” were right, Ichabod is “the one,” the one who has the power to bear witness over the secret war between men and demons.

Ichabod returns to Bernard, and his commander is already there. They didn’t get anything useful out of Bernard, so Ichabod’s only chance at redemption is to kill him. Ichabod is given a gun and marches Bernard out into the forest. He tries to reason with Ichabod, and mentions that he knows Katrina. Ichabod fires - and misses on purpose. “Katrina will guide you to Commander Washington,” Bernard assures him. “Order in chaos” is supposed to prove which side his heart is on. Bernard is gunned down anyway - by Ichabod’s C.O., who calls him a traitor and turns into the demon and attacks. A couple redcoats pass by, scaring away the demon. Ichabod stumbles weakly to Katrina’s, mumbles “order in chaos” before passing out in her arms. 

Returning to present day, Ichabod is still eaten up about his actions with Bernard. He is certain that if he had acted sooner, Bernard would still be alive. Without assigning blame, Rutledge places a box before Ichabod. “You know what you have to do.”

Abbie bursts in and needs a moment with Ichabod. She tries to explain that she has a way to save him (assuming she can get the sin eater to speak to her again), but Ichabod believes he must kill himself. It is the only way to be assured that the Horseman will be destroyed. Abbie holds his hand as he drinks his poison. Parrish shows up, insisting that Ichabod doesn’t have to die. As long as he carries sin in his heart, he will always be linked to the Horseman.“I had hoped for this day, to find the reason I had been given this skill.” He cuts open Ichabod’s palm and he bleeds onto the table. Parrish becomes Bernard. “I told you I’d find you again.” Bernard assures Ichabod that his death was Ichabod’s salvation. The Horseman feeds on Ichabod’s regret. When he forgives himself, the Horseman will no longer be linked to him. Having Ichabod alive and working with Abbie is more important than simply banishing the Horseman. Parrish returns, dips a sponge into the puddle of blood and eats it. Ichabod no longer feels the Horseman, and Parrish declares him sanctified.

Dig It or Bury It?

I’m glad they are back on track with the Horseman. Too many deviations weakens an already tenuous hold on the present/past thing. Maybe it is because I have no soul, but I just couldn’t empathize with Ichabod’s backstory this week.

Plus, Walter Bishop is back! Er, John Noble. But he was wearing a Walter sweater, and eating strange things. He will always be Walter Bishop to me. I miss Fringe

Douchey Time Travel Thing to Say

They aren’t being so douchey anymore, but I really love that headline, so it stays. This week, Abbie introduces Ichabod to baseball. She yells at the ump, and Ichabod cannot understand why it is fun for her. She explains: the rules never change; you must rely on teamwork; and it doesn’t matter what you look like or where you hail from - on the diamond, everyone is equal. So Ichabod gives it a whirl and yells at the umpire - even though he hasn’t yet made a call.


Ichabod and Abby must summon a witch to make it daylight all the time so that the Horseman cannot come out to play. Or something like that....