Sleepy Hollow Episode 107
“The Midnight Ride”
Written By: Heather v. Regnier
Directed By: Doug Aarniokosi
Original Airdate: 11 November 2013
In This Episode...
Ichabod heads over to a meeting with the Freemasons. He promises Abbie he will insist they include her in their normally men-only club, so she meets him there. By the time they arrive, they find the four Freemasons, dead and headless, and watch as the Horseman rides off with a fistful of heads. The Freemasons were the keeper of secrets on the side of good (as in, good vs. evil) and the Horseman came there looking for his skull. He didn’t find it - because it wasn’t there.
Abbie and Ichabod go to the captain to ask for the skull back so they can destroy it. He is hesitant but gives in, and goes to the lab he sent it out to. Paul, the lab tech, has not been able to figure out anything about this skull. He is waiting for the carbon dating test to come back, but he has nothing. The Headless Horseman storms the lab - with a machine gun (!) - and fires indiscriminately. Paul is dead, and the captain finally believes that the Horseman is real. He fires back, hits the Horseman a few times (with little effect) and does some ridiculous Matrix move to get out of the way of a flying axe. Finally, the captain shoots a steam pipe, obscuring the Horseman’s “vision” (?) long enough for him to escape with the skull. The captain delivers it to Abbie and Ichabod in their underground archive. He believes in the Headless Horseman now.
Now that they have the skull, Abbie and Ichabod try to destroy it. In a farcical montage, they try to smash it with a metal sledgehammer, chainsaw it, dissolve it in acid, and blow it up. Nothing works. Their next move is to take it to a scrap yard and crush it in a car compactor, but as they leave, Ichabod notices four lanterns hanging in a garage. It reminds him of Paul Revere and his system of lanterns, but can’t think of what four means. Upon further inspection, the “lanterns” are the heads of the Freemasons, lit with votives and lined with silver so the light would reflect more widely. So apparently the Headless Horseman is very crafty. The silver bit was a trick used by Revere, and Ichabod remembers that Thomas Jefferson gave Revere a clutch of papers before going out on his ride. The leather-bound book had a devil’s trap etched on the cover. These were supposed to be the secrets to destroying the enemy - Ichabod just assumed the enemy was the Red Coats. He had heard rumors of an attack on Revere’s men on the night of that ride, and Ichabod realizes the Horseman was there, trying to get back his secrets. So that manuscript must hold the key to destroying the Horseman’s skull.
Abbie and Ichabod head over to the Tarrytown Museum of Colonial History, where the documents should be, along with the rest of Paul Revere’s historical accouterment. While Abbie looks for the notes, Ichabod angrily schools a docent on the real Paul Revere. Abbie grabs Ichabod and gives him some good news / bad news: the notes are on loan to a museum in London, but the contents have been uploaded to the internet.
Back to the archives they go, and mixed in with a lot of semi-humorous bumbling about with the computer, Ichabod gets to work cracking the code that the text was written in. Abbie steps out to make a phone call, giving Ichabod a few minutes of peace to work on the code. Without the cipher, the code is impossible to break. He notices the sunlight glinting strangely off the teeth of the Horseman’s skull. Upon examining it, he found that Revere had etched the password into the backside of the Horseman’s teeth. It’s “Cicero,” if anyone cares. Ichabod discovers that the Horseman cannot be killed - but he can be trapped.
Meanwhile, out in the hall, Abbie has been stopped by Andy Brooks. Yes, he is dead; no, he does not care to elaborate on that. Okay. Anyway, Ichabod finds them and is surprised (because seeing a man who died a few weeks ago is weird, but waking up 200 years later to be chased by a man with no head isn’t) but he sends Brooks back to the Horseman with a message: “Meet me at the cemetery after dark if you want your skull back.” Brooks disappears. While waiting for the sun to go down, they must prepare.
Night falls, and Ichabod meets the Horseman in the cemetery. He has the skull, glowing, and takes off on horseback. The Horseman gives chase, and Ichabod leads him to a trap door in the forest. It leads to the tunnels, and once inside, the Horseman sees his beloved skull glowing like a beacon. But this is just a cheap Halloween decoration. He inspects each glowing skull, and finds each to be a fake. Abbie appears and taunts him with the skull and the Horseman gives chase. Abbie pretends to be injured, making her easy prey and luring the Horseman after her. Ichabod flips a switch, and artificial daytime lighting floods the chamber. Designed by Jefferson and built and maintained by the Freemasons, there is a devil’s trap in the center of the floor, which prevents the Horseman from wiggling away. Ichabod cuffs the Horseman’s feet. The captain is there, utterly amazed.
Dig It or Bury It?
That fight in the lab was one of the dumbest I have ever seen. First of all, that Matrix move is 15 years old, and the captain never struck me as particularly agile. Second, where the fuck does a 200 year old supernatural demon-monster get a machine gun? Then there are the logistical issues with the Headless Horseman. He has no head - so how does he see and hear? I always assumed it was some kind of supernatural radar system, and never questioned it. But tonight, Ichabod burst a steam pipe to obscure the Horseman’s vision - and it worked. What exactly was the captain obscuring?
What exactly was the logic behind destroying the Horseman’s skull? He is looking for it to summon the other horsemen, so if they destroy it, won’t he keep looking for it? Or will that, finally, just “kill” him? And if the Headless Horseman is “dead,” the others can’t be summoned.
I am fairly sure I am over thinking this show.
Douchey Time Travel Thing to Say
There was a lot of “douchey time travel” stuff this week, all to varying degrees of humor. My particular favorite was when Ichabod couldn’t fathom the idea of “buying” water. “Why not just drink from the hundreds of taps you have here? Or from the lake?” This joke plays out through the whole episode. Other fun stuff: Ichabod is outraged by how destructive this century is; and he doesn’t believe that Thomas Jefferson would have had an affair with his slave. (To be fair, his outrage was the notion that Jefferson would cheat on his wife, not that he would sleep with a woman of color.
Ichabod wants to interrogate the Horseman. Dude has no tongue; good luck with that.