Sleepy Hollow Recap: Slow Down, Shakespeare

Photo: FOX
Sleepy Hollow
Episode Title
Root of All Evil
Editor’s Rating

What a tour de force of passive aggression from our beloved mankind-savers last night. From the hot-guy Cold War between Ichabod Crane and Hollister Model Who Likes Antiquities to the Lieutenant Abbie Mills facing off against new nemesis Sheriff Reyes, from Abbie and Jenny’s sibling squabbles over their mother to Abbie’s bitchiness about a certain witchy-witch — I mean, Sleepy Hollow? More like Shady Hollow! (As in, shade-throwing. Shut up, it’s late right now.) The point is, thanks to last night’s bickering tour de force, my audible-reaction repertoire while watching Sleepy Hollow now includes the expression, “Oooooooh!” (It was the same sound I used to make when I caught my sister doing something against the rules and couldn’t wait to tell Mom. Which is kinda Abbie/Jenny.)

“Oh sure, we’ll hear from her soon,” Abbie mutters under her breath near the top of the episode after Crane mentions that Katrina will surely convey valuable information to them post-haste. “Sorry about your dog,” Jenny deadpans to Reyes as she’s getting out of jail in the very next scene. (Oh, Jenny, your laconic I-don’t-give-a-shekel attitude is such a delight to me.) Even the Horseman of War and the Horseman of Death have a spat, with Abraham pouting, “Why am I confined here while you come and go freely?” and Henry replying icily, “If you have grievance with our leader’s strategy, by all means, raise them with Moloch.” Nobody likes or trusts anybody in this episode! I love it!

Maybe because the mortals are preoccupied with all the dissing, the “monster of the week” this week is not an actual humanlike entity who needs slaying, but an object. We first find out about the Tyrian shekel after fires are shot inside Sleepy Hollow Savings & Loan, perhaps the only old-timey, small-town bank to survive both the savings-and-loan scandal of the Reagan era and the 2008 financial meltdown. After Miss Galloway and her telltale shadowy face get taken down by Reyes (God, I can’t stand her), the coin winds up in the hands of some bespectacled dweeb who looks like every guy I had a crush on in my 20s.

Then we get our history lesson on Benedict Arnold. Crane knew him. Of course Crane knew him! (Crane’s like the person at a party who claims to have personal experience with whatever you’re talking about. He’s like Penelope from those Kristen Wiig SNL sketches.) Benedict Arnold became a traitor because he touched one of those coins ... sure. I’ll buy it. Let’s go find Artifact Expert Who Also Surfs a Lot — a guy who, in spite of myself, I kinda like. He tells Crane, “Slow down, Shakespeare.” I mean, seriously, how has nobody else on this show come up with that one before? 

Speaking of low-hanging fruit, things really started to turn juicy at this point. Commence my litany of audible reactions:

  • Reyes stops Crane in the police station and demands he produce I.D.: “This lady!”
  • Abbie: “Our flower-shop perp lawyered up.” Me: “OH, NO, IT’S HENRY.”
  • Jennie sees the coin on the ground: “Oh, no!” (Sorry, I try not to curse much — but when she picked up the coin, to my astonishment, I was so nervous that I found myself squeezing my fanny cheeks together.)

Now our protagonists’ plan of derring-do is set in motion: Abbie and Crane must find possessed Jenny in the forest before she executes Reyes, who’s gone hunting (for police department slush funds). That means first procuring some stained glass (you know, like ya do). This bit was hilarious because Numismatic Hot Guy knew about stained glass’ historical connection to Tyre, “the chief center of stained-glass production at the time.” And Crane didn’t know! Ha-ha, how does it feel, Crane? Apparently it feels not good, since he confesses to the priest, “I’ve encountered a fellow whose arrogance is matched only by his annoyance.” 

The confessions continue after Abbie, for a second time, makes a Katrina-motivated grimace-face in front of Crane. “Your silence on the matter of my wife is most telling,” Crane intones, because suddenly, everybody’s a shrink in this episode (not that I’m complaining). This gets to the crux of what’s really bothering Abbie: When it counts, will a mother (Katrina) turn against her son (Henry)? It seems unlikely, since Katrina’s bit of business this week is to therapy-talk Henry into wanting his mommy. (As bits of Katrina business go, this was one of her more worthwhile and interesting endeavors, I thought.) 

Once they all meet up with Jenny in the forest, Abbie goes all out with the emotional articulation. “I hate her for leaving us,” Abbie admits to Jenny, who is typically more psychologically in tune with herself than Abbie is, and thus more volatile. “For taking the coward’s way out.” I think Abbie even got a little red-eyed when she then said to Jenny, “I’m not about to let them do this to us again.” 

I have to say, this chatty standoff was much more tense than last week’s three-way duel between HH, Henry’s mind-controlled knight, and the Kindred. This pleases me because it looks like we’re finally getting some richer character development. That is, we’re finally getting more dialogue that isn’t just about advancing plot (in fact, there was relatively little of that in this episode, thank goodness), but about revealing interpersonal dynamics. When Reyes sticks her neck out by giving Abbie her mom’s case file, I couldn’t believe it. And when Abbie and Crane were back at the bar at the end of this episode and Abbie put her hand on Crane’s, I nearly died. Can’t wait for next week!


So, Henry’s little wooden-town replica he was working on: Did that just pertain to his plan to create a coin-based army in Sleepy Hollow? Or do you think that’s part of some bigger plan we’ll find out about in a later episode?

What was up with the flat-topped, black-brimmed hat Crane wore in his battle-scene flashbacks? Is there some historical significance to that hat I’m unaware of? Did it signify you fought for America, the way a red coat signified you fought for the Brits? I feel like we’ve never seen Crane in that hat before, and it was kinda visually jarring because it looked like something out of Young Guns and not the American Revolution.


“I know about homosexuals, thank you. I trained under Baron von Steuben … Also, I watched the finale of Glee.” Again, Sleepy Hollow writers know their history.

“Unspool it.”

“The man on this bottle is Paul Revere.” Right again!

(To the bar waitress who needs to see I.D.): “Then your needs will be unmet. I fought a war for independence, yet I have none.”

(To the priest): “Well, thank you for listening. That’s much better.”