Sleepy Hollow Midseason Finale: “The Akeda”

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*SPOILERS AHEAD, darlings*

So far this season, Ichabod and Abbie have escaped purgatory, Katrina has been held hostage by the Horseman and (sort of) given birth to Moloch, Irving has been locked up in the psych ward and unwittingly sold his soul to Henry, and Jenny has a might-be-evil quasi-boyfriend named Hawley. Last week, the Trumpet sounded and Moloch rose to power.

Fee fie fo fum, I sense something wicked this way comes.

Synopsis

“The Akeda” lights up exactly where “Magnum Opus” ended: Moloch has risen and the shit has hit the fan. A freak lightning storm plagues Sleepy Hollow and kills anything electronic…including Abbie’s car. Enter the best solution to ever grace the silver screen:

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“If ever there were justification to commandeer a motorcycle, the Apocalypse would be it,” says Ichabod.

I guarantee there will be a motorcycle fic tag on AO3 tomorrow (if there isn’t already).

The Witnesses don’t know that Moloch has risen, however, since at their last intel Katrina was going to kill him.  When they arrive at Henry’s house, they find the manor abandoned, except for Abraham, who is about to perform the binding ritual on Katrina and make her his unwilling (?) bride. The boys engage in good old-fashioned combat again, but this time Ichabod has the Sword of Methuselah, which will allow him to kill Headless Abraham once and for all. After saving Katrina, they keep Abraham alive, supposedly to “interrogate” him for Moloch’s plans/locations.

Now, I loved seeing the forces of good band together against the Dark Lord, but after a half of a season with them being scattered to the wind? It seemed a bit forced, and the characters felt it too. Ichabod effectively tells Katrina that they can’t be married while they fight Evil; he must think of her as another soldier (see: Husband’s Completely Understandable Jealousy After His Wife Voluntarily Lives With a Headless Dude for Weeks). Jenny & Irving’s inclusion made the group complete, but their storylines have been so light this season, I was half-expecting their names to be forgotten by one of the more central protagonists. Unfortunately, the lack of plot for Jenny and Irving’s characters is akin to putting them in red shirts aboard the Starship Enterprise. 

That’s geek speak for “they’re expendable.” B39IjwgCUAAbIfB

Abraham tells Ichabod and Abbie that using the Sword has a price: it demands a sacrifice. A life for a life. Their solution? Call on someone who has no soul–Irving–to wield the Sword for them. It feels good, damn good, to see Frank Irving amongst the ranks of Good, kicking ass and taking names. This season has been sorely missing Orlando Jones in many episodes, and, well, it looks like we’ll continue missing him for several more (if not all?).

O Captain, my Captain.

That’s geek speak for “Frank Irving’s death broke my heart.” It’s true: Irving paid the ultimate price for fighting on the side of Good, and this Beloved Character’s death caused tears across the fandom. For myself, I can only say that I am saddest about the loss in potential for a compelling character. Frank Irving didn’t fight against Moloch because he had been chosen as a Witness or because he knew magic or knew about the supernatural: he chose it, and in my opinion, that made him the most interesting character of all. There are so many parallels and juxtapositions that could have been, but now they’ll have to exist primarily in the archives of transformative works.

But, who knows? Perhaps this will be like Supernatural and no one can just stay dead. 

1890565_757552204323414_5934085631090565674_oHowever, this brings me to Katrina, who I truly thought was going to die. I think I could like Katrina, if given the opportunity.  She is a witch who has done her magical best to protect her family and herself from the forces of evil. But, like the best laid plans of mice and men, these plans often go awry. She takes it upon herself to convince Abraham to help them, and it becomes to anyone with working eyeballs that she cares for Mr. Headless Horseman. Ichabod is not amused. “Sometimes I question the very idea of our marriage,” says Ichabod. You and me both, sir.

Katrina maintains that “Moloch is the enemy, not [their] son” and the entire fandom collectively slams their head into the nearest solid object. You cannot force someone to be saved, darling Katrina, they have to choose it. And this is the point where the episode lost me: Katrina serves no purpose other than to cause tension between Ichabod and Abraham, so why does she get to live and Irving has to die?

Yes, I realize this like is asking God why bad things happen to good people. Except, actually, no it isn’t. This is one writer saying, “What the ever-loving fuck?” to the narrative decisions of another writer. Writers. Whatever. If Irving’s death has a bigger purpose (which I really hope it does) then I’m prepared to change my tune. Right now? I see one character who has shown very little promise in terms of narrative pull being favoured over another character who can reduce me to tears in a few sentences. Let me sum up the problem with Katrina’s storyline in one extremely accurate quote from the BBC’s Sherlock: 

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Realistically, Katrina’s sentiment for her son should have made them lose to Moloch. Or at the very least, it should have cost her her life. “The Akeda” refers to the biblical story of Abraham almost-sacrificing his only son to prove his faith in his God. While I appreciate the parallel of Henry almost sacrificing his parents to Moloch, I think that if Moloch had indeed killed Katrina it would have provided more fuel for the Horseman of War to switch sides. As it was, it was a few harsh sentences from Moloch and then Henry’s realisation that he was expendable that made him side up with Mommy and Daddy Dearest. After a lifetime of despising his parents? That’s a pretty big change of heart to have so quickly.

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In the end, Henry kills Moloch with the Sword, which, incidentally, won’t kill him since he’s immortal. There’s some fire, some brimstone, and bam! Apocalypse averted. Time to celebrate, right?

Entering the final stretch of season two, I am consumed by questions. Does Moloch’s death mean that Henry has switched to the Good side, or is it just an opportunity for him to become the new Dark Lord? (I want this to happen). Is the Cranes’ marriage permanently damaged? Will their separation drive Katrina to embrace the darker side of her magic? (I really want this to happen.) What is the point of Nick Hawley if he doesn’t have loyalties to Henry? Will Abbie buy Ichabod a motorcycle for Christmas?

Most importantly: will Frank Irving return to Sleepy Hollow as a soulless undead? Perhaps as a demon?

I’m missing Admiral Trollando already.

 Sleepy Hollow will return on January 5. 

Until then, Sleepyheads.

-The Collectress

Wanna chat Sleepy Hollow, swoon over Tom Mison, or ship Ichabbie? Follow me on Twitter @dearcollectress

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