So much for the mousy, ineffectual witch who can’t seem to summon up any power when the chips are down and the apocalypse looms.
Mrs. Crane, we barely knew ye.
Katrina finally gets in touch with her blood magic/vicious side on Fox’s supernatural sci-fi buddy cop drama “Sleepy Hollow” in this cliffhanger, the first of a two-part season finale called, tellingly, “Awakening.”
She is making up for (a lot of) lost time, shooting fireballs out of her hands, trying to fry the Witnesses alive and aligning with her demonic son, Henry Parrish.
And she casts a successful spell for once, taking her back to 1781 so she can re-do her life. That will purportedly involve not bringing Ichabod Crane back from the dead because she’s super unhappy with him and really regrets that reanimation decision now.
Oh sure, we all have that hook-up from the past that we wish we could erase because stupid, bad choice, but, wait, what? She’s going to change the course of “Sleepy Hollow” twistory?
Katrina is mighty steamed, y’all.
If for no other reason than viewers finally get to see Katrina (Katia Winter) in a supernatural rage spiral, this episode is a season highlight. But there’s so much more, including a running gun battle between Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) and Jenny Mills (Lyndie Greenwood), followed by the return of Good Frank. Good Frank!
And Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) kills Henry (John Noble) but ends up teleporting with Katrina to that decidedly unenlightened time. She is promptly thrown in the slammer.
And, not to be overlooked, this week’s music cue lets us know that “Sympathy for the Devil” sounds pretty sweet with a colonial flare.
On to the breakdown, which kicks off with Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie browsing a dusty old bookstore and discussing the well-worn time travel scenario. Ichabod’s story would be the only one in the nonfiction section, Abbie notes.
The scene exists to plant time shifting in our brains but also to give Abbie one more chance to justify the Witnesses’ boneheaded decision from last week’s episode: blowing to smithereens a hologram Thomas Jefferson and two centuries' worth of curated knowledge about demon fighting and Armageddon stunting.
Abbie now wishes they’d swiped some of those books on the way out, before the fenestella exploded. Ya think? End of rant.
The evil-du-jour is a clanging bell that only some residents of Sleepy Hollow can hear. When they do, they become devil-eyed homicidal maniacs.
What would cause perfectly normal folks to be fine one minute and murderous the next, with no memory of their crimes? It’s witchcraft, Ichabbie quickly deduces, somehow tied to that Liberty Bell knockoff in the town square. In truth, it’s an impostor of a knockoff.
Ichabbie picks up this case of the week from the disembodied Capt. Reyes, who hasn’t been seen since earlier in the season but just sends orders via cellphone these days. What happened to Sleepy Hollow’s new top cop? Since we never got too attached to her, maybe that’ll make it easier for Frank to get his old job back? Pin that.
Jenny, meanwhile, tells Crane and Abbie that Frank isn’t really Frank. He’s a half-beast, ever since his “rebirth,” just waiting to become 100% hellish. They’re shocked -- shocked! Not really.
There may be a way to reclaim his soul, Ichabbie says, by using the gorgon head. Remember that snake-troll with the Coolio hairdo? Jenny is skeptical, but agrees to fetch the Medusa-like monster and sic it on Frank if she has the chance.
The mother and child reunion, seen last week is a pseudo-dream state, actually happens in the flesh, with Henry trying to convince Katrina that they need to revive and replenish their coven in modern day Sleepy Hollow.
He sweetens the deal with the grand grimoire, an ancient, all-powerful spellbook that Katrina failed to get her paws on during the bloody fight with the warlock Solomon Kent. Henry is full of promises, like saying he no longer seeks “wanton carnage” and just wants to bring back “our kind.” He stops short of suggesting a supercouple uni-name, so we’ll do it for him: HenKat.
Henry’s not a full-fledged witch, since his father (Ichabod) is mortal. He needs Katrina to do some wicked magic on that big bell downtown, calling all sorcerers to the fold.
We didn’t fall for his semi-benevolent story, right? As it turns out, it doesn’t matter whether he was lying or not, and any conjurer reintegration plan he may have had is likely as gone with the wind as he is.
Ichabbie and Jenny, planning to steal and destroy the bell, learn that HenKat is in cahoots. Showdown, fireball, brick wall. Mom and spawn make off with the bell as Ichabbie tries to regroup and Jenny goes action hero fending off a Frank sniper attack. Can’t emphasize it enough: She. Is. So. Badass.
This development sends the story in two parallel directions: Jenny and Frank tussle in the subterranean maze under Sleepy Hollow, and Ichabbie stakes out the “abandoned” but gorgeously appointed town hall where HenKat will try to recapture the flock.
Is it worth noting that Ichabod says he’s the one who cracked the Philadelphia landmark Liberty Bell? Maybe, because he did it with flint and steel, and old school is sometimes best, he says in his haughty side-eye way.
He’ll use that manual-charge method again when it looks like curtains for Ichabbie. HenKat, after Katrina firebombed a decoy SUV she thought Abbie was driving, captures the Witnesses and ties them to a stake. Ichabod breaks them free and tries to obliterate the bell while Abbie shoots to kill.
Henry falls, withers and dies in Katrina’s arms. Dusted, literally.
At that same moment, with Jenny holed up in the masonic cell with the squirmy gorgon noggin, Frank stops taunting her and collapses. All that black smoke he pukes? Fiend out, soul released!
The grieving Katrina directs her outrage at Ichabod. It’s all his fault, she says, that she's lost her only son and her life is a mess. She should’ve let him die at the hands of the Headless Horseman. She’s prepared to rectify that move, and in a tornado-like spin of magic, she disappears.
The problem -- and of course the set-up for the finale -- is that Abbie jumps into the whirlwind, too. “Leftenant!” Ichabod howls. But she’s gone. Will he recognize her in the 18th century?
One more hour to go, and still no word from the network on a “Sleepy Hollow” Season 3 renewal. Speaking for the loyalists: End the suspense, Fox. We have enough already.