The Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, but the twisted history of Fox's "Sleepy Hollow" says that certain currency itself is an instrument of the dark side.
So when Ichabod Crane and Lt. Abbie Mills go in search of some coins on this week's episode, they don't need to feed the parking meter. They're trying to save souls or, rather, keep them out of Henry Parish's apocalyptic army.
Wonder how that'll go? In the short term, violently.
Money and death carry the episode, dubbed "Root of All Evil," with some regular townies getting caught up in Parish's plot to take over the world.
There's the kindly longtime bank employee who goes postal, shoots a guard and tries to rob the Sleepy Hollow Savings & Loan. (She ends up dead by Sheriff Reyes' itchy trigger finger). And there's a dutiful son who blows up his family's flower shop, and his father in the process, and then quickly lawyers up with -- guess who? -- Henry Parish.
All this disturbing action comes about because Parish dusts off some old Tyrian shekels and puts them into circulation. He even tosses one at Jenny Mills' feet, and she nearly takes out Reyes with a high-powered rifle. (No one was rooting for that to happen, were they?)
Might it be worth noting that if Parish is trying to build a fighting force to accompany the rise of the demon Moloch, this one-by-one method seems awfully inefficient. But it's best not to get bogged down in that kind of detail, as any fan of this buddy cop-supernatural-sci-fi drama can attest. Parish does tell Ichabod that the coins themselves don't turn people into malevolent beings, but they merely unleash the monster within, and Sleepy Hollow's apparently home to a lot of bottled up rage.
There are reportedly 30 of these "cursed coins of the Roman empire," with roots stretching back to Judas, and they're now at large (just like the Franklinstein monster that Ichabbie resurrected in the previous episode). So add those to the growing list of local madness, and our heroes seem to be playing a futile game of whack-a-mole.
And just to further keep things light, Abbie and Jenny argue over their mother, who committed suicide in the local mental hospital when they were young. As it turns out, Lori Mills wasn't crazy … until she was. Her rants about demons and the four horsemen were prophecy that landed her in the Tarrytown psycho ward and put her daughters in foster care, which ultimately drove her to end her life. And Reyes had a hand in this.
No wonder Jenny has anger issues.
Abbie lets off some steam, too, but not because Jenny clocks her in the face with a rifle. After remaining sort of mute on the topic, she tells Ichabod that his beloved wife, Katrina, may not be their ace-in-the-hole mole after all. Why? Because Katrina's a witch, a redhead and a grown woman, Abbie says. She's more likely to side with her son, Henry/Jeremy, than she is to foil his plans for Armageddon, and she's not to be trusted.
But fans and critics have already noted that the Katrina character, the perpetual damsel in distress, is ineffectual, at best. How can she possibly be helpful in an epic battle of good vs. evil when she can't even conjure up a decent meal for herself?
Ichabod will be the last to come around on this, but everybody else knows that Katrina probably won't be the ally that the freedom fighters need.
She's trying to crack Henry/Jeremy's hard outer shell with small talk, but she's getting nowhere fast because Henry doesn't just have stardard mommy issues. What's the opposite of Oedipus complex?
Elsewhere in the episode: Ichabod and Abbie meet a dead ringer for Jeff Spicoli, a friend of Jenny's who's an unlikely and no-doubt shady antiquities dealer. He helps them catch one of the shekels, with consecrated stained glass that they pilfer from a church, but he quickly pockets it. And now he wants the whole set. He seems to be a less-than-capable adversary, but he's another thorn in the side. Plus, he really doesn't get the whole Crane thing, wondering aloud why that dude talks so funny.
Does anyone have Reyes figured out yet? She's cool, she's horrible, she's ethically suspect, she's a good cop. What is she? She hands over Lori Mills' psychiatric files and looks the other way while Abbie does as she pleases while on the clock. But she harasses Crane for his nonexistent ID and nearly had Frank Irving electroshocked. Her motivations are completely muddled at this point, but she has secrets, this one.
There have to be at least a few breathers in this heavy episode, and they come, naturally, from Ichabod. While he seems to be mortified at seeing two men holding hands in a coffee shop, and Abbie launches into a Supreme Court discussion on same-sex marriage, he merely means that gentlemen in his day never wore hats indoors. Scandalous!
And he's mistaken for a mental patient when he and Abbie try to visit Irving in Tarrytown. That intake nurse has a good eye, and the real question is why no one else in Sleepy Hollow finds this lanky Colonial the slightest bit odd. When he goes to hang out with a new friend at the hospital, giving Frank some key information about his "attorney" in the process, it's surprising only that he gets out the door again.
And in another of the series' many anti-Schoolhouse Rock moments, Crane says that Benedict Arnold wasn't a bad guy, he was just misunderstood. He didn't want to be a traitor, but the ducat made him do it. Shekels!