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Sleepy Hollow S01E04: "The Lesser Key of Solomon"


Sleepy Hollow's insane quest continued last night as Abbie and Ichabod were determined to locate Jenny before the authorities closed in on her, and although the story followed a similar monster of the week pattern as the previous two installments, the tables were turned when the enemy they were facing turned out to be humans—Hessians, to be exact—and not a supernatural baddie. 

This worked in the show's favor, because although the humans were after a supernatural artifact—one that would open a doorway to hell—they were human and their story intertwined with the overall story arc as it related to Abbie, Jenny, Ichabod, the Headless Horseman, and the creepy demon guy who's the mastermind behind all of this. No witchy woman, no faceless nightmare monster, just good old fashioned Hessians causing trouble in Sleepy Hollow. 

But before I dive in to the meat of the story—and it was pretty meaty—first I'd like to discuss the latest round of Ichabod Experiences Technology, because it might be the best one we've seen yet. What we assumed was a standard voiceover opening about love and Ichabod's history with Katrina, was actually a very real conversation Ichabod was having with the emotionally fragile NorthStar (the show's version of OnStar) Assistance woman in Abbie's car. When Yolanda tearfully thanked him for his help, his reply was the purest form of perfection: "It is I who should thank you, kind woman, for unlocking this vehicle from afar. And for showing me how the entertainment system operates." And just for fun, in case you want to relive that moment again and again, I've embedded it below:

The show has certainly cut back on the jokes about Ichabod's confusion regarding the world in 2013, which makes sense as he's slowly adjusting to present day, but the series still knows when to bring it out and how to play it for laughs when it wants to. Ichabod/Technology = I ship it.

Now, as for the rest of the episode, the mystery of what's happening in and around Sleepy Hollow continued to unravel itself as Abbie and Ichabod tracked Jenny down through her old foster home. She was hanging out at Sheriff Corbin's old cabin after stopping by her friend's bar to pick up a bag she stashed there prior to her trip to the psychiatric hospital. Inside was a gun, money, passports, and an old newspaper article about the Sheriff and Abbie. And just last week Jenny had claimed she didn't know the guy. It was nice of Jenny to finally start lying just when we wanted her to open up! Women.

But Abbie and Ike eventually did track her down and together they discovered a map hidden in a sextant, an instrument used to measure the angle between two visible objects. That George Washington was a sneaky guy, hiding maps in things like that, no wonder we won the war! Oh, and LOL at Ichabod having made up the Boston Tea Party as a diversionary tactic in order to steal a mysterious supernatural artifact from the British on Washington's orders. According to Ichabod, the Boston Tea Party was known at the time as The Destruction of the Tea, which is exactly why we aren't letting Ichabod name anything else ever again. 

The artifact in question was a book—The Lesser Key of Solomon (which is a real thing, by the way)—on demonology. It allegedly gave instructions on how to raise 72 souls from the pits of hell to do the conjurer's dirty work. I really need my car washed and to go to the post office, so I'm kind of debating finding myself a copy and raising my own errand boys. I'm just saying it might be convenient. 

Meanwhile, Abbie, Ichabod, and Jenny didn't really see it that way, so once the sextant with the treasure map was stolen by some angry Hessians, they were dead set on getting some answers. After spewing a whole lot of junk about creepy demon guy and how he's just one guy and there are plenty more like him, the lead Hessian—who you should all have recognized as the evil Wolf 'The Dentist' Stansson from D2: The Mighty Ducks—pulled an Eva Braun and chomped down on the cyanide capsule in his tooth. Typical. It didn't matter in the end, though, because Ike's got a magic memory and knew where to look for it all along! Eventually the trio were able to track down the remaining two Hessians and stop them from completing the ritual to raise the 72 souls, but not before some crazy ridiculous imagery.

If I was upset last week about how the show handled Abbie's confession to the faceless nightmare monster regarding her guilt, I think it did a satisfactory job this week building the backstory between Abbie and Jenny and making me feel the guilt Abbie's been carrying around with her all this time. Not only did we find out the truth about why Abbie and Jenny were placed in foster care (dad split, mom had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized), but Jenny's also proving to be an asset. She often worked with Sheriff Corbin regarding matters of the supernatural, tracking down mysterious artifacts for him from around the world. But she's also a great foil to Abbie. Their chemistry as sisters is believable, and the fractured relationship they have works better when it's not so one-sided. Team Jenny! 

That being said, I'm not ready to completely trust Jenny either. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this eventually becomes a good versus evil story somewhere down the line, nor would I be surprised to find out that Jenny was actually the second witness and not Abbie at all. This is a common theme in supernatural shows—siblings being on the opposite side of the fight—so don't go making friendship bracelets for Abbie and Jenny just yet. 

This episode, while still essentially a baddie of the week setup, really moved the major season-long story arc ahead, while also giving us some major answers. The creepy demon guy we've been seeing is a real ancient Ammonite god named Moloch! A cursory glance at Wikipedia contains the words child sacrifice, so he seems like a pretty chill guy, I suppose. And Ichabod was telling the truth when he said Moloch was mentioned in John Milton's Paradise Lost, so they're not rewriting literature like they are American history. I like that the writers are pulling from actual source material and not just making all this crap up as they go. It keeps the story from spinning wildly off into territory not even they can come back from. 


NOTES FROM THE SHERIFF'S FILES

Decapitations this week: 1, the bartender. But it wasn't the Horseman. He was tortured by the Hessians for information about Jenny.

Things that confused Ichabod this week — Somalia (legitimate)

— Is it just me or does it seem really easy to dispatch of all the demons and baddies and stuff? Super quick fire (witch), Abbie confesses her guilt (Sandman), throwing a book in to the pit (The Lesser Key of Solomon). At least make it look like this is hard, guys.

— So there are just a ton of Hessians just out there in Sleepy Hollow waiting to be called up? Seems legit. But do they all have creepy dungeons in their basements?

— "Five second recap: Revolutionary soldier, his wife put a spell on him and we wakes up two centuries later. Now he's here." — Uh, why isn't this the Previously On... segment?

— "This is the perfect time to ask about my childhood." 

— Do you ship Ichabod and technology?


thekaitling:list:sleepy-hollow-what-did-you-think-of-the-lesser-key-of-solomon/

 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 1/20/2014

Season 1 : Episode 13

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