John Noble is back to once again prove that no actor on this green earth can play the mixture of menace and eccentric sweetness that he can. His character, Henry Parrish, the Sin Eater, returns to Sleepy Hollow to help Ichabod find his shark-jumping child and the possible six thousand ancestors he could have all over the world. Although John Noble is a master at everything he does, I have a few issues with the character.

The Sin Eater’s powers are so broad and confusing that they seem really undefined. He could end up popping up at any time that they need something supernatural done, which neither Ichabod nor Abbie can do. In his last episode, Parrish’s powers seemed centered around his ability to wash away the sins of any person by touching them. However, now that Ichabod needs to have a quick word with the wife, Parrish can now facilitate that otherworldly meeting. Other powers that manifest throughout the episode is his ability to sense when somebody is lying, telling when a box is “filled with pain” (yeah…), and discovering what happened in the past by touching a piece of old paper. He’s basically vaguely powerful so whenever the story has a hole in it, the writer’s can bring in the Sin Eater, have him conjure up a story, and then send him on his merry way to live his lonely life alone.

If Parrish is truly as powerful as this episode makes him out to be, then why isn’t he a fully fledged member of the team? His abilities are so useful that it seems a waste to send him away at all, especially now that he accepts his role in helping Ichabod. It doesn’t make sense not to have a human lie detector and supernatural conduit on speed dial at all times.

Regardless of my feelings about the all too powerful nature of the character, he’s played brilliantly by Noble. He delivers lines like “Whatever’s in there…it reeks of anger and pain” like it’s not a completely ridiculous thing to say. Since he can’t be touched without using his power, Noble plays up tiny moments where he avoids human contact in a remarkably subtle, sad way. Nobody can do what John Noble does. Nobody.

“The Golem” brings back Parrish to help Ichabod find out what happened to his son, Jeremy. With Parrish’s help and a few angsty Katrina moments, they discover that Jeremy went from his mother’s arms, to the home of Abbie’s distant relatives, to an abusive orphanage, to creating a creepy golem demon to protect him. I was half expecting the kid, who also had some pretty vague limits to his powers, to turn out to an enemy of Ichabod, turned evil by the events of his unfortunately childhood. Instead, the gang finds out that a bunch of witches with poor dental hygiene stopped his heart and buried him in the ground.

Maybe it still will turn out that way. I’m sure a bunch of half-assed witches—who resort to hanging out in carnivals—burying poor, lonely Jeremy in the ground didn’t mean that he died for good. Ichabod was taking a dirt nap not that long ago and look at him now. If Jeremy turns out to be evil, I will eat my words about this storyline. Otherwise, Ichabod having angst about a child is definitely season five material, when they’re running out of actual storylines.

In the end, just as Ichabod is about to learn the true meaning of Christmas, he comes face to face with Moloch in those creepy mirror woods. Moloch has a bunch of riddle, prophecy nonsense to say which basically amounts to the fact that Ichabod will be turning over Abbie’s soul to him soon. See, these are the interesting stories we should be focusing on. More biblical demons and less baby daddy drama please.

Other Musings:

  • I would love a whole episode of Abbie teaching Ichabod the true meaning of Christmas. He’s totally grumpy about the idea of a Christmas tree. She gives him a Christmas stocking and he says “Oh…you embroidered my name on some oversized hosiery…Odd.” in that total I-just-got-a-crappy-gift voice.
  • Sin Eater: “You’re life will be in danger… I will have to put it in danger.”-Sin Eater
  • Katrina made Jeremy a creepy ass doll to protect him, but in reality it probably gave him really crazy nightmares that drove him mad. Way to go Katrina.
  • Grace took care of the white baby which I’m sure went over well in that day and age
  • I really hated the way that Abbie brought up Parrish’s dead mother and diseased father in order to get him to help. It was basically her saying, “you’re lonely and sad, so what better things do you have to do?”
  • Ichabod: “My son was responsible for the death of your ancestors!!!!!!” Abbie: “Meh.”
  • Ichabod: “In my era… intercourse meant simply social conversation. Awful meant awe inspiring.” Abbie: “So, if I went out with a guy and we had awful intercourse, we’d be going on a second date?” !!!
  • Irving’s subplot is hanging out with his daughter and talking a bunch of biblical nonsense with characters we’ll never see again.
  • Ichabod discovers funhouse mirrors. Awesome.