This wasn't the best of episodes. Considering Ichabod's Colonial roots I expected either an awesome Thanksgiving show or an hour-long rant from Ichabod about the inaccuracies of America's contemporary Thanskgiving celebrations. Instead, we received a watered down Charlie Brown episode interspersed with the creature of the week. 'Sleepy Hollow' is at its strongest when it doesn't appeal to viewer's affections. By forcing inorganic connections, this week felt more saccharine-sweet meets 80s after school special.
This week, in "Sanctuary," an evil witch tree kidnaps a socialite philanthropist while she restores her ancestral Colonial mansion. When Abbie and Ichabod investigate, Ichabod discovers Katrina birthed his son in that house and Abbie uncovers her birth link to the house's head servant.
While the plots within plots and increasingly interconnected "Crabbie" relationship always draws me, the episode's false notes surrounded Jenny inexplicably comforting Captain Irving's wheelchair bound kid and the uber-sweet relationship between Ichabod and Abbie. Come on, now. In one pop, we get the divorced parents, the child undergoing treatment and the foster kid with no home. To make matters worse, un-ironic violin music inexplicably played in the background. Although I enjoyed Ichabod's mini-commentary on the lack of sugar, borderline colonist starvation and the use of pheasants over turkey, the final ten minutes surrounded eyeroll-inducing platitudes. Normally, whenever Ichabod and Abbie declare utter support of each other, I swoon, but this time I didn't.
Although a disposable episode, I enjoyed the episode's supernatural side. Who didn't feel creeped out by the witchy tree's creepiness? If 'Sleepy Hollow' ever veers off its Revelations-styled path, it can always find life as a pseudo-'X-Files' with weekly one-off cases investigating the supernatural. Although the witchy tree with blood-infused vines proved an awesome threat, I couldn't stop rolling my eyes at Ichabod's baby. Seriously?! We have ANOTHER time-traveling member of the Crane family/social circle/trapped in time/space?! So, Ichabod's best friend, his wife, and his former club members all survived to the present day in one shape or form. And, NOW, we're going to add a time travelling baby to the mix?! WTH?!!!
I'm also concerned. After learning about his child, this is the first time Ichabod ever willingly left Abbie's side. Yes, it's his child, but we've all learned time and time again that whenever "Crabbie" separate, bad things happen. So, seeing Ichabod willingly withdraw from Abbie and attempt to remain withdrawn at the episode's end, reminds us that no matter what horrors they've undergone, Abbie and Ichabod are still strangers and family (even family you haven't met yet) comes first. While Abbie might put Ichabod before Jenny, Ichabod will never put Abbie before his family. So, what does that mean for their repeated oaths of fealty to each other?
Also, are we seriously veering off the Revelations angle to pursue another tired plotline about a supernaturally powerful baby? I don't know if I can take three seasons of chasing evil horsemen. Considering the finale takes place in January, we clearly aren't going to see loose ends tied up by then. While I didn't expect them to wrap up Moloch or the end of the world, I thought they might wrap up at least the headless horseman in the new year. But, introducing a baby as a new plot device to the mix, says otherwise.
This wasn't the worst episode in the 'Sleepy Hollow' stable, but it definitely wasn't the best. The show's emotional strength emerges when it doesn't force the relationships.