Sleepy Hollow: The Indispensable Man (S1E12)

Henry: “Sometimes a story is just a story, Miss Mills.”

Abbie: “Evil believes that story. In fact, they’re counting on it.”

Henry: “A word of advice: prophecies have a nasty way of fulfilling themselves if you let them.”

Things get pretty tense this episode. Just from the way the characters were behaving I was expecting any of them to turn on one another at any moment. Abbie and Crane continue to investigate the meaning behind the date written in Washington’s Bible, while Irving has to deal with the fallout and deaths from the previous episode. Even though the plot is quite serious, there is still that tongue-in-cheek attitude; the show now has a perfect balance and I have high hopes for next season as we wind down. Please show, don’t ever stop making fun of modern life and our ridiculous dependence on smartphones while talking about the end of the world.

“‘On my way. Colon, closed parenthesis.’ Oh! It’s a man’s face. I suppose that’s… charming.” – Crane on emoticons

Abbie and Crane phone/text tag each other in our required “Crane doesn’t understand modern life” reference (I will now henceforth record my voicemail greeting to match Crane’s exactly.) and Abbie brings up the point I thought last episode: why not get the page carbon dated so they can know when Washington actually wrote his message from beyond the grave? Although now that I think of it, would carbon dating be so precise as to distinguish 4 days apart? It’s a moot point, because Andy stalks his way into Abbie’s house and warns her that Moloch is waiting for them to get a map which he will then use against them. Andy also brings up the prophecy where Crane will turn on Abbie.

This gets to Abbie, because for the rest of the episode she seems to have one eye open on Crane all the time. Crane however, has dug into his eidetic memory and recalled a conversation where Washington mentioned “Lazurus,” which he finds has 10 extra verses in Washington’s Bible. So invisible ink to the rescue! Washington also knew that Crane was a witness. Who knew George Washington was such a badass covert spy? Crane uncovers that Washington did indeed die on the date as recorded, but he made sure that he would come back from the dead to fulfill his final mission – drawing a map to Purgatory to help Crane defeat evil. Yes, not only did the idea of zombie Washington come true like I feared last episode, it gets mentioned verbatim.

“You and I have seen a lot of crazy stuff, but zombie George Washington, that takes the cake.” – Abbie

Reverend Knapp was part of the resurrection crew – the reverend who presided over Crane’s death and got beheaded in the pilot episode – so the pair seek to find his prayer beads, which were cursed in order to bring Washington back from the grave. They call upon Henry (our resident sin eater) to read the beads for them. If Crane can get to Purgatory, he can free Katrina. Oh yeah, and defeat evil and prevent the apocalypse, yadda yadda yadda. The beads unfortunately have a powerful hex on them, and Henry burns his hands reading them but wants to continue to unlock their secrets. He gets knocked unconscious briefly and Abbie asks Crane if the map is worth it – or if Katrina is clouding his judgment. Crane asks if the prophecy is clouding Abbie’s judgment. Ominous foreshadowing.

Then the gang gets attacked by naked blue men demons which Abbie shoots down, and back at the archives they decide that the safest place for the map to be buried would be with Washington. At Mount Vernon? Or in DC? No, not with this show’s budget. Uh no, I mean, logically Washington would have been buried in a location close to Crane, so we stay in Sleepy Hollow. Henry remembers part of the vision where Knapp was on a boat with a body, so they head to the Hudson River where they, using Crane’s masonic skills, locate the grave pretty quickly.

And Washington’s grave is pretty fancy, complete with a pyramid inscribed with “I.M.” or “the Indispensable Man” as Washington was known. Wow, entertaining and educational. Thanks, show! That is, however, a booby trap grave, and Crane uncovers the real grave under a seal of Roman general Cincinnatus – Washington’s hero. It is also the only other focal point in the room, and there are a set of tracks running right in front, so yeah, I’d say even without being a freemason I’d be able to pick it out too. Kidding, sort of. It is actually an impressive set piece. Washington’s grave rolls out, the torchlights burn bright, and Crane literally pries the map from Washington’s cold, dead hands. He takes a good look at it, but then Andy shows up. Not just zombie Andy, new and improved demon Andy that hatched free from a cocoon. He is about to kill Abbie when Henry touches his arm, and his memories (and love of Abbie) come back, and he warns Abbie to destroy the map because Moloch actually needs it. Then he asks Abbie to relieve him finally and Abbie shoves a crowbar through his skull. Ouch?

The gang is trapped inside but Crane figures there is another exit deeper from Washington’s grave, and they are able to get out after Andy reanimates and Abbie shoots the trigger for the booby trap, causing the tomb to self-destruct and destroying demon Andy. Sorry about the mess, General Washington.

Outside Abbie asks Crane if the map is worth it, if he would still take the same risks if Katrina were not involved since Moloch wants it. She leaves the decision on what to do with the map up to him, and after hesitating, Crane burns it. But we know that Crane has photographic memory, so it’s pretty much a meaningless gesture. And back at the cabin, Crane does indeed betray Abbie by reconstructing the map from his head onto a piece of paper.

And let’s not forget Irving, who is again not having a good day, having to account for the deaths of a police officer and his priest from the previous episode. The fate of Morales is completely ambiguous, but I still can’t bring myself to care. Then they start taking DNA, and since Macey was the one who strangled the priest, or at least her physical body, Irving lies and turns himself in to protect her.

Necessary moment of historical levity:

Crane: “Remarkable stitching. An old flame of mine was a seamstress. She’d be most impressed.”

Abbie: “Who did you date, Betsy Ross?”

Crane: “How did you know what?”

Abbie: “You serious?”

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