What do Ichabod Crane and Jack the Ripper have in common? Aside from answering that question—one I didn’t think I’d ever have to ask—this episode laid a lot of groundwork for what’s hopefully on the way in the upcoming episodes.
Spoilers after the jump!
We open on Pandora summoning up her newest bit of nastiness from her Box: a cursed knife. Meanwhile, Ichabod is facing down another great evil: American bureaucracy. When his application to maintain the archives as a historical site is rejected yet again because Ichabod isn’t an American citizen, he resolves to finally take the leap (and the oath of citizenship).
All that has to wait, though, because Pandora has given the knife to a friendzoned guy in a bar, and he uses it to brutally kill a guy who’s talking about sleeping with the object of Broni Friendzoni’s affections. When Ichabod and Abbie arrive on the scene, they are stunned by the level of violence—Ichabod moreso than Abbie, as he’s seen this sort of attack before. When he was a wee teen Ichabod at school, he witnessed a similar murder, and it’s haunted him since. Because of this, he’s able to attach a name to the attacker, but not one Abbie is ready to hear: Jack the Ripper.
Looking back through their files, Ichabod is able to prove that there have been attacks like the 1880s Whitechapel murders for which the killer is best known dating all the way back to 1066. They realize that they’re looking for a cursed weapon, rather than an immortal murderer, and from there reach another important realization: the attacks always stopped in conjunction with an outbreak of disease. They rationalize that the blade’s curse must not be able to withstand contact with diseased blood, and go after its current wielder with some dirty bullets. In the end, Ichabod is able to take the dude down by dosing himself with the shot full of malaria, and letting himself get stabbed with the knife so that it gets the disease all up in itself. The day is saved, and Abbie and Ichabod’s roles in this episode close with Ichabod recuperating from his stab wound on Abbie’s couch while she tends to him.
While all this is going on, Jenny and Joe try to track down the guy who stole her stuff last week, and Joe rides metaphorical shotgun so he can start learning the ropes of the stuff his dad raised Jenny knowing. The item in question is apparently very valuable, but they can’t find a single hint to its usage in Dad Corbin’s belongings.
I did like this episode, albeit not as much as the last two. Ichabod’s speech to the line at the city offices was classic Sleepy Hollow fare, and his and Abbie’s teamwork and interactions continue to be a delight. Also, Abbie seems to have gotten really skilled at carefully describing her Witness business in law enforcement terms such that she’s not questioned about investigating all the weird shit she stumbles into, which is amusing and cool.
My biggest problem with this episode is kind of petty: basically, while the evil-of-the-week plot was pretty interesting, I feel like most of the rest of the episode was devoted to laying the groundwork for future coolness, rather than being cool in the now. Jenny letting Joe tag along so he can learn the ropes? It’s setting it up for him to join Team Witness, but he’s really just shadowing Jenny as of right now. Ichabod decides he wants to be a citizen, but he doesn’t take any steps toward it this episode. Even the interactions between Abbie and Ichabod and their respective potential suitors seemed more like they were setting up for future tension rather than giving us anything particularly meaty in the moment.
Abbie’s relationship with Reynolds has been mutually confirmed as platonic going forward—an intelligent move on both of their parts, given that the power balance between the two would be inappropriate and awkward should they have rekindled something romantic. Ichabod, on the other hand, doesn’t have any such thing holding him back, and ably flirts on multiple occasions with a young woman with a mutual interest in historical sites who offers to help him with the citizenship application process. On one hand, I can’t begrudge him the interaction, but the other hand is a hardcore Ichabbie shipper and wishes this girl would go fall in love with Pandora or something.
Next week looks to be a little more exciting (God, I never thought I’d refer to something containing Jack the Ripper as uninteresting), and I’m looking forward to seeing how all the groundwork laid in this episode comes to fruition. Till then, Sleepyheads!