Time for the fall finale! That came awfully fast; it feels like the new season just started. This week’s episode was full of suspense and badassery, although I won’t lie and say I wasn’t confused at times.
Spoilers after the jump!
As I predicted last week, Abbie’s in hot water at work for interfering with the Nevins case for Witness business, but she’s not particularly concerned with the consequences—she’s more worried about, you know, saving her sister from Pandora and her evil god boyfriend. The two baddies have been slowly draining the Shard’s power out of Jenny as well as catching up on a few millenia’s worth of missed makeouts. It turns out that the god is not, as I both assumed and hoped, Anubis, but rather a Sumerian deity called Etu’iliu, or the Hidden One.
He’s not a real Sumerian god, as far as I can tell, so I can’t really talk about whether he’s being portrayed accurately in regards to the original myths. I was very confused by the decision to make up a god to be Pandora’s bf when there’s a perfectly good existing Sumerian mythology to draw from, especially because stories that reinterpret old mythological figures are some of my favorite things. It especially seemed like a bait-and-switch to have them using the Shard of Anubis this whole time and then have the god they summon not be Anubis.
Some digging around in Masonic lore later, Ichabod discovers that the last person to absorb the Shard was Paul Revere’s nephew, and he kinda catastrophically exploded because the energy was too much for a mortal human body. However, they also learn that the casing the Shard was in when they found it was a magical shield that could protect humans from the Shard’s effects, so Abbie goes back to work to steal it from the FBI lockup.
She acquires her stolen relics without any problems, but on the way out, she’s stopped by Foster, who wants her to try to talk to Nevins. They head his way but Pandora gets there first, killing his whole guard and disappearing with him. Reynolds takes Abbie into his office and demands to know what the hell is going on, but Abbie is fed up and turns in her gun and badge—effectively resigning—rather than tell him anything. Once she’s left, he calls his mysterious boss to tell him that he’d “lost the asset they’d been cultivating”. Meanwhile, Abbie stops on her way out to shop the armory for some heavy explosives, and heads off to do war with a god.
Team Witness heads off to storm Pandora’s metaphorical castle wielding both Abbie’s misbegotten FBI weaponry and a variety of magical items. Ichabod corners Pandora and tries to outmagic her by trying to summon something from the Box before she can. Joe runs interference with a grenade launcher while Abbie tries to use the casing of the Shard to drain the rest of the Shard’s power out of Jenny before the Hidden One can get it. Despite the evil god crushing the casing into rubble, she’s still able to summon the energy into the bits of it—but it’s unstable. In order to keep the backlash of the magic from hurting anyone, Abbie makes a split-second decision to take the Shard into a gateway that’s just opened up in Pandora’s tree before it goes boom. In doing so, she saves Jenny and Ichabod and Joe, but her fate is left up in the air. The episodes ends on a heartbroken-looking Ichabod realizing that she’s gone.
I have a lot of feelings about this episode, but one of my most prevalent emotions is just “????”. I felt like I left the episode with a lot of questions, but, like, confused questions, not “what’s gonna happen next” ones. I didn’t even realize that Abbie had potentially sacrificed herself and that Jenny was alive until I read this interview with the showrunner and then rewatched the ending—I originally thought Jenny had died and the tree was opening up a pathway to the underworld for Abbie to go Orpheus her sister back.
There were a lot of things I liked, though. I’m glad that one of the main themes of the show and especially this season continues to be Abbie and Jenny’s sisterly bond. Abbie is willing to do a lot of stuff as a Witness, but that doesn’t even come close to the sacrifices she’s willing to make for her sister. She resigns her dream job, commits some likely-felony-level crimes, faces down an angry god, and then magically sacrifices herself—all because she loves her sister and never wants to let her down again the way she did when they were kids.
I was also excited to see Ichabod take the jump from studying magic to trying to use it himself at the end of the episode. They’ve not shied away from using various magical tools before, but this was one of the first times we’ve seen him try to cast his own magic, and I’m sure that he’ll be desperate to learn and use as much as possible in the second half of the season to get Abbie back from wherever she went. Also, the interview I linked above is so shipper-friendly that my little Ichabbie-loving heart is doing somersaults like it hasn’t done in ages. I’m curious and excited to see where the second half of the season takes the relationship between the two Witnesses.
I think the biggest problem the first half of this season had was linking all its various plot threads together and keeping them moving forward. Now that we’re at the halfway point, there’s potential for the second half of the season to be really kick-ass, as long as it keeps the momentum it finally found, and as long as it remembers the threads it’s already woven in. Unfortunately, Sleepy Hollow won’t return till next February, but that means lots of time to speculate about what happens next. So in the meantime, I recommend you get your fanfiction engines running (and write me some fantastic Ichabbie epics) to fill the void.