For all of Sleepy Hollow’s plot-sleepiness, there’s one thing that’s always worked in its favor: the bond between its two Witnesses. “Incident at Stone Manor” delivers on this in spades. The plot continued to not move along, and yet I found this episode extremely enjoyable. Hit the jump to find out my thoughts, and beware of spoilers!
This episode got two plots, one in our world and one in the mysterious other world where Abbie’s trapped. First, Ichabod undertakes an astral projection journey, hoping that his Witness bond will lead him to wherever Abbie is. Abbie awakens in a desolate ruin of a world that seems just the opposite of the world where Jemma Simmons found herself in S.H.I.E.L.D.—where Jemma had no sun, Abbie has no night. But both these women are resourceful, and Abbie finds a way to mark the time, draws herself a map of her surroundings, and discovers a cutlass that turns out to be Betsy Ross’s. When Ichabod shows up, she’s talking to herself out of boredom, imagining that Ichabod is there. Ichabod starts translating the Sumerian runes on the wall, and they find out that if the Eye of Providence is reunited with the Hidden One, he’ll be able to open a pathway between the worlds. Before they can figure out a way out, though, Pandora shows up in her own astral projection and tells Abbie that she can teach Abbie to use the Eye to escape if Abbie gives her the Eye afterward. Ichabod and Abbie refuse, and Pandora cuts Ichabod’s astral tether in retaliation, leaving him to float as a spirit forever. This still doesn’t deter Abbie, who smashes the Eye to bits in tears. An incensed Pandora tells her to rot in the catacombs for all eternity, but after her spirit leaves, Abbie figures out that if Betsy Ross’s cutlass is here, Betsy herself must have been here and escaped. She escapes the same way, taking Ichabod’s spirit with her.
Meanwhile, Jenny, Joe, and Sophie pull off a cute Sleepy Hollow-esque monster of the week episode completely without either of the leads. Jenny and Joe riff on the show’s routine banter, while Jenny struggles to accept Sophie as part of the team. The three of them head out to a stone manor which was moved over stone by stone from Europe. Though it’s meant to have four gargoyles, only three are visible, and it quickly becomes apparent that one of the gargoyles came to life and killed a construction worker. Despite the lack of Ichabod, we still get a pointless flashback of Betsy Ross fighting off that same gargoyle in the past. To make up for it, though, we get two seconds of America’s favorite fighting Frenchman, the Marquis de Lafayette, who put together a code that our future protagonists solve to defeat the gargoyle in the present.
Although we didn’t get any plot movement, I actually really liked this episode because it really delivered on character relationships. Jenny and Joe were still a little cheesy, but I love that we’re starting to see a more emotional side to Jenny rather than just the badass warrior. Though she hasn’t opened up to anyone in years, she’s starting to learn that listening to Joe—and maybe Sophie—isn’t always a bad thing. Sophie continues to take all this supernatural business in stride, but I hope that she gets a chance to have more of a reaction soon. I’ve actually quite enjoyed all of actress Jessica Camacho’s parts in the show thus far, and I’d like her to have her own role in the show instead of being an Abbie-replacement in FBI shenanigans. (Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a Latina actress on Sleepy Hollow, though we don’t know her character’s background yet.)
Now let’s talk about Ichabod and Abbie! Can you say soulmate AU? Like, the writers didn’t even try to come up with some magical mumbo-jumbo, they just went straight to “well, Ichabod is her other half, that’s how he found her”. Honestly, I’m into it. Of the two Witnesses, Ichabod has always been the one who was more into their bond, but this episode showed us how strongly Abbie holds onto her end of the bond, despite her no-nonsense exterior. Though she’s the last person who would believe in soulmates, she knows the effect that Ichabod has had on her. She chooses to sacrifice the Eye, Ichabod, and possibly herself for the greater good, but she knows and believes that Ichabod is still holding onto her. It’s the force of her convictions that carries the two of them out of the catacombs.
As for Pandora and her Hidden One—I’m not sure what to think about Pandora voluntarily giving up what looks like all her magic at the end of this episode. In the previous episode, the Hidden One seemed like the kind of guy who would just take what he wanted from Pandora, and while I’m glad to see that he isn’t that guy, it kind of seems like the writers were trying to put a new coat of “not a rapist” paint on the Hidden One’s not-very-well-written exterior. Neither of our two villains are particularly three dimensional even this late in the season—Pandora’s devoted and the Hidden One’s bent on world domination. Those are their character traits. Next week, will the Hidden One be as powerful without his Eye of Providence? I guess we’ll find out!