Team Witness was largely separated this episode. Our resident bookworm, Ichabod, goes to get help figuring out what the strange symbol of Abbie’s is made of. The scientist he goes to tells him that the symbol can actually split into two pieces, and Ichabod, who apparently carries his Witness tablet around everywhere, immediately thinks of putting the symbol against the conveniently-symbol-shaped space in the inside of the tablet. When he does, he gets a vision of Abbie, who’s in trouble, and rushes off.
Abbie and Sophie, along with Reynolds, go on an FBI survival exercise in the wilderness where their guide is attacked by some kind of Dutch monster comprised entirely of worms. Only Abbie and Sophie see it, and they pass it off to Reynolds as a coyote attack. Reynolds conveniently storms off to get them help, and the ladies are left alone to deal with the problem. They figure out that the Dutch monster is actually a Dutch zombie monster, who infected the guide with zombie worm disease and made him into a zombie. (Seriously, this show.) With Ichabod’s help, they’re able to return the guide to normal and take down the monster.
Meanwhile, Jenny and Joe are after a mysterious Sumerian artifact that’s up for auction. When it’s unveiled, Jenny immediately recognizes it as part of Pandora’s box, and with an assist from Joe’s money, they’re able to obtain it very easily. However, when Joe touches the box, he’s briefly reverted to his wendigo state from Season 2. This comes in handy when Pandora comes after her box, as he’s able to fight her off, and also gives Joe a meaty conflict to mull over. I’m of two minds about this—using the wendigo like this is culturally appropriative, as we mentioned back in Season 2, but I like that the writers are trying (in a too-little-too-late fashion) to give some depth to Joe’s character. He’s largely been support for Abbie and Jenny thus far, and I appreciate that he gets a role that’s usually not given to white guys. But like Joe says, he wants to steer the boat, without overstepping boundaries like he did last episode. It’s more interesting at this point for him to have his man vs monster conflict with himself than for him to push into the others’ various realms of expertise.
The one thing Sleepy Hollow continues to deliver on is good communication between its leads, and in an episode where Team Witness spent more time apart than together, I loved that we got to see that communication in action. When Jenny and Abbie meet briefly at the start of the episode, Jenny asks about Abbie’s symbol problem, proving that Abbie didn’t try to hide her issues from her sister at all, and Abbie tells her that Ichabod is helping her manage it and he’s trying to research it. When Ichabod finds out that the symbol might not be evil, he immediately tells Abbie, who’s immensely relieved. I imagine that next episode Joe will have told the team about his wendigo problem as well. Since the team doesn’t keep secrets from each other, it might be harder to build tension throughout the season, but on a personal level I really appreciate it—I’ve watched one too many shows where all the tension comes from team members pointlessly refusing to tell each other anything and then having a bucketload of angst and emotions over perceived “lies”. (Am I talking about Supernatural? I am.)
We even got a little more about Sophie and Reynolds this episode—Abbie and Sophie talk about Sophie’s interactions with the supernatural thus far, and Sophie encourages Abbie to let Reynolds in on the whole supernatural business, saying that the supernatural might have taken things from Abbie but it also brought good things (Ichabod) into her life. In a nice moment, Abbie tells Sophie that Ichabod isn’t the only supernatural-related thing that’s come into her life either. If we look back on it, the supernatural also brought Jenny and Joe back into Abbie’s life, so Sophie has a good point there.
As for Reynolds, I really wish that he was the main villain this season and not the Hidden One and Pandora. We still know nothing about why the Hidden One and Pandora want to take over the world, and honestly, I’m much more interested in Reynolds and his shady government handler. Reynolds and Abbie have history and some clear tension in their interactions, and that makes them much more intriguing than Pandora’s reflecting pool and the Hidden One’s weird dust. What are the seven secret sites and why is Reynolds’s handler interested in Abbie? What if there really is something questionably romantic to the Reynolds/Abbie relationship? Is there some big government conspiracy like Hydra going on? Because that would be a way better plot. I guess we’ll find out (but probably not) next week.