Recap: Sleepy Hollow ‘The Sin Eater’

by Constance Gibbs on November 4, 2013

in Television

Welcome back to Sleepy Hollow, Sleepy Heads! We’re just about halfway through the first season of Sleepy Hollow (its got a 13 episode first season and has already been confirmed for season 2) and I think the last couple of episodes were exposition heavy and introductory, but from the promo for next week, we’re in for a lot of action and excitement for the latter half of the season. I am so glad this show is back!

The baseball opener is a not-so-subtle reference to the fact that the World Series pre-empted the show for the last few weeks, but gives Abbie some character depth; it gives her some fun cop toughness that is rare in a tiny black female like her.

Our two leads share a sweet moment before parting ways. Crane heads off to see Katrina, but is spiked in the neck with poison and kidnapped. While driving home, Abbie’s Ichy-senses begin tingling, and she’s sent into a trippy waking-dream. The Headless Horseman attacks dream Abbie, leading her to meet Katrina, who tells her to find the Sin Eater. In order to stop the Headless Horseman, Ichabod and the Horseman’s blood ties—created when Katrina cast her spell—must be severed. The Sin Eater can make that happen, but it must be before sundown the next day.

Abbie tells Captain Irving everything; he doesn’t seem like he was ready for the truth but he sucks it up and helps her move forward by allowing her to get Jenny from the asylum. (That girl’s got a season pass out of there these days!)

Ichabod meets with his abductor, J. Rutledge. He Sherlock-scans him to discover he is a fellow Free Mason, who Crane worked with during the pre-Revolutionary War days. They’ve been looking for him since he disappeared. They have an account of his life and ask him to prove he is the true Ichabod Crane, which launches us into a mostly flashback episode.

In the past, a freed slave, Arthur Bernard, has been charged with treason against the Crown. Ichabod, complete with Red Coat and dolled up hair, meets Bernard to punish him for his crimes. He has trouble doing so. In comes Katrina, a nurse, who informs him it is his “conscious” preventing him from following the full orders of his commanders. We discover later, that Crane’s commander is a demon in disguise. Ichabod and Katrina meet up and she tells him of his power as a Witness (capital W) and that, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. What you choose to accept will eventually become yours.”

Abbie and Jenny search for the Sin Eater, but it’s mostly a sit down, research-y affair, while Abbie reveals why Ichabod has come to mean so much to her. She’s lost so many people in her life, either they were forced away or she isolated herself from them (cue meaningful look to Jenny). Ichabod came into her life and gave her purpose. I loved this moment, because I think it softened Abbie up for Jenny. Their tense connection that was chipped away at in the last episode doesn’t quite seem there. I suppose they have other things to focus on and not a lot of time.

The girls track down the Sin Eater, played by John Noble. Many know him from Fringe, but I know him as Denethor, the Steward of Gondor from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. And just as in RoTK, John Noble becomes known (to me, at least) for being a nasty eater. Yuck. Anyway, The Sin Eater (Parrish is his current surname), seems very reluctant to help the girls. There’s a mini Bible verse-off, proving both Abbie and Parrish both recite scripture with beautiful poetry. The Sin Eater flashes to clues to Crane’s location and the girls go running off.

Ichabod’s demonic commander tells Ichabod to kill Bernard. Crane and Bernard head into the woods, but Crane can’t kill him. Just as Bernard is going to run off, new lease on life and mythical advice to Ichabod, the demon commander shoots him in the back. Crane and the demon fight, and Crane makes it to Katrina’s to repeat Bernard’s secret words to her: “Order from Chaos” (in English because I’d butcher the Latin…)

The Masons believe Ichabod is who he says he is, but tell him he must kill himself in order to sever his ties with the Horseman. Abbie rolls in (intimidating some Masonic body guards on the way) and her emotional breakdown when Crane tells her what he must do was heartbreaking. She is a really wonderful dramatic actor.

“That’s the first time you’ve ever called me Abbie.”

Ichabod downs the poison, but immediately heads into his own trippy dream. When he awakes, the Sin Eater has arrived to save him from the poison and his sins! Two for one! It seems Ichabod has a way of helping people find their purpose—The Sin Eater claims he now has purpose as well. Bernard appears in the Sin Eater’s place, telling Crane he never sinned against him, it was his regret that continued to tie the Horseman to him. Parrish eats a sponge of the Horseman’s blood (you need some salt with that?) and Ichabod’s sins are “sanctified.”

In the distance, the Headless Horseman heads for Ichabod’s grave and we are forced until next week to find out what he intends to do or find there.



“For a moment it felt as if I were home.” “You are home, Crane.”

“I look forward to you expanding my horizons further.” I bet you do, Ichabod. 😉

“He who is without sin–fairly certain that isn’t you.”

“You want to get biblical?” Yes, yes I do.

“Against the impossibility we would ever find each other, we did. And I am most ever grateful.”

“There are too many people I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to. You are not going to be one of them.”


Connie (@ConStar24, ConStar Studies TV) loves television more than most things and aspires be a TV writer. You can find her in the Hufflepuff basement watching Disney movies and getting lost on the internet well into the night.


Previous post:

Next post: