Sleepy Hollow: ‘Tempus Fugit’ Review

When we left off last week, Abbie had just been imprisoned over 200 years in the past for being a suspected runaway slave. This week, past-Ichabod is called from the battle in which he was originally doomed to die in order to meet with her. When she is able to provide detailed knowledge of his mission, he advocates for her to be put in his charge. He remains skeptical of her story – understandably – but there is clearly something about her that he wants to trust. And by the end of their relatively brief encounter in his time, Ichabod becomes willing to die for her. All the feels, amitrite?

Indeed, it is this act that enables Abbie and her ancestor Grace to undo the time-travel spell. But that’s getting a bit ahead. First they must visit good old Ben Franklin, so he can corroborate Abbie’s rather tall tale. Abbie’s flattery over Franklin’s legacy helps ingratiate them and he quickly sets to work trying to help them reverse the spell completely.

I was extremely relieved they went this route, if only because the time-travelers paradox was weighing on my mind as I watched. Disrupting the past will always inevitably undermine the cause-and-effect course of the history that allowed one to exist and to travel back in time in the first place. I strongly feared they were just going to ignore that problem, but they wisely scripted a way around it. Time travel is a delicate thing to write, especially going backwards.

However, in one of show’s more WTF! moments, the horseman of death soon comes to attack their little band, and Franklin gets his head severed quite dramatically. I have to admit, the shock-value of that scene was pretty hard-core. I know I made a noise of some kind, though I’m not sure it could be recreated in written English. After this, Abbie is put back in custody and she finally discloses the one thing she’d been holding back – Katrina. At first Ichabod is furious over Abbie’s aspersions, but a visit to his wife and some fairly keen observations allow him to piece together the fact that she might be telling the truth.

He returns to the prison to dig through Abbie’s personal effects, specifically her cell phone, upon which she purported to have “selfies” of the two of them in the future. The results is one of the best sequences of the episode and frankly of the entire season. While Abbie is put under threat by Ichabod’s superior, who is imprisoning her, Ichabod is simultaneously trying to turn on and operate her smart phone to verify her story. Abbie must fight off attack from her jailer as Ichabod bangs the phone on the table, slides the whole thing to the right (rather than the touch screen) and fumbles his ways through the apps to find the “moving picture” of himself and his fellow Witness in the future.

He does not find it quite in time to ‘rescue’ her but no matter. Her police training stood her in good stead until Ichabod arrived, a little slow on the uptake, but better late than never. They then set off to meet with Grace Dixon. Their fateful encounter shows just how much heart Sleepy Hollow can have, between all the fanciful rewrites of history and the far-fetched occult premises. The two women are clearly honored to meet one another and the expression of their generational bond is quite simply beautiful. Nichole Beharie is especially compelling here. She manages to take a thoroughly off-the-wall premise and imbue it with so much realism and down-to-earth emotion, for a moment she made me believe all of this was really possible and might really have happened.

Grace begins cooking up the spell but before she can complete it, Katrina and Headless show up and stage an attack. Ichabod then nobly sacrifices himself to their combined assault so that Grace and Abbie may complete the reverse of the curse. They are ultimately successful and Abbie and Katrina both are jolted back to the future. Overcome with rage, Katrina goes completely Darth Vader on Abbie. And in a moment of epic catharsis, Ichabod stabs his wife to save his fellow Witness, a fitting and satisfying resolution to the affair.

Abbie immediately tries to comfort him by assuring him that he had no choice. Still shaken he looks her in the eye and replies “Yes I did.”The silent, but no less palpable end of the sentence of course being, “…and I chose you.”

This season of Sleepy Hollow will no doubt stand as a quintessential example of the “sophomore slump,” but I have a fair amount of faith important lessons have been learned. It deserves a third season, especially now that the writers have a demonstrably better grasp of what their audience is here for, and what they can do without. And all I can say after that glorious, satisfying finale is please FOX, #RenewSleepyHollow. If Glee can get six seasons, you can definitely spare a third for the adventures of Abbie and Ichabod.

 Quotables

“I’m not a spy. And if I were, I’d be pretty peeved off at the whole ‘I am from the future’ story” – Abbie Mills

Abbie: It took a really long time to get three miles
Ichabod: I suppose there a flying carriages in the future.
Abbie: Only for long distances.
Ichabod: I was being sarcastic.

Sometimes all it takes is to put pen to paper to make a difference – Grace

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