The episode opens with Abbie singing her little heart out at karaoke and she sounds amazing as well as looking cute. Well, cuter than usual. The reason for this is that the gang has apparently gone on a double date, and while the two ladies can definitely do better, it’s nice to see them all relaxed and smiling. Ichabod and Hawley don’t have a song. It is understandable that Ichabod doesn’t find his teenage jams in the charts anymore, but I suspect Hawley just doesn’t want to admit he’s a Celine Dion boy.
Nothing good lasts forever on this show and Nick has to go away on business, promising Jenny he’d be back later in the night. Wink wink. Nudge nudge. This business seems to be a surprise visit from a woman names Carmilla, which according to my dash is a creature of the night that fancies ladies. This one seems to have a past with Hawley, a rather unpleasant one judging by the fact that he flinches when she calls him Nicky. Perhaps he just knows that with that name he’ll be forever in the shadow of her Minajesty. This blast from his past wants access to Theodore Knox’s estate.
After playing marriage counselor and talking to Ichabod about his relationship with Abbie, Jenny turns to Abbie, as Ichabod sings a song from the good old days which may have emptied the bar. Not everything is happy in paradise, despite Abbie’s and Ichabod’s insistence that all is well. However, Jenny has worries of her own because Hawley still hasn’t shown up. This doesn’t surprise me or Ichabod, who is quick to remind everyone what exactly he thinks of Hawley. He’s equally quick to do a 180 turn the second Abbie gives him a look, when his words distress Jenny. Ugh, they are so unbelievably married.
No one has time to worry about Hawley though, because somebody has broken into the archives. Ichabod seems miffed that Abbie didn’t tell him she installed an alarm, whereas I’m just left wondering why the police archives had no security before then! On the plus side, it turns out the burglar is Hawley so that kills two birds with one stone. Jenny dashes after him, only to gets into trouble with Carmilla, who turns green and claw-y when Ichabod uses his shoot first ask questions later policy for all supernatural creatures, baring his son. The arrow hurts her, but does not kill her even though it goes through her chest.
Next we cut to a courtroom scene where Irving is looking very spiffy in his suit. Cynthia represents him, since according to Irving’s understatement of the century: ‘I tried going with an outside firm, but it just didn’t work out so well’. Oddly enough the state isn’t going to pursue any charges and Irving is free to go, which should be great news if I didn’t share Cynthia’s reservations almost as much as I want to find out what lipstick she was wearing (what? it was gorgeous).
The gang sits in the archives trying to figure out who, or rather what, Carmilla is. Abbie had sent a sample of the liquid that dripped off her claws to the lab, without informing Ichabod and the fact that he’s upset by this just seems odd unless they used to share absolutely everything until a few weeks ago. The liquid is an acid which leads Ichabod to figure out Carmilla is a Vitala. Now the gang has two options laid before them, track down the local fence that had arranged Hawley’s meeting, or figure out what was stolen. Instead of immediately splitting up, there is a tense moment where our witnesses almost argue about what to do. It passes however and Ichabod uses divide and conquer so incredibly incorrectly it’s going to annoy me if I don’t explain why.
First of all, he uses Latin, while referencing Phillip who was Macedonian and definitely not Roman. It should have been διαίρει καὶ βασίλευε, which in any case does not mean divide your troops and conquer, but the complete opposite. It might have been a deliberate choice by the writers given the tension, since it stands for dividing your opponents by turning them against one another or restructuring their power system so that there are more factions that are weaker individually.
Anyway, as Abbie and Jenny are searching for the fence, the younger Mills points out how tense the witnesses have become. The phrase ‘better apart than together’ is thrown about, which is used almost exclusively for romantic relationships. It all boils down to Abbie justifiably not wanting to get involved in the Crane family drama more than she already has and is keeping her distance.
When they find the fence, he laughs at them for using a bad cop/good cop system, before Jenny reminds him she’s not a cop and very attractively slams him against a glass case. He quickly spills the beans after that. Carmilla, according to him, is a treasure hunter, who is a dangerous killer, unlike Hawley who is dangerous, but only because of his incompetence. After those five minutes of not exactly cop work, I want the Mills to get their own show more than ever.
Meanwhile, the Cranes are in the archives taking about Mary Poppins, with Katrina’s hair channeling its inner Merida. Ichabod discovers the mini-halo Orion had given Abbie and feels betrayed, all the while thinking about Orion and holding it, which means it is either personalized to only respond to Abbie, or Orion is taking a power nap.
The Mills sisters join them to exchange info. Since some of Henry Knox’s blueprints were the only thing stolen, they come to the conclusion that Carmilla is after something in Knox’s safe, which is currently in the possession of Theodore Knox, a man known for selling black magic artifacts and suchlike on the black magic black market. What exactly is she planning to steal? Well a cut to her and Nick reveals she intends to cure herself. Or so she says. Nick had ran away from her company after he saw her murdering someone and then she was made into a Vidala by evil Indians in India. Poor white woman, I can hardly roll my eyes at you fast enough. It works on Nick though, who agrees to help her one last time.
Since Nick stole from them, they probably all felt entitled to stealing his sweet ride. Getting Ichabod to drive it however, might not have been the best idea. He manages to inject elitism into the simple pleasure of being a petrol-head. What kind of horse indeed. They plan to crash on of Knox’s black market parties because Nick and Carmilla are going to be attending. Ichabod makes a passive aggressive remark about them staying together at all costs, which Abbie probably files down as yet another sign of his codependence.
The Irvings are finally settling down after being apart for so long, or so Frank thinks. Cynthia is justifiably apprehensive about his resurrection and so desperate she is willing to consider going to Katrina for help.
In the mean time, the witnesses plus Jenny (dibs on the band name) successfully crash the party and split up. Jenny is in pursuit of Hawley and Abbie and Ichabod go after Carmilla. Unfortunately, things stop going smoothly the minute Theo Knox shows an interest in Ichabod’s crossbow, separating him from Abbie. They exchange a look that Abbie misinterprets as a go-ahead to continue without him.
Nick opens the vault that is conveniently lacking any modern addition or guard and Carmilla waltzes in straight for a statue of Kali. Abbie and Jenny try to stop them, but Jenny gets locked into a closet by Hawley and Abbie finds herself caught in the crossfires of a standoff between Carmilla and Ichabod. Nick tries to save everyone by showing no backbone and locking them in the vault, or sacrificing himself and agreeing to join a person he is scared of, depending on where you stand. Personally I think his broken warning not to follow them points to the fact that he didn’t take the easy way out.
As we witness the communication breakdown at the Ichabbie headquarters, Nick gets drugged by a person that carries a statue that is the key to a ritual which turns people into Vitalas. So he’s not having a party either. Inside the vault, Ichabod spots a gold liberty tree, which points them to a series of knobs with alchemical symbols. Pressing the right one (gold) should lead to their liberty, nice one writers. They don’t kiss, but make up, and the solution finally comes to Ichabod. It is iron! Except it isn’t and they’re about to reenact the trash compactor scene from Star Wars. Their lives are saved not because of a robot, but due to their synergy.
With everyone free, and somehow still willing to save Hawley, they track him down using the phone he stole from Jenny. Armed with the knowledge that Vitalas are vulnerable to iron and fire, they save Hawley just before he gets turned into one. The non-verbal communication that was seemingly lost between Abbie and Ichabod, returns full force as they kill Carmilla’s cronies left and right. Carmilla herself escapes to be yet another unresolved plot point.
A few hours or days later at the archives Jenny almost kills Nick who is trying to sneak in undetected and return the things he stole. This is the only reason we and Jenny find out he’s planning to leave and go after Carmilla. To quote Willy Wonka: ‘Stop. Don’t. Come back’.
The Irvings finally go to Katrina who helps, because she is above all looking for her son. So when she does her magical examination and gives the all-clear, I am more than a little suspicious. Irving not having a reflection did not ease my mind.
At least we got an awesome rendition of Proud Mary. Is it too much to ask for a musical episode?