Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 9: The one with the Ghost of Family Drama Past

This episode was basically about multiple suicides, so if you think that might be triggering best stay clear of it and this review. Which is unfortunate, since we finally have an episode featuring more of the Mills sisters together, kicking evil’s butt and hugging each other. The show’s strength is the Mills sisters and the sooner the writers understand that the better.

The opening of this episode is a friendly reminder that every song you loved as a child can be made creepy by slowing it down. It seems like Abbie is having a flashback to Purgatory, where she sees her mother. It’s actually a recurring nightmare of hers.

She is woken by a sniffling Ichabod that survived dysentery in Saratoga, but could quite possibly die of a modern cold. Someone for the love of god should get him vaccinated. [Think about it. You make your progeny suffer this pain? Abbie rolls her eyes.] Ichabod’s red nose is matched with a shawl/scarf which actually makes his outfit look like normal everyday outerwear.

Reyes asks for Abbie’s help on getting to the bottom of a bizarre number of suicides at Tarrytown psychiatric. They have had more suicides in recent days than they usually have in a year, so they ask for help from the police. Reyes seems genuinely concerned about the patients, which is a welcome step in the right direction given her previous handling of people with reported mental health issues. She goes to Abbie for this because she finally trusts her and because of her personal connection to the place.

While I have found most episodes of TV that deal with mental health facilities to be extremely inaccurate and downright criminal, this wasn’t the worst of the bunch. That’s not saying much considering I still have Teen Wolf’s episode fresh on my mind and almost anything would have been better than that.

Abbie asks for Jenny to accompany her to Tarrytown and she does, because even though she has spent some of the worst days of her life in there, she cares for everyone in there and is saddened by their pain. A man in some apparent distress stares at them until a nurse comes along and talks to them as she moves him along. As soon as she hears they’re visiting Irving she brightens up and is glad he has visitors.

Frank isn’t looking his best, but having your soul reserved after death for the horseman of War does that to a person. He says the recent suicides don’t add up and I’m too busy focusing on the fact that Jenny and Irving are in the same room making eye-contact to really pay attention. Anyway.

Abbie doesn’t really want to ask but Irving answers her anyway. He didn’t do it. He knows his soul is going to be War’s property after death, but he plans to own his freedom for as long as he can. He promises to report anything suspicious, becoming their man on the inside.

Back at the archives Jenny and Abbie review the security footage and have a heart to heart. They talk about Jenny’s time in Tarrytown and about her traumatic memory from when she had sneaked in to see their mother. Mental illness had been one of Abbie’s greatest fears, after seeing her mother and her sister being locked up and having seen demons herself, it certainly makes sense. Lying to others and herself about what they saw in the forest that day is also understandable. She is still trying to figure out why she was chosen to be the witness.

Abbie notices something in the footage. After enhancing the picture they find their mother in the corner of the first suicide victim’s room muttering something. Well, her ghost seems to be muttering something at least.

Ichabod receives the news while grumbling into eucalyptus fumes. The vapors have no apparent effect on his cold or his attitude. While he grumbles, Abbie tries to remember if her mother ever said anything relevant to the apocalypse. In her memories we can see that the sisters feared their mother as much as they loved her, and that Abbie always protected  and supported Jenny back then.

Their mom tells them: “Eyes open, head up, trust no one.” It’s good advice for a cop but certainly not for human beings. Nick materializes with research material and sustenance much to Ichabod’s chagrin, who apparently wants to be the only white boy that can provide for Abbie.

His attitude changes when he tastes the soup Nick’s brought along, but this emotional rollercoaster of a ride is not over. The moment he sees Nick being smug about it he’s back to being grumpy.

Tarrytown is apparently built on this universe’s version of a Hellmouth, so it isn’t exactly weird that bad things are happening. Abbie thinks they should hit Katrina up for answers, but Ichabod gets protective, defensive and shouty and I’ve had enough of him. By the look Abbie and Nick exchange they’re on the same page as I am.

As Abbie and Nick look at each other Ichabod tries to get some more of that soup in his body without giving Nick the satisfaction of seeing him enjoy it. The joke’s on him however, since Nick has drugged the soup with, I assume, sleeping pills, a plot twist that is revealed after the even bigger plot twist that Nick and Abbie are both Austen-heads.

Abbie seems happy Nick drugged Ichabod and she won’t have to deal with him, once more revealing her Slytherinness. She’d never actually drug Ichabod (well, give it time), but she’s very happy to let someone else do the dirty work.

Back with Henry and Katrina, the demon baby makes three, but Katrina doesn’t seem to remember it’s a demon baby because of that damn necklace. Henry guilts her into hugging the demon and the demon wastes no time in sucking the life out of her. Katrina being motherly seems to affect Henry, but I really don’t care if he has a change of heart.

At Tarrytown, Nick wants to blast his way through their problem, Abbie wants to get some questions answered, and Jenny is also of the blasting everything school of thought. She is protective of the patients and wants to put their mother to rest.

The patient that was seen staring at them in the beginning of the episode appears to be about to commit suicide. Something that can be clearly seen from the monitors that are supposedly on all the time, so even with a ghost going around, the suicides should have been preventable if the staff was interested in the patients. Also those cameras are very picky when it comes to showing specters.

Nick wrestles the man out of harm’s way, but Abbie disappears before their eyes. She tries to protect herself against a ghost by using her gun (again!? Abbie do you ever learn?). It unsurprisingly fails.

As she stumbles around she finds the nurse from earlier, who asks her why she was in that long abandoned part of the building. The real question is what is she doing there? And why is her outfit so very 50s? Is she trying to emulate TSwift?  It’s all very suspicious.

Nick and Jenny split up trying to find Abbie, because apparently they have never sat through a horror film. Nothing bad happens however. Their mother appears and leaves a message for her and as soon as Abbie finds her she knows what it is: a code for a specific video session.

Katrina notices something is off and wanders out for some fresh air, where she finds a flower that is probably going to be important later on.

Abbie has ordered her white shadows out of the building as she and Jenny look at the footage. Jenny is hesitant because she is afraid and doesn’t want to relive painful memories, but Abbie consoles her and their foreheads touch and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted.

Their mother exclaims that the nurse made her do it and suddenly the other shoe drops. Meanwhile that nurse is offering psychotropic drugs to Irving and he’s about to drown himself. Thankfully the gang, minus Ichabod, arrives just in time to save him, because the staff was probably somewhere not giving a damn.

The Mills sisters research the nurse Lambert, who was an angel of death (I never quite understood why everyone calls them angels considering they prey on the weak) and her last workplace was Tarrytown.

Abbie strongly believes that their mother was trying to stop her. They visit her old room and we find out that Tarrytown is quite as dreadful as imagined. They use solitary confinement and often deliberately cut off communication with the patients.

The wall is cracked and through the plaster Abbie sees something that compels her to tear it down with the help of Jenny. Nick only slightly helps with the higher up parts. It reveals a mural of the two sisters with some of the lyrics to “You are my Sunshine.” written at the bottom.

It takes Jenny back to what we initially think is a happy memory of her showing a drawing she’d made to her mother just before they pick up Abbie from school. Turns out Jenny had repressed the memory for a reason.

As Abbie consoles her their mother appears to inform them of an ancient hex that can be used against the nurse, but that she has forgotten. She speaks of a journal, just before Lambert comes and drags Abbie away again. Probably after seeing Nick hilariously struggle with the door Laurie’s ghost decides it might be a better idea if she goes after Abbie and he and Jenny go look for the journal.

It’s rather sad that nobody went to claim Laurie’s personal effects. Among them is Jenny’s drawing and Grace Dixon’s journal, finally one that didn’t belong by to an old white dude. They find a hex for witch doctors and that’s in the same ballpark as nurses right?

Said nurse has Abbie strapped down and immobile. She admits to killing her mother and offers her the same psychotropic pills, but mama comes just in time to stop her. Jenny recites the hex, but as with almost every spell on this dang show it has to be repeated twice for it to actually work. It doesn’t matter because mama Mills is gloriously defending her baby.

However, as the hex works and the nurse disappears, so does Laurie and that disappoints Abbie, who wanted to have some closure, to thank her. This is solved with a séance and everybody is there including a right-to-be-grumpy-because-he-was-drugged Ichabod.

Jenny has a bit of the witchiness about her as she lights candles and instructs everyone. Their mother appears and so do the tear-stained handkerchiefs. She wasn’t trying to kill Jenny back then; she was trying to save her from a demon. This makes me believe even harder that Jenny is the second witness, canon be damned.

All along she tried to protect them until she was locked up and Moloch sent Lambert after her. And even after that, she looked over Jenny when she was in Tarrytown and tried to help Abbie in Purgatory. She is finally freed and put to rest as everyone cries, but not before revealing that a weapon is contained within the pages of the journal.

As if the episode hadn’t been amazing already, we get Irving jumping out of some bushes and stopping Abbie’s car, before demanding he become another of the fugitives she aids and abets and jumping in the trunk.

Our last scene is of Katrina finally getting a handle on the situation by making a poison from those flowers to help terminate the demon baby. Unfortunately, Katrina is always short of having a handle on things and the demon baby has had a growth spurt and is creepier than ever.

Abbie Mills is Queen moment of the week: Irving’s on suicide watch after they rescue him and Abbie goes to see him, he’s about to thank her but she just nods and just says: “Any time.”

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