The “haunted house episode” is a compulsory storyline for every sci fi TV show, and Sanctuary is Sleepy Hollow’s. It’s executed perfectly. After an initial eye roll at the, for lack of an official name, Tree Monster, there are lots of legitimately scary moments as well as continuing ties to the past.
Let’s bitch it out…
Billionaire socialite Lena Gilbert (is the name an homage to The Vampire Diaries perhaps?) disappears in Sleepy Hollow. After learning Lena (Erin Cahill) wrote “Katrina C.” in her notepad, Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) are on the case to find out what her disappearance has to do with his wife.
Eventually our heroes discover that Lena is a descendant of Lachlan Fredricks, a man whose Sleepy Hollow home was considered a safe haven for runaway slaves and others seeking refuge. The house, however, has taken a turn for the worse. When Abbie and Crane arrive, Lena’s body guard has been murdered and she has been captured by the Tree Monster <snicker> that’s taken over the house. When Abbie and Crane try to escape, they are locked inside (because that’s how haunted houses roll, y’all).
As Abbie and Crane search for a way out, Grace Dickenson, Fredericks’ house matron during the Revolutionary War, appears to Abbie in visions to show her the past, in which Katrina gives birth to Ichabod’s son (!). Katrina was the final guest of the house (hence her name in Lena’s research) and once she gave birth, the Tree Monster broke the protection spell and attacked the house. No one knows what happened to Crane’s son.
By episode’s end, we learn that Abbie is a descendant of Grace Dickenson (Side note: I was actually pretty surprised by this turn of events, I thought it would be discovered that Crane’s son was found and assumed to be Fredericks’, making Lena Crane a relation).
After Abbie relays what she sees in the visions to Crane, he is pissed. After escaping the house with Abbie and Lena, Crane immediately doubles back with an axe to hack the s*#@ out of the Tree Monster, warning Abbie “heed my words, do not follow me.” It’s the first real time that we’ve seen Crane go dark and it’s pretty thrilling.
Meanwhile, Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) visits Irving (Orlando Jones) to return the guns she stole from him during the last demon fight (cute). Then the writers try to set up romantic tension (meh). We get a glimpse into Irving’s home life, which involves a disgruntled ex-wife, a spunky daughter in a wheelchair, and a tease of Irving’s past transgressions. While I’m really not sold on any foreshadowed romance between Jennie and Irving, I do love their banter and how tentative she is when she invites him to Thanksgiving. We’ll put this into the “wait and see” category.
- I was a bit dismayed by the “black guy dies first” formula in the beginning when Lena’s bodyguard immediately bites it and the cute white heiress survives. What a wasted opportunity to turn the cliché around!
- I love the way Tom Mison drops “Lieutenant” when he’s emotional. In his soft, tortured voice: “Abbie…what happened to my son?” Heart strings = tugged.
- Fish out of Water Scene o’ the Night: Ichabod hating McDonalds. Doesn’t taste like Scottish food at all! Also, stop ruining my Thanksgiving with tales of sugarless cranberries and venison!
- Characters in sci fi shows are always skeptics at the weirdest times. Like how Lena is incredulous when Crane mentions her ancestor might have been part of a coven. COVEN?!? You just got captured by a Tree Monster and you’re trying to wrap your head around the fact that a coven exists? Priorities.
- Am I the only one that jumped when Crane, thinking he was grabbing Abbie’s hand, pulled the Tree Monster out of the wall? Anyone? Bueller?
- Crane (to Abbie): “Your company holds the greatest value to me” Sigh.
- Crane (to Abbie, after attacking the Tree Monster): “I should like to go home now”
What did you think of ‘Sanctuary’? Are you as happy with the pacing and weekly reveals into Crane’s past as I am? Are you going to make venison on Thanksgiving now? Sound off below!
Sleepy Hollow hits the pause button and returns in two weeks, Monday December 9 at 9pm EST on FOX