Despite its origins in absurd supernatural and mystical forces, Sleepy Hollow does get sweetly sentimental on occasion. There have been moments of great friendship and understanding between Abbie and Ichabod on more than one occasion, but this week, just in time for Thanksgiving, our duo and their cohorts actually take time to meditate on family and what the holiday actually means.
Irving and Jenny are without a side mission this week, however, they do suddenly develop an inexplicable sexual tension out of thin air. It's something that gets the notice of Irving's daughter Macy, who witnesses Jenny inviting Irving to Thanksgiving dinner – an offer he accepts right as his ex-wife and Macy arrive. Macy's not very fond of her father, but Jenny tries to convince her that he's actually an alright guy while his ex-wife is threatening him with a possible full custody battle if he doesn't have Macy out to visit him in Sleepy Hollow more often.
But new character, Lena Gilbert has much bigger family problems. She's finally secured the deed to her ancestors' house, Fredricks Manor, but when she gets there her security guard is killed and she's trapped in a closet full of branches. When Abbie and Ichabod arrive on the scene – because Lena's a billionaire and billionaires aren't allowed to be missing – they find the house is haunted. The clue: the house shuts all its own doors and shutters and traps them. When they finally locate Lena, they free her from the vines (which bleed when they're cut, oh joy) and spend way too much time explaining how everyone is related to the house as the tree creature who owns those bleeding vines comes after them.
They're separated and Abbie sees a ghost who turns about to be mistress of the house, Grace Dixon. Grace leads Abbie to a vision of Katrina giving birth to a son Ichabod didn't know about. Abbie supposes this is because Katrina couldn't tell him she was a witch and that her coven was at Fredericks Manor and that Lachlan Fredricks was a part of it. In the vision, the tree creature grew inside the grounds in order to beat Lachlan's protective hex, and as soon as it awoke, it killed Lachlan and went after the baby. Her vision cuts out at the most suspenseful moment – before we find out if Baby Crane lived – because of course it does.
Ichabod is distraught, but they must find Lena, who is taken yet again by the walking tree. They find her a pitch black room and shoot the tree's roots to avoid accidentally shooting Lena in order to free her. Abbie has another vision of Katrina escaping at the back of the room and she leads them all to safety. But Ichabod, filled with the love of family, seeks revenge on the creature who went after his wife and child.
Then comes the fight. Ichabod's got cuts and bruises, he's wearing a billowy shirt, he's wielding an ax, and he's a beloved literary character with a British accent. It's like they churned this guy out of the fetish machine. (Not complaining.) He defeats the creature who threatened his wife and child and returns to the precinct where he's gloomy about Thanksgiving because it just reminds him of the family he doesn't have (you and every un-cuffed human this time of year, buddy).
Abbie suggests they attend Jenny's Thanksgiving, where Irving and some sudden and not entirely convincing sexual chemistry will be engrossing Jenny's attention while Ichabod and Abbie spend time drinking rum to come to terms with the fact that they're all they've got. And Abbie discovers that she's related to the woman who helped deliver Ichabod's child into the world.
Somehow, this supernatural series managed to end its "Thanksgiving" episode on a rather grave, yet entirely realistic note about family and finding thanks and togetherness during the holidays, which actually makes us love it more. It's like Ichabod: brains and supernatural, completely improbable brawn.
Despite its origins in absurd supernatural and mystical forces, Sleepy Hollow does get sweetly sentimental on occasion. There’ve been moments of great friendship and understanding between Abbie and Ichabod on more than one occasion, but this week, just in time for Thanksgiving, our duo and their cohorts actually take time to meditate on family and what the holiday actually means.
The episode begins as a Washington D.C. billionaire named Lena Gilbert (no relation to Vampire Diaries’ Elena Gilbert, though I did do a double take when I heard her name the first time) comes to Sleepy Hollow to take possession of her ancestors’ home, Fredericks Manor. Before we can learn much about this pretty, privileged lady, she’s wrapped up by living branches and pulled into a closet. There is something seriously rotten in what she thought would be a nice vacation home.
But billionairesses who’ve dated George Clooney (Abbie’s mystical Internet tells us so) certainly aren’t allowed to go missing, so when Irving gets wind of her disappearance, he sends Ichabod and Abbie after her. Of course, this couldn’t have come at a worse time, as the seasonal depression brought on by a lack of loved ones during Thanksgiving has overtaken Ichabod. He needs Katrina because she’s his family and the fact that they now need her to save the world too only makes it worse. Abbie gives him the night off, but of course, duty calls yet again.
Before running off to find her, they find that Lena had notes with the name "Katrina C." written in them. Abbie says it’s a coincidence, but Ichabod knows that the notes refer to Katrina Crane, his wife. Abbie and Ichabod consult the Internet (super high-tech police stuff, here) and find that Lena’s a descendant of Lachlan Fredericks, who was a charter man of the Continental Congress. (See: important dude.) To make matters worse, it appears that her home, Fredericks Manor, is haunted or cursed, because it has had no residents for longer than a few weeks since Lachlan Fredericks died. Sure, guys. Head right in, guns a-blazing. Great idea.
When the duo arrives, something is very, very amiss. Ichabod immediately remembers that he’s visited the house before. It was a sanctuary for freed slaves who worked there of their own choosing for fair wages; Lachlan was an early abolitionist. However, in present day, the house plays host to violence. Lena’s private security guard is dead and there are bloody hand prints all over the floor, signifying that someone -- Lena -- was dragged away from her slain protector.