[This is a review for Sleepy Hollow season 1, episode 9. It contains SPOILERS.]
Sleepy Hollow provides a Thanksgiving feast stocked full of haunted houses and a terrifying tree monster in this week's episode, entitled 'Sanctuary.' With a billionaire heiress gone missing, it's up to Abbie and Ichabod to traverse through the most horrific house in town, filled with secrets over 200 years-old.
Before discussing the events at Frederick's Manor, let's look at the revelations concerning Captain Irving and his family. Over the past three weeks or so, Sleepy Hollow improved on the character development of its supporting cast. Irving (Orlando Jones), has been one of those figures that needed to be fleshed out. Well, 'Sanctuary' did not hold back, as we meet his daughter (Macey) and his lovely ex-wife (Cynthia). The fact that Macey is handicapped gives this unveiling an even more dramatic feel. With Jenny Mills awkwardly nearby, the soap-opera-melodrama could have ruined the moment - but it wasn't, due to tactful writing. Are Jenny and Irving developing a romantic chemistry, or is it just harmless flirtation?
Thanksgiving spent in a haunted house sounds like the worst idea imaginable, but it was the place that our two heroes were needed this week, and where we learn about Abbie's childhood fear of houses like Frederick's Manor.
In typical Sleepy Hollow fashion, the series continues to expand its mythology, as the tree creature is revealed to be a minion of Moloch. Ichabod and Abbie also share a history with this house. Our beautiful lieutenant is the descendant of Grace Dixon, who served as midwife to Ichabod's son. In a time of slavery, Frederick's Manor was a home where African-American's could work freely and receive a wage. Even though it's not surprising, it is nice to know that Katrina, Ichabod, and many of their friends were part of the abolitionist movement.
By the end of 'Sanctuary," Ichabod proves that he and his family are not to be trifled with. With axe in hand, the 18th-century Englishman goes toe-to-toe with the tree monster, using all of the anger and frustration he's built up over the centuries to slay Moloch's servant. Back at the police station, Ichabod shares why he's so sorrowful during the holidays. Katrina may be trapped in purgatory, but Abbie reassures him that he can still find happiness with new friends. The key word there is "friends," well, at least for now anyway.
Sure, Ichabod and Abbie could easily start falling for each other, but their brother/sister-like camaraderie is a more dynamic approach to storytelling, and a harder one to pull-off. Anyone can be made to fall in love on television, but to show true friendship and loyalty in a non-sexual way is no easy task. Will the two companions stay friends, or is there a chance for love in future episodes?
At the end of this Thanksgiving-themed episode, there are still questions that remain unanswered. What happened to Ichabod's son? Is there a chance he could still be alive, perhaps trapped with Katrina in Purgatory? Sleepy Hollow has yet to disappoint in terms of its willingness to follow through on the mysteries that abound in this series, so keep watching to uncover the truth.
Sleepy Hollow continues with 'Vessel' on Monday Dec. 9, @9pm on Fox. Watch a preview of next week's episode below: