Sleepy Hollow (S04E09) “Child’s Play”


Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) and Alex (Rachel Melvin) are running a youth obstacle course. Alex asks Jake why he’s obsessed with competing with 12-year-old girls. She notes that he’s clearly worried about working for an agency who had Davy Crockett and Sacajawea as progenitors. He says he wants to guarantee he’s physically ready. She points out he took down a djinn.

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Molly (Oona Yaffe) is in her class, but is very depressed. Her instructor, Mr. David (Michael Scialabba) asks her if she needs an extension because her work is incomplete. She walks away from him mid-sentence in front of her mother, Diana (Janina Gavankar), who is mortified. The instructor says he’s used to short attention spans, but wonders if something is wrong, because this isn’t typical of Molly. Diana and the instructor agree to meet later to discuss the issue. Molly and her mom talk in the car, and Molly is worried. Diana says she wants to show her something, and they go to the Vault. Jake and Alex excitedly show Molly some of the cool stuff. Diana leaves Molly with #TeamVault.

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Malcolm (Jeremy Davies) has Jobe (Kamar de los Reyes) add weight to him while he is impaled by a nail embedded table. Malcolm is using this to enhance his access to his visions, and this is fruitful, as his vision shows him having a meal with Molly, who is drawing him as a present, a thank you gift. (Side note – this sounds like a creepy new TV show “Malcolm and Molly”). Good thing that Malcom heals quickly. Somehow, Malcolm has a very significant role to play – but in this case Molly is her current age, not like the prior vision where Crane was a lot older.

Molly and Crane (Thomas Mison) discuss monsters. Molly shows Crane Mr. Stitch. Although it evokes really bad memories for Crane (Jeremy’s toy) he maintains his cool. Molly sings a song, which activates SOMETHING in the tunnel. Crane shows Molly the secret passageways. Shouting echoes agitates the monster. This activates something which shuts down the vault. Jake and Alex are able to communicate with Crane and Alex is convinced this is a security system.  They see a “federal ID” and trace it to Claudia Russell (Claire Byrne). It turns out that Claudia was the last agent before Alex and Jake. Diana explains that she has an appointment with Molly’s teacher. #TeamVault convinces her to go meet with the teacher as Crane and Molly are secure inside the sealed vault tunnels.

Mr. David hears someone enter his classroom, and he’s attacked by something. Diana comes in and sees him on the ground. Diana sees that Mr. David is holding a piece of fabric and suspects it is Mr. Stitch. Crane confirms that it likely is a gollum. He warns her that this magic shouldn’t be trifled with.

Jake and Alex go to Claudia Russell’s home, which is booby-trapped and comes within an inch of taking Jake’s head off. Inside, they find Claudia, dead and mummified.

Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) comes to help Diana, who has pulled out the baby blanket, which is intact. Diana wonders how this creature could come out of Molly’s head. Diana can’t figure out why Molly’s protector would go after her favorite teacher, and Jenny explains that Molly is likely angry and frustrated with her mom, but doesn’t feel like she can say anything. So, the monster is going after people that she’s angry with for her. Jenny points out that Abbie being a Witness helped overcome some serious issues between the sisters.

Alex and Jake watch a video left by Claudia, in which she says that people forgot how bad and dangerous evil could be, even with all the protections that were collected in the vault. She mentions sacrifices and someone named “Michael.” “Evil never forgets.” And, it explains her leaving the booby-trap.

Back in the vault, Crane continues to work to free them from the vault and says “always help yourself.” Crane tells Molly about Pygmalion. How artistic talent and intensive emotion can bring things to life. This was Crane’s way to tell Molly that they think it’s Mr. Stitch. He helps work with Molly to think about where Mr. Stitch might be going. Molly thinks about the scene, and it’s clear she’s mad at her mother.

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Jenny and Diana are at the house, when one of the sigils is activated. Mr. Stitch (Derek Mears) attacks and they fight him. He leaves and they are wondering – the irony is that Mr. Stitch is controlled by “bedtime.” They discuss that this is an Id monster. Jenny helps clarify that Molly doesn’t hate her mother, but is frustrated. She also says Diana is lucky that she gets to receive this message, so she can address it.

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Jake and Alex find the plans for the vault and see that there were mechanical as well as physical controls. The opening is too small for non-Lilliputian Crane. Crane is not happy with Molly doing this, but she convinces Crane she must take action (she’s been listening). So, Molly squeezes in. Only two of the levers Molly sees can be moved. She unties her rope (always a bad move). She finds a grate, and gets lifted out. BY MALCOLM DREYFUSS. Malcolm tells Molly that he knows things feel like they are bad, but they are going to get better. He leaves before being seen by Alex and Jake.

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Jenny executes a ritual to draw the gollum to the amusement park, so they can dispose of it. It attacks them. Molly arrives, and stops the gollum, explaining that she should have talked to her Mom instead, and explains what’s been frustrating her. Diana explains that it’s ok for Molly to be angry. They burn the gollum (in a very impressive shot).

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Alex and Jake are having a conversation while Jenny is opening the vault. Alex is very upset about Claudia and the danger. Jake reassures Alex that this won’t happen to them, because they are a strong team. The door releases finally and Crane emerges. Fortunately, they have provided “delights of the Far East” for Crane. He leaves, and they look at an e-reader that fell out of Molly’s backpack. Dreyfuss was head of a charity that donated the e-readers, and this device had a hex embedded in it.

Dreyfuss shuts his company down (“decluttering”), and all the employees are leaving, but one of his associates shows promise as a recruit. Jobe asks about Molly, and Dreyfuss has figured out that he has significance to Molly as a father figure. (ew.)

It is a true pleasure to watch the interaction between Oona Yaffe and Thomas Mison. He is genuinely enjoying being with her and with the other cast members and it shows. The ratings situation makes a future season uncertain, and that’s a pity, as this season has been a real return to the first season’s feeling (Yes, I absolutely miss Abbie, but I love this season and its cast as much). The Dreyfuss story arc is extremely compelling. I am looking forward to seeing how Malcolm insinuates himself into Molly’s life, when they are all aware of his evilness (except Molly). I liked the back story on the Vault, as well as Jenny being able to offer independent advice to Diana. The tight relationship continues to grow between Alex and Jake. The only thing I didn’t like about this episode was the running gag about Jake not understanding they had a radio connection with Crane inside the chamber. He’s not that stupid. It was an odd misstep in an otherwise strong episode. The special effects were good for the gollum and its destruction.

Grade: B

Next episode: “Insatiable” airs on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 9 pm on Fox