Sleepy Hollow (S04E13) “Freedom”


Season 4 was never guaranteed, but boy, has it ever been satisfying. There was a lot of fear in the viewing audience when Abbie was killed at the end of Season 3. Fear, and anger. Personally, I was shocked that they decided to eliminate her character, but I have felt this entire season that this was not a matter of dislike of character, OR actress. It has felt with the entire storyline as if they wanted to take the show in a different direction than Season 2 or 3 allowed with the complement of existing characters. I have been very satisfied with the season. The story arc has been interesting, Tom Mison has had free rein to be playful, somber and show off his stage talents within the TV show – quite clever of the writers. Much of the whimsy AND horror of the first season returned with this season. Every single new character was useful. As you’ll see from my recap, this episode really allowed for a lot of closure. So, while I would be sad and disappointed if it was not renewed, at least I don’t have the awful unresolved cliff-hanger feeling.

The reviewcap begins here:

A horse gallops across a field with redcoats and other revolutionary-war-accoutered individuals observing. It appears a duel has been arranged. Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies), Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood), Henry (John Noble)and Ichabod (Thomas Mison) are there and per Crane’s instructions, Jenny opens up a box of dueling pistols. Henry states the nature of the offense, Crane has usurped Henry as War. Stepping 10 paces, they turn. Henry fires, striking Crane. Crane says that he must take Henry out of the world, and although he’s shot, he shoots and mortally wounds Henry.

We return to present and the duel was a vision that Jenny and Crane are sharing. This vision confirms for Jenny and Crane that Henry has taken up the mantle of war. They want confirmation, so they will use Alex’s method of confirmation.
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Adult Molly (Lara) (Seychelle Gabriel) and Diana (Janina Gavankar) discuss how in Lara’s timeline, she spent time in the vault, but she was tutored by Jobe. All she learned came from him (and she is still apparently fond of Jobe, in an odd way). Lara wants to meet Molly. Diana realizes that Lara is actually stuck in this timeline. Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) shows Alex (Rachel Melvin) that his research shows that the four horsemen are likely more powerful together. Jake is concerned that Alex is not ok. He asks if he offended her, but Alex said the opposite. Everyone convenes with Jake and Alex. Alex says she’s been able to track but is trying to get a thermal picture, and Jenny asks if she can try to hack the satellite image. Four warm images are clearly visible. They realize the horsemen are very close to Camp David (I guess we don’t need to worry since the CURRENT president is most often at Mar-A-Lago). They try to figure out how to warn the President without sounding utterly crazy. As they watch, the horsemen take off.

At Camp David, the guards fire away at the horsemen, but are unable to stop them. A burning ax mark appears on the door of the President’s (Charmin Lee) safe room, and Headless bursts in. He swings his blade and a blue glow knocks all the guards out, but not the President. As she wonders what the creature is, Malcolm Dreyfuss enters with Jobe (Kamar de los Reyes). Malcolm sends a video message informing DHS that he has the President. The team discusses that there’s no way that the government will concede to Dreyfuss’ demands, and they all decide that in order to stop this, they have to figure out how to kill an immortal enemy.

The team rummages thoroughly through the vault, but without success. However, Lara suggests that she appeal directly to Jobe. She thinks she has a way to convince him. She uses the last summoning crystal to bring Jobe to the tunnels. Lara tells Jobe that Dreyfuss is growing tired of him. Jobe growls what seems to be a curse. “Via ad Infernum!” Although the team initially says that Jobe told them to “go to Hell,” Crane realizes that he was actually DIRECTING them to literally GO TO HELL. Diana is very unhappy with the thought of Crane and Lara going, but Crane says he’s found his way back from Purgatory AND New Jersey (heh). The team jokes about bringing back souvenirs, like a snowglobe. Crane researched, and picked his apartment because the visit would not attract attention. But, before they can complete the “go to Hell” spell, Crane gets a visit from the cable guy. (“Icheebod Crane”) Crane reschedules. That scene was really amusing.
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Crane and Lara successfully execute the spell, and as Crane describes Hell as Valley Forge, during winter, Lara remarks that she isn’t seeing the same thing. She sees St. Agatha’s Home for orphaned kids. This was an extremely unique and compelling way to convey the uniqueness that the afterlife and Hell might have for everyone. “Hell is the damned places we bring with us.” Great writing! Crane tells Lara that he can relate with how Lara feels, out of time. He wants to make sure that Lara knows he will never abandon her. The filming was remarkable, because as each actor spoke their lines, the scene shifted to their individual hell. They jointly see (with a great alternating screen) the entry to the actual inferno. “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter” in Latin.

Back in the vault, although they have searched the place exhaustively, Alex notices that the bookshelves appear to be more than decorative. Jenny notices a symbol, and they are switches, when depressed at the same time, release hidden compartments. They find a hidden volume dated 1789, which documents the creation of the archive. Washington (Mark Campbell) and Bannaker (Edwin Hodge) discuss a mural, and while Betsy Ross’ participation can’t be disclosed, they do leave the tricorn hat as a secret recognition of her contribution. Bannaker says that he wants to keep the archive separate from elected officials, and Washington asks if Bannaker will ever forgive him for the events which led to Crane’s “long slumber.” They realize that the weapons are IN the archive, somewhere.
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Crane and Lara descend a long and gorgeous staircase and arrive in Hades, where they hear the Devil (Terrence Mann) singing. (It’s “BOB the skull” from The Dresden Files!) They ask if he’s the Devil who struck a deal with Malcolm Dreyfuss. They ask the Devil to help kill Dreyfuss, but the Devil asks why he should interfere, because Malcolm is bringing the Apocalypse. Then he threatens the Witnesses. Crane asserts that the Devil can’t keep them there because they came of their own free will. Crane asks if they are going to strike a deal. (Uh oh).

In the vault, they locate a drawing on the back of a picture which identifies that there is a spot in a wall. They break the wall and see a bow and other old looking weapons. At the same time, Lara and Crane reappear. Crane shows that the Devil gave him the Philosopher’s Stone. The team dubiously shows the weapons. Crane, sensing their doubt, gives a pep talk.
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At Camp David, Henry thoughtfully notes that he can feel his father coming (while Dreyfuss gloats). Henry remarks that Crane was able to overcome him before. Dreyfuss reassures him and asks Henry to trust in him. (This results in an excellent opportunity for John Noble to show off his stage chops, too.)

Alex and Jake are in the forest and Jake will not lie about their chances. But, Jake reassures Alex about how far they have come as capable fighters. Alex finally admits that it bugs her that for three years she’s been working with the one person she can’t live without, and didn’t realize it, and they finally kiss (YAY!). Jenny lets the team know they are on their way. Everyone tells each other to stay safe, and Diana tells Lara that she’s still her Mom and to be careful.

Crane and Diana approach the house, and they encounter War. The team sees the other three horsemen: Famine, Plague and Death, but they notice that War is not there. They don’t know why Headless can be out in the daylight – and decide that the horsemen are more powerful together. The weapons that the team has are activated because the team is close to the horsemen. Crane gets War to talk to him, as Henry. Crane identifies that regardless of all that they have experienced, they bond over Freedom. He points out that Henry’s hatred will enslave him. Henry realizes that Freedom is a cause even he is willing to sacrifice for, so he declares a truce. The team fights the other three.

Crane and Diana arrive at the building where Jobe and Dreyfuss are holding the President. They enter and tell Dreyfuss it’s over. Crane tries to persuade Dreyfuss that he has a lot of gifts and he’s wasting them. Dreyfuss says he wants to cut the President’s throat. He staggers and Crane sees that the Philosopher’s Stone has been activated. Diana shoots Dreyfuss who jokes about his shirt. He wonders why he’s still injured. Crane shows him the stone. And, Dreyfuss asks Jobe to help. But, Jobe grabs Malcolm and says since Malcolm’s contract has come to an end, Jobe is a free agent. He grabs screaming Malcolm and they burst into flame. Crane hopes that the Horsemen have gone with him. We see the team fighting and the remaining horsemen disappear. The President asks who Crane and Diana are and they explain they are Agency 355. She says there is a conundrum but that the solution is for Crane and Agent Thomas to report directly to her. Crane points out that he is not a citizen and she instantly makes him one.

Back in his apartment, Crane is completing his voter’s registration. Lara shows up and Crane thinks he’s late for their meeting with young Molly and Diana. Lara says she’s not sure it’s a good idea. Lara points out that Molly has been liberated because Lara is the Witness, not Molly. So, Lara decides she needs to go out and figure out for herself what it means for her. Crane bows and lets her go.
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Crane explains to Diana and Molly that Lara needed to go. Molly is disappointed. Crane tells Molly that her future is her own now. She can choose. Plus, not only is Molly free, but so is Diana. But, she tells Crane that she felt her calling and that they all are a family. Diana gets a text from Jenny about a siren.

While they head out to the lake, Diana challenges Crane about the Devil and Crane concedes that he made a deal. He shows Diana the symbol he now has branded on his arm. He has a lien on his soul. “Sorry, what was that? Situation dire? Prognosis grim? Just another day at the office.” But, Crane says that he’s certain that since he has such a good support network, he will fix this and Diana says he won’t do it alone. They discuss what this woman in the lake might be. Not a siren…it’s a Kraken! And finish the season (and perhaps the series) “Shall we punch the clock?”

Grade: A+

This episode, in particular, was sweetly satisfying. Young Molly is released, Diana commits to the business, Jenny appears to be staying, Jake and Alex have realized they love each other, older Molly (Lara) is the Witness and gets along well with Crane, Dreyfuss has been called to the Devil and Jobe is a “free agent.” War isn’t gone, but does seem to have declared a temporary truce. We got to see Hell and the Devil (who was both charming AND scary/menacing!). The team is now officially working directly for the President. This season was tightly and enjoyably written. It managed to be light-hearted, serious, funny and scary – difficult attributes to evenly achieve. The special effects were very well done and they returned to filming techniques that Len Wiseman originally introduced the first season. Most importantly for me, the cast seemed to genuinely enjoy working together and that quality makes scenes more believable and invests the audience to a greater degree than just a good story. I sincerely hope that Fox grants one more season, because the writers and the show team appear to still have room, and they had the chops to go a completely different direction this year and still hearken back to what made season 1 so special.

Next Episode: Awwww, there ISN’T ONE! Please renew this show, Fox!