Sleepy Hollow: Dawn’s Early Light

YAS. This is what I was talking about. With three episodes left to go, Abbie and Crane were together for almost the entire hour of Sleepy Hollow this evening. I could end this recap now because the particulars are almost irrelevant alongside the fact that they were together, but let’s break it down anyway. One note, for the folks who ship Ichabbie — this was not your episode, and I respect that.

We begin with Abbie and Jenny at Abbie’s house when their Dad drops by unannounced and Abbie’s surprised but OK with it while Jenny is outright rattled. Crane arrives and they meet and then Dad goes on his way. When Crane heads to the tunnels, he finds Pandora and she makes her case that they need to help her reassemble her box in the catacombs to save all humanity (of course) because VOB is most unhappy and counting down to the mother of all tantrums.

Crane floats the idea to Abbie and they soon realize thanks to a hidden reference in a hat that the Crossing of the Delaware may have started in this realm, but it finished in the catacombs, and a handmade flag from Betsy was the key to safe passage. Sidebar: I genuinely love the wackadoodle twistory they come up with every week.

Crane is hurt at this realization because he was on shore that day and Betsy lied about her inclusion and role in the mission, and he was asked by Washington to stay behind. That was compounded when she left him a Dear John letter of sorts just as the penny dropped that he might have actually loved her if she hadn’t gone

Back in the present, they reconcile that they need the flag, and a nerdy Joe knows exactly where to get it, so Crane and Abbie they head to Boston to retrieve it. In doing so, they wake up its supernatural guardian, even though the flag they find at Paul Revere’s house is a fake.

They run, and Abbie sends the pics of the flag to Jenny and Joe, who put together that the replica is coded with the notes to the “Star-Spangled Banner,” so Crane and Abbie follow those clues to where Francis Scott Key hid the real flag. They find its lair and Joe and Jenny arrive in time to freeze dry and shatter the soldier guardian.

In the middle of all that, Abbie nearly tells Danny the truth and then has to do it for real when the flag guardian pops up and attacks them. Danny bites Crane’s head off in the middle of that explanation, which I’m sure was a point of rage; for me it just made him a brat. Abbie blurts out the truth and Danny is surprisingly chill about it all but he still goes to see Sophie and ask WTF.

She tells him she’s not been in the loop that much longer than he has. Abbie comes to see him later and clears the air that now that he knows everything there’s nothing to stop them or use as an excuse to not pursue a relationship. He hears her out and then kisses her.

She goes to meet Crane at sunrise (which makes me think she spent the night with Danny because she and Crane would have otherwise travelled together). Crane holds Betsy’s true flag and as the light hits the golden thread around the stars, their path to the catacombs is revealed, and they agree to go. It’s a lovely, quiet moment, but I was a little annoyed that the episode title kind of tipped it ahead of time. Not really a true spoiler, but I’d rather have not had that reveal telegraphed. I’m just weird that way. Moving on.

Pandora, meanwhile, puts VOB on notice via hologram that she will defeat him because the Witnesses have proven to her that he does not love her and she will never be his true partner. And Jenny has her misgivings about her Dad proven false when he shows up at her door with the pink taffy she loved as a child.

So, where the Danny arc falls short for me is that we haven’t really seen Abbie pine for a romantic life until he resurfaced, so I’m not buying that she’s been feeling a sense of loss or a missing piece in her life, unless we’re supposed to think that the catacombs heightened it.

It makes even less sense that she’d project that onto Danny when Crane (plus the sigil) was her touchstone for remaining sane for a year. If it was ever raised that she felt at odds without a love of her own while Crane was reconciled with Katrina, I missed it.

On the other hand, Crane doesn’t seem at all threatened that she wants a relationship with Danny. He’s more concerned about the longterm, that Danny could come to harm if he knows the truth. There’s also the thing that we at home know that they don’t — that he’s in cahoots with the Feeb director and I’d bet none of this is really news to him. I just hope he doesn’t turn out to be an actual villain.

All of that doesn’t help the fans who ship Crane and Abbie. I’ve said for three years that for me, they are bonded, and family, but I’ve never felt like it was a romance. It’s a soul mate situation without a romantic component. That works on every level for me, but I do get that there are fans for whom that’s not enough, and Danny is an affront, especially if  there was any opportunity to realize a romance with Katrina out of the way.

I don’t think a romance is the strength of Crane and Abbie. The strength is that he crossed time and found a kindred soul in a woman who’d spent most of her life lost and alone because of something preordained, and her bond with Crane, as unbelievable and strange as it is, redefined her perspective, gave her a purpose and a partner, and grounded her. They are stronger as a pair. They live and die for each other. I don’t think that’s devalued because they’re not together romantically. I loved having them together tonight — in the car, at home, on the chase, in the field. It was overdue and most welcome, to borrow from Crane.

Two episodes left. I really need this show to come back next fall.

Photo Courtesy of FOX.

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