At this point it’s a wonder The Bod hasn’t completely cracked up. He’s woken up 200 years out of time, his wife is dead, his wife was a witch, his best friend became an undead horseman, and now, we find out, his wife gave birth to a son. So it’s a lot to process and we finally saw The Bod get really, really angry. And it was awesome.
On the face of it, “Sanctuary” looked like it was going to be a monster-of-the-week episode, but it took a turn into something much darker and more integral to the lore of the show as we discovered that a very haunted (and seemingly alive) house was once a source of refuge for Katrina in a time of dire need, and the house establishes that The Bod and Abbie’s friendship was fairly preordained as her ancestor was once lady of the house when it was a sanctuary for both ordinary and supernaturally-touched humans.
The Bod and Abbie get pulled into an investigation when an author, Lena Gilbert (TVD surely implied), disappears after heading toward her ancestral home. When it turns out she had investigated Katrina, The Bod and Abbie’s interest is piqued and they arrive to find one dead body and one missing author. The Bod recalls the house from its glory days when he and Katrina visited and the home was an active way station for freed slaves and, as The Bod finds out along with us, folks who needed Wiccan protection.
Now the house stands in ruin before them, overgrown with vines, a shadow of its former self. Once they go inside, they find they can’t leave, and then Abbie is shown a series of visions that clue her into the house’s history. Those, along with The Bod’s flashbacks, tell us that Katrina came to the house alone after The Bod was killed, already in labor. As she gave birth to a son, the protection spell was breached and a twig/tree creature sprang forth from the landscaping and broke into the house and started killing everybody. Katrina escaped but after that everything is unknown.
In the present, The Bod and Abbie get Lena out of the house, and once he’s safely gotten the ladies to the car, The Bod retrieves an axe from the trunk and goes back inside to face the creature. He rails at him for threatening his family and son and strikes blow after blow until he’s just drenched in blood. When he exits the house, Abbie’s startled at the sight of him. The next morning, cleaned up, he sits in their lair and Abbie comes to fetch him for Thanksgiving. He tells her he’s not much up for it and then he shows her the papers that prove the lineage of the house and her ancestor’s role in it, and that she saved his son. They toast over mugs of rum at the providence of their friendship.
Elsewhere in Sleepy Hollow, Jenny invites Irving to a makeshift Thanksgiving and then he has an encounter full of awkward with his ex-wife, who lays into him about turning into a shit father after he arrived in Sleepy Hollow. She can’t understand why Sleepy Hollow takes so much more of his time than his city job did, and he can’t tell her the truth. She arrives with their pre-teen daughter, who’s in a wheelchair, in tow, and their conversation alludes to that being a fairly recent development. She tells Irving that if he bails on one more visit with the girl, she will file for primary custody and that rattles him. Separately, Jenny has a quick conversation with the daughter where they both essentially agree to go easier on her dad.
It was a much heavier episode than I expected, and I liked that we had a little more backstory on Irving because I really couldn’t get, and still don’t entirely have, a bead on whether we can 100% trust him. I hope we can.
I loved that we saw The Bod just lose his mind for a minute. He’s been so resolute in the face of extraordinary circumstances so it was nice to see him unravel. I hope we get an answer on his son sooner than later. I also liked that while Abbie is fairly fearless, she clearly draws a line at haunted houses and being locked in close quarters. And I adored that she immediately told The Bod what she saw about his son’s birth, and that it didn’t become a dragged-out plot point. Since it was Thanksgiving, and there was no mention of them, I wonder what became of Jenny and Abbie’s parents—if we’ve been told that, I missed it.
No new fun with technology this week but we do get The Bod’s commentary on the fare at McDonalds, and I marveled that his particular brand of rum was still in play in 2013. And we get a cute commentary on Abbie’s gossip that Lena Gilbert dated George Clooney when The Bod’s only response is “An Irishman?”
We’re getting close enough to the season finale that I’m starting to dread a cliffhanger. Especially since we’ll have a nine-month hiatus. Have some mercy, people!
The team takes a rest tonight and is back next week with a new episode. Here’s a sneak peek of “Golem”: