Sleepy Hollow: Sanctuary (or I am the Birdman Coo Coo Ca Choo)

By Sarah Tompkins on

About Sarah Tompkins

Has been described as: "shorter than I thought you would be" and "can you please face the wall when you talk?"



This episode we saw lots of blood ties – both in the figurative, familial sense, and in the literal, demontree with an arterial system sense. So, I guess what the writers are telling us is that the ties that bind us are sometimes actual, scarecrow creature tentacles, ensnaring us – whether we want them to or not.

A Quick Recap:

A rich lady and her architecturally knowledgeable bodyguard enter a creepy house. They do not exit.

At the police station, Thanksgiving talk has everyone grumpy, but it’s no matter – Irving has another case for the Dream Team, and it’s at a place Ichabod knows well: Frederick’s Manor, a former sanctuary for freed slaves and, apparently, The Hippest Place for members of the local witch coven.

Abbie and Ichabod quickly realize that all is not right in the house, and that, boy, howdy, is it haunted. While being chased through the house by some Ivy League Scarecrow Monster, we learn that not only did Katrina reside in the house following Ichabod’s almost-demise, but she also gave birth to a son (thanks to Abbie’s Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandma).

Narrowly escaping with their lives (but handily escaping with a terrifying dry cleaning bill), Abbie and Ichabod drink rum and contemplate family, but most importantly drink rum.

Let’s take this one family at a time, shall we? Let’s start with Captain Frank Irving, his daughter, Macy, and his estranged wife, Cynthia. Here we see the now common dynamic of the divorced parents struggling with balancing the life of a single parent with caring for their shared child. Where we expect to see vitriol on the part of one party, we see instead a tentative respect that is only marred by Irving’s apparent inability to make time for his daughter.


Of course, being in on that dramatic irony, we know that Sleepy Hollow is far from sleepy, and Irving’s work is literally life or death (or apocalypse). Nonetheless, we’re shown a more human side of the police captain, and we’re exposed to a commonplace struggle of many parents amidst this crazy landscape of Hessians and supernatural Founding Fathers. Here we see a man, trying to do his best – and finding it might not be enough.

We also get a small glimpse into the continuing rebuilding happening between Jenny and Abbie. The two sisters, it seems, are now living together, and while Jenny isn’t quick to forgive and forget, she’s willing to cook a nice turkey in appreciation of her sister’s generosity.

In the quick interaction between Macy and Jenny, we also learn that, despite Jenny’s initial oath never to forgive Abbie, perhaps she’s reconsidering her stance. Sometimes big sisters aren’t so bad.

grace dixon

Not to mention, the Mills gained another, less corporeal family member this episode. Grace Dixon, the matron of Frederick’s sanctuary, was both terrifying and helpful. Another twine binding Abbie to Ichabod, cementing their fated connection as Witnesses – which is reflected in the final scene between the two: It may not be “pheasants” and “turkeys,” it may not be a wife or a blood relation, but to “find” a family is to learn that one is not alone, to find community in another being.


Now to tackle (or hack away violently at) the ties that bind Dear Ichabod and Katrina. As ever, Ichabod remains steadfast in his devotion to his sort-of-late-wife (the rules of purgatory are a bit bendy), while each week it seems that we uncover another truth Katrina has either concealed or outright lied about. And this week it was a doozy: or rather, a baby.


Disregarding Katrina’s past indiscretions, Ichabod continues to find disbelief in revelations about his wife. Though, honestly, Ichy, the evidence is starting to look pretty damning. It was rather easy to brush off the pretenses under which Katrina had Ichabod secure an invitation to Frederick’s Manor in revolutionary days – a small lie to again shield her witchcraft from her husband’s eye – but when a child comes into the picture…well, ask Irving. Children change things.

Even before this (lower case) revelation, Ichabod has felt the absence of family. No pheasants, friends long dead, a world completely foreign. However, a child, a product of his and Katrina’s marriage – and the void it now leaves behind – brings Ichabod’s loss to a level he did not conceive as possible before. One can only hope that, in his anger (you’d think that in one of those Purgatory Spirit Quests Katrina takes him on, she could have blurted out a quick: OH HI. FYI: WE HAD A KID), he’ll start demanding answers from his Ghost Wife.

Sometimes, it seems, the ties that bind are also the ties that sever.




Plausibility: 1 Irving
Scariness: 5 Hessian Heads OH GOD FIVE
Historical Accuracy: 1 George Washington


– This was the first episode of the series directed by a women! Woot!

– Another familial relation: Lena and her ancestors who owned the demonic home. (Why was that place such a hotbed for evil anyway? Hellmouth?) I have a feeling we have not seen the last of Miss Billionaire (A BILLION DOLLARS?!)

– “Treasure from the Amazon” is absolutely what I am calling my next online purchase.

– What was with the birds going all Hitchcock on at that baby? Unintentional or not, I got mega demonchild vibes from Katrina’s offspring. Maybe a Moloch baby?

– At first, I thought that Macy’s disabilities were just an awesome attempt at this show to expand their diversity to a really inclusive cast – but then there was a brief mention from Cynthia of an “incident” in New York that Macy is recovering from. I wonder what that will be…and of course how it will inevitably connect to the End of Days narrative.

– I hope that Grace Dixon comes back, and this time not as a plot device to further Ichabod’s story. It’d be nice to see a bit more of Abbie’s lineage, and how that plays a part in her status as Witness. I still cling to the theory that Abbie and Arthur Bernard are related. Because everyone is related on this show. Pretty sure Ichabod’s son will be a relation to Corbin.

– We got a quick glimpse into Ichabod’s childhood – and it wasn’t super horrible! Now let’s learn more about Abbie, pleasethanks.

– We either need to have Katrina become a more substantial character, or we need to stop using her only as a plot device. It’s becoming harder and harder to see a genuine, affectionate relationship between she and Ichabod. Reaaallly starting to wonder where her motives lie.

– Amandla Stenberg as Macy – fantastic casting. More, please.

– I didn’t mean to, but I totally started to ship Irving/Jenny, aka Mr. and Mrs. BAMF.

– No actual Frederick’s Manor in Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown, but there is Philipsburg Manor


  1. I agree Irving and Jenny has to happen! And I totally didn’t see a baby coming! That last scene with Abbie and Ichabod totally made my shipper heart do some feels!
    I like how they are adding more things tying Abbie and Ichabod together. I can’t wait for the next episode! It looks like a doozy!

    • I agree. My shippery feels were all over the place. Especially with this baby thrown in the mix. Though I am very interested to see where that story line goes…Did he live? What does it mean if he did – because Katrina certainly wasn’t around to raise him. And my heart did break for him when Abbie told him he had a son (props to Tom Mison, who is not only gorgeous, but damn talented).

      Though, most of the time I was just yelping and shouting loudly: “OH HELL NO.”

  2. I am betting the baby lived.It will be heheartbreaking either way. I do wonder if his child is (was?) on the oppisite side of Ichabod. And why didn’t Katrina say anything? I am pretty sure she had a couple seconds to say “We have a son” in one of their meetings. I am glad Abbie told him right away. I was scared they were going to have her not tell him to create a rift.

  3. I didn’t care for this ep at all. It was too obviously ‘family/Thanksgiving’ themed with a side helping of evil Swamp Thing attacking Paris Hilton. Why did I care if the evil roots killed the heiress? Trick question: I didn’t.


    Katrina not telling Ichabod about his son… We don’t have any evidence it’s his. When did she give birth? We’re assuming it’s less than 9 months after his quasi-death. Maybe its a year or 3 later.

    It’d be a horrible betrayal not to tell Ichabod about his son if his son were alive, but presumably he’s been dead a minimum of 150 years. Since she died young she can’t tell him stories about what a fine young man he grew into and what a happy life he led. It’s all just sad news for Ichabod and usually she’s busy giving him the information needed to not get killed. I’m not mad at her. Of course it’s probably going to turn out that the son’s magically alive, in which case she’s a horrible person.

    Now that they’re not just soiled (with magic mandrake blood – which is a bear to get out of natural fibers) but ripped, I’m assuming Ichabod can get new clothes. BTW- wasn’t he wearing that same coat when visiting Frederick’s Manor (just with the collar buttoned down)? That struck me as off. I’d think he’d wear something more elegant. Then again, in an era when men’s fashion was more varied and expressive, Crane was anything but a snappy dresser. It’s probably appropriate for a schoolteacher, but he dresses like a country parson. If his new clothes show some flair, that’ll be a real departure.

  4. This episode left me with mixed feelings. Macy is sassy, and I love her. I think she needs to move to Sleepy Hollow. There were def some sexy vibes between J Mills and the Captain, my Captain. The root demon seemed pretty hokey (pokey- that’s Katie Mae’s two cents) in my humble opinion. I do dig the obvious man-in-a-rubber-suit baddies a la Doctor Who, but what was the point of him? Did he grow into the property to eliminate the coven? Or just to murder our main hottie’s prodigy? Why was he content to bide his time for 250 years at that house waiting for some poor schmuck to walk in the door and happen upon an upstairs closet? Did he know that the Two Witnesses would show up eventually? And when did Katrina find time to carry a child to term and deliver it without her husband’s knowledge? Was he already entombed in the earth doing the Sleeping Beauty or was this while he was scampering through the forest delivering the pre-Declaration of Independence? Time may be wibbly wobbly, but I am a little fuzzy on the progression of occurrences.

    The worst part is that we have to wait a week until we supposedly learn more about Ichy’s secret love child. Although I am super excited to see Mr. Sin Eater in another episode. I find him both creepy and intriguing, and I have so many questions for him.

    • “sexy vibes between J Mills and the Captain, my Captain.” – I’m not on board with the prospect of an Ichabod-Abbie pairing, but this is a relationship I could definitely get behind.

      “The root demon… man-in-a-rubber-sui… what was the point of him?” – I didn’t care for that either. He’s a pretty silly monster of the week who didn’t add anything to the story. Abby could have had the flashback without him as far as I’m concerned.

      “Why was he content to bide his time for 250 years at that house waiting for some poor schmuck to walk in the door and happen upon an upstairs closet?” – That’s the problem with tree and shrubbery monsters: they lack mobility and can be easily attacked via the roots tethering them to their hunting grounds. If I’d been Ichabod, instead of an axe, I’d have used the flares and some siphoned gas to burn the mini-Ent’s house down. I am, however, grateful to the Swamp Thing lookalike for shredding Ichabod’s clothes and paving the way for new wardrobe.

      BTW- was rich the rich socialite character written as TOO dumb? The building looks haunted and may be structurally unsound, but nevermind because she’s in a hurry to redecorate. And who, upon finding a tree growing in a closet thinks, “I’ll just tear this out with my bare hands”?

      “when did Katrina… carry a child… Was he already entombed in the earth… or was this while he was scampering through the forest delivering the pre-Declaration of Independence?” – The letter in Gulliver’s Travels indicates it was after Ichabod was killed (sort of) by Abe, but we don’t know how long after. If it’s really Ichabod’s son (which is just supposition) we can assume this 20-40 weeks later. Frankly, it seems just as likely to me that it’s a couple of years later and Katrina never told Ichabod because it’s not his- although I seriously doubt that’s what the writers are going to do with the story.

  5. More:

    “Macy’s disabilities were just an awesome attempt at this show to expand their diversity to a really inclusive cast” – If we assume Morales is Latino, then there aren’t any non-bicentenarian white characters. Once again, white Americans are woefully underrepresented on prime time :'(

    “I AM THE BIRDMAN COO COO CA CHOO” – Because a birdman comes from an eggman? I don’t get it.

    “everyone is related on this show” – Perhaps Grace raised Katrina’s son after she died- in which case (given the show so far) it’s likely that the families later intermarried and Ichabod could be Abbie’s great x6 grandfather!

    I get the sugar- but why would the pilgrims have access to pheasants but not turkeys? There were wild turkeys in the colonies – Franklin said they’d’ve been a better emblem for our country than the bald eagle.

    Ichabod’s anachronistic attitudes about race and gender are starting to get annoying. I wouldn’t mind if he weren’t constantly correcting popular misconceptions about history, but in conjunction with that it’s getting ridiculous. The views he’s espousing are very much outside the mainstream for his time. In fact, they’d be radical for at least four or five more generations. His blatant hatred of the French and implied disdain for Irish is more accurate. He could be an abolitionist and believe women deserved more autonomy, but realistically he’d likely have thought that non-whites were inferior and that women shouldn’t be given the vote. Whitewashing the character thus while pointing out that Revere warned of regulars rather than British is more than a little absurd.

    “We got a quick glimpse into Ichabod’s childhood” – Didn’t he say something in on of the first episodes about coming from a wealthy background? Even if his father was an Oxford don, his circumstances would’ve been modest compared to the nobility or to someone as wealthy as Frederick or Abraham.

    “ship Irving/Jenny, aka Mr. and Mrs. BAMF” – Agreed. If there’s a 3rd season I’d guarantee it’s in the cards for those two. Why BAMF? (Not a Nightcrawler reference, I wouldn’t think.)

    “Treasure from the Amazon” is absolutely what I am calling my next online purchase.” – ditto

  6. A little detail I liked: after making a really REALLY old joke about McD’s, the writers got Ichabod a little closer to pronouncing ‘internet’ correctly.

    “Could your wondrous… innernet perform a search on Miss Gilbert’s ancestry?”

    I already miss ‘ninnanet’ :'(

  7. PS: TIL that Belgium used to be called the Austrian Netherlands. Every Belgian I’ve known has proudly claimed that their country originated pommes frites, but they also believe it should be served with mayonnaise rather than catsup- a combination that makes poutine seem appetizing by comparison.

  8. PPS: The Sheriff’s Dept. computers’ desktop background shows a seal with the motto, “Si Deus Pro Nobis, Quis Contras Nos” (Romans 8:31 – If God be for us, who can be against us?). Via the magical ninnanet, I learned that the same motto is inscribed in the original church bell of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow.

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