Sleepy Hollow returned with a [demonic] bang last night, and "The Vessel" was definitely one of the creepiest episodes to date for the new series. But as is often the case, the show started out with a bit of humor. We're pretty sure there isn't anything funnier than seeing Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane in a pair of ultra low-rise, skinny jeans. It happened, and it was awesome. Poor Crane: Abbie was trying to push all of these preppy, Gap clothes on him throughout the whole episode, and when that didn't work she tried to firmly but gently get him to take that one outfit he's been wearing this whole time to the dry cleaners. That will totally happen as soon as Ichabod figures out what a dry cleaners is.
"The Vessel" brought us closer to Captain Frank Irving's family. We've met his wife and daughter in the past and sensed plenty of tension therein, much of which permeated the episode (luckily, there's nothing like a little light-to-heavy demonic possession to bring you and your loved ones closer). In the last episode we saw Irving dealing with some serious loss of religious faith, which partly stemmed from the accident that left his daughter Macey (who will forever be Rue from The Hunger Games to some of us) paralyzed. And just as he begins to further question his faith with all the strange and violent going-ons in Sleepy Hollow, he needs to call on his pastor for protection from a demon named Ancitif that moves from body-to-body through physical contact. It was all very Fallen (you know, that 1998 Denzel Washington movie). You half expected to hear that creepy "Time Is On My Side" song.
While Irving moved his family to what he thought was a safe house, Abbie and Ichabod delved into research and found out that Abbie's sister Jenny (who was sorely missed in the last episode) was on some old tapes the late officer Corbin had made, in which she was all glossy-eyed and demon-possessed. In one especially terrifying clip she foretells of Corbin's death at the hands of the Horseman and predicts Abbie's death too. After seeing this footage Jenny confesses to Ichabod that she purposefully got herself arrested numerous times when they were younger, just to keep herself from hurting Abbie when she was under possession. An intentional juvenile delinquent? Now that's love, folks.
The Crane/Mills team figures out that an old French lantern can be used to exorcise the demon and they go after it. Meanwhile, the demon -- now in possession of one of Irving's officers (naturally, the one who was protecting Macey) -- demands that Irving bring him George Washington's Bible, which had been buried with Crane. Once the demon takes hold of Macey (what a horrific scene: Macey with her face deformed, hair standing on end, floating in the sky, attacking her parents and the pastor in a very The Exorcist-esque moment) Ichabod, Abbie, and Jenny have very limited time to get the French lantern from this intense, rifle-toting group of people (Jenny used to train with them, of course) before the demon either kills Macey or gets its hands on that Bible.
When they meet up with Irving, his wife, and a barely recognizable Macey they find that a little salt and a French lantern go a long way. The exorcism scene was especially powerful, as Jenny had to face the demon who used to take hold of her, but for the first time had her sister by her side. The Mills sisters are something fierce when they team up together, and part of the appeal of Sleepy Hollow is watching the unfolding of their new relationship as this awesome demon-fighting duo.
At the episode's close, Ichabod uses a homemade invisible ink to uncover any secret message in Washington's Bible. Written in Washington's handwriting is a date that holds great significance. The first President of the United States had written in his own Bible ... four days after his death. We'll have to wait for the two-hour season finale to find out what in the world that means.
A Few Questions To Ponder Until Next Week:
Are Irving and his wife going to reignite some kind of post-daughter's exorcism flame? And if so, what does that mean for Irving and Jenny?! Because they have been totally cute together!
Will Ichabod discover the glory of dry-cleaning and do something with those funky threads?
And, seriously. What is going on with the storyline concerning baby Crane? Will Ichabod find out more details about his son or what?