Image credit: Brownie Harris/FOX
HEYYY, HORSEMAN HORSEMAN HORSEMAN "You think you're a match for Ichabbie? Have you seen us?"
...by a group of proper, solemn Freemasons. How does Crane immediately know that they're Freemasons? Elementary, my dear viewers! "Should have removed your cufflinks, J.R.," he chides the dark-haired lead captor. "Surname, Rutledge; the family resemblance is too much to ignore. You're a descendant of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signatory of the Declaration of Independence. I knew him well. Here's what else I know -- your left palm is calloused, suggesting you work with your hands. Your right finger bears discoloration in the shape of an inverted square and compass, denoting a ring that's been removed. For my benefit, perhaps. Hexes to ward off evil. All telltale signs of freemasonry." And the capper: Ichabod is, of course, also a Mason himself.
Good show, Crane! You've earned the right to recline with a pipe and a deerstalker. His moment of triumph, though, is relatively short-lived. While Ichabod has expertly deduced who the Masons are, his fate will be determined by his ability to prove his own identity.
The Masons ask Ichabod to relay the tale of when he first heard the phrase "ordo ab chao," or "order from chaos" -- a sort of Masonic calling card. They'll know he is who he says he is if his tale matches an account of Ichabod Crane written centuries ago. And so Ichabod relays the story, taking us via flashback to a time when he was still loyal to the British crown.
Back in those days, before the shot heard 'round the world, Crane was a redcoat lieutenant tasked with interrogating insurgents like one Arthur Bernard -- a freed slave charged with printing a document advocating American rebellion. (Nerd alert: The pamphlet in question looks an awful lot like Thomas Paine's Common Sense.) Bernard's house is where Ichabod first laid eyes on the fetching young Katrina Van Tassel, a nurse who doubled as colonial America's first Dutch Quaker. There are sparks; there are pensive stares, there's the inevitable record scratch when Ichabod thinks he spies a demon, and Katrina informs him that he's the Chosen One for whom she's been searching. You know, your normal garden variety meet-cute.
Ichabod, already uncertain about where his loyalties lie, finds himself torn when his imperious Colonel commands him to go ahead and execute the traitor Bernard. Instead, Crane elects to let the man walk free. Bernard thanks him profusely, tells him to go to Katrina bearing the message of "ordo ab chao..." and is abruptly shot dead by Ichabod's commanding officer, who turns out to be a flat-nosed Voldemort demon. I love Sleepy Hollow's ballsy insistence on saying that imperial Britain was straight-up evil.
NEXT: It's sinfully delicious!