Sleepy Hollow recap: The Death Trap

The tale of Paul Revere gets tweaked, and Ichabod discovers a new nemesis: bottled water
Ep. 07 | Aired Nov 11, 2013

DEATH BECOMES HIM Cold shoulder, hot hand. Good thing Headless has no central nervous system!

Brownie Harris/Fox

Headless has modern weapons, ruthless drive, and surprisingly good aim, considering his lack of eyes -- but he doesn't have his cranium, which is spirited away from a police lab in the nick of time by none other than Captain Irving. Welcome to Sleepy Hollow's House of Crazy, Cap! Still hardly believing what he's seen, Irving delivers the skull to Ichabod and Abbie, who intend to destroy it. Unfortunately, none of their methods seem to be working -- not striking it with a blunt object, not dipping it in acid, Walter White-style, not forcing it to watch a daylong Dads marathon. Discouraged, our heroes decide to try an industrial-strength car compactor... until they're stopped in their tracks by a ghoulish sight.

See, Headless isn't just a grotesque killing machine -- he's also an aspiring DIY decorator! And for his first big display, he's chosen to empty out the heads of the Masons, stick candles inside, and string them up for all of Sleepy Hollow to see. In other words: They've been jack-o'-lantern'd. Man -- after seeing this, even Joffrey Baratheon would tell Headless that he's gone just a smidge too far.

Weirdly enough, this is where the whole Paul Revere thing comes in. See, the Mason-o'-lanterns remind Ichabod of Revere's old signaling method -- "one if by land, two if by sea" -- which in turn reminds him that on the eve of the Midnight Ride, he spied Sam Adams handing Revere a document containing "enemy secrets." Cue Abbie and Crane having my new favorite exchange: "Maybe they weren't secrets of the crown--" "--They were secrets for CONQUERING EVIL." This is the greatest TV series in recorded history.

So Ichabod and Abbie head to a local colonial museum, where Crane delightfully sets a mistaken tour guide straight ("The warning all the riders gave, as discreetly as possible, was, 'The regulars are coming.' Not 'The British are coming.' See, we too were British at the time, so that would have been most unhelpful") and Abbie learns that the all-important manuscript is on loan to an English museum. When he hears the news, Ichabod is despondent: "London? That's a three-month voyage by sea!" One day, these sorts of jokes might get old; this, my friends, is not that day.

Cut to Ichabod poking at a computer like Zoolander and Hansel as Abbie presents him with a printout of the manuscript, which has been helpfully uploaded to what Ichabod calls "the inn-nanet." He instantly recognizes that its words are encoded in a Vigenére cipher, which can only be decrypted using the letters of a keyword. Don't you love when Sleepy goes full-on National Treasure?

NEXT: Hail Cicero!

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