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

Worried about having to sit through a long, boring code-breaking sequence? Don't be. After another amusing interlude starring America's new favorite comedy team, "Ichabod and Laptop" -- Crane discovers pop-up ads! Crane discovers porn! -- the gentleman finds that the code word was almost literally staring him in the face this whole time. Paul Revere -- messenger, silversmith, amateur dentist -- has hidden it on silver plates fastened to the back of the Horseman's skull's teeth.

The word: "Cicero," a Roman philosopher first name-checked on Sleepy last week. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were both big fans of his work. It's nice to see this show make a plausible historical connection every now and then.

Ichabod translates the manuscript, revealing a message that's corroborated by dead man walking John Cho (welcome back, John Cho!): Though the horseman can't be destroyed, he can be trapped using sunlight. The Founding Fathers recommend summoning a witch, then asking her "to cast a spell transforming the moon into the sun." Abbie thinks it might be simpler just to get some powerful UV lamps. Technology for the win! Did anyone else just have a flashback to Buffy destroying The Judge with a rocket launcher?

Time for Abbie, Ichabod, and Irving to lay a trap for Headless while teaching Crane all about the saga of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings! (Why does our third president even come up in conversation? Because Jefferson designed a cell for the Horseman protected by a supernatural barrier. Duh.) It's followed, perhaps a little uncomfortably, by a cute Ichabbie scene in which the witnesses realize that ultimately, all they've got is each other. You know, because of the whole "saving the world" thing. Not because of any latent, burning desire to start furiously making out on top of a pile of yellowing historical documents. Nope. Certainly not that.

The moment passes when the sun sets and Ichabod travels to the local cemetery, where he easily goads Headless into chasing him across the graveyard and through an entrance to the tunnels. Remember that thing I said about the Horseman having surprisingly good aim? Yeah, strike that; he's about as effective as Uncle Jack's army of Nazis. He's lured from spot to spot by a trail of Halloween toy skulls, proving that Headless isn't exactly the sharpest cutlass in the armory closet either.

Another program may have let its heroes hatch a plan to ensnare their primary adversary this early in the season -- but it never would have allowed that plan to actually succeed. Sleepy, though, does just that, ending "The Midnight Ride" with Death himself caught in a cage of artificial sunlight. What's more, it seems unlikely that all of Ichabbie's progress will simply vanish next week. As much as you may wish that we had a full 22 episodes of Sleepy to look forward to, you can't deny one thing: The show's really making the most out of the limited time it has. And you just know things are going to get even more bananagrams before that premature January finale.

NEXT: A delicious box of extras, known forthwith as...

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