Fox recently announced that they were going to make 'Sleepy Hollow' less of a "serialized" series, in an attempt to boost its flagging ratings. Which is odd, since much of the season so far has been less serialized and more one-off stories. But never let it be said that network executives know what they're doing.
So tonight's episode was... less serialized. It basically provided the audience with back story on Nick Hawley, roguish artifact hunter. His godmother turns out to be an undead Hindu creature that sprays acid from her talons, and can move like the Flash. Basically we learn that he's a loner and fled his godmother after he saw her kill someone (before she became an undead creature).
Meanwhile, Ichabod and Abbie flounder around, wondering where their partnership is going now that the Apocalypse is apparently over. Much like how the show seems to be floundering, wondering where it's going now that the Apocalypse is apparently over.
The only serial elements are Irving's resurrection from the dead, and the fact he's still apparently enslaved to Henry, the Horseman of war.
So overall, the chemistry between Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie was great as always. Jaime Murray ('Warehouse 13', 'Defiance') was appropriately monstrous and frightening. And Matt Barr as Nick continues to do good work.
Abbie is singing at a karaoke bar as Ichabod, Jenny, and Nick watch. Ichabod cheers her on and Jenny mentions angels. Ichabod assures her that she and Abbie have made their peace over their dispute concerning Orion, but then wonders if Abbie has said anything about it. Abbie finishes and joins them, and Nick gets a call from a contact, Patrick McKenna, who has a line on some magical shuriken. Jenny offers to go with him, but Nick says that it's only a short hop and assures them that he'll be back soon.
Nick drives to a junkyard and two men pull up. Neither one is McKenna, and when Nick asks where he is, a woman named Carmilla Pines gets out. Nick stares at her in surprise and reminds her that he's been avoiding her for a decade. As he starts to walk off, Carmilla warns him that she's there because she has to be. Nick is the only one she knows who can do the job: rob Theodore Knox's estate in Sleepy Hollow. Carmilla explains that her life is on the line, but Nick doesn't buy it. When he turns to go, Carmilla speeds behind him and bares her fangs, and reminds Nick that he owes her.
Ichabod sings a song from his era, while Jenny asks her sister if she and Ichabod are okay. Abbie admits that Orion was going to destroy Sleepy Hollow and says that everything is fine, and asks what is going on between her and Nick. Jenny says that it's a little more than nothing, and worries that Nick hasn't got back to her. Ichabod finishes singing and comes back, and agrees that they should investigate.
Before they can leave, Abbie receives a silent alarm from the archives. They go there and Nick runs out with something. Jenny goes after him and Nick tells her to back off, saying that it's dangerous. She follows him into the tunnels and Carmilla knocks her to the floor. As she moves in, Ichabod and Abbie arrive and Ichabod shoots Carmilla in the chest with a crossbow bolt while Abbie holds a torch. Carmilla pulls out the bolt, transforming into a haglike figure, and runs off at lightning before they can stop her.
The next day, Cynthia is representing Irving in the hearing to clear his name. The State isn't pursuing any charges and Judge Aldrin exonerates Irving and releases him. As they leave, Irving says that he's relieved that he'll be coming home to Cynthia and Macey. She stares at him hesitantly for a moment and then they hug.
At the archive, Abbie tells Ichabod and Jenny that she's had the venom from Carmilla's claws analyzed and confirmed that it can burn through anything. Ichabod recognizes the acid as belonging to a vetala, an undead human being that serves Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and regeneration. Abbie remembers that Nick mentioned McKenna and suggests that they go to see the fence. Ichabod proposes that they split up, and he and Katrina find Nick while Jenny and Abbie find McKenna. Abbie agrees and leaves with her sister.
The sisters go to McKenna's pawnshop and Jenny wonders if Abbie is comfortable with the idea of splitting up from Ichabod to handle the case. Abbie isn't worried, and McKenna comes over and recognizes Jenny. Abbie flashes her badge and asks him who set Nick up. When he doesn't answer, Abbie threatens to take him in but McKenna calls her bluff. Jenny slams his head into a glass case and McKenna tells them that it was Carmilla. Jenny recognizes the name and warns Abbie that Carmilla is a treasure hunter like Nick... and a killer.
At the archive, Ichabod is explaining Mary Poppins to Katrina as they search the archive. He spots Orion's sigil and realizes that it's a duplicate of the Halo Blade that Orion used. Katrina confirms that it's a sigil and Ichabod realizes that Abbie didn't tell him about it. Abbie and Jenny return and tell them what they've learned, and Ichabod hastily hides the sigil. The sisters have learned that Carmilla was Nick's legal guardian from the ages of 12 to 18, and Ichabod says that Nick stole architectural plans belonging to Henry Knox, a Revolutionary hero who built a home nearby to hide weapons and supplies from the British. Knox was obsessed with locks and puzzles, and built a vault. The estate belongs to Knox's heir, Theodore, who collects black market antiques and weapons. They figure that they can't let Carmilla get whatever is stored in the vault.
Nick shows Carmilla the plans, which show that the house is one big safe. Carmilla congratulates him, and asks who the people were in the tunnels. Nick tells her not to worry about them, and asks what happened to her after he left... when he saw her murder someone. Carmilla says that she came looking for him, but was caught by a Thuggee death cult that turned her into a vetala. The woman reveals the mark of the vetala on her back, and left Nick alone rather than burden him. However, she's learned that Theodore has an artifact that could restore her. Nick says that he's done but Carmilla reminds him that he's the only family he has left. She begs him to help her one last time, and Nick reluctantly agrees.
Ichabod drives Nick's car with Jenny and Abbie, heading for Knox's estate where he's holding a black market exchange. Abbie loads a revolver with bullets and explains that Nick's parents died a few days before Christmas. Carmilla was his godmother and took him in, but Nick has never talked about it. Jenny figures the exchange will be the best time for Carmilla to break in, and has mystic artifacts they can use to get themselves invited in. As he drives, Ichabod says that they have to stay together.
At the Irving house, Irving realizes that Cynthia is worried and asks her to talk. She points out that he was dead and buried, and now he's back. Cynthia wants to know if it's really him, and Irving reminds her that he doesn't have an explanation. His wife suggests that they have Katrina examine him.
As they arrive at the exchange, Carmilla thanks Nick or his help and he assures her that he's there for her. She insists that she's only stealing what's already stolen. Meanwhile, Ichabod, Abbie, and Jenny arrive and spot Nick and Carmilla. Carmilla goes off on her own and Ichabod and Abbie follow her while Jenny follows Nick as he goes into the house a different way.
As Ichabod brushes by Theodore, the man notices Ichabod's crossbow and admires it. Ichabod notices that he looks a lot like his ancestor and tries to get away, but Theodore asks about his clothing. Abbie goes on after Carmilla.
Nick enters the house and moves a painting to reveal a series of tumblers. Following the stolen plans, Nick triggers the tumblers in sequence, opening the vault door. A waiting Carmilla goes in, while Jenny finds Nick and demands to know what Carmilla is stealing. Nick warns her that Carmilla is a monster, but Jenny insists that they can fight her. He agrees but then grabs her cell phone and locks her in a closet as she turns away and takes off.
Abbie goes to the basement and sees Carmilla in the vault, taking a small statue of Kali. As she admires it, Abbie shoots at her. Carmilla easily dodges the bullet, transforms into her vetala form, and grabs Abbie by the neck. Ichabod arrives and orders Carmilla to release her, but Carmilla puts her venom-covered talons to Abbie's throat and says that if he shoots then Abbie dies. As Ichabod considers what to do next, Nick arrives and tells them all to stop. He tells Carmilla to let them live and in return he'll stay with her. Carmilla doesn't trust them and Nick suggests that they lock Ichabod and Abbie in the vault until Theodore finds them. Ichabod says that he's learned that Nick is a man of courage who fights for his friends, but Nick aims a relic gun at him. As Ichabod and Abbie enter the vault, Nick tells them not to come after him and closes the door.
As they try to find a way out, Ichabod says that he recognized the statue. It's one of a kind, and a key to the ceremony that turns humans into vetala. Ichabod complains that Abbie went without him, and she says that she thought he signaled her to go on. He says that it was another failure of communication, and finally admits that he knows about the sigil. However, they postpone the discussion until they get out.
Back at Carmilla's warehouse base of operations, Nick and Carmilla share glasses of champagne. Nick tells his godparent that no matter what she's become, she took him in after his parent died. He collapses and realizes that the champagne is drugged, and Carmilla tells him that with Kali's help they'll be a family again.
Abbie figures that Knox built a failsafe, and Ichabod finds the symbol of the Liberty Tree on the door. It marks a panel concealing a series of knobs with alchemical symbols. If they choose the wrong symbol, they'll die. Abbie admits that she should have told Ichabod about the sigil, but didn't want to mention it after the fact because she thought it was over. Ichabod admits that he decided to save Abraham without consulting her, and they both figured it was easier to act then talk. Abbie wonders if their partnership is going awry, and Ichabod admits that their bond has been severely tested.
Ichabod gets an idea and explains that Knox's greatest achievement was stealing cannons that were bonded in iron. He touches the symbol for iron and shutters slam down over the shelves of artifacts. Spikes emerge from the wall and the wall moves toward them. Abbie asks Ichabod what Knox loved, and Ichabod remembers that he died penniless gambling for gold. He pushes the symbol for gold and the door opens just in time.
Abbie and Ichabod run outside and find Jenny, who broke out of the closet. Jenny remembers that Nick took her cell phone and figures that they can track him. They follow the GPS locator to the warehouse and Jenny sweeps the perimeter. Ichabod realizes that the statue is holding fire and iron in its hands, and that the two elements combined can kill Carmilla.
Nick wakes up and finds himself on an altar as Carmilla performs the ritual on her three men. They transform into vetala, and Nick tries to get through to Carmilla. She says that she's not a person anymore and cuts his chest for the ritual. Ichabod arrives and fires a flaming iron-tipped crossbow bolt, driving Carmilla back. The two new vetala attack and Abbie finishes off one with a torch and an iron hammer. The other one attacks her while Carmilla grabs the statute and holds it over Nick. It hovers in the air and Carmilla chants the ritual.
As Abbie fights off the second vetala, Ichabod shoots it with another crossbow bolt, destroying it. A third vetala comes to "life" and attacks Ichabod, while Abbie grabs the flaming crossbow bolt and finishes off Ichabod's opponent. Jenny arrives and stabs Carmilla, and then starts to cut Nick free. Carmilla attacks her, knocking the torch out of her hands, and prepares to kill her. Nick finishes freeing himself and knocks Carmilla away, and grabs a torch and an iron tire iron. She says that he can't do it, and then speeds away before Nick can bring himself to kill her.
Later at the archive, Jenny is cleaning up when Nick comes in. He hands the plans over and Jenny says that she understands why he helped Carmilla. She tells Nick that he also has a family in Sleepy Hollow, and Nick thanks her. Nick then says that he's leaving to hunt Carmilla down, and kisses Jenny before walking out.
Ichabod and Abbie go drinking and she asks if they're good. He says that they have to tend to their bond and Abbie suggests that they sing a duet. The announcer calls them up and they sing "Proud Mary."
At Corbin's cabin, Katrina prepares to examine Irving's soul and tells Cynthia to stay back. She asks where Henry is, and Irving insists that he has no idea what she's talking about. Katrina begins the ritual and Irving remembers everything that happened to him, including his death. Katrina tells him that the magic binding him to Henry is gone, and Irving goes to his wife. As they kiss, Irving sees a reflection of the room in the window... and no sign of his reflection.