The Breakdown

We start off in the forest (surprise, surprise), watching a pretty little girl with a basket picking at the greenery.   A curious young boy of a similar age is peeking from behind a tree to look at her.  He is dressed in an outfit that is not from modern times.  The girl sees him and says “I bet you can’t catch me” and they start a game of chase.  After running for a while, she disappears right in front of him.  The boy looks around for her but instead sees a horseman driving hard toward him.  He runs scared, tripping all over the forest trying to get away.  He head towards the road.  As soon as the horseman reaches the road, it vaporizes.

John DoeIchabod and Abbie enter Sheriff Corbin’s old cabin which Abbie calls a “fixer-upper”.  Ichabod, of course, prefers it to the motel as his definition of old is much different than Abbie’s.  Abbie smirks as Ichabod struggles to open a plastic package, the kind with the hard plastic that you get headphones, remotes, or other electronic gadgets in when you purchase them from a store.  She tells him it is plastic pulls out some scissors to open it (honestly, I struggle opening those things even with scissors).  They get called to a scene where the young boy was found passed out on the road.  Ichabod inspects him on the stretcher and notices the boy’s hands have blackening veins.  Abbie notices the style of his clothing and says he looks like he got lost coming back from a renaissance fair.  The kid suddenly wakes up and says a word in a language that only Ichabod seems to understand.  Abbie thinks it I a foreign language, but it is actually English, it just happens to be Middle English which was only spoken in the middle ages.

Abbie is looks the boy up on internet, searching missing persons databases.  The cops are even looking into local Amish communities because of the boy’s clothing.  Ichabod is surprised seeing how many children are missing in the databases.  Later on as they talk to the Captain about the boy, Abbie tries to explain the term “John Doe” to Ichabod but he cuts her off because for once he actually knows what it means because it has been around for a long time.  Abbie does not find anything about the boy in the missing persons search.  The Captain has them call the CDC so they can avoid an epidemic with this unknown illness the boy seems to have.  Crane tells them that the word the young John Doe uttered when he was on the stretcher means “evil girl”.

John DoeAbbie’s ex-boyfriend talks to the Captain about crane being suspect and then consult.  He says it’s a small town and there is a lot of talk.  The Captain sees right through that and asks if his history with Abbie will be a problem and tells him to stay focused on his work.  The ex-boyfriend (Detective Luke Morales) can’t let it go and eventually makes phone calls inquiring about Ichabod at Oxford where he claims to have been a professor.  Meanwhile, at the hospital, the boy is in and isolation room and Ichabod is not happy about it.  He thinks it will scare the boy more.  Abbie tells him plastic keeps the disease from contaminated others.  Ichabod remarks “Plastic, how did we ever survive without it”.

They ask him to talk with the boy through a web cam on a computer.  From the boy’s side, we see a far-too-close lips and face Ichabod tries to talk into the webcam.  Abbie has to pull him back because he doesn’t realize his lips don’t need to be right on the thing for the boy to hear him talk.  He speaks to the boy in Middle English asking who he is.  His name is Thomas.  Thomas immediately apologies for something as a scared child would do when they know they’ve done something wrong and they’re afraid to get into trouble.  He says he followed the girl and he knows he should have left home.  He also says that his home is in Roanoke.

The CDC guy and Abbie immediately start calling their people about Roanoke, Oklahoma, but Ichabod believes he’s talking about a place known as the “Lost Colony”.  We flashback to 1587 on Roanoke Island in North Carolina fully populated.  By 1590, everyone had disappeared and it became known as the Lost Colony.  Ichabod thinks they possibly ended up in Sleepy Hollow.  The disease Thomas carries soon starts to spread and works rapidly.  The EMT that treated him caught it and some nurses are getting ill.  The EMT deteriorates quickly and we see through his eyes for a second before he dies.  We see the horseman riding through the forest toward him.

John DoeIchabod and Abbie go to the Rockefeller State Park Reserve where the boy was found after he came out of the forest.  After walking for a while, Ichabod notices a spider web that has been broken at about the boy’s height which is consistent with Thomas’s footprints he had been tracking.  He makes a smart remark to Abbie asking if her smart phone could do what he just did.  Ichabod finds a plant that responds to human touch through his tracking skills realizes that Thomas has been there.  He apparently learned to track through fox hunting.  His father was a nobleman.  They find a new set of prints and wonder if they belong to the “evil girl”.  The prints stop out of nowhere.

Elsewhere, the CDC and the Captain are talking about the disease and its effects.  Thomas’s blood panels show that he has never been vaccinated against anything.  The Captain makes a face as if he is thinking about what Abbie and Ichabod told him about the boy and still not wanting to believe it.

Still investigating, Abbie and Ichabod come to a lake where the foot trails end.  He tests the water with a branch to see how deep it is since only Thomas’s feet were covered and it completely disappears in water.  But then he just walked across water and explained to the curious Abbie that the markings on the trees indicate a hidden crossway right below the surface of the water.  They walk across and end up in what looks like a village of people.   Someone yells “they have come”.  The crowd heads toward them telling them they are in Roanoke.  They realize everyone is infected with the black vain plague but for some reason they don’t seem sick like Thomas and all those he infected.

John DoeA man explains that the land was cursed by the horseman of pestilence and the plague started.  After the youngest person died, her ghost appeared and guided them to the place they are now to protect them.  As long as they are in that place, they don’t get sick.  Abbie and Ichabod have to bring Thomas back to save him and stop the disease from spreading throughout Sleepy Hollow.  Roanoke contained the plague somehow, stopping it from going forward.  If it manages to spread, pestilence horseman will come to Sleepy Hollow and join forces with the headless horseman.  As they leave, Thomas’s father thanks Ichabod for watching over his son.  Abbie sees the horseman on the outskirts through the smoke so they leave quickly.  Meanwhile, back at hospital people continue to get infected, even people in the suits that are supposed block contamination.  Crane notices his veins turning black and that he’s been infected.  He believes it was when he first encountered Thomas before he went to hospital.  The CDC guy calls in the suits and they try to take him away.  He and Abbie both protest so they sedate him.

When he falls asleep we see him in the dark forest and we see Katrina.  She realizes he is not well.  She knows because he is there.  She says it means he’s dead or near dead.  She is able to touch him completely.  It’s not like the dreams he’s had in the past when she was more of a figment.  Ichabod looks around at shadows of people.  Katrina says the souls are trapped there in purgatory and their fate is decided by Moloch (the evil spirit that trapped Katrina there).  Ichabod wants to know why Moloch has her trapped but she hesitates to answer.  Right about this time, Ichabod gets pulled backward and out of the dream.  Katrina yells to him to fight hard for his life.  We then see his eyes pop open in the hospital bed.

John DoeMeanwhile, Abbie tries to convince the Captain to let her get Thomas and Ichabod to Roanoke, but as usual, he dismisses her and says he needs her on the streets and the doctors will handle them.  Abbie goes into some random door instead of leaving the hospital.  She turns around and realizes she’s in the Chapel, and she is not exactly thrilled about that.  She sits down and starts talking toward the alter asking for guidance and for a sign but in a tone as if she’s pretty sure this won’t work.  After not seeing any kind of sign, she gets up to leave saying “yep, didn’t think so”.  Right before she gets to the door, a woman enters and dips her hand in the holy water.  Abbie looks at the holy water and remembers that there was water in Roanoke and how for some reason Roanoke keeps the people from getting sick.  Abbie finds the Captain and tells him she believe the Roanoke water would cure them.  She references how many religious cultures use water as a purifier.  He is hesitant because he knows the CDC would not allow such a thing, but she is able to convince him (surprisingly).

Abbie leads a very weak Ichabod and Thomas through the forest to Roanoke.  Ichabod tells her he figured out why he could go to where Katrina was.  The boy suddenly falls even weaker and we see a vision of the horseman coming.  Ichabod slumps down against a tree while holding the boy.  He feels faint as well and tells Abbie to go ahead and send something back for them.  She jabs his leg with a shot of adrenaline.

John DoeThey hear the hooves of the horse so they try to keep going.  They reach the village and Crane runs with Thomas in his arms to the water and fully submerges both of them in it.  The horseman is getting closer and the galloping getting louder.  Abbie yells for them to hurry.  Ichabod rises out of the water and the horseman vaporizes right as it reaches Abbie.  Ichabod and Thomas are cured.  The scenery changes and the fog clears up where Ichabod and Abbie are standing.  Confused, they look toward the villagers and see Thomas and his father following everyone, walking off into the fog as it fades behind them.  They realize that the villagers were all dead this whole time.  The horseman of pestilence was able to bring the boy back to flesh when he tricked him into chasing the girl out of the protected Roanoke area so he could spread the disease.

Ichabod tells Abbie that she stopped the disease from spreading because she had faith which is something she has been struggling with.  She talks to the Captain on the phone and he tells her everyone at the hospital is better too.  Abbie tells Crane he belongs in Sleepy Hollow in the “here and now”.  She could tell he had some longing for his time when he was in the Roanoke village.  He looks pleased to hear that and says “let’s go home”.  They have many more battles to prepare for, especially if the headless horseman comes back.  As he is saying all this, we watch the headless horseman coming out of the water and walking toward his red-eyed white horse and ride out of the forest past the sign that says “Old Sleepy Hollow Trail Road”.

The previews future episodes immediately come no and I am already excited.  John Cho is back as Andy Brooks and see John Noble (from Fringe) will be guest starring in a recurring role.  Big things are happening soon!

The Analysis

This episode had a clear concept about Abbie’s faith.  Throughout the show, Ichabod has been telling Abbie to have more faith because she is always so hesitant to believe in all the supernatural possibilities.  Sometimes she questions why Ichabod is so quick to believe these things and he has mentioned a few times that in the past (2 ½ centuries ago), he might not have but given his current circumstances, it’s hard not to believe that anything is possible.  Amazingly, even the Captain helped Abbie out this time by helping her get the boys to the Roanoke water.  Maybe he is finally coming around too.  It seems that the writers are building up to something big between Abbie’s ex-boyfriend, Detective Morales, and Ichabod.  My two favorite things about this show are:  the battle of Ichabod vs. the 21st century with him discovering things like a webcam; and the creative way Sleepy Hollow ties its story to real life history.