Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
--Matthew 26: 14-16
It was bound to happen. The first real "sleepy" episode of Sleepy Hollow. Not that it wasn't good, but rather this weeks episode, "Root of All Evil," dragged a bit more than the last two. Sleepy Hollow more or less returned to the monster of the week type storytelling, only in place of a monster it was a cursed coin from the Roman Era. Naturally. I accept that this is what Sleepy Hollow most often is; after all, Abby and Ichabod can't go into Purgatory every week, now can they? Monster of the week mini arcs can be done well--just look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's being able to use your strengths--in this case, the relationship of Abby and Ichabod--while hunting down and defeating a monster I'll most likely forget in the coming weeks. If there was one theme to this weeks episode, it was that there is darkness in everyone. It resides in the human heart, sitting uncomfortably, yearning to be free. All it needs is a little push.
Hey look; it's Benedict Arnold, America's most notorious traitor and egg sandwich. So there are these coins, there are thirty of them and they are silver. Lights should be going off in your head right about now. These coins, that have been scattered all about the United States I suppose, were the 30 pieces of silver that the Romans gave to Judas to betray Jesus and as such are "cursed." The show never uses the word cursed, but I will. Essentially they bring out the darkness in everyone and make those people betray that to whom they are most loyal. Ichabod and Abby need to get the coin out of the hands of whomever has it and lock it away so that it can't do anymore damage. It's essentially an hour of missteps and running around. There are some highlights that exist outside of this plot and that was genuinely the more interesting portion of the episode. But to deal with the coin plot, it is resolved, naturally, by episode's end. It passes hands for a bit until it lands (literally) in front of Jenny who unknowingly picks it up and then begins to hunt down the new Police Chief Reyes to seek revenge. Turns out that this Police Chief Reyes (who is probably secretly evil, along with Katrina) sent Jenny and Abby's mom the psych ward where she later committed suicide. Jenny blames Reyes for why she and her sister never had their mother and grew up the way they did, though Abby is more lenient, but the sisters have always been contrasting personalities. The coin is eventually put into the protection of a Mr. Holly, whom, unless I misjudge, will most likely be coming back at some point during this season. He ruffled Ichabod's feathers too much for them not bring him back to ruffle them further.
There was a lot of fighting in this weeks episode. Not fisticuffs, mind you, but verbal sparring. Abby and Jenny, Abby and Reyes, War and Death (that's such a comical thing to write) and even, to some small extent, Ichabod and Abby. You'll notice that in many, if not all of these cases, the fighting is between people who should be loyal to each other. Even without the coin in their possession, the darkness in (wo)man cannot be denied thereby proving Jeremy's hypothesis that by simple observation we can witness people's true nature. Abby and Jenny should be loyal to each other, but Jenny feels betrayed when Abby won't take her side against Reyes; Abby should be loyal to her Captain and not question the Captain's decisions; War and Death are supposed to be in this Apocalypse together, but you can tell that they don't trust each other. Actually, their fight is rather ironic. War (Jeremy) thinks that Death (Abraham) is too close to Katrina who is still living amongst them, but it's equally true of War. There is something about her that War yearns to connect with and he is in such denial about it that he literally tries to burn a reminder that Katrina gave him life. You know who hasn't forgotten this detail? Abby. Every time Ichabod brings up his wife, Abby gets very silent. When Ichabod finally confronts her about it, Abby asks him if he truly believes that Katrina would turn against her son when the time comes. Katrina is a mother; she is going to try and reach out to her child, and I think Abby's right. I make a lot of jokes about how Katrina is evil, but if I had to guess I think she might betray Ichabod not out of malice or villainy but out of love for her son. Come the end of season two, I think Katrina might actually choose, willingly, to stay with Abraham and Jeremy out of a desire to be with her son, not her husband.
Miscellaneous Notes on Root Of All Evil
--Abby explaining gay marriage to Ichabod was hilarious, but even more so was Ichabod's response: "I meant gentlemen wearing hats indoors...also, I watched the finale of Glee."
--"I fought a war for Independence, yet I have none!" Poor Ichabod. He has no identity. It's definitely thematic since he's a man out of time, constantly having to realign his cultural understandings. It's also just really hard to buy a beer.
--Why does Jeremy have a model of Sleepy Hollow, that is somewhat creepy in its exact detail?
--The conversation between Ichabod and Jeremy was definitely the highlight of the episode. John Noble is wonderful. I knew I loved him for a reason.