Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Episode 5: John Doe

Meanwhile, back at the bullet-riddled cabin, Abbie is questioning Ichabod’s decision to stay in “this old cabin”. “You and I have very different definitions of ‘old’.” snarks Ichabod. “It seems if a building stays upright for more than a decade they declare it a national landmark.” I was wrong last week – Ichabod’s cover job should be as a hack 80s stand up comic. Just picture him in a yellow blazer with shoulder pads and tell me that’s not brilliant.

Abbie suggests spackling the bullet holes and Ichabod agrees with a touch of hurry in his voice. “You know you can admit when you don’t know what a word means,” she gently chides him in a moment that is both what the series needs more of and almost swallowed by the line delivery and sound recording. We get this week’s (thankfully short) revisiting of the Abbie still needs to believe more storyline and then Ichabod is completely stymied by the plastic shell on a razor and blade set. While Abbie takes care of the problem with scissors1 Ichabod ponders whether he looks out of place in this century. She jokes and he seems reassured and now we get today’s ‘ignore that fact’ moment:

A radio call comes in of a boy collapsed but breathing and an ambulance dispatched. Abbie radios back that she’s close to the scene and thus will respond – except they’re at the supposedly semi-remote cabin and the scene to which they respond is in the downtown of this supposedly small town. I will stop griping about this when they start giving a sense of place to this show. Ichabod insists on joining, noting that ‘routine calls’ aren’t so much anymore.

At the scene, Det. Handsome brings Abbie up to speed. The mail-carrier who called it in exposits that she saw the boy earlier, “coming out of the woods near Rockefeller Preserve.” Hooray for actual connections to the show’s supposed location! Handsome wants to know if Abbie is getting tired of babysitting Ichabod. “For a detective,” Abbie says, with a delicious ‘oh please’ look, “you really don’t have a clue.”

Ichabod has noticed the boys veins are turning black and wants to know if this is a common modern-day condition. Abbie confirms it’s not and the two mutter about the olde tyme-y clothes before the boy suddenly wakes up and whispers two words. Ichabod’s eyes go wide and he asks the medic “Did he just say ‘ull therna’?”2 and tosses off to Abbie that it’s a language she knows – English. The medics whisk the boy away, and I’m not going to start on the errors in emergency medical protocol in this episode.3

“Middle English,” says Ichabod, staring intently at the departing ambulance. “The sort only spoken in the Middle Ages.” Credits.

  1. She’s a regular Boy Scout this one…  
  2. This terrible transliteration brought to you by me!  
  3. I survived Third Watch‘s pilot, I’ll survive this, eyes firmly planted on the ceiling.  

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