Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Episode 5: John Doe

Back in the forest, Ichabod, skilled tracker and botanist that he is, has spotted some ‘mimosa pudica’, a plant that closes up for days when touched.1 Since one stalk is closed it’s further evidence that Thomas came through here. Or, y’know, a deer. Abbie wants to know where he learned all this. “Foxhunting,” replies Ichabod, adding that his father was a nobleman – but that he was pleased to have left that upbringing behind. So, not Sir Ichabod then?

The pair find some additional footprints and hypothesize as to their owner and why they disappear. “Perhaps she was never here to begin with,” muses Ichabod. THEN WHY ARE THERE FOOTPRINTS?! I gesticulate angrily at my screen. Seriously, that’s just a line that sounds nice. They steel themselves for whatever is (or isn’t!) ahead and keep walking.

At the hospital, things are grim with more infections and no sign of a cure. Irving plays an interesting semi-bluff saying that they’re looking at a new cult for a possible bioterrorism angle, but there’s no link yet. Since there’s no reference to this before or after I can only assume it’s Irving trying to sound busy and give Abbie and Ichabod time to turn up something. Irving then zeros in on CDC Suit’s statement that Thomas came from a very different environment than theirs – he has and is missing various ‘normal’ antibodies and has never been vaccinated. He urges action, and Irving very seriously eyeballs that he has officers retracing Thomas’s trail.

Back at the trail, Ichabod finds it started on the bank of a small lake and says the answer is probably on what Abbie points out is a tiny island. Covered in trees. And with no people. But still, I’ll go with the old dude on this. Noting that only Thomas’s feet were muddy he tests the depth of the lake, only to have his testing branch sucked straight down into oblivion. Wait, what if you got a bunch of even longer branches and created like a pontoon bridge thingie? Or how is it you don’t know how to build a canoe out of reeds, Mr. Foxhunt? While Abbie ponders these potential stinging rebukes, Ichabod notices complimentary carvings in trees on both banks and, ignoring the possibilities of being sucked to oblivion if he’s wrong, walks directly out into the lake. He points out the hidden crossing to Abbie and gallantly offers to lead her across. She raises an eyebrow, but accepts.

A rotating camera and an Instagram filter indicate that they are <spooky tone of voice>stepping through time and space</spooky tone of voice> and into a near recreation of Ichabod’s narrative flashback of Roanoke. A colony’s-worth of people are milling about in the center of the cluster of buildings until someone catches sight of the pair and calls out “They have come.” The whole mass of folks moves slowly, and non-threateningly, towards the pair and Ichabod asks (in perfectly accented Middle English) “Where are we?”

“Roanoke,” is the reply. Then Abbie sees that everyone is infected with the same condition as Thomas. Commercials.

  1. This is an actual thing, although Wikipedia doesn’t suggest it grows in NY/New England, and almost certainly wouldn’t have been around there in the Revolutionary period.  

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