Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Episode 5: John Doe

Still in Roanoke 2.0 Abbie and Ichabod are led into the meeting house for a chat with the vice-governor? He’s fancily dressed whoever he may be. In answer to Ichabod’s question he explains that the land was cursed by the Horseman of Pestilence.1 Everyone was infected, and many died, beginning with Virginia Dare.2 ‘Fortunately’ for the colonists, Virginia’s spirit then led them away from Roanoke, presumably to this island of limbo. Just a note to the Roanoke Beautification Committee – tiki torches would literally and figuratively brighten things up a little.

In a bit of hand-waving, it turns out that the pestilence can’t affect the colonists while they’re within the limbo colony. They’re infected, but won’t get any worse so long as they stay put. Thomas mucked things up a bit by leaving. And as we see back at the hospital, this was the horseman’s plan all along – the plague is out of the bottle, and the horseman is apparently drawing near as lights flicker and a doctor’s biohazard suit magically develops a small tear. Thomas must be returned to the colony to save himself – and everyone he’s infected.

Abbie and Ichabod prepare to leave, Abbie asking if she heard one word correctly – another horseman has arrived? Ichabod fills her in, saying Pestilence hasn’t arrived yet. The colony had contained it, and Thomas had unwittingly unleashed it anew and this is basically the same scene as last scene but without Middle English and subtitles so it’s just lazy writing. Ichabod strides off but is intercepted by Thomas’s father who thanks him for watching over his son. While they chat, Abbie is offered a sprig of something by a young girl sitting on the town’s well/koi pond. Seriously, that thing is huge. She turns it down with a smile, then hears a horse in the woods and sees Pestilence appear and disappear in the distance. Time to go.

Another discordantly flat voiceover over the flyover shot and we’re back at the hospital where a doctor notices the doctor from earlier, she of the ripped suit, is now infected. Ichabod is walkmusing that the cure is in the colony, but Abbie rightly points out that the CDC isn’t going to allow anyone to leave the hospital. Also, they want to move Thomas to a 400 year old legend, so that’ll be a good argument to make…

No time for that Dr. Mills, we’ve got bigger problems – Ichabod is showing signs of infection and CDC Suit orders our favorite time traveller into quarantine. Well, sedated and put into quarantine since Ichabod struggles and argues that he feels fine. Happy even. He thinks he’ll go for a walk. Abbie argues, to no avail, as well and man this episode is really poorly directed I’m realizing. The actors are all over the place and there’s no sense of building the tension with anything other than the occasional eerie effect.

  1. Also Conquest, as has been previously used in this show.  
  2. The first English child born in the Americas.  

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