Abbie reminds him she’s got (Sheriff Clancy) skin in the game as well, and Ichabod cools down long enough to see a portrait of George Washington1 (slashed clean across the neck) and realize what the Horseman sought – his skull. The Masons, apparently, are “the traditional guardians of secrets and artifacts for the side of good.” The two recap the skull’s importance and Ichabod makes a very intense vow to destroy it.
SHPDHQ. Cap’n Cliche quietly closes the blinds in his office before going all let me get this straight – you want to destroy evidence? A never before seen officer opens another door to the office – without knocking, so, nice secrecy you’ve got going on here, Irving – with some phone messages, including one designed to provide some backstory: Irving is divorced, with a daughter (one old enough to call him with reminders), and his wife kept the dog. The evil, evil witch!
Abbie says she’ll take full responsibility for destroying the skull, but Irving has sent it to “another lab.” You mean the Sleepy Hollow Sheriff’s Department, with its massive staff of officers and CSIs and SWAT doesn’t have an adequate crime lab?! What are my tax dollars PAYING for?! Ichabod reminisces about having to inform the families of dead soldiers under his command and wait a second this is going someplace – he leans on Irving, reminding him that the Horseman will kill again if he isn’t stopped, and Irving will have to make a lot of those calls. Abbie asks for his trust, and the desk sargent or whomever knocks this time and busts in saying the D.A. is on the line. Irving says he’ll call her2 from the car; he tells the others to stick around, he’ll be back soon. Seriously, all that’s missing here is a nameless sucker in a red shirt.
Flyover of a train station on a river bank3 and Irving is apparently headed to the “New York Fish & Wildlife Services Westchester County Division” building. That sign is really weird – why is New York right justified and everything else is centered?4 Inside a lab with some… taxidermied… deer? Cap’n Brusque barks “Paul?” with as little a question mark as humanly possible. In a well done bit, Paul is almost motionless in front of a microscope, so if you missed his one blink you might think he was already dead. But he’s not – he’s just intent, and listening to music on his headphones. He happily greets Irving (probably because Paul is a scientist and therefore has no other friends) and then tells him there’s really no news – despite “putting [the skull] through the woodwork” they can’t figure out anything about it. Well maybe if you did something to it that’s actually a thing as opposed to creating some bizarre new idiom…
Paul’s prattling on about all the failed tests and says carbon dating will take a few more weeks. Cap’n Nononsense asks for a box. While Paul obliges and Irving looks away, the skull’s eyes ‘open’ like they did in the pilot. Outside, the Horseman strides towards the building, assault rifle in hand. Commercials.