Five Things from Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Episode 10: The Golem

Sleepy Hollow (Photo: FOX)

All things about this show are not awesome. But it does have things. Including orcs.

Ichabod chops wood. The Sin Eater arrives by cab. Since connections between worlds are best made when the subject is close to death, Parrish chokes Ichabod like it’s an MMA match. In the dream world there’s a CREEPY FUCKING DOLL1 and Katrina cops to not saying anything about them having a son together. An orc breaks down the dream-world church door and Ichabod gasps back into reality. In the forest by the cabin, the orc thing pulls self out of ground. In NYC, Irving meets with his old priest and doesn’t dig the fact that the bible is full of martyrs – “The reward for a life of public service is… death?” he introspects. Back in the Hollow a librarian gets charmed by Ichabod,2 gets her sin (lying) noticed by Parrish, and gets pounded flat inside her car by the orc. The trio does gain some info on the son, Jeremy, namely that he may have been a pyrokinetic.

Thirty seconds of ‘character development’ via sad quiet statements at the Irving household is all we get on anything this episode. The librarian turns out to be a witch. Via a CREEPY DOLL DRAWING Parrish sees into the past and the creation of the orc. I mean golem. A golem made from the CREEPY FUCKING DOLL and a drop of Jeremy’s blood. The golem, btw, has a very narrow definition of protecting Jeremy, namely smashing anything that looks at him sideways. At the travelling carnival of doom, Ichabod confronts the witches who banished Katrina and they prattle on about fate – theirs being to die that night, so Ichabod’s threats carry a touch less weight than usual. Turns out the coven also buried Jeremy alive,3 and only his blood can unmake the golem. The golem shows up to smash stuff. Ichabod is wounded but fortunately “Your son’s blood is your blood!” because that’s how blood works. Ichabod has a heart-to-heart with the golem about how they both need to let Jeremy go, and then stabs the golem.4 Back at SHPDHQ there’s even more pounding home of the fate message before Moloch draws Ichabod in through a mirror5 and leaves him with a terrible message – he’s coming for Abbie’s soul… and Ichabod will deliver it.

Annnnnd here are a few other (mostly good) things about the episode:

Parrish’s obsession with train schedules. And not in the fascist Italian sort of way! John Noble gets a string of asides and moments about making sure he gets on his train back home.6 Then, in one of the episode’s few earned beats, the discovery of some golem aftermath gives us the perfectly-delivered go-to-commercials line “I won’t be catching that later train, will I?” More John Noble, or more John Cho, please – just more Johns.

It may be ripped off from Denzel Washington’s ‘Fallen’, but: Whilst enjoying some father-daughter bonding, Irving runs across a new manifestation of evil when a vendor creeps at him “God may have a plan, Captain, but we have one too.” As Irving shakes the man, demanding answers7 the spirit slides out of the vendor and into a passerby via a quick jostle. Both ‘possessed’ actors are delightfully creepy, and moreover this potentially-omnipresent threat is a great change-up from the monsters of the week.

Tonight’s winner of the ‘I don’t understand this modern world’ line goes to: Irving! who is stuck on some social networking thing his daughter tries to explain. “It’s called a ‘vine’ but it has absolutely nothing to do with shrubbery?” Oh, Cap’n… who speaks of shrubbery in this day and age?

Awesome, and massively underutilized: The Four Who Speak As One are a cliche, a gimmick, a cheap trick of a character, and it was stupid to kill them off this quickly. They were interesting enough to hear and look at, provided Ichabod with an opportunity for some verbal sparring (“Who’s there?” “As you boast of your clairvoyance, your query suggests you’re lying or merely playing coy.”) and most of all, they – specifically these four – were credited with punishing Katrina and placing her in purgatory. After multiple episodes where the show has ignored the early stated premise of their being good witches and bad witches in Sleepy Hollow, they introduce a group of characters who belong to the good coven but aren’t cuddly and loveable. And then they kill them. This was an opportunity to add some real nuance to the world of magic on the show and now the writers are just going to have to wait several more episodes and retcon something else in after we’ve all forgotten what’s already happened this season. #imnotbitterreally

Oh, and in a moment of unintentional hilarity, Ichabod threatens the Four with a painful demise if they don’t assist. They do not, but their death is short and not even seen as the golem just sort of brings the tent down on the briefly-screaming group.

It’s a town built entirely out of dusty papers. Our heroes are based at the city archives. We’ve already been to the local history museum and had a historical society referenced. And yet this episode we get the Historical Society Library – a full building unto itself, that contains material that isn’t in the archives because why? How many history depositories are in this small town of 144,000 souls?

Annnnd tonight’s ‘What the?!’ moments:

  • The librarian has snuck away, then screams and crunching and crashing noises are heard from outside. And the trio walks (walks!) outside to investigate in such a casual manner that it’s practically an amble.
  • The travelling carnival seems completely empty (and thus uber creepy, I will grant) before Ichabod enters the tent. When the golem shows up, suddenly there are extras running around in fear. Just have them visit the carnival once it’s closed! What. Ever. 
  • Let’s rundown Katrina’s various life choices as covered in blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em lines of dialogue: 1) She would have told Ichabod he had a son the first time they met in Dreamworld except they have “precious little time.” No mention of why she doesn’t get around to this the second time they meet. 2) Apparently only European spells could unbind Ichabod from the Horseman, so thanks for conjuring American there Kat. 3) She gave her son that CREEPY FUCKING DOLL to REASSURE him when she LEFT HIM with strangers. She does *not* get to babysit my non-existent kids.

My friend and maybe podcast co-host8 is watching this and last episode with bourbon right now.9 Future write-ups may include a scale of bourbons (or bon-bons, for those who don’t drink) necessary to make you forget this show’s inconsistencies and focus on the high notes, of which there are always several.

This show has things, and sometimes they are awesome.

  1. Which we/Abbie have seen before.  
  2. Who amongst us hasn’t, eh?  
  3. He’s probably dead now. Probably. Who knows with this show.  
  4. Because he’s a jerk, that’s why!  
  5. MIRRORS!!!!!!  
  6. It is in a manner that’s a touch too reminiscent of Walter Bishop, but I’ll allow it.  
  7. Yay! Cap’n Policecliches is back!!  
  8. If season 2 shows any promise, we promise you audio rantings and ravings about this show. Keep checking WEiO’s feeds for deets!  
  9. ‘Now’ being 10pm Sunday night, not midday Monday…  

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About Aaron Mucciolo 206 Articles
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