There’s one fundamental difference between Ichabod and Abbie. One of them avoids complicating their duty as a witness and the other can’t do anything but complicate it. Abbie’s devoted herself to this calling, enough so that she’s avoided making any further connections with people who could be hurt by her role in the coming battle. Then there’s Ichabod, who’s been torn between his duty and his love for Katrina and Henry, that there’s really no telling which way he’ll be blown on any given day.
After all their time apart, Ichabod and Katrina are finally together, and it’s not going as well as either of them would like. They have a tender moment at the episode’s beginning, agreeing to try and be more honest with another etc, but there’s still quite the cloud hanging over their marriage. Katrina’s proven herself to have her own ideas about how things should go, even if those ideas don’t necessarily include other people, including Ichabod. Her intentions are always good ones, but that doesn’t mean they land so well with everyone else.
Katrina being alongside Abbie and Ichabod now throws something of a wrench into Team Witness. WIth Abbie and Ichabod being the show’s heart, it’s natural that adding new dynamics to their relationship is going to be a great (and potentially terrible) source of conflict. That could be a redeeming thing for Hawley, who is once again shoved into this episode. It works better for Katrina, who’s been in Sleepy Hollow‘s backdrop since the pilot. We’ve always known Katrina’s out there and have assumed that she’ll one day reunite with her husband and meet his partner and friend, Abbie.
Perhaps it’s Abbie bursting into the cabin unannounced and calling for Ichabod and calling for Crane that’s so indicative of how things have changed here. She barely bats a lash at Katrina and Ichabod emerging from the bedroom, where they were just having their very emotional heart to heart. While Katrina’s going to be forced to grapple with the changes that come with Ichabod’s new life, Abbie has to deal with Katrina’s introduction to Team Witness.
Season one established Ichabod and Abbie as partners and friends, and since the finale that relationship has been tested by Ichabod’s split focus. And as “Heartless” goes, that focus is another something for everyone to argue over as Henry summons a succubus (Caroline Ford) in order to sustain the baby Moloch that Henry still managed to make.
As Henry’s body count grows, it seems to only make Katrina and Ichabod more interested in reaching out to him. It’s Katrina in particular who pushes for trying to free Henry from Moloch’s manipulations, but it’s hard to take her seriously when she says things like “You don’t think Henry has earned my love?” as if impregnating your mother with a demon and imprisoning her with her demented former fiance are reasons for any mother to love her son. Katrina wanting to find something good in her son isn’t unusual, but can we stop pretending that it isn’t solely based in biology? Because Henry’s done nothing to indicate his inner goodness but be related to her.
Abbie, on the other hand, isn’t shy about expressing her disdain with this line of thinking. But while she and Ichabod have had their dialogues about it, Abbie and Katrina haven’t, and their first one doesn’t go well. It just about evolves into a screaming match before Ichabod breaks it up (just wanting everyone to get along). Abbie’s not wrong in wanting Katrina and Ichabod to get with the program and stop treating Henry like harmless two-year old throwing an itty-bitty tantrum and more like the grown man killing multiple people on a weekly basis. The more we talk about it, the more repetitive it gets. No one’s learning anything new or changing their opinions so every week we hear the same thing from everyone.
The Katrina/Abbie chasm is one that’s interesting from a narrative standpoint (though not so much once the episode has them once again separated by the end). They’re allies in the larger apocalypse, but what does that mean when one of the Horsemen is Katrina and Ichabod’s son? And what does it mean when Ichabod’s trying to keep the peace, without necessarily picking a side? Eventually something’s going to have to give. Actually, something should have given already.
But maybe now Katrina’s going to be more partial to seeing Henry as a lost cause with this new development. Thinking Moloch is at the root of all their problems, Katrina returns to Abraham in the hopes of killing baby Moloch. But when she arrives, the enchanted necklace she wears (why is she still wearing it?) makes the baby appear to be cute and harmless and not horned and demonic. So of course Katrina loves it and now can’t possibly kill it. At the very least Katrina’s faring better narratively than Hawley because Katrina does play some kind of role in the proceedings. She’s a “powerful” witch who’s connected to all the going-ons, and she has her own character things happening. The same can’t be said for Hawley who begins and ends with being into Abbie.
Of course he’s into Abbie, since she’s wonderful, but where’s the spark? My space heater generates more heat than the two of them, and it doesn’t help that Hawley keeps taking up space that I’d much rather see being devoted to anyone else, starting with the long-absent Jenny. I’d love to see Abbie getting to experience her own romance, since Ichabod’s had his long-distance one brewing since we met him, but why is hers so unsatisfying? To be fair, Katrina’s and Ichabod’s isn’t much better, but there’s at least some meat there while all Abbie and Hawley have is that he was making out with Jenny a few episodes ago and will probably only end up causing problems between them. There’s been no time to watch Abbie and Hawley’s relationship develop into anything that justifies the show pushing it so hard. We don’t even get to see much of Abbie figuring out whatever feelings she could have for Hawley, instead seeing everything from Hawley’s point of view, from Abbie’s indifference at the bar to her stopping by at the episode’s end. Though we know what Hawley’s feeling, we have no idea about Abbie other than that she doesn’t want to date anyone because it will complicate an already complicated situation.
“Heartless” at least does a better job at integrating him into the episode. Considering none of his artifacts actually work to help anyone do anything, not to mention his limited knowledge of anything, I was wondering why he’d been included in this episode at all. The succubus targeting him and preying on his desire for Abbie was at least a small plus in the giant minus column that is Hawley since it didn’t feel like such a complete waste after that.
But it’s still kind of a waste.
The succubus herself is actually pretty interesting if not the most original. Like every other demon we meet, she has horns and has bad CGI coming out of her mouth, but other than that’s she’s pretty cool. She models herself after her target’s love interests, and for the first two at least it’s actually hard to tell them apart. When she starts acting like Abbie and Katrina (which only results in her changing her hair – pulling it back for Abbie and leaving it down and wavy for Katrina) it doesn’t fly as well.