Sleepy Hollow has been attempting to assimilate Katrina into its cast of recurring players for some time now, hinting that she might be joining forces with Ichabod and Abbie but never following through for extended lengths of time. Part of that has to do with her formidable magic – put Katrina into a situation, and she should easily be able to deal with it by casting a spell. The show can’t continue to keep her as deus ex machina, but it also has to come to terms with the fact that she’s an integral part of Ichabod’s life, and they can’t keep her on the outskirts forever.
Both “Deliverance” and “Heartless” pull Katrina into the storylines quickly. In weeks prior, Henry has been doing some work to get Moloch into the earthly realm, and his efforts prove to be successful: the spider that impregnated Katrina is the Horrid King Moloch, growing swiftly and pushing its way out of her very, very painfully. Much worse than regular childbirth, it seems.
It’s up to Ichabod and Abbie to whisk Katrina away from the Headless Horseman, and then Ichabod sort of flips out. Is it the Headless Horseman’s? Is it some other dude’s baby? It certainly can’t be Ichabod’s, and we hope to hell it’s not Henry’s because that would just be way too grody for a FOX show (there’s still some weirdness to the whole “old-looking son impregnating his MILF mom,” though). But once they start to see the demonic lines spreading across her tummy, they realize that it’s Henry’s game.
“Deliverance” is one of those convenient episodes where things fall into place at exactly the right time. Of course there’s a prism that can stop Moloch from being born thanks to an aurora borealis effect. Of course Ichabod gets there just in time to stop it. Of course there’s a near-death experience where it seems like Katrina will die. Sleepy Hollow consistently works with these elements of plot, all of the time, but it’s easy to accept them – it just seems par for the course.
It comes during a couple of solid episodes featuring both Katrina and Hawley. “Heartless” calls forth a succubus who collects souls to help bring Moloch into the world, because Henry’s not without his list of tricks, and Abbie calls on Hawley to help out with the deed. He lets on that maybe he’s a little bit attracted to Abbie, and even gets Ichabod’s blessing, which is a surprising moment since Ichabod is always more than a little hesitant to trust Hawley’s “expertise.”
“Heartless” is punctuated by these moments of characterization, where Hawley is allowed to sort of be a person instead of the mystical playboy that the show’s molded him into so far. He gets closer to Ichabod, revealing the inner struggles of his heart: it’s tough being a handsome man like him when Abbie won’t have him, and that revelation allows Ichabod to concede that maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all.
With this concession it becomes apparent that our gang of Witnesses will be evolving, to the chagrin of those that don’t really like Hawley. I can see why – he pops up at opportune times has little need to actually help Abbie or Crane – but if “Heartless” is any indication, the show is making an effort to at least make him a more important part of the proceedings. Yet it comes at the expense of Abbie’s sister and Captain Irving – they’ve been forgotten, for the most part, this season, and Sleepy Hollow isn’t juggling them well. It looks like next episode is coming back to that, so we have a little more to look forward to; I just hope that Sleepy Hollow can find a solid arc here, as it did at the end of the first season, because we’re coming up to the halfway point.