With the dangling plot strings from last season mostly resolved and war declared in last week’s episode, where was ‘The Kindred’ to go? Back to the familiar problem-of-the-week, of course! And by familiar problem, I mean Franklin-stien’s monster.
‘The Kindred’ opens with another fake-out scene akin to the flash-forward sequence from last week, though the reveal is much quicker this time and ends up providing quite the jump scare. From there, Crane and Abbie begin discussing those lost gospels again and are attempting to glean a way to rescue Ichabod’s wife from the grip of the Headless Horseman. The team quickly discovers information on the titled beast with Crane’s knowledge of Benjamin Franklin and the Horseman’s previous life as Abraham proves vital to forming their plan.
After a tender moment of emotional conflict with Abbie and Ichabod discussing their weakness and the potential repercussions of using a monster of their own, the bits of their plan come together. Ichabod is to delve deeper into Franklin’s notes to discover the resting place of the Kindred, Jenny goes to retrieve their private arsenal hidden in the police archives, and Abbie ventures off to consult the incarcerated Irving to discern the location of a vital missing piece: the location of the Horseman’s head. Because splitting up is always a great idea! As is bringing out the only thing keeping their enemy from being at full power!
Abraham/Headless Horseman attempts to sow seeds of deception in the mind of Katrina Crane, to make her doubt whether Ichabod will ever rescue her at all, and promises to curse her to the ends of the earth if Ichabod ever is successful in doing so. It is here some much needed development of Katrina’s character come into play. In previous episodes, she has certainly been regulated more to plot exposition and damsel-in-distress status than fully coming into play in her own right. When she begins to weave her own webs of deception and trickery against the Horseman, effectively becoming a mole for our heroes by events end, we are treated with a glowing example of how far she has come.
A fun wrinkle added to ‘The Kindred’, is the introduction of the new Sheriff, Leena Reyes. A tough as nails woman who not only has a past in Sleepy Hollow, but has knowledge about the mother of Abbie and Jenny, which is information certain to grow in importance later on this season. The sheriff has moments with each of the trio, and things seem to get off to a decent start with her conversation with Abbie. Reyes compares recent events in Sleepy Hollow to her war with the drug cartels during her time at the border patrol, seeming to have a decent battle plan. It is when she meets Crane and Jenny that trouble rears its ugly head.
She catches Jenny with the stash of weapons the younger Mills sister was sent to secure and promptly has her taken into custody. When Abbie and Crane, set off to retrieve Jenny they quickly hit a brick wall and Reyes shows as much suspicion towards Ichabod, if not more, as Captain Irving did at the beginning of the first season. All that can be hoped for is that Reye’s character arc doesn’t mirror Irving’s exactly, or there shall be feelings of frustration in addition to déjà vu.
After a few blunders with an incantation ceremony, the Kindred comes to life in all its creepy glory, managing to hold its own against the Horseman. But when Henry joins the fight with his telepathically controlled puppet, The Horseman of War, it takes both Abbie and the Kindred to hold them off long enough for Ichabod to reach his wife.
A minor victory scored on one front means trouble on others. With Jenny now back in police custody, Abbie urges her sister to hang in there for the time being. Jenny then begs Abbie to not take fourteen years to get her out of it this time. Irving is admitted into Tarrytown psychiatric, his new lawyer revealed in a truly brilliant last moment twist, and contracts are signed in blood.
Every step forward seems to lead to another step back, but these chosen witnesses may just have the wits and will to gain the advantage. Whatever the outcome, if ‘The Kindred’ is any indicator, we are all in for some delightful monster mayhem in the weeks to come.