Sleepy Hollow can be hit or miss these days, but this one is definitely the former. It is when the show uses the 'National Treasure' template for it's storytelling that the show really sings. And music (pardon the pun) does play a major role in the resolution of the plot.
We begin with the fractured relationship between Pandora and The Hidden One. Even though Pandora saved T.H.O. from a potentially deadly trap last week, he's basically done with her, telling her that humans are devious and cannot be trusted: all this while he demonically waterboards her. She knows that her time is up, as well as the human race if she doesn't stop him.
She pays a visit to Crane and tells him that Crane and Abbie must band together with her to finally smite T.H.O or the human race is doomed. And the only object that has enough power to get the job done? You guessed it - Pandora's Box, which is in fragments. And where must they go to make the box whole? The Catacombs, the hell dimension where Abbie almost perished before being rescued. It's never easy - why can't they just order a box from Amazon? Oh well.
Crane really doesn't want to make Abbie revisit the place where she almost lost her mind, but he feels compelled to tell her what they are up against. Abbie is not happy, but she also knows it's the only hope, so they must figure out a way.
Crane recounts that in his past Betsy Ross (flag-maker/revolutionary spy) made the trip to the Catacombs AND BACK so now all that is needed is to figure out how she did it. After some research Crane realizes that the famous event 'Washington crossing the Delaware' was actually a mission to the Catacombs!
Now the 'National Treasure' fun starts in earnest. Crane examines the famous painting by Leutze of the Delaware crossing and realizes that a person in the background was wearing Betsy's Tri-corner hat - the artist was told the story of the crossing and he painted it assuming all the souls in the boat were men. Sad, but hey that's the sexist world they lived in then.
We flash back to that fateful day, where Crane and Ross talk about the mission. Washington forbade Crane from going on the mission, fearing that he was too important to lose if something went wrong. It is there that Crane sees Ross putting the finishing touches on the famous flag of yore. Seems she stitched the stars on with gold thread. But the significance of the gold thread is far beyond just a flourish. The last person to enter the Catacombs according to legend was Orpheus, and he used a lyre strung with gold thread. Guess where the gold thread for the flag came from? Yep, the lyre.
Now we jet off to Boston and the Paul Revere House to retrieve the flag, for it it the gateway to the Catacombs. Once there, Crane immediately realizes that the flag is NOT the original. It's full of holes and in terrible condition. Crane shakes the flag out of frustration, and out pops a nasty revolutionary soldier covered in tar and in a bad mood!
He attacks Abbie and Crane viciously, and they barely escape with their lives. This is the batsh*t craziness that makes Sleepy Hollow so much fun - turning history on it's head and the imaginative use of monsters and other nasties.
So where did the tar monster soldier come from? Well, according to the journals of Ben Franklin, he was a deserter who was covered in tar by the witch Katrina (remember her?) and cursed to protect the fake flag for eternity. His name? The Eternal Soldier of course!
Back at Chez Crane Jenny and Joe look at the pics of the fake flag and Joe surmises that the holes in the flag correspond to musical notes. And the notes play out the Francis Scott Key ditty 'The Star Spangled Banner'! A clue to a clue to another clue - those crazy Masons!
Key wrote the song years after the Delaware crossing at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, so that seems like a dead end. Until they read the lyrics 'our flag was still there' and it all clicks - the real flag is hidden there! Off to Baltimore!
Abbie and Crane end up at the fort, and Abbie immediately sees a huge statue of guess who - Orpheus! Now why would that be there? Hmmmm. Maybe because that's the doorway to the flag, that's why. Abbie finds a stone lyre at the base of the statue, with buttons that play notes when you push them. Name That Tune! Abbie plays the opening notes to the song and the base of the statue groans open wide.
Inside the secret room (love secret rooms btw) our heroes see the REAL flag. Just then, guess who shows up - The Eternal Soldier - and boy, is he ready to rumble! Abbie and Crane fight as best they can but it's not going well. In walks Jenny and Joe with a plan - Jenny sprays the soldier with liquid nitrogen to freeze him and Joe uses a sledge hammer to blast the soldier to bits - nice! Capture the flag indeed!
The b and c sides of the ep are worth mentioning, but really didn't add anything to the enjoyment of the show for me. Deadbeat dad Ezra attempts to reconnect with Abbie and Jenny by showing them old pics of their childhood. Abbie is touched - Jenny, not so much. A story about him giving them taffy from an old candy store in Atlantic City is a sore spot for Jenny, because she felt he never paid attention to the fact that she liked the pink taffy the best. At the end of the ep he shows up at her trailer and gives her a bag of taffy from the store - all pink. As he drives away you can see the walls coming down on Jenny's face. Nice touch.
The other side story is Abbie trying and failing to tell her love struck boss Danny about her real life as a Witness. Later he learns the truth as he and Abbie are attacked by The Eternal Soldier and barely escape. Once it's resolved at the end she has a heart to heart with him and Danny is all in. That scene ends with a tender kiss. I don't really think the love interest angles work with Abbie and Crane. It seems forced to me. Jenny and Joe's romance is more organic and I'm cool with that. Just leave Abbie and Crane alone! Let them be Witnesses!
The last scene is another call back to history. Crane asks Abbie to meet him just before sunrise in a park. He has figured out the importance of the flag that he has cradled in his lap. Using the lyrics as a guide, Crane tells Abbie that they need to wait for 'The Dawn's Early Light'. Just then the light falls on the flag and the gold thread glows, showing our heroes a path. THE path to the Catacombs! Crane looks at Abbie and asks if she is ready, to which she replies, 'Let's Go'.
Moments like that give you goosebumps, and that's when the show is humming on all cylinders. Hopefully the momentum will continue.