Season 2, Episode 15
Air Date: Monday, February 2, 2015 at 9/8c on Fox
“…we are, all of us, walking on a razor’s edge between darkness and light.” — Ichabod
Diabolical and treacherous, “Spellcaster” is a fantastic episode full of evil warlocks and betrayal. An auction house in White Plains, NY becomes the scene of two gruesome murders when a dark sorcerer infiltrates the warehouse to steal an ancient book known as the “Grand Grimoire.” Meanwhile, the return of the prodigal son unveils shocking revelations about a trusted ally. And, for one character, the more you practice the better you get, even where magic is concerned, but will dark temptations ruin everything?
Forget the Mini Muffins, There’s an Evil Warlock in Town
Ichabod’s (Tom Mison) cryptic message to Abbie (Nicole Beharie) about meeting him at a strange address ends up being a dud. He’s “house hunting.” While the allure of freshly baked “mini muffins” tempts him, Abbie informs Ichabod about two strange murders they need to investigate in White Plains. When Ichabod learns the “Grand Grimoire” has been stolen, Abbie suggests they call their witchcraft expert, Katrina (Katia Winter). Even though Katrina has been honing her magical powers, she’s no match for the warlock Solomon Kent (guest star Jonathan Schaech).
Warlock vs. Witch
Katrina’s grandmother Helena Van Tassel (Katia Winter) knew Kent back in 1692 when he was the leader of her coven. Kent’s obsession with Sarah Osborne (Lindsey Garrett), one of the women in the village, turns deadly when she rebuffs his advances. Instead of owning up to his accidental crime, he transforms Sarah’s lifeless body into a demonic looking creature and cries, “The Devil is upon us!” When Helena confronts him for what he’s done, Kent continues his treacherous path, attacking Helena, thereby spawning the “Salem Witch Trials.”
Ichabod and Abbie learn Kent cannot fully access the power of the grimoire because it’s “not whole.” The book and its pages were bound by a spell and purposefully split in two by its former owner, Elizabethan era academic John Dee (unseen). But the other half of the book is being shipped to the auction house and Kent is on his way to retrieve it. The showdown between Kent and Katrina becomes intense but Katrina is no match for his powers. He tells her, “You are a formidable witch but you resist your full potential. Give in to the darkness; there you will find your true self.” Katrina briefly taps into the dark but it frightens her. If she gives herself over to the darkness, will she be able to find the light again? While this is a perfect plot point for Sleepy Hollow since it keeps in line with the ominous tone of the show, it’s a bit overdone. It didn’t work for Darth Vader—ya know, going to the dark side—but it would be boring if Katrina became the ‘white witch’ of Sleepy Hollow.
Keep Your Friends Close
While Frank Irving’s (Orlando Jones) surprising resurrection stunned us all, Abbie took a step back, not truly trusting her friend’s return. Abbie would be wise to always trust her instincts. When she, Ichabod, and Irving trap Kent in the forest as he casts his “traveler” spell, Irving reveals his true colors. I have qualms with this scenario. How did they know where Kent was going to be in order to set up their portable generator to electrocute him? While I know anything is possible in the realm of television, Irving using his foot to break Kent’s neck is a tad farfetched.
The Prodigal Son Returns
He’s baaaack! Yes, Henry (John Noble) returns but not in the grandiose manner expected. He’s holed up in a cheap motel, wallowing in the aftermath of the events that transpired in “The Akeda.” At first, Henry appears benign and cordial. But as Ronnie (Nolan Bateman), the motel’s maintenance boy, fixes the broken sink, I noticed the wooden model Henry is working on. Is it me or does the model remind you of the church where he got his name – St. Henry’s Parish?
Don’t let the sad old man routine fool you; Henry is still holding a grudge. But it’s not against who you might think; he’s holding it against himself. While teaching some bullies at the motel a lesson for harassing motel manager Mary (Andrea Paul) and her son Ronnie, Henry says something about killing his “father.” He’s not talking about Ichabod, though; the father Henry speaks of is Moloch (Marti Matulis). He then tells the bullies, “There is a natural order of things in this world. There will always be sheep, wolves, and I, I am a wolf,” before unleashing his powers on them, killing all of them with a few flicks of his hands and wrists. Noble is, simply put, god damn brilliant! The way he delivers his lines, his coy smile, and the way he frightens you without raising his voice is astounding.
The end of “Spellcaster” when Irving meets up with Henry in the forest left me speechless…well almost. I think I yelled “Damn!” Irving is the new Andy Brooks (John Cho) except he’s not a cone-head, wrinkle-necked demon like Andy became. Henry is up to no good with the “Grand Grimoire” he receives from Irving and that can mean only one thing – the drama is heating up on Sleepy Hollow. I wonder whether Henry and the dark angel Orion (Max Brown) will meet this season. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting collaboration?
“Spellcaster” propels the storylines of many characters, especially Henry and Irving. But while I’m anxious to find out what Henry has planned, it’s his mother Katrina’s journey I’m most curious about. Could her dabbling in the darker side of magic bring her closer to her son, thus potentially turning her against Ichabod and Abbie’s cause as “witnesses?” With Moloch defeated, their role as witnesses has essentially changed, hasn’t it? When Ichabod mentioned to Katrina earlier about mourning the loss of their son, you can see it in her eyes; she has been searching for a way to find him. With the seed of possibility planted by Kent for her to tap into the darkness, it’s only a matter time before things get out of hand. And Abbie knows being a “witness” will take more sacrifice and effort. “Our enemies are willing to do whatever it takes; we have to do the same to defeat them.” But will she or Ichabod be truly ready to do just that?
What did you think of “Spellcaster?” Leave me a comment below and/or tweet me @judybopp.
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Photos ©2015 FOX Broadcasting Co. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.
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