Sleepy Hollow - The Boy Must Live

As many of you  that read this blog know I am infinitely curious as to where a certain show gets it's inspiration.  This past episode of Sleepy Hollow was a bit of a smorgasbord when it came to finding the spark that led to the illumination for the "John Doe" story.

Take the story of "Thomas" from the lost tribe of Roanoke.  A boy snatched out of time and thrust into an unknown world where he depends on the kindness of others to survive yet holds the secret to everyone's survival.  Shades of the Observer boy, Michael, from the now classic, Fringe.

 Or how about Abbie's test of faith?  Yes, it is reminiscent of Walter's own struggles with God but I think Abbie's labors are more closely tied with those of agent Dana Scully from the equally classic X-Files.

Scully was often the voice of faith and it was sorely tested.  How many times did the man of science, Mulder, question Scully's faith?  Now with Ichabod Crane we have a man that relies on faith born of his circumstance that is often appealing to Abbie's reason in order to question her skepticism.  Like a good TV character, Abbie sought out God and looked for a sign.  (She got one, more on that later.)

Did anyone else get an "E.T." vibe from this past episode?  Do you suppose the child Thomas was the named after the actor, Henry Thomas, of E.T. fame?

The  scene where Thomas is isolated from the rest due to his mysterious illness is almost dead on from E.T..  Lots of plastic curtains, medical equipment and a boy struggling to survive.

While we're at it, take a closer look at the above image.  It shows Ichabod speaking to the boy via a TV  monitor.  It's quite similar to the theme of the show where the principles are speaking to each other across dimensions, from beyond the grave or simply through a mirror.  I hope they meant this scene that way!

Let's back to Abbie's test of faith and how it was tied into the rest of the episode.

Land of Goshen we finally have a Katrina sighting!  For someone that is fourth in the opening credits she's had very little screen time. 

It seems Ichabod could communicate with Katrina once he came close to death himself.  Kat tells Ichy she is being held in a purgatory of sorts that is ruled over by Moloch.  This storyline runs parallel to the storyline of the Roanoke "survivors".

As we are to find out later, the good people of Roanoke are living in a ghost world that Thomas abruptly came separated from.

So let me get to my conundrum.  Am I to understand that the Apocalyptic rider of Pestilence forced Thomas from his ghost world in order to gain access to ours?

How does this jive with the purgatory world of Katrina lorded over by Moloch?  Are they seperate planes of existence?  Why doesn't Moloch deliver the Pestilence rider? He holds dominion over the Headless Horseman right?  Or are they just in league with each other but operating separately?  Thanks to Ichabod's explanation, we find that the Roanoke people are really dead.  Are they in Purgatory or a different plane of Purgatory?

Abbie's appeal to God for a sign led her to the baptismal healing powers of water.   So is the purgatory of the Roanoke spirits different from Moloch's?  Does Moloch's purgatory exist outside that of God's dominion?  When the water of the well was used to "save" Thomas the town vanished.  Were they released from God's purgatory to find their reward thanks to Abbie or do they still exist there but are now separated from the world of the living?  If it's the former, I hope so.  It seems so since the Pestilence rider vanished once Thomas was healed.

I'm not sure I've explained my conundrum fully.  Perhaps you the readers can provide more insight into the duality of these two after-life's.  Hmmm, if Crane was close to death why was he allowed into Katrina's purgatory? Was it her magical influence over him.  Did that influence trump Moloch's or did he allow it?

Ugh, enough, you people give me your thoughts.  I feel like a snake chasing it's own tail!


  1. Hi Dave!

    I think you are spot on with all the sources of inspiration. Fringe, the X files and ET all fit. Abby definitely has a fair amount of Scully in her, but seems to be a lot further down the rabbit hole. Kudos to the boy, he did a great job with the old English. I was relieved he wasn't a long lost child of Ich's. Roanoke was a perfect historical tie-in for the show and I kind of wish they had done more with it.

    I don't know what is going on with the multiple purgatories/dimensions either. Add in dreamscapes and it's getting more than a little complicated. Pestilence didn't seem under Moloch's control, nor was he able to physically enter the present. Strange. Oh, and he carries a bow and arrows, but didn't use them.

    What do you make of all the water? They find Thomas near a fountain, there is a water feature in the hospital lobby, the Witch's Spring Trail, the island in the swamp, the well in the village, the holy water, and finally Headless rising out of the river at the end. Combine this with the baptismal font of demons from last week and you have to think something is in the water...Should we be worried that Ich just moved into a cabin by a lake? Reiden lake on Fringe was a portal between dimensions.

    Another thing that I found curious, the little girl. A vision (spirit?) of a modern little girl lures Thomas into the present. Was this Moloch at work? She almost looked like she could be another long lost Mills sister, wouldn't that be something. There was the parallel with Virginia Dare's spirit leading the citizens to safety in New Roanoke. Was this the demons using the witches techniques against them?

    Who's covering for Ichabod at Oxford? Why must Luke be so annoying by his very existence?! He and Abby don't seem like they ever were close. I guess we have a few weeks to ponder this one in between baseball games.

    Go Red Sox! -Lynne

    1. Hi Lynne, sorry for the late reply.

      First off, I'd like to speak to your observations about the inclusion of water as a theme or metaphor. I'm impressed by all your citations, well done. I was thinking to myself did she include the fountain of demons from the previous episode? Yes, you did. Right now I am hesitant to assign any greater meaning to all the use of water as metaphor or a thematic device. As Bill Belichick would say, "It is what it is." Water has always had cleansing properties, been associated with birth and act as a reflective mirror to those who gaze into it. Water is known for it's depth and it's ferocity. It's pretty useful!

      That being said, and thanks to you, I will be keeping a closer eye on the use of water as a thematic device. You never know, there may be a larger plan here. Oh, wait, I just thought of another water reference, the Boston Tea Party! That seals it, I'm watching for water clues.

      To your other points.

      To tell you the truth I thought the "modern little girl" was a manifestation of Virginia Dare. It's an incomplete theory but it was my first instinct. She did find a way for Thomas to escape and this led him to the people that would save the spirits of Roanoke and defeat the Pestilence Rider. I'm still not convinced my theory has any merit.

      I'm with you about the further exploration of the Roanoke colony. I have a feeling that's the end though. I'm still hoping we'll get a return of our Indian friends.

      Hopefully our friend John Noble will be able to tie all these mysteries together. I bet he plays some sort of historical seer that puts all the pieces of the puzzle together for Ichy and Abbie.

      Tell me what you think!

  2. Hi Dave,
    I rewatched the pilot on Monday night. One more water observation! Death’s body was locked in a coffin and sunk in the river and his head was in a jar of water in Katrina’s grave. To my comment above about Pestilence having a bow and arrows. Interesting that Death had a brand of a bow and arrow on his hand, but wields heated axes.

    I can't wait to see what John Noble's character is like. I hope he is as interesting, but distinctly different from Walter Bishop.

    Go Red Sox! -Lynne

    1. On the official seal of the United States the Eagle is gripping arrows in one talon. Hmmph!


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