‘Sleepy Hollow’ Season 4 Episode 1 Recap: Columbia

Sleepy Hollow Season 4 Episode 1 Tom Mison and Janina Gavankar
Tom Mison and Janina Gavankar in the “Columbia” Season Four premiere episode of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (Photo by Tina Rowden © 2017 Fox Broadcasting Co)

How will Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) manage without his friend and partner Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) in season four of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow? Abbie was killed at the end of season three, and episode one of season four finds Ichabod dealing with Abbie’s death while attempting to move forward and find another witness. There must always be two witnesses and the search for whoever will attempt to fill Abbie’s shoes begins in the fourth season’s first episode titled ‘Columbia’ airing on January 6, 2017.

Sleepy Hollow season four episode one kicks off with Ichabod locked up and forced to describe his personal history and how he ultimately wound up partnering with Abbie. He’s been answering questions, and been on the receiving end of threats, for two weeks and his patience is at an end. Finally, Ichabod decides it’s time to escape and knocks out his interrogator by tricking him into believing his shoes are untied.

Once out of his cell, Ichabod runs down corridors until he discovers a room with photos of he and Abbie along with lots of research material. Still unsure who exactly he’s running from, Ichabod makes his escape and comes out on a foggy runway at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The fog clears and he sees the iconic buildings of the nation’s Capital in the distance.

Elsewhere in Washington, DC, two friends/coworkers are having a discussion over the merits of Katy Perry music, judgey vegans, and the lack of a love life. And one these two characters turns out to be season four’s new recurring guest star, Janina Gavankar, as Special Agent Diana Thomas from Homeland Security. The other is her partner, Special Agent Eric Cortez (Ace Marrero).

Ichabod makes it into the city and wanders around the Capital before heading over to the Lincoln Memorial. Diana and Eric are already there investigating the disappearance of Lincoln’s head. Eric heads into the structure to check things out while Diana stays behind and notices something bizarre going on on the side of the monument. It’s then that Ichabod races up and also sees Lincoln’s head has been removed.

Diana looks for Eric inside the building and finds him under attack by a weird creature. Ichabod helps her fight the demon off and, confused, Diana turns her gun on him after the demon flees. Ichabod does his best to calm her down by telling her he’s a historical advisor who’s worked with the Sleepy Hollow Police as well as the FBI. He tries to assure her he’s an ally, but he almost loses what little trust he just earned by describing Eric’s killer as a demon. Diana doesn’t put her gun away, but she does let him escape to pursue the demon.

Diana tries to explain to her boss, Mark Wong (James Kyson), that a monster killed her partner and Ichabod saved her. But since she barely believes what she saw, it’s tough to sell the story to her boss. Mark tells her to go home, get some rest, and he won’t fill his report until she has time to reconsider her story.

Instead of listening to Mark, Diana follows footprints into the woods and crawls down into the underground building Ichabod escaped from earlier. The place has been packed up and is completely empty, yet Ichabod’s also drawn back to it and once again startles Diana with his presence. He couldn’t track the demon and the two come to an uneasy truce. She’s adamant demons don’t exist and Ichabod assures her they do and that she should believe it because she saw it with her own eyes. She won’t say “demon” but seems to be following Ichabod’s explanation that he and the demon – which was released after Lincoln’s statue’s head was chopped off – are searching for the same person. He asks her to keep in mind he’s the only one who can find Eric’s killer.

And now we’re introduced to Malcolm Dreyfuss (guest star Jeremy Davies) whose phone rings during the middle of some weird ceremony in the basement lair of his corporate headquarters. He’s a real wheeler-dealer but he also performs bizarre ceremonies and is responsible for releasing the entity that killed Eric.

The demon adds another notch to its belt, killing a souvenir vendor.

Ichabod checks in on Jenny, leaving a voice mail telling her he’s out of his element and hasn’t found the new witness yet. He’s in the passenger seat of Diana’s police car, and it turns out she handcuffed him to the front seat. (Definite trust issues going on between these two.) Although she’s still skeptical about the killer being a demon, she tells Ichabod there’s a place known as the Vault where info is kept on unusual cases. Ichabod’s super excited by this news and believes it means that the group George Washington founded to battle the supernatural still survives. He wants to check out the Vault immediately.

The actual headquarters of the Vault is less than impressive yet Ichabod remains undaunted. The man working behind the desk, Jake (Jerry MacKinnon), is a bit taken aback by their presence but then he too gets excited, calling Ichabod “Captain Brown Beard.” Jake knows all about Ichabod’s Sleepy Hollow work and has followed his career. Jake’s job is to catalogue all the happenings that occur on the fringes, and that describes Ichabod’s work to a T. Diana seems to believe both men are nuts and wants to leave, but Ichabod is fascinated by this place. Just then a small boom is heard and it turns out the Vault’s front room is just that – a front to hide the grandeur of the actual facility.

Jake and the woman who set off the explosion, Alex (Rachel Melvin), show Ichabod around the place. Ichabod finds books with Washington’s seal and it turns out they’re the organization’s official logs. Ichabod determines there’s a text written beneath the text in Benjamin Franklin’s code. Ichabod dubs the place’s contents “the secret history of America.”

Sleepy Hollow Season 4 episode 1
Tom Mison, Janina Gavankar, Rachel Melvin and Jerry MacKinnon in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (Photo © 2017 Fox Broadcasting Co)

Ichabod flips through pages and determines the demon was raised back in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth who used it to kill President Lincoln. Thus, Lincoln was killed by a demon…and that’s just about enough for Diana, thank you very much. Jake and Alex simply stand by and listen as Ichabod reads aloud details on how Booth tried multiple times and failed and then finally raised the demon to assassinate the president. Booth summoned the demon into his own body, however Mary Todd Lincoln – who apparently was aware of demons and tried to keep her husband safe – ultimately sealed the demon in an underground chamber following her husband’s murder. That chamber is under the Lincoln Memorial, and the demon was released when Lincoln’s head was chopped off his statue.

Between Ichabod, the demon, and Lincoln’s head disappearing, Jake has finally come to the conclusion that everything in the Vault is real and it all does really matter. Alex, meanwhile, isn’t quite ready to believe everything, but Jake convinces her to show them the tunnels. Diana and Ichabod head into the tunnels where we learn Ichabod still believes Abbie was the best partner ever and that Diana served two tours of duty in the Marines with Eric. She left the Marines because she had a baby, and now her daughter is having medical issues and has stopped talking altogether.

Ichabod and Diana discover where the demon was staying, finding an area where the walls are covered by drawings of the American flag. Ichabod becomes convinced the flag is a trigger for the demon because it was initially summoned to destroy the Union.

Diana realizes there’s a concert taking place the next day, and the ad for the event says attendees should wear the Stars and Stripes. Ichabod, Diana, Jake, and Alex try to figure out how to combat the demon and keep the death toll at the concert to a minimum. Diana wonders why the walls of the demon’s cell were made of copper and Jake says copper must be the demon’s Kryptonite – a reference that flies over Ichabod’s head at first, then he finally gets it. They need to make weapons out of copper and Alex volunteers to throw something together.

The next day Diana and Ichabod walk through the crowd, and Ichabod’s insulted for wearing clothing that’s out of style by men dressed in “Hamilton” attire. “There were other people involved in the American Revolution, you know!” yells Ichabod, but they just laugh and walk on. He then spots the demon who can move so fast it looks as though he can appear and disappear at will. Ichabod unfolds a large American flag and belts out “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” grabbing the demon’s attention. Diana calls and lets Jake and Alex know they’re on their way.

Alex made “magical” bullets out of copper, and Jake is still overwhelmed everything he’s always believed in is true. The newly formed foursome wait for the demon, but he’s so fast he gets the jump on Jake and starts to strangle him. Just then Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) shows up, throws down a taunt, and then shoots the demon. Ichabod introduces her as a “soldier, scholar, gentlewoman, and all-around badass.” They hug, obviously glad to be together again.

Demon taken care of, Jenny and Ichabod at last have time to discuss their findings. Jenny admits she’s no closer to finding the next witness than Ichabod. Neither can believe Abbie is really gone, and Ichabod is still trying to find his feet in DC. Jenny tells him he’s not alone, reminding him the entire country is there because of him.

And we’re back with Malcolm Dreyfuss as he listens to a news report that the Japanese businessman he threatened earlier in the day was killed by a wild animal while on a retreat. The sale will now go through, and Malcolm’s very appreciative of his right-hand man’s work. Malcolm is also informed Ichabod got rid of the demon, which doesn’t upset him because what he really wanted was the head from Abraham Lincoln’s statue. The head is now in his basement lair and his assistant/right-hand man/demon uses his power to break it open and expose a large disc. It’s just one of many, according to Malcolm.

Now it’s Ichabod and Diana’s turn to have a quiet chat, and he says he’s going to stay in DC for a while to find out who abducted him and why. Diana asks if more demons are coming, and Ichabod tells her she doesn’t need to make it her battle. She’s determined to find the people behind Eric’s death and Ichabod warns her if she starts down this path, there’s no looking back.

At home, Diana checks in on Molly and tells her daughter she met some “complete weirdos” at work. Molly smiles but remains silent. After Diana leaves the room, Molly pulls out a journal filled with drawings she’s done of Ichabod Crane!