In “The Weeping Lady,” Tim Mison’s sexy-fine looks finally get the recognition they deserve: Three ladies are all pining/dying for Crane. The first is Caroline, a sharp, present-day woman with an obsession for all things colonial. In fact, the episode opens with Caroline delivering a bunch of handmade goods to Crane before he realizes her romantic intentions. The second is this episode’s titular character, Mary, a woman from Crane’s time who was promised his hand in marriage by her parents. And the third is, of course, Katrina, his loving and spiteful wife.
The thrust of the episode is Caroline’s dead body, which is found in a river the day after Crane assures her that he just wants to be friends (and, kind of sadly, that he has few friends at all in Sleepy Hollow). Shortly after Caroline’s death, Lt. Mills is attacked in the library by a pretty dead, totally wet woman-thing. Lt. Mills escapes, thanks to the walking deus ex machina that is Hawley. Once Lt. Mills is back at the police station, she and Crane quickly surmise, thanks to a piece of black lace Lt. Mills ripped from the dress of her attacker, that she was attacked by the physical manifestation of the Weeping Lady, a creature that has, for two hundred years, existed solely as an urban legend among the teens of the town.
Crane recognizes the black lace as a special, handwoven piece of cloth that was owned by Mary, a woman he knew in his own time. At this point, it’s kind of bogus how frequently Crane recognizes every piece of a puzzle, but perhaps that’s the role he’s grown into. Without Crane, none of these mysteries would’ve been solved. But also, without Crane, would they even exist?
In the case of the Weeping Lady: No. Turns out, Katrina — who, along with Lt. Mills, eventually defeats the Weeping Lady — spitefully cursed Mary into becoming the droopy, eternally waterlogged being we see haunting the cast this week. This is discovered after a bizarre occurrence that involves the Headless Horseman, upon realizing the Weeping Lady is attacking Katrina, rushing to Katrina’s aid and ultimately sparing Crane’s life once he hears that he, too, defended Katrina. And this brings to the fore a question that’s been hovering in the back of my mind for the past few weeks: So, exactly when did the Headless Horseman stop becoming a henchman of the Devil and start becoming a human being who acts with rational, moralistic intention? Do Crane and Lt. Mills not think it’s weird that they know where the Headless Horseman, Katrina, and Parrish live? And Crane is just hangin’ out, planning some reenactment action?
There’s also a real lame subplot with Hawley and a malfunctioning crossbow that was possibly owned by Van Helsing, but it turns out to be a lot of wasted time, aside from introducing Hawley as a potential love interest for Lt. Mills. (And, what a twist! Jenny, Lt. Mills’ sister, also wants to — and most likely already has — hooked up with Hawley! Incestuous love triangle, y’all!) The most interesting thing revealed about Hawley is that he lives on a dock in a weird, kinda cool George of the Jungle type house-slash-antique-store that is not at all hurricane proof.
All that said, this is one of the tidiest episodes of Sleepy Hollow, and for sure the tidiest episode this season. Sheriff Reyes and Captain Irving don’t appear at all, and Parrish only appears briefly to show that yes, he is responsible for summoning the Weeping Lady, and yes, the fact that she failed to imprison Katrina did, indeed, piss off Moloch. The only real exciting development in this episode comes thanks to said pissed off Moloch, who scolds Parrish for not capturing Katrina, who is a “hellfire shard” and a “chosen vessel.” Hm.
Last week, I expressed hope that some of the overarching questions of the season would be addressed in favor of the episodic mysteries, but what we got instead was the total opposite: an episode that provided little insight into the questions we all want answered (mostly about Irving) and instead gave us more. What’s a hellfire shard? For what is Katrina a chosen vessel? Is Katrina’s spiteful behavior toward Mary a sign that she could become a bad guy? Where has Sheriff Reyes gone? Is John Cho okay? And, most importantly, is his character in Selfie the same John Cho character from Sleepy Hollow, and will the two shows do a cross-network crossover? (Sadly, most likely not.)