‘Sleepy Hollow’ Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: “Heartless”

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This week, we must ask: Does Lt. Mills even need these chumps anymore? Week after week, she’s the one who solves the mystical mysteries and the one who is always rushing into battle with a shotgun. She could probably go solo and handle all the hysterics going down in the town of Sleepy Hollow, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. It’s still worth considering, though, given that this week seems intent on highlighting the evolving nature of relationships.

“Heartless” opens with Crane and Katrina holed up in their cabin, Crane speaking intently on the nature of love and courtship — in relation to, of course, The Bachelor, that 21st-century paragon of romance. Katrina wants to know if there’s more “television of reality,” but Lt. Mills is more concerned with Parrish, whom they haven’t heard from in more than a week, and so announces that she’s been playing NSA and tracking his internet usage.

Cut to Parrish, who seems to have snuck under Lt. Mills’ watchful eye and bought a disembodied heart off of eBay. He uses it to summon a succubus, who quickly heads to Pravda, Sleepy Hollow’s hottest night club. Pravda has plaid bros doing tequila shots, wheelbarrows full of glow-stick necklaces, young women in thick-rimmed glasses, and human spotlights. (What’s a human spotlight?) Oh, also, a pretty, shape-shifting girl who sucks souls out of geeky dudes’ mouths, and then goes and barfs them up into a big pickling jar in Parrish’s lair.

But, succubus and all, the episode’s biggest conflict stems from the introduction of Katrina into the Colonial Crime Stoppers. Save for reality shows, Katrina doesn’t show much interest in anything at all, other than being sick. She’s a distraction for Crane, and doesn’t have any insight into the goings-on in Sleepy Hollow aside from the awareness of certain nameless “mystical texts.”

Crane’s preoccupation with Katrina sends Lt. Mills, perhaps a little lonely, looking for Hawley. She finds him at a bar, but he, too, is too busy looking for a more, let’s say, intimate companionship to be of any help. As you could have probably predicted when the succubus was introduced, he brings the thing back to his place. Luckily, Lt. Mills and Crane, having reconvened while Katrina rests, discover the succubus’ plot and save Hawley.

They return home to Crane’s cabin to find Katrina in the throes of a nightmare, which turns out to not be a nightmare at all, but rather a psychic glimpse into Parrish’s house, where we see that he somehow had extracted the baby Moloch from Katrina’s womb. Moloch, now an oozy little baby, gets covered in the red goop the succubus collects. It’s all a bit gross, it’s all a bit nonsensical. (Did we see Moloch extracted from Katrina last week? The show seems to think so, but it wasn’t made obvious at the time.) Anyway, the red goop is apparently essential to the baby’s development, and that’s the whole point of the succubus.

With a bit of research (in more “mystical texts”) we discover that the succubus is a more specific type of demonic entity, known as the Incordata — or, the heartless. The demon’s heart is kept separate from the demon’s body, on consecrated ground, and must be destroyed in order to do permanent damage to the succubus. So, the Colional Crime Stoppers split up, with the boys and girls parting ways: Katrina and Lt. Mills searching for the heart, while Crane and Hawley track down the succubus herself.

Crane and Hawley have a bros’ night out at the club in order to draw out the succubus. Crane asks about Hawley’s intentions toward Lt. Mills as the succubus, looking like “Thank You”-era Alanis Morissette, skulks through the crowd. Hawley doesn’t say much before the succubus catches up to them, eventually luring Crane to a back room, trapping him.

Meanwhile, Lt. Mills and Katrina are trying to work together after having a bit of a stereotypical girl-hates-girl shouting match in the cabin. The catalyst for the fight is Parrish, and whether or not he can be swayed toward affection for his mother and father. Katrina remains faithful to the cause, but Lt. Mills — always the skeptic, if such a thing can exist in a show centered on the supernatural — isn’t so sure.

The two wander through one of the seemingly dozen local cemeteries in search of the heart of the succubus. Eventually they find a crypt and uncover a jar full of maggots (or rats!? it’s under a perception spell!) that houses the heart, all shriveled and gray. Katrina starts chanting some anti-succubus spell (there is so much chanting this season!) and, just as she’s about to destroy the heart, Crane, back at da club, stabs the succubus. This enrages the heart’s jar (?), which emits a kind of shockwave that buckles Katrina’s knees. Lt. Mills quickly shoots and destroys the jar, and begins reading the incantation herself, setting the heart on fire. This allows Crane and Hawley to kill the succubus, who, in its demonic form, looks like Dave Grohl in Tenacious D’s “Tribute” video.

They all gather for a little postmortem meeting. Katrina tells Lt. Mills that she is leaving the group and going back to Abraham, where she intends to get close to him and infiltrate the inner world of Parrish. Crane seems to understand. Hawley and Lt. Mills have a moment where she gives him the incinerated succubus heart and then wraps his hot, injured bod in an ace bandage. It all happens a little quickly, and isn’t wrung for the drama that it should be.

As the episode ends, we get a glimpse of Katrina with Abraham and Parrish, and see that baby Moloch, now fully nurtured by the red human soul goop, has taken a fully human form. Katrina, who is the thing’s mother, seems to truly be taken with it, breaking into a smile as the episode ends.

Will Katrina fall for her new, demonic semi-son? Probably. (Hopefully.) Can Parrish change? Probably not. (Hopefully.) Lt. Mills and Hawley will probably hook up, if only temporarily. Whatever does and doesn’t happen, this show desperately needs a change in dynamic. The season is now into its second half and the Parrish vs. Colonial Crime Stoppers plot is getting stretched fairly thin. Should the show return for a third season, this isn’t going to hold up. Maybe “Heartless”‘s talk of the changing in relationships was purely superficial and maybe no real progress in that realm is being made — but here’s hoping that’s not the case.