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Sleepy Hollow - What Lies Beneath - Review: "The End is Nigh"

2.16 - "What Lies Beneath"
Directed by Dwight Little
Written by Damian Kindler
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Season Guide

Click on the episode title to be taken to that review of the episode. Advance previews will be linked in paranthesis after the episode titles. Some episodes did not get an advance preview. Episodes 1-13 were covered by Romain Ossust.

2.01 - "This Is War" (Advance Preview)
2.02 - "The Kindred" (Advance Preview)
2.03 - "Root of All Evil"
2.04 - "Go Where I Send Thee..." (Advance Preview)
2.05 - "The Weeping Lady"
2.06 - "And the Abyss Gazes Back"
2.07 - "Deliverance" (Advance Preview)
2.08 - "Heartless" (Advance Preview)
2.09 - "Mama" (Advance Preview)
2.10 - "Magnum Opus"
2.11 - "The Akeda" (Advance Preview)
2.12 - "Paradise Lost"
2.13 - "Pittura Infamante"
2.14 - "Kali Yuga"
2.15 - "Spellcaster" (Advance Preview)
2.16 - "What Lies Beneath"
2.17 - "Awakening" (Advance Preview)
2.18 - "Tempus Fugit" (Advance Preview)

'What Lies Beneath' Recap and Commentary

Going Underground

We start by literally going beneath the town to the sewers where a few workmen are discussing plans of it turning into underground parking. They see a hole in the wall and they knock it through. One of them decides to record on his phone when they go down a spiral staircase. They end up in a room with a fancy looking trapdoor and one of them pulls out equipment for radar mapping. Never a good idea but they pry open the door. Smoke comes out as the doors groan open. It appears there's another tunnel system below. Pretty soon there's growling and each of the men are dragged down one by one. We all knew that was going to happen. When we start an episode with people we don't know in a sewer, at least half of them are going to never see the light of day again. Pretty harsh all of them got dragged away.


Out and about, Ichabod and Abbie are discussing how comfortable Ichabod is in this day and age... until he sees a couple of young girls posing for selfies. It's funny how Ichabod says Instagram a different way. "Whatever happened to experiencing life rather than posting it." No truer words have been spoken, now excuse me while I quickly write about this on Twitter. They then discuss about not knowing who the enemy is. "So just have faith?" Abbie says. "Have faith" Ichabod replies. I feel this little conversation also reflects the show. Viewers need to have faith that the show is going the way it's intended to and they just need to "have faith" and ride it out until the end. Don't give up. Field trip is quickly over and we go to a missing persons case. At the scene, Abbie and Ichabod decide to go under the town themselves with maps from the Archives. Abbie gets a photographer to stop taking photos who stepped inside the line. The man turns out to be a brother of one of the men from the start and he has realised Sleepy Hollow is home to a lot of unexplained phenomena. Calvin is a journalist who covered Syria and Iraq.

Cut to Ichabod and Abbie underneath the town. No sign of the men or trace of their belongings anywhere. Only they knew of this part. They feel a breeze and are led to the alcove that was previously sealed but the workmen knocked it in. They find the trapdoor with symbols of witchcraft around it. They try to open it but it's too heavy. They turn on the radar mapping and it shows the antichamber that Ichabod says there's only one man who could design this - Thomas Jefferson. They see a discarded phone and playback what happened when the men were abducted. In the Tavern, Irving runs into Jenny. Yay Jenny! I really missed her in the last episode, so glad she's okay. Irving asks for a favour - to retrieve something from the evidence lock-up. His wedding ring. He wants to reconcile his marriage but the police won't release his things. He wants Jenny to break in and steal it by hacking the code. Something isn't right obviously, he doesn't want his wedding ring back. Something bigger is going on here, especially when Jenny sees a tattoo-like marking on his arm. She agrees to do it and offers to keep an eye out when he does it.

No I Can't Help You, Gotta Take Photos for Sweeps Month

"To use common vernacular, Jefferson unfriended me"

At the Archives, Abbie is flicking through photographs of Calvin and his brother (facebook-stalking, maybe?) I think somebody may have a little crush. She's earned some downtime, I say go for it. Ichabod reveals Washington comissioned the construction of an impenetrable chamber to safeguard secrets. Ichabod doesn't know what's inside, leading Abbie to say a funny little quirk. Ichabod's relationship with Jefferson was complicated, leading to a flashback. Jefferson was a mentor to Ichabod but things turned sour. One moment he was fine but the next, wasn't so friendly. Ichabod doesn't know why. They come across the Fenestella in the journals, nasties to guard the chamber.

The pair go on a reconnaissance mission and return to the opening of the chamber. They pry it open and head down. Abbie begins to speak in a walkie-talkie to the workmen to see if it will work and they answer. We hear the creatures start to come closer. When they appear, man there's a lot of them. My heart kind of stopped beating for a moment there. The best course of action is to run so Abbie and Ichabod high-tail it out of there. Abbie gets out of the chamber first but one of the creatures jumps on Ichabod's back to drag him back down. Calvin appears taking photos when he could have helped, but the creature drops down and Abbie pulls Ichabod out of there. The flashes and sounds of Calvin's camera really piss me off here. Remember Scary Movie when Gail Hailstorm lets the killer attack just so she could get it all on camera. "It's sweeps". This reminds me of that. He doesn't care that they could potentially die just as long as he's got a few photos. Now I really hope Abbie doesn't see anything in him.

Calvin follows Abbie and Ichabod as they leave and is relentless in finding out what they know. He thinks Abbie and Ichabod know what's going on and are hiding it. He does raise some good questions that anyone normal would ask - where's everyone else, why just those two? Abbie reveals his brother is alive and a media circus would just get in the way of helping him. Abbie gives him access to their investigation, prompting Ichabod to take her to one side to talk. Abbie explains it's so they can control the story but Ichabod has trust issues. "Anyway, you guys are the ones who put freedom of the press in the constitution." "Well we did not predict the twenty-four hour news cycle." Classic. Abbie takes Calvin's phone from him and tells him to wait there and they'll be back in 10 minutes.

The Descent

The names of the creatures are the Reavers but not creatures of Ichabod's era, to guard the Fenestella. They had been hibernating until the survey team woke them up. In a very disturbing moment, we see the Reavers feast upon the insides of one of the men. After being locked away for so long, it's natural they'd be hungry for some human intestine. They return to Calvin and ask if they can trust him. He sort of dodges the question and ends up just saying "agreed". That's not a clear answer at all. At the police station, Jenny and Irving are breaking in. Irving goes inside while Jenny is on the lookout but she watches him from the door. Irving looks inside a box when Jenny pulls a gun on him. She's a smart girl that one, credit where credit is due. Irving overpowers her and runs off. Looks like his secret isn't going to be so secret for long.

Back at the opening of the chamber, they ask Calvin to stay at the opening. Ichabod has an idea by dropping the camera inside with the flash going off. That's their weakness. Abbie and Ichabod go down and see a door that could be the entrance to the Fenestella. Abbie shoots a few of the Reavers before they go inside the door. They're instantly greeted by Thomas Jefferson. They wonder how and he explains it's through science and witchcraft. He crafted a cube filled with supernatural energy. Ichabod puts his hand through him, revealing him to be some sort of hologram but with his memories, feelings and personality of the actual man. Ichabod asks for his help with the victims of the Reavers but he can't. Jefferson assumes he's after the information locked in the Fenestella but Ichabod shows deep concern for his main mission.

At the police station, Jenny is looking Irving when he attacks her. They fight a little before Jenny pulls a gun on him again. Irving reveals his soul is tarnished and has been since he was reborn - a Frank Irving filled with evil. The reason he passed Katrina's test was because of a mark on the palm of his hand - of temporary salvation. He learned of a rune before he died in a book by Henry Parrish. It made him feel human again and gave him clarity to do what he needed to do. He found a ledger with names and numbers referring back to the Hellfire club. The flash drive Irving stole contains the information needed for his wife and daughter to leave Sleepy Hollow. It's security for them as Irving's time is running out and the power of the rune is fading. The other Frank is going to replace the good Frank. He wants his family protected.

Never Trust a Politician

Ichabod tries to reason with Jefferson. The purpose of the Fenestella is to assist Crane. As Ichabod talks to Jefferson, Abbie follows what appears to be cords that lead down a staircase. It leads to the Reavers and Abbie finds the skeletal remains of one of the men. Abbie sees the two surving men and signals that she's going to come back. Abbie returns to Ichabod and tells him. Jefferson says the power source to the chamber is fragile and attacking the nest would destroy the fenestella. Jefferson says the men must die and makes Abbie and Ichabod think of why they were chosen. Everything Jefferson and Washington learned about the Witnesses is in the chamber. Quite the dilemma. All answers to every question they have, or save the lives of two men.

Ichabod is angry that he was never informed but Jefferson couldn't intefere until the second witness appeared and their mission can then begin. He pulls out a box with a folio inside with scrolls and books. It contains mentors for their missions and Abbie and Ichabod think back to those they've lost who have guided them. Flashback to Ichabod and Jefferson with the Declaration of Independance. Ichabod found a scroll with the architecture designs for the chamber on it and gives it to Jefferson, who shoots down Ichabod's assistance coldly. Back to present, Abbie still wants to save the men's lives over research that could potentially win them their war. Ichabod agrees and they go to the Reaver nest.

They sneak inside, trying to be quiet and see the men again. The Reavers are sleeping all over the place, making it all the more riskier. Ichabod goes to the men and gets them down. They start to sneak along when one of them suddenly wakes up. They all begin to wake up and Ichabod and Abbie try to shoot them all but they are overwhelmed. They run back into the fenestella where Jefferson watches them with what seems to be disappointment. Abbie pulls Ichabod away and they all run for the ladder. They successfully reach the top and close the door. Abbie and Ichabod agree the creatures are too dangerous and they'll have to blow it up. All of the knowledge lost, "but I suppose we still have the internet". Ichabod decides to take care of it while Abbie goes to help the men seek medical attention.

Boom Goes the Dynamite

Ichabod has returned to the fenestella and kills several Reavers. He's about to go into the nest when Jefferson blocks the entry to it. Ichabod tries to reason with him, arguing that the America he knew is vastly different to the one of today. Ichabod uses Jefferson's words against him - "one life is worth more than a thousand books." It's a great conversation between the two about friendship and regrets, leading to Jefferson helping Ichabod to blow up the chamber. Ichabod runs and Abbie helps him out. The detonation happens and everything below is destroyed. The men they helped get the medical attention they need and Calvin and Abbie talk about what the story is going to be in the papers. It leads to Abbie basically having a power play with him, that she makes the call when the time comes for the public to know everything. Before Calvin leaves, he asks Abbie to check her e-mail. It's a photo of her with the subject of "trust me", and that he never reveals his sources.

Finally, daylight. The whole episode was set during the nighttime which was a great technique for the episode but it's nice to see some light. We see Katrina wake up to Henry watching her. He reveals he wasn't dead, just away sorting things out. He killed Moloch for Katrina, for his mother, and gives her a black rose that cuts her hand. Katrina wakes up from the dream, but was it really? Blood pours from her hand as she uses the water basin and she sees the black roses on the table. Dun dun dun.....

"I killed Moloch for you, mother. For our kind. It's time for us to begin our work..."

Episode Verdict

This episode was very much there to explore the Abbie and Ichabod relationship as it focused on those two for 80% of the episode, with Jenny and Irving occupying 15%, and Katrina and Henry 5%. It worked for this episode especially because it was important to see some progression in the Witness storyline. We're still pretty much clueless about a lot of stuff and we were presented with some clarity over their roles, but not enough to really get solid answers. The answers were sitting right in front of us too with the Fenestella there, but fortunately the writers didn't provide those answers on a silver platter. Let's be honest, if the Fenestella survived, that's it right? Everything is easy from now on. The good morals of Abbie and Ichabod won out and they did the right thing, saving the men over the research. Hundreds of years of research. The scenes with Abbie and Ichabod were always great and I couldn't fault them at all. The scenes with the Reavers were pretty frightening and it reminded me of the horror movie, The Descent. If anybody has seen this film, you'll know what I'm talking about, though this episode was a more tamed version of that horror film. They were still scary though and we probably had the most graphic, disturbing scene in the show's history with them eating the insides of that man. Poor, poor guy. I really didn't trust that Calvin guy at first but I guess he was alright. Still a dick for preferring to take pictures over helping Abbie and Ichabod when he first followed them.

I was so thrilled to have Jenny back for this episode too. I loved that she was paired with Irving here so we could get some explanations to his pretty bipolar character since returning from the grave. Definitely explains his betrayal in the last episode with his alliance with Henry. He really sweet-talked Jenny when they had their second fight so I don't know if he's being entirely honest with her. I'd like to believe he is and I do like his storyline and where it's heading. Jenny showed her strength in this episode too and that she is smarter than people give her credit for. The whole Irving thing really preoccupied her mind from the whole Hawley-leaving storyline. She seemed a little depressed in the tavern when Irving met with her. And then we ended the episode with a very brief dream sequence with Katrina and Henry which was a great scene. I would have loved to have seen more of Katrina's swaying to the darkside but the omen of the black rose and the words Henry spoke solidifies the direction of the storyline. It also emphasises the fact that Katrina is bitterly alone here, no wonder she feels she can't talk to Ichabod about her problems. Any wife of a man who spends more time with another girl is bound to have some confidence issues. Regardless though, it was pretty important to have the Abbie/Ichabod discoveries this episode delivered.

Overall, I didn't think this episode stood out as much as the last one, but it was still a great episode. Enjoyable, that's for sure and one of the most enjoyable since the show came back this year. It was a pretty scary storyline that didn't quite go as far as it could have, but the introduction of Jefferson was pretty great. Steven Weber's portayal of Jefferson was fantastic actually. I love him in Chasing Life so I knew of him beforehand (from that show and others), so he still manages to do a great job here too. Wasn't quite the kind of episode I expected after the last one and heading into the final episodes of the season, but it will do. Not as thrilling as I was hoping for.

What did you guys think of 'What Lies Beneath'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Sleepy Hollow on February 16th on FOX at 9PM!

About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV on August 9, 2014 and will be reviewing 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Salem and Sleepy Hollow in the 2014-15 season. Gavin's favourite shows include Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal and much more. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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