Sleepy Hollow: Mama (2×09)
Synopsis: Abbie, Jenny, and Nick investigate a string of unusual suicides at Tarrytown Pyschiatric and the Mills sisters get a blast from the past when the discover their mother is somehow involved. Meanwhile, Katrina is forced to play mother to baby Moloch and makes a horrifying discovery.
The fans have asked and the writers have given. The Mills sisters steal the show this week as they grapple with the discovery of their mother’s spirit. Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood both shine as they reminisce about their lovely, albeit slightly crazy, mother Lori, played by guest star Aunjanue Ellis. Viewers are treated to some answers as to why their mother was locked up and what exactly she knew about her daughter’s future role as a witness. Yes, Hawley was a bit useless this episode, not contributing much, but his presence certainly wasn’t a hindrance and did not affect the Mills sisters’ dynamic. In time, hopefully he will come to play a much larger, useful role in the show.
The episode opens on Ichabod, who seems to be battling a particular virulent cold. Abbie insists he rest to nip the cold in the butt, but even she appears to be being plagued by startling dreams where she sees her mother warning her in purgatory. Perhaps she could use some rest of her own. Before she can dwell more on her dreams, Sheriff Reyes calls her, informing her of a series of suicides at Tarrytown Psychiatric that she might be interested in investigating. Despite protestation, Abbie insists Ichabod stay and have some quiet time to rest. Reyes gives Abbie complete control of the investigation, seriously calling to light the level of trust that has slowly evolved while Reyes has been in office. Reyes thinks the case will do Abbie some good and give her some answers about her mother.
Jenny accompanies Abbie to Tarrytown as she has particular insight into the patients and the environment, having been a patient there for some time. They talk to Irving, who tells him none of the patients who died seemed motivated whatsoever to commit suicide. Sounds like foul play to me. For the time being, even though his soul belongs to the horseman of war, Frank is still in control of his own actions thankfully.
Jenny and Abbie look at security footage and the two begin to dwell on their painful past. Jenny realizes Abbie took the case for more personal reasons and she insists that the case is not going to change what happened to their mom. Abbie though, wants to understand why she was chosen as a witness and she strongly believes Tarrytown can provide her with answers. Looking at the footage of one of the deaths, they are startled to see what appears to be their mother in the room during the time of the patient’s death. There is no doubt that they are looking at Lori Mills. How and why remain questions.
Through flashbacks, we begin to see the true extent of their mother’s paranoia, and how terrified the Mills sisters were of their mother as she spiraled out of control. As their mother so eloquently put it, eyes open, head up, trust no one. Lori repeatedly asked to girls to repeat this mantra to stay safe.
Abbie regroups with Ichabod to unravel the mystery of their mother’s presence in the video. Hawley dutifully shows up like a lost puppy when called, bringing an assortment of cold remedies for Ichabod with him. Ichabod, despite being grateful for the soup Hawley has brought him, refuses to show any comfort in Hawley’s offering. Ichabod goes on to explain that Tarrytown was built on a specific lay line, where points of convergence between the human and spirit world exist. Hawley, once again, offers his assistance on the case. Hawley might have also spiked Ichabod’s soup with a little something extra powerful, enough to send Ichabod off to sleep peacefully.
Meanwhile, over at Frederick’s Manor, Henry continues to keep the baby’s true identity from Katrina and forces her to pick the child up, demanding he needs nurturing. Behind the facade, the black demon baby, Moloch, touches Katrina and begins spreading a putrid blackness over her skin and it appears he is once more gaining sustenance from Katrina herself. Henry is overly pleased. Later, Katrina secretly whips up some sort of spell to harm the baby, but when she goes to use it on Moloch, she finds the child has grown into a young boy, who affectionately calls her mother.
Back at Tarrytown, Abbie, Jenny, and Hawley are there to stake out a killer ghost, who just so happens to be their mother. Ichabod is sleeping this one out. Their goal is to hopefully stop their mother from taking another life and provide her some peace. Thankfully, they don’t have to wait long before they see another patient attempting suicide. They race to stop the suicide but when Abbie sees the spirit of her mother, Abbie herself vanishes, transported to a dreary older abandoned wing of the facility. A younger version of her mother appears and warns her, claiming it is not safe.
While searching for Abbie, Jenny receives a cryptic note from their mother in the form of a series of numbers that they later learn refers to a recording of one of their mother’s sessions when she was alive. Jenny is hesitant to watch the tape, primarily because most of her earliest memories involved Jenny being scared of their mother because she was so unstable. Together, Abbie and Jenny painfully watch the tape of the session where their mother claims a nurse named Lambert wants her to kill. The Mills sisters recall seeing a nurse named Lambert earlier that day when investigating the murders.
At the same time back at Tarrytown, a nurse named Lambert appears to Frank, offering him pills to help with the pain. Unbeknownst to him, he has fallen into her trap and in a delusional state, he attempts to drown himself. Thankfully Abbie, Jenny and Hawley arrive just in time to save him. When he later wakes, Irving regrets his actions. Apparently he was under the influence of psychotropic drugs, opening his mind to demonic influence from the nurse. The three of them discover that there was an actual nurse named Lambert that once worked at Tarrytown who drugged patients and convinced them to take their own lives. It would appear the nurse is also a spirit or a demon still haunting Tarrytown to this day.
Abbie, Jenny, and Hawley seek out their mother’s old cell, looking for answers. They discover drawings and writings their mother left behind on the wall, including pictures of the girls. They learn that their mother was not telling the patients to commit suicide but was rather trying to stop the patients from killing themselves.
The spirit, Nurse Lambert, coincidentally appears, capturing Abbie. Lori Mills’ spirit instructs Jenny and Hawley to find a journal of their mothers that has the answers they seek. The two head to the archive room and find the journal she spoke of, a book belonging to a woman named Grace Dixon, a Mills ancestor who just so happened to help Katrina deliver baby Henry in the past.
Meanwhile, the nurse restrains Abbie and recalls her own suggestion and influence over Lori herself. The nurse claims their mother was in need of an angel of mercy to help her cross over and free her from pain. Before the nurse can force Abbie to take some pills, Lori attacks the nurse and the two fight. Down in the archives, Jenny recites a chant from the journal, ripping the demonic nurse apart and sending her back to the hell hole she came from. Jenny and Nick arrive to release Abbie from her restraints. Abbie is extremely proud of their mother, and the way she fought for her daughter’s life, even in death.
In order to thank their mother properly, Jenny, Nick, Abbie, and Ichabod (who seems in much better spirits thanks to Hawley’s remedies) are able to summon Lori once more, where she tearfully reunites with her daughters. After some explanation, it appears their mother has done nothing but save them from the demons watching them. She did everything she could to protect them both and the girls are stunned to learn she may not have been entirely crazy after all. Lori tells the girls to use the journal to defeat Moloch and win the war. By defeating the nurse they have already freed their mother. It sounds as if the Mills sisters have taken after their mother in more ways than one.
As the four leave Tarrytown and head home, they run into Irving who surprisingly darts into the roadway to stop them. During the chaos with their mom, apparently Frank found an opportunity to escape. How he managed that is beyond me, but the fact remains that is Frank Irving is now free from Tarrytown and is likely a wanted man on the run. Something tells me Hawley is going to get stuck hiding the fugitive.