Jack the Ripper
One of history’s most infamous killers is raised this time on Sleepy Hollow. I used to have nightmares about this guy when I was a kid. I heard the stories, and read the horror comics. This of course led me and my morbid curiosity to read up on him, and I’ve seen the post-mortem pictures of some of his victims. Not pretty. Here’s a quick refresher:
Jack the Ripper was notorious for primarily targeting prostitutes in and around London in the 1800s. The women had their throats slit, and various internal organs removed. Out of 11 similar cases in the Whitechapel district, 5 were considered to be linked – Annie Chapman, Catherine Eddowes, Mary Ann Nichols, Elizabeth Stride, and most famously Mary Jane Kelly. The crimes were never solved, though rumors abound still today as to who actually committed the murders, and the identity of the real Jack the Ripper. You may be familiar with the movie “From Hell,” starring Johnny Depp as a Scotland Yard detective who works on the Ripper cases.
Now that we’re all caught up with history, here’s what happened Previously On: Sleepy Hollow…
Abbie and Ichabod confront the spirit of a killer that has made an impact personally on Ichabod Crane, taking the life of a close friend when he was at school as a boy. It was Crane’s personal encounter with the spirit of none other than London’s most prolific murderer, Jack the Ripper.
The spirit of Jack the Ripper resides in a Byzantine long-bladed weapon, which Pandora just happens to have neatly stored in that handy-dandy little box of hers. She decides it’s time to give the thing a workout, and gives it to a creepy office stalker guy. See, creepy stalker guy has a crush on one of his co-workers. She obviously isn’t interested in him – she’s more into the office jerk bro. Pandora shows up at the club,works her mojo on him, and when he wakes up the knife is on the nightstand. Shit goes straight to hell from there.
Ichabod is trying to save the archive building – it is a historical site, and he has a personal history with the place, dating back… oh… about two or three hundred years.He gives a rousing speech about what America stands for, But when he tries to file the paperwork that would put it on the National Historic Site roster, he is told that a U.S. citizen must sign the paperwork.
Having abandoned his loyalty to the crown long ago and renouncing his fealty to England, he decides to apply for U.S. citizenship. Abbie is thrilled to hear it. Personally, I wish him luck – a lot has changed since he died the first time, and the state of the nation has already been confusing and disappointing for him thus far. Except for the blueberry ale. He liked that. Yum.
Anyway… A woman overheard his speech, and caught him outside. They commiserate about all the hassles of red tape – she’s having issues with a similar situation. Later on, she tracks him down at the archive to offer her help with getting him through the process of the citizenship. He declines graciously. “My brother-in-law is on the congressional subcommittee for immigration.” Crane changes his mind and accepts her offer.
Jenny and Joe go looking for Randall (another artifact thief). He had the shard that Jenny traded to him for Joe’s life. When they catch up to him, they find that he’s been waylaid by yet another relic thief – a girl named Sophie Foster. They find Randall handcuffed to the safety railing in a bathtub in a motel room. Being thieves rather than thugs, they kindly didn’t trash his stuff and they left him where they found him.
Abbie and Crane go to talk to the creepy office guy – his name is Nelson Myers. Before they can knock on his apartment door, a blade comes slashing through the wood. Abbie draws her gun, and kicks the door open. They find him standing in the middle of the room. Ichabod instantly recognizes the blade, and tells Nelson that they can stop whatever influence the blade has over him. But Nelson doesn’t want their help.
He goes on a rant about how he doesn’t want to be invisible and weak anymore, and attacks Abbie. She shoots him, and he stumbles backward and falls out the window. Crane and Abbie rush to the window, and look down at what appears to be a dead Nelson. “Damn,” says Abbie. When Nelson opens his eyes, they’re glowing red. “Aw, damn!”
Our artifact hunters catch up to Sophie at a diner, where Jenny has recovered the shard. So far, she’s been using tricks straight out of the August Corbin playbook and Jenny wants to know how she knows Corbin. Sophie’s not telling. Jenny wants to know who she plans on selling it to. Jenny cautions her that the life she’s choosing is a hard and dangerous one. She tells Sophie that someone she looked to as a father gave her charge of the shard, and threatens that things will get ugly if she comes after it again. Sophie blows off the warning and the threat.
Abbie and Crane do some quick research and find that throughout history, there have been periods of time with unsolved murders that fit the same pattern of their current killer. Crane has her look for records of murders and deaths around the time of his friend’s killing. They find that several students died of yellow fever at the school around the same time, and that the murders stopped abruptly when the disease epidemic struck. Abbie follows that clue and finds that in every period that these murders occurred, they were all stopped by an outbreak of contagious disease. Crane realizes that the only reason he managed to not come down with yellow fever was because his father sent for him and removed him from the school – thus sparing him from exposure to both the epidemic in the area and the murders. They come to the conclusion that the evil in the blade can be infected. “We need blood.”
A lab tech calls their attention to some of the files that forensics found on Nelson Meyer’s computer – pictures of Emily Kates, the co-worker he was stalking. She is apparently his next target. Abbie sends a detective to pick up Emily and get her into protective custody. She and Crane get two vials of infected blood from the lab to use against Nelson. On the road, Abbie has Crane text the detective. When there is no response, Abbie senses something is wrong. They go to the parking structure, and find that the detective has been killed and exsanguinated, like the other victims.
Hearing a muffled scream, Abbie starts calling Nelson out. Crane gets a high-powered rifle, and loads one of the vials into the chamber. When Nelson comes out with Emily, Crane tries to talk him into releasing the girl while Abbie circles around behind him. While Nelson is distracted, Abbie kicks him. Crane grabs Emily and gets her to safety while Nelson turns on Abbie. Just as he’s about to slash her, Crane fires the vial at him. His skin morphs into metal and the vial bounces off, needle mangled.
Crane draws Nelson’s attention away from the women. As he runs, he tries to load the second vial into the rifle but it falls. Nelson catches up, and they fight. Crane finally recovers the vial but he’s dropped the rifle. Nelson draws close and raises the blade. Just as Nelson raises the blade, Crane stabs himself with the vial of infected blood. Nelson stabs Crane in the gut, and the blade drinks… and chokes on it.
The blade’s power has drained, and it falls free from Nelson’s hand. “What did you do?” he asks Crane weakly. “Stopped it…” Crane replies as he collapses. Abbie comes running to his side, trying to keep him conscious while they wait for an ambulance. Pandora appears for a moment. “What does it feel like?” she queries. “To know that you’ll be all alone… ”
Back at Abbie’s house, Crane wakes on the sofa with an IV in his arm. “What were you thinking, infecting yourself with malaria?” she scolds. Crane tells her that back in his day, malaria was the army’s best friend – the soldiers had built up a resistance to malaria. They chat about what happened, and as he falls back to sleep he tells Abbie that he is grateful that they have found each other again.
Meanwhile, Pandora is picking her next target… and watching her roses grow. She spots a new bloom.