Promotional Poster for the series 'Sleepy Hollow'. Photo Credit: Fox

'Sleepy Hollow' Episode 5 Recap 'John Doe'

Tonight, Ichabod and Abbie are faced with a perilous task. How do you fight something in which you cannot identify? This is what they are going to have to do if they want to make it through. So stay with us as we take a look at this week’s episode of Sleepy Hollow entitled ‘John Doe’.

This episode starts off as simple as innocent as can be. I mean, who would doubt a little girl playing in the woods that just happens to stumble across a little boy that looks like he just stepped off of the Mayflower?

The little boy starts to chase the little girl in a playful matter when all of a sudden, the sky starts to turn gray, and the sound of a horse starts to resound in the distance. Before we know what is truly going on, the child is being pursued by one of the four horsemen.

The little boy finally makes it to the edge of the woods, nearly being hit by a car. The horseman is still pursuing him; however, when the horseman reaches the edge of the forest, he mysterious bursts into dust.

Ichabod’s New Digs

Ichabod now has a place to call his own. No longer residing in a hotel, Ichabod has now taken up residence in Corbin’s old cabin. After all, it is the perfect place for Ichabod. It is remote, quiet, and much like him, a little older. Besides, Corbin did mean for them to find the cabin, so there has to be some sort of deeper meaning to the whole situation, right?

You have to admit though…for over 200 years old, Ichabod doesn’t look a day over 30.

The Mysterious Young Boy

While Abbie is helping Ichabod get set up in his new home, they get a call. When they get to the scene, Morales is already there. A unidentified young boy was found wandering around outside of the woods. With no parents or no identity to be had, the boy was all alone.

Ichabod noticed a strange phenomenon. The veins in the child’s arms were starting to blacken. He asks Abbie if this condition is common in their time. Obviously, it is not. After receiving treatment, the boy suddenly springs back to consciousness. The boy speaks in a language that no one has heard before. Well, no one from this time period, I should say. Ichabod discovers that the boy (the same from the opening sequence in case you couldn’t guess) is speaking Middle English, a language that hasn’t been spoken since, you guessed it, the Middle Ages.

Could this be another test for Ichabod and Abbie?

The Search Begins

Back at the station, Ichabod and Abbie search through the database containing hundreds of missing children, but none of them fit the description of the young boy that was found wandering around Sleepy Hollow.

Ichabod, Abbie, and Captain Irving are now referring to the boy as John Doe.

Crane explains to Captain Irving that the boy speaks Middle English, the language that was used in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Unhelpfully, the Captain makes some witty remark about the boy’s origin.

Ichabod tells him that the boy said the words “Evil girl” in a dead version of their language.

There are currently no leads on the case; however, Captain Irving has called in the CDC.

He advises Crane that he should go and question the John Doe. Sure…leave it up to the one person who speaks Middle English, right?

The Plot Thickens

At the medical facility, the young boy has been placed under quarantine.

Ichabod enters to question the young boy. The advisor from the CDC explains to Ichabod how to use the technology in order to interview the young boy. He rattles off to him a list of things that he needs to know from the boy. Ichabod is none too pleased by his tone.

While you may see in there a nameless, faceless source, I see a boy, and I intend to treat him as such.” Ichabod says.

Ichabod introduces himself to the boy and asks him his name. The young man’s name is Thomas.

The boy tells Ichabod that he is from Roanoke. Everyone assumes that Thomas is speaking of Roanoke, Virginia; however, Ichabod fears that they may be searching in the wrong place. Ichabod believes that Thomas is from the lost colony of Roanoke. The colony disappeared without a trace in the late 1500’s.

Ichabod and Abbie head off to investigate.

While looking into the matter, Captain Irving calls them to tell them that the EMT that treated Thomas has now been infected with the disease. To make matters worse, Thomas’ condition is worsening, and it is spreading throughout his body. Irving fears that they may be on the verge of an outbreak.

Witch’s Spring Trail

Ichabod seems to have this uncanny ability to track Thomas’ trail. Is there anything this man cannot do?

When she asks him where he learned to track so expertly, he gives her the most obvious answer; fox hunting. Apparently, Ichabod came from a rather regal background. He tells Abbie that his father was a nobleman.

It’s one thing that I’m pleased to have left behind.” He says.

They find a set of footprints that do not match Thomas’. They suspect that they may have belonged to the “evil girl” that accompanied Thomas.

The trails end at a lake in the woods. Ichabod tells Abbie that he believes the key to Thomas’ survival may very well be on a small island within the lake. However, it would seem that this body of water is impassable. Well, unless your name is Ichabod Crane. He can tell from the markings on the trees that there is a crossing hidden beneath the water. What would we do without Ichabod and his uncanny knowledge of the strange and unusual?

The two of them cross the lake and enter the small body of land within. They soon come to realize that they have found something extraordinary. They have found the lost colony of Roanoke!

Unfortunately, it would seem that everyone in the colony has been infected by the plague.

It would appear that the people of Roanoke were cursed by the Horseman of Pestilence. The villager explained to them that they were led to this location after the death of Virginia Dare, the first child to be born in North America, by her spirit.

Ichabod asks him how the villagers remain well when they are all affected by the same plague as Thomas. He explains to him that the disease cannot affect them while they are in the village. So when Thomas left the village to follow the ‘Evil Girl’ in the woods, he brought the plague to the outside world, and thus began to be affected by its condition.

This was the intention of the Horseman all along.

In order for them to save Thomas, and the others who have been infected by this plague, Thomas must be returned to the colony; before it is too late.

If they find themselves unable to stop this plague, the Horseman of Pestilence will return to Sleepy Hollow and rejoin forces with the Horseman of Death.

The Plague Spreads

Back at the medical facility, the plague seems to be spreading at an exponential rate.

Unfortunately, this situation seems to go from bad to worse. Now, Ichabod has been infected by the plague. The CDC demands that Ichabod be taken into quarantine. Now, what are they supposed to do? With Ichabod being incapacitated, and the only one who speaks Middle English, they seem to be at an impasse that they may never be able to cross.

A Trip To Purgatory

Once he loses consciousness, Ichabod is taken into Katrina’s purgatory.

Upon seeing him, she knows that he is not well. She fears that he may die from what ails him. If so, he may be trapped in purgatory much like her.

Back at the medical facility, Morales receives a phone call from the history department at Oxford Merton College regarding his inquiry into Crane. She informs Morales that Crane is on sabbatical from the department, and currently on loan to law enforcement. Somehow, I don’t think that is the answer that Morales wanted. Someone clearly still has feelings for Lt. Mills, as unrequited as they may be, and is quite jealous of Mister tall, dark, and British.

The Point of No Return

Back at the hospital, Abbie tells Captain Irving that’s she needs his help to get Ichabod and Thomas out of the facility. He talks to her as if she is insane.

He tells her that he needs her on the street, and that she is to report to Morales for her post.

Not very helpful there, was he?

Going to the Chapel

Dejected, she finds herself in the hospital chapel. Looking for answers, she begins to talk to God. She is asking him questions that only someone like him could answer. Unfortunately, the answers are not always the ones you want to hear, nor are they in the places that we expect to find them.

She asks for a sign.

When nothing comes to her right away, she heads towards the door. On her way out, she passes a woman who blesses herself in the Holy Water at the door. Just then, Abbie got what she was looking for. She had found her sign.

That’s it! Something in the environment that keeps the cure within the colony…the water. She realizes that it is the water that is keeping the people in the colony safe.

The Cure

Now convinced that she has the answer, she approaches Captain Irving once more, telling him that if she can get Ichabod and Thomas back to the Colony that she can stop this plague from spreading any further.

She tells him that the colony is some sort of Holy place, and may hold the properties necessary to end the plague.

Captain Irving asks her if she truly believes that this is the answer. When she replies that she has no other choice than to believe, he decides to help her.

He says that an alternate facility has been set up for the quarantine, and that he will make the necessary arrangements to have Ichabod and Thomas transferred there. Then, she will have her opportunity to get them to the colony. In the meantime, he will cover for her.

The End of the Path

Now back at Witch’s Spring Trail, Abbie leads Ichabod and Thomas through the forest back to the colony. On their journey, he tells Abbie of the trip he made to Katrina’s purgatory.

Ichabod tells Abbie that Thomas’ situation has become direr. He feels that they may be losing him.

As Thomas begins to slowly fade away, the Horseman of Pestilence comes forth and rides again.

Ichabod tells her that he cannot go on; that he is feeling faint. She tells him to hold on as she digs into a bag, pulling out a rather menacing needle. After sticking Ichabod with it, she tells him that she has given him adrenaline. Suddenly, he feels a rush of energy and is able to keep moving.

The threat of the Horseman impedes further. He is now on the outskirts of the colony.

Quickly, Ichabod makes his way to the water and submerges both Thomas and himself.

Just before the Horseman could reach them, Ichabod arose from the water with Thomas in his arms. As the Horseman approaches Abbie, he bursts into dust, just as he had before exiting the woods in the beginning of the episode.

Abbie was right all along. The water held the cure to the plague.

In an instant, everything is gone. They find themselves in a desolate area, with no sign of the colony anywhere.

It turns out that Thomas was dead the entire time; however, when he was lured into the real world by the “evil girl” he was returned to flesh and blood, thus affecting the people in Sleepy Hollow.

Abbie receives a phone call from Irving. He tells her that miraculously, everyone is returning to health.

She tells Crane that he belongs in Sleepy Hollow in the here and now.

“What do you say we go home?” Ichabod says. “We have much work to do.”

The Lake

Back at the lake, when the sun has set on the day, we see the Horseman’s white steed with the glowing red eyes standing unsettled at the foot of the lake.

From within the depths, the Headless Horseman, the Horseman of Death, is rising from the water.

He brandishes his axe, and rides off through the forest, exiting Witch’s Spring Trail leaving embers in his wake.


It looks as if the Headless Horseman is headed back to Sleepy Hollow. The big question is, what does he have in store for Ichabod and Abbie?

Unfortunately, we will have to wait 3 more weeks to find out.

Sleepy Hollow will return on Monday, November 4that 9:00 p.m. on Fox.

Tags: FOX John Doe Sleepy Hollow TV Show TV Shows

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