After it’s surprise return – followed by a surprise week off – Sleepy Hollow was back this week with possibly the best episode in a while. Actually, these first two episodes of Season 2’s second half have been spectacular with new characters and mysteries. Though it was this episode that finally gave us some long-awaited depth to Katrina. GONE is her doing her own thing. GONE is her and Ichabod taking separate courses. This was truly an episode with excelled at team work, suspense, and humor. So let’s jump right in at this closer look at “Pittura Infamante”.
Note: Now for all intensive purposes, this was a self contained ‘episodic’ episode, which with this show usually just feels like filler. Though whereas this episode didn’t touch upon the Horsemen of Death, Orion, etc there were still a couple of things that’ll play well in future episodes and hints at what’s to come. Remember, this is uncharted territory now that the apocalypse is over. We have to get to know these characters outside of that – before we can throw them into another end of the world situation.
The Meaning Of ‘Pittura Infamante’:
So first things first, what does the episode title mean? Well “Pittura Infamante” doesn’t just mean ‘a defaming picture’; but is actually a style of painting in and of itself where the subject matter is usually a thief, traitor or just a bad person in general who never paid for their crimes. The quintessential version of the ‘Pittura Infamante’ is usually thought to be the ‘Hanged Man’ Tarot Card, which all comes into play for this episode.
As we learned thanks to Katrina’s history with Abigail Adams, there were a string of vicious murders in the 18th century that never went unsolved. As a champion of the poor unfortunates and victims, Abigail made it her mission to stop these brutal murders since no one else could. Due to their precision and extensive knowledge of the human body, most believed the murderer to be a surgeon when in actuality it was a painter – someone who would also be familiar with the human form.
Since there was no legal proof or evidence at the time to make this man pay for his crimes, Abigail arranged for Katrina’s old coven to seal him away in a painting so that he may never harm anyone ever again. This made him LITERALLY a “Pittura Infamante” because the portrait actually contained this guilty man who never was tried for his crimes. This is also a fitting fate since his M.O. was to kill his victims by hanging them upside down (in the pose of ‘The Hanged Man’). So once the antique restorer smudged the paint and tried to fill the cracks on the painting, he reawakened the monster within. If he made another handed man – via painting – then, he would be set free permanently. As for why the magic zombie-bullet from Hawley didn’t work when he did start to get out, it’s because his soul was still tied to the picture – making that the entity to shoot.
Irving’s Return – Abbie’s Dilemma?:
As we saw at the end of last episode, Irving is back from the dead by mysterious means. Was it the Earthquake in Purgatory or Henry Parish that caused such a resurrection? Though Abbie and the rest of Team Witness only know this. To everyone else, he is a cop killer that has been on the run for over six weeks. We’ll get to everyone else’s opinion of Frank Irving a little later. For now, we must focus upon Abbie’s own opinions on him.
The last half of this Season, Abbie had the utmost faith in Irving and his ability to hold off the Horsemen of Death’s control over him. Now it seems as though our Abbie isn’t so sure. With Irving’s memory apparently missing of everything that happened from the fight with the War Armor onward, we can’t be sure what happened to him in these 6 weeks – but we’re about to get an idea.
Abbie pointed out that this isn’t like Andy Brooks selling his soul to Moloch – for whom he could betray and break a deal – because Henry, the Horsemen of War literally owns Irving’s soul. Jenny Mills thinks Irving can be trusted – or at least saved – but still goes to retrieve some zombie-killing bullets Abbie told her to reclaim in case they have to use them on him. Though with Abbie previously siding with Irving on most things, we have to wonder if she is actually being clear headed about this, or if Orion has gotten into her head.
Problems For Concern Or Orion’s Influence:
Abbie’s stance on ‘taking someone down’ despite them being friends might not be too new – since she always told Ichabod to take down Henry -; but this episode she is much quicker to this conclusion. This quick to destroy mentality is eerily similar to someone we just met last episode: the Fallen Angel Orion. Abbie still has his charm to summon him, and his quick to vanquish evil mentality certainly has spurred Abbie at least a little. With Jennie and the others more reserved – and Abbie feeling friends die when they hesitate -, will Abbie start turning away; OR is she actually in the right this time?
In the closing moments of this episode Sheriff Reyes commends Abbie on how she’s always stood by Irving’s side, which comes as a sort of smack to the face considering what Abbie has been thinking/planning for all episode. That is until Reyes mentions that “the DA has received evidence that might vindicate Frank Irving”. That’s fantastic news, but wait . . . where is Irving getting Legal Representation from? I’ll give you a hint, the only lawyer on the show – who happens to also be the one he signed a blood contract with – Henry Paris aka Jeremy Crane aka The Horsemen of War.
Henry is of course still out there and is the one behind Irving’s resurrection. What could Henry’s new plan be; and is it necessarily a bad one? When we last saw Henry he had killed the thing he saw as a father figure for most of his life and realized just how different his real parents love for him was. Henry probably has a new plan in motion; but it’s not necessarily an evil one. Perhaps this is where the series twist could come in: Abbie and Orion try to stop Henry’s plan, but the plan was actually to help people and something horrible happens in the season finale.
You Can Take The Woman Out Of The 18th Century…:
I’m sure some people didn’t like the heavy focus on Katrina and Ichabod this episode but – GET OVER IT – they’re relationship is a fundamental part of the show, so if they’re going to work through things that is important. Though I can honestly say that whereas Katrina has had a real problem this season with having a huge ego and then doing nothing – for lack of a better description – this episode brought us a Katrina that was both humble and underestimated herself, yet in the end found her strength.
Seriously, every time Katrina came up with a new reason to ‘split up’ with Ichabod and go back to the Horsemen, I wanted to scream. None of those plans ever worked! So this time around when Katrina made a point of saying ‘no more doing things by ourselves’, I knew this episode would offer something special in the way of her character development. It was great seeing Katrina’s past a bit more and her relationship with Abigail Adams; but what truly shined was how she started off doubting herself and her role in this new time, yet came to actually show off her magic more and help Ichabod save the day.
We saw their romance start to blossom again as these two misfits learn to fit into the new times – and dress. If the rest of this season can maintain this same dynamic and help it grow, then we can finally have the power Katrina and loving relationship between her and Ichabod we’ve expected from Day 1.
Favorite / Important Episode Quotes:We saw their romance start to blossom again as these two misfits learn to fit into the new times – and dress. If the rest of this season can maintain this same dynamic and help it grow, then we can finally have the power Katrina and loving relationship between her and Ichabod we’ve expected from Day 1.
- “The smallest details lie in the largest canvass” – much like this show
- “I have deciphered every code from Ceasership to Morse, yet the one that will always elude me is modern dress. How can one be both business and casual” – something I’ve wondered myself
- “Ichabod is going to be the happiest man alive… until he meets the little monster” – HA, you have no idea Abigail