"Columbia" is the first episode of Season Four of Fox's Sleepy Hollow. It was written by Albert Kim and directed by Russell Fine. It is the fiftieth episode of the series overall, and debuted on January 6, 2017. This episode is the fourth season premiere.
Crane and Jenny begin to navigate life following the unexpected death of Abbie Mills. When he finds himself in a the nation's capital, Crane must forge unlikely partnerships in his quest to find the next Witness, as he discovers that there is more evil at play than he realized was possible.
At an office in Washington, Ichabod reviews his history with an unseen interrogator. The interrogator has slides of the Headless Horsemen, and notes that now Ichabod is alone and no one will miss him. Ichabod demands answers since he's been trapped there for two weeks and hasn't met with Director Walters. When the interrogator steps out, Ichabod knocks him out and walks out, but notices an office with the door open. Inside are photos of him and Abbie, and pictures of various monsters. There's a blueprint of the Lincoln Memorial, and Ichabod wonders who he's dealing with.
Ichabod sees the interrogator on a monitor, waking up, and climbs to the surface. He emerges into a forest and runs until he comes to a highway. When he crosses it, an airplane passes overhead and Ichabod sees a sign saying that he's near the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The Capital Building is visible in the distance.
At a coffee shop, Special Agent Diana Thomas with Homeland Security meets with her partner, Eric Cortez, and complains that date he set her up with wasn't her type. Eric tells her to stop finding faults with guys, and Diana says that she doesn't like change and things with her daughter Molly are upside down. They're interrupted when Diana gets a call. She says that they're on their way and heads out with Eric.
Ichabod enters DC and sees the Lincoln Memorial.
Diana and Eric arrive at the Memorial and go inside. Someone has cut the head off the statue of Lincoln, and Eric goes to check the substructure. Diane checks the side of the statue and sees a glowing green crack that disappears. She calls Eric but doesn't get through. Eric finds a figure standing alone and tells him that the area is off-limits.
Ichabod arrives and sees the decapitated statue, and continues on.
Eric approaches the inhuman figure, who turns and punctures the back of the agent's skull with one talon. The wound glows green and Eric collapses, his eyes burned out. Diana arrives and the figure knocks her aside with superhuman speed. Ichabod arrives and knocks the figure back with a rope post, and yells at Diana to shoot the figure. She does so but it ignores the bullets and speeds off.
Diana demands to know who Ichabod is, and Ichabod introduces himself. He identifies himself as a historical consultant who has worked with the FBI, and refers to the figure as a demon. Ichabod corrects himself and says "killer," and warns that if he doesn't catch it then more people will end up dead like Eric. A glowing green portal opens briefly in the wall, and when Ichabod turns away, she discovers that Ichabod has slipped away.
After Diana calls for backup, her boss Mark Wong arrives and gets her story. She explains about the glow, and insists that she didn't make it up. Mark figures that she's hallucinating due to the shock of seeing Eric die, and warns her that wild reports can ruin an agent's career. he advises her to go home and get some rest, and Diana reluctantly leaves. As she goes, she sees a boot print in the dirt with gravel in it.
Diana follows the boot prints back to the manhole cover that Ichabod escaped through. She climbs down and finds herself in the facility, and finds an office that has been recently cleaned out. Ichabod arrives and says that the demon's trail grew cold until he returned to the facility. He explains that men held him against his will and then abandoned the facility when he escaped. They lower their weapons and Diana explains that the gravel is specific to the area. Ichabod is impressed and says that she can help him track the demon, but Diana insists that demons don't exist. He points out that Diana saw it with her own eyes and it killed her partner, and says that he recently lost his partner. Now Ichabod seeks someone who is to inherit her legacy, and figures the men that held him are looking for her as well. He deduces that someone deliberately released the demon by decapitating the statue, and they will continue to perpetuate evil until they're stopped. Ichabod tells Diana that he's the only one who can find the people who killed her partner.
In a dark room, Malcolm Dreyfuss a man chants a spell but is interrupted when his phone rings. He turns up the lights and takes the business call. Malcolm goes to his office and tells his agent to warn the prospective seller, Mizuyama, that he'll find a way to make him let go. Once he hangs up, Malcolm says that now he has to wait another astral phase to complete the ritual. His guard Branston says that the entity has a confirmed kill and is on the loose, and more will come. Malcolm asks about Ichabod, and Branston says that he's keeping an eye on him. A secretary comes in and points out that there's blood on Malcolm's hand. He licks it off and says that it's just a paper cut, and the secretary leaves. Once they're alone, Branston points out that more deaths will raise questions, but Malcolm isn't concerned.
The demon approaches a souvenir seller and kills him.
Later, the police investigate the crime scene and Ichabod tries to call Jenny. He gets her answering machine and leaves a message that he's left Sleepy Hollow and has found new allies. Diana comes over as Ichabod checks the handcuff that Diana used to fasten him to the steering wheel. The agent says that the seller's body is in the same condition as Eric's, and he had a puncture wound at the base of his skull. Diana says that it's an alliance, not a partnership, and removes the handcuff. She then accesses an archive for a Federal agency, 355, known as "The Vault." Ichabod remembers a reference to it on the letter that Ezra showed him from Washington. He tells Diana about how Washington founded the agency and says that they must go there.
The 355 Agency is one office, and Jake Wells asks if he can help them. He recognizes Ichabod as "Captain Brownbeard" from Sleepy Hollow, and digs out a file of Darknet sites with photos of Ichabod. Jake explains that their job is to catalogue everything from the fringes. He takes a selfie of himself with Ichabod, just as they hear an explosion from the next room. They go in and Jake complains that Alex said she wouldn't set things off anymore. The woman, Alex Norwood, points out that she put the new Mayan artifact in the microwave. The room contains all of their files and artifacts, and Jake explains that he does news and information while Alex does artifacts and machines.
Ichabod finds a log with Washington's seal, and finds a code written in Benjamin's code. He claims that he learned them when he apprenticed as Benjamin's typesetter, and then hastily claims that he learned it from study. Ichabod continues going through the logs and finds a reference to the demon. it was summoned in 1865 by a Confederate occultist named Booth. Booth raised the beast to kill the nation's leader, and Diana realizes that the occultist was John Wilkes Booth.
The log talks about how Booth finally enacted a desperate ritual to kill Lincoln. The demon enters Booth's body, and Mary Todd Lincoln used her supernatural powers to protect her husband. The demon managed to get into the booth and kill Lincoln with a puncture wound, and then fled via the stage. Mary managed to seal the demon in an underground chamber, and later Agency 355 constructed a protective totem on the same spot: the Lincoln Memorial. When someone decapitated the statue, they released the demon using a supernatural hex. Jake is shocked that everything that they've documented is real, but Rachel isn't convinced. They debate whether to show Diana and Ichabod something.
Once they agree, Jake opens a hidden door to a series of secret passageways built during the Revolutionary War. Ichabod immediately goes in and Diana follows him. As they go through the tunnels, Ichabod says that he sympathizes with Diana dealing with her newfound knowledge of the supernatural. He talks about how Abbie taught him, and Diana explains that she and Eric served in the Marines. She left when she had a baby, Molly, and the girl is 10 now. Diana explains that Molly isn't talking and fainted a few weeks ago, but the doctors said there was nothing wrong with her. They find a cell, the door split open, and find scratches on the oxidized green walls in the outline of the Stars and Stripes. Ichabod points out that the seller was selling flags, and an American flag was near where Eric was killed. He figures the demon is fixated on the flag, and Diana realizes that it's not good. They go back to the library and Diana finds a magazine about a Freedom Concert the next day. Everyone will wear the Stars and Stripes, and Ichabod figures that it will be a massacre.
When Jake and Rachel return, Ichabod tells them what they've learned. Diana notices a jar of pennies and figures that the cell walls were made of the same substance: copper. Jake figures that copper is the demon's weakness, and Ichabod says that they need to make some copper weaponry. Rachel is eager to go to work with some of the weird artifacts in the lobby, grabs a blowtorch, and tells them to get her some pennies.
Ichabod and Diana go to the concert and the reenacters admire Ichabod's "costume". However, they warn that's it all about Hamilton now. Ichabod spots the Wilkes demon fading in and out of the crowd. He takes out a Stars and Stripes and waves it in the air, and starts singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Diana calls Jake, who says that they're ready and Rachel loads a Gatling gun with copper bullets. She points out that it's weird, even for Jake, and Jake says that he's always believed something bigger was in the world, and now it's all true.
Ichabod leads the demon to a nearby warehouse. Jake and Rachel are waiting for the Gatling gun, and Ichabod takes it and prepares to shoot. When Booth doesn't appear, Diana and Ichabod move forward while Rachel takes the Gatling gun. The demon appears behind Rachel, grabs her, and knocks Jake aside. It grabs him by the throat, but Jenny grabs the Gatling gun and shoots it. It goes down and disappears, and they confirm that Jake is okay. Ichabod introduces Jenny to the others and hugs his friend.
Later, Ichabod tells Jenny that it's a good group. She explains that she was in the Himalayas but hasn't been able to track the next Witness. Jenny figures that her sister is really gone, and Ichabod concurs. She says that Ichabod and the new Witness will find each other eventually, and asks if he's run into anyone with potential. He admits that he might have but it's too soon to tell. Jenny tells him that he's not alone and never will be, and says that the whole country is there because of Ichabod. She assures him that he belongs more than anyone she knows, and Ichabod says that the colonists invented a personification of liberty: Columbia. Jenny welcomes Ichabod home.
In his office, Malcolm listens to a news report about how Mizuyama was killed on a corporate retreat when a wild animal attacked him. Now Malcolm Enterprises will buy out the company. A man, Jobe, arrives from Tokyo and Malcolm congratulates him on his work. Branston calls and says that Ichabod killed the demon. Malcolm says that the intent was to break the protective spell, and tells Branston to keep an eye on Ichabod., When Jobe suggests that they grab Ichabod, Malcolm says that it's not quite time. He then takes Jobe to the basement and unveils Lincoln's severed head. Malcolm tells Jobe that he finished the ceremony and the prize is ready to be extracted, and Jobe's eyes glow red. He raises his hand and blasts the head to pieces. Malcolm removes a tablet from the shards and says Jobe that there's no amount of blood he won't spill to get the rest of the tablets.
Ichabod meets Diana at the Jefferson Memorial, and tells her that he's going to stay in DC and find the men who abducted him. He also feels that it's time for a fresh start, but he is his history. Diana figures that more demons are coming, but she owes it to Eric to find the people responsible for his death. Ichabod warns that there is no turning back, and Diana says that it helps if she doesn't have to do it alone. Besides, she jokingly figures that she should keep an eye on Jake and Alex, and Ichabod agrees.
When Diana returns home, she checks on Molly. Molly just looks at her without speaking, and Diana talks about the weirdoes that she met at work. The agent figures that Molly will like them, but Molly just draws. Once Diana leaves, Molly takers out a journal and opens it to her sketches of Ichabod.
- The first episode of the series to be featured in 2017.