"Dawn's Early Light" is the sixteenth episode of Season Three of Fox's Sleepy Hollow. It was written by Leigh Dana Jackson & Sam Chalsen & Nelson Greaves and directed by Paul Edwards. It is the forty-seventh episode of the series overall, and debuted on March 25, 2016.
As The Hidden One grows stronger, Crane must examine his past with Betsy Ross to find the key to stopping him. Meanwhile, Jenny wonders if she can ever have a relationship with her father, and Abbie faces a hard decision as things with Reynolds become more strained.
The Hidden One says that he let Pandora become too familiar with him, and figures that she is deviant because she is a human. He telekinetically pulls her from the pool where she's submerged, and Pandora insists that she didn't betray him. The Hidden One doesn't believe her, but Pandora insists that she enlisted Abbie to help her. He tells her that he may continue the punishment later, but he's weary for now and goes back to watching the Golden Hourglass.
At Abbie's home, Abbie and Jenny are talking when there's a knock at the door. Abbie answers it and discovers that it's Ezra. She reluctantly invites him in, and Ezra says that he has something to show them. He shows them a photo album of them as children. As they go through them, Ezra says that there no relationship can survive secrets. Ichabod returns home and Abbie introduces Ezra. He asks Ichabod to take care of his daughters and leaves, and Abbie assures Ichabod that he hasn't missed anything.
Later, Ichabod returns to the archive and finds Pandora there searching the Masonic cell for fragments of the Box. She asks where Abbie is, saying that she will know the truth. Ichabod aims his gun at her and demands answers, and Pandora says that she needs the fragments because it is the only thing that will stop the Hidden One. She explains that they will all be destroyed if Ichabod doesn't help her, and explains that the Box can be regenerated if it is taken back to the Catacombs. Since Ichabod and Abbie destroyed the Tree of Life, there is no way back. However, Ichabod remembers Abbie finding Betsy's cutlass in the other world.
Abbie and Daniel are exercising, and Abbie finally tells Daniel that there are some things she has to turn her. As she starts, Ichabod texts Abbie to come to the archive. Daniel figures that she'll talk when she's ready and goes back to exercising, and Abbie goes to the archive. Ichabod tells her what Pandora said, and that they have 48 hours before the Hidden one destroys humanity. Abbie doesn't believe Pandora's story, and Ichabod says that it must be Abbie's decision to go back to the Catacombs where she was trapped. He figures that Betsy was in the Catacombs, acquired the Eye, and escaped. The last time Ichabod saw Betsy with Paul Revere and the Eye was Christmas Day, 1776, on the Delaware River as they launched an attack on the Hessians. Washington had Ichabod stay behind, and he watched as the boast enter a mystical fog. The Witnesses realize that Washington was going to the Catacombs, not the opposite shore.
The Witnesses summon Jenny and Joe, and they pour over the painting of Washington crossing the Delaware. The painting was made on the notes of General John Sullivan, a Mason, Ichabod examines the painting and spots a soldier with Betsy's cocked hat. He realizes that the painter assumed from Sullivan's notes that Betsy was a man, and tells the others that he remembered what happened.
In the camp, Ichabod meets with Betsy and complains that he's staying back to play nursemaid. Betsy tells Ichabod that he's too risky to risk on a dangerous journey, and claims that Washington didn't ask her. She shows Ichabod the flag that Washington asked her to stitch, He assures her that it's beautiful, and Betsy believes that it will be her greatest accomplishment after all of her missions.
Ichabod figures that Betsy went on the mission but lied to him to keep him from worrying. Abbie figures that Betsy used gold thread, and gets out the Lydian Jug that Ichabod used to find her. She has followed up on Ichabod's research and discovered that Orpheus used a lyre with golden thread. Ichabod figures that the thread sewn into the flag let them enter into the Catacombs, and the last time he saw it was with Paul. They figure that it's at Paul's house in Boston, and the museum inventory shows that the flag is there. Ichabod and Abbie head to get it while Joe and Jenny continue researching.
At Paul's home, the curator welcomes Abbie when she flashes her badge. As they wait for him to clear the rooms, Abbie says that she's making progress with Ezra and is a little more open to change. She explains that she's going to tell Daniel about her secret life so that they have a chance of something together. The curator lets them in, and Ichabod and Abbie find the flag hanging up over a mantle. Ichabod realizes that it's not the flag that Betsy sewed, just as smoke blows out of the flue. The Witnesses go to the basement and the curator says that someone turned the smithy on and he can't turn it off. As he goes to get the fire department, Abbie realizes that the walls are scorching. A smoking animated corpse bursts through the door. Their bullets have no effect on them, and Ichabod manages to ram it through with a pipe and knock it back. The Witnesses run to the heir car and drive off just in time. The creature dissolves into a puddle of tar behind them.
As they drive away, Ichabod says that the creature was wearing the uniform of the Eighth Virginia regiment, and a few of them disobeyed orders and escaped from the Battle of Monmouth. The Sisterhood tarred and bandaged one of the traitors, turning him into a creature called The Eternal Soldier. Ichabod figures that Pal assigned the eternal Soldier to protect Betsy's flag. Now they need to find Betsy's flag while the Eternal Soldier hunts them down.
At the archive, Joe finds Jenny looking up the candy shop where Ezra bought them taffy as children. She reminds Joe that Ezra abandoned them and she's uncomfortable with him back in her life. Jenny checks the photos that Abbie sent them of the counterfeit flag, and Joe notices a symmetrical series of holes. They figure that it's a grille cipher, and Joe wonders why the Founding Fathers used stripes. He checks the pattern of the holes and discovers that they form musical notes. Joe plays the notes and realizes that it's "The Star-Spangled Banner."
When Abbie and Ichabod return, Jenny tells them that Francis Scott Key wrote the song in 1812. Pictures show that he was a Mason, and the British targeted American relics during the War... like Paul's house. To keep the flag from falling into the wrong hands, Key hid it elsewhere. He knew how to trigger it, and left a clue to where he put the real flags. Key wrote the words at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, and Jenny says that she'll meet them there after picking up some equipment to deal with the Eternal Soldier.
As the team goes to their parking garage, Daniel finds them and says that the curator in Boston called for him. He demands answers, just as the Eternal Soldier arrives and attacks them. Ichabod attacks it but it knocks him aside. Daniel tells the Soldier to freeze, but it continues advancing and shrugs off his bullets. It throws a fireball t him and he ducks out of the way. The Soldier continues the barrage, but Ichabod runs it over with Abbie's SUV. Abbie and Daniel get in and they drive off as the Soldier recovers.
As they drive, Abbie tells Daniel that the Soldier is a monster and that monsters are in Sleepy Hollow. Daniel realizes what Abbie has been doing, and she says that it's only after them so they'll drop Daniel off. Abbie insists that they have a plan, and Ichabod keeps driving.
The Hidden One calls Pandora and asks why she hasn't brought him more sacrifices to replenish the Hourglass. She says that she will no longer provide for him. She reminds him that she rose up from her slavery and helped the Hidden One rise up as well, and has learned from the Witnesses that the power of a true bond can conquer any might. Pandora says that the Witnesses are stronger because they love each other, but the Hidden One only loves power. He blasts her with mystical energy and discovers that "Pandora" is her astral form and untouchable. Pandora watches from the forest via s crying dish, and the Hidden One promises that by sundown the next day, he will wipe away the entire world.
The Witnesses drop Daniel off at the FBI office, and he finds Sophie. He has worked out that she knows about Abbie's secret life, and Sophie admits that she found out when they were searching for Abbie. She didn't tell Daniel because he never would have believed her. Daniel says that he's Sophie's friend as well as her boss, and Sophie says that she wanted to protect him. He figures that others know, but Sophie says that she doesn't know any others besides Jenny and Joe.
As Abbie and Ichabod arrive at McHenry, Abbie regrets Daniel learning about the existence of monsters in such a way. Ichabod tells her that the best they can do is adapt to the unexpected.
As the soldiers prepare to cross the Delaware, Ichabod realizes that Betsy isn't there. A soldier passes on her note, and she explains that she is leaving and may never see Ichabod again. She admits that she loves him and couldn't safe goodbye face-to-face, and asks Ichabod to stay strong.
Ichabod tells Abbie that he never saw Betsy again after she recovered the Eye and because of her, Washington won the war. Ichabod admits that it's for the best, and says that no one should leave things unsaid. They arrive at the fort and Abbie points out a statue of Orpheus on the grounds. They examine the figures on the base and find a lyre. The stone pegs trigger chimes, and Abbie plays out "The Star Spangled Banner." A door opens and they go inside.
Descending a staircase, the Witnesses find a chamber containing the flag. The Soldier arrives and attacks them, and Abbie grabs a halberd to beat it off. It knocks her aside, but Ichabod wraps his coat around the Soldier's flaming hand. It knocks him away and ignites both hands to kill them... and Jenny and Joe arrive to spray it with liquid nitrogen. Joe then smashes it to pieces, and Ichabod reveals that they got the flag.
As the sun sets, Abbie returns to Daniel's office and she assures him that they took care of the Soldier. Before she answers his questions, Abbie says that she told herself that she couldn't let anything happen between them because of her responsibilities. However, she was making excuses to herself. Even though Daniel knows the truth about the supernatural, Abbie is still scared because it's about the two of them. Daniel figures that Ichabod isn't normal, and asks if he can kiss Abbie. After a moment, they kiss.
Ezra goes to Jenny's camper to drop off some taffy as thanks for opening the door to him. She looks at the taffy, smiles, and goes back inside.
As the sun rises, Ichabod calls Abbie to Law Memorial Park. He explains that he's been examining the flag, and realized that it means something more. Echoing the line "By the dawn's early light," Ichabod holds the flag up and the sunlight shines on it. The flags glow, indicating the path Washington took to the Catacombs. Abbie says that she's ready to go back.
- While following a clue, Joe and Jenny wonder why the American flag has stripes on it. The thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies.
- The Paul Revere House is actually in a densely-settled urban neighborhood.