"One Life" is the ninth episode of Season Three of Fox's Sleepy Hollow. It was written by Albert Kim and directed by Kate Dennis. It is the fortieth episode of the series overall, and debuted on February 5, 2016.
Flushing Bay, New York - 1776: Ichabod and Betsy pass by the manor belonging to the British Quartermaster General and assess the guards on duty. She spots one of the American spies, Nathan Hale,blatantly watching the manor and angrily pulls him away. Ichabod explains that the British have taken precautions against spies and advises him not to indulge in recklessness.
Present: Ichabod bursts out of a warehouse on a motorcycle. Two trucks of apocalyptic cultists pursue him across a bridge and down the highway, firing as they go. Ichabod goes off the road and plunges into the river, and by the time the men get there, there’s no sign of him. Once they leave, Ichabod emerges from hiding with the golden jug.
Back at the Archives, Ichabod tells Jenny and Joe that he recovered the Lideon Jug. According to legend, Orpheus used the Jug to find a lost individual in the Underworld. He desperately starts looking for spells to find Abbie, and Joe points out that it’s been a month since she disappeared. Ichabod insists that Abbie is alive and says that it’s up to him to find her, and Jenny takes offense, pointing out that it’s up to all of them. Ichabod apologizes and gets hold of himself, and Jenny says that they have a lead on an artifact that will let them track down Pandora and the Hidden One... and hopefully Abbie. They tell Ichabod to let them handle it so that he doesn’t burn out, and he agrees to take a rest. Jenny promises that they’ll find Abbie and leaves with Joe.
At an old mill, the Hidden One sits sulking in the shadows. Pandora assures him that all will be set eventually, and the Hidden One telekinetically tosses a cog wheel across the room. He complains that humanity has spread across the world, and he doesn’t have the power to stop them. The Hidden One complains that they failed because of Pandora’s inadequacies, and she shows him a fragment of the Box that she says can restore her husband to full power. She chants over it and it glows with magical energy. Waves of power spread out from the mill.
Ichabod goes to the Tree of Fear and begins the ritual with the Jug. Nothing happens, he angrily knocks the Jug aside. Ichabod wonders where Abbie is, and then turns and asks Sophie why she’s following him. She wants to know how Ichabod made Abbie disappear, and asks what he’s doing there. Ichabod tells her to press charges against him if they will, and otherwise leave him alone. He walks away and after a moment, Sophie goes. Behind them, energy emerges from the Jug and lights up a root of the tree... leaving a face behind.
Jenny and Joe go to an antique store and Jenny tosses a wad of money in front of the owner, Matt. She wants a map belonging to a Russian occultist, and figures that he knows where it is. He refuses the money, and Jenny offers him a necklace in payment. Once he goes in the back to check it, Jenny admits that she doesn’t know if the map will work, but figures that they needed to do something to get Ichabod to stand down. When Joie wonders how she can be so sure they’ll find Abbie, Jenny insists that there’s no alternative. Matt comes back and says that Nevins had the map. When he disappeared, dozens of relic hunters came to Sleepy Town looking for it. Randal acquired the map.
Sophie returns to the FBI office and checks in with Daniel. He’s studying reports of Ichabod’s movements, and Sophie says that she has nothing on Ichabod. As Daniel starts to file for a warrant to tap Ichabod’s phone, Sophie warns him that stress will mess him up. She suggests that he take a break at his cabin in the woods and clear his head, and she’ll put in for the warrant. Daniel finally gives in and Sophie leaves.
Ichabod is at home heating a frying dinner in a frying pan when he hears something upstairs. He investigates and finds women’s lingerie on the stairs. Upstairs, Ichabod finds an open window and the shutters blowing in the wind. He closes them and sees the words “Help me, Crane” drawing themselves on a fogged-over mirror. A hand reaches out and grabs Ichabod’s wrist, and he pulls himself away. The words fade and Ichabod finds a symbol inscribed on his wrist.
Sophie calls Ichabod and asks how he got into her apartment. He has no idea what she’s talking about, and says that someone left her a message. Ichabod goes there and finds the same words carved into the wooden floor. Sophie says that she heard a weird wind, and realizes that it wasn’t him. Ichabod suggests that someone is trying to send him a message, but doesn’t know why they went through Sophie. He examines the agent’s arm and finds a similar symbol inscribed there. When they hold their arms together, the completed symbol glows and a figure made out of mist appears. It moves through Ichabod, and he has a vision of Abbie asking him for help. Ichabod collapses to the floor, and he tells Sophie that it was Abbie... and she’s dying.
Jenny and Joe got to a bar where Randall is celebrating. He figures that they want the map, and reminds them that the last time they met, they handcuffed him to a bathtub. Jenny starts flirting with him and Joe says that she doesn’t have to do it. Randall says that he’ll let them go in one piece, and that he only got the map to annoy Jenny. As they leave, Jenny shows Joe the phone she lifted from Randall.
Ichabod takes Sophie to the archive and shows her a book with the symbol. It’s the Shinto symbol for “gateway,” and he figures that they have to build a gateway first. Sophie says that there’s a tribe in New Guinea that use symbols to represent mirror, and Ichabod realizes that Abbie wants them to make the gateway out of mirrors. As he searches for a mirror, Ichabod explains that the archive contains books belonging to first the Founding Father and then Corbin. One of the books has a picture of Nathan on the cover.
Flushing Bay, New York - 1776: after sunset, Ichabod tries to sneak into the quartermaster’s manor. Betsy warns him that the sentries have changed the pattern, and they both see Nathan climbing over another war. Before they can help him, the sentries capture Nathan and Betsy warns that there’s nothing they can do. After a moment, Ichabod follows her.
In the presesnt: as Ichabod makes the mirror gateway in the Masonic Cell, he tells Sophie that the room concentrates mystic energies. He ties a rope around his waist and has Sophie anchor it, and then casts the spell. They place their arms together, and a gateway opens in the mirror. Ichabod jumps through and the rope starts to pull lin. Sophie manages to pull it back with Ichabod attached... and Ichabod holding a corpse-like woman. She grabs Ichabod by the throat, and Sophie shoots the creature to make her let go. It attacks Sophie and pins her to the floor. Ichabod stabs her in the back, and the creature flees out of the room and into the tunnels.
In the archive, Ichabod pours Sophie a drink and warns that evil engages them when they least expect it. He admits that he knew he might summon a monster, and Sophie points out that Ichabod was so desperate that he let a demon play him. The agent warns that Ichabod is pushing too hard, and Ichabod wonders why she agreed to help. Sophie says that she knows when someone has screwed up and walks out.
Later, Ichabod returns home and wonders if he’s to blame for Abbie’s disappearance. Sophie arrives and says that the local cops found a body killed in an unusual manner. She figures that it’s the work of the mirror creature, and asks Ichabod for his help. Ichabod lets her in and Sophie says that the murder victim was a car thief who was found in a diner parking lot. A witness saw the creature, and his throat was cut like Ichabod’s. Sophie confirms that the diner was away from town and leaves, saying that he has to examine the area.
Ichabod and Sophie drive to the diner, and Ichabod explains that the creature is an Onryo, a Japanese vengeance demon that feeds on desperation. He figures that it focused on him and pretended to be Abbie. It marked Sophie because she was with Ichabod and assumed that she was his partner. Ichabod says that he recently learned that a partner was one’s better half, and admits that Sophie was right about him. She says that she understands and explains that her parents were archaeologists. They disappeared during a dig and local tribes said that they were taken by demonic forces. Since then, Sophie studied the supernatural looking for proof of another world.
Sophie gets a call that they found the body of a hitchhiker on Route 10 with the same throat marks. Ichabod wonders why the Onryo, and Sophie suggests that the creature is looking for people who are desperate to find Abbie... and she realizes that it’s going after Daniel.
Pandora tells the Hidden One that their call has been heard, and soon he will have what he needs. The Hidden One tells her to find the Witness who took the eye, and Pandora says that if she still leaves then she will find him. He warns that if she fails to find Abbie then he won’t suffer alone.
Joe and Jenny track down a storage facility from Randall’s phone log, and Jenny picks the lock on the unit door. He warns Jenny that sooner or later she’s going to have to face the truth of what happened to her sister. Joe says that she’ll be okay because he isn’t going anywhere, and Jenny finishes her work. Inside the unit is a single crate and inside it, Jenny finds the map. Randall comes in behind her, his men holding a gun to Joe’s head,, and they drag Joe away and start beating him. However, Joe comes back and puts a gun to Randall’s head. When Randall tries to attack him, Joe knocks him out and Jenny runs over to hug Joe before they leave with the map.
At his cabin, the man wearing Daniel’s robes goes to the bedroom... and the Onryo follows behind him. When she enters the next room, she discovers that Ichabod has taken Daniel’s place. He shoots her with a blunderbuss loaded with the glass from her mirror, and it injures her. Ichabod shoots her again and the Onryo runs out. It sees Sophie and lunges at her... and enters the mirror where they positioned it to show Sophie’s reflection. The spirit is trapped inside, and Ichabod gives Sophie a crowbar. The agent shatters the mirror, trapping the Onryo in the other world.
Back at Jenny’s trailer, Jenny tells Joe that she is not the kind of person who talks about feelings. She says that she’s a person who knocks heads and runs around, and doesn’t see a reason to change. Jenny points out that her father left her and her mother checked out, and Abbie left her, then came back and disappeared again saving her. She admits that when she thought Randall’s men had killed Joe, she believed she was going to lose another person that she loved. Joe kisses her and they go to the bed.
At the FBI office, Sophie apologizes for calling him away for a Mills sighting that turned out to be nothing. She says that she hasn’t put into the warrant, and suggests that Ichabod isn’t capable of hurting Abbie. Sophie warns against looking for answers too hard, and Daniel agrees that it’s time to shift focus. At the archive, Ichabod remembers the past.
Flushing Bay, New York - 1776: As the British prepare to hang Nathan, Ichabod and Betsy blend into the crowd. Ichabod is ready to rescue him, but Betsy says that they can’t and that they’re only there to let Nathan know that he’s not alone. She notes that if she rescues the British then they’d know that Nathan wasn’t operating alone and would hunt down all of the other American agents in the area. The hangman throws the lever, executing Nathan. Angry, Ichabod says that they let their partner dies. Betsy tells him that they will lose partners, and the best they can do is continue their mission because there won’t be any miracles.
In the present, as Ichabod takes down the photos of Abbie, Sophie comes in and asks if he’s suspending the search. Ichabod admits that he will continue searching. He echoes Betsy’s words and says that Abbie wouldn’t want them to waste time looking for her when Pandora and the Hidden One are still on the loose. Jenny and Joe arrive and show Ichabod and Sophie the map. It shows the presence of monsters, and the map indicates that dozens of demons are converging on Sleepy Hollow. They figure that Pandora is summoning them, and Ichabod figures that Abbie would want them to kill them. Abbie wakes up in a strange world in a cavern, with no idea where she is.
- Nathan Hale is shown to be executed by hanging on a gallows with a trap door. The "standard drop" method of execution was invented in 1866 and the "long drop" in 1872. Death by hanging prior to 1866 was a long, slow, painful process because the condemned was strangled. The drops break the condemned's neck.