"The Midnight Ride" is the seventh episode of Season One of Fox's Sleepy Hollow. It was written by Heather V. Regnier and directed by Doug Aarniokoski. It is the seventh episode of the series overall, and debuted on November 11, 2013.
In a flashback in Boston in 1775 depicting The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. As the four men join together to ride, a Hessian kills the three men with Paul. Meanwhile, in the present, Abbie brings supplies to Ichabod’s cabin so that he can hunker down in case of emergencies, amazing him by bringing him bottled water. They have some of their banter and Abbie gets a reminder about sundown. She tells him to go meet with the Freemasons, since they have a “no girls allowed” rule.
She ends up meeting up with Luke, who asks her where she is and what she’s prepping for. It turns out Jenny is getting out and moving in with her tomorrow! Yay! He tries to talk to her about being friends and she says tomorrow afternoon they’ll talk before leaving him. He leaves the store and someone calls out to him from the alleyway. When he goes towards the voice, he realizes it’s Brooks, who they all thought was dead. Brooks proceeds to threaten him to stay away from Abbie, effectively scaring the shit out of him.
Abbie returns to her car to find that Crane has left her a voicemail claiming he’ll change the “no girls allowed” rule for her and she should meet him at the freemasons to plan for the Horseman’s arrival. However, when Crane gets there, he can’t locate anyone. He arms himself with a sword and moves through the house just as Abbie arrives to see the Horseman from a window and Crane at the other window. He proceeds to find all of his fellow freemasons headless when Abbie meets up with him and they both watch the Horseman ride off.
Captain Irving is on the scene and warns them both that there better not be a headless man in their recounting of events. He explains to them that the working theory is a cult ritual suicide. An evidence technician overhears their talk of a headless Horseman and looks skeptical. While observing the scene on his own, Crane finds a ring on one man’s hand and finds the information he had been seeking about the Horseman has been ripped out of the book. They quickly realize that the Horseman was after his skull, assuming it was in the possession of the Freemasons. If the Horseman gets to it before they do, the other three Horsemen will rise, as Katrina foretold to them.
They go to Captain Irving and ask for the skull to be destroyed. He is in disbelief of their request, explaining that he had the skull sent out to a different lab. However, he’s not so disbelieving that he doesn’t go to the lab himself to check on the skull. The evidence technician, Paul, tells him that the skull is a mystery – the biopsy came back unreadable. There’s no DNA markers, no cell structure, no signs of life. Irving asks for a box and neither of them notice the eyes open.
The Headless Horseman comes in, guns blazing, and kills the evidence technician. When Irving goes to fire back, he narrowly avoids being beheaded by the axe. By shooting a pipe to allow steam out, Irving is able to grab the head and escape in his car. He brings the head back to Crane and Abbie, thoroughly freaked out. All of the cameras cut out around the time of the attack, so there’s no evidence of what happened, but now Irving has a hard time denying the truth of the Horseman.
This leaves Abbie and Crane to destroy the skull. They try to smash it, burn it in acid, break it with a sledgehammer, and blow it up, but nothing works. Their next option is to take it to an industrial compactor to be smashed. However, on the way there Crane notices four lanterns lit in a carport. He explains to Abbie that it’s how Paul Revere used to notify people. When Crane gets closer to inspect them, it turns out they are the four heads of his earlier-killed Freemasons. Crane is enraged at the offense, but soon remembers a time when Adams gave Paul Revere a document with a demonic heptogram on the manuscript. They were secrets for conquering evil and Crane realizes that’s what the masons wanted to tell him – the Headless Horseman’s weakness.
Crane and Abbie visit the Tarrytown Museum of Colonial History where the manuscript is kept, but not without Crane harrumphing over what a man is teaching children about Paul Revere. Abbie tries to steer him away, but he can’t help himself and has to correct a number of inaccuracies spoken by the man. She covers for his strangeness and tells him the manuscript is actually in London, but that it’s also online. And even if he doesn’t understand what that means, she assures him it’s a good thing.
Adorably, Crane fails completely at using a computer and the internet, printing something out five times “in case it disappears from the screen.” They figure out that the manuscript is coded with a Vigenere Cipher, but without the code word it’s impossible to decipher. During all of this, Abbie forgets about her coffee date with Luke and calls him to cancel. We see him still haunted by Brooks, failing to answer her call when she leaves him a voicemail.
Brooks, however, is promptly elbowed in the face by Abbie, who tells him he’s supposed to be dead. Sadly, Andy is stuck and just wants it to end, but “he” won’t let him and he tells Abbie he’s only trying to protect her. Meanwhile, Crane discovers the code word they were searching for – Cicero, written on the back of the Horseman’s teeth by Paul Revere. Crane goes to share the news with Abbie and finds her with Brooks. They have a bit of a tense stand-off over Abbie, but Brooks insists he’s only there to help her. Crane tells him to tell the Horseman to meet in the cemetery when night falls before he leaves.
They go through the manuscript and learn that Death can’t be slain, but can be captured and enslaved with the help of a witch who turns the moon to the sun. Crane gets a bit touchy about their inability to summon Katrina for help and Abbie realizes they don’t need a witch if they use UV light to simulate the sun. They need Captain Irving’s help to follow through with their plan and plan to keep the Horseman in a cell designed by Thomas Jefferson. Before they put the plan into action, Abbie and Crane discuss their unique position as witnesses and how Abbie can’t share the things she’d like to with Luke, even if she wanted to. This reminds Crane of what Katrina thought when they first got together.
When the sun goes down, Crane informs the Horseman of his reply – holding up the skull with a candle in it. Crane then rides on horseback through the cemetery and towards the trap. The Horseman follows him through the tunnels and finds a fake head, causing him to smash every fake head he comes across. The teeth give away the real head as the one that Abbie is carrying and she snuffs out the light and runs. She falls down and begins to yell for help from Crane, crawling away from the Horseman as best she can. When she gets to a spot, she signals Irving to turn on the UV lights – effectively trapping the Horseman. They shackle him and the tense episode ends…
- This episode was initially titled as God, Honor, Fatherland.
- When the Headless Horseman chases the riders in the flashback, he spins his axe around in his hand once before the first strike. This is a reference to Christopher Walken's role as the Horseman in Tim Burton's movie Sleepy Hollow.
- 3 Midnight Riders - 2 Slashed/1 Decapitated by the Headless Horseman
- 4 Freemasons - Decapitated by the Headless Horseman.
- Paul Short - A friend of Captain Irving and a scientist running tests on the Horseman's skull. Shot to death with the Horseman's Colt M4A1
|French||"La Chevauchée de minuit"||"The Midnight Ride"|