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Hello, SleepyHeads! This week on Witness Prophecies, we discuss Sleepy Hollow Season 4 Episode 8, entitled Sick Burn, which originally aired on February 24, 2017. Ichabod Crane and the team fight a viral video that causes people to burn, and save one of their own.
We open with a frightening vision of the future. Malcolm Dreyfuss has taken over America and an aged Ichabod Crane is his prisoner.
In the real world, Molly Thomas waits with her mother, Diana, and Ichabod Crane to meet her teen heartthrob, Logan MacDonald (played by Robbie Kay), but he suddenly falls ill, and Crane suspects a supernatural ailment. At the same time, Alex Norwood meets her Tinder date who suddenly begins smoking, literally. Jake Wells accompanies her to the hospital where they run into Crane, and they see her “Tinder date” burst into flames. We soon learn than Alex is also infected with Fire Flu, after she watched a viral video. She flees to the tunnels while Jake, Crane, and Diana learn that Washington DC was subject to a similar outbreak in 1814. They learn that Paul Jennings (played by Zae Jordan), Samuel Wilson (played by Rick Espaillat), Davy Crockett (played by Daniel Parvis), and Sacagawea (played by Dayana Rincon) were part of Agency 355, the forerunners of our Team Witness, and learn how they stopped the Fire Flu. They find the Djinn’s (played by Fedor Steer) lair, kill him with their version of unholy lightning, and rescue Alex and save Jake.
Meanwhile, Jenny and Molly spend the day together, and Molly’s inquiries about being a Witness continue. She picks the Singing Bowl as her artifact, implying she has oracle skills, and she immediately has a vision of the future, seeing an older Crane in chains. This frightens and upsets her, and she tells Jenny, who tells Diana. They all realize that Dreyfuss is planning something evil.
In the final scene, we see Dreyfuss painting his new flag, and unconcerned by Jobe’s comments about Crane and Team Witness defeating the Djinn. Dreyfuss has seen the future and believes it, and he is waiting for his own team to arrive. The first person to arrive is….Logan MacDonald. How is Dreyfuss planning to use Logan?
History Lesson of the Week – Paul Jennings
Paul Jennings (1799–1874) was a personal servant, as a young slave, to President James Madison during and after his White House years. After buying his freedom in 1845 from Daniel Webster, Jennings is noted for publishing in 1865 the first White House memoir. His book was A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison, described as “a singular document in the history of slavery and the early American republic.”
Jennings was born into slavery at Montpelier in 1799; his mother, who was African-Native American, was held by the Madisons. She told the boy his father was Benjamin Jennings, an English trader. The mixed-race slave as a child was a companion to Dolley’s son Payne Todd. He began to serve James Madison as his footman and later was trained as his “body servant.” At the age of 10, Jennings accompanied Madison and his family to the White House after Madison was elected as president. In his 1865 memoir, he noted that the East Room was yet unfinished from the first construction, most of the Washington streets were unpaved, and the city was “a dreary place” in those years.
In 1814 during the Burning of Washington, as British troops were approaching the White House, Jennings at age 15, with two other men, reportedly helped save the noted Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington known as the Lansdowne portrait.
He was separated from his family while in service to the widowed Dolley Madison, was hired out to President James Polk in 1845, and Senator Daniel Webster purchased him for $120 from a new owner, then gave Jennings his freedom. He paid the senator back in work.
In 1848, Jennings helped plan a mass escape of 77 slaves from Washington, DC, but they were caught and returned. Jennings returned to Virginia in the 1850’s as a free man, and reunited with his family. His three sons fought for the Union during the American Civil War, and after the war, Jennings worked at the newly established Pension Bureau to handle claims of veterans and soldiers families.
He made the acquaintance of John Brooks Russell, an antiquarian. Fascinated by Jennings’ story of his years with Madison, Russell wrote it down and published it for him in January 1863 in The Historical Magazine and Notes and Queries Concerning the Antiquities, History and Biography of America, where Russell had been a contributor. He helped Jennings gain publication of his memoir as a book in 1865. It is considered the first White House memoir.
He lived in Washington DC until his death in 1874, at the age of 75.
Link to Paul Jennings wikipedia article:
Link to National Park Service – Paul Jennings:
Link to Paul Jennings, A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison (Electronic Edition)
In addition to our usual history lesson, there were other little known episodes in history that were cited during this episode.
During the War of 1812, as the British were burning Washington, DC, there was a severe storm that contained three tornadoes that forced the British out of the city and limited their occupation to a mere 26 hours. This was known as “The Storm that Saved Washington,” occurring on August 24, 1814. As the British troops were preparing to leave, a conversation was noted between the British Admiral and a Washington lady regarding the storm: The admiral exclaimed, “Great God, Madam! Is this the kind of storm to which you are accustomed in this infernal country?” The lady answered, “No, Sir, this is a special interposition of Providence to drive our enemies from our city.” The admiral replied, “Not so Madam. It is rather to aid your enemies in the destruction of your city.” The admiral was wrong. In our Sleepy Hollow “twistory” this week, the “storm that saved Washington” was the unholy lightning used to destroy the Djinn and it’s Fire Flu which was discovered by Paul Jennings and his Agency 355 team.
Link to Smithsonian Magazine article, The Tornado that Saved Washington:
Our twistory this week also mentioned an Agency 355, of which Paul Jennings, Samuel Wilson, Davy Crockett, and Sacagawea were operatives. It was the supposed forerunner of our Witness “Vault” Team today. There was a stained glass window in the vault, which included the numbers 355. This was an apparent Easter Egg referencing Agent 355, which was a code name of a female spy during the American Revolution, and part of the Culper Ring. The identify of this woman is unknown, but she was recruited by Abraham Woodhull and probably living in New York City. It is believed that this woman may have played a major role in exposing Benedict Arnold and in the arrest of Major John Andre, which was mentioned in an earlier Sleepy Hollow episode this season revolving around the Dyer Sisters (S4 Episode 2, In Plain Sight).
Link to Wikipedia, Agent 355:
And finally, for a bit of fun, Molly counseled Crane about the art of the selfie, and he confounded her with lyrics, from The Who’s song, My Generation. What? Who! For those of you who are not familiar with this British classic rock band, enjoy them here:
SleepyHeads! How does Logan MacDonald fit into Malcolm Dreyfuss’s plan? Tune in next week to find out!
March 3, 2017 – Season 4 Episode 9 – “Child’s Play”
And SleepyHeads – don’t forget about the book, Sleepy Hollow – Creating Heroes, Demons & Monsters, by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry. You can order it on Amazon, by using the Golden Spiral Media link.
SleepyHeads! Look into your crystal balls and let us know your future “prophecies” of events that may occur by sending us your feedback! Our deadline is 7PM Eastern, on Saturday. You can use our Feedback page to type an email, record a voicemail, or upload an audio file, or call 304-837-2278. We’d love to hear from you! And while you’re at it, why not take a few minutes to leave a rating and review in iTunes?