After a rare day out, allowing Crane and Abbie to relax and bond more personally while contemplating democratization trough baseball, he is abducted while returning home. The sisters make out that a vision warning from Katrina about a 'sin eater' in order to stop the apocalyptic rider of death refers to a living person, Henry Parrish, but he retired as the work drains him completely. Crane meanwhile discusses his moral dilemma when ordered to execute an escaped slave and pamphleteer with his Free Mason abductors, who appeal to his courage again to stop Death by suicide.
When Ichabod Crane goes missing, his wife, Katrina, appears to Lt. Abbie Mills in a vision warning her that the Headless Horseman will return to Sleepy Hollow by nightfall. A frantic Abbie seeks help from the mysterious Henry Parrish, who holds vital clues about how Crane can vanquish his dangerous blood tie to Headless. Meanwhile, an encounter from Crane's past weighs heavily on him, and details about his first encounter with Katrina are revealed.
- Abbie takes Ichabod to a high school baseball game and tries to explain the appeal of the game and yelling at the umpire. Ichabod gives it a shot: "You, basket face! I thought only horses slept standing up!"
Abbie commends the effort but suggests next time he wait for the ump to make a call.
After the game, Ichabod heads to his wife's grave. As he's sitting there, he's hit in the neck by a dart and a man in a suit comes to put a hood over his head.
Abbie is driving on the road at night when suddenly things go hazy and she sees herself in an old house with a creepy baby carriage wheeling through. Abbie follows the sounds of the crying and finds it empty, with an old time toy in it. She turns around to see the Headless Horseman behind her. He stalks her through the house until she enters a room and slams the door behind her.
She sees hooded figures in black, holding hands and chanting around a table. There are candles lit everywhere. Abbie turns to see Katrina Crane. She explains the house is a doorway between worlds she can use to communicate with the two witnesses -- and Ichabod has been abducted.
The Horseman will return to Sleepy Hollow by nightfall and only the witnesses can stop him. She can't locate Ichabod because some sort of barrier is blocking her. She explains Abbie has to find the "sin eater" before nightfall to sanctify Ichabod, which will separate his blood from the Horseman, with whose fate he's become entwined.
Abbie returns back to her world just in time to veer out of the oncoming path of a semi.
Abbie goes to Captain Irving and tries to explain her visit from the witch and Ichabod's disappearance. Irving is skeptical, but supportive.
Abbie goes to see her sister Jenny to ask her if she knows about the sin eater.
Ichabod comes to somewhere, still woozy. He sees candles all around him and a man in a suit addresses him. He has a book which he says is the true account of Ichabod Crane. The man isn't inclined to say who he is, but Ichabod sees his "JR" cufflinks and deduces he's James Rutledge, the descendant of Edward Rutledge, youngest signatory of the Declaration of Independence, who he apparently resembles. He notices a square ring mark on Rutledge's finger and signs of hexes around him. He's a Free Mason, like Ichabod. But Rutledge wants him to prove his identity, he says they're dealing with shape shifters and demons.
He quizzes Ichabod on when he first heard a phrase. Ichabod remembers when he was in service for the British and charged with interrogating a free black man about the origin of a pamphlet advocating the end to slavery. Ichabod a told a Quaker nurse wishes to see him. He meets Katrina, who questions his authority. The man he's supposed to interrogate says he's in good hands and Katrina thinks she sees a conscience in Ichabod.
Back in Sleepy Hollow, Jenny explains a Sin Eater reaches inside your soul and swallows your sins. She followed a man who was meeting with death row inmates whose last words were all "I am sanctified." But she never found him.
Back in the 1800s, Arthur Bernard tells Ichabod that there are demons among them.
After three days of interrogation, Ichabod was called away to stand guard at an execution of three men. Katrina was in the audience. Crane appeals to his superior that the hangings are not a good way to win loyalty. When Crane looks at him, he sees a demon's face.
Ichabod goes to talk to Katrina after the hanging, saying he feels like he's known her for a long time. He mentions the demon. "They were right, you are the one! You possess a gift, the power to bear witness," she tells him. She urges him not to stand idly by in the face of evil.
Back in Sleepy Hollow, Abbie explains that Ichabod makes her feel like she has a purpose. Jenny suggests Katrina could have been more specific since her husband's about to be a dead man.
Abbie realizes the name they're looking for in the prison visitor logs is of a dead man -- their mystery man takes on the name of dead death row inmates. She finds the last one he used -- he's in Hartford, Connecticut.
Jenny and Abbie go to his house and knock on Henry Parrish's door. She says her friend is missing and she needs his help, but he says he doesn't do it anymore. He explains how much seeing people's true souls has worn him down. Abbie explains the blood tie linking Ichabod's spirit to the Horseman from Revelations.
He says he could use her connection to Ichabod to find him. When he protests, she grabs him and he sees that Ichabod is underground, behind a door with a Free Masons symbol on it. That's all he can tell her.
Abbie heads to the tunnels under the town.
When Crane returns to Alfred Bernard's house, his captain tells him to take Bernard into the forest and kill him. Out in the woods, Bernard tells Ichabod he's valuable to the case and if Ichabod kills him he'll carry sin inside his heart forever.
Ichabod fires, but misses intentionally. Bernard tells Ichabod to find Katrina, who will lead him to General Washington. He tells Ichabod to tell her "order from chaos" and she'll know what side he's on. Bernard is walking away when a shot is fired. His captain has shot him. He charges Ichabod, calling him a traitor.
Ichabod draws his sword to fight and sees the man turn into a demon. He's attacking when two other soldiers ride up and the demon runs off.
Ichabod is wounded and makes his was to Katrina.
Back with Rutledge, Ichabod explains his sin was not acting sooner to save Bernard. This is enough for Rutledge to be convinced of his identity. The book with the account of that story that Rutledge has was written by Katrina. She was the Masons ally until she saved Ichabod and wouldn't tell the Masons where he was. "She knew the inevitable outcome of your tie to the Horseman. Regretfully, a fate we would have sealed for you long ago, and one we have no choice but to seal it for you now," Rutledge says.
He presents Crane with a box, saying it's the only way to ensure the Horseman's reign ends forever.
Abbie and Jenny search the tunnels and find the Free Masons symbol. Two men with guns find her, but they take her peacefully inside to see Crane. He tells her that he has to die to end the Horseman, but she updates him on Katrina's message and the Sin Eater. She wants to bring Ichabod to him, but he doesn't think there's time. He thinks it's the only way, and explains he's living on borrowed time. He's grateful to have met her. He takes her hand and prepares to drink whatever the Masons prepared for him. He drinks.
He hears Abbie and Katrina telling him "stay with me!" and sees Henry Parrish standing over him. He excited to meet Ichabod, to find the reason for the gift he was given. He can remove the poison before it stops Ichabod's heart, along with his sins.
He stabs Ichabod's hand the tastes his blood. He sees the Horseman in Ichabod's memories. "As long as you carry your sin in your heart, it allows the Horseman to be tied to you," Parrish says. He commands Ichabod to think about Arthur Bernard and summon him. When Ichabod opens his eyes he sees Bernard sitting across from him. Ichabod feels remorse that he couldn't save him, but Bernard asks if Ichabod would have found his true path if he hadn't died. Bernard's death saved Ichabod's soul, only Ichabod chose to see it as a sin. Bernard tells him to forgive himself and his blood tie to the Horseman will be broken. He tells Ichabod he will have help in his quest to vanquish the Horseman. He gives him words to repeat to banish the Horseman from his blood.
In front of him, the blood on the table moves and Parrish mops up a dab of it with bread and eats it. The room quakes and Ichabod can feel the tie is broken.
Abbie tells him not to pull a stunt like that again.
Night has fallen. Parrish can feel the Horseman is coming. "We'll be ready," Ichabod says.
Out in the forest, the Horseman finds the dirt pit where Ichabod was buried.