Sleepy Hollow: This is War (02×01)

Synopsis: Ichabod and Jenny race against time to rescue Abbie from purgatory, while trying to keep Moloch from escaping into the human realm with his demon army.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

When we last left our heroes last season, the outcome looked irrevocably grim. Abbie was stuck in purgatory; Ichabod buried underground in a coffin, Jenny run off the road in her car, and Frank Irving arrested. How would they escape?

Sleepy Hollow picked up idyllically with Ichabod Crane and Abigail Mills celebrating Crane’s 251’st Birthday (I’m glad I wasn’t the only one initially very confused), with a single cupcake and candle. By now, Sleepy Hollow fans were aimlessly wondering what the hell was going on but I kept watching, hoping for some answers. We soon find out that a year has passed and they have lost Abbie’s sister Jenny and Crane’s wife Katrina to the war against Moloch and the horsemen.

Crane and Abbie are shortly called to the police station to investigate a call for help from a history professor. Upon arrival, they find the place ransacked and evidence that the headless horseman has already been there. Armed with some pretty powerful new weapons including consecrated rounds and what sounded like “Callie’s arrows”, Abbie and Crane manage to hold off the horseman for the time being. I honestly can’t remember a moment where Ichabod and Abbie could actually stand their ground against the horseman. Color me surprised, but it was a welcoming change to see the losing team score a win.

I'm so happy to see this scruffy man back. [FOX]
I’m so happy to see this scruffy man back. [FOX]
Aided by recurrent flashbacks, it turns out Crane was actually Benjamin Franklin’s apprentice and their relationship was rocky to say the least. We learn that Moloch and company is looking for a very special key, the same key Franklin used in his electricity experiments way back when with Crane, except our history is wrong. It turns out Franklin was actually trying to destroy the key, (one more cover up to add to the growing list), which apparently acts as a loophole into purgatory, allowing a soul to escape without the typical exchange for another equal soul.

Just when you thought you were comfortable with this future alternate reality, it all comes crashing down when Henry appears, claiming the dynamic duo are still in fact in purgatory and this has all been a rouse created by Henry himself to find the location of the key. Well damn, here I was hoping that those weapons were actually real. Ichabod and Abbie had been led to believe a year had passed and had unwillingly given away the secret that Abbie’s sister Jenny knew where a journal containing the key’s location was. The plot thickens.

Flash back to actual reality: Abbie is still in purgatory, Crane is still in his coffin of doom, and Henry has captured Jenny. Things are not looking so great for our friends. In purgatory Abbie meets up with Andy Brooks (seriously, how many lives does that man have?) and learns that Moloch has been busy, creating a demon army to enter the human world with.

Meanwhile, Ichabod pulls a serious MacGyver, using a match and apparently some sulfurous dirt to blow himself literally out of the ground. Once free, Ichabod rescues Jenny by driving an ambulance into a warehouse, but let it be said that Ichabod still does not know how to drive. Abbie is really going to have to teach him soon.

Unfortunately Henry still managed to extract the location of Franklin’s journal from Jenny’s mind (sometimes I forget he’s still a sin-eater and the horseman of war). However, using his intimate knowledge of Benjamin Franklin and the vaguest clue” The key to success lies under the alarm clock,” Crane manages to locate the key before Henry does. Score one for the good team.

I really wished they actually had those badass weapons. [FOX]
I really wished they actually had those badass weapons. [FOX]
Meanwhile during this desperate race against the clock, the headless horseman of death, aka Abraham, is enjoying his time with his one true love, Katrina, who is tied up for most of the episode sadly. In an attempt to win over Katrina’s affection once more, Abraham changes clothes, going shirtless momentarily and forever scarring female fans of the show. I’m ashamed to say that I found the headless horseman’s chest quite attractive, all things considered, but I think I might need a head to go with that in the future. Still, it does little to impress Katrina, even when Abraham gives her a necklace that allows her to speak directly to Abraham, head included.

Crane then enters purgatory, reuniting with Abbie after a short but intense fight with what appeared to be a doppelganger of Crane. Abbie of course, the genius she is, manages to identify the real Crane based on his unique dialect and the pair escape through the doorway with Moloch and his army hot on their heels. However, the gate closes at the last possible second, trapping Moloch within purgatory and the key disintegrates shortly after. Abbie and Jenny joyfully reunite and it seems our heroes have scored another win.

Am I the only one who still sees Walter from Fringe when I look at Henry Parrish? [FOX]
Am I the only one who still sees Walter from Fringe when I look at Henry Parrish? [FOX]
In seems for the time being that the gang has been reunited with the exception of Captain Irving, whom we last saw being arrested last season, and Katrina, who is still in the clutches of the Horseman of Death.

Moloch meanwhile communicates with a distraught and apologetic Henry. Moloch seems to care little of his loss and instead has a new plan. Thus the second horseman of war is truly born from a wall of fire, as Henry embraces his armored counterpart, replete with a flaming sword.

Even in their second season, it’s still amusing to watch Crane adapt to the modern world, from recording video on his phone to understanding the logic behind blowing out a birthday candle. I also really enjoyed that the show still takes time to highlight Abbie and Crane’s friendship and partnership, as the show rides on the chemistry and acting between the two leads. Still, the episode had its drawbacks, including trying to squeeze a lot of heavy plot and detail into one short 43 minute episode. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the episode expanded into two and elaborated upon.

None the less, Sleepy Hollow is off to a riveting start and I hope we see more of Captain Irving and the rescue of Katrina next week.


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