Monday, September 22, 2014

Sleepy Hollow 2.01: "This is War"

“You and I must remain together if there is any hope of victory. The only risk, Lieutenant, is in leaving you behind.”
- Ichabod

In case you forgot, I am a huge “Sleepy Hollow” fan. I went back and watched the entire first season again this weekend in preparation for the premiere. And last we left our Witnesses and their comrades, Ichabod was buried in a box, Abbie was abandoned in Purgatory, Irving is going down for murder, Jenny is unconscious in a busted up car and Katrina is now in the hands of Headless. Oh, and Henry (aka Jeremy aka the Horseman of War) is free to run amok in town and serve Moloch. Before we get into the meat of the season premiere, I’d just like to point out that it is very interesting to me that two of the four Horsemen have very deep, personal links to Ichabod and Abbie.

We jump in with both feet as the season kicks off. Ichabod is in the dark until Abbie turns on the lights and yells happy birthday. After going through the hilarious tradition of blowing out the candle and making a wish, we get some rather depressing news. It’s been a year since Henry betrayed them and Jenny and Katrina are both dead. Our Witnesses have been training to take out Headless with new weapons. They get called to meet with a professor at a historical society but Headless got there first. After Abbie finds some notes on Benjamin Franklin, Ichabod muses about being the man’s forced apprentice (thanks to General Washington). We learn that Franklin is fond of air baths (which was apparently a real thing in history). We also see that the famed kite flying lightning story is not about electricity at all but about destroying a key Franklin obtained from the Hellfire Club. As Abbie and Ichabod search for clues about the key’s location, we get hints that something isn’t right. Ichabod keeps looking like he can’t breathe. They pay a captive Henry a visit (they’re keeping him locked up in the cell the Masons had set up for Headless) to see if he can tell them where to look for the key. Abbie recalls Jenny mentioning a trip to Philly on Corbin’s orders. That’s just what Henry needs to break the illusion about Purgatory and sends Ichabod back to his root-infested grave. Oh, and the big deal about the key; it can break the rule about a soul exchange to escape Purgatory. Oh shit.

In fairly quick order, we are assured that Jenny is alive. Unfortunately, Henry and some Hessian soldiers have her locked up. Henry reads her sins and finds some coded information about the key. I’m guessing Jenny has until he figures it out to escape or else she’s really dead this time. And Katrina is awake and aware that she’s the Horseman’s captive. He tries to be nice and feed her but she tries to escape and that just gets her tied up again without food. Silly witch. Back in his coffin, Ichabod makes a pretty exciting discovery. The coffin is buried under sulfur and thanks to being from 200 years ago, he builds a rudimentary fuse and busts out of there like the badass he is. And per usual, he tries and fails to use modern technology. And it seems Abbie might have an ally of her own in Purgatory. Say hello to Andy Brooks. I was wondering if he’d show up again now that he’s got a leading role on Selfie (tune in next week for our recap of the pilot). I’m happy to see him make an appearance and for the moment it appears he’s trying to keep Moloch from breaking into the earthly realm and bringing a horde of demons with him. Andy leads Abbie to Moloch’s cave where he’s got some magic mirrors that will allow her to get Ichabod a message. It’s nice to see Andy get a little redemption after everything he did.

Back in our world, Ichabod tries to call Jenny and it’s the distraction she needs to break free and kill one of the Hessians. Ichabod heads to the warehouse where Jenny’s being kept and quite heroically busts through in a big honking ambulance. This being “Sleepy Hollow”, we needed the humor of him not knowing how to reverse and having to do the awkward climb over Jenny so she could bust their asses out. Now it’s a race to the archives to get the pages of Franklin’s sketchbook to find the key. I like Ichabod and Jenny as a team. It’s a different dynamic from Abbie but still a lot of fun.

Abbie manages to connect with Ichabod in Moloch’s creepy cave and he swears he’s coming back for her because they need to stick together as Witnesses and all. He’ll use the key (once acquired) to save her. When Ichabod and Jenny arrive at a statue of Franklin, the Hessians are already there digging. But Ichabod recalls a turn of phrase Franklin told him once and they locate the key and sneak away. Oh and apparently Franklin had his own alphabet that he made Ichabod memorize and that was the code used in the sketchbook. Ichabod makes Jenny stay behind as he heads into Purgatory. Thanks to some magic imbued in Katrina’s necklace, she can now see the Horseman as Abraham. He says that Ichabod will soon be dead and they can start their life together. I’m guessing that won’t end well.

When Ichabod finds Abbie in Purgatory, she’s still searching for Katrina’s amulet (that’s supposed to protect her from Moloch). We get a creepy evil version of Ichabod that’s trying to temp Abbie. I hope the real Ichabod can save her and pull her out of there. Our Witnesses need to get back on track to kicking some Horsemen booties. Purgatory isn’t quite done yet with Abbie and Ichabod. Ichabod gets to fight his evil self and thankfully, due to some pronunciation, our Witnesses escape Purgatory together and reunite with Jenny. The gang isn’t quite all back together yet but I’m sure it will be soon. As our first foray back into the world of “Sleepy Hollow” comes to an awesome close, Henry is granted his Horseman of War armor (complete with flaming sword).

All I can say is this premiere was so worth the nine month wait from the season one finale. It had everything that makes “Sleepy Hollow” great and memorable. It advanced the storyline in a creative way and it also reminded you where our gang had been and what still awaits them in the coming apocalypse. Good job writers. I tip my imaginary hat to you. Now, bring on episode two!

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