TV Corner: Sleepy Hollow Recap S2E1

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 1: “This is War”

[CN: gun violence, kidnapping. Please note that this post contains spoilers.]

Were you excited about the season premiere of Sleepy Hollow? I know I was! So let’s get the important stuff out of the way:

John Cho was in this episode.

And now, let’s roll on downhill from there…

SLO-MO VOICEOVER RECAP. “My name is Ichabod Crane. Other than that, I bear almost no resemblance to anything Washington Irving ever wrote. But if you think of me as a time-displaced Benton Fraser/Buffy Summers hybrid who just happened to wander onto the set of the X-Files, we will get along fine. Also: I am trapped in a coffin. Let me bellow my trademark British pronunciation: LEFTENANT!!!!”

New scene! It is Lt. Abbie Mills of the Sleepy Hollow PD. HI ABBIE! She has a cupcake with a candle! She is wishing Ichabod a copyright-free happy birthday. Awwwwww!

Ichabod: [obligatory faux-complaint about modernity]

Abbie: [obligatory affectionate complaint about his stuffy attitude]

Ichabod blows out the candle and the then tunes the dialogue to station K-PLOT, so that he and Abbie can rehash he last season. She lost her sister, he lost his wife, it’s super awful, and the phone rings. It’s the historical society! A HISTORY PROFESSOR HAS BEEN KILLED. NATIONAL EMERGENCY!

… hahaha just kidding! The only response will be from one cop and her 200+ year old quirky sidekick! (Oh well. You know how this show feels about history professors!) They load up on +2 supernatural weapons and head into the historical society where a bust of Ben Franklin presides over a murder scene. The professor was an expert on Franklin! Ichabod is also an expert on Franklin! He was forced to be Franklin’s apprentice by his boss, George Washington! So he totally assisted with Franklin’s famous electrical experiments!

(….in the 1750s? Wait a fucking minute. So Ichabod was studying with Franklin 20 + years before the American Revolution? When he was like 10, but is portrayed as an adult? WHAT KIND OF SENSE DOES THAT MAKE URGHURGHARRRRRRRRGHLEBARGLE ……. this show is trying to kill off another history professor, but I RESIST. Turning brain off now.)

ANYWAY! Thank goodness for gunshots and shit! It’s a headless dude! Ichabod calls for the *consecrated* rounds of ammo! (I am trying to imagine the scene where they interrupted kindly Father Whatsit at the fish fry and got him to bless their ammunition, in case of freak horseman attack.) They shoot!

Abbie and Ichabod stand in front of a table with old paper sin a room of burning candles photo SHseason2ep1pr2_zps92d2a0c0.jpg

Then they are back at their archive, which is much better decorated than last season. It’s also lit by candles, which is super bad for old documents, but I digress. Harvard still exists! Ichabod finds that funny! Something something Ben Franklin was in the hellfire club, and Ichy has a flashback to Nekkid Ben Franklin ™ . NBF tells Ichy to stop being a prude and start studying The Key Which Cannot Be Destroyed! Um, yeah.

OH MY GOD FRANKLIN’S EXPERIMENT WASN’T ABOUT ELECTRICITY! It was about Moloch the Evil Horseman and his wacky 4 horsemen/ backup singers! The key cannot be destroyed! And it can get people out of purgatory! Time for Ichabod to say LEFTENANT! Moloch must not get this key!

(Honestly, I kind of zoned out here. So, for reference, take anything you ever learned about Purgatory and put it in a blender with your favourite 90s show, and I think you’ll get The One Where Ross and Rachel Buy Indulgences the gist of this dialogue.)

Anyway, Ichy and Abbie decide to visit Ichabod’s son Henry, aka The Guy From Fringe, aka the Horseman of War/Sin-Eater. He is very busy with his jobs! EVIL jobs, but at least he is employed!

Fringe Guy: Did you bring me precious plants? Precioussss….

Abbie: Ichabod, I have to talk to you.

Ichy: That key we’ve been talking about exists and it super important. Also, I have no memory of the last year.

Abbie: Me neither, but I thought it was the writing.

Ichy: Yeah it is the writing but also….well shit, man. There are plot holes and then there are PLOT HOLES, Leftenant! And oh my god I AM STILL BURIED IN A PLOT HOLE!!!! I’m not really here with you!!!!

Fringe Guy: Muah-hah-haaaaa! You have confirmed the key! MUAH HA HA HAAAAA! *tears off piece of scenery, eats it.*

Whooooooops your expectations, audience! It is not just that this show is confusing! This has all been an illusion to trick Abbie and Ichy into confirming the existence of Nekkid Ben Franklin’s Key! Which sounds way dirtier than I intended. In reality, Ichy’s still buried in his coffin, Abbie’s still in Purgatory and Fringe Guy is torturing Jenny in a warehouse by reciting more of last season’s plot to her!

So, in his coffin, Ichy decides to go all Uma Thurman and tries to punch a hole in the lid of the coffin. Then he tastes his fingers, like ya do. "Sulfur!" he says. Okay! I am sure that will be important!

Oh and his wife Katrina is still around, too. She is being held captive by a headless horseman/backup singer. But never mind, because the moment you’ve been waiting for is here…

It's JOHN CHO! He’s trying to help Abbie!

JC: This is Purgatory, not Hell. That means you can get out, but only if you listen to me. I mean, I have a role on a totally different show now! So there is hope for you.

Abbie: Awesome! Show me how!

But before that, let’s go back to Ichabod, still in the damn coffin. He is on the phone recording a heartfelt speech to Abbie but of course it doesn’t record, because unfulfilled sexual tension. Speaking of which, Ichy then MacGyvers up some gunpowder out of that sulfur (okay!) and lights a match and BOOM! A Very Big Explosion! Conveniently, this blows open a hole in the ground and not in Ichy. Good job, Ichy! Obligatory hand bursting out of grave shot.

Meanwhile, Jenny kicks some major ass while the bad guys are distracted by their phones. SILENCE YOUR PHONES, BAD GUYS. She is trapped on Route 9! Abbie’s trapped in Purgatory! I am trapped watching this show! I JUST DON'T KNOW HOW TO QUIT YOU, SLEEPY HOLLOW!

John Cho: In lieu of a Highway to Hell, we have a Path out of Purgatory. It is in this mirror.

Every Catholic school religion teacher ever: Whut.

Meanwhile Ichy steals an ambulance to rescue Jenny. Ichy is a shitty driver. *laugh track* He and Jenny go to the archives to find Nekkid Ben Franklin’s sketchbook, which contains a clue to the whereabouts of the Key and a lot of unicorn doodles. And code, lots of code. Which Ichy can read because Nekkid Ben Franklin forced him to learn it! Now they just have to find Nekkid Ben’s key! *laugh track*

Abbie is still in Purgatory. Or perhaps a Batman origin story, because bats! So many bats! Also, upside down star and candles. Now we switch to Ichabod, in the car with Jenny, looking in the rear view mirror. Cue Abbie looking back at him. They can see each other in the car mirror!

Abbie: (through mirror)I am in Moloch’s lair! Or maybe a Meatloaf video! The one with the car mirror and demon armies and Michael Bay!

Ichy (through mirror) No! You are in that movie where Daniel Day Lewis says he WILL FIND YOU! Leftenant, I DO NOT ACCEPT GOODBYE!

Ichy and Jennie find the key. Katrina is talking to the now-shirtless headless dude, who apparently snagged a sweet deal modeling for romance covers. Turns out he’s Katrina’s old boyfriend. And the horseman of Death! He gives her a locket, which gives him his head back, and I am so not going there.

Meanwhile Ichy and Jenny are in the woods preparing to go into Purgatory. She reminds him not to eat or drink anything, because apparently Purgatory functions like that Greek myth about Persephone? (Catholic school religion teachers are just crying and crying and crying now.)

Ichabod says ritual words. Abbie sees him! She sobs like a Catholic school religion teacher. Ichy says “Drink this!” But then ANOTHER Ichy says “LEFTENANT! Don’t drink that! We just had exposition on that topic!”

Real Ichy and Fake Ichy fight. Which is which? OH THE DILEMMA!

Whichever Ichy: (to Abbie): Go! Quickly we have to go! We have to return to your sister, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOTENANT!

(Oh my god. Ichabod’s persistent Canadian British pronunciation has finally served An Actual Purpose: identifying Fake Ichabod! ) Abbie kills Fake Ichabod! Real Ichabod and Abbie share quips as a Horseman shows up on the horizon! It’s Moloch! Fortunately there is a fort constructed out of Lincoln Logs nearby, which offers them some zero protection against all of the ZOMBIES rising in Purgatory! And I do not feel so lonely now, because this show hates Catholic school religion teachers almost as much as history professors!

Anyway, Abbie and Ichy come flying out of Purgatory. Moloch missed the gate. MIND THE GAP, Moloch! Abbie, Ichy, and Jenny have a reunion. SRS BIZNESS AHEAD. Fringe Guy worships Moloch. EVIL BIZNESS AHEAD. This is war. Bible quotes. Melty lava. The end, the merciful end!

So what did you think? The season opener did a decent job tying up the super-convoluted plot from last season, but I can’t say any particular point really grabbed me. I sure do love seeing Abbie and Jenny working together, though! And John Noble seems to be having so much fun with this, lol. Hope the show picks up the pace some next week, without killing any more history professors in the process.

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