Sleepy Hollow “This Is War”
Written by Mark Goffman
Directed by Ken Olin
Sleepy Hollow is back! Huzzah and all that Ren Faire stuff! When last we left Ichabod, Abbie, Captain Irving, Katrina, Jenny, and the rest of the crew, we had a whole bajillion cliffhangers and bad endings for everyone involved. In fact, there are so many lingering plot threads that the season premiere doesn’t even resolve them all! But it resolves some, and does so with both guns blasting away, ramping up the crazy yet again.
Sleepy Hollow was by far my favorite new show of last year, and I’m going to continue the weekly recap/reviews, because I like them and I like the show. That’s pretty much why we do anything here at TarsTarkas.NET. I’m just going to assume you know who all the major characters are by now, as this is season 2, and there is a whole season of things to refresh your mind on if you need a recharge. As so much stuff happened, this will be more recappy than I hope to do for the season. But be aware that things start off crazy and then get nuts, so it’s all awesome and Sleepy Hollow is still going strong!
Last time, Ichabod and Katrina’s unknown son Jeremy Crane was revealed to be still alive and really occasional helper character, Sin-Eater Henry Parrish. Also, Parrish is evil and is the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse, War. And he trapped Ichabod in a coffin and buried him underground. Abbie is trapped in Purgatory, which you can’t leave unless someone takes your place. She stayed because they saved Ichabod’s wife, Katrina, who is now given to the Headless Horseman as a prize. Jenny Mills was last seen unmoving and bloody under a car wreck, fate unknown. And Captain Irving had confessed to murder to protect his daughter (who was possessed at the time) because the dumbest police detectives in the world were going to build a case that a tiny girl in a wheelchair somehow snapped the neck of a full grown man based on her DNA being on the body. Basically, there is doom and gloom for everyone, especially since Henry Parrish opens the Second Seal and brings the End of Days that much closer to happening.
We begin with a recap that dumps us to Ichabod trapped in the coffin. Suddenly it’s his birthday at his cabin, and Abbie has a cupcake with one candle on it. Huh? Ichabod has no idea about birthday candles or wishes. “Is there no end to this birthday madness?” Ichabod laments, as if knowing that will be a gif on Tumblr.
It seems we’ve jumped into the future like shows do occasionally (or it’s a trick….) Ichabod and Abbie don’t say what has happened in the past few months, only that both lost someone close to them. They get a call from the Sheriff (we specifically don’t see which Sheriff) that a professor at the Historical Society wants to see them.
They arrive to find headless bodies, and open their trunk full of guns! I guess they spent all this time going all NRA4EVER! Ichabod pulls out a super crossbow. “I’ve been ready for 200 years” he declares, as if knowing that will be in the advertising for the season premiere.
The professor is dead, but he had a bunch of papers about Ben Franklin on his desk. Ichabod was Franklin’s apprentice (under George Washington’s insistence) at one point, and he hates hate hates Franklin. Ichabod calls him insufferable, other words I didn’t write down, and even a gasbag! It’s hilarious his irrational hatred, especially since he’s best buds with every other founding father ever.
Headless Horseman attack!!!!! Abbie’s guns do little, but Ichabod’s magic arrows hurt him. Magic arrows? Is Ichabod getting lessons from a certain DC character who has his own show? The Headless Horseman escapes under cover of a grenade, which makes his attack pointless. Ichabod is fuming mad and wants the Headless Horseman dead, he’s still angry that he has Katrina, and killed Jenny.
Jenny’s dead??? NOOOOOOOOoooOOOO!!!! Unless this is a trick….
Abbie talks him out of the murderous rant, and he then says that anyone who studies Franklin would be clever like Franklin, thus a secret drawer where the files are!
Back reading the files, they find a charcoal tea rubbing of a key. This was the key on the kite in Franklin’s famous electricity experiment. But that’s not the whole story….
NUDE BEN FRANKLIN FLASHBACK!!! Yes, Ben Franklin is bathing nude, and Ichabod is rather disgusted. Franklin claims to have infiltrated the Hellfire Club when he was in France, described as a secret group opposed to US freedom. He acquired the key from them, and this key was used in the kite experiment because he was hoping the lightning would destroy it!
The key is the Gehenna Key, and Gehenna is another word for Purgatory (in some translations, but in others it usually is translated as Hell) As the number 1 rule of Purgatory is no one can leave without someone taking their place, the Gehenna Key lets you sidestep that rule. Even the demon Molloch can leave if he has the key!
Abbie and Ichabod decide to interrogate Henry Parrish, who is now their prisoner. Kept in the same place they held the Headless Horseman. They bribe him with a plant, and Henry claims to read nothing about the key, and demands to read Abbie’s sins. Abbie isn’t having that, but does remember that Jenny got a sketchbook by Ben Franklin for the late Sheriff Corbin at one point.
Ichabod has panic attacks and realizes he can’t remember anything in between now and being buried alive. Neither can Abbie, and Henry breaks his chains. It was all a trick to find where the key was! Of course I was right all along, it’s always a trick! Ichabod is back in the coffin, Abbie is back in Purgatory, and the still-alive injured Jenny is now being interrogated by Henry and a random Hessian with truth drugs and sin-eating mind reading. Because she saw the page the key was on, Henry Parrish now knows what it said. But it was in code, so he has to go decipher to code.
Ichabod had his cell phone in the coffin???!?!! And there is no service, of course! Ichabod decides to go all Kill Bill 2 and punch his way out, but that doesn’t work. He does knock out some dirt and tastes sulfur, which gives him a ridonkulous idea that you can guess at, even if it makes no sense and would probably kill him. So of course it will be the idea! Why wouldn’t it?
Katrina is tied up in a church, the Headless Horseman arrives to give her food and untie her. She promptly stabs him in the hand, so he ties her back up.
Abbie runs into Andy Cobb in Purgatory, who is still dropping her advice despite John Cho starring in his own series this season. Molloch is preparing a demon army to invade Earth, and Abbie has Andy show her where and how Katrina contacted Crane while trapped in Purgatory. It’s a mirror in the middle of the most Devil Worshiping Altar you ever did see.
Before the ridonkulous plan, Ichabod records a message for Abby on his phone…but memory is full so it didn’t record! Ha! Ichabod has the modern problems and the fish out of water problems! It’s double trouble for poor Icky! As you’ve probably guessed, Ichabod must have seen that episode of Star Trek despite being asleep while it aired and is making gunpowder to blow his way out of the underground. Sure, he’d be dead, but la la la la la can’t hear you, the explosive force somehow only goes up and he’s free!
Ichabod calls Jenny, the ringing phone just the distraction she needed to knife the Hessian in the chest and begin her escape. Because Jenny is still a badass mofo! She’s now shooting her way out of the hideout, and Crane bursts in driving an ambulance to save her. But as Ichabod doesn’t know how to do reverse yet, Jenny has to drive their getaway.
Jenny knows where she put Franklin’s sketchbook, and Ichabod knows the code it is written in is Franklin’s own custom alphabet that he made Crane study over and over again. Crane hated it like everything else about Franklin, and takes great amusement in knowing that Franklin’s alphabet didn’t catch on.
Abbie contacts Ichabod to let him know what Molloch is doing, and also to wonder if it is a trap and says to just leave her there. Ichabod is like “No way!” and refuses.
Henry Parrish has figured out Franklin’s code and is digging near a statue of him, but Franklin’s riddles are complicated than they seem. Ichabod Crane figures out what the real trick is thanks to the power of remembering something Franklin said 250 years ago, and finds a brick in the clock tower where the key is hidden. Clock towers always have the key to time travel mysteries, thank goodness no one ever tears them down or renovates them ever!
The Headless Horseman puts a magic necklace around Katrina’s neck that lets her see his missing head as Abraham, but she still rejects him. These scenes look like they will work into next week’s episode, so get ready for a lot of Hologram Head Headless Horseman!
Ichabod wants to go into Purgatory alone, and leaves Jenny behind in case he doesn’t come back. Not sure what she’d do then, but she is Jenny Mills, she’d probably invade Purgatory and win. She also reminds Ichabod not to eat or drink or accept anything from anyone while in Purgatory. A handy reminder because of the very next scene! It’s almost as if it was mentioned that way on purpose…
Abbie is trying to find an amulet Katrina gave her last season that she lost, and Ichabod arrives. He says she looks thirsty and gives her some water….uh oh! Luckily the real Ichabod arrives just in time to warn her off. The fake Ichabod roars because he’s too dumb to know to pretend to be the real Ichabod and confuse Abbie. What a moron.
Moron status confirmed when Abbie kills Fake Ichabod, because he doesn’t call her “Left”enant, instead just Lieutenant. Moron.
They say the incantation to escape Purgatory, and now the shattered glass effect has a gate, which they open with the key and jump back to Earth. The key then crumbles to dust after it’s used, so hopefully the writers don’t need to take anyone else out of Purgatory anytime soon. Like Andy Cobb.
Ichabod, Abbie, and Jenny talk in Ichabod’s cabin and say all that inspirational stuff like how this is just the beginning and now it’s war and they will fight on and all that stuff.
Henry Parrish gets an awesome brain controlled armored body with a flaming sword that he uses his soul to control. Now he can look like the cool buff dude in the action shots of the Horsemen riding while still being actor John Noble.
All in all, a great return for Sleepy Hollow, dampened only by the lack of Orlando Jones. What is happening with the ex-Sheriff Frank Irving? He better begin his story next week! As now they got Timothy Busfield as Ben Franklin, has Sleepy Hollow decided they should get named actors to play the historical figures to help make them more vivid as recurring characters besides just some lookalike extra doing stuff in the background? Maybe. But I think it helps.
I did like how the beginning fake out was soooo long that you began to believe maybe the writers actually did it. The episodes shows the bond Ichabod and Abbie have, how they are two soldiers together fighting a war and need each other. Each has their own bits of family they are fighting for, and they are stronger together.