Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Review “This is War”

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 1 This Is War (5)

Welcome back, Sleepy Hollow. I’ve missed you! Mondays just haven’t been the same without you. Sleepy Hollow certainly came back from its (ridiculously) long hiatus with a bang and I pretty much loved every minute of it. Things look like they’re going to get a lot worse before they get better for our heroes, but it also looks like they’ll be handling everything that evil has to throw at them with the same style, grace and humor as they have in the past. There were a lot of good things about this episode, so let’s get right to it.

The story picks up what appears to be a year after the events of the season one finale. Ichabod and Abbie are celebrating Ichabod’s 251st birthday and also reflecting on the losses they’ve suffered. During their celebration, they get a call about a professor who needs to see them to pass along some important information. After arriving at the university and finding the professor very dead, they attempt to figure out what it was he wanted to tell them. Naturally, Headless shows up and makes things much more difficult than they need to be. Despite that hiccup, Ichabod and Abbie discover that Headless was after a key that belonged to Benjamin Franklin. The key opens the gates of Purgatory and allows the bearer to exit without leaving a soul to replace the departing one. Just as they’re figuring out all of this information, they realize that they aren’t actually back in Sleepy Hollow. Everything they thought happened the past year is actually an illusion and they’re trapped in Purgatory. Or, more accurately, Abbie is still trapped in Purgatory and Ichabod is still buried alive in the woods. After freeing himself from his grave (again) Ichabod goes in search of Jenny so they can figure out how to get Abbie back. Ichabod and Abbie located the key, retrieved Abbie, stopped Mulock for the moment and Team Crane all lived to fight another day.

At first, I was kind of disappointed that the action appeared to pick up a year later. I thought maybe we were going to spend the season in flashbacks, but I was really hoping we woldn’t. This show does enough flashing back to colonial times, and adding present day flashbacks to explain what’s happening in the here and now could confuse the issue. I needn’t have worried. Not all was as it seemed. I kind of started getting the feeling that something was off when Ichabod and Abbie all of a sudden had weapons that could slow down Headless. They’ve never had anything that could stop him before. Things started looking even more suspicious when they declared that they had Henry aka Jeremy aka War tied up in their basement. I didn’t see how that could happen since Henry is also a powerful warlock in addition to being War. Everything just seemed slightly off, and it was due to the fact that none of what was happening was real. I’m glad the powers that be decided not to do a time jump because I’m just not overly fond of that method of storytelling. Especially not on a show like this that already has so much jumping around in time. I will admit the Purgatory ruse was a good way of laying out the episode’s quest for the key.

One thing that I can never get too much of is the Ichabod/Abbie relationship. I didn’t think it was possible for them to get any more adorable than they were last season, but they’ve proven me wrong. This entire episode felt like an exploration of the depths of their love for each other, and everything else that happened was kind of incidental to Ichabod and Abbie getting back to each other. Ordinarily, this kind of relationship is explored in romantic terms, but the Ichabod/Abbie (or Ichabbie) relationship isn’t romantic at all but it runs just as deep. Ichabbie went through a lot together last season. They helped each other face some of their most powerful demons, and along the way they became family. They love each other very much and that was on full display in this episode. Abbie decided it was too dangerous for Ichabod to rescue her from Purgatory, so she told him to leave her there. Strategically, that may have been a good idea but Ichabod was having none of it. He said that the only way for the witnesses to stop the Apocalypse was to do it together, but it was clear there was much more to it than that for him. Abbie is his friend and he wouldn’t leave her to die any more than she would leave him. They know each other in the most intimate of ways, and there’s a rhythm to their relationship that is truly lovely to watch. There are little idiosyncrasies they each have that most people wouldn’t notice, but they notice about each other. For instance, Abbie was able to recognize the imposter Ichabod simply by the way he said, or rather didn’t say, Leftenant. Of course, Ichabod’s face was priceless when he ran over to Abbie and saw his decapitated body. I agree with Ichabod. The only way they are going to stop the Apocalypse is together because they seem to almost function as a single unit. Abbie is strong where Ichabod is weak and vise versa. They are stronger together, and it looks like their relationship is only going to grow stronger now that War is here.

While Ichabod and Abbie were fighting to get back to each other, Katrina was tied down with Headless aka Abraham. In all honesty, I didn’t really see the point to those scenes except to remind the audience that Katrina is alive and that she’s currently stuck with Headless. It really didn’t add much to the overall arc of the episode. As an aside, I will say that Abraham needs to just let it go. The woman doesn’t love you, dude. Move on! At any rate, if you read my wish list for this season, you will know that I really want Katrina to become more integral to the overall plot. She spent almost the entirety of last season being next to useless, and this episode didn’t do very much to reassure me that that’s going to change. As it is, she didn’t do anything except declare her undying love for Ichabod and make a laughable attempt at escaping her captor. I know it’s very early in the season though so I’m holding out hope that we’ll get a chance to see her become a more active and valuable member of Team Crane.

Someone who has proven herself to be a valuable asset is Jenny. Henry captured Jenny and read her sins so he could figure out where the Purgatory key was hidden. Once he had the information, he left Expendable Hessian #1 guarding Jenny. That was a mistake. Unlike Katrina, Jenny’s escape attempt wasn’t laughable. It was awesome. Not only did she take out Expendable Hessian #1 with a quick kick to the nads, headbutt and dagger through the heart, but she was engaged in a gun battle with three others when Ichabod burst in with a rescue vehicle. I liked Jenny from the moment we met her because she’s a fighter. She’s gone through a lot in her life, but instead of allowing it to destroy her, she’s used it to make herself into a capable, resourceful, brave person. She knew that Ichabod would come for her, but she didn’t sit around waiting on him to get there. She did what she could for herself until help arrived. She has proven herself to be a valuable member of Team Crane, and God knows they could use all the help they can get. Besides, she’s a part of Ichabod and Abbie’s family too.

If you can’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s Sleepy Hollow. It’s also nice to see that the show hasn’t lost its sense of humor. I literally laughed out loud when Ichabod attempted to record his farewell message to Abbie only to find that his phone memory was full. I was actually kind of impressed that he’s learned how to work a smartphone. If only he could learn how to drive. It was nice to see John Cho pop up as Andy again, and I just really want him to be in all the episodes. At any rate, now that Team Crane is all back in the real world, maybe they can figure out what to do about Captain Irving. Of course, our heroes also have to contend with War and figure out how to get Katrina free of Headless’s clutches. Not to mention that little matter of stopping the end of the world. Team Crane has a lot going on right now, and I am looking forward to the ride.

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