Sleepy Hollow season two opened with This is War and like the song says, “what is it good for?” in this case it beneficial to show where everyone fits in the scheme of things overall. The second Horseman “War” who is Ichabod’s now immortal son, who has a bone to pick with not only dad but mother as well, is subservient to Moloch. At one point later in the show when Henry fails at a specific point of his mission, he falls to his knees and answers to the entity who tells him to get up and keep going.
Anyone watching the show from its season one premiere and on, knows that the show has a certain amount of humor which is a standard part of the series based upon the clash of lifestyles and lifetimes between the two main characters, Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane. This was used to a degree in the second season opening with the birthday party scene around the cupcake and blowing out the candle.
The humor utilized in the rest of Sleepy Hollow was less about differences and more about everyday humor, the scene in the “plain pine coffin” and Ichabod’s “smartphone.” He records a message in case he cannot escape only to find that because the memory is full that the phone will not keep the recording. No time disparities required here, just a straightforward gag.
Sleepy Hollow season two, with its first episode titled This is War, does not specify what it means exactly. Does it mean War, as in Henry Parish who is the second horseman or does it have a sort of “Bugs Bunny” connotation, i.e. “Of course you know this means war.” Whichever meaning stands behind the title, it cannot mean anything good regardless of just what the program makers mean.
The episode itself is very clever, the confusion felt at the beginning when viewers see Ichabod and Abbie interacting at his birthday party is relieved when later the two of them go to question Parish. When he takes the plant that Lt. Mills gives him as a present, Henry gives the two a clue that all is not as it seems when he says the line “anything can be tricked into believing a lie.”
The entire segment this week was humorous. The Benjamin Franklin as nudist and a man so full of his own self importance that Crane recalls the historical figure as being an insufferable egotist is truly funny. This particular episode lacks the irony of the season one finale where Ichabod stumbles into a revolutionary war re-enactment and then buys exact replicas of his clothes before leaving but it is still comically satisfying.
The rest of the show uses humor to great effect. The entire scene where the headless horseman, aka Abraham, gives Katrina the bread and then slams the knife into the table is rich in sly comedy. When she then shoves the weapon violently through his hand it comes as no surprise and the act is twisted and worth an approving chuckle. Clearly old Abe loves Ichabod’s wife and he has no intention of returning her to Crane. The added touch of an amulet giving him his head back is delicious since her recognising him makes no difference to how she feels whatsoever.
By the end of the show, Crane has rescued not only Jenny, but Abbie as well. In Sleepy Hollow and its season two premiere, the hero gets two out of three, Katrina is still stuck with headless Abraham, which is not bad, but definitely is not good for she will not be going anywhere with the magic key being destroyed. War, aka Henry has gotten a lovely flaming sword and a new sense of purpose and Moloch has not given up. It remains to be seen just how long it will take Crane and his chums to rescue his wife from purgatory. Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays on FOX.
By Michael Smith