After a somewhat confusing opening, Sleepy Hollow put Crane and Abbie back in the thick of things where as Henry Parish put it, “War is hell,” he may possibly have meant purgatory or not since Katrina and Abbie are both still there. This opening episode of season two continued to walk a fine line between comedy and fantasy. The very beginning of This is War gave a knowing nod and wink to Hannibal Lector and Silence of the Lambs with the image of Parish as super intelligent nemesis and his wearing a Lector-type of prison uniform.
The humor was quickly forgotten when Ichabod wound up back in his “plain pine box” and Abbie was stuck in purgatory trying to avoid Moloch. Katrina is the unwilling guest of Abraham the headless horseman and Abbie has some help from her old, dead, colleague Andy Brooks.
Another humorous moment occurs when Crane records a last message to Abbie on his smartphone only to find that because the device’s memory was full it did not work. Jenny and Ichabod have another amusing moment after Crane rescues her from the building where Parish was keeping her prisoner. After driving an ambulance through a door to facilitate her escape she tells him to reverse. Her saviour continues to fumble at the dashboard until it dawns on Jenny that he has no idea what he is doing.
The entire episode was full of funny bits. Not the least of which was Benjamin Franklin as ego maniac and naturist. Ichabod’s remembrances of the man included flashbacks of a naked Franklin who was, according to Crane, quite insufferable even with his clothes on. Leaving the humor behind, Abbie figures out how to get a message to Crane after Brooks shows her how Katrina used Moloch’s lair to communicate with Ichabod in the past. In Sleepy Hollow, war is hell even if a battle has not started since Parish is the second horseman who is “War.”
Lt. Mills reveals Ichabod that Moloch is raising a demon army to begin the end of days and that the key that Crane is looking for will allow the creature a way to get his forces out of purgatory. This is the same implement that Franklin used, according to history, to discover electricity but, in the Sleepy Hollow verse, Ben was actually trying to destroy the key.
By the time the show ends, Katrina discovers that the headless Abraham has gotten a head, Abbie seems to have gotten out of purgatory and Henry has failed Moloch. At least for now. The entity attempting to unleash all four of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse entrusts the son of Ichabod to come up with a plan B.
It is an interesting twist that the headless horseman is not only one of the “four horsemen,” but he is also in love with Katrina, Ichabod Crane’s wife. Apart from the opening of this season being, in a lot of ways, very amusing, it can also be seen as being quite ironic. What a splendid twist it would be if the headless horseman really got the whole thing started because he coveted Crane’s wife.
Sleepy Hollow continues to entertain with enough clever writing to keep things interesting. The two Cranes in purgatory with Abbie was most interesting, was it not Leftenant? While John Noble’s character as War, who may be in hell since he failed to find the key, but who is not in purgatory comes up with another way for Moloch to bring the apocalypse about, the cheerful reunion of Jenny, Abbie and Ichabod is marred a bit by Katerina’s continued captivity.
By Michael Smith