“Sleep Hollow” Season 2 Retrospect – A Mixed Experience With a Potential Future Still

This is War Sleepy Hollow

      “Sleepy Hollow” season 2 was a mixed experience and now that Season 3 is a go it’s time to give my thoughts fully on the season and what I see as the best and worst futures for the show. First, the reason the show was a mixed experience was due to the inconsistency of the episodes in narrative structure (didn’t know if the show wanted to be an arc or episodic show), dropped narratives and it’s inability to handle minor characters.

     What made Season 1 work was it’s arc heaviness. Moloch was trying to come back into the world, the Headless Horseman was a threat and Ichabod was trying to reach Katrina. This was the main focus of Season 1 and it never got away from that really, which made it very strong. This show had elements of that but felt like it was playing with a lot of ideas. Henry Parish (The Horseman of War) actually succeeds in bringing Moloch into the world and the first half is good about tying all that together, but in the second half they do a whole bunch of one off episodes that try to tie in Hawley’s adopted Mom and others that just felt like filler, even if they were enjoyable. This made the show feel lost up until the very end when they focused on the core relationships of Team Sleepy Hollow and their relationships to Katrina and Henry, giving us a very entertaining last two episodes that captured at least some of what made Season 1 great.

     Another issue, tied to the inconsistent narrative of arc and single episodes was the dropped narratives. At one point Abraham the Headless Horseman says he will wait and not kill anyone until Katrina can find a cure to his curse, this is never brought up again. There is now an angel named Orion running around who wants to cause destruction, he is never brought up again. Also the Reyes arc with the police department and her relationship with the supernatural is never fully dealt with either, or her relationship to Detective Irving. This really hurt the overall feel of the show as these are important characters and relationships. Season 3 has the potential to solve some of these issues.

    The final issue of the problems I had with this season were how minor characters were handled. Katrina had no motivation until the very end when Henry wants to start a Coven with her, after that she goes bad and wants to bring him back to life. Henry also didn’t have any motivation after he killed Moloch and his plans for World Domination didn’t feel fully fleshed out. There is no need to bring up Hawley, I hated the character and how contrived he felt. Benjamin Franklin also felt the same way at times, until the Finale. Before the Finale he was the McGuffin for everything this season. They also didn’t know what to do with Abraham the Headless Horseman, which is a shame given how important he is to the lore of the show as a Horseman of the Apocalypse. But even given these issues, there is promise in what they got right.

The Promise and Potential Problems of a Season 3

   First, I want to go into the problems. The problems is this show could become something like “Supernatural” a show that is wholly “Supernatural” and has no arc or direction (“Supernatural” really should have ended at Season 5), this could lead to it being a Monster of the Week type show which would only hurt it as with it we’ll only see character arcs retread and the Apocalypse will keep getting pushed into the future, which will hurt the lore and potential mythology of the show. They could also bring back Hawley, Katrina and Henry which would be wrong, their stories are done. When a character is gone, let them stay gone so our core cast can develop as people. No contrived writing, which is what I see happen when a show becomes too episodic and doesn’t have an arc to reel it in.

     The promise of “Sleepy Hollow” is in it’s Finale. What was the thing that Abbie’s ancestor warned about? She implies their mission as Witnesses isn’t done, which means there is a bigger bad out there. They could go the Devil route, which would be cliche but would work and from there have our heroes be pushed to their limits and have things change in “Sleepy Hollow.” For now Sleepy Hollow the town is static even if our characters have changed. Eventually it has to go the way of “Buffy” and destroy the town or change it in a radical way to show that the Supernatural can change this world. Changing the world will force our characters to change and that core cast is the reason I watch the show beyond the Mythology Arc. Jenny, Abbie, Ichabod and Irving were big reasons I kept coming back. I want to see their stories and the story of Ichabod and Abbie as Witnesses finished. If the writers milk it, I will eventually stop watching. I want a show that has an ending, which means bringing about the Apocalypse and giving our witnesses a role in dealing with the implied bigger badder villain out there. That is the promise of Sleepy Hollow.

Final Score of Season 2: 8.3 / 10. Potential to be great again.

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 17 – “Awakening” – Completion of an Arc and a Brave New World

Sleepy Hollow s 2 e 18

     Well, what I’ve been wanting to happen for a while finally did and maybe this is the end of someone for good? At this point I have some of the same fears related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as I do for “Sleepy Hollow.” Does anyone really stay dead? Without permanent death what of character arcs and consequences? If in fact what this episode did stays permanent though, I’ll be happy with how it went. It really all depends on the Finale and if “Sleepy Hollow” gets renewed.

    “Awakening,” was directed by Doug Aarniokoski and written by M. Raven Metzner.

    The story begins with Henry approaching Katrina with a dream of awakening all those with Witch Blood to create a Brave New World with the two of them at the head of the coven. We see the practice run with a bell similar in design to the Liberty Bell that awakens three people who kill those around them who were threatening them and come back to the present. From here Abbie, Jenny and Ichabod try to destroy the bell but are stopped by Henry and Katrina, forcing Ichabod to finally make the hard choice.

The Pros: Detective Irving – We see Evil Irving for much of the episode and realize he is undead due to not having a soul. After Henry is defeated though, he gains his soul back and is alive.

Jenny Mills – Jenny almost has to make the hard choice of turning Irving into stone with the Gorgon head but is saved from making the choice when Abbie and Ichabod finally defeat Henry.

Katrina Crane – Katrina is finally interesting! We learn that she has missed her sisters in the coven and wants nothing more than to help Henry fulfill his dream so she is no longer alone in the world. This leads to her trapping Abbie and Ichabod and turning on Ichabod and going full Evil (and going back in time to save her son and let Ichabod die) in order to get revenge for Abbie and Ichabod killing Henry.

Ichabod Crane – Ichabod is shown to no longer be Lawful Stupid! He fights his wife when she goes bad and makes the hard choice with letting Abbie kill his son so that no more people will die by his hand (and frees Irving in the process). It’s a powerful scene and now he is trapped alone in the present, but we’ll be seeing past Ichabod due to what happens to Abbie.

Henry Parish – Henry finally makes peace with his mother and together they try and make a whole new world for those with Witch Blood. He is still evil and worships power, which I think is why he respects Katrina because she is full blooded witch and one of the best. This leads to their evil coven they want to build and what forces Ichabod and Abbie’s hand to kill him. He has a speech per usual and it is a good ending. I do hope it is the end. I would have preferred this happening next season and Moloch being the end all for this season not mid-season. Still, John Noble did great and his character went out in style.

Abbie Mills – Abbie is the one who kills Henry and ends the threat and goes back in time to stop Katrina. She is one of the most active people in this episode and it is her and Ichabod together who stop the plot of Katrina and Henry’s. When she arrives in the past she is captured but calls on Captain Ichabod Crane with knowledge that could end the war. Curious to see how they explore things from here and glad they didn’t shy away from the racism of that time period.

Okay: Promise – There is promise here. Time travel will allow them to change things and if they are smart they could do an entire season in the past with Katrina as the big bad (and now Moloch too come to think of it). But it would be very easy to mess up. I can see why there is a question in regards to “Sleepy Hollow” getting renewed. I want it too since there are plot threads I want to see resolved first.

The Cons: Dropped Threads – What about the Headless Horseman? What about Orion? These are questions that remain unresolved and were major threads through both this season and last season in regards to Abraham.

If you’ve been watching up to this point, you will probably enjoy this episode. I did, mostly for the promise. The thing is it would be very easy to mess up and if the Finale does mess up, “Sleepy Hollow” should be canceled and the writers must not have known what they were doing…but that is a risk that every show takes. Direction is important, without it the story falls apart.

Final Score: 9 / 10.

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 16 – “What Lies Beneath” – Responsibilities of a Witness

Sleepy Hollow What Lies Beneath

This was a very fun “Sleepy Hollow” episode that managed to give us an interesting glimpse into some characters, as well as setting up more of what is to come. We get to know more about Detective Irving’s situation and even hints that the Witnesses still have a greater role to play.

“What Lies Beneath” was directed by  Dwight Little and written by Damian Kindler who also wrote the original story with Philip Iscove.

The premise involves three workers finding a secret room and getting kidnapped by Reavers leading Abbie and Ichabod to mount a rescue while dealing with one of the brothers of the kidnapped who is a journalist seeking the truth. Around the same time Irving asks Jenny for help leading to them breaking into Police Headquarters before he reveals his purpose.

The Pros: Hologram Jefferson – Thomas Jefferson is in this, or at least the echo is any way. He is created by witchcraft and science to hold all of Jefferson’s memories and is there to help guide the Witnesses in what they need to know. Sadly he is also on a Reaver’s nest and the only way to stop the Reaver’s is to destroy his power source, which in the end he does as he apologizes for Ichabod for slighting him and that he consider’s Ichabod a Founding Father.

Detective Irving – Irving get’s a Hellfire charm that helps him become aware enough long enough to get Jenny the data his family needs to get out of town. He has no memory of what his evil side has done but he is aware his soul is broken and corrupted. I think he knows he’ll be fighting Ichabod and co. by the end of the season.

Jenny – Jenny holds Irving accountable and finds him. It’s actually pretty cool that she listens and it makes sense she understands given how often she’s dealt with her own darker side and demons growing up.

Ichabod and Abbie – These two do a great job dealing with the Reavers and manage to save 2 of the workers. Abbie’s arc involves her keeping the work secret but promising the truth eventually to Calvin (whose brother was captured) and they begin to build a respectful relationship. Ichabod and Jefferson heal up their relationship and stop the Reavers as they were always supposed to be about protection and people over knowledge when it came down to action.

Okay: Henry Parish and Katrina – Katrina has a “dream” that the episode implies actually happened where Parish said her and the magic users will get revenge that his purpose is now for their ascension. She’s afraid of him (for good reason) and what he’ll use her blood for remains to be seen. The scene could have been more threatening, it was presented kind of awkwardly.

I enjoyed this episode a lot and would consider it good but not great. The Katrina issue is still an issue in regards to her being the victim more often than not and I hope they don’t mess up the role of Calvin the journalist. There is promise again, lets just hope “Sleepy Hollow” doesn’t mess things up.

Final Score: 8 / 10.

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 15 – “Spellcaster” – Welcome to the Dark Side

Sleepy Hollow Spellcaster

Henry Parish is back and awesome again! For this reason alone (and seeing Detective Irving in action finally) are what really made this episode great and a favorite. It starts out as an enemy of the week type episode, but becomes something more…much like the first half of the season was, or all of season 1.

“Spellcaster” was written by Albert Kim.

The premise begins with a Warlock named Solomon Kent (who lead the Salemites in killing Katrina’s grandmother for being a witch to hide his own work with dark magic) stealing the magical Grand Grimoire in order to return to the woman he loves. Team Sleepy Hollow works to stop him as now Detective Irving is working with them, but may have his own purposes. Henry Parish is also in hiding thinking about his future and where he goes next.

The Pros: The humor – There are some great moments of comedy in this! Whether it is Abbie teaching Ichabod how to teach Realtor when he’s house hunting or Henry Parish taking out a bunch of punks when he realizes he’s the bigger wolf to their dogs.

Solomon Kent – I actually didn’t mind this guy as a villain of the week. He plants the seed of dark magic in Katrina and shows her that it is the most powerful of the magics which furthers her corruption that was already prone too, and it takes three people each time to take him out. His use of blood magic is pretty cool too.

Katrina Crane – I’m actually putting her as a pro here! I think her going dark could be the best thing as she loves her child so much to the point of stupidity and if she realizes she could be his partner in conquest I think she’d take it as she probably feels shafted by Abbie’s and Ichabod’s deep friendship.

Ichabod and Abbie – We see them working together in this and taking out Solomon Kent through trickery as they know his magic is vulnerable to lightning so electrocute him and also pump him full of drugs that he is using for his magic. It’s brilliant and what I always liked about season 1. No Hawley or Katrina magic artifact outs…just brains.

Henry Parish – Henry is no longer the Horseman of War, though does own Detective Irving’s soul as we see Irving is serving him now and brings him the Grand Grimoire so that he can work on shaping the world to his will. I like Parish as the big bad as he was always so much more compelling than Moloch and he could corrupt his parents if it came down to it. He knows people in ways Moloch and the other Supernatural threats never have.

Detective Irving – Tricked Katrina to be seen as a good guy and is serving Parish in his goal of conquest. We see what he gets out of this too as Irving kills Kent and takes enjoyment from it. He clearly lost part of himself when he died and Parish having his soul is probably part of it.

I really liked this episode and it reminded me of why I still watch this show. Hopefully Abraham gets the same treatment and exploration that these guys have. I’m hoping we don’t see an evil league of evil (Orion and Hawley’s Aunt are still out there) but I wouldn’t mind see Henry crush those other threats or make them servants if he can. The guy is a major reason I watch this show and now he’s working with my other favorite character whose soul he owns. Here is to the possibility. I hope the writers don’t mess it up.

Final Score: 9.6 / 10.

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 11 – “The Akeda” – Where Will It Go From Here?

Sleepy Hollow The Akeda

“Sleepy Hollow” has just put itself into a bit of a predicament after this episode. Without giving away spoilers (That’s for the assessment) they just changed things drastically and shook up the game. Where this goes remains to be seen but I’m a bit worried. Much of what gave “Sleepy Hollow” strength was it’s Myth arc and unless another Myth arc comes in to continue down the path of the Apocalypse (and are we going to be preventing them every half season now?) I’m not sure what this show can do, or if the writers know what they’re doing given the choices they made this episode.

“The Akeda” was written by Mark Goffman and directed by Dwight Little.

The premise is Moloch has risen and it’s up to the Team (Abbie, Jenny, Ichabod, Katrina and Nick) to stop him after Abbie and Ichabod save Katrina from the Headless Horseman who tells them Moloch’s plot as he expects victory. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Jenny – Jenny gets Nick to help and we see her as a major fighter when War and Moloch’s demons arrive. I really like her character and hope we see more of her later. She’s tough.

Ichabod – Ichabod rides a motorcycle with Abbie and wants one after. This was a fun comedic moment at the beginning and we see him willing to lay down his life for everyone but accept their sacrifice too since they choose to fight and die to stop Moloch. This was a huge growth moment for him as it happened after Irving had died defeating War’s Avatar. We also see him call out Katrina on her lies and their relationship ends. Curious to see where this will go as their identities have been so tightly wound in this series. Ichabod also stands strong against Henry which leads to Henry killing Moloch because he is unable to kill Ichabod.

Abraham / The Horseman of Death / The Headless Horseman – He is still very close to Katrina and takes responsibility for trying to take away her free will in the ritual. You can tell that he still cares greatly for her though is super dark and a bad guy (reason Moloch was able to convert him). With Moloch dead I wonder what he will do, especially if he can be with Katrina and not have to worry about Ichabod.

Abbie – Abbie is the one who calls Ichabod out on his martyr complex and says that this is tied to all of them. This leads to her being the first to carry the sword and also she ends up being right about Katrina and Ichabod was too trusting.

Detective Irving – Orlando Jones…you will be missed. His character escaped from the asylum and is able to carry the sword of Methusela since Henry has his soul. This leads to him defeating Henry’s Avatar of War but dying in the process. I wish he could have stuck around, at least he makes Jenny promise to look over his family. Why couldn’t it have been Katrina or Nick? Irving was one of the most active characters an Orlando Jones was one of the best parts of the show. RIP Irving.

Henry / Horseman of War – Henry realizes in this that he meant nothing and is expendable according to Moloch. This leads to him capturing his parents and Team Abbie and Ichabod but not killing them as no matter how much he hates them, Moloch’s words make him hate Moloch more. With the sword he kills Moloch and the episode ends. I don’t think Henry is good (most folks aren’t on this show) and I hope he still remains a threat since hate for Moloch does not mean love for his parents or humanity…and besides Abraham they are the best antagonists on the show and a big reason I watch. He’ll just need to rethink his plans. Still don’t want a redemption though, it would be far too contrived.

The Cons: Nick and Katrina – These characters are useless. Nick doesn’t care until his life is on the line and Katrina is loyal to the Horseman of Death and her marriage with Ichabod is dead. I could still see her do some interesting things with Abraham but with Ichabod, for all intents and purposes their story is dead. I get why Katrina’s alive, but Nick is unnecessary and shouldn’t be around. Wish he had made the heroic sacrifice instead of Irving. RIP Irving…Orlando Jones will be missed greatly.

Moloch – We finally see his face and he isn’t scary at all. He was much better with the flesh color and mask. Now he loos like a lesser Pied Piper. His raising his army was cool, bu he wasn’t very bright and got killed by Henry because he said Henry was nothing…dude you are a Demon Lord, feed others egos since that’s how you got them in your pocket in the first place. He was not very smart. So his death felt pointless as he did as a threat. War and Death are much more threatening this season.

There seems to be a theme going on now in televisions dramas where mid-season finals have to be big. This revealed how this can be bad as it leaves things pretty much done unless another big bad comes out of the already established bads or a new baddies comes along. The other problem is apathy as characters get killed for no reason since the end game of the Apocalypse hasn’t even arrived yet. Detective Irving defeated War’s Avatar but War still lives. Moloch is dead but the 4 Horsemen weren’t even present, only one was. What now? How they handle things going forward will be a big deal and the fact that they killed off one of the strongest characters on the show (while letting the weakest characters of Katrina and Nick live) doesn’t give me much hope in regards to that. Still, Season 1 was fantastic and so far this season is good but not great. Even this mid-season final could be described that way.

Final Score: 8 / 10. Was good because there was cost but now things are up in the air and the writers might not know what they’re doing…which means this could end up being the last good score for the series.

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 10 – “Magnum Opus” – Ichabod and the Headless Horseman

Sleepy Hollow Magnum Opus     “Magnum Opus” is an  episode where things of consequence happen and we get to know Abraham the Headless Horseman and Ichabod better.  At it’s core it is a drama but also gives more with some puzzles too. I’ll get into more of what I mean in the assessment.

The episode was directed by Doug Aarniokoski and written by Donald Todd.

The premise is that Abbie and Ichabod are trying to get the sword that is capable of defeating Moloch but War listens in on their conversation through the mirror Katrina used to reach out to them leading to him sending out the Headless Horseman to deal with them in preparation for Moloch’s rise. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Monsters – There are some great monster moments in this episode…from the Headless Horseman in the mist, the Gorgon guarding the sword and a fully risen Moloch. All of these moments lend to the supernatural and horror feel that pervades the episode in it’s best moments.

Abbie Mills – Abbie is once again a great driving force as we see her get Ichabod out of his self pity as he regrets the lost friendship with Abraham the Headless Horseman and we see she is the one who figures out the riddle of the sword and how to reach it. I hope to see her do some more great action in the upcoming finale.

Abraham / The Headless Horseman / Horseman of Death – This is a good Abraham episode as we get why he hates Ichabod. Ichabod ended up with the woman (Katrina) he was engaged to, Ichabod became the hero loved by all while Abraham lost everything after he’d been the one to motivate Ichabod to come over to America in the first place. His story is tragic and he is clearly a villain, which is good. I don’t want this character to die as when he is at his best he can be one of the best threats of the show (much of Season 1 for example). If he will have that back again for good will remain to be seen as he’s mostly been War’s agent of destruction.

Ichabod Crane -Ichabod shows he can be cruel when he mocks Abraham and showed he is willing to do what it takes to stop Moloch. I hope this also applies to Henry who is responsible for all the dark stuff that has happened this season. In this episode we see how deep his friendship with Abraham was and that the two honored each other in combat. I liked what we saw of his story in this.

The Puzzles for the Sword – Facing a gorgon, swords that turn to snakes when touched and illuminating a pool of oil for the sword to be found that can kill Moloch. If this is the last season I think they’ll be successful, if not than I’m guessing there are bigger fish than Moloch out there to face. But they have the sword now.

Okay: War / Henry Parish – Reveals the poison Katrina made to kill Moloch and breaks the illusion spell so she can see what she helped create. He wasn’t super memorable in this episode because he wasn’t the plotter and schemer but his hatred for humanity was nice to see again at least.

The Cons: Katrina Crane – She is useless and functions as the damsel in this episode. At this rate the most she could do is sacrifice herself to drive the plot forward since they’ve wasted all her character development and ability to do anything. She has been disappointing so far this season.

This was a really good episode. I enjoyed the drama between Abraham and Ichabod and thought the Gorgon, Moloch and the Headlesss Horseman in action as a threat were some great monsters. Now it’s time to see what  a risen Moloch on Earth entails. I am interested even though I think last season has so far been overall stronger.

Final Score: 8.9 / 10

 

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 9 – “Mama” – Jenny and Abbie

Sleepy Hollow Mama

This was a really good episode. It had some great character moments with Jenny, Abbie and Detective Irving and even gave us some time with Reyes. The only characters that really brought it down were again…Hawley and Katrina. I’ll get into what I mean in the assessment.

“Mama” was directed by Wendey Stanzler and written by Damian Kindler.

The story involves Abbie being haunted by dreams of her mother in Purgatory. She soon learns why when she is called on to deal with suicides happening at Terrytown Psych…were her mother killed herself. Calling Jenny on the case after Reyes gives her full control she attempts to find out if her Mom is the one causing people to kill themselves, or some other force. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Ichabod Crane – Ichabod is a side character and this is good. He is there supporting Jenny and Abbie which is just what he needed to do this episode and he’s always a pleasure to see on screen. Why bring Nick Hawley in when we have Ichabod? His character is largely pointless or contrived. We also see him defend Katrina’s lack of communication and action showing how she and Henry are still very much his blind spot.

Jenny Mills – Jenny is a major player in this and we see her dealing with the trauma from her Mom given how haunted her Mom was all the time and how she remembered almost being killed by her in the car. Her views change when she learns the truth that her mother saved her life and fought the demons till the end. It’s a touching scene as Jenny had the most trauma related to her Mom as we learn she had tried visiting her only to see her be dragged off my doctors. We also see her use a West African Hex to get rid of the evil spirit that was causing people to kill themselves and caused their mother to kill herself.

Detective Irving – Irving doesn’t sit down in this one and takes a very active role after the spirit targets him and causes him to nearly take his life (saved only by the group at the last minute). This causes him to rethink things as he wants to escape the control War has over his soul. We see hear how he has noticed people improving which points to supernatural involvement given many of the people were getting better. His scenes with Abbie are great too and I’m glad he’s finally out even if that makes him a fugitive.

Abbie Mills – Abbie is fantastic in this too as she helps Jenny face her fears and hurt caused by their mother and facilitates the healing. She also faces down the evil spirit that believes it is killing people to end their suffering. She is in charge throughout the episode and seeing her moments with Jenny, their mother and Detective Irving really make this episode great. I hope we get more Abbie or Jenny focused episodes. They have fascinating pasts that we only ever really get glimpses of.

Okay: War and Baby Moloch – Not much here but creepy watching of Katrina when she holds the baby she believes is an actual child for sometime and War trying to guilt her for abandoning him as a child. These scenes didn’t really add much except to show that Baby Moloch is growing quickly.

Mama – Mama like Katrina functions more as a motivation, we still don’t really know her character except she knows that Abbie was a Witness and she loves her daughters. Beyond that she is only in this to bring about the mystery and to motivate Jenny and Abbie sadly.

Cons: Katrina – Katrina acts at the end but her character seems dominated by a total lack of agency. This is sad given all the agency that Abbie, Jenny and her mother received and hows that I don’t think the writers know what to do with her. At this point the only thing I could see them doing to advance the plot is killing her character given she was a motivation throughout season 1 but they never got beyond making her more than that.

Nick Hawley – Contrived motivation is the definition of this character. Most plots he’s been in he hasn’t been needed and he doesn’t do anything except function as a somewhat love interest for Abbie or Jenny or for a character for Ichabod to mock. I’m hoping he doesn’t survive this season (and that could just mean him leaving) as he gives absolutely nothing to the show.

This could have been a great episode, just ended up being really good because of the Katrina and Hawley problems. Besides that I would definitely recommend it. It gives us some much needed exploration of the pasts of Abbie and Jenny and gives a pretty good mystery to solve as well.

Final Score: 8.7 / 10

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 8 – “Heartless” – Views of Love

Sleepy Hollow Heartless

“Heartless” was an episode that has a Succubus as the enemy of the week, and keeping with this theme of attraction covers love, trust and how it can start or come back. I expected this episode to be worse but was very much surprised that I enjoyed it.

The episode was written by Albert Kim and directed by David Boyd.

The episode starts with War summoning a Succubus to our world who is than tasked with collecting souls to feed baby Moloch. As she does this the demon nearly kills Hawley which brings things to the forefront as Ichabod and Hawley must deal with their issues with one another and Katrina and Abbie must too, in order to stop the Succubus.

The Pros: The Succubus – The idea of the Succubus this time was handled really well. The creature is attracted to secret desire and preys off hidden feelings people share. It’s brilliant and leads to quite a few kills before it is finally taken down. Plus it takes all of Team Sleepy to do it as Nick and Ichabod kill it’s body and Abbie and Katrina kill it’s heart. The concept that it can only be killed when it’s heart is killed reminds me of a Lich and it is great seeing that concept used in television.

Abbie – Abbie is still the only one who gets it that Henry is dangerous and needs to be killed. Even after the Succubus kills multiple people…Katrina doesn’t get that that and the other killings in Sleepy Hollow are on Henry. Abbie is probably going to be the one to make that hard choice since Henry’s parents are very much like the Doctor in regards to the Master on the issue and still believe in the good in him. She is the one who finishes Katrina’s spell and delivers Katrina’s message to Ichabod when Katrina decides to go and kill Moloch while he still vulnerable.

Katrina and Ichabod – I’m putting them together because even after this there blindspot is still Henry. The main thing that sets them apart is Ichabod starts to sympathize with Nick when he finds out Nick likes Abbie and also how much work he needs to do with Katrina when the Succubus points out his love has soured. Katrina is also learning to trust Abbie and we see they both love reality television. The episode ends with Ichabod trusting Katrina to go undercover to defeat Moloch since she is a good spy. This is contrasted by the fact that the necklace that lets her see Abraham makes her see Moloch as a human baby and her initial reaction is sympathy. Things move forward on all fronts but there are trials ahead.

Horseman of War / Henry Parish – Has a small scene at the end but we mostly see him looking at baby Moloch with joy and feeding him the souls that the Succubus brings. He also is kind to his mother once he knows she is wearing the necklace as her caring for Moloch seems to have been part of his plans.

The Cons: Nick Hawley – I know we’re supposed to like this guy but I feel the same way towards him as Ichabod did. He’s annoying and selfish and I hate how they are trying to hook him up with Abbie, especially given the history he already has with Jenny. It looks like cheap drama to create a love triangle and Nick like Abbie just doesn’t feel believable. She is everything he’s not in being a law officer and on the grid (and respectful, kind, etc.). He is none of those things. I do hope this character dies this season. Someone else can be the go to on the Supernatural stuff.

This episode was pretty good in it’s exploration of love and trust. From Katrina and Ichabod learning to communicate, to Katrina recognizing she needs to act and that letting War make all the moves is not going to lead to anything good. I am curious where this will all lead, especially in regards to Baby Moloch and the apocalypse. Suffice to say, this episode was fun.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 7 – “Deliverance” – A Lack of Creativity

Sleepy Hollow Deliverance

 

At one point in this episode Ichabod and Abbie have broken into the Hellfire Club to get a Mcguffin Ben Franklin created to stop War and Moloch’s latest plan. Ichabod is trying passwords and Abbie yells at him to use 666 (Since the Hellfire Club is an Apocalyptic organization). It works and Ichabod calls it a lack of creativity. That pretty much sums up this episode. Contrived, lacking creativity and shoe-horning in the Redemption theme when it should not apply to Abraham or Henry at this point. I’ll get into what I mean in the assessment, but this is my least favorite episode so far this season.

The episode was written by Sam Chalsen and Nelson Greaves and directed by Nick Copus.

The episode picks up where were left off with the poison spider  going inside of Katrina and impregnating her. War arrives with the Hellfire Club on orders of Moloch and Abarham the Headless Horseman fights him to protect her. She escapes and meets up with Abbie and Ichabod who rescue her from the hospital and the story unfolds from there as we learn she’s been impregnated with Moloch.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Henry Parish / Horseman of War – He always wins, even when he loses and they better not redeem this character. He chooses Moloch again and again. He impregnated his Mom with Moloch knowing she’d die, he set the Weeping Lady on her and he buried his father alive. This character doesn’t care about redemption, so let him be a villain. We see his power in action as when the pregnancy is stopped by the plot Mcguffin he gets red mist that might be Moloch’s essence. He also has a good moment tormenting Ichabod where he tells him chooses Moloch and care nothing for his parents.

Detective Irving – Small role but he asks to talk to Henry so that Ichabod can talk to him.

Ichabod in the Modern World – Ichabod in the modern world is great…from his anger at low voter turnout to “Wanting to Internet.” His modern antics and phrases make this episode enjoyable, as the character was hit with the stupid stick.

Abbie Mills – Abbie is the one character who gets it and I hope she kills Henry since Katrina and Ichabod are holding out for his redemption. They are so blinded by their love they ignore all the ways he has harmed them and others. Abbie is the only one who gets it because of how Moloch hurt her and Jenny…and Henry serves Moloch. Sadly she is a support character in this episode and Ichabod is the the one who does all the saving. We see her use the Police Force though to take out the Hellfire Club and helps Crane get an identity as as a Criminal Profiler as well as earning Reyes respect for taking out the Hellfire Club.

The Headless Horseman / Horseman of Death / Abraham – This guy is a great villain. He loves Katrina and he fights for her against Henry and the Hellfire Club before Henry finally defeats him with sunlight a few times. He isn’t loyal to Moloch as an end all be all, he cares much more about being with Katrina. This makes him compelling and I’d like to see him more an an enemy and complex antagonist.

The Cons: Moloch the Demon Baby – Really? His plan was to impregnate Katrina to get into the world? What a silly idea. Way to turn Katrina into a plot device (Though she’s been that quite a bit already). Also Ben Franklin defeats him using a device he created that Ichabod uses that recreates the Northern Lights. Yup, what a stupid contrived plot.

Ben Franklin Has All the Answers – This needs to stop. Franklin is all powerful at this point at giving our heroes out against Moloch’s and Henry’s plots. The fact that it was predicted that when he was brought up the baddies would be stopped shows how overused this plot device is now. Purgatory Key, Kindred and now this…Did not like.

No Jenny – Abbie was going to raise an army to fight the Hellfire club and didn’t bring her sister. She should have been around, at least as backup in case Henry pulled something.

Katrina and Ichabod – This episode was all about them, and worse for it. Katrina was in a permanent place of needing to be rescued, Ichabod was angry and jealous of Abraham and they both insist that Henry can be saved, where if he is this season it would kill the show for me. He has no desire to be saved and loves being inhuman. They need to face that given all the crap he’s pulled on them. Both of these two are destroying the plot in their need to redeem Henry and denial of who and what he is.

Final Score: 4 / 10. Looked good but plot issues brought it down a lot. Worst episode of “Sleepy Hollow” so far this season and maybe overall after I rewatch Season 1.

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 6 – “The Abyss Gazes Back” – A Matter of Redemption

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 6

    “Sleepy Hollow” has great monster designs and this one gives us the classic beast of the Wendigo, which is used as a werewolf analogue since it is a cursed human who changes at the smell of blood after receiving the curse from ground up bone. This episode also gives us a greater glimpse into Abbie’s mentor Sheriff Corbin as his son appears in the episode.

The episode was written by Heather V. Regnier and directed by Doug Aarniokoski.

The episode begins with Sheriff Corbin’s son Joe returned from Afghanistan and hates Abbie for feeling she stole his father from him. He is forced to seek her help after blood turns him into the Wendigo and he realizes what his curse is. From here the story unfolds as they race to find a cure and War uses the situation to his advantage to get an item of power that Sheriff Corbin had hid away.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Detective Irving – The episode begins the asylum with Irving accusing War of taking his soul, War says he traded and will owe it if Irving dies. He later manipulates him into nearly killing the man who paralyzed Irving’s daughter from drunk driving and we see the dilemma Irving is in. He’s soulless and has no good choice.

Sheriff Corbin – We see Corbin in a flashback mentoring Abbie where he expresses his love to his son. It is great seeing Tom Clancy again (especially after finishing up “Carnivale”) and we see how the war changed him in regards to making him distant, even if he never stopped loving his son.

Joe / The Wendigo – Joe is the man always going into danger because he has no time with the people he loves, given his father was never there. For this reason his redemption arc involves him forgiving Abbie and his father. He is used by War pretty effectivly though as he retrieves the artifact that his father said was buried when his father passed him on his legacy and after War transforms him, seeing his humanity as a curse. Abbie holds off till the end though and the Shawnee chant and blood from the Wendigo successfully save him.

Abbie Mills – This is a great Abbie episode. In this we see her when she was young and how the love that Corbin gave his son was what she wanted in her life, which lead to her turning her life around. This theme of redemption she carries over in order to save Joe, Sheriff Corbin’s son. She still has hangups about War though, given he locked her in purgatory…and if it comes to the tough choice and Ichabod and Katrina can’t make it, I hope she can kill or stop War…cause someone needs too. He’s one every battle so far this season.

The Shawnee – The Shawnee in this episode are cool. Their hunting party is a group of bikers and it is only through the mention of failure to save Boone that they work with Ichabod since Hawley has screwed them over in the past and sold items they traded and told him to keep. I hope we see them again.

Ichabod Crane – Crane is willing to take the step with those he isn’t attached too. He was ready to kill Joe when the curse seemed permanent. This is contrast to his unwillingness to face War or even the darkness in Katrina. I hope this has consequences later as it is something War should use to his advantage. It is here we learn that Boone was turned into a Wendigo too and the Shawnee weren’t able to help him. They help Ichabod this time though.

Henry Parish / Horseman of War – Parish is great again in this! It starts with him telling Detective Irving he can get his soul back if he kills another…a soul for a soul. He is battling for control of Irving against Crane and on his and Moloch’s designs he succeeds as he turns Joe into a Wendigo with the bone from the flute that the Pied Piper made and got the poison needed that he turns into a spider that goes into his mother Katrina’s mouth at episode’s end. His manipulation of Joe and making Irving feel hopeless is part of what makes him such a great villain. He always wins and even turns his losses into wins.

Okay: Nick Hawley – Looks like he’s a member of the team as he helps them in the search for cures for the Wendigo curse. He isn’t bad but it is hard to be attached to the guy given he lacks the charisma of the other characters.

Jenny Mills – Appears briefly but is only their as muscle to protect Joe. I hope we get a Jenny episode, as she is a great character and deserves more exploration.

The redemption theme is powerful in this episode, but I hope they show that you can’t always find it. Henry Parish is pretty evil and has destroyed all his humanity. The longer Katrina and Ichabod fail to face him, the closer he is to winning. Abbie is right and she might be the only one who can stop him given she knows how bad he is. An artificial curse is not the same as evil chosen the way Parish has chosen it. If they do take that path in the season it better make sense because right now it would look really contrived. War is committed to the cause and doesn’t have empathy even though his power is to find and eat other’s sins. Regardless, can’t wait to see where the story goes. I really like War as antagonist.

Final Score: 8.8 / 10