Sleepy Hollow – Season 1, Episode 3 – “The Root of All Evil” – War the Strategist

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We continue our review of “Sleepy Hollow,” with the third episode of the season, “The Root of All Evil.” This episode is great at showing us more how War’s mind works and how he seeks to isolate Abbie and Ichabod from their allies while causing turmoil in Sleepy Hollow.

The episode was written by Melissa Blake and Donald Todd and directed by Jeffrey Hunt.

The premise is that War has brought a coin that can cause people to betray their cause and family. It is a coin that turned Judas and the coin that turned Benedict Arnold and now it’s in Sleepy Hollow. It is here we see him first try it out and later use it to hurt Sleepy Hollow at the core when it is given to Jenny after we find out that the new sheriff put her and Abbie’s mother in the mental institute. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Katrina – We only see her for a little while but she is using her position to turn the Horsemen against one another as Death feels angry at having to stay hidden and has to be told to “Take it up with Moloch.” As to why he’s not being used. We see that she is still torn over her feelings over Henry though and points out to the Headless Horseman that Henry is still connected to her since he chose to stay at the home he was born in.

Jenny – This is a great Jenny episode! We see her hatred towards War and the Sheriff for how she put their mother into an asylum. War as Henry takes advantage of this and gets her the coin and it is only through her friend Nick Hawley, Abbie talking her down and Ichabod that prevent her from shooting the sheriff.

Ichabod Crane – From his friendship with Benedict Arnold and us learning through him that Benedict was a victim of dark magic, his issues with Nick Hawley whose ego is just as great as Ichabod’s and the Sheriff asking him for evidence of his existence…Ichabod has a lot going on as well as Abbie bringing up that Katrina chose to stay with the Horseman of Death and that she is the wife of the Horseman of War so she doesn’t trust Katrina for when it comes down to having to face War. Ichabod still has all this sinking in, but it’s new information…and he’s called out “letting” Katrina stay with the Horseman of Death. We see him visit Detective Irving secretly in the asylum too and warn him that the safest place for him may be staying if War is his lawyer trying to get him out. Leaving Detective Irving once more with a dilemma.

Abbie – Abbie is fantastic in this episode! We see her call Ichabod out on his bias towards his wife, we see her talk Jenny down on killing the sheriff so they can find the truth and she is active throughout the entire episode, eventually getting her mother’s file and finding out demons were haunting her mother and that she always regretted not being able to raise Abbie and Jenny.

Detective Reyes – We see more complexity in her character when she gives Abbie the file on her mother after she asks Abbie why Abbie hacked her account. We see that she does care a lot for them and is in  difficult situation. It is great seeing her by the book approach cause trouble though since Ichabod has no files of his existence and Henry is active in Sleepy Hollow.

Detective Irving – Is secretly visited by Ichabod who tells him of War keeping Abbie and him from the Detective and that he best stay in there if he wants to stay safe since War can’t have good designs on him. We see him left conflicted after since he’s been a prisoner for a while now and wants to live again, even if he desires to protect Sleepy Hollow.

The Horseman of War / Henry Parish – Henry is a lawyer and we see him using that to get the coin to turn Jenny against the sheriff and use his position as a lawyer to play with Ichabod. “Aren’t you proud your son became a lawyer father?” He has great designs and we see he’s designed a board of Sleepy Hollow where he marks the bombing by one of the people who the coin changed. It is for this reason and the fact that he won at the end of Season 1 that he is the one to be most feared at this point. Death is a warrior and Moloch is a force of nature kept beyond the vale…War is a complex reality.

Okay: Nick Hawley – Not a bad guest star and character, but he vanishes after he catches the coin in Holy Glass, so we still don’t know where his allegiance is and he was most wit, not so much character there. We never got his motivation beyond money. Wasn’t bad, just wasn’t given much.

This was a solidly great episode and one of my favorites. I’d highly recommend it for how it explores War, Abbie and Jenny and that it makes Detective Reyes more than just an antagonist. She is one of the good guys shown by War trying to get Jenny to kill her. This gives me hope for what is it come, though I would not mind her or Irving become one of the other 2 Horsemen.

Final Score: 9.6 / 10. Not perfect because Nick Hawley wasn’t fully explored as a character.

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 2 – “Kindred” – To Fight Fire With Fire

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We continue our review of “Sleepy Hollow,” with the 2nd episode of the 2nd Season, “Kindred.” This episode gives us more of the relationship between the Horsemen and also shows how far Ichabod is willing to go for the people he loves.

“The Kindred” was directed by Paul Edwards and written by Mark Goffman and Albert Kim.

The premise of the episode is that in the books they found in the archives Abbie and Ichabod discovered how to raise the Kindrid, an undead soldier created by Benjamin Franklin who only needs a part of the Headless Horseman (They have his head) to raise him to fight for them. Around this time the new Sheriff has arrived and soon arrests Jenny when she’s found with the weapons they’d be taking when they rise the Kindred. From the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Ichabod Crane – This is usually a given but he is once again the main drive of the story and gets a lot of good exploration in this episode. As Abbie brings up, “Maybe Katrina is your weak point, just like my sister is mine.” This vulnerability is also why he chooses to face the Horseman of Death, the Headless Horseman Abraham rather than his son Henry. We also witness him willing to raise the Kindrid (an undead monstrosity made of soldiers) to take on the Horsemen. We see how connected Abbie and he have become and also get a great comedic moment when he takes down the banking system for helping make society a culture of debtors.

Abbie Mills – Much like a companion on “Doctor Who,” except in this case with a more equal footing, Abbie is there to call Ichabod out and fight the Horsemen with him. We see how things have gotten tense with her sister again as her sister was put in prison for what they all were doing to try and raise the Kindrid. She’s worried about disappointing her sister again, losing her job once the new Police Chief finds out what she’s doing and of course failing everything.

Jenny Mills – Takes the fall for Ichabod and Abbie and ends up in prison by the new police chief. We see how the 13 years of her being locked up has made it difficult for her to trust as when Abbie tells her to wait, she says not to take so long this time.

Abraham / Headless Horseman / Horseman of Death – We see Abraham is more complicated than he appears as he calls out Katrina on how Ichabod got Abbie out of Purgatory in a day versus how long she had to suffer there and that he wants her to love him of her own free will. She eventually convinces him to wait trying to force things for this reason and we see the human side of the Headless Horsemen and the potential he has to change too.

Henry Parish / Horseman of War – War is the current leader and antagonist we interact with this season it’s looking like, much like Death was last season. He continues to be one of the best characters on the show as he calls out Katrina on her hope for him and the fact he is soulless and cares nothing for her and Ichabod and also calling out Death saying they need to act and continue their plans to bring back Moloch. He sends his avatar in the battle against the Kindrid before giving Detective Irving a visit.

Detective Irving – Orlando Jones is great again in his interactions with the new chief who plans to send him to the psych. ward for his confession and give him the worst treatment since she sees him as a threat and liar and later we see him sign a contract accidentally in his own blood when War as Henry Parish comes as the Lawyer his wife recommended. Things are not looking good for Detective Irving at this point.

The Kindrid – The Head of the Horseman of Death on a soldiers body…it is a great design and it was wonderful to see that the most he can do is stall them. He isn’t an unstoppable force but does give Abbie and Ichabod a new tool to fight.

Katrina – Katrina becomes a mole for Ichabod and Abbie when she sees the Horsemen plotting to raise Moloch again but we’re left wondering about her confession as Abraham pointing out how long she waited for Ichabod hits a nerve. At this point she could go either way given how complicated Abraham is becoming. I like this given she is a powerful character getting to make her own choices.

Okay: Detective Reyes – Played by “House of Cards” Sakina Jaffrey, Detective Reyes is the new sheriff in town who is skeptical about all that has happened and blames it on the cartels. She is mostly antagonistic and we don’t fully get why as most of her tender moments are with Abbie since she knew Abbie’s mother. She isn’t bad but so far she’s pretty one note. Hopefully she gets developed the way Orlando Jones as Detective Irving was. For now she’s just potential.

This was a great episode that continues “Sleepy Hollow’s” mythos (the Kindrid) and quality as characters are explored and the weaknesses of characters are revealed. Katrina is Abraham’s and Ichabod’s weakness, Jenny is Abbie’s weakness and so far War’s weakness remains  a mystery. This is good since it gives us more to explore in regards to his character.

Final Score: 9 / 10. Solidly great, just a rough start for Sakina Jaffrey as Detective Reyes.

Sleepy Hollow – Season 2, Episode 1 – “This is War” – Coming Together Again and War’s Manipulations

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“Sleepy Hollow,” is one of the better television shows released in recent years. It takes the premise of the horror tale Sleepy Hollow and mixes with Biblical mythology (Demons, the Four Horsemen, etc.) while giving us the man out of time (Ichabod Crane) attempting to fight to prevent the apocalypse with his partner on the police force (Lt. Abbie Mills). Season 1 had amazing character development and exploration of the mythology which lead to “Sleepy Hollow” becoming one of my new favorite shows on television. I’ll do a review of Season 1, later…for now focus will be on Season 2.

“This is War,” was written by Mark Goffman and directed by Ken Olin.

Season 2 picked up where Season 1 ended with Ichabod buried alive, Abbie trapped in purgatory with the Demon who masterminded it all Moloch while Ichabod’s wife Katrina Crane is now prisoner of the Headless Horseman (the Horseman of Death), while War (Abraham, Ichabod’s son) is manipulating them to get the key to open Purgatory to let Moloch’s armies be released upon the world and start the Apocalypse. It is from here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Music – The music has a gothic, 17th Century feel to it intermixed with modern which fits the feel of the show. It also is good at going quiet when it needs to (like in Purgatory) to create tension and raise the stakes.

The Cinematography – Sleepy Hollow the town, and Purgatory are usually always dark and covered in mist creating a feel of the unknown about the place, which is perfect as we have a manipulated situation very early on in the episode showing that the characters and us need to be careful about believing what we see since it might be a lie.

The Characters – The Characters have always been the strongest part of the show, and that stays true in the Season 2 premiere.

Katrina Crane – Prisoner of the Headless Horseman who uses a necklace  he gave her in life when hew as Abraham to give the illusion of a head so he can communicate with her is powerful. He doesn’t love her since he doesn’t respect her love for Ichabod but it is complicated as you can see he has affection for her and she realizes that. She resists at first but in the end realizes just how trapped she is as the Horseman is undead.

The Headless Horseman / Horsemen of Death – We see how complicated and dangerous he is as he is more focused on getting Katrina than fulfilling Moloch’s wishes. I suspect that will cause problems for him later as he sold his soul to Moloch. Fascinated to see what they do with this character and his relationship to Katrina and to War.

Jeremy Crane / Horseman of War – Ichabod’s son who is also the Horseman of War manipulates Abbie and Ichabod to believe a year has passed and he’s a prisoner. He than gets them to reveal a key that Benjamin Franklin tried to destroy that can open Purgatory and that Jenny Mills knows where it is. He seeks her out and finds out where to find it. He nearly succeeds to but doesn’t due to Abbie and Ichabod managing to out maneuver him. The episode ends with him getting a gift from Moloch, a living embodiment of War, armor with a burning sword that he can control with his soul. Leaving his future plans to have more certainty for fulfilling Moloch’s will. He was the best reveal of last season and is still a much more interesting than Moloch. Love John Noble in this role.

Andy Brooks – John Cho’s character is once again seeking redemption as he uses what little of his free will he has to help Abbie contact Ichabod.

Jenny Mills – Is taken prisoner by War but manages to escape. Lyndie Greenwood is great in the role and we see her working with Ichabod to save her sister from Purgatory and stop War and his men from summoning Moloch’s army.

Abbie Mills – Abbie is top of her game in this episode as she finds out from Andy Brooks how to contact Ichabod which in turn leads to him finding her and them getting out of Purgatory, which destroyed the Key that Moloch and War were seeking. We have some great character moments too as she figures out the false Ichabod since he doesn’t say Left Tenant and instead says Lieutenant. It ends with her plotting with Ichabod and Jenny how to bring war to War and Moloch. Nicole Beharie is once again showing us why she she deserves this part and is one of the protagonists in television.

Ichabod Crane – We learn that he was mentored by Benjamin Franklin and despised him and we see him escape from being buried alive when he figures out he’s buried in sulfur and sets it off like a bomb to break out. After we see his loyalty to Abbie as he refuses to leave her in Purgatory as he and Jenny work to save her from Moloch. Tom Mison is once again great and it was wonderful seeing more of Ichabod’s backstory.

The Cons: No Captain Frank Irving – He turned himself in for the killings that the Headless Horseman did to protect his daughter, but we don’t see or hear from him. Given how great Orlando Jones is, I’d have preferred even a small scene with him and what he’s going through.

This was a solid episode and a great start to the new season. It makes me excited for what is to come…especially as I hope this season ends with the reveal of the next Horsemen and that we get 5 seasons so each Horsemen can be accurately explored…and maybe we can find Moloch is smaller compared to who is paying his checks. This show has so much it can do and I can’t wait to see what it does as it explores the mythology and universe that it is a part of.

Final Score: 9 / 10. Solidly great, just missing Orlando Jones.