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.