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 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 5 – “The Weeping Lady” – A Matter of Trust

sleepy-hollow-weeping-lady

“Sleepy Hollow” has some of the best monsters and this episode kept up that theme of great enemies such as the Pied Piper with bringing us the The Weeping Lady of this episode. The theme of this episode is also trust and how it is gained and lost in regards to the major players of the series.

The episode was directed by Larry Teng and written by M. Raven Metzner.

The premise is that the Weeping Lady, a ghost legend has been summoned to Sleepy Hollow. Things get more complicated in stopping her as she targets the women closest to Ichabod Crane and may be tied to Ichabod’s past as well as the sins of his wife Katrina. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Caroline – Caroline is a character who appears briefly but very powerfully in a scene where we find she has been making Ichabod’s era clothes as she has a love for colonial times. Ichabod lets her down as a friend and she accepts but she is shortly killed afterward. The thing that is powerful though is you get how powerful their brief friendship was given that was one of the few people who got Ichabod on some level because of his being out of time…which makes her death tragic. It is for this reason I’m glad she got a funeral at the end.

The Weeping Lady – This monster looks awesome! Summoned by Henry from Katrina’s past she is there to get revenge on all those closest to Ichabod eventually targeting Katrina herself like she did initially before her death. As a monster she is fantastic and she is tragic though not as complex as she could have been. I’ll get into the character of Mary who became the Weeping Lady further down.

Abbie – Abbie continues to rock and is the one doubting that Katrina is entirely honest with Ichabod, which ends up being true. We see her cynicism rub off a bit on Ichabod at the end and their bond grow stronger. It’s a great scene and she really is part of what makes the show so amazing to watch.

The Headless Horseman / Abraham / Horseman of Death – Abraham makes a brief appearance here and is shown to not be an entirely bad guy when he spares Ichabod’s wife after Katrina tells him about Ichabod saving them. He also confesses he never took pleasure from her pain and only ever wanted her happiness. It shows that though he is a damned headless, horseman of death…the guy still has soul on some level and is complicated.

Katrina – Katrina thanks the Headless Horseman for trying to rescue her! Its a touching scene and where you see she does have or had some feelings there for him. I like this given she sees Ichabod mourn a woman who tried to kill her (Mary) and his close connection to Abbie at times being more important than their marriage. She’s got to be conflicted, just like he is over her staying with Abraham. That moment she thanks him was perfect given the episode begins with her sending a letter of her love secretly to Ichabod that leads to the Weeping Lady targeting her in the first place. Curious to see how her arc plays out since Moloch wants her as a vessel.

Ichabod – Ichabod finally has to deal with all the times Katrina has lied to him…from the existence of Henry, to her being a witch and her covering up Mary’s death and claiming Mary went home. He has a speech about trust which is the major theme of the episode and how he feels it has been lost after today. His laying Mary to rest in peace was a touching scene though as well as the funeral for Caroline.

Horesman of War / Henry Parish – Henry takes the initiative and drives a wedge between the couple by summoning the Weeping Lady and he pays a price for it. Moloch gets pissed off since it wasn’t part of the plan and we see victorious Henry weeping at the end. He may have drove a wedge between his parents, but he did between the Headless Horseman and himself and Moloch and himself leaving him isolated and alone…which given that his loneliness was part of the reason he made the deal with Moloch in the first place, must be a living hell. He’s by far one of my favorite characters on the show, though I’d say Abraham is too along with Abbie and Ichabod.

Okay: Mary – Mary’s backstory isn’t great. She was betrothed to Ichabod as a kid, they broke it off but she thought it was for real still and tried to bring him back to England so their families would be happy. When she saw Katrina she got jealous, tried to get Katrina out of the picture and fell to to her death in the process. I hope we meet her parents since she could easily be a victim of of them, hopefully…and not crazy stalker. Her becoming the Weeping Lady is still a tragedy though.

Nick – Why is this guy still around? He saves Abbie from the Weeping Lady when she attacks in the library and gives them a holy weapon to try out but that’s about it. I don’t get why he’s kept around since he is a mercenary and seems to function more as a plot device. I don’t dislike the guy but there are so many more interesting characters to explore.

This was a good but not great episode. It was good in that the Weeping Lady was a great threat and the themes of trust in regards to Ichabod and Katrina were finally brought up as a major issue…and also trust between Moloch and Henry. We saw falling outs this episode and with it the promise for more.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10

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

This is War Sleepy Hollow

“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.