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 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 2 – “Kindred” – To Fight Fire With Fire

http://thefairytalesite.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/202SH-Ep_202-The_Kindred-Int_Carraige_House_1143_f_hires1.jpg

 

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

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.