Sleepy Hollow: “This is War” Recap

Sleepy Hollow  Sleepy Hollow returned to ox last night and perfectly demonstrated why it is THE surprise hit of Broadcast. From already throwing in surprise twists to perfectly built-in summaries of where Season 1 left off, this premier showcased everything we’ve come to love about this show. So what’s in store for this Season? Let’s take a closer look at this episode to find out, while always being on the look out for another plot twist . . . or 6.

Season Premier Twist:

Admit it. When the episode began you didn’t know what was going on. Was this a new show format? Would the bulk of the action take place a year in the future while we saw flashbacks to explain how Ichabod and Abbie got free? Though while we were busy wondering what was happening, the signs of a twist were there.

War's Illusion The head pains of Ichabod, the talk of Jeremy being an evil mastermind, and the roots of that growing plant all made sense afterwards once the charade was revealed. It was exactly as War/Jeremy/Henry said when he was watering his plants in the fake sunlight: “anything can be tricked into believing a lie”. We knew coming into this that Jeremy was good at being evil and manipulative; but we had no idea he’d be THAT good at it.

This Is War:

As we learned at San Diego Comic Con, this season we’ll see Jeremy sewing the seeds of mistrust and war in Sleepy Hollow. After seeing how thoroughly he had Ichabod and Abbie deceived – together -, there’s no telling what else he can do. With the Purgatory Key Plan a failure – and Jeremy’s strict obedience to Moloch -, he will be kicking things up even further, especially now that he has his ‘uniform’.

Thus far we’ve seen three of the Four Horsemen. Though while Death and Pestilence appeared human-esque, War was a disembodied suit of armor. Is this the form of War or is it something else. Well as we learned at the end of this episode, unlike the others, the actual “Horsemen of War” is an enchanted suit of armor bonded to the soul of he who is named War. This can explain how the “Horsemen of War” was seen in some revolutionary flashbacks even though Jeremy hadn’t been born/turned yet.

Horsement of War Armor

There were some hints at a possible redemption this season for Jeremy, but as of right now there are no signs of it. Additionally, he appears to have maintained his ‘sin-eater’ abilities, which make him a force to reckon with spiritually – in addition to mentally and physically (with his soul armor).

Ben Franklin Twistory – The Key To Purgatory:

What if I told you that Ben Franklin wasn’t trying to discover electricity with his key on a kite experiment; but actually trying to destroy the key that opens the gates to Purgatory? Well that is exactly how Sleepy Hollow framed his role in this tale of good vs evil. The Key To Purgatory as we learned allows anyone to leave Purgatory ignoring the rules of forgiveness or equivalent exchange. When this was first revealed at San Diego Comic Con, it looked as though this would be a season long quest; but it actually proved the perfect way to get Abbie out.

Ben Franklin Sleepy Hollow

In addition to the key twist, the nude Ben Franklin wasn’t actually a twist. Ben Franklin called these ‘air baths’ where you would – for lack of a better phrase – air yourself out. This isn’t the last we’ll see of Ben this season, so it’ll be interesting to see what other little twists this Founding Father will give us.

Escaping the Inescapable:

In perfect Sleepy Hollow fashion, our heroes escaped in a way that we didn’t expect for a second. First off, it turns out that Jenny Mills is alive and well after being recovered by Jeremy/War. As for Ichabod, he realized that the soil around the ‘Hell trees’ was high in sulfur, which allowed him to literally ‘blow’ his way out. With Ichabod now free he was able to regroup with Jenny after taking down/fleeing from a few Hessian guards – admit it, you forgot they were around in Sleepy Hollow – and going on the hunt for the Purgatory Key.

Again, we expected the Purgatory Key to pay a much larger part this season; but it turns out it was a one-off gateway that could be destroyed after one use. This not only lead to Abbie’s freedom; but also freeing up the rest of the season for new plot points. It almost seems as though hint we learned at San Diego Comic Con was only in regards to the first 2-3 episodes. Well played Sleepy Hollow, well played.

Ichabod and Abbie

That being said, I am curious as to how Abbie got out of her childhood dollhouse. It was my understanding at the end of Season 1 that she was being trapped there within purgatory. Though perhaps the house was just a metaphor for purgatory itself. Either way, it’s not a big deal. I just don’t understand why we found Abbie in the woods of Purgatory rather than the house within Purgatory. Perhaps this had to do with Jeremy/War deception’s at the beginning of the episode.

Andy Brooks Returns:

Andy returns

I really enjoyed in Abbie’s situation how Andy Brooks returned showing a small moment of freewill. Andy has always been the creepy pawn since Day 1; and his feelings for Abbie always came across as stalkerish. That being said, it was good to see him actually display a selfless moment to help Abbie and show he had some free will left. Could this be the start of his redemption, or a nice bookend to close Andy’s character? I guess we’ll know soon.

Death – The Ultimate Clingy Ex:

Katrina on the other hand was not so lucky. Still in the possession of the Horsemen of Death, she is certainly doing all she can to escape. Though with Death actually being her former fiancé Abraham, this is much more than just a simple hostage situation. Will Ichabod save Katrina next episode or will the enchanted necklace Death put on Katrina prove to be a hindrance?

Katrina Captive

As we saw, the necklace is able to make Katrina see Death as Abraham (head and all); but is this the only effect of it? With all the twists in this show I’m not even going to try to predict what will happen. All we know for sure is that this season will explore why Ichabod and Katrina love each other so much. We saw a slight hint at that this episode when Katrina tried to explain to Abraham that her heart never belonged to him; but there is still more to be explored. Perhaps in the end Katrina might end up saving Abraham.

Ichabod’s Continuing 21st Century Education:

One charming aspect of this show has always been seeing Ichabod’s acclamation to 21st century life. On one hand, its amazing to see him reaction to many modern day occurrences and see them as either the fruits of his labor (improved equality) or as horrible abominations (credit cards, sales taxes, etc). On the other hand, it’s hilarious to see him try to adjust to modern day practices and gadgets.

Ichabod might still have some things to learn (ie: driving in reverse, fist bump part 2, etc); but he is slowly starting to learn our modern day struggles – or should I say #FirstWorldProblems. From becoming frustrated at his phone having ‘No Service’ to him leaving another long formal phone message only to realize he has no more ‘space’, Ichabod trials and tribulations of 21st century society continue to entertain.

Though Ichabod’s ‘old world charm’ does come in handy sometimes. The prime example of this was when Abbie could tell the Crane imposter because of how he pronounced lieutenant. The imposter pronounced it normally, while Ichabod always makes it sound more like ‘left-tenant’.

Ichabod Cell Phone

All in all this was a great star to the second Season of Sleepy Hollow. Again, since this show prides itself on twists and turns we might not always be able to tell what’s coming. Though I promise to always reveal as much of the episode as I can; and when we inevitably do get a twist, it’ll be fully explained. Next episode we’ll see Ichabod and Abbie create the The Kindred, a Frankenstein-esque monster with the head of the Horsement of Death, to save Katrina. Though with War now in full armor, will two horsemen be too much for this dark soldier of good?

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