NJATVS Preview: Sleepy Hollow

Fallapalooza Sleepy Hollow

Photo Courtesy of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Sleepy Hollow season one was one of those rare instances where the logline and simple synopsis cannot be completely understood until you see the show unfold. Put too simply, Ichabod Crane of the “Headless Horseman” lore, wakes up in present day New England. Immediately out of the gate, you’re expecting the steep and at some times comical learning curve of a man who woke up 230 years in the future. He quickly finds his (and Abbey Mills’) purpose as the ‘witnesses’. Quickly moving along the story of the two people that stand between the oblivious citizens they aim to protect and the End of Days that the Horseman and a slew of others intend to bring to Sleepy Hollow.

If you were expecting a procedural detective show with a historical timeline wrinkle, then you were significantly disappointed. Without getting into labels or lists, Sleepy Hollow was one of the better written shows of the 2013 Fall lineup. Tries hard to not be predictable. It factors in a supernatural element that is not only believable but is also plausibly consistent with the lore in question. If you’re into the supernatural element, creative license when interpreting how a historical timeline can fit into a fictional story, and enjoy quality dialogue, then you need to be watching this show.

The big tagline coming into season two has been “War is coming to Sleepy Hollow”. As we look to the season 2 premiere, there are a few things we need to remind you of. First off, everything and everyone was left in some sort of chaos. After discovering that not only did Ichabod Crane have a son born by Katrina after he apparently died in battle, but we also discover that his son is the sin eater played brilliantly by John Noble. Then adding insult to injury, Henry Parrish (Ichabod’s son) reveals that his is actually War, the second Horseman of the Apocalypse. So when the tagline says, “War is coming to Sleepy Hollow” they are being much more specific and literal than just suggesting there will be a battle waged. Then Henry buries Ichabod Crane underground in a coffin.

The Mills sisters also find themselves in a dire situation. When we last saw either of them, they both appeared to be trapped. Jenny Mills being the simpler of the two is merely trapped in a truck that the Headless Horseman flipped. Presumably unconscious, Jenny Mills faces an immediate threat. However, Fox has tipped their hands a in the promotional stage. As all materials clearly show Jenny Mills, we can assume she’ll be fine. Abbey Mills is in stickier situation. Abbey is stuck in purgatory with the child embodiment of her and Jenny’s former selves inside what appears from the inside to be their childhood home. From the outside it resembles a doll house.

Maybe the person facing the most difficult ascension is Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones). Frank turned himself in confessing to two murders he absolutely did not commit in an effort to save his daughters. This will be a long running story line as the show has brought in Sakina Jaffrey (from House of Cards) to play the interim Sheriff. This story line is extremely familiar. The parent who will risk everything to save their child. The difference being, what does that mean for Frank’s long-term interest in solving the original problem? How long is Frank out of the loop? And will his return to his previous post include someone doing something they shouldn’t?

Season 2 will have a handful of interesting details to keep in the back of your mind. These are all issues or details to the story that I am confident you will experience. Which direction they take is a whole different matter entirely.

1. Where does the Ichabod/Abbey relationship go? A couple of breadcrumbs for you. Most in the fandom believe logically, that Ichabod and Abbey cannot serve their purpose if they are romantically involved. Also, Ichabod is still married the sultry Katrina. Second breadcrumb, with all of the promotional materials and hints one phrase keeps coming up, “Ichabod’s crazy ex”. Which leaves the door open for a potential situation with Ichabod and Abbey. Because after all let’s face it, Ichabod Crane would not consider for a moment being unfaithful to Katrina, unless there were a disqualifying offense committed by Katrina. Also, in one of Fox’s promo trailers we see Ichabod act strange when another man pays too much attention to Abbey

2. Enter Benjamin Franklin. Played by Timothy Busfield, do not expect to see the high school text-book version of Benjamin Franklin. Apparently, this is a more liberated, less conservative version of one of our nation’s founding fathers.

3. How long before the ‘team’ is back to full strength? Battling and hopefully preventing the impending Apocalypse is one thing, but to do it short-staffed is another. At full strength that means Ichabod, Abbey, Jenny, Frank, and Katrina. None of which are in an ideal situation leading into episode one season two.

4. If Henry really is War, the second of the four Horseman, one has to deduce that the show runners of Sleepy Hollow intend to roll out all four of the Horseman of the Apocalypse. My only question is how and how fast? Current trajectory would suggest one a season, but this writing group is anything but that predictable.

The recommendation from this NJATVS staffer is that you either set your DVR for the entire season and beyond, or you make sure to park yourself in your living room every Monday at 9/8c. Really if I’m honest, you should park it for the 8-10 Fox block of Gotham followed by Sleepy Hollow. Adding that to The Blacklist (and even what looks like a promising fun show in Scorpion) should make for a very nice Monday night throughout the Fall season.

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