Last year, Sleepy Hollow ended up being one of the best shows I’ve seen to date, especially for horror. It was a rather short debut season at just 13 episodes (the last two episodes were broadcast as a single long episode). One of the best things about the show was the relationship, both personal and professional, between the show’s two major leads, Abby Mills and Ichabod Crane. They were such opposites, and yet they bonded so well and they became the life of the show. The stories were awesome of course, but the characters were always front and center, which is what matters most I think.
Last night Fox premiered the second season of Sleepy Hollow. At the end of season one, all the major characters, whether Abby or Jenny or Ichabod or Frank Irving were in a really bad place. They had been betrayed and played for fools by the demonlord Moloch, and in many ways the season finale was about the bad guys winning their first major fight. Now, in the second season’s premiere, we see how things carry on from there, and how Moloch and Death and War are planning to proceed with the next phase of their plan to invade the mortal realm and destroy the world.
At the end of the previous season, we found out that Henry Parrish was actually one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, specifically War, and that he was also the son of Ichabod and Katrina. Much of season one dealt with the secrets that these two kept from each other, especially Katrina since she was also a witch, and one of these secrets was that she was pregnant when Ichabod fell against Death during the War for Independence. A lot of the mysteries that had been seeded and teased earlier on in the season finally bloomed in the finale, and when curtains closed, Ichabod was buried alive in a coffin while Abby was consigned to Purgatory, where the demonlord Moloch himself resides as its guardian.
Now, in this episode, we see how they both manage to break out, in one way or another, and what they do after that. The order of business in this episode is about finding a specific key that can unlock the gates of Purgatory and let someone, or someones for that matter, walk scot-free, without needing a replacement soul to stay in their place. The advantages of such an item for Moloch are obvious and the damage that could result, incalculable.
The story in the season premiere was a bit on the weak side, but I do have to say that it started on a really high note and ended on an equally great note. Being a demon, Moloch plays all kinds of tricks on both Ichabod and Abby to find out the location of the key, and his chosen instrument for such is Henry Parrish. One of the really neat things in this episode was seeing the relationship between Henry and Moloch. The former is a disciple of the latter, something that I found quite interesting since Death in comparison seems more to be a hired gun than anything else. We don’t get to see much of him unfortunately, but we do see some great scenes between him and Katrina, and these gave me hope for the future episodes, that we would continue to get some great interactions between the two of them, especially now that Katrina is also free of Purgatory.
Everything however rests in the hands of Abby, Jenny and Ichabod. They are the primary component of the show and indeed this episode, and they are fantastically backed up by Jenny who gives some great action scenes right out of the gate and lives up to her promise as a great action character from last season. If Abby and Ichabod are the brains of the operation, then Jenny is definitely the muscle, a role she performs quite admirably I must say.
The great thing is that, watching he new season premiere, I hardly felt as if any time had passed. The show recaps some of the major points of the previous season in a few short moments, and then launches straight into the story. There’s no unnecessary time spent on catching up to all that has happened previously and that was well since the cliffhanger from the season one finale needed to be resolved ASAP. Without that resolution the new season couldn’t move on in any way, and this is exactly what happened.
The tone, the mood, the theatrics, everything about Sleepy Hollow season one is brought back in this new season as well, based on this initial offering. Marc Goffman, who wrote or co-wrote many of the season one episodes is back for another outing with this episode, titled “This Is War” and he does a great job of it in every single respect. Especially the title, which is evidenced by the episode’s final moments, which bring Henry and Moloch together for the first time in the same scene. Watching those final seconds, I’ll admit that I was supremely creeped out by Henry. John Noble is an outstanding actor and his performance in this episode was everything that I wanted and hoped for.
And given just how the episode ends, one thing is clear: the Two Witnesses are soon going to be in way over their heads. Death was already loose in Sleepy Hollow last season, and another Horseman tried to get loose as well over the course of it. Then we found a third Horsemen, right in Abby and Ichabod’s metaphoric backyard and it is time for him to be set loose as well. This is War, and War means business. War is relentless and it is going to do some serious damage while it is loose.
Not really sure what else I can say for this one. It was everything I expected of it, and then some. It added to some of the backstory, it advanced the overall and the subjective plots together, it had some great action and some great character moments. It had it all and if things hold up like this, then this season is going to be beyond awesome.