Fox’s horror hit, Sleepy Hollow, had a great first year and so far it has also had a great second year, though we are only four episodes into the new season, which is said to be half again as long as the previous season. That in itself is excellent news since while the short first season was excellent, the second season gets even bigger in scope this year. With Sleepy Hollow itself, we’ve seen the war between the good guys and the bad guys intensify as the “End of Days” continue to march on Sleepy Hollow, and lines between the two sides are even more sharply drawn.
Last week’s episode, “Root of All Evil“, and this week’s episode, “Go Where I Send Thee“, are really intense episodes that mix in a lot of different things. We see how the new Sheriff Reyes has a history with Abby and Jenny. We see the many ways that Henry intends to bring destruction to Sleepy Hollow and the rest of the world. We see how Abby and Ichabod gain a new ally in treasure procurer Nick Hawley in some of the best scenes of this season. And more, so much more. I really loved what writers Melissa Blake/Donald Todd and Damian Kindler did here, building on some great mythology and providing some new villains as well.
I think it is undeniable that some of the most interesting bits of this show are all the flashbacks to the times when America was fighting to win its freedom for good from the British. With Ichabod being a product of such times, such flashbacks and the revelations that accompany them are even more important since they also inform us on what kind of a man Ichabod is. In episode 3, we learn the “truth” of how Benedict Arnold wasn’t a traitor after all and that he was manipulated by one of the Judas Coins, which is what caused him to betray his closest beliefs and side with the British during a crucial part of the Revolutionary War. And in episode 4, we learn that Daniel Lancaster was more a fence-sitter rather than a hero of the War, and that he even once paid a Pied Piper to murder several Redcoats during the War, eventually causing a curse to be placed on his female descendants.
This all swerves into how each episode of the show introduces a new kind of villain or a new conundrum for the good guys to take down/solve. This is what I love the best. So far this season we have had Death, then Death and War together, and now we have a Judas Coin and an evil Pied Piper. At times the first season seemed to be full of some filler with some of the weekly villains, but that’s not the case this time since the villains this time are so much better, and consistently so.
Things aren’t easy for Abby, Ichabod, Jenny or Frank. They keep getting blindsided by the Horsemen of Death and War, especially since Henry Parrish has positioned himself as the lawyer for Frank’s case, worming his way into the former Sleepy Town Sheriff’s Department Captain’s family and making him sign a certain document in blood. This is what I meant that we are getting to see in both these episodes how Henry aka War seeks to unleash the “End of Days” on Sleepy Hollow, and pave the way for Moloch’s entry into the real world.
Writers on the show certainly have an enviable job, and they are making each episode better than the last, and by a good margin. In these two episodes we see curiously little of the Kindred, the Franksenstein-like monster that Abby and Ichabod created back in episode 2 as an ally against Moloch’s forces, but things are made better by some of the other stuff that comes up, such as the fact that Sheriff Reyes was the one who had Abby and Jenny’s mother committed to Tarrytown Psychiatric, where she eventually took her own life, leaving the two girls orphans and shifting from one foster home to another. Much of the third episode revolves around this subplot, and it is handled quite brilliantly by the end of it, with Abby and Jenny getting some great scenes together that really build on their new and improved relationship, which started to mend itself last year, albeit very slowly as it turns out.
And in the fourth episode we see some great scenes with the evil Pied Piper, who is a… being unlike any other that the Two Witnesses have seen or encountered before, though they approach the task of hunting him down with great gutso, even going so far as to ally with the “privatter”-ish Nick Hawley, played amazingly by Matt Barr, who seems to be quite the natural at this. Nick helps the Witnesses in both their tasks in the respective episodes, and I have to say that he really is a great foil for both Abby and Ichabod, especially since he takes quite the interest in their cases and does indeed prove to be quite useful in the end after all.
It can’t be ignored as well that in Katrina the Witnesses have a great source of information on what the bad guys are doing next, but really, she is also there to redeem Abraham and Henry both, and that she is also working towards creating a severe misunderstanding between the two of them. That was certainly one of my favourite scenes from episode 3, and I can’t wait to find out what else Katrina is going to do, trapped as she is between a rock and a hard place as of right now, and what kind of an arc is planned for her later on, since I expect her to get out of Purgatory at some point in this year.
In all of this, I didn’t mention one of the best scenes of the show to date: Ichabod Crane learning to drive. Let’s just say that the results aren’t pretty at all, and that Ichabod is quite the menace indeed. The simply joy or offense that he takes an interest in the funeral preparations even is never really forgotten.
Up until now in the second season, I find myself enjoying the show more than I did the debut season, and part of that has to do with the fact that larger mythology is already developed so the writers just have to work on moving the story forward, and developing the characters further, rather than continue to lay the road for what’s to come next.
And Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 4 was definitely a winner in terms of everything that happened here.