Sleepy Hollow‘s season two has tried to go bigger and better with each episode, trying to establish a much stronger story that ties in all the different characters while introducing new ones and also moving the town of Sleepy Hollow one step closer to the Apocalypse with Moloch himself as its initiator. The previous episodes have done much to explore the various mysteries of the town and also show how Henry is an absolutely manipulative bastard and how much he really hates both his parents, not to mention that Hawley really is coming together well for the team and developing into a high-profile asset.
“Heartless” and “Mama” are quite intense episodes, both of them. In the former, we see that Henry conjures a succubus to steal the life-energy of people in Sleepy Hollow and feed it to a child, who we later come to see is Moloch himself, finally given physical form. In the latter, we visit with Abby and Jenny’s mother, and it is a very, very emotional episode. We learn some truths about how and why their mother killed herself and while at the same time, we also learn that Henry and Moloch have grand plans for Katrina, and that these plans are quite nefarious indeed, in one way or another.
Sleepy Hollow is consistently one of my favourite shows on a weekly basis and these two episodes absolutely confirm that. In the second season, it is all about how the harbinger of the Apocalypse, the father of it even, is trying to force his way into the physical world. We’ve seen that again and again and though the heroes have managed to stave off the Horrid King Moloch until now, in episode eight we see that their efforts were not quite as successful as we thought they were. And what it all points to is that both Moloch and Henry have a really, really long-term plan that often depends on contingencies, factoring in the certainty that the Two Witnesses Ichabod Crane and Abigail Mills will somehow disrupt the original effort.
Now that is scary. And creepy. And masterful. And it keeps the excitement going since you are never sure what exactly to expect from everything that is going on in the show. Which is totally fine with me. It has kept me interested in the show since it started and I love that every week I can be surprised in some way.
In episode 8, a succubus conjured by Henry goes around Sleepy Hollow, feeding on those who have been rejected in love to some degree, and then she brings back their life-energies for Henry, who then promptly feeds them to baby-Moloch. That right there is the height of insanity, it is. But I love it anyway! The usage of the succubus comes in at just the right moment too since we now see that Ichabod and Katrina are going through a crisis of faith in each other, while on the other hand Hawley has started developing some feelings for Abby, despite previously being romantically involved with Jenny. It is a right mess of course, but the kind that I love and want to see more.
In the first season, Katrina and Ichabod’s relationship was rock-solid despite them being separated as they were, with Ichabod in the real world and Katrina in Purgatory. But now, now things are changing and they have doubts. It is a natural evolution of their centuries-long relationship, across time and space even, and I loved every moment of it in the episode. The ending kind of really surprised me since Katrina had to make a big sacrifice for herself and for her cause as a warrior of the light. Salute!
In episode 9, we visit with Abby and Jenny’s mother to see what really happened to her at Tarrytown Psych and what led her there. We’ve known from a previous episode that she was driven mad by demons sent by Moloch but we didn’t have any details. And now we do. There’s a really interesting twist with all of that in this episode so you really have to be paying attention for it.
More than anything else though, what I really enjoyed was that both Abby and Jenny took point in this episode, with the male characters largely relegated to the background and their relationship with their mother was absolutely awesome. She was almost always paranoid when they were kids, and this led to her incarceration at Tarrytown, but seeing just how she was driven mad, and what drove her to commit suicide in the end, it is all painful. Painful and emotional and not something that I could stomach seeing again (in a good way though!).
This episode is very much a “peek under the hood” kind of episode, especially once we get to the killer ending with Katrina and baby-Moloch that is absolutely unnerving. There are some things that you can kind of prepare yourself for when watching a show like this, but there are also a few that you can’t, and this episode is clear evidence of that, given what Katrina has to do and how she fares in that regard.
Still, while the episode doesn’t touch on some of the larger plotlines for the season-wide story, and while Abraham once again takes a complete backseat unfortunately, this episode still turns out to be one of the best all season. And that’s largely because it is one where the writers arm the Two Witnesses with another weapon this time, in the form of a Mills’ heirloom that once belonged to none other than Grace Dixon, she who birthed Henry into the birth, who was there with Katrina when she gave birth to her son.
In that, the episode touches in on a lot of plotlines from the previous season, with some of the most pivotal moments no less, and it is pretty fantastic. I especially liked how Hawle is getting drawn deeper and deeper into the world that the Two Witnesses inhabit, one where the Apocalypse is all too real and there are real actual supernatural things going on, not some weird fetishistic interest by wannabees and mind-addled folk.
Definitely a keeper this one!