Sleepy Hollow RECAP: Demons just want the key to your heart... (S2:E1)
If you’re a fan of Slayer, mixed with history, blended with Kolchak The Night Stalker, and then topped with a slight offering of The X-Files, you’re most likely a fan of Sleepy Hollow. It’s got everything you could want from a supernatural serialized drama and it doesn’t mind that things get a bit crazy and hard to believe at times.
For those not up to date, the second season landed on Monday and took one of last year’s surprise hits on Fox (suck it, The Following) and actually improved it. It tells the tale of Ichabod Crane and The Headless Horseman, but with a twist. Together they’ve traveled through time, connected by magic, and are at the center a metaphysical struggle between good and evil. Crane meets up with Sleepy Hollow Police Lieutenant Abbie Mills once The Horseman starts lopping off heads and both become intertwined in the cosmic dance of destiny that is the sometimes confusing storyline mixing religion, the American Revolution, and spooky monsters.
I would highly suggest watching the entire first season for obvious reasons. You’ll get much needed back story, but also a lot of fun standalone episodes with tons of creepy beasts. The kind that burst into the mind of Pat Robertson during a bathroom fever dream. Pinch it off, Pat.
When we last left our heroes, Ichabod Crane was at the mercy of the “bad guys” and locked in a coffin. This includes The Headless Horseman, who turned out to be his former best friend, and The Horseman of War (played by John Noble from Fringe), who turns out to be Crane’s long lost son. Mills on the other hand is trapped in Purgatory, dancing around and hiding from the evil demon Moloch. See, I told you to go watch the first season.
Season two opens up with a birthday, using the fine alternate Stevie Wonder version of “Happy Birthday” that you’ve probably heard a lot because the owners of the more well known tune are all about the Benjamins. And yes, that’s on purpose because this episode revolves around the search for Ben Franklin’s magical key, the same one from the kite experiment, which can now unlock a portal into Purgatory to either unleash a demon horde or save Lt. Mills. Deep shit.
Mills and Crane do their birthday thing, respond to some beheadings, and ultimately flashback to a very naked Ben Franklin chatting with Crane, who turns out to have been Franklin’s apprentice. How rich, right? They both fly the kite, ride the lightning, but find that the key cannot be destroyed. Franklin hides the key and we’re brought back to the present. Crane and Abbie seek out Noble’s Henry Parrish (who is suddenly in custody) about the whereabouts of the magic key.
This is where we find out the whole scenario is a fake, a ruse, a bamboozle meant to fool Crane and Mills into giving up the key so the evil hell spawn can find it and free themselves for a garden party on Earth. Crane ends up back in his coffin prison and Mills is still trapped in Purgatory with all the lost souls. With the new information, Parrish heads out to confront Mills’ sister, Jennifer, and uncover her connection to the key.
Things pick up from there with some crafty torture, a little “sin eating” by Parrish (his hidden talent from last season), and a grand escape for Ichabod Crane from his makeshift tomb. Thank you, conveniently located explosive soil!
Meanwhile, Lt. Mills runs into her old colleague, current hellspawn minion, and sometimes partner Andy Brooks (played by John Cho). Both of them want to find a way to undermine Moloch and escape purgatory. Not together, of course. Brooks has places to go and White Castles to put out of business. He stopped short, providing one hell of a Shatner-esque monologue about still being human and wanting to stop Moloch from going all ISIS on everyone’s asses outside of Moloch’s lair. He leaves her there with some key info and she enters to find a spirit mirror in order to contact Crane about the situation. Do you see the level of crazy yet?
On the road, Crane texts Jennifer. She’s in the middle of a gunfight during her escape, but manages to text him back. Then he somehow walks to her location within a few moments and saves her by driving an ambulance through a wall. He can’t reverse though, so he’s forced to give up the wheel to Jennifer and they both escape to the archives to find Ben Franklin’s sketchbook and the location of the key. I guess Henry Parrish couldn’t do some of this in the time it took Crane to walk from his “grave” to Sleepy Hollow proper. Suspend that disbelief!
The book sends them to the only Ben Franklin statue in Sleepy Hollow, but Lt. Mills cuts in with some spirit mirror action to give us a little heart to heart between her and Crane. It revolves around their bonds and duties, stopping evil from taking over the Earth. Touching shit. It certainly drives the importance of the story forward, and it allows for the dramatic Dan Brown cliffhanger before the next commercial break. Stay tuned, proles, there is more to come.
Upon returning to the real world, Crane goes to the Ben Franklin statue, has another flashback, realizes that Franklin was a bit of a self-centered ass, and then hurries over to the nearby clock tower with the real hiding place for the key. There’s a bit of a drive again and now they’re back in the woods, ready to enter Purgatory. There’s not one bad guy in sight. Makes complete sense for a show about supernatural evil with unlimited power, right?
All this time, Lt. Mills is searching for a pendant she lost inside Purgatory that is meant to protect her against the evils of Moloch. Bad news for her is that it was probably picked up by a lost soul by this point. They don’t look too trustworthy and I’m pretty sure they could use it to buy a sandwich.
In the middle of this panicked search, Crane appears and offers her a drink. Some chilling music and a distant shout reveal that this is not the real Crane, but a demonic imposter. The real Crane pounces on the doppelganger and they tussle around until we’re left with the classic clone conundrum. One Crane runs away with Lt. Mills to escape and all seems well. However, she soon realizes that she is not with the real Crane and lops his head off. It was his pronunciation that gave him away, proving through violent means that language is important. Language, you fools!
The two heroes run off, use the key to escape purgatory and live to fight another day. The key dissolves into dust and we’re left with a crisis averted, a war still continuing, and another MacGuffin laid to rest. Pour one out for the magic key that flew too close to the sun.
In the end, all of heroes are reunited and discuss the future of their cause, which is all fine and good because we’ve got a season to fill here. Across town, we’ve got Henry Parrish talking to Moloch about their failure. Moloch hands Parrish a brand new spiritual avatar for his Horseman of War persona and all is forgiven. It’s shiny, it’s big, and it’s got a flaming sword. Is it any wonder that Satanic imagery is still so prevalent? This thing looks awesome.
Next week it’s all about Crane and the Mills sisters working to rescue the beloved Katrina, the love interest and good witch of the show. She’s been off playing house with The Headless Horseman and now it’s time for a showdown to get her back. The previews had fire, hell knights with flaming swords, zombie golems being used as super weapons, and a human sacrifice. It’s good to have you back, Sleepy Hollow. It’s been too long.