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Sleepy Hollow S2x01 “This is War”

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Warning! Major Spoilers!

Sleepy Hollow was probably the most surprising success story last season when it premiered. With thirteen episodes and a concept that many thought was too ridiculous to succeed on network TV, and was retrieving a lot of disdain early on, as well as being on Fox, a show notorious for showing little mercy to series (Almost Human and Firefly are just two examples) things weren’t looking good for the show. Nobody expected it to make it to a second season. But then, a miraculous thing happened. We all saw the pilot, and it was actually good. So good in fact, it had me hooked and I ended up loving the series. In fact, Sleepy Hollow is probably my favourite new show to come out of the previous year of fall TV, with its insane premise that kept growing and growing in strength.

Ichabod and Abbie prepare to go into battle against the Headless Horseman...

Ichabod and Abbie prepare to go into battle against the Headless Horseman…

And then the thirteenth episode hit. And oh my god, it was amazing. The finale saw the show end on possibly one of the most epic cliffhangers that I’d seen, with the Sin-Eater Henry Parish (John Noble) revealing that he was in fact, not an ally of our heroes, trapping time-displaced Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) in a box buried deep under the ground, Lt. Abbie Mills (Nichole Beharie) in purgatory and also standing by whilst their allies were dispatched one by one, with Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) arrested, Katrina, Crane’s wife (Katia Winter) captured by the Headless Horseman who was also responsible for crashing the car that Abbie’s sister, Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) was in.

So it pretty much came as a big surprise to see the characters jump forward to Crane’s birthday, with both Abbie and Crane out of their respective prisons and believing that Jenny was dead. We got to see Crane’s hilarious reaction to the modern birthday traditions but I kept feeling like I’d missed something. How did they escape? Surely the show wasn’t just going to leave us hanging and a major thread unanswered, right?

And as it turns out, our questions were quickly answered with an excellent twist that was handled well. Right off the bat the premiere returned to be fast moving, adventurous and fun, with the chemistry between Beharie and Mison being excellent as normal. Whilst we didn’t get to see Orlando Jones this week, the plot was more than full otherwise with an excellent script that moved along at an incredibly frantic pace. We got a blend of humour and seriousness and Sleepy Hollow utilized everything very well indeed, dragging us on a compelling and excellent storyline that turned out to deliver an immensely satisfying resolution to the cliffhanger, yet still leaving us with plenty of mysteries to solve. Moloch may have been defeated for now, but this is only the opening act. There are plenty of more adventures to come and I for one, can’t wait.

This episode was packed with surprising twists and turns that kept the pace and tension high. I didn’t know what was going to happen next and the writers did a fantastic job at keeping the suspense high. An unexpected but welcome surprise was the return of John Cho’s Andy Brooks, who helped Abbie in purgatory, and whilst his appearance was brief it was good to have him back. In fact, it was good to have the whole cast (bar Jones) back as they are all excellent, and continue to put in really strong performances. There isn’t anybody that I dislike here, and that’s always good news.

Sleepy Hollow has excelled at adding supernatural twists to historical events and I loved their take on Benjamin Franklin (Timothy Busfield). With his eccentric personality, the new flashback material allowed for some further great scenes that keep the momentum high throughout. It’ll be interesting to see what they can come up with in future episodes because if the whole season is like this premiere, than Sleepy Hollow could rapidly become one of my favourite shows (it’s already up there).

It’s great to finally have this show back, with extended episodes to boot. We got an excellent, thrilling and compelling return to what should hopefully be the start of awesomeness week after week, and of course, you can expect further reviews to follow (for the full list of shows that I’ll be covering for the site, check my profile below). I’d also love to know what you thought of the episode, so remember to leave your comments below. Did you enjoy the episode or were you underwhelmed?

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