Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sleepy Hollow (S2) - Episode 1 - This is War - "We're getting the band back together."

Here we go back in again. Season 2 of Sleepy Hollow. A strange enough show idea, but it worked some magic on us all.

After last season we've all been left pondering just what the answer was to freeing Abbie and Ichabod. It's time to see what the answer is to that.

So let's see why "This is War". ...Other than the obvious reasons.

The show starts with a necessary reminder about the show and Ichabod Crane's origins. We get clips of events from season 1. And then we get clips that are not from season 1 as well. That confused we a little. I was thinking to myself that they were out of place. Then I wondered for a moment if I was forgetting something about building a monster for the good guys. Then I had to assume they were inserting clips from this season. Always awkward to me mix a recap with promo for events to come.

Once that's done we see Ichabod in the ground for a moment, and then...

Let's all just be open about this. This episode with a dream/fantasy sequence. You can deal with your own chosen reaction to going into a show with a dream sequence. Enjoy.

I am not generally fond of them. They often get used to fake out viewers. Or they are meant to create a shock. Generally, they waste your time.

But I will credit this one. It feels like it kind of screws with you. It opens feeling like a clear dream. Then it stretches on and you almost start to wonder...Is this the new status quo for the show? (Unless you are one of those weirdos that obsessively looks at casting and story information during the hiatus...What kind of a fool with a blog would do that?...) Then the pieces all come together to make sense, and the adventure begins in full. When it's done it doesn't feel like wasted time. The story has been moved forward.

So let's step through our little dream.

Ichabod is disoriented for a moment, and we are back at his cabin, and Abbie is giving him a surprise birthday, with a birthday cupcake.


They start to think on the past year. They've both lost people, Jenny and Katrina. But they've continued to work to prepare to take on Moloch's force.

And you think, odd fantasy, but...okay.

I should be making jokes...But that little pony tail on Ichabod. Can't stop

As they talk they are caught by surprise as the cabin door is blown open by a storm outside. I have to wonder if that's a sign/omen they are missing that something is off around them.

But they have no time to wonder, as the sheriff's office calls them to meet someone is trouble. Seems a history professor working at the historical society asked for them. He fears his life is in danger.

The duo head out, and getting there they find a decapitated security guard.

Poor guy. He was 5 minutes from lunch.

They quickly turn and return to their vehicle. In the back of the car in an arsenal. Abbie pulls out a clip and an automatic weapon. Ichabod pulls out a...crossbow. Oh, Ichabod.

They go in as a team, and sweep over to the professor's office. (And you start to be sucked into the action.)

Going through the professor's office they see it's been ransacked. And the professor has already been gotten to.

They determine that the professor is a scholar focused on Benjamin Franklin. He was determined to learn about some unknown work Franklin did.

Ichabod is annoyed. He found Franklin to be obnoxious and supercilious. The description bares a resemblance to Ichabod.

As Ichabod looks around the room, he looks at a plant, and notes that it's roots reach out of the pot. But he says nothing. The bleed effect of reality isn't really getting through to him.

Ah, that Evil Dead tree started small. ...Someone kill it, please.

Using some of Franklin's guile, Ichabod finds papers of the professor that were hidden and discuss secret research of Franklin.

Then the Horseman appears.

"Magic missile! Magic missile! Magic missile! Magic missile!" 

Abbie hits him with a clip of consecrated bullets. (Finally, some magic weapons!) They hurt the Horseman, but it mostly just knocks him back.

Then Ichabod starts hitting the Horseman with arrows. (They had some name that I couldn't make out in the scene.) They seem to have a bit more impact, knocking the Horseman down. I guess whatever the arrows are is a far better tool then holy bullets.

The Horseman than throws a grenade of some sort (I think they were flash bang grenades, do to the lack of damage in the room.) (...But maybe they could holy hand grenades, I don't want to judge.). He leaps out of a window in the confusion.

Ichabod is determined to chase him down, but Abbie stops him, as they have a mission. He agrees, Then he struggles a little to breathe. (And I wonder if his reality of being buried alive is slipping in.)

Going through the papers they find an etching from the British Hellfire Club. (Ah! New group of baddies?) It's a rubbing of a key. (Naughty.)

It's a key Ichabod immediately recognizes. It was in the possession of Benjamin Franklin...

And we enter our obligatory flashback...And, maybe or obligatory Ben Franklin nude scene? (Please, no.)

Blanch all you want, Ichabod. Just be happy you weren't
there an hour before when the rest of his friends were there.
Washington had ordered that Ichabod become Franklin's apprentice. (How many jobs did Ichabod have during the war?) Franklin had recently returned from Europe, where he'd gone to infiltrate the Hellfire Club, who were determined to prevent the colonies from revolting and gaining freedom.

As a history pedant, I have to say that the Hellfire Club would have been far more successful in that goal if they'd shifted the British Parliament to meet some of the small request that colonial leaders had for some equality and voice in Parliament. That would have stemmed the problem well before the tiny number of revolutionary firebrands gained any ground.

Just sayin'.

Ichabod is snippy to Franklin. In return, Franklin emphasizes that he should be studying and listening to him, Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. He is part of the team...as an American. (I wonder if this is indicating the key people who will be appearing in the show over the seasons?)

We then see the "Franklin and his kite" scene.

"I'm not even supposed to be here today!"
We see that the key that Franklin is using with the kite is actually the key on interest.

Lightening strikes the key, and it glows. Franklin brings it down and is dejected. He'd hoped lightening might destroy the key. It is not possible. So Franklin says he will just have to hide it.

Going through notes Abbie sees a reference to the key. The Ghenna Key. (It's a different spelling then I am used to.) And if you are familiar with religious text the term should be familiar. In the show, it is another name for Purgatory.

Gehenna is not exactly that in the Torah or Bible. It seems to used as a name for Hell. But the physical place is one where, allegedly, followers of various gods, including Moloch, sacrificed kids.

This is a key to Purgatory. With it Moloch could free himself, and his army, to devastate the world.

Cue the title sequence!

And now we get the title sequence. 10 minutes in. Now the show has plenty of times drawn out the opening of the show. But here we are in the middle of what should be a fantasy sequence. And, we are getting clues that it clearly isn't right or real.

But it keeps going, a year in the future after dark events have fallen. And as the action flows, information is revealed, and we move into a standard flashback, it feels like the show is just moving on.

For me this wouldn't be the first show that had just taken a time jump. Shows like Battlestar Galactica have done this to. But I think back to Season 2 of War of the Worlds. At the start of the season everything changed. They jumped ahead in time, the world went to hell, and many of the main characters get killed off (even the main villains are offed).

So if Sleepy Hollow wanted to pull this, I could see it working.

Father/Son Day is always awkward here.

With no other clues, or ideas. They go to their last resort Parrish/Jeremy. He's in the cell that they trapped the Horseman in the previous season. He has candles all around, and an array of plants.

He smirks as they enter. Before helping he receives a mandatory gift of a plant. He adds it to his little garden.

"One day I'm going to grow a Fire Flower, and then I'll show you all."

He talks a bit about how he likes his plants. They are fooled by the bright lights into thinking they are getting sunlight. It symbolizes how easy it is to convince someone trapped that they aren't.

He is putting a button on it...But it is hard to not enjoy him being a bastard.

He says he can't read any information from the papers they've brought him. He then asks Abbie if Corbin or Jenny ever learned anything. He then asks to read Abbie.

Abbie quickly leaves with Ichabod. They go into the little observation room, and she tells him that she remembers Jenny told her about a folio of drawings that were owned by Franklin. That may be the key (to the key).

Ichabod is suddenly overcome again. He quickly explains that everything seems wrong. The whole last year had happen, but he can't remember any actual detail. The training. The capture of Jeremy. Nothing is clear.

"...And that Father's Day card I made you last month? All lies!"

Then the chains holding Jeremy fall off, and he walks up to the observaion window beside the two. The world starts to fall apart around them.

He thanks them for the information. It seems the answers they need are with Jenny.

Realizing what is happening, Abbie wants to confirm her sister is still alive. Ichabod wants to get out of the room they are suddenly trapped in.

Suddenly, he's in front of his son. And he's instantly trapped in vines, and his coffin is reappearing around him.

Abbie is stuck in the little room with a window. Her background begins to quickly turn into Purgatory, and the window starts cracking in a way similar to the way many mirrors used for Purgatory contact crack.

Jeremy walks out of the cell, dressed in his coat, and casually ends the dream. Ichabod is back were he was last episode.

"Oh, great. And my foot's asleep now."

As I said, I think this works. It takes up almost 15 minutes of the show, but it is directly tied into the plotting of Moloch. He needed to know what the heroes knew about the key. So he gave them a mission and cause. He gave them clues. He gave them threats. Then Jeremy challenged and provoked them, while they felt completely safe.

They used their prisoners to dig up the clue that they needed. No duress, just manipulation. Now they can seek out Jenny.

We also got our episodes requisite flashback, and Abbie and Ichabod got their initial conversation about Franklin done.

The dream moved along the plot, expanded our knowledge, AND won't be forgotten by everyone, The rest of the episode the information learned will be of importance. It mattered.

So what about our heroes?

"Yup. Still in a coffin..."
Let's start with Ichabod. Still buried underground just as his son was for two centuries.

I am trying to figure out what his state is. Is he in the same one as his son? He seems to now be able to move. his arms around.

Did Jeremy lack the ability to freeze his dad? Or was Jeremy able to move a little to? He did say he ate vines that grew into the coffin.

Ichabod decides to root around a bit and starts tearing at the wood over him. Suddenly I am struck this could go a uncomfortable Buried Alive (1990) route. But I don't think they want to decimate Ichabod that badly. ...That would be nasty.

As he pulls at the coffin a little dirt falls in and he decides to taste it.

No! Eating random dirt is Constable Benton Frasiers schtick! Bad Ichabod!
It does end up proving to be useful information. The dirt is very rich with sulfur. And immediately upon hearing that I had a feeling about what he was thinking...

Brilliant, or suicidal. You make the call!

And I was proven right. (Sadly the Star Trek episode "Arena" deserves most of the credit.) He's going to make a bomb.

He tries to leave Abbie a message before lighting a bomb over his head, but finds after the effort that nothing was recorded. We've all been there.

So he lights it up...And, boom!

"Son? How long were trapped in here, with super powers?
How disappointing."

Ichaobd is free.

Ichabod is once again wandering into Sleepy Hollow. ...Ichabod is taking his sweet time!

But whatever happen to Jenny? Unfortunately she wasn't able to climb out of the truck she was injured in before Moloch's earthly forces swooped in for her. And seeing as she was in a severe accident she wasn't able to kill everyone.

"You think being tied up with a
concussion will make you safe?"
It's not clear how much time has past. Is it the next day? The thugs, probably German...because they have the Hessian mark from last season...I'm still not trying to imply anything...  Anyway, they drag into a dingy spot, and tie her to a chair, with a light hovering over it. They then inject some drug in her heart.

I don't know if this implies she was in a severe state when they pulled her from the wreck. Or, if when they found her that they gave her a powerful drug. But they wanted her awake immediately to meet a friend.

 Jeremy is there with questions. As he learned from the first part of the episode, Jenny has seen and acquired information he needs. So he takes it from her, with his sin eating powers. And Jenny asks him to choke on everyone of her sins.

"How come the only thing I'm getting is you kicking me in the balls?"

Inevitably, he sees her get the information he needs, and he sees that she saw the page on the key he needs. With that in his head now he faces an obstacle. It's coded.

Before leaving to seek the key, he mocks her.

"What are going to do, Jenny? Break free, kill the guard, and
fight your way out? ...Nah."
So after Jeremy leaves. She kicks and headbutts her guard to the ground.

Then she breaks an arm free, gets a knife, and cuts her other hand out.

Then she plants the knife in her guards chest, because he was extra dickish.

"How did that..."

She did have a little help. Ichabod called her, momentarily distracting the guard. So she calls Ichabod back, to get a ride.

"Ichabod? You just don't get emojis."

She then picks a lock, and begins shooting baddies. A normal day in Jenny Mills life.

"Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead..."

"Ye gads!"
Until Ichabod gets there, and manages to drive an ambulance through an entrance.

(The ambulance was outside the building. I assume it was how they grabbed and carried Jenny.)


It's like if you found your dog behind the wheel of a car.
Jenny quickly takes over driving, after shooting some more goons down.

They head to the Archive to regroup and trade info, and find new info on the key.

The code for the key is a problem. Well, it would be if the code wasn't actually an alphabet that Franklin invented. Franklin also made Ichabod memorize the alphabet. So he reads out quickly yet another Franklin riddle. Apparently, Franklin kept the key in the only place he felt it would be safe. That means with himself.

But he isn't buried in Sleepy Hollow (...Wait? Are we getting Zombie Franklin now?! ...Nah. To soon.). But there are some landmarks in town related to Franklin.

He also remembers at the time that Franklin told him that "the key to success lies under the alarm clock". The man had way too many sayings, and some were not that catchy. That our, he was the Riddler of the 1700's.

Jenny and Ichabod head out. And once they have the key, they have a path to pull Abbie out of her predicament.

Where did Katrina end up?

Katrina is yet another person not having a nice day. She's in the Horseman's private shack. She's tied to a chair. And, she has no one for a good conversation.

"You've managed to make me nostalgic for Purgatory."

At first the Horseman offers her a loaf of bread. He cuts her hands free to ear. She responds by taking a knife and driving it into his hand.

Does he run on crude oil?

Later he returns, and changes into some fine stitches. He puts a necklace, which he once gave Katrina as a gift, around her neck.

"And it glows! ...Tacky."

Suddenly it appears as if he has a head again. And he begins chatting Katrina up.

...I think I prefer his other look,

He has a schewed view of events. There's nothing big abuot his attempts to destroy the world. And Katrina really does love him and not Ichabod.

They go back and forth, and frustrated the Horseman makes it clear that she will love him, and Ichabod will soon be dead.

But whatever happen to Abbie?

Abbie is still in Purgatory. She's also no longer in that playhouse. ...And no, they don't mention it...

She's running around, and trying to avoid Moloch. He's either busy or not so all knowing in his own realm.

"Shh! I'm trying to be less creepy."

Soon she's met by an old friend. Undead Andy! Hey! ...I am guessing he's now just Dead Andy, right? He wants her to keep ducked down behind cover. The reason to do that is the presence of Moloch.


He's busy though. Moloch has made a fun little circle of rifles, and he's cutting his palm open to sprinkle blood. What is the deal with blood magic and the slicing of the palm? That can really screw up your ability to use your hand. Sloppy rituals, man.

"How is this situation getting
Dead Andy explains that Moloch is preparing to escape, and he's raising a special army to take with him. I guess his quasi-Puddies won't cut it.

Andy is being a nice guy again. Plus he's not hitting on Abbie. Maybe dying is a learning experience.

Abbie decides she can't keep waiting for Ichabod to find a way back. So she has Andy show her the way people contact the world of the living.

The tools to do this lies in Moloch's lair. Andy then says he has to leave. Moloch would do so many horrible things to him if he knew he was helping her. But he wanted to know if he still had the ability to do good.

I hear MYV Cribs once visited. They never left.

On her own, Abbie enters Moloch's domicile. In it is the most metal room ever. It's got the creepiness down. It has the upside down pentagrams.

What your mom thinks your favorite band's backstage is like.

Winged creatures in mass appear and race out pass Abbie. (At first I thought they might be an alarm or a tool to warn Moloch. Nope. I guess they're just his pets. Aww!)

What the Joker thinks the Batcave is like.

This is the place you want to have a Halloween party, if your stuck in Purgatory for Hallowen.

Going to the symbol, she reads a spell under it, and then says Ichabod's name.

"Klaatu! Barada! ..."

And she has contact.

Ichabod is sitting in Jenny's vehicle when Abbie draws him to Purgatory. Suddenly they are together in Moloch's living room. They talk and a share updates on what has happen. Ichabod explains their plan. Abbie questions it. But Ichabod is moving ahead.

Moloch may want them to get the key for him, or open the way for him to leave. And I do wonder...But Ichabod isn't going to pass up this chance.

Always remember: A penny saved is a penny that can be
put to making more Franklin statues.
Once they are downtown, Ichabod and Jenny begin their search for the key. But the statue that Jenny had in mind proves a dead end, as Hessian agents are already searching it to no avail. As they think on another likely spot, Ichabod is inspired by the remark from Franklin about a key being under the alarm clock. Looking across the street to a clock tower, he thinks he gets Franklin's point.

Did Franklin really plan this? Or is Ichabod just thinking like Franklin?

Searching the base of the tower they find one brick with the initials "B.F." Behind it they find the key

Now it's time to find Abbie, and bring her back alive.

Ichabod prepares to once again enter Purgatory, but asks Jenny to stay behind in case something bad happens. And Ichabod is back in Purgatory.

He quickly finds Abbie, and offers her some water before they leave. Psych! You don't drink or eat things in Purgatory! Duh! Abbie is in a distraught state from running around and hiding in Purgatory and slips.

"Surely you don't think your ego can defeat mine?"
Luckily the real Ichabod appears and warns her. The two Ichabods begin to fight. (It's a rule when you have doppleganger. You have to. See Kirk vs Kirk, Superman vs Superman, and Bad Ash vs Good Ash.)

One of them pops up and runs to Abbie, showing her the key. They run and arrive at that magic circle Moloch arrived at. Then as Ichabod readies to open the way, Abbie grabs a sword to slice his head off with. And the head is gone...

Yeah. It's just that easy to cut someone's head off. Because the neck is made
of gummy.

Don't worry. It was Evil Ichabod. Abbie figured it due to her using the modern American pronunciation of lieutenant. ...Me? I'd have been suspicious that he brought her to the sight Moloch was readying to leave Purgatory from. But I'm weird like that.

And suddenly I'm realizing you could easily do a crossover with Army of Darkness.

Goodish Ichabod arrives and they prepare to leave. Moloch sees them and begins racing towards them. They unlock the way, and get out before Moloch can arrive.

Then the key disintegrates. Guess it's just a one time use item.

"You get sent to Purgatory again, and I'll kill you."
So (part of) the team is all back together. Sister with sister. Witness with witness. ...The wife and captain will have to wait until next time.


Frankenstein's Revolutionary Soldiers! The Horseman is clingy! Ichabod has got a crazy plan!

Oh, but wait! What happen to Parrish/Jeremy/War?

He has an awkward conversation with Moloch coming, when his dad gets the key.

When it comes, Moloch isn't too bothered. He has other issues to move on. (Besides, this is War. He needs him around for his endgame.)

[Stargate theme song]
Instead he gives Jeremy a needed upgrade. His armor order is in.

So I guess it isn't already part of him. And it'll actually be separate, but tied to his soul.

I guess that helps keep John Noble on screen far more.

I Am War, Man!

"Metal, indeed"


And that's how they opened the season.

Last season ended with all the heroes pieces being blasted off the board, while the baddies advanced. The only way to properly start the season was to show how the heroes got themselves back on the board (Obviously some people are still missing.).

Ichabod's return was surprisingly easy, but still creative. But I am left wondering if the soil right there is just natural sulfurous, or was it changed by Moloch's presence, or Jeremy's magic? Did someone want him to have away out (other than the show)?

I could see Moloch plotting to put  Ichabod in peril, but still want him around as a tool. He might even lie to Jeremy about it, so he plays his own role. But no one was tracking Ichabod or Jenny after they escaped. They were running free, and leapt ahead of the baddies in the key quest. And then he got Abbie out and kept Moloch trapped. I can't imagine that was his plan.

Still, he seemed to get over the loss pretty fast.

As to Abbie, they did seem to just drop the dollhouse business from the end of last season. Maybe there's a deleted scene of her leaving it. It's value in this episode is dubious. But not starting there is something I couldn't help noticing.

I almost wish we spent a little more time with Abbie in Purgatory. She was losing it some before Ichabod arrived. I would have been nice to see the place taking a toll on her pysche slowly over the episode.

Then there's Jenny. Always ready to kick some ass. After the season finale, she finally gets to get back into the action. She is still awesome.

Where's Irving though? And, long will Katrina be safe?

Then we get to the baddies.

Jeremy...I think I will stick with calling the Horseman of War that, instead of his many other names. He is still around. Good. I was a little concerned at the end of last season that he might slip into the armor and just be faceless voiceless action piece from here on out. But he was still around, and looks like he'll be playing a dual role and fist of Moloch and troublemaker. When you get your hands on John Noble, you should hold onto him.

The little time he was on this week showed how creepy he could be. He's drenched in his contempt for humanity. But he still has this joy about being able to screw with people, confuse them, and hurt them. There's something of the spiteful child to him. What will he do next?

And the Horseman? (Their is only one The Horseman.) With that cursed necklace that he's put on Katrina, he now gets to have scenes with a head. I know their will be many people unhappy with this. They like their large silent and unknown villains. I do to.

But I am not opposed to new insights arising from them. And sometimes the mysterious villain revealed is an actually engaging and enjoyable story. The Horseman is a man that was once a friend to Ichabod. He was almost a smug ass. He was in love with Katrina, and planned to marry her. But when she dumped him for Ichabod, he seemed to decide to screw everything and try to kill Ichabod. Then he was made the Horseman of Death, and made many promises.

Now he's gotten possession of Katrina. The plans of Moloch are proceding and we can now see just what the Horseman is, how he justifies himself, and how he sees the world.

I hope we get to see some more perspectives of Jeremy and the Hoseman. I'd like to get a sense of if Moloch is controlling them, they are being manipulating, or they've just embraced a monster.

We may well learn this season.

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