Sleepy Hollow S2 Ep1 — This Is War

After the massive 4-way cliffhanger at the end of Sleepy Hollow Season 1, you had to know something was wrong when “This is War” opened with a cute surprise birthday party for Ichabod thrown by Abbie (a surprise party for two, no less). Apparently, a year had passed since Abbie was trapped in Purgatory and Ichabod was buried alive by The Sin Eater – slash – his son – slash – the Horseman of War. And apparently, Jenny and Katrina were dead, which is a pretty big giveaway, because we’ve seen the promos, we know they’re not dead.

The pair is called to investigate trouble at a professor’s office, where they find him decapitated. The professor was a scholar of Benjamin Franklin, which suggests that the Headless Horseman was after something to do with the eccentric Founding Father. As it happens, Ichabod once worked as an assistant to Franklin (I know — Abbie rolled her eyes, too), and he was there when he did his famous “kite with a key” experiment. Only it wasn’t really an experiment. Ben was trying to destroy the key with lighting. Because it’s evil.

It didn’t work.

Jenny lives to fight another day.

Jenny lives to fight another day.

Abbie and Ichabod have a big shootout with Headless — this was all to lure them in — after which they go visit Henry (The Sin Eater – slash – Ichabod’s son – slash – the Horseman of War), who’s imprisoned by the two of them. Long story short, it was all a trick to learn the whereabouts of the key, which Moloch really wants, since it unlocks Purgatory. In reality, Ichabod was still buried alive, Abbie was in Purgatory, and Jenny and Katrina were alive, but captured.

Ichabod escapes his grave with a smartphone and a homemade wick that ignites the sulphur in the dirt and blows the grave open. Meanwhile, Jenny fights her way out of captivity, taking out several Hessians along the way before being picked up by Ichabod in a stolen ambulance. Katrina, on the other hand, can’t escape her captivity with Headless. I’m starting to wonder if she even is a witch.

Story-wise, it’s as expected — there’s a thing, Ichabod knows the thing from his time as a mover and a shaker in the 1700s, they find the thing (which is usually based on a real thing you can look up on Google), rescue whoever needs rescuing, and the thing is destroyed or otherwise rendered harmless.

Of course, Ichabod finds the key and uses it to save Abbie from Purgatory. As he makes his way to her, demons take Ichabod’s form, trying to trick Abbie. At one point, “Ichabod” calls her “Lieutenant” with the American pronunciation, and she cuts his head off before running to the arms of the real Ichabod. But then, behind her back, Ichabod removes the key from the pocket of the headless Ichabod corpse. What…. was that? Did she decapitate the actual real Ichabod? I mean, he’s not exactly mortal. Something is fishy there. It’s never referred to again in the episode, but it probably will be eventually.

Abbie's #1 fan, Andy, helps her in Purgatory

Abbie’s #1 fan, Andy, helps her in Purgatory

Then there’s Katrina and Headless, who now has a “head” when he wants to flirt with her. Also, sometimes he walks around shirtless. She’s not impressed (she’s not witch-killing him either), but, you know, Katrina does marry Brom (Abraham) in the Washington Irving story. I’m not just saying that because she’d be more interesting if she were a bad guy, it’s actual canon fact.

Overall, “This is War” is pretty predictable, with some nice touches, and plenty of desperate hugging and declarations of eternal devotion between Ichabod and Abbie to keep fans happy. Andy even makes an appearance to help Abbie in Purgatory. Nothing mindblowing, but it did what it needed to — resolving Abbie and Ichabod’s predicaments quick, getting Jenny back on her feet, and showing Katrina and Headless.


Now Henry will really start living up to the title Horseman of War, and the season will really get into gear.