Welcome Back, Baby: Sneaky, Clever, Fun, Familiar.
Have you missed hearing a sexy male voice intone “Leftenant” in a British accent? Lament no more. Sleepy Hollow is back. It’s a little slicker (more makeup and some cool SFX), but the writing is still sharp and the outrageous skew on history is still galloping along. I played Sleepy Hollow Bingo while watching and had 9 boxes filled before the opening credits! (Decapitation! Supernatural Baddie for the Evening Shows Up! Abbie is Skeptical!)
The beauty of the second season’s first episode is that you keep checking yourself: “What? Wait a minute. I don’t remember that.” “Did I miss an episode last season?” “Maybe I shoulda watched the last ep of Season 1 again.” Brilliant. The reveal is nice. After all, we horror fans have seen it all and love to be surprised.
I’m not so into blow by blow reviews, since you’ve either seen it already or will see it, and highly detailed spoilers suck. Basically, the War is on. Moloch is trying to raise an army to bring into our world and tries to trick Abbie and Ichabod into fetching him the means to get out of Purgatory.
The pacing is great, we’re thrown into the story, peril is at every turn. We get what we came for: Abbie explains it all to Ichabod, the requisite old documents, Ben Franklin (naked!), a dead old flame returns, rescues, bondage, a clutch of a hug, evil kid, Moloch grumbling on horseback, Headless Horseman trying to flirt. All of it leaves us wanting more.
Our dynamic duo works that Open Carry semi-automatic and crossbow moment in the beginning of the episode like the superheroes of the supernatural that they are.
That hug in Purgatory though…Okay? Impassioned, long, sweet. (Sigh)
My pet peeves:
Pull your hair back, ladies. You’re running and fighting. If Ichabod can do it, you can too.
The directing and acting style is slightly on the arch side, which usually works. I’m all for fun, but it’s a fine line, and I want them to keep it real this season. We want to watch real emotions, real reactions to high stakes, stay engaged with the characters, and not ever suffer through ultra pithy delivery, overused familiar phrases and facial mugging. A very little of that goes a long way. Buffy did it right (albeit with more comedy). Let’s hope Sleepy Hollow stays on track.
And oh my living God, if Ichabod does not lose that jacket and shirt this season there will be a collective fan cry of rage. I know it’s a running joke, but really…
The eeriest moment: When the incarnation of the Horseman of War stepped out and its sword lit afire at just about the exact same moment that the U.S. was bombing ISIS in Syria. Scary, kids. Scary.