For those of you who haven’t yet hopped on board with Sleepy Hollow I’m here to once again regale you with a recap of episodes to give you a chance to check the series out now that it’s completed all 13 episodes.
Episodes 1-5 of Season One introduced us to Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Lt Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and the madness that is now befalling the town of Sleepy Hollow. Feel free to check out the recap of those episodes I wrote here. The next few episodes take things to a whole new level of twisted and the over-arching conspiracy of doom begins to grow.
In Episode 6 ‘The Sin Eater’ Crane and Mills’ relationship escalates to a whole new level when Crane is kidnapped by some Freemasons but it soon comes to light that they’re actually trying to find a way to stop the Horseman from bringing the apocalypse. In order to do this, Crane must take his own life and in doing so destroy the Headless Horseman. Abbie and Jenny Mills (Lyndie Greenwood portraying Abbie’s sister) manage to find a man, Henry Parish (Aussie John Noble of Fringe fame), known as the Sin Eater, who can possibly save Crane and assist in the fight against the Horseman by removing their blood tie connection. This episode was practically off the scale in intensity and suspense levels, as Mills battles time and Crane’s stubbornness to sidestep the Freemason’s plans. Also for anybody who wanted to ship Crane and Mills (known in the fandom as IchAbbie) this episode pretty much sets the ship sailing with no foreseeable return to port.
As we start to gallop closer to the season finale things begin to get personal for our two heroes. ‘The Midnight Ride’ brings us head to head with a very geed up and pissed off Headless Horseman who wants his skull back and is prepared to pretty much mow everybody down in the process. Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) finally gets to meet Headless face to face in a wicked gun battle managing to escape by the skin of his teeth and some smooth moves. In the meantime Mills and Crane go searching for a mysterious manuscript that may hold the key to ensnaring the Horseman and preventing the Apocalypse. In ‘Necromancer’ with the Horseman trapped (albeit temporarily) he taunts Crane by revealing his true identity and his motives, both of which involve Crane’s wife Katrina (Katia Winter) presently trapped in purgatory. It’s not often we see our main man lose his cool, but as the stakes grow higher, it’s nice to see Mr British Sensibility get shaken up and blowing an emotional gasket.
The shocks don’t stop coming for Crane when after the Horseman escapes he and Mills are sent to investigate a woman’s disappearance at a haunted house with a connection to both Crane’s and Mill’s ancestors, and it also reveals that Katrina had kept the birth of a son secret from him, all whilst they’re being attacked by a creepy scarecrow demon monster. That’s a lot of crazy stuff to cram into one 40ish minute episode titled “Santuary” but the principle writing team of Damian Kindler and Chitra Elizabeth Sampath manage to secure this as one of the eeriest episodes in the season. One of the reasons why this episode stands out so much is how the creep factor gets turned up a few notches courtesy of some tricky camera angles, confined spaces and basic lighting using only torches or flares to enhance the dark and light we see onscreen. It’ll make you get a bit jumpy in your seat for sure.
Thankfully though it’s not all doom and gloom and awful horrible things happening constantly. One of the other highlights of this show is watching the development of awkward out-of-place-and-time Ichabod Crane adjusting to his new circumstances of being in the 21st Century. Seeing him scoff over buying bottled water, or accidentally stumble across internet porn chat sites help to lift the mood. Watching Mills teach him how to fist bump or him demanding to be given a smart phone since he finds flip-phones “an antiquated piece of rubbish” and “obsolete”, It’s nice to see that the writers can throw in a few jokes but not at the expense of making our man look like a fool, but by showing that he’s learning to settle in and doing it fast. This is all solidified by the on-screen chemistry between our two leads Nicole Beharie’s Mills and Tom Mison’s Crane. The bond these two share is palpable and relatable, they’ve both had so many negative and awful things happen to them not just since pairing up as a team but in their lives that you just want to see these two survive each battle and come out on top.
Without spoiling too much, since I really do love this show and want as many people as possible to watch it. The last three episodes, “Vessel”, “The Indispensable Man” and “Bad Blood” are particularly nail biting and an absolute rollercoaster. The last two episodes were screened in America back-to-back as a 2 hour season finale, whilst in Australia we were tortured by Eleven and made to wait an entire week to get the final episode (“Bad Blood”) aired on our screens on 3 February 2014. There are so many plot twists and complete scene-stealing head turning WTF moments that you’ll need to catch your breath, all before being left atop an enormous cliffhanger at the very end. Thankfully its American host network Fox has already renewed Sleepy Hollow for a second season, which will be landing on American screens in September sometime. Now those of us in Australia have to wait with baited breath to see when Eleven or Channel Ten decide to put it to air.
I rate this collective bunch of episodes: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Sleepy Hollow was screened in Australia on Channel Ten and Eleven.