Previously on Sleepy Hollow
Headless Horseman is taking his nightly ride through the Sleepy Hollow woods, but is stopped midgallop by some wicked lightning and mysteriousbutobviouslyevil lady. This evil lady has no intention of letting HH go around her; with a few words of a song, she evaporates HH into a foul, dusty mist and traps it in a box.
She speaks some menacing gibberish over the box (in fairness, it was probably a spell), and as she opens it a red, gooey form rises. The woods of Sleepy Hollow is still chock full o’ evil. Never change, SH.
It’s been 9 months since Abbie and Ichabod tried to save the world. Abbie is now a Special Agent for the FBI, and Crane… Crane is in the local pen. He’s only been there for a few days, but finally breaks down to call his longlost partner to bail him out. Since he has to give her something of an explanation, he talks about spending those months alone and healing and trying to find his new path and also he has Katrina’s old necklace and last night it broke and that means bad shit is about to rehit the fan. Oh, and the smuggling of undeclared antiquities. You know, run of the mill excuses.
In his soul searching, Crane found his own grave (creepy) and then broke into it (creepier). He found a hidden Sumerian engraved template, which he translated as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It’s the story of Ichabbie and their work as witnesses. Possibly. He hasn’t finished the translation yet, so it could be the story of their matching haircuts and impending deaths, for all we know.
Abbie is all fancy FBI now, but she’s not scared to go back to her roots and take the local calls. Someone found the dead yokels in a cabin in the woods – the ones who got in an argument earlier about Sally and her solid reputation, then got mauled to death by Zuul’s slimy red cousin.
Blood and body parts are everywhere, but there’s also some other weird red non-blood fluid that can’t be placed. Seems mysterious until Crane finds the biggest paw print ever in the mud by the well, which eclipses the notblood.
He sets the print on fire with his Dragon’s Breath powder and confirms that EVIL HAS RETURNED TO SLEEPY HOLLOW. That’s not hyperbole. It’s a direct quote.
Seriously, 9 months and Abbie is a Special Agent and has her own office?!? Crane is duly impressed but is still trying to convince her that she has a bigger, moresupernaturalless FBI job to do. When they learn the yokels had elevated levels of fear in their system, they head straight for the archives to research. It’s just like old times, or it could be if Abbie hadn’t moved most of the handy research material out of the archives before its impending demolition. Jenny shows up to greet Crane and makes lame excuses for where the Cap’n is (gone) and why (danger to his family). No one thinks to ask about poor Nick Henley. (We know his name is Hawley, but we call him Henley because it’s the only kind of shirt he wore.)
The fear that was in the yokels’ blood? Pandora is collecting it; fear is powerful and, when mixed with water, can be used to feed tree saplings.
The heroes don’t know anything about Pandora yet, but they have figured out that Zuul’s cousin is a Yaoguai, a demon who can paralyze victims with fear. It’s also a servant, which means someone has summoned it. Queue one authentic Crane historical flashback: Washington sent a secret note to Franklin on how to beat the red devil (this time not a euphemism for the British!) via super soldier/ Van Helsing extra/general badass Betsy Ross. Crane never found out what the note said, but since Sleepy Hollow is rife with historical artifacts, he and Abbie head to Colonial Medieval Times, where Jenny has located it.
An FBI badge will get your friends out of prison and all the visual access you want to restaurant decor, but that’s as far as it goes; Abbie has to literally steal the secret note away so that Crane can decipher it at the archives. Luckily Jenny is there to help out, and the two figure out that the Yaoguai demon is attracted by aggression and gunpowder. Uh oh, Abbie just left for a drug bust, which is practically made of aggression and gunpowder!
As she and her SWAT team close in on their mark, the Yaoguai leaps from roof to roof above them, but in an encounter inside the dark warehouse it slashes her boss’ throat and escapes before she can kill it. This will be the moment Abbie realizes she can’t forsake her supernatural calling for a normal life.
The drug lord who escaped is now holding hostages and will only deal with Abbie. She has to go save innocent lives, leaving Crane and Jenny to follow with a plan and with weapons. She distracts the Drug Lord with a speech about stopping the monsters (but only the supernatural ones, not the flesh and blood crimering running ones in her own town) while the hostages make a hasty exit and also while the B Team is outside trying to make the demon appear.
The best plan they could come up with is “Crane distracts, Jenny shoots”, which unfortunately leaves a little out in the way of details. The plan goes to shit and the demon chases after Jenny, and Crane falls out of a window or something. Just as the demon is about to take out Jenny’s jugular, Abbie waltzes through the door and hits it with a bullet from 30 yards away.
Abbie got Crane’s ancestral tablet back by pulling some more of those FBI strings, but the tablet is actually two piecesa piece swivels out of the back to reveal an artistic rendering of the Witnesses and a single word: Destroyers . Abbie still doesn’t think it’s a prophecy, but agrees their work isn’t complete and also that they have loads of questions with no answers. She bumps into Pandora, who is “new to town” and likes to make cryptic references to her box while her eyes flashsounds like she’ll fit right in to SH.
The good and the bad:
Brand new intro! I’m not gonna lie, when I saw Katrina’s silhouette at the opening I rolled my eyes, but that just may be a reflex to her character. I’m digging the new scenery and the creepy factor.
Haircuts all around. Months and continents apart, Ichabod and Abbie are still channelling their inner hair twinsies. Even the FBI squint with the bloodwork got in on the long wavy bob action.
Shannyn Sossamon made one hell of an introduction. I think she’s going to go the full season as their main opposition, and it’s going to be fantastic – more subtle than Headless, and more interesting than Katrina. There’s something indefinable about her that makes her work both as a period actor and as an evil villain.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Nikki Reed, who will now officially be christened Katrina 2.
The chemistry between Abbie and Crane was a little off until the end of the episode, understandably so. Crane in general felt a little lost and a little sad, but watching him ramp up to a Colonial Times rant felt like the good old days, and I’m hopeful it’s a sign of the great rants in his future.
The special effects of the Yaoguai’s face were great, maybe even on par with season one. But that must have been the whole effects budget for the episode, because the latex red Yaoguai bodysuit could have been a castoff costume from Signs.