The Rundown: Another episode of Headless Horseman goodness, this time focusing on the connection between Ichabod and the deadly rider. It is purely expositional, but it’s some exposition that sheds light on why Ichabod experienced all the major events that he did, bringing in more secret societies, and tying back to the battle between the two witch covens.
Perhaps this show has finally hit its stride, two episodes about two different horsemen right after each other, it’s a nice change. This time, it’s right back to our headless friend, as Katrina has found out that he is set to return to Sleepy Hollow by nightfall. The catch is that since Ichabod and the Headless Horseman have tied their bloodlines together, destroying one will destroy the other. Katrina begs Abbie Mills to find the one who can separate the two, the Sin Eater.
In addition to the welcome return of Jenny Mills, this episode also features an awesome guest appearance by John Noble as the sin eater himself. We also get some insight into Ichabod’s past and his defection from the British army to the Colonists. This offers some great insight into his motivations, and gives some context for how long the war he finds himself in has been fought.
The weakest part of this episode is Abbie Mills, and I am curious how this show will hold up over time when one of its leads is simply so bland. She delivers her emotional revelations, and all revelations for that matter, in a near monotone, with almost no inflection. Her performance is unconvincing, and her character motivations never seem more complex than the words “hero complex,” or “hard-nosed cop.” Ichabod has some charisma on screen, and the fact that his whole concept is very outlandish helps give his character more interest. Whereas the adversity she faced in her past has shaped and made Jenny grow, all it gave Abbie was some minor guilt — which she seems to get over as soon as she starts hanging out with her angsty younger sister.
I love Ichabod’s backstory, as it shows that he wasn’t just dealing with historical threats back in colonial times, but demonic ones as well. It shows that he was always a part of the war, and gives the show the “predestined hero with an inescapable fate” thing that the writers seem to be aiming for with the “Witnesses from Revelations” angle. While the show is, in essence, a MotW experience, I think it will live or die with how well it incorporates each week’s plot into the overarching storyline it has set up for itself. The more it deviates, the less interest it holds.
The climax of the episode is especially powerful, and really cements Ichabod’s place as a good guy. He stood up for democracy, he’s adjusting to a new time, and hey, throw in some self-sacrifice and you have Superman without the powers. They also throw in some vague hints at future dangers, and a teaser that has me hooked. For two episodes in a row now, Sleepy Hollow has kept me excited; I’m interested to see if they can keep it up.