With a fan base up in arms over the direction of Sleepy Hollow’s second season, ratings for the show slipped to an all-time low of 1.3 in the 18-49 demographic. As season two’s first half came to a close, producers promised that the back half would be better. And fans responded as ratings moved up a bit–to 1.5–with last week’s episode. Might that indicate a move in the right direction?
The show’s creative team seems to be trying to redefine characters’ roles for the second half, allowing them to explore their respective journeys, and make changes that will affect their destinies by season’s end.
“Lost Paradise” gave fans hope as (happily) Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Abbie Mills) were front and center once again. Both are experiencing identity crises, wondering what the future holds if, in fact, their duties “Witnesses” (as foretold in the Bible) has come to an end. As they ponder a new reality, they are confronted by a new enemy, in the form of a Rebel Angel Orion (Max Brown, Tudors), an escapee from Purgatory. He is not only hell-bent on completely destroying this world, but also settling an old score with the Horseman of Death. While Ichabod and Abbie deal with this new threat, as well as argue over the possibility of restoring Abraham’s humanity, Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) and Hawley (Matt Barr) seem to be attempting to redefine their relationship: friends or lovers?
“Sleepyheads” have not been happy about the attempted love triangle between Abbie/Hawley/Jenny, with many cringing at the mere idea. Producers and writers heard their discontent, and responded, fixing the issue, and firmly placing Jenny and Hawley together. The move is a welcome one. The two characters work well together, and have chemistry. Although it appears Hawley may become a casualty of war at the end of the season, I’ve grown to really like the fly-by-the-seat of his pants vagabond.
Although Ichabod isn’t too fond of the armament dealer, the “bromance” between the 18th century traveler and 21st century modern man meshes well. Although I believe the addition of Hawley into the mix had initially side-lined Jenny, during these last few episodes I’ve enjoyed the character more and can see how he does fit into Team Witness. I think Ichabod could use a guy around to help clue him in about how modern men work, play, and get their girls!
The mid-season finale ends with the death of Frank Irving (Orlando Jones), cut down during a battle with Crane’s Horseman of War son. It caused a huge ripple across social media. The man without control over his soul picks up the Sword of Methuselah, with no holds barred, battles and defeats the Horseman of War’s avatar! Unfortunately all magic comes with a cost, and our hero is cut down in his prime by the same creature that had taken his soul!
The act of bravery had even produced a mock funeral staged in New York City, complete with fan eulogies, with the great Reverend Lamont (Orlando Jones) presiding over the ceremony. Thankfully by the end of “Lost Paradise” a barefoot, clearly confused Irving shows up in a convenience store not sure if he’s in Heaven or Hell!
Although the writers had been concerned about whether “Pittura Infamante,” they had nothing to worry about! Although some fans whined that Abbie should have been working the impromptu murder case with Ichabod, the vast majority embraced both episodes!
I loved the beginning of the episode as Abbie readies Ichabod for his big date with his estranged wife. It’s clear she’s not happy about it, once again pointing how Katrina has betrayed the team numerous times.
As the episode unfolds it becomes clear that Katrina misses her friends, and yearns for her life in the 18th century. Unlike Ichabod who has embraced his new, unfamiliar environment, soaking it all in, Katrina has resisted.
While Ichabod and Katrina unravel a murder mystery, Abbie and Jenny are working together trying to figure out where Irving stands. It was great seeing the Mills sisters front and center again. I love the sisterly bond and how they have each others’ backs.
The creep factor returns in the guise of an 18th Century serial killer who manages to find a way out of his prison within a painting, a punishment inflicted by Abigail Adams and Reverend Knapp (Patrick Gorman), who worked with Katrina’s Coven “The Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart.” After watching this episode, let’s just say I won’t ever look at paintings the same again!
“Kali Yuga”, though a Hawley-centric installment, doesn’t feel that way as Team Witness immediately becomes involved in the plot, and Ichabod and Abbie finally discuss their rift of the past few weeks.
The two hash it out while stuck in a vault, each apologizing for their respective missteps. I loved this moment and it was a long time coming. That scene is very interesting because neither really looks at each other during most of the conversation. There is a bit of awkwardness and strain in the air, especially when Ichabod reveals he’s found the charm Orion had given Abbie. Both realize they’d found it easier to act independently than to communicate with each other.
In the end, they get back on the same page in time for the priceless Star Wars garbage compactor moment, in which Ichabod’s deductions about how to open the vault are so wrong! The room begins to close in, prompting Abbie to reference the famous scene from the movie. “What did Star Wars do?” Ichabod frantically asks. “They had a robot!” Abbie returns panicked. Where’s R2D2 when you need him? Have no fear, they quickly get their their rhythm back and Ichabod saves the day, getting the vault to open just in the nick of time!
As they continue to dance around their feelings for each other, I think deep down both of them are aware that the rift between them has something to do with that unspoken elephant in the room!
I can barely put into words how much I loved the Karaoke scenes, as Ichabod’s admiration for his “Lieutenant” shows all over his face. Same for Abbie, as she watches Ichabod’s first try as a singer. I loved the sisterly conversation between Abbie and Jenny about Ichabod and Hawley; it brought me back to season one, reminding me of the moment they’d finally reconciled.
In a new interview with TV Guide, Tom Mison spoke of what’s coming and finally confirms Ichabod has feelings for “Lieutenant.” “It’s all about Abbie. He is completely in love with her.”
Twitter nearly broke with that bit of news, and the Sleepyhead fandom rejoiced! It’s something we’ve all known since season one, and it is something that many within the fandom have been screaming for! But, I think that Ichabod is such an honorable man, he’s trying to fix his marriage with Katrina. However how can he be, knowing the trust between them is shattered? Katrina’s constant undermining has been one cause of the conflict between Ichabod and Abbie, and I think Ichabod is aware it.
In my Blogcritics interview with Tom, the actor teased that fans need to brace themselves! There will be no cliffhanger, however the end is shocking and changes everything! I predict Ichabod will have to make a choice between Abbie and Katrina. We’ll see if I’m right!
Irving’s return wasn’t welcomed with open arms where Abbie and Ichabod were concerned, worried that he still has ties to the Horseman of War, aka Henry (John Noble). It appears our Captain is back in action with control over his own soul according to Katrina’s assessment. Question is, can we trust anything she says? I say a resounding no! After consulting with Katrina, Irving’s reflection is gone! What does it mean? Stay tuned…
So what’s next? (Spoiler Alert)
The much anticipated “Spellcaster” airs Monday, February 2. Johnathan Schaech guest stars as Solomon Kent, the man who started the Salem Witch Trials. Katia Winter plays her grandmother Helena Van Tassel who becomes Kent’s victim, accusing her of being a witch after making a gruesome discovery. The episode was written by Albert Kim (who also wrote fan favorite “Heartless”).
Schaech’s performance is stellar, and definitely brings the character’s dark side to life with his obsession over a woman, observing her from afar. Though Kent’s feelings are lost on the unsuspecting woman, Katrina’s grandmother Helena can see things may unravel from a mile away!
This episode is a major turning point for several characters, after Kent shows up in the 21st Century in search of a black magic Grimoire, which contains an incantation he is desperate to use. We see much more magic, something for which fans have clamored, and there is a plausible explanation as to why Katrina, who is supposed to be so powerful, hasn’t been! Katrina’s magic is anchored in nature, whereas other Wiccans channel their magic via fire, water or wind. During a showdown with Kent, he suggests that the reason her powers are so weak is because she is stifling her true abilities and darkness within her! Although she initially seems unnerved by this, she is curious.
One thing I’ve wondered about since the start is why we haven’t we seen this powerful witch using magic to her full ability? Could it be that her stint in Purgatory for 200 years has affected her abilities somehow, altering her magic and anchoring it in the world of dark magic? Does the amulet that had been enchanted by Henry and given her by Abraham (Neil Jackson) have something to do with it? All I will say, is that it appears a path to the dark side of the force is imminent! A development I am very excited about.
Those who know me are aware I’ve always felt something’s up with Katrina from day one. I feel this is a much-needed new direction for the character, who at this point, has been put through the ringer on social media. I think it will reinvigorate Katrina, and allow Katia to show us her acting chops as a villain.
So where is Henry (aka) Horseman of War? Is he still the Horseman of War or was he destroyed upon killing “daddy” Moloch? His parents believe he’s dead and have been mourning the loss of their diabolical son (well mostly Katrina has). According to my interview with Tom Mison, Henry has had time to regroup and will be out for blood! We’ll see a little bit of Henry in “Spellcaster”.
As producers promised, we’ve seen changes upon its return from winter break which fans have embraced. The new direction of the series, though it may affect the underlying theme that fans fell in love with, I believe can work. I think as long as the show continues to anchor stories in American history dating back to Ichabod’s era, there are many stories to tell, legends, and lore to draw from. The series has had growing pains, no doubt, but the network and all those involved in the production cared enough to make changes to our beloved show. So far the second half of the season is charging full speed ahead, regaining the magic formula we all missed from season one and I have every confidence season three is coming!
Give Sleepy Hollow another chance and tune in Monday, February 2 at 9 pm on FOX! You won’t be disappointed!
Help ensure season happens! Use #RenewSleepyHollow while tweeting and every Monday during both Gotham and Sleepy Hollow. Then let’s keep Sleepy Hollow front and center with advertisers to ensure they buy commercial time during the show. In or near New York City? Join fans for the season two finale party at the Stone Creek Bar & Grill, on February 23 at 8pm.
Don’t miss Sleepy Hollow Addicts, Thursday February 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET for the fans thoughts on “Spellcaster,” as well as the latest news in the ‘World of Sleepy Hollow‘.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00KC57IWG][amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00F91EQY6][amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00O4CTS6M]