I watch a lot of TV. Not as much as other people, I know, but I watch a lot. When I was a kid, television broadcast seasons used to run about 26 -32 weeks, and re-runs filled my summers. Then along came the Fox network, with their first-run programs (The Simpsons was one of their first prime-time series) while everyone else still did the re-runs. Now, there are seasonal arcs of anywhere from 6-8 weeks, and re-runs for the same before a new season starts up.
Nowadays, there are more shows to keep track of. I recapped the first seasons of The Librarians and iZombie, both of which have scored a second season. During the hiatus for those shows, I’ve been catching up on other things.
One of the shows I’ve been watching is Sleepy Hollow. I watched the first run of season 1 on TV when it was originally broadcast, and I just got done re-watching it and binging season 2 online. The first season really caught my interest. The basic premise was the resurrection of Ichabod Crane via a spell cast by his wife Katrina (neé van Tassle). Katrina was cursed by the demon Moloch to roam Pergatory forever. Crane meets Lieutenant Abby Mills of the Sleepy Hollow Police Department, and together they set out to stop the coming apocolypse set in motion by Moloch.
Moloch was trying to raise the Four Horseman to lead his apocolyptic army of demons. The first to be risen was Katrina’s former suitor, Abraham van Brunt as Death. His mount, the demon horse Conquest, is Pestilence. Crane’s son Jeremy, thought to be dead, had been living as Henry Parrish. Known as the Sin Eater, he enters the story under the guise of providing assistance to Crane and Abbie.
In the course of the storyline, Abbie’s boss – Chief Frank Irving – gets caught up in their battle. By the end the season, we know that Henry had been serving Moloch as the third Horseman – War. When it was renewed for a second season, I was excited to see where they were going to take the story. Season two focused a little more on Katrina’s backstory, and took on a general theme of witchcraft – the Salem witch hunts, and development of Katrina’s power – which is entwined with more of Henry’s story. Both are anchored to Moloch.
Chief Irving gets further ensnared in all the creepy things going on, and ends up institutionalized. Moloch threatens Irving’s family, and ultimately ends up with Irving’s soul through trickery. When he realizes what has happened, Irving tries to make the best of it by sacrificing himself. Of course, since Moloch owns his soul, he is brought back as a demon.
Sadly, as season two went on, I became rather disappointed with the story. It brought a reunion of the whole Crane family, and the realization of who Jeremy had become. We saw Henry lure Katrina to his side with the promise of dark power – power that should have been hers all along, if she would just take his hand and embrace it. In the end, good triumphed over evil and Katrina was killed.
When Irving killed Moloch, the demons no longer had a master. In a plot twist, Henry and Irving form an alliance – with Henry assuming the station of Master. The fourth Horseman, Famine, is never brought to the story. Throughout both of these seasons, other characters from histroy are brought in – Benjamin Franklin, for instance, and Thomas Jefferson. We also saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Michelle Trachtenberg as Abigail Adams.
In one episode, Abbie and her sister Jenny fight evil with the help of her mother’s ghost (there’s the “Power of Three” connection for all you Charmed fans) and they get some of their questions about their life answered. They realize that their mother didn’t give up on them – that she wanted to make them safe. Abbie and Jenny’s mother was institutionalized because she had “hallucinations” – she saw things and heard voices.
We find out that the nature of these “hallucinations” were visons – Abbie’s mom was descended from a known witch, and strong witchcraft ran in their family line. So basically the modern day equivalent of a witch hunt took the girls away from their mother. When Jenny went looking for answers about her mother and what happened to her in the mental hospital, she got herself institutionalized as well because she too was having “hallucinations.”
I know I left out a lot of detail. Most of what I left out only matters for character development, not for story structure. Season 1 was really good, and I highly recommend watching it to get all the details and nuance – and yes, even atmosphere. It had lots of ATMOSPHERE!!! And it will get you excited for season two.
Sleepy Hollow has been renewed for a third season, and show runners have said that they plan to get back to the roots of the show’s premise – presumably, the whole Ichabod Crane saves the world from the Apocolypse thing. New characters are being added, and a character is coming back. Zach Appelman will reprise his role as Joe Corbin – the son of Abbie’s mentor, Police Chief August Corbin, who died investigating strange occult events in Sleepy Hollow. Joining the cast are: Lance Gross (Crisis) as Abbie’s new boss Daniel Reynolds, Nikki Reed (Twilight Saga movies) will be added as Betsy Ross, and Shannon Sossamon (A Knight’s Tale, Wayward Pines) will be the mysterious Pandora.
I’m taking a wait and see approach to this – I am not sure that I will watch season 3 beyond the season premiere. I think that season 2 went so far off the rails of the storyline that it’s going to be difficult to get it back on track.
Sleepy Hollow returns on October 1st. iZombie returns on October 6th, but there’s no confirmed date for The Librarians yet – although they are currently filming.