Just a few nights ago we might have seen our last episode of the onetime very successful “Sleepy Hollow” television series. All of us fans are still waiting, holding our breaths, and hoping that there will be another season. I absolutely loved the first season, in all of its cleverness, ridiculousness, stupidity, and sheer sense of fun and creativity. Was it perfect? No far from it, but it was never dull and is just a fun time to watch. After that cliff hanger of an ending, where all our favorite character’s faiths were up in the air, I couldn’t wait for “Sleepy Hollow” to return. What came back was a sophomoric mixed bag of inconsistent episodes, rushed plotlines, and little to no sense of direction. “Sleepy Hollow’s” second season is still boasted by the incredible chemistry of our two lead actors; and while that same sense of fun and creativity is there this sloppy second season is inferior to its first. I hope for an only better third (if we are ever granted one from Fox).
(This Review Does Contain Spoilers From Season 1)
After learning the truth about their son, Ichabod and Katrina (along with Ichabod’s trusted partner Abbie) have been betrayed by Henry and revealed as the Horseman of War. Things look desperate for our heroes as it seems that Henry and the Horseman of Death are always one step ahead of them in their plans to release Moloch to bring about the apocalypse. Ichabod must also deal with his conflicting trust issues with Katrina as she tries to play both sides to bring Henry back to them and win the war.
Just hearing all of that makes this second season feel more epic and grand than its first. For awhile I thought to myself, they might be topping what they did in the first. The plot seemed more focused and every episode seemed to have much more of a direct relation to over arching narrative; less diversions, more straight forward and serialized. Things seemed at times despite for our heroes in an almost “Empire Strikes Back” sort of way. Nearly all of the flaws from the first season returned here but there seemed to be a more refined nature (even if the Katrina subplot began to get very tedious and annoying); which kept me coming back week after week.
The writers even brought in a new semi regular character to the show that fit right in, Nick Hawley played by Matt Barr. A more than welcomed addition to the show, Hawley is an Nathan Drake like character that steal priceless artifacts and sells them on the black market. Although at first he seems to be lacking in some moral fiber, he eventually settles in with the rest of our heroes. Plus as added benefit, the relationship that he and Ichabod have is a very fun and combative one.
(Spoilers For Season 2)
The trouble is once we get to the mid season finale, “The Akeda”, the season begins to run completely out of steam. Although at first glance this is a great episode, this actually contradicts the entire show. In the beginning of the series (back in the first season) they clearly establish that Moloch needs the four horseman to raise the apocalypse. This episode shows he only needs two, but doesn’t bother explaining why that very important detail has been changed. Plus Moloch is unceremoniously killed off in the most contrived way possible. The entire show’s premise is based off Moloch raising the apocalypse with Abbie and Ichabod fighting to stop it. The characters killing off Moloch would make for a rousing finale because that would conclude the story. Yet there is still seven more episodes after Moloch’s rushed demise.
After this the show seems to wander around searching for some sort of direction, but it never seems to find it. Nothing here feels like it’s adding to any overall story like the rest of the show did. Instead it just feels like tacked on episodes with ideas that could spread across maybe a season’s worth but then cut down to just 42 minutes instead. Orion could make a good new villain for the group after Moloch, but he sent away after one episode, his purpose? Not a clue! Episodes 12-16 all feel rather pointless. Although I rather liked “Pittura Infamante” it still feels like it was a throwaway episode; which perhaps wouldn’t haven’t bothered me so much if any of the other episodes around it were more relevant. Katrina turning evil? Now that could have taken up a full season and make for some really interesting drama for Ichabod. Here? Two episodes is all you get (so enjoy it while you can).
There are good episodes in this mix (mostly towards the first half of the season) and the two part finale is entertaining if not otherwise also a bit rushed. I did really enjoy the change of perspective with Abbie being sent back in time instead of Ichabod being sent forward in time. Still, the major thing that works is the relationship of Ichabod and Abbie. This is the reason I kept coming back for more, because the chemistry between actors Tom Mison and Nichole Beharie is irresistible (which in turn makes for a great and fun watch). Ichabod continues to be one of my personal favorite characters on TV right now. I only wish for Mison to get more work after the excellent job he does here with the show.
It’s not enough to save the whole season, but it is enough to save the show and make it worth going another season. Throughout there are some great moments but it’s too far and few in between. Hopefully this won’t be the last time we follow the adventures of Ichabod and Abbie; these characters deserve to go out on a higher note.