Sep 22 2014

Sleepy Hollow – “This Is War” Review. Loop Holes and Illusions.


Sleepy Hollow S2 Key Art (featured)Season 2, Season Premiere

Air Date: Monday, September 22, 2014 at 9/8c on Fox



“…testament to the fact that anything can be tricked into believing a lie.” — Henry Parish


Explosive and mesmerizing! Sleepy Hollow gallops back onto our television screens in full force in “This Is War.” Last we saw, our lovable, yet overdressed Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) was buried in a wooden crate at the hands of his long lost son Henry Parish (John Noble). Abbie (Nicole Beharie) was trapped in Purgatory, and her sister Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) was left for dead in the middle of the road. Meanwhile, Katrina (Katia Winter), Ichabod’s beloved wife, and witch, was taken by the Headless Horseman (Jeremey Owens). As we dive into “This Is War,” something strange happens. One minute Ichabod’s under a mound of dirt, trapped by roots in a box, and the next, he’s blowing out a birthday candle on a cupcake held by Abbie. As I continued to watch, I shook my head a few times, not sure if what I was seeing is real.

Consecrated rounds and Kali's arrows - these two have powerful new weapons to fight the Headless Horseman...but is this real?

Consecrated rounds and Kali’s arrows – these two have powerful new weapons to fight the Headless Horseman…but is this real?

Illusions bring us to the heart of “This Is War.” There is a key (isn’t there always a key?) that can unlock Purgatory. But this isn’t just any key; it is the very same key one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin (guest star Timothy Busfield), used in his infamous kite flying experiment. And our favorite 250-year-old Brit was his lowly apprentice. “So, his experiments had nothing to do with electricity?” Abbie seems to find history a bit more fascinating and annoying with Ichabod telling his tales.

Ben Franklin wanted to destroy the key, not discover electricity. It’s these little nuances and the writers’ use of historical events, twisting them to fit this version of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow that make Fox’s Sleepy Hollow so much fun to watch. I love US history and “This Is War” reminds me a bit of the first National Treasure movie in the sense that Ichabod and Jenny are looking for the key. While the humor is dark and subtle, it balances out the doom and gloom of the pending apocalypse Moloch (Luke Smith) wants to rain down on Earth. As he rides his horse in Purgatory, he is a frightening sight to behold. My hat’s off to the costume and makeup departments; Moloch is one scary looking…thing. Can you imagine what will happen if he succeeds in raising his “demon army?” I shudder to think.

Abbie isn’t alone in Purgatory. Our old buddy Andy (John Cho) is there, desperate to make amends. I adore Cho. He brings a certain zest to Sleepy Hollow I can’t quite put my finger on. We all know him to be the zany character in other roles he’s done, but Cho’s performance as the tormented Andy is brilliant. You see the anguish in his face regarding the choices Andy makes to serve Moloch. He also regrets betraying Abbie. Andy loves her, in his own twisted way. I would love to see more of Cho on Sleepy Hollow but I don’t think that will be the case. He’s taking ‘selfies’ on another network this fall.

Henry is a man on a mission and he's holding a grudge against his father like no other!

Henry is a man on a mission and he’s holding a grudge against his father like no other!

One more wonderful addition to Sleepy Hollow’s robust cast is John Noble. His portrayal of a woeful begotten son is nothing short of mesmerizing. Noble is a singularly gifted actor. He is an absolute stand out in this episode because of his unassuming presence. His baritone voice resonates with power and vitality. The way Noble delivers his character’s lines can be so chilling. “I am a sin eater; I can taste your lie.” I had goose bumps watching this scene as he extracts much needed information from Jenny. But Henry’s purpose becomes even more profound at the end of “This Is War.” Remember, he is the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse – he is the Horseman of War.

There is much ado about “This Is War,” and what you think you see in the beginning isn’t actually real. Ichabod and Abbie must stick together to battle the forces of evil for a reason. Ichabod and Abbie’s bond is stronger than it ever was and continues to grow stronger. Their friendship is tremendous and I’m sure it will play a major role in future battles against Moloch and his minions. Let’s hope they can find a way to save Katrina before it’s too late. Although she is giving the Headless Horseman, who happens to be her ex-fiancé Abraham, a run for his money, she’s no damsel in distress, that’s for sure.

I’m anxious if we will see more references to our dearly departed Sheriff August Corbin (Clancy Brown) who was fighting the good fight against evil before Ichabod came back to town. I want this aspect of Sleepy Hollow to become an integral part of the series. Corbin sent Jenny on a lot of missions over the years and finding Ben Franklin’s journal was just one of many.

What did you think of “This Is War?” Leave me a comment below and/or tweet me @judybopp.

Tune in to Sleepy Hollow Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.

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Photos ©2014 FOX Broadcasting Co. All Rights Reserved.


© 2014, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.

Judy Manning

Dream chaser extraordinaire! Judy is a tad sarcastic and kind of goofy! She is an avid admirer of all things supernatural, paranormal, and mystical. She finally came around to zombies, but NO clowns...she loathes clowns. She loves to read, write, and watches way too much TV. She enjoys many genres of film and music of the Trance/Electronica variety (and let's be honest, most music from the 80s). She also has a wicked sweet tooth. Cupcakes beware.

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