The trouble with the second episode of any new show is that it often acts as a secondary pilot. Since many viewers jump in on the second episode after buzz from the pilot, plot points are re-explained and main characters are re-introduced, making it monotonous for many viewers. With the existence of episode-on-demand services like Hulu and Netflix, second episodes should no longer be like this, but the old ways have set in. Sleepy Hollow is no exception.
The episode opens with a dream sequence, which I usually dislike, which does a lot to set up the premise of the show without sounding too repetitive. It shows us that a handsome guy in a pea coat, our protagonist Ichabod, running from a headless horseman. If you weren’t aware that was the concept of the show, you’re probably not paying attention. Then Ichabod’s dead wife and guide from the after life, Katrina, reminds him that he will safe a myriad of bad guys leading up to the apocalypse including a blood moon, army of evil, and the four horsemen of notoriety. The scene is not the only reminding the second episode does, but it’s the most blatant. And thank God for that.
The second episode of any show also usually sets a tone for the quality of the rest of the series. A pilot is done months before with much more time to write, direct, edit, and think about overall. Every episode afterwards only has a little over one week to totally complete. So, really the second episode is a better indication of quality than the pilot.
Sleepy Hollow’s second episode doesn’t improve upon the first, but isn’t any worse either. The show still has its fair share of laughs, especially at the expense of the time-displaced Ichabod, as well as more than a few scares. Humorous scenes like when Ichabod navigates his hotel room full of modern technology will no doubt be a cornerstone of the series. So far I’ve enjoyed every single joke about the differences in centuries, with no sign of ever tiring of it.
As far as scares go, the atmosphere is a little less eerie than the first episode. Still, moments like when John Cho was stumbling around with his neck hanging down his back gave me chills. (He didn’t getting decapitated as I thought last week. It may have been scarier to see him adjusting his detached head than getting glimpses of his neck flaps.)
I do worry about the Freak of the Week aspect of show. In “Blood Moon” a witch who was burned at the stake takes revenge on the ancestors of those who were responsible for her death. She uses the ashes of those ancestors to cast a resurrection spell for herself. However, it’s short lived as Ichabod and Abbie find a way to stop her within minutes of her resurrection, with a neat little bow on top. If every episode is going to be a new case with a new evil terrorizing Sleepy Hollow, I’m going to worry about the sanity of the townspeople. Why would they stay in town if headless horsemen and burnt up witches are running around killing people every week? I hope that towards the middle of the season they’ll have larger story arcs for the more involved viewers.
- Ichabod using modern things is going to genuinely be the best part of the show. Abbie, I assume, put post-its up to let him know what everything is, which was considerate to say the least. Also, he was nonchalantly watching a movie with a monkey riding a horse.
- A surveillance tape shows John Cho not getting his head chopped off by a scary demon, but rather him running into a mirror and it coming off that way. I know it’s a video tape and all but that is NOT how the human body works.
- “It’s a little early for constitutional debate. Have a donut hole.” “I don’t want a donut hole.” Not wanting donut holes is a sign of being from a time before donut holes.
- “It seems evil has found a new home… in Sleepy Hollow.” No more cheesy lines like this please.
- You know it’s a bad day when you not only wake up in a body bag, but also spit up a spooky necklace while talking to a creepy demon.
- Thoughts on the opening credits? They’re a bit too cheesy for my tastes.
- Ichabod’s meal cost over four dollars with 41 cents tax and he is livid!
- John Cho’s neck is a huge NO.
- “It wasn’t personal.” Well, thanks John Cho.
- Abbie on Clancy Brown “I got more fathering in those five minutes than in my whole life.” It’s too bad he died because that could have been a cute relationship to watch. I hope he continues to show up in ghost and flashback form.
- Ichabod was NOT amused by Abbie’s English accent.
- “No really, I don’t need any help. As long as you’re comfortable.” Undead John Cho is sassy.
- Ichabod dropping the gun after one shot because he thought it was empty was another good joke in a moment of tension.
- “If you’re going to haunt me, be helpful.” Abbie to Clancy Brown. FINALLY somebody says something useful to their ghosts.