A Sleepy Hollow Community
Monday 9:00 PM on FOX (Returning Fall 2015)
Debuting this week is Sleepy Hollow's pilot episode. Of all the dramas debuting this year, I think I am correct in saying that this is the show with the potentially highest ceiling and lowest low. In other words every other new drama is fairly safe with a very clear premise that we have seen in some form before. Sleepy Hollow on the other hand has been very murky on what exactly this show is going to be about. With that being said, I have been on board with checking this show out from day one. So let's get started.
Starting off with a flashback we are introduced to our first hero Ichabod Crane fighting in the midst of a battle in the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately he comes to a bloody end due to the battle prowess of this fellow:

However, Ichabod was able to match the Horseman's blow before he "died?/coma-d" and sliced off the Horseman's head.

We then cut forward into time to present day Sleepy Hollow where Ichabod rises from his grave and then wanders out into the woods and eventually into traffic.

After Ichabod gets hit by a car, he spots a hawk of some kind sitting on a road sign - and he makes the immediate correct conclusion:

And then makes the immediate correct call, leading me to have high hopes for him:

But, on a more serious note - I very much appreciated not having a 5 minute montage of Ichabod wandering the forest and making the long slow painful discovery that he was in a different time zone. Also how AMAZING was the pullback to the Sleepy Hollow shot with "Sympathy for the Devil" playing, and I thought it was pure gold before I even found out what the actual title of the song was.
We were then introduced to the heroine of our series Abbie. She was hanging out with her Sheriff partner in a diner. I think there was some back story that we may have missed regarding their relationship that got cut later in the episode, but there was definitely a mentor-mentee kind of thing going on here. For the first time in television history a cop was actually being hassled about joining the FBI.
Anyway, this pair of partners was sent out to investigate a disturbance on a farm, where they ran into the Horseman - who immediately killed the Sheriff - leading to my first worry about the Horseman as a bad guy. Immortal villains are kind of difficult to work with storywise and believability wise in a week to week scenario in terms of him not just killing everyone easily because they can't do anything effective to stop him, but I will give Sleepy Hollow the benefit of the doubt for now.
Abbie spotted the Horseman as he made his escape and from a distance of 50 feet in a pitch black storm was able to make out a distinctive brand on the Horseman's hand.

On the other end of the believability spectrum was the completely accurate reaction I would expect from someone in Ichabod's position. He was freaking the F out. Thank you Sleepy Hollow for making this part of the experience real.

We then spent a goodly amount of time in the police station where Abbie was brought in to identify the Sheriff's killer as Ichabod. Once she denied that Ichabod killed the Sheriff, she began describing the Horseman and Ichabod chimed in that he knew the man as well and that he had chopped off his head.

The show then spent a decent amount of time establishing that there is going to be a good amount of humor in addition to storyline courtesy of Tom Mison. The police department hooked up Ichabod to a lie detector and began interrogating him about his past and the Horseman. This involved the as expected disbelief from the police department and Ichabod's unpleasant surprise at being in the 21st century. This is what I imagine Ichabod was thinking when he saw the dollar bill for his buddy General Washington.
Anyway, it filled us in on a little more backstory (after Ichabod's run in with the Horseman he went to the medic tent) and gave us some more Tom Mison banter. Knowing that something weird was up with Ichabod and the whole situation Abbie managed to get the Captain to allow her to transfer Ichabod to the mental hospital. This allowed us to establish some witty banter scenarios between Ichabod and Abbie.
It also allowed Abbie to take Ichabod to his gravesite to show her proof that he wasn't crazy. Once in the tomb our heroic duo discovered a bible. Ichabod revealed that Washington had tasked him with specifically finding the Horseman and killing him as part of a bigger unknown plan on which the fate of the world rested. Ichabod extrapolated that the Horseman was one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and more specifically Death. This really rattled Abbie's chains - which will be a joke in just a minute (foreshadowing).
We then cut to a priest who had earlier been giving both Ichabod and Abbie side eye in two different scenes. He was intending to dig something up before the Horseman arrived. The priest, was not the feeble old man he appeared to be:

Unfortunately the priest's magic was not strong enough and the Horseman dispatched him with ease. Abbie and Ichabod arrived on the scene of the crime later as it was crawling with other cops leading Abbie to lock Ichabod in the car:

The hawk from earlier in the episode then arrived on the hood of Abbie's car and Ichabod decided to follow it (not sure how he got out). The Captain spotted Ichabod wandering around and was not a happy camper. Abbie was in trouble once again. The hawk lead Ichabod to the grave of his wife, where I became really focused on one particular feature:

What the hell is a duft? Even Websters didn't know.

It turns out that Ichabod's wife, Katrina, was a witch. At this point Abbie and Ichabod got into it a little bit, as Ichabod began to get frustrated that Abbie still didn't believe in everything that was going on. She, in turn, took him to the mental hospital for the night where she revealed the hidden secret from her past. When she was in high school she and her sister were walking through the forest one day when they came upon a set of four, white, creepy as hell, trees:

At this point, she believed that she saw some "thing" and that was all she remembered. She and her sister woke up hours later on the side of a road. Her sister never truly recovered and neither does it seem did Abbie.
Abbie then did a little investigating into the Sheriff's office where she found the data dump of a life time:

The Sheriff has been investigating hundreds of murders and disappearances in the northeast that had not been solved or even looked into. He had even traced these same occurrences back to the 17 and 1800s. He believed that they were linked to the hidden presence of two covens (a good one and a bad one). He had even found an identical case to Abbie's blackout. He believed that the four trees represented the Four Horsemen and that the "thing" was a demon. Abbie snaked a map made by George Washington before slipping out.
Ichabod then had an incredibly vivid dream starting off with a mirror (creepy things - might be a long running idea as we'll see later):

It turns out that the Hawk was being controlled by Katrina and that she had been trying to aid Ichabod. When Ichabod and the Horseman fought against one another they became linked:

Using this link Katrina and the rest of her coven (the priest was a member) used a spell to put both men to sleep. Katrina and her coven hid the Horseman's head in her empty grave and buried his body in the river. According to Katrina, the "thing/demon" that Abbie saw when she was a child, is responsible for raising the Horseman and inadvertently Ichabod. He also has Katrina trapped in the dream/alternate reality where the trees exist which I took to mean that she is also still actually alive.....so

The thing/demon sense Ichabod was there and came after him, which led to Ichabod waking in a panic to a team in the mental hospital about to sedate him. However, Abbie put her foot down:

Abbie filled Ichabod in on what she had found in the Sheriff's office and Ichabod in turn filled her in on his dream and the location of the Horseman's head. According to Katrina they had to keep it away from the Horseman at all costs or he would regain all of his powers/strength. Also he had just one weakness - sunlight. One thing he also had:

The Horseman interrupted Abbie and Ichabod as they retrieved the Horseman's head and Abbie ineffectively (see what I mean about the immortality thing) shot the Horseman to save Ichabod. Then Abbie's night took a turn for the even worse as the guy (Brooks?) she called for backup turned out to be on the side of the Horseman. The Horseman then had a firefight with top two policemen in the world who should have their guns taken away as they almost shot Abbie and then did fire at Ichabod.

The Horseman was driven off by the sunlight. Now with two other policeman backing up her story, the Captain tentatively agreed that something was up and put Abbie in charge and ok'd the use of Ichabod. Abbie also put the kibosh on her future as an FBI agent to hang out with Ichabod and get to the bottom of this mess with Ichabod looking on approvingly. Ichabod then filled Abbie in on their purpose as Katrina put it - Ichabod is the First Witness and Ichabod believed that Abbie is the Second Witness, but they forget:

Anyway, Ichabod believes that for the next 7 years (fingers crossed) they will be linked together and battle the forces of evil to determine the outcome of Judgement Day. Even their ne'er do well cop buddy Brooks said that a war was coming. Unfortunately for Brooks he wouldn't be there to see it:

Ichabod and Abbie walked in right afterward and caught a glimpse of the demon thing in the mirror (see I told you).

This left us all with one question that Tom Mison pointedly asked in the final shot: Are you in?

YES, well YEs I'm about 80% in on this one everybody. I'm still super unsure what this show will be like as a week to week show, however this made way way more sense than the trailer did. Tom Mison and his witty banter will keep this show on it's toes a bit. A few of the other characters were a bit wooden, but I am on the crazy train for this one - and I will do my best to photo recap as many as I can. Here are some food for thought questions:
Is the demon controlling the Horseman or are they completely separate entities?
Will we see another Horseman this season?
What will this show look like from week to week?
Will they only operate in Sleepy Hollow?
Did the demon/thing make Abbie an evil "second witness" when he took her or maybe her sister?

Follow this Show