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Sleepy Hollow S01E02: Blood Moon


Well, there you have it. The second episode of Sleepy Hollow. Did it pass the test? Did it live up to last week's insane pilot? In many ways, I'd say that it was a pretty good second outing for the series. 

"Blood Moon" jumped right in after a very brief recounting of what transpired last week. It was more focused and less jam-packed than the premiere, which had a lot to do and a relatively short amount of time to do it. The centralized stand-alone story that fits like a puzzle piece into the larger season-long arc is probably what future episodes of Sleepy Hollow will be like. It's similar to Supernatural and other genres shows in that way, and that's definitely not a bad thing. If it risks becoming too serialized, it could lose viewers who fall behind, or it could keep new viewers from jumping in mid-way through. If it becomes too much of a procedural, where Abbie and Ike (Ichabod is a horribly annoying name to type) run around Sleepy Hollow solving random crimes with no larger purpose, the series risks losing viewers who want character development and serialized storytelling rather than just filler plot.

This episode proved that the series can do a mixture of the two and still remain highly entertaining, even if a bit ridiculous. The opening scene in which Ike was being chased by the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse was clearly a dream, made even more obvious by Katrina's presence, as she's trapped in the world between worlds. But it was also the only time we saw Steve (the Horseman) in this hour. As Ike was quick to tell us, once he trotted away on his horse at the end of the premiere, Steve has been MIA. Which answers the question of how the series would tackle cases of the week, Steve's presence, and the secret history of the United States every week, and the answer was simply: it's not going to.

The case of the week, as provided by Katrina, was to track down and destroy the remains of a witch who was burned at the stake before she could return and set off a chain reaction of evil. Or something. But before Abbie and Ike could do that, that scary demon thing that scared the bejusus out of all of us, brought Evil John Cho back to life! And gave us a scene even worse than the neck snapping scene from last week!

    

While I'm glad they didn't actually kill Evil John Cho off in the premiere (what a waste of talent that would have been), HOLY SHIT. WHAT. THE. CRAP. IS. THAT. So far this series has really found a way to balance the humor and the horror aspects, and for that I am grateful. But man, that scene was creepy.

So Evil John Cho was charged with finding the descendants of the men who were responsible for Witchy Woman's death in the first place, so she could use their ashes to return to her own body. Which was kind of cool with me, because the burned carcass she was walking around in was half the First Slayer and half Clara's charred remains from Season 7 of Doctor Who, and it was 100 percent not attractive. It's unclear to me how no one in town noticed that A) Evil John Cho's body was missing from the morgue, B) Evil John Cho was just strolling the streets of Sleepy Hollow, and C) Evil John Cho had stolen a police car and was using it for his own personal use. But you know, whatever. I guess Abbie's the only cop who works in Sleepy Hollow.

After Abbie and Ike recovered the Sheriff's secret files (and discovered—or remembered if you're Ike—the secret tunnel system below the streets of Sleepy Hollow), they made easy work of Witchy Woman by lighting her on fire (simple bullets did no good because Magick and Stuff). But Evil John Cho is still out there, and still doing the bidding of that creepy demon guy, so it's kind of like winning the race but finding out you accidentally signed up for the evil decathlon instead and now have to fight nine other supernatural battles.

Also returning this week despite having met the business end of Mr. Slashy (the Horseman's broad axe, of course), was Clancy Brown! Guess this show really is taking its cues from Supernatural, because no one's really staying all that dead. Okay, that's not really true. The Sheriff really is dead, but that didn't stop Abbie from chatting him up in his office, where he offered her this advice: "Don't be afraid of Number 49. That's where you'll find you're not alone." Number 49, of course, meant Room 49, the room in which Abbie's sister Jennifer Mills lives at the local nuthouse. And creepy demon guy is coming for her, which is most definitely not a good sign.

This episode was more streamlined and less batshit crazy than the premiere, but it still had the elements that made the pilot so damn appealing. The easy chemistry and banter between Abbie and Ike continued, Ike's confusion regarding modern technology (and outrage at the doughnut tax) was still funny, there was plenty of supernatural hijinks to go around, and some truly startling moments to keep us on our toes. If the show keeps up this pace, solving immediate threats to thwart the larger threat of the apocalypse while also building and diving deeper into the supernatural world, I can see it having a pretty good run. 


NOTES


— Decapitations this week: 0 ... Steve's on vacation. But one guy did die at the hands of Witchy Woman, so there was still a body count.

— Things that confused Ichabod this week: how electricity works, showers, hairdryers, the outrageous price and tax on doughnuts (we all feel this outrage, Ike), fluorescent lights, and guns being able to hold more than one round.

— I enjoyed seeing all the Post-Its in Ike's hotel room to tell him what everything was and how it worked. It looks oddly similar to my desk right now.

— So the Sheriff was like a father to Abbie, which explains a lot. I do hope Clancy Brown keeps popping up in the future as her sort of spirit guide, or something.

— For the record, Guy Who Burned Alive, I am sorry you died. But if you'd have watched Supernatural (or any horror/supernatural movie ever), you'd know that the first signs of trouble are always flickering lights and weird music being played out of your radio. Always. 

— "I will literally pay you to stop talking." 

— "Her remains ... remain a mystery." Nice one, Ichabod.

— "We burn her to the ground?" / "Oh, with great enthusiasm." 


thekaitling:list:sleepy-hollow-what-did-you-think-of-blood-moon/

 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 1/20/2014

Season 1 : Episode 13

Next Episode

AIRS ON 9/22/2014

Season 2 : Episode 1

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