Decapitations, flaming swords, Benjamin Franklin -- what's not to love?
Seriously, was this episode fun or what? It was like the season finale, but on steroids. And they didn't make the classic season-opener blunder, which is resolving all of the cliffhangers and returning to the status quo by the end of the episode. (I've always thought of that as "season premiere cheating".) Yes, Ichabod got himself out of his coffin and he rescued Abbie, and happily, Jenny is okay, but Katrina is still a captive. And there's no news whatsoever about Captain Frank Irving. Well, and the Apocalypse is still approaching, but we knew that.
Even though I knew it had to be a Jedi mind trick, the opening sequence was terrific. It felt just as it would have if Jenny and Katrina had died, and Ichabod and Abbie had experienced a year without them. The red, white and blue cupcake with the birthday wish, the hit on the Historical Society, the fact that Ichabod and Abbie had grown even closer, all felt genuine. I loved the detail that Henry had started a little greenhouse in his imaginary prison. It even related to his power over the vines and the hint of unreality when the plant on the desk at the Historical Society started spouting tendrils. Didn't Henry have a lot of plants in his apartment last season, too?
Benjamin Franklin has always been my favorite of the Founding Fathers since he was an eccentric and often shocking genius. (See how I got that pun in there?) Timothy Busfield from The West Wing was pretty much perfect casting, too. Of course, Ichabod was Franklin's apprentice, and I liked that they were sure to tell us that it was at Washington's behest, since Washington knew Ichabod was a Witness. The key scene, the air bath, the Hellfire Club, Franklin's alphabet, so much historical fun. Please tell me that we're getting more Benjamin Franklin flashbacks?
The upright reconstruction of the coffin around Ichabod at the end of the opening sequence was very well done, and very creepy. I'm so glad he wasn't in there for long. He was so cool and calm! How was he so calm? Of course, he's been buried alive and gotten out before.
I thought Ichabod would get out using Abbie's cell phone since it felt like a call-out to the Alias episode (as I mentioned in my review of last season's finale), but just like Sydney Bristow, he utilized it as a light source as he used evil against itself by blowing up the coffin with sulfur from the white tree roots. For some reason, I really enjoyed him striding down the road checking for cell phone service, getting that text from Jenny and looking up to see the very convenient sign for route 9. And stealing the ambulance, even though he couldn't drive. As I've said before and will probably say again, I love this guy.
I also liked that even though she was freaking about her sister, Jenny did what Ichabod asked her -- she stayed behind as back-up in case his rescue attempt failed. She also took out a Hession minion by throwing a scalpel. Jenny isn't just a badass. She is smart, and I like her. Yay that Lyndie Greenwood is now in the cast.
John Noble is now in the cast, too, and Henry is full on diabolical now, which he manages to pull off while wearing a cardigan. That bit with the forged armor and the flaming sword mimicking his movements was good writing since it means we're going to continue to see the Horseman of War as John Noble, not just as the animated armor. Did Henry try hard enough to get the Key? It didn't feel like it to me. Is there a part of him submerged under all that angry evil that really cares about Ichabod and Katrina?
The writers must have rethought showing the Horseman of Death without his head all the time, too. Was it Katrina's necklace (a gift chosen by Ichabod) that enabled her to see Abraham with his head on? The seductive sexy time implications of headless Abraham running around without his shirt (that was some visual) completely creeped me out. He's trying to seduce her. That is probably why he went for a simulated head, so that he could attempt some sweet nothings. Bleah.
I've always loved the idea of a mirror as a pathway between worlds, and the cavern in Purgatory with the very Supernatural "demon hologram" finally explained how Katrina was communicating with Ichabod and Abbie in season one, and how Henry can communicate with Moloch now. Note how they also gave us a mirror in the opening hallucination between Henry and our two Witnesses. Abbie showed courage and moxie sneaking into Moloch's chamber of pentagram badness to communicate with Ichabod. She also had the nerve to decapitate the fake Ichabod without a moment of hesitation. (Ichabod looked just a bit freaked at seeing his own decapitated body on the ground.) Very cool that we got the return of John Cho as the more appealing incarnation of Andy Brooks, who was again defying Moloch to help Abbie. Is Andy in Purgatory now, or is his demonic form still trapped and smushed in Washington's secret tomb?
I'm shipping Ichabbie big time, and the way they hugged each other not once but twice was so, so sweet. And they're still calling each other "Crane" and "Left-tenant". They're my favorite television couple. Loved the return of the fist bump.
Bits and pieces:
-- No credit sequence, and just when I was beginning to like it. Was that a saga sell by Tom Mison at the beginning, or was it just a catch-up for the season opener?
-- We got a glimpse of Benjamin Franklin in the previous season, but it wasn't Timothy Busfield and I don't recall any lines.
-- I keep mentioning Supernatural because Sleepy Hollow really could be taking place in the same universe. Along with the set dressing in Moloch's demon hologram cave, we got a very Supernatural rising from a shallow grave, and a massive arsenal in the trunk of Abbie's hatchback.
-- In this season's hair report, Ichabod's ponytail is neater and curlier, so I think Tom Mison got a new hairpiece. I prefer the old one. And they fixed John Noble's hair. Thank you.
Ichabod: "A surprise party. And why must your era celebrate terror with dessert?"
I find birthdays terrifying, myself. And I have a big one coming up next week.
Ichabod: "Well, then. I shall consider myself punk'd."
Abbie: "We are talking about Benjamin Franklin? The editor of the Declaration of Independence?"
Ichabod: "Blowhard, braggart, blatherskite and gasbag. He had an insatiable need to prove he was the sharpest intellect in the room."
Abbie: "I could see how that would be hard for you."
Henry: "These plants have no idea their sunlight isn't real, yet they bloom, nonetheless. A testament to the fact that anything can be tricked into believing a lie."
Again, Henry was hinting at the truth. Was it just to prove how clever he was, or did he want them to figure it out?
Ichabod: "Must learn to drive."
I wonder if Ichabod and Abbie's relationship would survive her teaching him how to drive?
Loved it. Four out of four red, white and blue cupcakes,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.
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