Sleepy Hollow Series Premiere: So Many Head Puns, So Little Time
by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)
Critics that were given an early look at Sleepy Hollow reviewed it as one of the best new shows of the season. If the pilot was any indication as to where the series will be going, they were right. Though there was a lot of time given for exposition, that is to be anticipated from any brand new show. The action started right off the bat and set the tone for a whirlwind first episode.
This new Sleepy Hollow adaptation is loosely based on Washington Irving’s short story and as such, will likely not follow the plot exactly. In this version, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) is a former school headmaster who then becomes a soldier fighting for George Washington’s forces in the Revolutionary War. The show opens with him in combat with an especially large and intimidating masked man whom he then beheads, but is mortally wounded in the process.
Cut to 2013, where Ichabod awakes from his tomb and promptly almost gets run over by a car.
And whaddya know but the Headless Horseman Ichabod thought he killed in battle is up and riding his horse around town, too, and on a killing rampage.
Detective Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) encounters the Horseman when he decapitates her partner, but is hesitant to tell her superior officers the truth because 1.) she would sounds crazy and 2.) a frightening event from childhood caused a lot of trauma for her and her sister, which we will assuredly be learning more about later on in the series.
Ichabod is picked up as a suspect in the murder, which leads to humorous exchanges about Starbucks being on every corner and Abbie being liberated from slavery (though humorous isn’t the right word regarding slavery), but the two bond after she takes him back to his cave gravesite and he discovers a Bible that was buried with him. A passage in Revelation is bookmarked, which becomes a running theme through the rest of the episode as it is determined the Headless Horseman may be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Abbie and Ichabod team up to ensure the Horseman doesn’t get his head back, as that would surely bring about destruction, though her captain (Orlando Jones) and coworker Andy (John Cho) disagree with that plan.
In fact, sinister forces are at work and have apparently brainwashed Andy, though he, along with a number of others, are beheaded before the show’s end. Two of those victims are Abbie’s partner, as previously mentioned, who just may have been corrupt, and a seemingly immortal priest. No doubt those characters’ histories will be further explored later and should be fascinating to learn about.
A romance between Ichabod and Abbie will also likely be explored, as they have great chemistry, though will Ichabod’s long-dead wife whom he sees in visions throw a wrench in those plans?
The show doesn’t take itself too seriously – enough to still keep it fun, but creepy enough to make it campy. If the writers and creators play their cards right, they just may have a hit on their hands.
Did you lose your head over the premiere of Sleepy Hollow? (Sorry, I couldn’t get through this recap without making at least one pun!)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars