Sleepy Hollow – Episode 1 – Recap – Pilot
Okay, so here we are! The inaugural post of my fall TV season! Here we have the supernatural police procedural Sleepy Hollow on FOX. To imagine what this show is like, take the man-lost-in-time aspect of Captain America, then apply it to a Revolutionary War soldier inexplicably named Ichabod Crane (despite bearing no resemblance to any other characters in fiction by this name). Now pair him with a modern day cop and put him up against the legions of Hell. Ready? Go!
We open on a fight in the American Revolution, with the combat having come to swords and other assorted melee weapons. A big, leather-masked Redcoat is laying waste with an axe (HMM I WONDER WHO THIS WILL BE). Our handsome lead, presumably Ichabod Crane, eventually decapitates this man, just before falling from his own wounds. After a cut to black, the man bursts from a grave, surrounded by jars of witchy stuff (frogs, body parts, et cetera). He runs from the grave, finding himself on the unfamiliar terrain of asphalt. Get ready for some fish-out-of-water time travel comedy! Hooray! After some cars pass by, scaring the alleged Ichabod, we’re shown a sign labeling the place “Sleepy Hollow, Population: 144,000″. Some time later, Ichabod is arrested in the street. When he’s taken in, he’s confused. I mean obviously. He’s just traveled forward through time 250 years. During questioning, Ichabod reveals he is a British spy in George Washington’s army. He finds out his war’s been won, and that his headless Redcoat from the episode’s intro (I’m just going to call him the Headless Horseman because come on let’s be real here) is also nearby.
The sheriff and a deputy named Lieutenant Abbie Mills are having some coffee when they get a call from nearby. They head out and are greeted by our Headless Horseman. HH makes quick work of the sheriff, but he does not chop the deputy (no, it’s a good joke, shush it you). Our brave deputy runs away screaming. Eventually, Ichabod and Abbie cross paths in the lock-up. Racial tension jokes! Women with power jokes! same old kinda stuff we usually see, but still some nice stuff. It’s not surprising, but it is well-done nonetheless. Mills takes Crane into her custody to deliver him to a mental hospital. On the way, their car passes by a church and Ichabod recognizes the reverend outside from his own time. They make a stop off at the place where Crane awoke, looking for clues. They find some stuff, but we don’t learn anything new. Later, the Headless Horseman shows up at the church and kills the reverend. Mills brings Crane along to search for clues here also, since the MO is identical to the sheriff’s murder. In the churchyard, Ichabod finds his wife’s grave. Sad times,
Mills brings Ichabod to the mental hospital finally, and she was able to secure him a private room. That night, Ichabod has a dream about his wife. She warns him of the apocalyse, saying that our Headless Horseman is just the first of the infamous Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse, Bible-style. She also lets him know that her grave is not filled with her dead body but instead with HH’s head, which has been guarded over the centuries by Mrs. Crane’s ancient order of witches. For some reason, if the Horseman gets the head, it will trigger the end of the world. Okay, sure. I watched seven season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and five season of its spin-off Angel; I’ll buy probably any apocalypse scenario a TV show lays on me at this point. Anywho, Abbie and Ichabod head back to the graveyard and dig up the head. One of Abbie’s fellow cops is apparently some acolyte of Hell, because he sells them out to the Horseman (I mean, this isn’t a show that was going to be able to afford John Cho in a tertiary role for more than one episode anyway). Graveyard battle ensues! The Headless Horseman has to run off at sunrise (he’s allergic to the sun, did I mention that?), so no trouble there.
Back at the police station, Police Chief Orlando Jones (presumably unfrozen with witchcraft from the late 1990s) congratulates the new dynamic duo on their solving of a minor supernatural mystery. He seems kind of unphased by the fact that magic is real. I guess in a town where Sheriff Clancy Brown was secretly investigating monsters from Hell, anything goes (oh yeah, the sheriff… HH killed him for being in the know about apocalypse stuff, and Abbie found this out via montage). So, the pair heads down to talk to the traitorous John Cho… but they’re beaten to the punch by a really cool Hell monster that travels via glitchy/blurry camera effects! They find John Cho’s headless body (suspicious much??) and see the monster through the cell mirror. Both of them recognize it as a monster they’d seen a long time ago.
Wow! Holy cow! This show is rad. I am all about supernatural mysteries and shows about teams trying to prevent an apocalypse. If the quality increases, as most shows do after the pilot, I expect this to be the fall season’s best new show. Go right ahead and watch the preview below, then go to Amazon Instant video or iTunes tomorrow and buy the dang episode okay? Okay!