The SuperSleepy Dispatch

Recap and Review: Sleepy Hollow 2:01: This Is War

By P.S. Griffin

Wherein we learn that Ichabod hates a know-it-all and Abbie still trusts and loves her colonial curmudgeon.   It’s a crazy magic carpet ride as we see our favorite witnesses reunited. 

The episode jumps right in with poor Ichabod who is trapped in a buried pine box.  He handles it better than Ryan Reynolds in the excellent sleeper Buried,  who never makes it out.  Of course at first he is desolate and desperate, calling out first for his beloved and trustworthy leftenant (lieutenant), and then for anyone. 

We quickly cut to Abbie and Ichabod celebrating his first birthday (his second birth in modern Sleepy Hollow).  He of course is bristling at the silliness of blowing out the candle and making a wish in our modern era of science.  Both Ichabod and Abbie are slightly off adding to the wrongness of this obvious illusion.


Ichabod finds it hard to celebrate considering that they’ve both lost folks important to them.   Apparently in this illusion Jenny and Katrina have died; another clue that everything we’re seeing is wrong.   The Headless Horseman is obsessed with Katrina as his beloved.   She may wish she was dead but she’s certainly alive and suffering his tender overtures.  Ichabod is still angry and wanting revenge.  Abbie says she couldn’t have made it without Ichabod.   She is still very much devoted to him.

They get a call about a crime scene at the local historical society.  The professor there wants to speak to them personally.  As Ichabod notes, it’s never good when their presence is requested.  They arrive and find the security guard waiting outside without his head.  This prompts a trip to the car trunk for an arming up scene worthy of Supernatural.  Inside they find the professor’s headless body in his office amidst papers about another famous patriot and intellectual,  Benjamin Franklin.  Cue more name dropping, and even more name calling, by Ichabod who was Franklin’s reluctant apprentice per Washington’s orders.

The Horseman is still there and announces himself by firing shots at them.  They take cover and return fire, Ichabod with a fancy crossbow with laser sighting.  H.H. one ups them with a grenade and runs away.   Ichabod is still angry at H.H. and is fired up for some justified revenge carnage against the Horseman for “killing Katrina”.  Once again Abbie is the voice of reason, advising patience; after all they’re low on ammo and would be better off determining what H.H. was after regarding Benjamin Franklin.  This is another red flag since they just weaponed up at the car and barely exchanged fire.  Also a red flag was the plant on the desk quickly growing roots.  There’s something very rotten in this version of Sleepy Hollow!


Smartypants Ichabod finds the Professor’s secret stash of research papers.  As they review the papers in the archival heroic lair, Ichabod recognizes a copy of charcoal rubbing of a key, the original of which is at Harvard.  Crane bashes Harvard and recognizes the key.  Apparently Franklin had the key after he returned from England having infiltrated the evil Hellfire Club which was hellbent on quashing the patriots’ Army of Good.  This was the key used in Franklin’s famous experiment of flying a kite in a thunderstorm.   However he was doing so in the hopes that God’s fire would destroy the infernal Gehenna key, which Ichabod miraculously divines will allow anyone possessing it to get out of Purgatory without following the established rules… even Moloch.  Oh no! Ichabod opines that everything they’ve sacrificed will be for naught if Moloch gets this key. 

I think Ichabod is too focused on what he’s lost which is a bad mindset for a hero. Methinks heroes should be focused on saving the world regardless of the cost.  Last season’s costly lapse into wronged angry man syndrome has taught Ichabod nothing.

Franklin, who appears to have always been several steps ahead of Ichabod, to Ichabod’s intense chagrin, figured this out in colonial times.  He planned to hide the key well (plan B), giving only Ichabod the clues necessary to find it. 

In the requisite flashback we see that naked Franklin, a reference to his historical air baths, was quite the mentor to Ichabod along with several other founding fathers.  Ichabod’s name dropping appears to have been deliberately engineered based on Franklin’s dialogue to Ichabod telling him to pay attention when his mentors teach him things; the addition of “because you’re an American now” was clearly an afterthought to hide the plan even from Ichabod.  This naked expose may be the most informative scene in this episode and it makes me wonder whether time shifting Ichabod was part of a secret plan of the Army of the Good.  This idea intrigues me even if it means that Katrina might be good.  Y’all know I am all about Katrina the EVIL witch.

Ichabod apparently cannot stand the know-it-all gasbag Franklin which amuses Abbie.   Despite this Ichabod repeats Franklin’s bon mots throughout the episode.


Because they have no leads they reluctantly decide to interrogate Ichabod’s son Henry who is also a powerful warlock, Sin Eater and the apocalyptic Horseman of War.  Despite this impressive resume Ichabod is not proud of his son.  They bribe him to help with a potted plant.  Plants thrive there despite their being no sunlight because Henry is being held in the ultraviolet light flooded devil’s trap room that previously held the Headless Horseman.  Henry notes that even plants can be fooled.  This is a major red flag.  Much like last season Henry is rubbing Ichabod’s nose in the fact that Henry is tricking him and Ichabod is clueless.  Likewise I think that the writers are warning us not to take anything at face value.

Henry finds nothing about the key in the files and instead pointedly asks Abbie about Sheriff Corbin’s files.  He wants to read Abbie however she drags Ichabod outside for a tete a tete.  She’s remembered something that Jenny told her about obtaining Franklin’s sketchbook for Corbin.  Ichabod has a weird near fainting spell, probably because he’s really buried and running out of air.  This prompts them to realize they have no memories of the last year.  Their last memories comprise the final moments of the finale.  Oh oh.  

Mwahahaha! Henry grandstands with relish about their dire situatuons and the fact that he’s now going to get the key’s location from her sister Jenny.   

The illusion is stripped away to show Abbie in the woods of Purgatory and Ichabod in the buried box.  Did Moloch arrange for Abbie to Skype in her consciousness?  The logistics of this illusion boggles my mind.

Henry and evil Hessians have been holding Jenny captive since the accident.  Henry brutally injects her with adrenaline in the heart to wake her.  He then reads her sins to learn about Franklin’s sketchbook.   He doesn’t choke on her sins despite her heartfelt desire for this to happen.  The memory he sees was written in code which Henry must decipher.  Jenny is left in the “care” of a Hessian guard with orders auf deutsch to keep her alive for now.

We cut to Ichabod suffering in the coffin because he has no air and bars to make a call.  He hits the coffin lid in anger and dirt falls on him.  He tastes sulphur in the dirt and forms a plan.  Yeah Ichabod!

Another quick cut, this time to Katrina who is tied to a chair in a homey cottage and not suffering at all really.  She is no longer in Purgatory and has no immediate threat of death looming over her.  Her captor the Headless Horseman actually wants her to live as his beloved!  Such a cute couple!  H.H. cuts her bonds and gives her bread to eat.  She stabs him in the hand and tries to run; she is easily subdued.

Now we are in Purgatory where Abbie is both hiding from and surveilling Moloch.  Andy Brooks finds her and tells her about Moloch’s latest world domination plans.  Moloch is dressed to kill and spilling his blood on the soil to raise a demon army using the poor souls of Purgatory.   Abbie asks Andy if he knows how Katrina contacted the witnesses from Purgatory.   He does and it’s as dangerous as hell.


And now we are back to Ichabod in his coffin.  He’s rolled a piece of fabric into a fuse and stuffed it in between the pine slats of the lid.  Apparently sulphur-rich soil is practically gunpowder.  I am proud of Ichabod’s true MacGyver moment but truly doubtful that it would work.  Gunpowder may be an early technological innovation; however it requires specific chemistry to work.  According to Wikipedia (,  it is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate (saltpeter). The sulfur and charcoal act as fuels, and the saltpeter is an oxidizer.  It doesn’t seem liked that both charcoal or saltpeter would be present in the correct amounts or at all frankly.  Maybe a frontiersman tripped and spilled his powder horn at exactly that point… 

After a heartfelt message for Leftenant Abbie worthy of Yolanda fails to save, Ichabod lights the fuse and covers his face.  Amazingly the explosion blows upwards.  He digs himself out and walks past the Sleepy Hollow sign to the road in a series of images reminiscent of his journey in the Pilot.  Miraculous he gets a signal by the exact road sign for the road that leads to the captive Miss Jenny.  She uses his phone call as a distraction to disarm and dispatch the pervy Hessian guard and escape her bonds.  Good golly Miss Jenny is still totally badass.  She texts Ichabod with her convenient location.  He’s on it!  This is too easy peasy. 

And we’re back in Purgatory!  Andy leads Abbie to Moloch’s lair, tells her what to do and skedaddles before he’s caught and torn to shreds.  They have a nice moment where he tells her that she helps him remember that he’s human.  Ahhh… so sweet!  I love Andy Brooks and pray that rumors of the imminent demise of John Cho’s new show Selfie are not exaggerated.  Surely he didn’t die in the spectacular collapse of Washington’s tomb. 

Abbie refers to Moloch’s magic mirror as a demonic hologram.  Abbie is badass in her own special way.

Miss Jenny and Ichabod hook up after he uses an ambulance to break down the door even though he can’t drive.  This is true heroics!  She takes over the driving and the two mesh well as an heroic duo even though she’s not very much like her sister the exalted Leftenant Mills.  Ichabod asks about Franklin’s sketchbook and she knows exactly where it is.  Miss Jenny Mills artifact hunter and crackerjack mercenary is a most useful addition to Team Witness.   Good job Sheriff Corbin!  May you rest in peace.  Unfortunately on this show that is not very likely.

They quickly find the sketchbook which is written in a kind of code.  Apparently Benjamin Franklin really did design a new alphabet for the English language (’s_phonetic_alphabet).  It seems that Sleepy Hollow’s Franklin used the historically accurate language to make notes in his sketchbook. 

Ichabod is delighted that the alphabet didn’t catch on because he despises the man and was forced to learn it. The notes say that the key was buried with the only person he trusted… himself.  The requisite flashback includes a peculiar turn of phrase: “You will find the key to success under the alarm clock.”  Now I totally get “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” “The early bird gets the the worm,” makes perfect sense.  I do not understand this under the alarm clock nonsense, so imagine my surprise that he actually said it.  That commonsensical gasbag! A genre show that educates us in manners far beyond the realm of the occult is truly a jewel.

Miss Jenny remarks that Franklin isn’t buried in Sleepy Hollow but she has an idea that might pan out. Unfortunately before we find out whether she is right we are back in Purgatory, or Gehenna as the cool educated cats call it.  Did I forget to mention the sketchbook referred to it as the Gehenna key and Ichabod immediately recognizes a get Abbie out of the prison of Purgatory magic item when he sees it.

Unfortunately Abbie is in the worst prison this side of Hell.  Somebody needs to disembowel Moloch’s decorator.  The place is a real downer with human skulls everywhere Abbie looks.  The piece de resistance is a fabulous downward pointed star/pentagram made of shards of mirror which simply screams evil, demonic mojo.  Abbie reads the spell and Ichabod sees her in the passenger rear view mirror and she sees him chez Moloch.   They fake hug (because Ichabod is not corporeal) and share news.  She tells Ichabod about Moloch’s impending invasion.   He tells her about the super duper get out of jail free card.  Easy Peasy!

Except Abbie is still in heroic mode and she doesn’t want to use the key because freeing her may give Moloch the opening he needs.  I would say that this is a given since he picked exactly this moment to raise an army and don the fancy cape for his big entrance. 

Ichabod uses a similar argument to the one he used when he convinced her that entering purgatory was a good idea in the first place.  He needed Katrina;  I mean they needed Katrina’s help. Now he needs Abbie and needs her by his side to battle evil.  The dude has smooth moves.  Abbie acquiesces. 

Good Lord!  She still trusts him and his high falooting chatter about purpose and special wonder witness powers.  This man and his selfish focus on his needs and his wants are the reason that you were trapped in Purgatory girlfriend.   Still they make plans to meet near the church where she lost the amulet Katrina gave her to provide protection from Moloch.  We see Ichabod wake up in the car and Abbie start to make her way out.

Okay, now is the time for one of our tete a tested fellow Sleepyheads.   WTF!  Abbie pressed the amulet into Moloch’s flesh and it burned!  She didn’t just lose it.  Has she had memories removed?  Is this even the real Abbie?   Wasn’t she trapped in the plastic play house with the memories of her childhood self and childhood Jenny’s memories?   Both of these seem like major plot points that need resolution.  I want to see Moloch’s charred skin and Abbie escape from her happy safe playtime adventure.

And we cut back to modern Sleepy Hollow.   Ichabod and Miss Jenny are casing the town’s statue of Benjamin Franklin.  A group of able bodied Hessians are already digging around the statue.  Shucks!  Henry broke Franklin’s sketchbook before they did. 

Miss Jenny starts to talk about all of the other Franklin statues and libraries and the Franklin mint.  Ichabod is gobsmacked and then he remembers that ridiculous proverb that the old goat repeatedly told him.

Yes the key to success lies under the alarm clock!  Ichabod turns towards the clock tower.  They find a brick with “B.F.” carved into it and quietly break up the surrounding mortar with a hammer and chisel. Success indeed!

And we’re back with Katrina and her unbeloved and headless Horseman.  He comes in and parades around shirtless.  Methinks having a head is vastly overrated… hubba hubba.  Katrina takes in the sculpted torso but is still having none of it despite the nifty charm on her emerald necklace that causes her to see the very handsome charming Abraham in lieu of the gruesome Headless Horseman.  Katrina insists that Ichabod is the only man for her, the only man she loves.  Furthermore Abraham’s illusion has failed because she doesn’t believe that he has any humanity left.   Abraham may be headless bit Katrina seems heartless!  Abraham recoupes and assures her that Ichabod will be dead by the end of the day.  Bazinga!

And back in Sleepy Hollow we see that Ichabod and Miss Jenny have arrived at the church.   Jenny wants to accompany Ichabod to Purgatory because it’s her sister gosh darn it!  Ichabod insists that she stay put because someone that knows the truth should be alive in the event Ichabod and Abbie don’t return.  She backs off and reminds him not to eat or drink in Purgatory OR ACCEPT ANYTHING FROM ANYONE.  This is a new caveat and one that Henry neglected to tell Abbie.  Is it possible that Abbie cannot leave ever because Katrina insisted that she take the necklace?  Katrina is evil I tell you! 

Ichabod recites the incantation that shatters the veil revealing the mirrored hall.  He enters and crosses over just in time to see Abbie about to drink from a flask a false Ichabod has given her.  She’s already shared a joyous hug with false Ichabod, the bounder!  The real dashing Ichabod stops Abbie from drinking by calling out “Leftenant”.  Abbie jumps False Ichabod but is knocked to the ground.  The two Ichabods engage and struggle.  

The victorious Ichabod comes to Abbie with the key.  They start to run, passing through a battlefield strewn with weapons.   False Ichabod calls her “Lieutenant”.  She grabs a sword and decapitates him cleanly without a second thought.   Dean Winchester (Supernatural) would swoon.

The real Ichabod runs up and wonders how she knew to kill False Ichabod.   She tells him but he remains nonplussed, probably because she is uncomfortably quick on the draw.  He initiates their tell-tale fist bump AND ABBIE DOESN’T DO IT IN THE USUAL MANNER!  He is visably startled.  She says she will teach him the new thing later.  Ichabod, darling he-man, she decapitated False Ichabod for saying “lieutenant”.  Dumbdumbdumbdumb.

They do the incantation and the special doorway appears; however it is barred by a gate… which the key opens easy peasy.  They walk into modern Sleepy Hollow and the Mills sisters hug. Moloch races towards the doorway and nearly makes it through before It closes. The key disintegrates in Ichabod’s hand. The heroic team is happy to be together chez Corbin except Abbie is all business.  There is no rest for Team Witness apparently.  As she notes, “This is war.”

I note that real Ichabod and “real” Abbie have not really hugged this episode.   This worries me and bodes ill for all involved I fear.  Yes.  I am not convinced that our intrepid and brave Abbie made it out of Purgatory at all.

Henry has a hidey hole in the hidden tunnels beneath the city like every other evil mastermind.   He walks by a mirror and sees Moloch addressing him.  He immediately kowtows, knowing he has failed his master by losing the key to Ichabod.  Moloch’s cool though because there are many ways to skin a witness.  Okay dokay Moloch! Oh… wait… oh no.  At this point I am sure that Abbie did not make it out of Purgatory.   Remember that when Andy Brooks failed he was summarily executed.  

Instead of merciless punishment,  Moloch gives Henry a gift.  An animated firey suit walks through a gate that appears ringed with firey red occult symbols; it looks like a demonic stargate (Stargate franchise).  Moloch reminds Henry he’s the friggin’ Horseman of War and he can use his soul to control the warrior to secure Moloch’s place on earth.  Henry quotes from Revelation 6:3-4: “… and there was given to him a great sword.”  Henry is super jazzed with the new toy.  John Noble does a great job selling Henry’s enthusiasm with demonic shenanigans and evildoing in general. 

Good job show!

Additional Thoughts:  I liked the season 2 premiere.   By now I am used to their rollercoaster style of storytelling.   I really liked the fact that we were given status reports for all of our principled principal players except poor Irving.  That said I thought the episode jumped around between characters too much.  For me it created chaos rather than tension.  

I also call foul on the easy way Ichabod freed himself.  Please!  The multi talented and super powerful Jeremy spent over two centuries underground.   So as charming as Ichabod’s MacGyver moment was, I was annoyed by his speedy and unbelievable escape.  What is the point of putting the characters in dire straits in a finale if the writers give easy fixes to their dilemmas in the premiere.   Especially when there is nothing learned or gained.

I am even more annoyed by the get out of jail key that freed Abbie, or I would be if I believed it played out the way it appeared to, with the real Lieutenant Abbie Mills returned to modern Sleepy Hollow no worse for the wear.  

There were two many hints that all was not what it seemed.  Henry’s comment that even things could be fooled for instance.  A Fake Ichabod that was so close to the real thing that Abbie was fooled until the real one showed up.  Abbie doing the fist bump differently.  Moloch being so nonchalant about losing the key.  We never see Abbie escape the playhouse where she appeared to playhouses in the season finale.   We never see Abbie leaving Moloch’s lair.  Abbie didn’t remember what happened to the amulet.   Abbie took the amulet from Katrina which according to Jenny was a big no no.  The real Abbie probably wouldn’t have tried to escape with Moloch on their heels.  And of course, we never saw Ichabod and Abbie hug.  Instead we were treated to two false hugs between the characters.  At the very least Moloch tampered with her memory.   More likely Ichabod encountered a false Abbie and used the key to bring an agent of Moloch back to Sleepy Hollow.

My other predictions:  I think Katrina will become Famine who we have seen as a female Horseman.  I still think she’s a baddie and the fact that she insisted that Abbie take the amulet cements this for me despite however much she doth protest. 

I think Jenny is the second witness… still.  Both Jenny and Abbie had their memories of seeing Moloch removed and both saw him without the aid of the demonic mirror because they were sent to witness his actions by God so they might stop him.   Ichabod hasn’t witnessed Moloch performing black arts and he only saw the demon Redcoat after meeting Katrina the evil witch.   I think he was set-up to think he was a witness.

This means that Ichabod was sent to the future by Katrina to serve a purpose.   I think that the purpose was to help Moloch achieve his goals.   Very often the information that Katrina provides to Ichabod is also needed by Team Moloch.  Most recently he delivered Abbie to Moloch in Purgatory despite being warned that he would do this.   He swore that he would never betray Abbie and yet he did easily because of Katrina.   In fact I would venture to say that the majority of Moloch’s chess moves in season 1 were to awaken Ichabod’s sense of family by repeatedly showing him their suffering and reminding him of his great loss.  He was primed to want revenge and save Katrina and these desires took precedence over his role and duties as a witness.   The forces coffee EVIL had him hook, line and sinker; Katrina playing her part was key.

Now this episode highlights that the good guys seemed to know that Ichabod would travel to the future; ergo Washington made him apprentice to Franklin and hang around several other patriots that were important to the real cause.  This suggests Katrina sent Ichabod forward for good.  Well the founding fathers may have been duped by the con as well.  Arthur Bernard bought it and died happily because he believed that it was his death that steered Ichabod onto his true path.  Arthur used the pseudonym “Cicero”,  a Roman poet, philosopher and statesman that influenced the founding fathers in the nation forming ideals.  Paul Revere inscribed the word behind the Headless Horseman’s front teeth.  Arthur Bernard was connected to the inner circle.

There is also the issue of both her coven and the Freemasons disowning her after she cast spells over Ichabod and hid him until both he and H.H. reawakened.  Her coven supported the Army of Good and the Freemasons dedicated their lives to the fight against evil.  If she was working for Good, the other partners didn’t know it.  It worries me that Ichabod’s nose for sound logic hasn’t sniffed out the many holes in Katrina’s backstory.   Something is amiss somewhere.

My problems with the episode are minor considering its excellent world building and the compelling questions that it raises.  I consider Moloch’s lair and the demonic hologram well worth the price of admission.

Speaking of Moloch,  I am not convinced he is trapped in Purgatory.   After all he broke Andy’s neck, raised Henry and stole the Mills sisters memories.   I don’t think the magic mirror works that kind of mojo unless he has a different incantation that he can use. 

I also don’t think he wanted Abbie in Purgatory to force Ichabod to find and use the key.  Surely Katrina was enough leverage for that ship to sail.

Ichabod quotes many of Franklin’s aphorisms and proverbs in this episode.  This were published by Franklin for posterity in Poor Richard’s Almanac.

The Hellfire Clubs were real;

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