SLEEPY HOLLOW Season 2, Episode 2 'The Kindred'

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With purgatory now firmly in the rear view mirror, Ichabod, Abbie and Jenny turn their sights towards rescuing Katrina from the clutches of the Headless Horseman, or Abraham as he is now appearing via the power of Katrina’s amulet when he’s playing the part of the romantic hero in between his nocturnal jaunts as an undead equestrian killing machine. Exactly how this is occurring is vague at best; perhaps it’s his spirit somehow manifesting above his shoulders, perhaps it’s his love/lust for the crimson-haired Wiccan allowing the man he once was to shine through the black magic that gave him his power, or perhaps I should stop ascribing logic where none exists and just accept it’s probably because that you can gesticulate and strike meaningful poses all you like, but you’ll never get away from the fact that a man without a head is always going to be rather verbally and emotionally inarticulate and this doesn’t make for great characterisation.

Anyway, to fight the unstoppable monster who has claimed Katrina, the intrepid troika intend to raise one of their own, specifically a creature named the Kindred. Created by Benjamin Franklin, who as well as a Founding Father was also apparently a mad lecherous necromancer, the Kindred is a man-sized patchwork homunculus created from the cherry-picked body parts of fallen soldiers and possesses strength to rival that of the Horseman, but has remained dormant for the last couple of centuries because a piece of the Horseman himself is needed to awaken him because reasons. Luckily for them, they have in their possession a certain head-shaped piece that fits the bill, which also comes with the added bonus of making him look like an Evil Dead deadite transcendent of cheap and tacky prosthetics. Let the undead smackdown commence!

Elsewhere, Henry continues to be an ambitious force to be reckoned with, every moment of his growling malevolence further banishing memories of the jovial dementia of Fringe’s Walter Bishop. However, as sinister as he is, it wouldn’t be uncharitable to suggest that he’s not exactly as physically imposing as you’d imagine his status as the Apocalyptic Horseman of War would necessitate. To remedy this is a wonderful new toy gifted by Moloch, a psychically-controlled seven-foot suit of black plate mail complete with Witch-King helmet and broadsword ablaze with hellfire. The later three-way halberd/axe/swordfight between the War Armour, the Headless Horsemen, and Franklinstein’s Monster is a sight to behold.

In what passes for the real world in this domain of encroaching Armageddon, the police now have a new captain in the shape of Leena Reyes, a woman with ties to Abbie’s past and possibly set to become another surrogate parental figure in the manner Corbin fulfilled before his decapitation. The only problem is her belief that the town’s inexplicable occurrences are a result of mass hysteria rather than amassing supernatural forces, and it seems she’ll be more of a hindrance than help to our heroes, starting by locking up Jenny upon finding her trespassing in the police archives. Objectively, you can understand her taking issue with discovering a violent and unstable mental patient in possession of enough firepower to invade Dundee, but her lack of leniency with Abbie’s reticent explanations and Ichabod’s eccentricity and questionable continued presence will doubtless be a recurring hurdle, much like Irving was before his encounter with the Horseman attempting to recover his head.

The show’s weekly two fingers to plausibility this time comes in the form of the incantation to animate the Kindred, a verbatim recitation of the famous “strange aeons” passage from The Call of Cthulhu, but, of course, mangled in a dubious restoration of Romani-Greek. Apparently, Nietzsche’s bit about gazing into the abyss was too subtle.

Rounding things off, Katrina’s place in the order of the modern world is now established, and while it’s certainly not the badass spellslinging one we would have hoped for, at the very least she’ll have something to do other than ineffectually sit around waiting to be rescued like some Gothic Disney princess. Irving might now be incapacitated in a mental hospital after taking the rap for the murders committed by the body-hopping demon Ancitif when it possessed his daughter, but the episode’s final scene (if not Orlando Jones’ continued presence in the opening credits) makes it clear he’ll still play an important role in future proceedings.

With the fallout of season one’s climax now dealt with and a new status quo established, we can now hopefully look forwards to Sleepy Hollow once again rising to its previous heights of straight-faced insanity.


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