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The Playboy Primer: Why You Should Go Back to ‘Sleepy Hollow’

The Playboy Primer: Why You Should Go Back to ‘Sleepy Hollow’:

When Sleepy Hollow debuted in September of 2013 it won the “a new show that’s so weird, it’s great” distinction from critics and audiences. It posed that Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) was a Colonial spy frozen in sleep by his witch wife for 200 years, only to be awoken in present day and team up with a modern day, local cop Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) so they can stop the Apocalypse. A bizarro mash-up of horror, history, social satire and old-fashioned mystery, Sleepy Hollow was a hit right out of the gate.

But then season two came along and the show lost a lot of its fun. The writers put Crane and Abbie, the prophesized Witnesses meant to stop the oncoming evil, at odds. The story leaned on the soapy fissures in Crane’s marriage and focused less on the brash ideas that made it distinct. Fast-forward to season three which returns with a whole lot of re-tooling to get back to its bat-shit basics including a new showrunner (The Glades’ Clifton Campbell), shedding Crane’s wife, and the second phase of the Apocalypse nigh. It’s worth getting back into the show and so we’ve provided the episodes to get you caught up and back into the madness.


“PILOT”

01_ Pilot
What You Need to Know:
The high concept origin story that reinvents Washington Irving’s palid schoolteacher into a hot, learned Brit-turned-Colonial spy for George Washington. He faced the supernatural Headless Horseman on the battlefield, was frozen for two centuries and turned into the ultimate fish-out-of-water character in modern day Tarrytown, New York. He meets up with Abbie Mills, who is intrigued by the stranger from another time, and together they see some shit they can’t ignore.


SEASON 1, EPISODE 3: “FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL”

02_ Triumph of Evil
What You Need to Know:
Abbie Mills has a sister named Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) and she’s been committed to a mental facility because she says she’s seen demons. In this episode, we discover Abbie has her own secrets about seeing the supernatural which has put the siblings at odds for years. It’s also the episode that shows the potential of the monsters featured in the show, in this case a terrifying spirit called the Sandman.


SEASON 1, EPISODE 11: “THE VESSEL”

03_The Vessel
What You Need to Know:
The main evil known as Moloch wants to open up Hell on Earth, so he has his minion, Ancitif, unleash some trouble. An example of the perfect balance of monster story and history riff, Crane and Abbie have to find George Washington’s Bible which is the key to battling Moloch. Finding out Washington is a secret supernatural fighter of evil is brilliant and sets the stage for future stories.


SEASON 1, EPISODE 12: “THE INDISPENSABLE MAN”

04_Indespensible Man
What You Need to Know:
The character of Henry Parish (played wonderfully by John Noble) helps Crane and Mills find a map of purgatory, which Moloch also needs to fulfill his plans. But the real lure of the map for Crane is that it might allow his witch wife, Katrina (Kata Winter), to be freed from purgatory as well. This one sets up the stakes of how far Crane will go for his love versus the mission.


SEASON 1, EPISODE 13: “BAD BLOOD”

05 _bad blood
What You Need to Know:
One of the show’s greatest twists involves Parish (Noble), Moloch, the Headless Horseman and the history of the Mills sisters. It’s a climax that sets the bar for mixing all of the show’s various mythology with emotional wallops. Plus there’s an epic cliffhanger that puts Crane underground and Mills in purgatory: the ultimate separation of the heroes.


SEASON 2, EPISODE 5: “THE WEEPING LADY”

06_ weeping lady
What You Need to Know:
Season two got mired in some mythology that isn’t being continued in season three so jump to this episode where we get some back story on Crane’s romantic past, in particular former flame Mary Wells (Heather Lind). She and another fleeing mention of Betsy Ross (who is a big player in season three and embodied by actress Nikki Reed) help fill out Crane’s pre-Katrina life. Plus, the Weeping Lady is a highlight in the show’s pantheon of monsters.


SEASON 2, EPISODE 6: “AND THE ABYSS GAZES BACK”

07_ The Abyss Gazes
What You Need to Know: Abbie’s mentor Sheriff August Corbin (Clancy Brown) bit it in the pilot, but she (and we) come to learn that he’s been X-filing the hell out of Sleepy Hollow for decades trying to piece together the weirdness happening in the fringes. In this episode, Corbin’s son Joe (Zach Appelman) is back from Afghanistan and he’s not quite himself. Turned into a Wendigo, Joe is saved by the Witnesses and will be back in season three as a cast member.


SEASON 2, EPISODE 9: “MAMA”

08_mama
What You Need to Know:
In this one, we come to learn the Mills women come from a long line of supernatural seers including their mother, Lori (Aunjanue Ellis), who was also institutionalized for her “gifts”. Traumatized by her abandonment, the sisters finally get context and its going to play a part in their stories going forward.


SEASON 2, EPISODE 10: “MAGNUM OPUS”

09_Magnum Opus
What You Need to Know:
An epic mid-season cliffhanger to season two, Moloch is about to cross into this world with the help of Parish, a.k.a. The Horseman of War, so things are pretty dire for the Witnesses. However, they work together to keep Moloch at bay including thwarting a Gorgon which nicely created.


SEASON 2, EPISODE 18: “TEMPUS FUGIT”

10_Tempus Fugit
What You Need to Know:
The return from the winter break meanders as the Witnesses find they have no purpose now, so skip past the figuring out of their destinies to this episode where all hell breaks loose when Mills is sent back in time to the day before Crane battles Headless. She’s got to convince the clueless Crane with Ben Franklin (Timothy Busfield) about their destiny so she can go back to her proper time. It’s a great twist on the pilot and more importantly creates a new dynamic for Crane when he ends up killing his twisted son, Henry and his grief-twisted wife, Katrina. It’s got everything you need to know to start season three.


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