Give credit where credit is due – Sleepy Hollow did not squander the capture of the Headless Horseman. Last episode, “Necromancer,” was, in a word, satisfying. The Headless Horseman is shackled in ridiculously large chains surrounded by UV lights and hex candles to weaken him. His interrogation room is unlike any other and the interrogation itself is a joy to watch. Thankfully, the time with the Headless Horseman isn’t squandered. He was interrogated from beginning to end, with a little help from Officer Brooks (played distinctly well again by John Cho). With the Horseman’s head not available for questioning, Brooks is used as a conduit to speak with Death himself. Brooks is the Horseman’s necromancer.
It doesn’t always happen where viewers are given just the right amount of time with the climax of a major story-line (or at least the climax of this chapter between Ichabod and the Horseman). But the creative team behind Sleepy Hollow did just that. Most of the episode was devoted to a back and forth between Ichabod and the Horseman. It’s not set up at the end of the episode where we have to wait; it’s from beginning to end, which isn’t always the case when story-lines climax. Thankfully, the episode is good enough to keep this reviewer dialed in.
The revelation of who the Headless Horseman is and how, in a roundabout way, Ichabod created him is a great twist. It takes their rivalry to a new level and adds some more depth to the story-line. Ichabod now has to carry the weight of not only his hand in creating his immortal enemy but also the imprisonment of his wife Katrina in purgatory. Sure, if she wasn’t in purgatory, she would have been dead over 200 years ago, but a life in purgatory might not be the most desired consolation prize.
“Necromancer” is one of Sleepy Hollow’s best episodes to date. Sure, Captain Irving and Abbie’s sister Jenny going on their side adventure tracking down Hessians is a little dull in comparison to the main course in the interrogation room but there is a ton of screen time between Ichabod, the Horseman, and his necromancer Brooks. The dialogue is poignant and, as absurd as it may look interrogating a headless man, there is real emotion in the scenes, carried by Tom Mison and Cho.
The timing is now right to alter the show’s direction somewhat. With Sleepy Hollow‘s Headless Horseman revealed in a great twist, it now could be time to switch gears. I’m hoping this won’t lead to a few one off episodes like “Blood Moon” and “For the Triumph of Evil” (although the Sandman in the latter episode was one of my favorite baddies to date). One of the best parts of Sleepy Hollow has been the Headless Horseman. He’s been a villain that has pestered Ichabod and the citizens of Sleepy Hollow for multiple episodes and has been the strongest draw with regards to villains. With him on possible hiatus who will take his place?
Hopefully someone as memorable.