Sleepy Hollow premiered Monday, September 16, at 9/8c on Fox. Violet and I caught the series premiere, and wanted to provide our take on the pilot episode. But first, we will provide a brief Sleepy Hollow summary, in case you were intrigued by the show, and missed the first episode, or just need a refresher for episode two. Caution: Spoilers ahead. Let’s get into the series premiere episode recap for Sleepy Hollow!
Don’t need the Sleepy Hollow episode recap for the pilot? Click here to jump directly to Josh’s thoughts on the episode!
To see Violet’s thoughts on the Sleepy Hollow pilot, click here to get directly there!
Sleepy Hollow Episode 1 Recap Overview
Need a quick Sleepy Hollow episode recap of the pilot? Here is a summary of events for the episode. Each event is linked to the more detailed Sleepy Hollow pilot episode recap if you need more information!
Sleepy Hollow Pilot Episode Summary; Quick and Dirty
- After killing what is later revealed as the Headless Horseman in the late 1700s, Ichabod Crane wakes up in present day Sleepy Hollow.
- Abbie Mills is a police officer who has had supernatural occurrences in the past. She loses her supervisor to the Headless Horseman.
- Abbie learns her boss has investigated several occult cases for Sleepy Hollow, and thought he was getting close to something big.
- Through a vision, Ichabod learns from his dead wife that his fate is intertwined with the Headless Horseman
- Ichabod and Abbie recover the Headless Horseman’s head, which they must keep safe.
- Abbie learns that there are hidden enemies everywhere in Sleepy Hollow.
Sleepy Hollow Pilot Episode Recap, the Details
The series premiere for Sleepy Hollow begins way back in the past during the Revolutionary War. For those non-history buffs out there, this war was from 1775 to 1783. The protagonist, Ichabod Crane (played by Tom Mison), is in the midst of a battle. He battles with a horsed man that is wearing a mask. He shoots, then decapitates this man, and is also injured in the battle. Ichabod seems to pass out, and then next time we see him, he is awakening in a cave that seems to have some sort of witchcraft artifacts in it.
Ichabod stumbles out of the cave, through the woods, and finds a road. Since he is from the 1780s, he begins to marvel and question the roads, and eventual vehicles that nearly run him over. Eventually he makes his way to Sleepy Hollow which obviously has a much larger population now.
Meanwhile, our protagonist from the present day is a female cop named Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie), who is talking with her superior about her transfer from Sleepy Hollow to join the FBI. They get a call to investigate a disturbance, and at the person’s house, Abbie discovers him decapitated, while her boss has the first modern day run in with the Headless Horseman. Unfortunately, the cop loses his head, and Abbie sees the Headless Horseman flee on his horse, sans a head, and Abbie Mills is not sure what to make of it, but calls for back up.
Meanwhile, Ichabod has roamed around the town, and is confronted by another cop, Andy Dunn (played by John Cho), and is arrested as a suspect. He is brought in, and interrogated, and of course sounds crazy as he talks about the Revolutionary War and the like. He is given a polygraph, which he passes, which perplexes the cops even more, but they are not convinced he is innocent.
Abbie Mills’ new supervisor orders her to transfer Ichabod to a mental health facility, but rather than do that, she chooses to allow Ichabod Crane to show her the cave he was held in. Inside the cave, Ichabod Crane finds a bible that seems to hold some significance. On the drive to the cave, Ichabod spotted a priest, who he seemed to recognize from his past, and may have had a hand in his “sleep” for 250 years. we don’t learn very much about him though, as the priest is paid a visit from the Headless Horseman, and decapitated.
At the cemetery, Ichabod locates his wife’s grave, and he learns she was killed for witchcraft. He has a few flashbacks as well.
At this point, Abbie Mills reveals she has had some “event” in the past that can’t be explained, but declines to say what it is. Abbie drops Ichabod off at the mental ward, however. In the ward, she reveals the supernatural event she witnessed with her sister, and reveals her sister is currently also in a mental ward.
Abbie pays her deceased boss’s office a visit, and learns that he had been investigating some occult cases, where two “covens” have blended in with the rest of the population.
Meanwhile, during the night, Ichabod receives a vision from his wife, who says she is a witch, and gives him the location of the Headless Horseman’s Skull. She explains exactly what happened to him, and the Headless Horseman. She also tells him that he is one of the Four Horsemen, and if all four are revived, it will be “the end”.
Abbie Mills comes in when he awakens, and she tells him about a map from 1776 — a map Ichabod had seen before. Abbie calls for backup at the church from Andy, however, we learn that Andy is not quite the most upstanding cop. What was amusing is that the Headless Horseman has decided to upgrade from his trusty super-heated axe (oh yeah, we learn that all of the decapitated victim’s wounds are cauterized from the axe), and winds up with semi-automatic weapons and shotguns, which Andy seems okay with.
Abbie and Ichabod find the skull, but are attacked by the Headless Horseman. Abbie goes to meet Andy for backup, but Andy turns on her. Backup arrives, and a couple of Sleepy Hollow’s finest try to confront the Horseman, but the assault rifle gives him time to escape.
Back at the station, her new boss has reamed her, but since she has a head and some other people backing her up, he will allow her to continue her investigation.
Ichabod and Abbie go to interrogate Andy, however, a demon has paid him a visit and breaks his neck. Abbie and Ichabod see the demon leave through a mirror. The episode ends with a fade out to the Rolling Stones song “Sympathy for the Devil”.
Josh’s Thoughts: Sleepy Hollow Pilot
Overall, I was intrigued by the first episode. It seems to have some historical conspiracy elements to it, which I have always found interesting, like National Treasure or The Da’Vinci Code. The show certainly has darker tones to it than I would have thought, and is a little gruesome with the decapitations and neck-breakings going on.
Tom Mison played his role pretty well, although he seemed to accept his “time traveling” a little too easily, I thought. I am curious what direction the show will take from here. Are we only going to be dealing with the Headless Horseman? Will we have other supernatural villains? The one thing I worry about this show, is it turning into another cop show with a slight supernatural vibe. We have plenty of cop shows, and just sticking some supernatural elements in it will not be enough to hold my interest.
I have a feeling the CW show Supernatural will be ending within a season or two, and I am hoping we can get a new supernatural-type show in to take its place. I really enjoy Buffy, Angel, and Supernatural, and would have a void in my TV watching without something like that on.
Hopefully this show stays on the right track, and we get a quality show with a good story! What did you think of Sleepy Hollow? Let us know below.
Violet’s Thoughts: Sleepy Hollow Pilot
I kind of had mixed feelings about this episode. There were a lot of things that seemed a little silly or ridiculous, or didn’t make sense that they were happening, or were being allowed to happen (other than the supernatural elements). For example, at the beginning of the episode, Ichabod is just running across the street and randomly gets arrested? I didn’t know you could get arrested for jaywalking! Then when Mills is transporting Ichabod, she allows him to sit in the passenger seat rather than the back seat, which later leads to him being able to roam around free because he is able to get out of the car (even though she told him to stay inside, but of course he’s not going to listen). It just seems like someone who was selected to join the FBI would be a little more competent than Mills seemed at times in this episode. There’s more, but those are just a couple of examples.
Other than that, I really liked the premise that the Headless Horseman is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, considering that my all time favorite genre of books, television, and movies is the apocalyptic genre. Not necessarily biblically apocalyptic, as Sleepy Hollow has set itself up to be, being based on the Book of Revelations, but just apocalyptic in general. I think that the very end of the episode might be what makes or breaks it for viewers in regards to their decision to continue watching or not, because it takes a very dark turn, which, although it had been hinted at throughout the episode, it was very unexpected, or at least I thought so. I did not expect a demon to show up to kill off its servant, and did not realize this show would go quite so dark. The ending to the episode is what intrigued me and has made me decide to continue watching. However, it may be the very thing that turns some people off about the show, as they might think it’s getting too ridiculous with the addition of demons.
Apart from demons, it looks like there will be a lot of supernatural elements in Sleepy Hollow, including witchcraft. If you’re like us, and are a fan of shows such as Supernatural, Buffy, and Angel, then Sleepy Hollow should be right up your alley. Also, as a bonus for geek girls, Ichabod has a British accent! Of course, expect the obligatory “guy from past doesn’t know how certain things work in the future” type occurrences, which are actually quite funny so far, but I guess we can’t expect him to question everything, because that would interrupt the episode too much.
My final verdict: I will keep watching Sleepy Hollow for now, because the story intrigues me. However, we’ll see if the nonsensical things continue and end up outweighing my interest in the story itself.
Scenes from Sleepy Hollow, Episode 2, Blood Moon
Here are scenes from next week’s Sleepy Hollow episode titled Blood Moon: