Sleepy Hollow came out of the gate running last year. It was the sleeper hit of the season and much stronger than critics expected it to be. So strong, in fact, that FOX quickly renewed the show and tacked on several additional episodes.
Huge mistake if you ask me, because Sleepy Hollow Season 2 has felt sluggish and repetitive in a way the first season did not. Obviously, with 18 episodes versus 13, the writers had to switch up their successful formula. Keeping the show's intensity and twists fresh has proven difficult.
Warning: This report card contains spoilers for the first half of the season. If you're not caught up, watch Sleepy Hollow online before reading any further. You've been warned Sleepyheads.
Check out our report card and grade it below!
Best Episode: The writers did a great job of making us fall in love with Abbie and Ichabod last season. Though season 2A has mostly focused on Ichabod, his wife and wicked spawn, it was Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 9 that was the most enjoyable. That's not to say Tom Mison's portrayal of Ichabod isn't terrific, but finally learning the truth about Abbie's and Jenny's mother was a real highlight. Aunjanue Ellis was brilliant as Lori Mills and gave both Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood the chance to shine. Their performances in "Mama" were truly some of the most powerful of the season, plus it was great to see Jenny back in action.
Slowest Episode: We have to go with Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 7, mostly because the demon baby is such an overused trope. Seriously, that deadly spider impregnated Katrina and the baby inside was Moloch? Perhaps I'm just tired of the Katrina character and was hoping she was on her way out, but these turns of events were disappointing. To make matters worse, Ichabod spent the entire time whining while Katrina talked about Henry's redemption. We like evil John Noble; why make him a good guy?
Best Character: Neil Jackson has been a revelation as Abraham Van Brunt. It's hard to imagine you could feel conflicted about the Headless Horseman, but now we understand Abraham better. The enchanted necklace was a wonderful storytelling device, probably my favorite so far. Without his head, it's a tad bit difficult to communicate with ol' Headless. Allowing Katrina and others to see Abraham's head and have conversations with him made the Horseman of Death a more sympathetic character.
Worst Character: It's tempting to say Nick Hawley, but Sheriff Leena Reyes was far more irritating. From the moment she opened her mouth, you just wanted to strangle her. It's never easy filling the shoes of a beloved character like Frank, but Reyes was instantly unlikeable. Sure, she eventually played nice and is now working better with Abbie, but the damage was done. We want our Captain Irving back!
Most Underused Character: That's easy, Captain Frank Irving right? If, after being sidelined all season in Tarrytown Psych, Orlando Jones' Irving was killed off, there's going to be hell to pay. I can't imagine many fans will be too pleased if Irving doesn't return. This is Sleepy Hollow after all, so dead is never actually dead, but the talented Jones deserves better either way.
Best Ichabodism: Mison is always hilarious delivering his "Ichabodisms" but there were a couple that stood out. In Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 3, "Confounding, Henry Parish assumes the mantle of War and when he emerges it is not as a raging colossus but as an attorney," was a fantastic line. It was also fun to hear Ichabod mock American Idol in Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 7, "I fought through lines of British regulars for the right to vote. Yet our modern countrymen can barely form a line. Of course, they're more than passionate to vote for American Idolatry."
Best Creature Design: One of my favorite things about this show is its monsters. This one was a tie, as the Wendigo and Succubus were both the stuff of nightmares. With Moloch gone, I can't wait to see what demon takes his place in the second half of the season.
Biggest Shock: Since the writers had been hinting so heavily at Henry's redemption, the fiend killing Moloch wasn't as surprising as Captain Irving's death. As mentioned above, being sidelined all season only to die in the midseason finale hurt. Surely this Sleepyhead isn't the only fan keeping his fingers crossed that Frank returns to fight the good fight.
Hopes for Sleepy Hollow Season 2B: I'm just hoping the remaining seven episodes continue that urgency and return to the classic Sleepy Hollow we saw in the two-part midseason finale. More than any episodes this season, Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 10 and Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 11 felt like a return to the show viewers fell in love with last season. In order to finish out this season strong, we need less filler episodes, less Katrina and Hawley and much more Jenny. John Noble was overused as well; pulling back on Henry a bit won't damage the story. Mostly, I'm expecting the glorious return of Captain Frank Irving. If he doesn't come back, I don't doubt my reviews will take on a more sinister tone next year.
Overall Grade: C+
YOUR turn, TV Fanatics! What grade would you give Sleepy Hollow Season 2 so far?