What do you get when you mix a little horror, history and heads a-rolling? A modern day version of "Sleepy Hollow," which debuted on Fox Monday night.
I think the thing to keep in mind here is "Sleepy Hollow" is loosely based on the classic Washington Irving tale. There is a headless horseman, there is Ichabod Crane and that is pretty much were the similarities end.
This fresh take on the Sleepy Hollow story has Crane (Tom Mison) as a British turncoat in the employ of General George Washington during the American Revolution. After he beheads the evil horseman, apparently we see him die only to awaken in a cave in 2013. From this point on this is more a fish out of water story that a new take on the classic headless horseman tale.
This show is quite complicated, and the plot is very complex. More than a simple modern twist to a classic tale this is a show that is an amalgamation of several different east coast horror themes. The Sleepy Hollow mystery is at the center of story but the plot quickly turns into a convoluted story about the book of revelations and the four horseman of the apocalypse. This, of course, means you better have you DVR on standby because watching this episode only once will likely leave you very confused as to what exactly is going on.
With that warning we head off to spoiler town and do our best to help explain exactly what is going in "Sleepy Hollow."
Basically it looks like the town was once home to two covens of witches, one good and one evil. It appears the good coven was tasked with the goal of keeping the headless horseman and his decapitated skull separate. As all sorts of bad stuff will happen if he is allowed to become whole once more.
Crane, who was unknowingly married to one of these witches, and the Horseman have become linked through blood. As the director of the episode takes us back to their 18th century duel where both characters appear to die.
The world the two characters awaken in is obviously much different than the one they are use to. However, the local sheriff (who becomes one of the first modern victims of the horseman) has been investigating a plethora of odd occurrences and unsolved crimes that appear to be connected to the main plot of the show. After his death Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) enlists Crane to help her unravel the mystery. We then learn that she and her sister were the victims of a horseman related event in their youth that led the sister to be committed to an insane asylum.
Jon Cho (of Harold and Kumar fame) portrays a local police officer who winds up being an agent of the horseman and helps him to get his head back. This leads to a confrontation of the horseman and Crane along with Mills and Officer Andy at the cemetery where the Horseman’s skull is burring in the grave of Crane’s long deceased wife.
This is where the show gets a little crazy. Somehow the Horseman armed with his traditional ax has come to have not only a modern day pump shotgun but an assault rifle as well. That was a little crazy, and one has to wonder how long it will take Crane to assimilate to modern weaponry.
Of course before the horseman can retrieve his skull or the local police can blow him away the sun comes up and as we previously learned the horseman can not survive the sunlight and he retreats. Another beast of the apocalypse shows up to kill off Officer Andy for his failure to secure in the horseman’s head and we are left saying what just happened?
In the end this show is crazy, it’s complicated and convoluted but it was good enough to tune in again next week and see how the writers evolve this story.
Photos from the Pilot episode