SLEEPY HOLLOW Season 2 Finale Recap: 'Tempus Fugit' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SLEEPY HOLLOW Season 2 Finale Recap: ‘Tempus Fugit’

February 23, 2015 by  

FF218_scn13_1091_f_hires1A year ago, SLEEPY HOLLOW barreled through its first season finale with an early renewal at its back, dropping one bomb after another and leaving every character’s fate in the balance. This was a show that knew where it was going. A lot changes in a year. Even more changes in 234 years, but Abbie and Ichabod’s relationship doesn’t, and that’s why SLEEPY HOLLOW should be okay.

The War

Our favorite Revolutionary hero is literally killing it on the battlefield when he’s called away to speak with Abbie, who knows enough about his mission to hold his attention. She tells Ichabod that the Horseman has allied with a woman and that the two of them are out to kill him. Only when Ichabod lets Abbie out of jail does she add that they’re really fighting Death, and not just in the form of the Horseman. They’re up against Ichabod’s own death, which would have occurred today if not for the whole time travel thing. The fact that Abbie saved him sent the future off the rails.

As long as Abbie is in his past, the Ichabod we know doesn’t exist. If he did, he’d be tearing up “the year of our Lord 2015” to get her back, but the fact that he’s not a factor leaves the whole hour free to focus on this rebooted relationship. The finale reverses the dynamic of the pilot, as Ichabod, against all common sense, finds himself trusting Abbie and fighting to defend her. In trouble with his superiors, he asks to be the one to take her to the runaway slave encampment (also known as the reason this show could never convincingly keep Abbie in the past for very long), giving her one bumpy, three-mile journey to make him believe.

Since the facts of the future can’t be proven, Abbie appeals to Ichabod’s curiosity. The men whose words they’ve studied are alive now, and the closest—of course—is Benjamin Franklin. Franklin advises Abbie to focus only on reversing the spell that sent her here, which should also undo the damage done by the Horseman since her arrival. Like he’s testing that theory, the Horseman arrives right on cue to behead Benjamin Franklin. Only on this show would that be a comfortingly familiar callback.

Abbie and Ichabod are taken into custody for their role in Franklin’s death, which is to say that Abbie is jailed and Ichabod is gently reprimanded and relieved of his post, because that’s how privilege works. He blames Abbie for leading the Horseman right to Franklin’s door, but Abbie insists that the Horseman was after them. To prove that she’s not keeping anything from him, Abbie tells Ichabod that Katrina is the witch who has been working with the Horseman. Katrina is also pregnant, so he should probably look into that.

Back at ye olde Crane household, Ichabod finds his wife preparing an herbal mixture for pregnant women. Just as she’s about to stab him in the back (spells are metaphors!), soldiers arrive to summon Ichabod to General Washington. Seeing a spellbook on the table, Ichabod wisely declines to spend another minute alone with his wife. She couldn’t even use telekinesis to close the book? Not the pointiest witch hat in the bunch, Katrina.

Ichabod won’t spare a moment to say goodbye to Katrina, but he’s willing to make Washington wait in order to find the truth about Abbie. She says that all the proof he needs is on her phone, so he locates the little black rectangle in her belongings, and it’s Ichabod vs. modern society all over again. (“What devilry is this?”) The phone says “SLIDE TO UNLOCK.” He slides it across the table. I applaud. Meanwhile, Abbie takes matters into her own hands and pries a nail out of the bench in her cell. Her escape is interrupted when Ichabod’s commander, Colonel Sutton, shows up to make her answer for her crimes.

I have no desire to learn what punishment Sutton has in mind. What matters is that Abbie knows more about close-quarter combat than he ever will. As she beats up an 18th-century colonel, Ichabod watches a video in which he and Abbie attempt to take a selfie and talk about waffles. This scene is the only thing you need to know about SLEEPY HOLLOW. Convinced that Abbie’s telling the truth, he arrives to rescue her, only to find that she’s already got that taken care of. Again, this scene is the show.

Abbie and Ichabod visit Grace Dixon, Abbie’s ancestor and author of the all-important journal, to reverse the spell. Grace can do it, but she’ll have to draw on the energies that shield Fredericks Manor, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Ichabod volunteers to hold off the Horseman and Katrina; if the spell works, his death won’t matter, but Abbie doesn’t like it. She lets him go alone only because the spell requires her to stay in the room, and even then, she makes him call her “Leftenant” before he goes. They hug it out, and he likes it.

The spell takes hold just as the Horseman swings his ax for Ichabod’s neck. Everything caused by Abbie’s arrival is undone. Time as we’ve known it replays itself, and Abbie is back in the old town hall with Ichabod and a very angry Katrina. Katrina throws Abbie against the wall, and Ichabod fights back, struggling with Katrina over a knife. He stabs her. As his wife dies in his arms, beckoned by a vision of her son, Ichabod mourns what they’ve become. Abbie tells him that he had no choice, but he did. But so did Katrina.

The Key Players

Last season, and even early in this one, I worried that Katrina would either be killed or become the villain. It felt like a cheap way to dispatch of an obstacle to Abbie and Ichabod’s relationship while pitting women against each other. Katrina is now both dead and the villain, but Abbie refused to make it a petty fight. She didn’t like Katrina, but she didn’t try to turn Ichabod against her. Abbie’s willingness to rise above the fray saved this plotline.

Katrina’s turn to the dark side came at a confusing pace, but the warning signs were there, and in the end, she made her own choice. Had she gone dark earlier, her death would have felt more like closure and less like the show’s attempt at a clean slate, but at this point, it needs that fresh start. With Frank restored, we’re down to the four core characters. They’ve all got a lot more work to do, even if we don’t know what it is.

The Witnesses

It’s too bad that SLEEPY HOLLOW reached the point where it needed a reboot, especially given what it accomplished with last year’s finale, but if you have to start fresh, this is how you do it. Going back in time makes every callback to the pilot feel like fate; nothing stops Abbie and Ichabod from finding each other. As Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie flirt between uncertainty and intrigue, Mison’s stiffness is a reminder of how much Ichabod has softened. It’s always fun to watch him fight with a phone, but it means less when he’s not calling her “Leftenant.” As he’s grown comfortable with modern society, he’s grown comfortable with Abbie, and that’s a worthy trade.

The weight of their last two years together is in the way he nods, “Ready, Leftenant.” They were fated for each other, but they also choose each other. Abbie’s phone password is Ichabod’s birthday. They’ve worried about their aimlessness since Moloch’s death, but the ordinary, everyday aspect of their relationship—the fact that they were bored and purposeless for a while and decided to kill time by taking a selfie—literally saved history. Maybe it will be the same for this show. The cliffhangers are great, but it’s chemistry that keeps it around. Or it should be. With any luck, we’ll see them again, but no matter what happens, Abbie and Ichabod are fighting.

What did you think of the season 2 finale?

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5 Responses to “SLEEPY HOLLOW Season 2 Finale Recap: ‘Tempus Fugit’”

  1. Sabrina on March 1st, 2015 9:46 am

    I’m not going to deny that Katrina wasn’t my favorite character. But honestly, she wasn’t terrible. A woman out of her century, locked in Purgatory, who was able to escape, only to be held prisoner by Abraham and turned into a vessel for the big bad demon. Even though she was the damsel most of the time, she still gave Abraham an awesome storyline. Really the only thing I hated about season 2 was that Abraham was grounded through most of it. Either he was stranded in the cabin, or he was held captive by Ichabod and Abby, or he was who knows where because Katrina made him promise not to hurt anyone. He was completely absent through most of the season main points. Like, I don’t get it, you can’t have Sleepy Hollow without a headless horseman. It just dont work. And as the story season went on he had less to do. I hope there is a season 3, but I also hope that Abraham is front and center, because he has been ignored for way to long. I know he is going to be mad when he finds out that Katrina is dead. I hope he goes on a rampage. That is just something Abraham would do. Bring on season 3 FOX, you know you want too.

  2. Michael Gibson on March 2nd, 2015 1:19 am

    fantastic use of terminology inside the article, it
    in fact did help when i was reading

  3. Popgoddess on March 2nd, 2015 9:50 pm

    “Because that’s how privilege works” – Ha! So true! And you’re so right – the scene with Ichabod fiddling with the phone and Abbie giving the colonel the beatdown perfectly sums up the show. I think I laughed for the first time in several episodes when Ichabod slid the phone across the desk. I pretty much skipped the second half of season 2 – so much standing around and talking, so little action – but the last 2 eps were a solid return to form. I would actually be satisfied if the series ended here.

  4. Olivia Griffin on March 8th, 2015 7:31 am

    Hi, fantastic recommendation and an interesting article, it’s
    going to be fascinating if this is still the state of affairs in a few years time

  5. Jack Mcdonald on March 22nd, 2015 12:03 pm

    wonderful use of terminology within the article, it in reality did help when i was surfing around