Let me just say, I liked it. A lot!
I generally don’t put a lot of stock in pilots. There’s so much exposition to be done, it’s often not representative of the series. In the case of Sleepy Hollow, you can throw that premise out the window. Which is quite an accomplishment for such a high-concept show.
The story of Ichabod Crane in 1781 America could have gone on forever, yet it was over in a minute and a half. (I timed it.) And that included showing us how the horseman became headless and letting us know he was something other than human. In fact, the Revolutionary War and Ichabod’s resurrection in the 21st century were over before the credits rolled.
[At least one spoiler follows]
We quickly learned police lieutenant Abbie Mills was an excellent cop with high ambitions, although her daughter-like relationship with her mentor and boss Sheriff August Corbin indicated he’d be dead before the first commercial.
Not all was revealed immediately, though. Throughout the episode, Ichabod flashed back to the Revolutionary War and General Washington. Key events from Abbie’s past were revealed. And it turns out there’s more to August Corbin than met the eye.
What usually makes or breaks a series is the one facet that can’t be acted or directed into the script—chemistry. Tom Mison (whose Ichabod Crane looks nothing like the real him) and Nicole Beharie quickly established a camaraderie that’s more about mutual respect than physical attraction, even before they learned they have a supernatural connection.
I had my fill of the apocalypse with Supernatural, but I’m willing to give it another go. After all, one network’s view of the end of the world is not necessarily another’s. Heck, in Supernatural, Death doesn’t ride a white hose; he drives a vintage white Cadillac (at least that’s what I think it is), eats Chicago style pizza, and drinks beer with a straw. This version of Death? Well, he can’t very well eat pizza because he doesn’t have a head. Right? Even the police wondered if he could hear them when they ordered him to “Put your hands on your…?”
Sleepy Hollow introduced a number of other-worldly ideas, but surprisingly also answered a couple of them. The ghost of Crane’s wife Katrina (a witch) revealed how and why he was raised from the grave. We even caught a glimpse of the demon-in-charge, which looks a lot like the devil-thingie from Devour (a movie seen by only Jensen Ackles fans).
And lest you forget who created Icabod Crane, we have not only Revolutionary War General George Washington,but also present-day police captain Frank Irving.
If the action continues to move at the pace established in the pilot, and the campy humor continues to counter the darkness, I’m in. Then again, this is a science fiction show on Fox. How long can it last?