Sleepy Hollow Series 1 finale : Indispensable Man/Bad Blood
Spoilers ahead - if you don't want to know about episodes 12 & 13, don't read below
Don't you hate those series with long arching plots that are so pleased with their cleverness and intrigue? Don't they feel contrived, silly even, as they twist you into knots of illogic dressed up as plotting? Don't you find that all the holes in the narrative hit you days later and leave you feeling tricked, kidnapped by the writers wiles and defrauded of the great drama you thought you were having? Isn't genuine surprise in such short supply these days?
Well, that was not Sleepy Hollow. It literally closed the lid on season one with some twists that I never saw coming but had been carefully plotted for and took the viewer all the way from the elation of a nearly happy ending to the despair of terrible fates being visited upon beloved Ichabod, his wife, hot Jennie and poor decent Detective Irving. It did this over a two parter that served to blindside me and then shock me with just how cruel it wanted to be. This is how you end a first season!Episode 12 opened up with Irving facing investigation for the demon's murders from his daughter's possession and implicating himself to save his daughter, and our team going off on a journey to find George Washington's real resting place. Lovelorn minion Andy is turned into a beast by Moloch and chases Ichabod, Abbie and our friendly sin eater as they look to uncover a map to Purgatory that may free Ichabod's wife or cause the very war they are trying to prevent.
The episode concludes with the map being burnt and Ichabod's sacrifice hitting home. Yet, in the finale we join Crane reconstructing the map from his photographic memory and the threat of the coming of a second horseman convincing Abbie and him to enter purgatory to free Katrina so she can prevent his arrival. With Irving behind bars, Jenny uncovers some unsettling information and rushes to her sister only to be stopped by Moloch en route. In Purgatory, Abbie and Ichabod fight temptations to make it through to Katrina and Abbie ops to take her place there whilst the Cranes return to Sleepy Hollow. Only for a fantastic twist to render all of our evil fighters lost, jailed or buried alive. In these parts, we have loved this show. The best of the new network shows of 2013 along with Hannibal, Sleepy Hollow has built interesting characters, been a rollicking fun ride and shown that TV can do graphic comic style treatments brilliantly. The creators of the show came up with a mash-up that has taken flight and been realised superbly with a consistent visual presentation and warm compelling acting by the main cast. This finale only served to show how previous episodes had planted seeds that grew out of all recognition to shock and entertain like few other shows on the gogglebox.
If nothing else, this season is a must own and I urge you to get hold of it. TV can still make great, unusual shows that have cinematic sweep and a welcome disdain for formula. Marvellous.....
Sleepy Hollow is shown in the UK on the Universal Channel and iTunes as well