‘Sleepy Hollow’ Season 2 Episode 12 Recap: “Paradise Lost”


The midseason finale of Sleepy Hollow, should you have missed it, ended like this: Moloch is dead, and Henry killed him. (It’s fine if you missed it, actually, because the first words said by Ichabod are literally “Henry killed Moloch.”) And then, the show flashes forward six weeks (what a convenient way to explain the slightly shifted appearances of the cast!), to find Abbie giving Ichabod a lesson about organics at farmers’ market, until he starts waving a knife around because of a blighted grapple.

He’s a little crazed because he and Abbie are searching for evil to battle, and he’s not even living with Katrina — he’s living in the archives as he and Katrina “reexamine” their marriage. He’s contemplating a job, 401k, an accountant, etc., all of which would be required should he lose his sole purpose: evil fightin’.

Luckily, though, as he and Abbie stroll through the woods, they hear some chanting and come upon some lizard cult bros getting ambushed by Orion, a fallen angel. He was liberated the night Moloch died. Apparently, Moloch’s death caused a kind of supernatural quake that allowed potentially untold numbers of creatures to escape from purgatory. Orion eventually gives Abbie a charm, which is, adorably, a keychain-sized version of his chakra that she can use to summon him as she wishes.

(Abbie also asks Orion about God, and he says, “All that is is what is,” which is great, because nobody is looking to Sleepy Hollow for answers about the nature of the universe.)

Meanwhile, Abraham is still shackled in the jail cell where evil is shackled, and Katrina is trying revert him to his pre-Horseman self. “I am the Horseman, and the Horseman is me,” he says, so, I guess he doesn’t really want that to happen. Still, she persists. What she doesn’t know is that with Moloch gone, the escaped creatures are looking for a new leader: Abraham, the Horseman of Death. And Orion wants to, and can, kill him.

By the time Ichabod learns of this plan, he’s wary of killing Abraham because Katrina has assured him that she’s discovered a means of separating the spirit of human Abraham from the spirit of the Horseman. As Orion makes his way to Abraham’s cell, Katrina hurriedly sets Abraham free because she is an awful character who is the key to this show’s dullest plots.

Here’s one you may have heard: two supporting characters (Hawley and Jenny) walk into a bar. One (Hawley) brings the egg of a Sumerian demon called Asag, through which he envisions the location of Abraham. He’s with the cult bros from the beginning, throwing metal into a fire to forge what I’d hoped would be a rad metal head but was instead just an axe. But, before they can chase them down, they have to have a fight about their failed sexual past, even though nobody — not even them — cares.

Anyway, Ichabod discovers that Orion may not be there to prevent bad from happening, but to cause bad to happen. Orion wants to kill the Horseman and steal his power, bringing about a great judgment over all of mankind, which is a pretty un-angelic thing to do. Orion and Abraham fight, chakra-to-axe, and Abbie and Ichabod fight off the cult bros, who seem to know kung fu (and bounce around kind of like the Power Ranger Puddies). Orion gets his chakra in Abraham’s back. It saps Abraham’s power, but Ichabod pulls it out and crushes it with the Horseman’s axe. Orion flies away, Abraham becomes himself, and Ichabod talks his way out of getting stabbed in the eye.

After, Ichabod confronts Katrina about their marital status. It seems to be in shambles, and that’s good. They want to “redefine” their marriage, but, for the sake of the show, they just need to end it. Katrina and Abraham are links to Ichabod’s past. They were necessary for the Moloch and Henry-driven plot of the show up until this point, but now, they’re speed bumps that get in the way of the show achieving its madcap potential. I can’t recall if there were ever any chemistry between the two, but it certainly isn’t there now. In fact, it seems as if the two characters resent each other, and that’s actually a more appropriate relationship for them, given everything they’ve gone through. But it’s a very tiring distraction that the show should be rid of. And, to top it all off, the final moments of “Paradise Lost” that Irving isn’t even dead.

Here I thought the midseason finale had propelled the show into a kind of forward motion that would lead it to new, less worn places, but instead it seems intent on working with the same pieces. The Irving story, should the show reintroduce his family, has potential. But, even so, it’s not that much potential.