Sleepy Hollow‘s back, bitches! 30 second recap time: after a season long struggle against demon lord Moloch, our heroes are betrayed by their supposed ally, Henry The Sin Eater (revealed to be Ichabod and Katrina’s long lost son) and everyone is left in dire straits. Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) has been arrested, Jenny Mills (Lyndie Greenwood) is injured in a car crash, Katrina Crane (Katia Winter) has been kidnapped by the Headless Horseman, Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is stranded in Purgatory after sacrificing herself for Katrina, and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) has been bound and buried alive.
The season premiere opens on a time skip, one year later – both (somehow) freed, Abbie offers Ichabod a birthday cupcake as they muse on the things they’ve lost in the past year. Abbie gets an urgent phone call from the Sheriff, and they head to the local historical society to speak to some professor. By the time they get there, everyone is headless.
Abbie and Ichabod load up on weapons – they have a veritable arsenal in the back of Abbie’s car, holy shit – and with a little investigation, find a stash of files the professor had hidden before he died. Two seconds later, they, too are attacked by the pesky Headless Horseman. Random side observations: 1) This town is suspiciously empty looking so far. What are the chances that this is ALL A DREAM/I USED TO READ WORD UP MAGAZINE, and 2) Abbie is bangin’ in that scene with the two SMGS. Like, damn. This whole show is chock-full of attractive people.
Anyway, Horseman leaves after shooting up the place, and Ichabod and Abbie are left to peruse the documents they just found. Among the files is a picture of a key, drawn in one of Benjamin Franklin’s journals – the same key used in Franklin’s now famous kite experiment. Ichabod explains that he was Franklin’s apprentice of the time (cue the good-natured eyerolls, because of course Ichabod was there during this momentous occasion, and of course he has a few image-shattering anecdotes about this historical figure) and reveals that the true purpose of the experiment was not about lightning or electricity, but about destroying the key.
They were unsuccessful in destroying it, so Benjamin Franklin squirreled it away somewhere for safe-keeping. Fast forward to now, where everyone wants to get their hands on it because it’s the only way of opening the gates to purgatory and leaving without having to follow that “one soul leaves, one soul stays” rule – the perfect tool for Moloch’s diabolical plans.
Also we find out that Ichabod’s wife Katrina and Abbie’s sister Jenny were the casualties during the one year gap between last season and this one. Wait, WHAT?!
Abbie and Ichabod agree to speak with Henry about the key, because Henry is apparently their prisoner now. Henry, naturally talks them into circles before trying to goad Abbie into letting him read her sins – leading both of them to realize that despite “knowing” certain events occurred in the past year (Jenny and Katrina dying, capturing Henry), they’re blanking on the hows.
Which is the exact moment Henry literally shatters the illusion and reveals the truth: neither of them have escaped their respective prisons after all, and Henry has been using them to weasel out the key’s location. Now that he knows Jenny has more information, he’s off to kidnap and manipulate the information out of her. Henry disappears and Abbie and Ichabod are again separated, but not before Ichabod, again, swears that he will return for her as soon as possible. My feels, yo.
Ichabod reawakens in his coffin and manages to explode his way out. One daring escape down, four (Abbie, Jenny, Katrina, and a sadly absent Irving) to go! Cut to Jenny, who fights her way out of captivity like a badass and returns Ichabod’s phone call with a text message saying where she is. Conveniently, Ichabod ends up pretty close by, and he mounts a rescue via stolen ambulance.
They catch each other up on the business with the key, then head out to get it before Henry can. Franklin’s journal pages are still coded, but Ichabod The Encyclopedia knows how to decode it. The key is buried with the only person Ben Franklin ever trusted: himself. Jenny figures out the key must be hidden in one of Franklin’s statues.
Poor Katrina, meanwhile, is held captive by Abraham/Headless Horseman in some dilapidated house. Abraham cuts her loose to give her food (is this his fucked up way of playing house with her? Because EW), but when Katrina tries to escape, he ties her back up again. Later, he returns a necklace he once gave to her. It glows green, and Abraham appears to her whole, human, and head-full, proclaiming his “love” for her. Abraham is the worst. Katrina needs to kill him right quick.
Over in Purgatory, Abbie scampers around trying to stay out of Moloch’s sight when a wild John Cho appears (his character name is Brooks, but like 90% of the rest of you my brain just screams out JOHN CHO MY PRECIOUS instead). John Cho tells her that Moloch is assembling a demon army to storm the earth once he gets the key, and offers her his help by telling her how to contact Ichabod through Moloch’s secret mirror portal.
Abbie manages to get to the mirror safely and gets in touch with Ichabod. This reunion, you guys. Abbie tries to convince Ichabod to get rid of the key and leave her in Purgatory, thus ensuring the apocalypse will never come, as tragic music plays in the distance. Ichabod refuses, of course, saying that the only risk is leaving her behind. They hug, Ichabod once again promises to come for her, then they part ways.
Jenny and Ichabod make their way to the town’s Ben Franklin statue only to find Hessians already there and digging. Using the power of flashbacks, Ichabod realizes that the key isn’t hidden under the statue, but in a brick under the clock tower. Key in hand, they race to rescue Abbie, but Ichabod enters Purgatory alone.
Abbie is seen searching the ground desperately for the amulet Katrina had given her when Ichabod appears before her, offering her a hug and a drink of water. Just as Abbie is about to drink, another Ichabod appears – the real one – and shouts out a warning. The two Ichabods wrestle as Abbie looks confusedly on. Abbie eventually realizes which Ichabod is the true Ichabod (the fake one says “lieutenant” instead of “lef-tenant”) and the two of them make a break for it as Moloch and his newly materialized army give chase. They open the gates and run through, closing them before anything else does.
Jenny and Abbie have their happy reunion, and the three of them regroup to discuss the work left to be done. There’s going to be a lot, because Moloch has just sent a demon creature with a flaming sword to work for his Horseman of War, Henry.
Abbie: I’m sorry I couldn’t find a cupcake big enough for 251 candles.
Ichabod: …I shall consider myself punk’d.
Ichabod: Is there no end to this birthday madness?
Abbie: I don’t think I would’ve made it without you, Crane.
Ichabod: Nor I you, Lieutenant. (Okay but on the real, with dialogue and chemistry like this, how does anyone not ship these two?! Yes, there is the whole married thing… but there is also this other awesome thing called OT3 that I suggest we all try out)
Henry: Anything can be tricked into believing a lie. (Why you so obvious about it bro)
Henry: I am a sin eater, I can taste your lie.
Jenny: I’ve done a lot of sinning. I hope you choke on every one of them.
Ichabod: [dramatically] And if I do not survive, I want you to know, lieutenant, I never stopped fighting.
Phone screen: ERROR – MEMORY FULL
Ichabod: Aaaand none of that recorded. WONDERFUL.
Jenny: It’s all about the Benjamins.