Fox's supernatural drama Sleepy Hollow is returning in October, the perfect time to wind down after a long day and get into the Halloween spirit by following Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills on their mission to take down the Headless Horseman.
When Sleepy Hollow first premiered it quickly became a fan favorite, offering a little bit for every paranormal fan such as the appearances of ghosts, witches, demons and possessions, along with biblical and historical references, a love story that lasts over centuries, and humor provided by the cop and pseudo-cop duo—of course, all while breathing fresh life into the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.
And while there are times when the plot lines appear to be just straight up insane, the series was able to push creative boundaries (proving no storyline is too far-fetched) and pull it all together in episodes that could stand alone as the team took on a new monster or supernatural force to conquer, while still developing characters and the bigger plot along the way. Sleepy Hollow blends 21st-century culture with 18th-century history in a way that doesn't just make it feel like a genre show. Crane, in this story line, is a former Oxford history professor turned patriot, after all.
But after 13 episodes in season 1 and 18 episodes in season 2, you might feel like you need a quick refresher on the major series of events that has unfolded this far. Here's everything you need to remember about Sleepy Hollow.
WARNING! Spoilers ahead and graphic images!
Season 1 Recap
The series opens with Icabod Crane (Tom Mison) waking up after being buried under the ground under the protection of his witch wife Katrina Crane (Katia Winter). While he thought he died on a mission for Gen. George Washington, he awakes to find he is no longer in 1781, and it's present-day 2013.
But he isn't the only one who has been awakened. We find he beheaded the Headless Horseman in battle and that specter has now returned to Sleepy Hollow, taking the life of Lieutenant Abbie Mills' (Nicole Beharie) partner and mentor, Sheriff August Corbin. And evil has definitely found a new home in Sleepy Hollow.
Crane and Mills team up to fight these forces of evil—specifically the Headless Horseman, who is one of four horseman of the Apocalypse (aka the Horseman of Death) mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Revelations, and is controlled by the demon Moloch (who has Katrina trapped in purgatory, although she can communicate with Crane because of witchcraft, duh). We learn that Mills and her sister Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) saw the demon when they were children, and now Mills must face her destiny as a witness to save humanity alongside Crane.
Other monsters this season were Police Officer John Cho, who is murdered and returns in a head-turning scene to be Moloch's minion; the Sandman (an evil dream spirit who feeds on his victim's guilt and drives them to commit suicide); the Horseman of Pestilence (who is prevented from entering the world after a boy with a plague from the colony of Roanoke infects the town, zombies!), and the Golem, a magical creature that protected Jeremy Crane, Ichabod's son.
We find that Jenny is locked up in Tarrytown Psychiatric hospital for telling the truth about the demon she saw that day in the woods, while her sister never backed up her story (and is guilty about), but Jenny later escapes and joins the team.
Crane and Mills are able to find and hide the Horseman's head, and we learn Crane is a Freemason, Jenny becomes possessed (again), and they enlist the help of the Sin Eater, aka Henry Parrish (John Noble), to free Crane of his blood ties to the Horseman.
In a series shocker, we learn that Katrina hid the fact that the couple have a son, who turns out to be the Sin Eater/Henry Parrish/Jeremy Crane, who is actually working for the dark side as the Horseman of War.
Throughout the entire time, the two must use Washington's Bible (which was buried with Crane) to look for clues to solve each new mystery and defeat the monsters, and they eventually uncover a map of purgatory to save Katrina, a map that was buried with Washington himself (who rose like Lazarus, then died again). However, to save Katrina, another soul must take her place, and Mills offers herself.
Meanwhile, the daughter of Mills' new supervisor, Sheriff Frank Irving (Orlando Jones), is in danger from the dark forces, and Irving confesses to murder to protect her. This means Irving is sent to prison and the season ends with Mills being stuck in purgatory.
Season 2 Recap
Season 2 starts a year after the events of the season 1 finale, leaving us wondering what the heck happened. However, Crane was buried alive and Mills is still between worlds, meaning this was all happening in Mills' purgatory. Mills and Crane get out of their troubled states to find a new sheriff has replaced Irving, a female who knew the Mills sisters' mother (who lived in Tarrytown).
Katrina (who has redder hair this season) gets kidnapped by the Headless Horseman/Abraham Van Brunt (Neil Jackson), Katrina's one-time fiance 200-plus years earlier, and they continue to develop their friendship the entire season. Katrina is able to see Abraham with his head, thanks to a magic necklace.
Irving gets sent to Tarrytown Psychiatric hospital, where he unknowingly signs his soul away to Parrish, who becomes his lawyer. Jenny gets a love interest named Nick Hawley, who is a treasure hunter. Hawley is later chased by his evil caretaker, vampire style.
Benjamin Franklin (Timothy Busfield ) plays a big role this reason, which leads Crane and Mills to raise their own monster called the Kindred to be an equal of the Horseman (using the Horseman's head, which they have possession of). There is also a killer nurse (who explodes) in Tarrytown as the girls come to peace with their mother; satanic cults; a Pied Piper monster that kidnaps children; and the Weeping Lady that kills a friend of Crane. This is when we learn the second secret Katrina hid from her husband about the death of a woman he grew up with, which pushes their marriage to its breaking point.
Katrina takes care of a demon baby, gets sick from a spider, and keeps going back to Abraham whenever she is able to break free. We learn more about the bromance between Crane and the Horseman, formerly friends, and see them duke out their differences in a sword fight.
The characters find the Sword of Methuselah, the only weapon that can take down Moloch as he prepares to enter their world, which is the demon's new plan. Four white trees representing the four Horsemen begin to burn black one by one, the first releasing lightning, the second blood, the third Moloch's army and the final one would be the formation of hell on Earth as purgatory comes to the living.
However, Abraham tells them that the sword comes at a sacrifice—the man that kills with it will have his soul taken, too. Irving (who broke out of Tarrytown Psychiatric) agrees to use the sword since the Sin Eater/Horseman of War/Parrish already has his soul, and the war begins. Irving is able to kill the Horseman of War's armor (which is controlled remotely), but then he dies from a battle wound.
Ichabod and Katrina decide to take a break as a married couple, and they are about to face death by the demon Moloch when Parrish has a change of heart and saves his mother, killing the demon with the sword once and for all. The couple then try to work things while trying to catch a killer who lives in a painting, and Mills runs into her own drama with the angel Orion, who isn't as pure as he appears.
Shockingly, Irving isn't dead (well, he is, sort of), but he comes back and his soul is saved when Parrish dies, and the DEA finds evidence that makes him a free man (after he tries to kill Jenny).
Katrina helps Abraham as demons look for him to be their new master and Parrish comes to Katrina as a new man, with the plans to start a new coven with her. But Crane kills his son, officially setting Katrina off in a fit of rage. She chants a spell to go back in time, and Mills follows her back to the 18th century. We get the reverse scenario of how the series began, but Mills and the Crane of the 18th century find Franklin (who is later beheaded) and make it back to the present.
In one of the most gut-wrenching scenes to watch, Crane stabs Katrina to save Mills and is left crying on hands and knees. The season ends with Crane, the Mills' sisters and Irving together as a team for whatever they must face next.
Season 3 of Sleepy Hollow premieres on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox.
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