Sleepy Hollow S1E1 - "Pilot" Recap

In Hudson Valley, New York, 1781, Ichabod Crane is fighting in a Revolutionary War battle. He fights a massive masked man with a brand on his hand who doesn't die when shot in the chest. The man slashes Ichabod in the chest, Ichabod responds by cutting the man's head off, and Icabod then passes out from his injury. We then hear his wife's voice telling her to stay with him.

Ichabod wakes and pushes himself from out of the ground where he was buried. He's in a dank cave and surrounded by jars that smash upon his revival, allowing various animals, including frogs and snakes to escape. He checks his chest and finds that only a scar remains. Disoriented and confused, he stumbles and triggers an opening through which he escapes. He finds himself in a forest and then comes across a road, which confuses him greatly as he has never seen a modern road before. He is nearly hit by a truck and then causes a car to crash. We then see a sign for the village of Sleepy Hollow, population: 144,000 (like the Jehovah's witness mythology that says only 144,000 people will make it into heaven?) He stumbles down the road into Sleepy Hollow.

Lieutenant Abbie Mills and Sheriff August Corbin have dinner at a local diner before heading out to a horse stables to investigate a call about a disturbance. The Sheriff goes into the stable alone while Abbie looks around outside, finding an empty truck with a rifle next to the open driver-side door. Abbie finds the owner of the home with his head cut off and the Sheriff encounters the Headless Horseman. After emptying his gun into the Horseman's torso to no avail, the Sheriff is killed by him. Abbie sees the Headless Horseman as he leaves on a stolen horseman. Meanwhile, Officer Andy encounters Ichabod wandering in the middle of the road and arrests him.

Abbie is brought in to identify whether Ichabod is the Sheriff's murderer. She says it wasn't him due to his wearing the wrong clothing and not having a brand on his hand - naturally, she leaves out the whole Headless bit. When Ichabod hears her description, he asks whether the man carried a broad axe and asks whether the brand was in the shape of a bow. Abbie questions how he knows this and when he last saw the assailant. Ichabod replies, "When I cut off his head."

Ichabod is given a polygraph, much to his confusion. He answer questions about his identity, including his being from the 1700s. He then tells of the final battle he engaged in with the Horseman and how he was dying, after which he woke up in a cave. The polygraph doesn't show his as lying and the proctor tells him he is in the 21st century. Abbie asks her boss, Captain Frank Irving, for permission to speak with Ichabod and he denies her request. She points out that the Sheriff's wound had very little blood, meaning that the blade would have been heated to at least 500 degrees, and points out that Ichabod may have information helpful to their investigation. Still, Irving denies it but Abbie is able to convince him to let her be the one responsible for transporting him to his psych evaluation, giving her 20 minutes to question him.

When Abbie introduces herself as a Lieutenant, Ichabod is amazed at her being a female and asks if she has been emancipated from slavery. When she informs him that slavery has been abolished, he says that he is offended if she thinks he would endorse slavery. As they leave the station, Ichabod points out that he is aware of the fact that she has seen that the Horseman was without a head. When in the car, he is amazed by the car window's ability to go up and down. Ichabod, meet technology. Technology, Ichabod. He's also amazed by the abundance of Starbucks stores. She has Ichabod show her where he woke. On the drive, Ichabod recognises the local priest as a man from his time.

In the cave of Ichabod's waking, he finds a Bible that was buried with him. A passage in the book of Revelations is marked, speaking of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ichabod shares a story of George Washington telling him that the war would not only determine the fate of the country, but of the entire world. Washington assigned him to find a mercenary with a branded hand. Abbie is highly skeptical of this story and the notion that one of the Four Horsemen is the murderer of the Sheriff.

The Horseman rides on a red-eyed white horse to the church, where the Reverend has begun to panic. He is pursued by the Horseman, who jumps off his horse and heads for the Reverend. The Reverend uses magic to try to hold him off but the Horseman is too strong. The Reverend declares that he'll never tell him where "it" is and that he's prepared to die, which he does.

At the crime scene, Abbie keeps Ichabod in the car, which he has no idea how to get out of. Irving is angry that Abbie has not yet brought Ichabod to the institution and threatens to suspend her if she doesn't follow deliver him there immediately. Abbie finds Ichabod in the graveyard right by the church, where a bird has led him to his wife's gravestone. He finds she was burned for witchcraft and asks Abbie why she doesn't believe him after all they have seen. She yells at him that she is supposed to leave for the FBI in a week and Ichabod tells her that running away won't change the fact that their fates are intertwined. Abbie says that this is something she cannot deal with again and when Ichabod questions her, she denies telling the story until later when they've reached his room in the institution. She reveals that when she was young, she and her sister were walking home through the woods and encountered four mysterious, eerie white trees. There was a voice that spoke to them, though they couldn't understand it and after passing out, they woke up on the side of the road. They were perceived by the towns people as being crazy and now her sister Jenny has spent her life in and out of institutions.

Abbie goes looking through the sheriff's office and finds a key behind a framed picture of her. It unlocks a massive case in which the sheriff has stored information he has compiled of all mysterious happenings in the town spanning several years. His voice recordings talk of two covens, one good and one evil, and several unsolved murders. He also speaks about Abbie's story of the trees and how a similar happening had happened two-hundred years prior in the same place. Abbie packs everything up in time before Captain Irving come in and tells her to get some rest.

Ichabod has a vision of his wife who says that her grave is the location of the Horseman's skull, which he wants back. She says that he was bound to the Horseman by blood and the only way to stop him was to cast a spell on both of them. The Horseman's body was entombed and cast deep into the river and buried him in the cave to protect him. She says the same evil that controls the Horseman is what has her trapped there now. Something evil is after them so she rushes to finish telling him what he needs to know. She says that the Horseman will become whole again if he obtains his skull, and cannot be permitted to do so. If he gets it, the other Horsemen will rise and The End will begin. The Horseman also apparently has a weakness - sunlight. She pleads with him to free from "this place." She says that he is "the first witness" and that the answers lie in Washington's Bible.

Ichabod wakes and finds that the orderlies are about to sedate him. Abbie arrives right in time and breaks him out. She tells him what she has learned from the Sheriff's hidden stash of information and shows him a map from the 1700s she found among his things that has the strange happenings listed on it. At the bottom, Washington's signature is on it. Ichabod also reassures her that what she saw when she was younger was real. Meanwhile, the Horseman rises from the river.

Abbie calls Officer Andy, who agrees to call for help. When he arrives home, he finds that his door has been kicked in and the Horseman has raided his weapon cabinet. The Horseman is sitting in his chair and Andy lowers his weapon as the Horseman rises. Andy tells him, "I know where it is."

Ichabod and Abbie are at Katrina's grave, and Ichabod digs it up. They find the skull and the eyes in it move just as Horseman arrives. The Horseman begins shooting at them and Ichabod takes shelter in the open grave. Abbie begins shooting at him from afar which allow Ichabod time to climb out and begin fight back against the Horseman. Meanwhile, Andy arrives and hits Abby on the head. When she begins to regain her senses, she bites him and manages to get free. Andy shouts at her that she can't kill him and back-up arrives, utterly confused by the Headless Horseman being, well, headless. The sun rises and the Horseman has no choice but to flee.

Abbie and Ichabod smile at each other, relieved that they've lived to fight another day and still have the skull in their possession. When they return to the station, Irving scolds Abbie but has to relent now that the other officers corroborated the story about the Horseman being headless, as well as Andy confessing to the crime. Abbie reveals that she'll no longer be joining the FBI, as Sleepy Hollow is where she needs to be. Irving leaves, and Ichabod shows Abbie a passage in Washington's Bible that talks of two witnesses, which he believes refers to the both of them, that will battle the forces of Hell for seven years until Judgement Day. She tells him that Brooks said a war was coming. They decide to question him on what else he knows.

Andy is in his cell and and is visited by a horned creature that tells him that he failed him. The creature hits Brook and breaks his neck in so violent a manner that his head is left hanging down his back. Abbie and Ichabod and find the horned creature inside the mirror in the cell and they hear the voice of the sheriff reciting Johnny Cash lyrics that quote Revelations. The mirror shatters and they're left with an ominous feeling that their journey has only just begun.

Sleepy Hollow airs on Mondays on FOX at 9/8c.


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