Sleepy Hollow season 1 finale review: The Indispensable Man & Bad Blood

Review Caroline Preece
22 Jan 2014 - 09:25

A rip-roaring finale makes the wait for Sleepy Hollow's second season an excruciating one...

This review contains spoilers.

1.12 The Indispensable Man & 1.13 Bad Blood

Now that was a finale! Even if your expectations for the final two-parter of Sleepy Hollow’s first season were sky high, I doubt you were expecting the sheer amount of excitement, adventure, information and cliffhangers that were given to us in the end. The Indispensible Man and Bad Blood often came off like the writers wanted to cram half a season’s worth of story and intrigue into just eighty minutes, and though that resulted in the whole thing feeling a tad overwhelming, it also means that there’ll be no dallying around when we return for season two (though, with FOX abandoning normal US scheduling practice, who knows when that will be?)

So much went down that it would be a fool’s errand to actually attempt to craft any sort of recap, so I’ll stick mainly to overall thoughts. We started the episode started in the middle of the story, with Abbie having received a new message from Moloch, prompting the mission to decipher Washington’s bible, find his grave, find the map and enter purgatory. By the end of the two-hour extravaganza, Irving had confessed to Evil’s crimes to protect his daughter, Jenny’s fate is unknown after a pretty nasty car accident, Katrina has been taken by the Horseman, Ichabod is back underground and Abbie has found herself stuck in purgatory with no way out.

Emerging from this episode was like coming up for air, and the various precarious positions our heroes have been left in just means that the wait for season two is going to be excruciating. Not content to just surprise and unseat us, the big twist of the season came in three parts – Parish isn’t what he seems, Parish is Jeremy and Jeremy in the second horseman. Most fans knew going into the episodes that War would most likely rise over the course of the night and Jeremy was going to turn out to be alive, but kudos to the show for amalgamating three of the questions we had into one big and very satisfying answer.

Anyone who has followed my reviews this season will know that the pre-holiday episode in which Ichabod discovered his son’s sad story was my favourite of the run, so his enactment of bitter revenge in this instalment couldn’t have been more perfect. Unlike the story behind the first horseman, Jeremy’s story was so unflinchingly horrible and tragic that you can almost get behind him in his hatred (though destroying the world, as always, might be a bit extreme). Add that to the fact that he’s being portrayed by John Noble, and you have an incredibly credible and compelling villain for season two.

It was hard to make out the details in the rush of action and reveals that went on, but there were a few things that stood out. John Cho’s complete (if we can assume it’s complete) story was more than a bit underwhelming and, especially in this episode, far sillier than anything else on screen. In contrast, the scenes in purgatory between Abbie and Corbin and Ichabod and his father were really well constructed and the very idea that all four horsemen might be people who have been wronged by our heroes makes for a very interesting show. Ambiguous, flawed heroes are the best kind, after all.

After the hype and momentum that Sleepy Hollow had built up over the preceding ten weeks, there was a good chance this two-part finale would be a letdown. It definitely wasn’t, and the big Jeremy/Parish reveal was satisfying yet tantalising enough to see us through to next September (or hopefully before). Sleepy Hollow was the best kind of show, and has proven that leaving us wanting more is a viable option for a network drama. Now, let’s wallow in the fact that one of the least anticipated series of the year actually turned out to be the most entertaining, and that entertaining doesn’t necessarily have to mean dumb. Now let the long, long wait for the new season commence.

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, The Vessel, here.

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