Gee—you think Sleepy‘s midseason premiere was trying to tell us something?
In case you somehow missed it, the (oft-repeated) theme of the evening was “reinvention”—specifically, the type that’s obligatory after a life-changing chapter comes to a close. Witnesses Ichabod and Abbie have spent Sleepy Hollow‘s entire run up until this point struggling to thwart Moloch and avert his apocalypse; in “The Akeda,” they finally managed to do just that.
So naturally, as “Paradise Lost” begins, our heroes find themselves feeling somewhat adrift. What does a soldier do once her mission is complete? How does someone define himself after achieving his purpose—or at least, the thing he’s long been led to believe is his purpose? If Batman finally defeats the Joker, is he even Batman anymore—or does that victory force him to form an entirely new identity, one that isn’t contingent on the existence of an equal but opposite enemy? And can heroes even call themselves “heroes” anymore if they don’t have villains to fight?
It’s heavy stuff—and it’s no surprise that season 2’s second arc would begin by examining these questions, since Ichabod and Abbie’s angst is one shared by the show itself. (In short: Can Sleepy survive now that its central conflict has been largely resolved?) Neither the Witnesses nor Sleepy really come up with clean answers to those messy, too-frequently mentioned questions by the time the hour’s through—but even though it has its frustrating aspects (Katrinaaaaaa), this shiny reset button of an episode does sow a few intriguing seeds for the back half of the season. Including, as many of us guessed (and wished and hoped and prayed for), the reveal that, yep, Irving ain’t dead yet.
But before we get to that, let’s talk Ichabod, who’s spent the six weeks since Moloch’s defeat tilting at windmills—or at least stalking through the woods of Sleepy Hollow with a crossbow, desperate to find something, anything that goes bump in the night. (Ever-practical Abbie hypothesizes that he’s really using futile demon-hunting as an excuse to avoid getting a job, sorting out his issues with Katrina, and finding a dentist. Somehow, my heart is warmed by the idea of Crane suffering from a sort of noble, 18th-century-inflected Peter Pan syndrome.) Dude practically jumps for joy when he discovers a wormy apple at the farmer’s market, which Crane interprets as a sure sign of supernatural activity… and because Sleepy Hollow is Sleepy Hollow, wouldn’tcha know it, he turns out to be right.
Old man Wilcox had a farm, E-I-E-I-O! And on that farm, he had some Dementors—E-I-E-I-AHHHH!
Abbie and Ichabod are preparing to take down these hooded, horned baddies when suddenly they’re joined by some unexpected company: a hot guy. Wearing badass armor. And a big ol’ pair of Maleficent-style wings. That’s right: It’s a motherf—ing angel. Supernatural took four seasons to reach this point; Sleepy‘s done it in one and a half.
As the black demon-proof vest would imply, Mr. Wingley isn’t exactly the harp-strumming, peace-on-Earth, cherubic type. He’s more of an avenging, Old Testament-style angel—one who wields his shiny gold halo as a sort of heavenly boomerang, slicing and dicing the Dementors until they’re nothing but memories. He’s also not one for pleasantries; though the angel recognizes Abbie and Ichabod as Witnesses fighting on the side of good, he’s not exactly receiving them warmly. Maybe we should blame his difficult upbringing—as the new guy, Orion, tells our heroes, Moloch had him trapped in Purgatory for over 200 years. Orion escaped only after the Big Bad met his end six weeks ago—and now he’s trying to make up for lost time by hunting down the other, more malevolent beasties that slipped through the cracks when Purgatory and the world of the living briefly kissed.
NEXT: A new addition to the Scoobies? Not so fast…