'Sleepy Hollow' Season 1 Finale Recap: The Shocking Truth About War
'Sleepy Hollow' Season 1 Finale Recap: The Shocking Truth About War
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The two-hour season 1 finale of FOX's Sleepy Hollow had everything fans could want. There was comedy, mystery and, most importantly, some truly jaw-dropping twists and surprises at the very end that made me squeal with delight. There are also plenty of insane cliffhangers that basically leave all of the major characters in very, very bad places.

The Map to Purgatory

The first hour is a simple episode in which Abbie and Ichabod unlock the secret message in George Washington's Bible. Four days after he died, the first president was resurrected by warlocks and drew a map that leads to Purgatory, which he was then buried with.

With an assist from Sin-Eater Henry Parrish (whose actions and motivations take on a whole new meaning with the final revelations in the episodes), they track down George Washington's real grave hidden in a Masonic crypt. A newly demonic Andy tries to stop them, but they make it out alive with the map.

However, Abbie is worried that the prophecy of Ichabod's betrayal will come true since he's obsessed with saving Katrina, so as a sign of loyalty, Ichabod burns the map. But thanks to his photographic memory, he redraws it.

Elsewhere in the first hour, Captain Irving has to face an inquiry about the deaths at the cabin in the last episode. He tells his boss that "evil" is to blame, but the prime suspect is Macey. I'm not entirely sure why anyone would think a little girl in a wheelchair could kill a revered and a police officer with her bare hands, but in order to stop it, Captain Irving confesses to the murders to protect his daughter. He's arrested and sent away, and that's the end of his story this season.

War Is Coming

As the second hour of the finale begins, Henry has a vision of Moloch summoning the second Horseman, War, who will ride with his flaming sword during a solar eclipse. As it happens, there's a solar eclipse that very night, which is also the 13-year anniversary of when Abbie and Jenny first saw Moloch in the woods.

Together the team hatches a plan to prevent War from coming by casting a spell on the dirt to stop him from rising. However, this requires a witch and the only helpful one they know is Katrina. So the plan first involves them rescuing her from Purgatory with the replacement map Ichabod drew up, something Abbie isn't too pleased to learn about.

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Welcome to Purgatory

They head to Purgatory to find Katrina, but Henry warns them that if they eat or drink anything, they will be trapped forever. They do a chant and a magical doorway opens up in the middle of the woods.

After passing through, Abbie wakes up in the cabin. She's greeted by Sheriff Corbin and Andy who tell her she suffered a concussion while training at Quantico. They make her feel warm and at home, but when they try to get her to eat some apple pie a la mode, she remembers that it's all a trick. The pie starts to bleed, forever ruining one of my favorite desserts, and she flees.

In his version of Purgatory, Ichabod returns to England where he's greeted by his father as a conquering hero, having helped the British win the Revolutionary War. Mr. Crane is played by Alias' Victor Garber, who along with John Noble represent the two most awesome dads from J.J. Abrams-produced shows. Ichabod's dad tries to get him to drink a toast to celebrate Ichabod's new job as a professor, but he remembers that it's not real.

The two then wake up in the woods surrounded by a nightmarish hellscape of faceless bodies and crawling amputees. They reconnect and prove that they're both real thanks to a fist bump.

They find Katrina in a church and quickly explain their plan. She tells them that she can't leave Purgatory without destroying the wall between worlds. There is one solution: She can leave if another soul takes her place.

Ichabod offers to stay behind, but Abbie says it needs to be her, that she needs to stay in Purgatory and face Moloch. Ichabod is worried that this will fulfill Moloch's prophecy because he is trading in the soul of the second Witness. Abbie is fine with it, as long as Katrina promises to come back and trade places again after War is prevented from rising. Katrina agrees and gives Abbie a special necklace to protect her against Moloch before the Cranes return to the real world.

Abbie in the Dollhouse

In Purgatory, Abbie fights Moloch then runs away, ultimately falling into a kid's room populated by her inner child. It turns out on the day Abbie and Jenny first saw Moloch 13 years ago, he took away their memories of what happened and hid them in Purgatory. And the truth about that day is a game-changing twist, but for now, Abbie is stuck in a dollhouse in Purgatory.

The Saint's Name Is a Sign

While Ichabod and Abbie are on their mission, Jenny uses Sheriff Corbin's old cases to figure out the meaning of Moloch's mysterious warning, "The Saint's name is a sign." The clues lead her to a church and Jenny finds a literally sign that tells her the unknown name of the church, which is every bit as game-changing as Abbie's memories. She freaks out and calls Abbie to warn her, but before she can the Headless Horseman shows up in the middle of the road and shoots the car. The car flips over and Jenny is left for dead.

The Truth About War

This is where Sleepy Hollow gets really, really good. Katrina is unable to cast a spell to bind War, and instead Henry uses magic to tie Ichabod and Katrina to the white trees. This leads to several huge, shocking revelations:

-Henry is War! Moloch actually raised him 13 years ago (which is the memory Abbie and Jenny had removed from their brains) and he's been waiting all this time to gain his full power.

-Henry is also Jeremy Crane, Ichabod and Katrina's son! Yes, it's a twofer as the young man who was buried by the witches remained alive underground for all that time. After 200 years he was saved by Moloch and resurrected as War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Once he came back he wandered around and he took his name from the sign of the church he found: St. Henry's Parish. That's the literal sign Jenny found before she was attacked by the Headless Horseman.

Needless to say, Ichabod and Katrina are as stunned as I was to learn their son is now War. The entire final scene and epic speeches from John Noble are outstanding, and I hope they promote him to a series regular next season.

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In the final moments of the episode, Henry/Jeremy/War gives his mom over to the Headless Horseman as his prize. And as a punishment for Ichabod, War drops him into the casket Jeremy was buried in, breaks the Second Seal, and buries his own father alive.


Henry Parrish being War was a great twist, but also being Jeremy Crane put this show into overdrive. Sleepy Hollow definitely went out with a bang and season 2 can't come soon enough. Captain Irving is in jail, Jenny is seriously injured in the middle of the road, Katrina is with the Headless Horseman, Abbie is stuck in Purgatory and Ichabod is buried alive. It's safe to say that Moloch is the winner of the first season.
 

(Image courtesy of FOX)

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