From horsemen to succubi: Everything we know about Sleepy Hollow S2

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Sep 19, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT

At face value, before the start of last season, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow really didn’t look like it would be that good. Boy, were we wrong.

The supernatural series was one of the biggest hits of last fall, and it built a reputation on fantastic characters, WTF twists and zero fear to embrace the weirdest and craziest corners of the supernatural. It was a breath of fresh air for genre fans, and now it's finally back for a second go-round. 

It’s hard to believe the first season was a mere 13 episodes, considering all the insanity they crammed into that compressed timeline. But we’ll be getting a super-sized dose of Sleepy Hollow this season, as they’ve cranked up the order to 18 installments.

So while we patiently wait for Ichabod and Abbie’s (hopefully) triumphant return to Fox’s schedule on Monday, Sept. 22, here’s everything we know about the sophomore season. And we mean everything.

The story so far: Buried alive, trapped in purgatory ... and War is here

Long story short: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) is a Revolutionary War soldier who runs across a vicious Hessian soldier on the battlefield. Crane takes a fatal blow but manages to chop off the enemy soldier’s head with his last dying breath. Luckily for Crane, his wife Katrina (Katia Winter) is secretly a witch and manages to bring him back to life in the modern day after his blood mingles with the soldier’s on the battlefield. The (now headless) horseman comes back, and so does Crane.

In modern-day Sleepy Hollow, Crane eventually hooks up with local cop Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) to hunt down the horseman and all kinds of other demonic baddies plaguing the town. Abbie and her sister Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) had a run-in with the demon Moloch as children, which eventually landed Jenny in an institution because everyone thought she was crazy after reporting what she saw. 

Crane and Abbie eventually deduce that they’re a destined duo of “witnesses” tasked with stopping all hell (literally) from being unleashed upon the earth via the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Jenny eventually busts out and joins them in the good fight. Abbie’s new police chief, Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) — brought in after the previous chief is beheaded — realizes there’s a lot of shady stuff going on in town, too, and allows Ichabod and Abbie the freedom to deal with those threats (and helps out from time to time). But things go haywire when Irving’s daughter is possessed late in the season, and he’s forced to take the fall for some demonic murders to keep the heat off his child. When last we left Irving, he was seemingly headed for the slammer.

Oh, and did we mention there’s also a sin eater played by the stellar John Noble (Fringe), who it turns out is actually Crane and Katrina’s long-lost secret son, who cut a deal with a demon after being buried alive and is now the the Horseman of War? Along with War, he goes by the names Henry Parrish and Jeremy Crane.

Still with us? Good.

There are cliffhangers, and then there’s “Bad Blood,” the season-one finale for Sleepy Hollow. The final few minutes of this episode included a season’s worth of revelations, and they left our heroes about as scattered as humanly possible. Seriously. The big stuff: Abbie is trapped in purgatory, Crane is buried alive by his evil son, Katrina has been handed over to the horseman (who was previously an old friend of Ichabod’s with the hots for his wife), and Jenny was left for dead in the street after he car was totaled by the horseman. The end. To be continued.

So where does Sleepy Hollow go from here?

Great question, and though we don’t know how they’ll be getting out of all those positively insane cliffhangers, the cast and crew have dropped some hints about what to expect for season two.

First up, don’t expect everything to be back to the status quo by the close of the season finale. Producer Mark Goffman promises they won’t be taking the easy way back to get the gang back together; he said fans should definitely be surprised: “We didn't want to get out of that easily, so whatever you think is coming isn't coming.”

Another thing: John Noble’s War, who was deliciously evil and fun, has been promoted to a series regular — meaning we’ll be seeing a lot more of him this fall. Which makes sense, since we’d expect he’ll basically be the Big Bad for the year. At the recent San Diego Comic-Con panel promoting the new season, Noble said his character would become “the personification of evil” while planting “seeds of doubt everywhere in everyone,” which sounds absolutely awesome.

We can also expect Katrina’s kidnapping to last a while, or at least have some lingering effects, as the cast and crew have teased a “Beauty and the Beast”-type relationship between her and Headless/Abraham, aka her former fiancee. What exactly does that mean? We don’t know, but at least it’ll be nice for Katrina to have more to do than send cryptic messages from purgatory this time around.

As for fans pulling for Ichabod and Abbie to hook up (despite the fact that Crane's wife is, like, also a main character)? Don't look for that this season, if at all, because the cast indicates the whole apocalypse thing will keep them pretty distracted. They're also keen to explore what their relationship means outside of romantic turns, and after seeing their great chemistry in season one, that sounds like the right direction. At least for year two.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about weird and freaky baddies, season two should have you covered. Series co-creator Len Wiseman told TV Line the gang will have to contend with a wendigo and succubus, as well as two mysterious baddies known as Kindred and the Pied Piper. “We’re always twisting things up with some of the legends we’re familiar with,” he said. 

They’ll also be digging deeper into the (extremely fun) flashbacks with Crane in colonial times, including the introduction of characters like Benjamin Franklin and Benedict Arnold. The writers call it “twistory,” i.e. putting a supernatural twist on well-known history, and it's emerged as one of the series’ most entertaining aspects.

We’ll also meet a lot of new faces in season two

They kept the key cast fairly tight in season one, and by upgrading Noble’s baddie and Greenwood’s Jenny to series regulars in year two, it implies they’ll be digging deeper into characters we already know. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be some new blood in Sleepy Hollow this fall.

To fill the leadership void left by Bloom’s Irving, a new police captain will be coming to town — and she apparently won’t be as easy to work with as Irving.  Actress Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards) has signed on in a recurring role as the town’s new sheriff, Leena Reyes. Producer Roberto Orci teased that she’ll be making Ichabod and Abbie’s lives “very difficult” while at the helm of the local police force.

This season will also see the introduction of Abbie and Jenny’s mother, Lori Mills, played by Aunjanue Ellis (The Mentalist). As far as they know, their mother died 16 years ago after committing suicide. But Abbie and Jenny will learn “the real truth” about their mother this season. Exactly how it’ll fit into the end-of-the-world stuff, we don’t quite know. But, since her daughters are demon bait, it'd stand to reason Mama Mills is also connected.

We told you they’d be doing more period-set stuff this season, and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin will play a big part in that arc. Timothy Busfield (The West Wing) has signed in a recurring capacity to play Franklin in flashbacks, and it turns out he was also involved in the secret war against evil, demonic forces. He’ll also be naked, too, apparently. Yeah.

As if being torn between Katrina and Abbie wasn’t enough, season two will also introduce a crazy ex-girlfriend of Ichabod’s played by Heather Lind (Turn). Dubbed Mary Wells, the character will apparently feature in flashbacks and reveal a time where Ichabod was dating a chick with some major, major mood swings.

But that’s not all! Next season will also bring a new, recurring ally to town — the “ruggedly handsome” bounty hunter Nick Hawley, played by Matt Barr (One Tree Hill) with apparent swagger. Hawley will reportedly get roped into a supernatural case being investigated by the team and end up helping by episode’s end. His role is listed as "recurring," so if he's cool, he could definitely return.

Sound off: What do you want to see in season two of Sleepy Hollow?