The episode begins with Crane on the battlefield in the Hudson Valley in 1781. He is clearly fighting for the colonists (no red coat). During the battle he sees an approaching figure, a man riding a horse whose face is obscured. Crane notices a mark on his hand and there is a sudden dawning realization on his face. He and this nameless figure engage in hand to hand combat, Crane first trying to shoot him and then eventually beheading him. This is when Ichabod passes out and the next time we see him, he is rising from an underground cave, emerging in Sleepy Hollow in 2013. Over the course of the episode we are given a ton of exposition to help us establish who this man is. Basic run down: former member of the British army who grew dissatisfied with the tyranny and switched sides becoming a spy for one George Washington. While in the short story, Crane looses the hand of Katrina, in our version he is married to her. Through some magic hocus-pocus, Crane is kept alive but sleeping and buried deep within the earth for his own protection.
The Headless Horseman
Those are our major players, though there are a few more, including the head of Abbie's police force, Detective Irving (get it?) and her fellow officer
Secondly, monster-of-the-week problems. MotW can be done well. Fringe is a great example of this. It may be a different case each week but it kept the overarching myth and storyline in mind with each case. If not done correctly, the show can quickly fall into boring procedural cop show that only remembers it has an actual arc when prodded. I don't expect to see the Horseman every episode, but we can't go too long without seeing him or we lose what makes the show what it is (it is Sleepy Hollow after all).
--The casting of Crane is spot on, even if he deviates wildly from the original story. He's quirky and funny without being obnoxious. His banter with Abbie was exactly what it needed to be, lighthearted and fun but very real for someone who just woke up after 250 years. I'm sensing some Peter Bishop like qualities in him. There might be some Olivia Dunham in Abbie, but I sort of hope not. Olivia was very special and I'd hate to see Kurtzman and Orci try to replicate her.
--I want to know how much Captain Irving knows about everything. He seemed very hesitant, initially, to allow Abbie to do anything.
--The Starbucks conversation was brilliant. They really are on every corner.
--Impressive visual effects. Loved the walking Horseman. However, please give him back his broadsword. A Headless Horseman packing a rifle is a touch on the silly side.
Overall Verdict: check it out. I think it will have an interesting mythology and storyline. Abbie and Ichabod have a nice working chemistry.