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TV Picks: 'Sleepy Hollow,' 'Gotham,' 'Blacklist,' 'Madame Secretary'

TV Picks: 'Sleepy Hollow,' 'Gotham,' 'Blacklist,' 'Madame Secretary'
Tom Mison, left, and Nicole Beharie in "Sleepy Hollow." (Brownie Harris / Fox)

"Sleepy Hollow." The surprise hit of last fall is back, and not a moment too soon.

For one thing, well more like six things, last season's finale left Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) buried alive, Abbie (Nichole Beharie) trapped in purgatory, Katrina (Katiana Winter) captured by the Headless Horseman, Capt. Frank (Orlando Jones) arrested for murder, Abbie's sister Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) unconscious after a car crash and, if it could get any worse, the seemingly trustworthy and lovable Henry (John Noble) revealed as Ichabod's son and the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse (ol' Headless being the First.)

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Top that, "Scandal."

More important, because there were only 13 episodes, the first season ended in January, which means the show's many rabid fans have been waiting nine months to find out how on earth the writers are going to get everyone up and out and back and healed in time to stop the End of Days.

The End of Days, people. So let's get moving.

Oh, and a little show called "Gotham" is on right before. A surprisingly thoughtful and satisfyingly noir prequel to the "Batman" odyssey, it introduces viewers to all their favorite heroes and villains before they were same, and reminds us all of a time when the real superheroes were men in hats who carried a badge. You might want to watch that as well. "Sleepy Hollow:" Fox, Mondays, 9 p.m. "Gotham:" Fox, Mondays, 8 p.m.

"The Blacklist." Was it only a year ago that Red Reddington (James Spader) walked into CIA headquarters and our hearts with a list of super-duper bad guys that only he could bring to justice, and demanded to speak only to Elizabeth Keane (Megan Boone).

Whom he proceeded to make a very conflicted agency superstar while killing her adoptive father (who had his secrets), outing and then shooting her creepy spy husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) and putting her entire team in danger.

One of the most successful new shows of last season, "The Blacklist" reminded us not only how great James Spader is, especially when given the proper dialogue and accoutrements (fedoras, vests) but also how thrilling a connect-the-dots procedural can be.

So who's next on the list? Tom, who amazingly is not dead? Super-villain Berlin (Peter Stormare)? Or a whole new gang of brilliant international thugs with really cool names? Don't care, can't wait, let's go. NBC, Mondays, 10 p.m.

"Madam Secretary." Playing a reluctant secretary of State, Tea Leoni brings female sanity and political heroism to a world perhaps grown weary of broken heroes, twisted ambitions and a universally sardonic view of American government.

Though the Hillary comparisons are tempting, "Madam Secretary" is no "Primary Colors II: Hillary Rising." Part of the long and wistful tradition of aspirational politics, Leoni's Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA operative drafted to the Cabinet by her former boss turned president, is the well-equipped Beltway outlier we love so much. Eschewing politics and image consultants, she will put the country straight, even if she has to lock horns with the president's chief of staff (Zeljko Ivanek) and her own (Bebe Neuwirth.)

So "West Wing" meets "The Good Wife," but, more important, Elizabeth joins a still small group of women who manage to be effective and affecting without benefit of addiction, mental illness or crazy hat affairs with the president. What will they think of next? CBS, Sundays, 8 p.m.

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