Sleepy Hollow “Ragnarok” Review (Season 3, Episode 18)

Hello my fellow Sleepyheads. I’ve been out of pocket for a while which is why this review of the Sleepy Hollow season finale is so ridiculously late. Now that I’ve had a chance to watch it, a few thoughts:

Well, I actually only really have one thought about the finale. WHAT THE WHAT?! No seriously, Show. What exactly have you done? Things were going along just fine. All of the season’s story threads were being pulled together in a relatively nice bow. There was plenty of action and drama. Everything was fine. Until it became apparent that the entire episode was written as a send-off to Abbie Mills. That’s when things went downhill. At least they did for me. Why? Well, I’m glad you asked.

First of all, Abbie is half the heart of the show. Yes. Ichabod is adorable. I love him to death, but he is never more adorable than during his interactions with Abbie. The relationship that exists between Ichabod and Abbie is what caused me to fall in love with the show in the first place. It is what gives the show balance. It is what kept me coming back even during the mess that was last season. Essentially cutting out half the show’s heart makes me concerned about the fate of the show going forward. Most of what makes the show work is Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship, so taking that away already puts the show at a disadvantage should it come back next season. It’s not that I don’t want Ichabod to explore relationships with other characters. Sure I do. But I didn’t want it to be at the expense of the show’s core relationship.

Second of all, Abbie’s sudden demise doesn’t really fit with the story they’ve been telling for her all season. Abbie has gone through a lot since Ichabod walked into her life, but none so much as she went through this season. She was pushed and tested, and came out on the other side stronger for it. The show was just starting to peel back a few more of Abbie’s layers when BAM! She’s gone. And I don’t get why. I’m not going to deal with anything that may or may not have been going on behind the scenes. I’m going to stick strictly with what happened on screen. And on screen, Abbie was just getting back on her feet after having been trapped in the catacombs. She’s just smoothed things over with Reynolds and was opening herself up to the possibility of actually having a relationship with him. Her father has just come back into her life and revealed that he’s known about all this supernatural stuff all along and that’s part of the reason he left. Basically, the show opened up several different paths Abbie’s character could’ve taken and any one of them would’ve been pretty interesting to explore. Sadly, it looks like we won’t be walking down any of those paths. It would be one thing if the show had been working up to her death all season, but they weren’t. At least not from what I could see. It’s feels like the powers that be were looking to add some shock value to the season finale, and this was how they chose to do it. That’s frustrating because it says to me that they don’t respect the character they’ve created over the past three seasons and they don’t respect the viewers who have invested in this character for just as long.

Finally, and most importantly, Abbie deserves better. There are precious few interesting, complex, layered female characters on television these days, and Abbie Mills was at the top of that list. She wasn’t relegated to a support role for the male lead nor was she running around scantily clad with her heaving bosom on full display. She was smart, resourceful, and funny with or without the aid of the male lead. As a matter of fact, in most instances, Abbie drove the plot forward more so than Ichabod or any other character and she did so with her own style. Basically, even though she and Ichabod were great together, she was also great on her own. She was also one of the few characters who broke outside of the comic relief/best friend/stereotype roles usually reserved for characters of color on most network television shows. That all boils down to the fact that Abbie was just a wonderful character, and the fact that she happened to be African-American and female was just icing on the cake. Nicole Beharie did such a wonderful job bringing Abbie to life, and I really wish the show had given Abbie more respect. I suppose you could argue that Abbie got to go out saving the world which is definitely heroic. I won’t argue with you there. I suppose you could argue her decision to sacrifice herself for the cause was true to her character. I might be able to argue with you there, but I won’t. There were just so many other, better ways for the show to go with such a wonderful character, and not all of them needed to end in her sudden demise. Bottom line: Abbie just deserves better.