Sleepy Hollow: So What Now?

The Sleepy Hollow season finale is a few weeks in the rear view mirror now, and I’ve spent that time trying to figure out how I feel about Abbie’s fate. I still don’t think the narrative warranted Abbie’s death, and it got me asking myself the question: Where does Sleepy Hollow go from here?

The primary reason I fell in love with the show was the relationship between Ichabod and Abbie. Ichabod’s attempts to make sense of the 21st century and Abbie kind of needling him about it were always entertaining. There’s nothing quite like Ichabod getting his shorts twisted about something and going off on a rant while Abbie just shakes her head fondly and lets him get it out of his system. More than that, though, I really enjoyed how intimate Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship was without it being sexual. So often television shows don’t seem to understand that sex and intimacy are not interchangeable. Because Ichabod and Abbie weren’t romantic partners and there wasn’t all this simmering sexual tension between them, it allowed them to develop a deep, strong kinship. That bond served as an anchor for both of them and as a foundation for the show as a whole. Now that that relationship is gone, I’m not really sure how to feel about that nor am I sure how stable the show’s foundation will be.

The show made a big point in the season finale to explain that Abbie’s essence (for lack of a better word) is still out there searching for the other witness. I don’t really understand how that’s possible, and I’m kinda peeved that the show basically said that anyone who is a witness would’ve developed that kind of bond with Ichabod. I don’t believe that to be the case. Ichabod and Abbie redefined the role of the witnesses so much so that they were able to avert the apocalypse. To say that Abbie’s essence will continue to find Ichabod and provide him with the support he needs cheapens the bond Ichabod and Abbie formed. I guess they’re trying to do with Ichabod what Doctor Who has done with The Doctor. His companions (the good ones at least) have always explored new facets of The Doctor and kept him reigned in. It would be nice if Sleepy Hollow were going that deep, but I sincerely doubt it.

So where does the show go from here? There’s no apocalypse to avert any longer because they’ve already done that. There’s no petulant, power-hungry god to put down because they’ve already done that. That’s not to say that there aren’t any interesting directions for the show take. Of course there are. The season finale actually did a good job of laying out several possibly interesting storylines. I hope the powers that be will spend some time over the break working something out on that front, but I’m more concerned about how we’re going to replace Abbie. Ichabod building a relationship with a new character, and could be interesting and I am sincerely planning to keep an open mind. But that being said, Ichabod and Abbie together was my reason for sticking it out during season two. That relationship was my reason for coming back to season three. Therefore, the show needs to understand that whoever they bring in as the other witness needs to be good. I mean really good. Not Abbie Lite or Abbie Adjacent. I’m just saying.

Outside of the narrative, I’m kinda bummed that we’ve lost one of the few female, minority leads on a network show. It’s not often that kind of thing happens, and it thrilled me to no end to turn on my television and see someone who looked like me on screen being awesome. One of the things I think Sleepy Hollow got right is the way it populated its universe. When Sleepy Hollow does a scene in a bar or a farmer’s market, the people look like folks in Anywhere, USA and not like they all just stepped out of an Abercrombie photo shoot. The fact that out of this season’s cast of seven series regulars, only two were straight, white males isn’t something you see often on network shows. Why am I brining attention to this? Because I hope Sleepy Hollow isn’t losing its nerve about showing more diversity. That would be a real shame.