Sleepy Hollow: Fare Thee Well

Well, my fellow Sleepyheads, it looks like we’ve come to the end of the road. I was hoping this season was enough to give Sleepy Hollow one more shot at getting it right, but alas, the TV gods have decided our journey is over. The road hasn’t always been fun or easy, but I’m still glad for the journey. So here are a few closing thoughts.

When Sleepy Hollow debuted 4 seasons ago, it was a breath of fresh air. It was exciting, fun, action-packed, and engaging. It was unlike any other show on television, and I was thrilled. One of the primary reasons that first season worked so well was the chemistry between Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. They were such a wonderful team, and Sleepy Hollow accomplished something that I don’t think any other show has been able to pull off. They achieved an intimate relationship between their two leads without the relationship having sexual undertones. Ichabod and Abbie loved each other deeply, but there was nothing sexual about it. It was refreshing to explore that kind of relationship. Another reason the first season worked so well was that everyone agreed the show was ridiculous. The show never took itself too seriously and never tried to be more than it was. Because everyone agreed that the premise was ridiculous, that allowed them to just let loose and have fun. There was also the fact the show had interesting supporting characters in Jenny Mills and Frank Irving, a really good villain in Moloch, and even a pretty awesome surprise twist about Henry Parrish actually being the son Ichabod never knew he had. It was wonderful. But then the show had to go and mess it all up. Two words: Katrina Crane.

One of the worst mistakes the show made was inserting Katrina Cane into the main storyline. She was fine in season one when she was trapped in Purgatory and was only sporadically in the story, but when the powers that be decided to make her a regular part of the story, that’s where things started going off the rails. They brought her into the story, but then they didn’t really know what to do with her. At first, they tried to have her become a part of the team. Supposedly she was a powerful witch, but she never actually seemed to have enough power to be helpful. Then they tried to generate some angsty drama by having Katrina become jealous of Ichabod’s relationship with Abbie. Which was kind of ridiculous since a blind man could see that there was absolutely nothing sexual or romantic about Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship. Then in the last two or three episodes of season two, TPTB inexplicably decided to turn Katrina into the major baddie. Uhhh…what? The bottom line is, they wanted to try and interject some “sex appeal” into the show because all Katrina really ever did was run around in a corset with her bosom heaving right into the camera. Her presence didn’t add anything to the overall story, and it actually would’ve been better without her.

Sleepy Hollow "Blood and Fear" Season 3 episode 3 (2)

Another major mistake the show made was losing its sense of humor. It started taking itself entirely too seriously, and forgot that it’s supposed to be ridiculous. It became overly angsty and engaged in way too much navel gazing. Granted, they were dealing with some pretty heavy subject matter. But one of the things the show managed to do well in the first season was interject humor into an otherwise dark situation. Sometimes that humor came from Ichabod’s befuddlement with the modern age. Sometimes it came from Abbie’s mild annoyance with Ichabod. But however it came, it helped the show remember that it’s supposed to be ridiculous and fun. Or maybe, like me, the powers that be deal with stressful situations through humor. I don’t know. But I do know that by about mid-season two, there was very little laughter to be had at all and that trend unfortunately continued through most of season three. The show seemed to realize it’s mistake by the time season four rolled around, but by then, it was apparently too late.

Season four felt like an attempt to return to what worked in season one. The new supporting cast was interesting and provided some comedic relief when necessary. The story was much more focused than it had been since season one ended. The show was only picked up for 13 episodes, and I think that shorter season was working for them. It forced TPTB to trim the fat story wise, and the result was an interesting, coherent story. The villain, even though he was extremely odd, was also actually interesting. Which I also cannot say we’ve had for a couple of seasons. Unfortunately, it just seems it was all too little too late. I am glad that the show got to go out on a bit of an upswing. Even when the show was at its worst, I still enjoyed Ichabod and Abbie, and I will miss those characters. But then again, there’s always Netflix. So, my fellow Sleepyheads, fare thee well.