What's in Store for Sleepy Hollow: Finding Out Abbie's Location, More Evil From Pandora and The Hidden One

Marisa Roffman
Sleepy Hollow, Tom Mison, FOX Preview
Tina Rowden/FOX

Sleepy Hollow is taking on its biggest foe yet—a move to Friday nights. But executive producer Clifton Campbell believes the shift is actually a step in the right direction for the supernatural thriller, now in its third season. “That’s the night of The X-Files and Fringe,” he says. “That’s the night where Fox feels a show like this can live and breathe, so I think that fans should read this as a gigantic sign of support.”

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And the series will waste no time getting down to its patented brand of freaky business when it returns. Crane (Tom Mison), Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) and Joe (Zach Appelman) are still reeling from losing Abbie (Nicole Beharie), who vanished after procuring a gem with dangerous powers. “Crane feels quite alone without Abbie—this is new territory for him,” Campbell says. “Their bond is something he relies on a great deal.”

Campbell spoke with TV Guide Magazine/TVInsider about what’s in store for Sleepy Hollow in the back half of the show’s third season.

The biggest question is, what happened to Abbie? What can you share about her location going into the midseason premiere?
A lot of that will be explained; a lot of where she went and what happened, and why that decision was so important to her will be explained. It obviously reflects a great deal on Ichabod Crane and to a no lesser extent, Jenny and Joe, our new team. They're fighting something in the supernatural with Pandora and the Hidden One that they don't understand, and the rules aren't quite what they were with Moloch, which was just utter destruction. There's a plan afoot [with Pandora and the Hidden One]. There's the rise of a once-powerful old god, and [the team] finds themselves in over their heads, and they're trying to do everything they can to not only survive, but to try and put an end to them. The first few episodes answers a lot of questions [and] it asks a lot of questions that will be answered over the back half [of the season]. And a lot of relationships that have started to develop in the first half will be very necessary for teaming together if they're all going to fight and put this threat to bed.

What can you say about Ichabod’s mindset? Even though he and Abbie have been separated in the past, this is a new angle.
I know it seems with a team like this—with two people from very different timelines who have been thrown together for a very specific task—like we've done some version of separating them and [having] them find their way back to each other before. Crane feels quite alone without Abbie—this is new territory for him. Their bond is something he relies on a great deal just to pull himself up by the bootstraps and look around and figure out what he has to work with, and what he needs to do. I really believe their bond is challenged in a much more unique way this time, and one that feels so much more dire because she's literally just gone, and we don't know what that means at all.

Even as the team searches for Abbie, evil doesn’t just take a holiday. What can you say about Pandora and The Hidden One’s scheming?
Pandora has her plan in play, she has her man back—The Hidden One, the love of her life—and it’s an opportunity to sort of mirror the relationship with the one Crane has with Abbie (the sacrifice, the bond, all the challenges therein) while Pandora and The Hidden One’s plan is taking shape. There’s an immediate issue with having to reset their reign, 4000 years later, in modern day Sleepy Hollow. That will present some challenges for Pandora and The Hidden One. We’re going to have an exciting back half as the season winds out.

And how are Jenny and Joe holding up?
They’re all dealing with the same loss, each from a different perspective. Joe needs to be even more supportive than he has been. Jenny’s response to all of these challenges she’s had since she was a little girl is just to roll up her sleeves and dive in. That may not be the best plan when they don’t know what they’re diving into, and I think Joe is a nice moderating influence for her. It’s nice to see them together. He’s sort of a surprising breath of fresh air in her life. I don’t know how quick she is to embrace that. But in holding off her feelings and walling up, she also realizes that she misses out on some important parts of life; but in the back half, we’ll find them trying to be together.

Looking ahead, Abbie and Jenny’s father will be popping back into the picture. What can you say about him?
James McDaniel is doing a great job. It’s a character that has been talked about early on in the series. There was this perception that he was an abusive man, he ran out on his family, he turned his back on his children. If you look at it one way, he was an absentee parent. If you look at it another way, which we plan to do, you’ll see there are reasons he did what he did. All these years later, his children are grown adults, obviously very strong women, and he feels much more compelled to let them know what’s going on with him. That’s a relationship we’re really excited about, and we think the fans are going to dig it.

Former Sleepy Hollow star Orlando Jones (Frank Irving) was upfront about the show being different now, and he expressed skepticism about whether there would be room for him to return. Where do you and the writers stand on Frank possible return for a guest spot?
We love talking to him; we had a few things we’ve talked about in the room which would make that an exciting possibility. Orlando has a lot going on; the show wanted to move in a certain direction. We couldn’t find a place in the middle between his schedule and what we were hoping to do this season that worked out for both teams. But he’s great. He has so many loyal fans that connect him to this show. We would really like to entertain that possibility. I can’t speak to his future plans. I know at least, in this season, we feel we have a goal line we need to cross. But we’re always open to something.

What else has you excited about the second half of the season?
I think The Hidden One and Pandora are very interesting Big Bads. They’ve got the remnants of an old universe, but at the end of the day, they have a very human storyline that we can all relate to. We’re excited to see how that unfolds, and how someone with that much power can have such big problems…these two people have to grapple with earthly concerns to make their plans unfold. I like the way it reflects on relationships we have embedded in the series: Crane with Jenny, Crane with Joe, Crane with Abbie, Crane with everybody. It’s a nice reflection, and not one I think you would expect from a show like this. There’s no shortage of scare, there’s no shortage of demons coming to Sleepy Hollow, but underneath that is a nice relationship story we think is pretty unique.

Sleepy Hollow returns Friday, Feb. 5  at 8/7c on Fox.