‘Sleepy Hollow’: John Noble, Headless to Return and More Season 4 Teases

Jeremy Davies, Lyndie Greenwood, Tom Mison, and Janina Gavankar of 'Sleepy Hollow' at Comic-Con 2016
Stephen Smith/Fox/PictureGroup

Sleepy Hollow has booked a return visit for John Noble.

Noble played Henry Parrish, Ichabod’s (Tom Mison) ally-turned-foe/secret son, for the Fox drama’s first two years. Henry was killed off in the penultimate hour of the show’s sophomore year—and his Season 4 return (first revealed in the show’s New York Comic Con sizzle reel on Sunday) doesn’t appear to be a traditional resurrection. Additionally, the show’s original Big Bad, Headless, appeared in the new footage revealed at the convention.

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The series—which returns to at midseason—in the midst of a transition, as it said goodbye to leading lady Nicole Beharie (who played Abbie Mills)—and its Sleepy Hollow location—at the end of Season 3, in prep for its Season 4 Washington, D.C., setting, in addition to new faces Janina Gavankar (who plays Diana, Crane’s new ally) and Jeremy Davies (who plays Malcolm, the newest Big Bad).

“The spirit of Sleepy Hollow is something that very important to the show; its mythology, and the reason you guys showed up for three seasons, which we obviously very much appreciate,” executive producer Clifton Campbell said during the NYCC panel. “A lot of that moves forward. The spirit of the show is fully intact. George Washington passed along a letter through Ezra Mills to Ichabod Crane. There was a promise in the note for a future that he has carried forward into this iteration of the show.”

Added executive producer Albert Kim, “We close the door on one chapter last year. It was tough. It was really tough for all of us, because it was a show we all loved. What was really important for us was even though a lot of things are changing—new characters, a new partner, a new setting—we stayed true to what the spirit of the show was. Going forward, we looked at what was really important—the horror, the humor, the history—and all of that stays the same going forward. It was the whole idea of one door closes and another opens.”

As Crane adjusts to his new life, he will be challenged by his new foe. “He, in broad strokes, could be defined as someone who was egregiously genius,” Davies previewed. “Almost from the time he was born, he was the smartest guy in the room. You could say he’s one part Steve Jobs and also part Lex Luthor. Perhaps a dash of Hannibal.” Added Mison, “I love that Jeremy said he’s the smartest guy in the room, because Crane always thought he was the smartest guy in the room.”

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Malcolm is also a human, a Sleepy Hollow Big Bad first, and he may have another new trick up his sleeve. “In past seasons, the villains have been quite formidable,” Davies said. “[But the difference here is] he may very well win.”

However, what that victory is remains to be seen. “Maybe not win in the traditional sense,” Campbell teased. “Win in the Sleepy Hollow sense.”

Crane will also form a new team in D.C. to help him with his troubles, but they aren’t immediately looped into the whole truth of what is going on. Diana will learn that Ichabod is a man out of time, but “she figures it out a little bit later,” Gavankar revealed.

And though Crane will work with allies, the show isn’t attempting to replicate his dynamic with Abbie. “We were thinking about a lot of things to get the show back to all the things we loved,” Kim said. “He had grown a little comfortable [in Sleepy Hollow]…one of the things we wanted to do was shake up his world again. Let Crane be Crane, let him be a fish out of water again.”

Sleepy Hollow will also explore the unknown new Witness in Season 4. “A big part of the end of the last season was the idea we’re going to be searching for the next Witness, and who is going to be carrying on the mantle that Abbie carried for so long,” executive producer Raven Metzner said. “It’s really important for Crane and Jenny, and will become important for all of our characters. We carry that with us.”

Jenny, who lost her boyfriend and her sister at the end of last year, has taken on the search for the mysterious Witness in the new season. “It was a bad year,” Greenwood acknowledged of Jenny’s troubles. “[But] she’s a soldier; she knows how important this ultimate battle is. Even with the losses, she’s focused on keeping going…she goes and looks for clues to find the new Witness.”

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Metzner also shared five teases about what’s to come in Season 4: “Crane’s going to sign a lease for his very first apartment—too bad it’s haunted. Crane will find himself in court, facing murder charges. The question is where and when is that. Crane is going to make a very special discovery about…the Lincoln Memorial. Crane is going to proudly post his first social media. He will learning a shocking truth that will redefine the most iconic moment of the series.”