Inside Sleepy Hollow’s Shocking Season 1 Finale

Sleepy Hollow
Brownine Harris/FOX
Sleepy Hollow

The end is nigh for Sleepy Hollow‘s first season. And it looks extremely…busy. It’s a stinging-cold December morning at Wilmington, North Carolina’s EUE/Screen Gems Studios. In the nearby woods, a stuntwoman wearing a low-cut, corseted frock is being pulled through the air on a thick cord and dropped nose-first onto a safety mat. “Can she be yanked even harder?” director Ken Olin (thirtysomething) asks the crew member at the other end of the rope. Yes, she certainly can. Yards away, set dressers attach unruly branches to a quartet of white trees that will represent the show’s deadly Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in a trippy upcoming scene. Stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie are suited up as Revolutionary War hero Ichabod Crane and modern-day detective Abbie Mills (he in his wig and long military overcoat, she with her standard-issue Glock) and heading to a clearing in the loblolly pines that will double as a portal to purgatory. Now, it’s where guest star John Noble (Fringe) is having coffee and a cigarette. And Orlando Jones is in police captain Frank Irving’s civvies, giddily grilling his lunch in front of a visiting cameraman from The Rachael Ray Show.

At the studio, Victor Garber has arrived for his fitting to play Ichabod’s estranged father. Derek Mears, the second man to portray supreme demon Moloch, is preparing to squeeze his naked 6-foot-5 frame into the previous actor’s much smaller bodysuit and ram’s horns. “Oh, my arms,” he moans, only slightly joking. About a half-dozen other middle-aged men are milling around waiting to get tricked out like 18th-century Oxford professors. “We’re adrenaline junkies,” says head costumer Kristin Burke about her crew. “We go for it.”

The only “person” sitting still is the nude dummy of the man immolated by a witch in Episode 2, who is drolly perched outside the stars’ trailers. The fact that his torched genitals are still intact (and on display) is just slightly more disturbing than the gift from a child fan that hangs in the production office’s hallway — a drawing of a fire-haired, eye-patched hell spawn that reads: “To Sleepy Hollow. Kill Ichabod Crane! Go Hedluss [sic] Horseman! From Ava.”

Dear Ava: TV’s gonzo, gothic success has even wilder plans for its two-hour season finale on Jan. 20. “I don’t think anyone sees what’s coming,” Beharie warns. “I was completely thrown. There are so many twists, turns and ways that all of the different storylines start to make sense. It’s definitely up there with the big stuff you get in a series finale.” Says Jones, “The show’s a rebellion on all levels.”