'Sleepy Hollow's Finale Delivers the Biggest Loss Yet to Team Witness
Warning! Major spoiler alert. Do not read this unless you've watched Sleepy Hollow's Season 3 finale.
Sleepy Hollow has traditionally gone big with its season finales—Season 1 ended with the reveal that Team Witness ally, Henry (John Noble), was actually Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Katrina's (Katia Winter) presumed dead son, Jeremy…who was working with Moloch; Season 2 saw Ichabod kill Katrina in order to protect Abbie (Nicole Beharie)—but Season 3 changed the very DNA of the Fox series.
While Abbie and Ichabod were in the catacombs in "Ragnarok," the power of the newly reassembled Pandora's box wasn't quite up to par. When the box's essence attached itself to Abbie and began suctioning out her soul, they realized the missing ingredient was one of them—but it appeared they were able to give the box enough to function without totally sacrificing Abbie.
When they got back to Sleepy Hollow and faced off against The Hidden One (Peter Mensah), the box was able to weaken him, but ultimately wasn't able to take him out. Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) encouraged Abbie to sacrifice herself to fully power the box, so The Hidden One would be vulnerable enough to kill. "Never give up hope," Abbie told Ichabod, before she sacrificed her soul (and herself) to the box.
The move successfully allowed Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) to kill The Hidden One, meanting Abbie's sacrifice saved the world from utter destruction. But given what Team Witness has been through over three seasons, Ichabod thought it was just a matter of time before they could save Abbie, and free her being from the box.
However, Pandora declined to help Team Witness save Abbie. "We used each other," she told Ichabod. "Let's call it even." Enraged, Ichabod set about trying to defeat Pandora…and he summoned their common enemy, Headless, to take her out.
Meanwhile, Abbie and her former mentor Corbin (Clancy Brown) reunited in the afterlife. She acknowledged her world felt "complete." He compared her existence to the Phoenix—she could still rise from the ashes. Corbin told her he was proud of her, and then went to reunite with his son, Joe (Zach Appelman), who had also recently died.
Back in Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod was able to help Headless defeat Pandora. But Crane insisted that Pandora tell him how Abbie could be freed from her box before she died. "You love her, don't you?" Pandora questioned. "She is your hope, your everything." But then she dropped the ultimate bombshell: Abbie's essence wasn't in the box; she was truly dead.
But Abbie wasn't totally gone…yet. Ichabod's mind went through many of the pivotal places of their relationship: he "went" to the jail cell where they first met, the library, the porch of Abbie's home (where he's been living, too), and he spoke with Abbie, trying to find a way to keep her around. "What is left for me in a world without you?" he asked.
"Honor our bond," she told him during this dream-like interaction. "Be brave. Be strong." Ichabod gave Abbie a deep bow, and she was gone.
The show jumped forward a little bit in time, as Jenny took Ichabod to visit Abbie's grave. (And her tombstone read: "She bore witness.") Ichabod filled her gravestone in on the latest happenings of the world—he has a new job; her house is up for sale, and he needs to find a place of his own—before Abbie's father, Ezra (James McDaniel), came to talk with him. Ezra warned Ichabod there always needed to be two Witnesses—now that Abbie was gone, her spark was transferred to another distant relative, who needed to be found.
Agents approached Ichabod (and Ezra quickly exited), and told him people in Washington, D.C., wanted to see him. Ichabod vowed to himself he would find the new Witness, before he was escorted away, and the season ended.
It certainly appears at this point that we've seen the end of Abbie Mills. Abbie had survived purgatory, a trip back in time, and the catacombs, but given the extended farewell, it's hard to image the show bringing her back again—at least in any kind of regular capacity.
Sleepy Hollow has always been a show of big swings. And based on "Ragnarok," it appears that if the show returns for a fourth season (no decision has been made at this point), the series will be playing in a drastically different world going forward.
The Sleepy Hollow executive producers, Fox, and 20th Century Fox released the following statement: "The finale, featuring the tragic death of Abbie Mills, was a very dramatic ending and a bold move for the show, but Sleepy Hollow has always been known for its shocking finales. We feel we provided a wonderfully poignant conclusion for Abbie and showed some of the best moments between the Witnesses that we’ve seen on-screen. We thank Nicole Beharie for bringing Abbie and Sleepy Hollow to life. We are currently discussing Season Four, and should the series be picked up for another season, we have some exciting scenarios and new avenues we want to explore."
Update: Beharie tweeted her own statement about exiting the series.
— Nikki Beharie (@NikkiBeharie) April 9, 2016
— Nikki Beharie (@NikkiBeharie) April 9, 2016
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