Sleepy Hollow S3 Premiere: Dear Jesus, It’s Me Ichabod


Sleepy Hollow Season 3 Premiere

Falling ratings combined with an engaged, activist fandom that was not shy about using social media to make their virtual voices heard left Fox executives with two choices at the end of Sleepy Hollow’s second season, cancel it or shake things up dramatically.

Sleepy Hollow’s season 3 premiere makes clear, Fox chose to:

  • Ctrl (limit Crane Family Drama)
  • Alt (fire Executive Producer Mark Goffman)
  • Delete (kill Katrina)

It’s a Sleepy Hollow re-boot, y’all. As with any reboot, there’s the risk some things will be lost.

Goodbye, Headless Horseman; Hello, Pandora

The image of the Horseman of Death wielding an ax or machine gun depending upon his mood while terrorizing Sleepy Hollow on the white horse with the demon red eyes was electrifying . . . in Season 1. TV Juriste, along with fans and critics alike, complained bitterly about his transformation from a mesmerizing monster to a love-lorn dandy.

Time to get over him for good, Sleepy Heads. We briefly see the Headless Horseman in all his former headless glory, but then he evaporates into a haze of smoke and is absorbed into a large decorative box while a disembodied voice introduces us to Season 3’s new big bad, Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon).

Sometimes things we thought were lost are recovered in a reboot.

Agent Abbie Mills: You Know She’s Serious, Because She Now She Has a Bob!

Remember in the pilot episode when we learned that local Sleepy Hollow cop, Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), planned to leave Sleepy Hollow to enter an FBI training program at Quantico? But then a Headless Horseman killed her mentor, a charismatic 100+ year old gentleman claimed an apocalypse was coming, yada, yada, yada . . . Abbie put her dreams on hold.

A lowly “leftenant” no longer, when we first see Abbie, she’s a newly-minted FBI agent, running around in her little FBI suit, with her little FBI bob hair style, chasing down a confidential informant.  The Season 3 reboot allowed Abbie to recover her FBI dream.

Some things may look a little different, but they’re essential the same.

Ichabod is the New Irving (i.e., Incarcerated), But With a Bob!

Abbie’s FBI action is interrupted by a call to pick up Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), who’s sporting a very similar bob hairstyle as Abbie, but he’s clad in a much different suit – an orange jail jumpsuit. His first glance at Abbie shows him looking like a guilty six grader sorting out how to explain his detention to his mom.

Our queen of meaningful facial expressions and epic eye rolls  took one look at jailbird Ichabod and shook her head with a facial expression that communicated equal parts affection and “what am I gonna do with this fool?”

Indeed.

Ichabod is a Rolling Stone

Ichabod is lucky Abbie agreed to pick him up. We learn that after Katrina’s and Henry’s deaths, Ichabod disappeared for 9 months after saying he was just going to take a walk. Abbie’s first contact with him was the call to pick his a$$ up from jail. Trifling! (using the urban dictionary definition of trifling, not Webster’s). To be fair, Ichabod wasn’t actually in jail. He was detained for trying to re-enter the U.S. with an unauthorized historical artifact.

Dear Jesus, It’s Me Ichabod

Ichabod pondered his purpose while detained:

“Is it my destiny to be naught but a ceaseless traveller inexorably slouching my way through this mortal coil. Do you hear me, Jesus?”

Lucky for Ichabod, Jesus responded immediately, from the bottom bunk, telling him “it’s a hard knock life for us.” (Very cute, Sleepy Hollow writers).

Perhaps. But, with Moloch eliminated, the apocalypse averted, Crane still able to take a crack at living 100+ years after his peers, one would think things should be pretty easy for Ichy. Apparently, that’s the problem, Ichabod feels purposeless.

Crane on a Plane; Crane is a Pain

After being rescued from detention, Ichabod tells Abbie about his travels to his ancestral home in Scotland (not clear how he was able to afford the flight), where he discovered a tablet engraved with the words, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod thinks the tablet holds the key to their mission; Abbie laughs and says their mission is over and that her new mission is to be an FBI agent.

That’s good, Abbie, keep your boundaries, girl. Ichabod is still a bit of a jerk.

After rescuing him from detention, when Abbie meekly suggests that Ichabod could have called during his 9 month trip, because they’re “a team,” Ichabod responded in true Ichabod emotionally manipulative fashion:

“But, are we?  . . . A team, implies a mission, a purpose. Henry and Katrina’s deaths closed a chapter for us and it reminded me, perhaps I’m truly adrift in this time.”

Boo hoo, Ichabod nice way to shift the discussion without apologizing. But, that’s our Ichabod. His characterization as a bit of a self-absorbed jerk has been recovered in this reboot.  There’s more.

His Anaconda Don’t . . . His Anaconda Don’t . . .

This semi-dysfunctional team of former witnesses heads to Abbie’s FBI digs where Abbie tells Ichabod about her current mission, Operation Anaconda, an investigation into a multi-state drug trafficking ring. Abbie expresses great pride in her new position, boss and office. Things are good for Miss. Mills.

Ichabod responds to news about Abbie’s great new career path by responding –  “far be it from me to stand in the way of your professional endeavors . . . ”

TVJ PSA: Ladies, if a man starts a comment with anything along the lines of, I don’t want to block your professional endeavors, but . . . ” the next thing he says will be a reason why you should subordinate your professional endeavors to this, that, or the other thing, which inevitably will involve some sort of sacrifice on your part for the benefit of the man making the comment.  Let’s see if I’m right . . .

Ichabod continues,  “there is a far greater role for us.” Yup.

To her credit, Abbie doesn’t even let him finish, in a great “aww, snap” moment Abbie says “has it ever occurred to you that you went looking for your purpose and conveniently found one.” Upon receiving this mild push back from Abbie, Mr. “Are we really a team?” Crane now says that even with Moloch gone they must unite against the second tribulation foretold in the Bible. Oh, ok.

And that brings us to the monster of the week.

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TV Juriste
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Harvard-trained attorney and long-time TV super fan, Terri James (TV Juriste) has worked at E!, NBCUniversal, BBC and for a TV personality, for television shows including, E! News, The Daily Ten, Live From the Red Carpet, Life in the Fab Lane, The Soup, Americans in Bed, Chicago PD, and Royal Pains, among others.Terri's All-Time Favorite TV Shows: The Wire, Seinfeld, Colbert Report, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, 30 Rock, SNL, Homeland (first season), Breaking Bad (final season), My So Called Life, Meet the Press (Tim Russert Years), and Lil Bush.

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  • Pcta

    Pandora – a witch (?) that can do magic. But why in her initial witchy scene could she not project and enunciate? Have none of the SH witch actors seen a production of MacBeth. You can be a witch AND be heard in the second balcony.

    • You’re tough. She’s sooo much better than the whispering wonder, ya gotta admit.

  • Riddley Walker

    Just getting a chance to post here. Great recap once again! I am not impressed with Sexy Betsy Ross, but she isn’t a huge problem for me. Not sure where the show is going with her but the less I see of her, the better. Shannyn Sossamon was surprisingly good as Pandora. On another site we were discussing how fricin’ terrifying Headless (and Moloch) were in S1. There was very much a “Terminator 1” vibe to those “bads” in that season. I miss that, to be honest, but I’m not sure if that kind of threat can be sustained indefinitely. An implacable, unknowable, unreasonable evil force would eventually become a bit boring, I suspect. Anyway, looking forward to seeing how things go on the show–despite it being (perhaps) the last season–at least on FOX.

    • I wonder if Sleepy Hollow could have a secondary life elsewhere. Fox owns the show, so it has the greatest incentive to try to make it work . ..

      Working on the recap of the second episode (they didn’t release it early). I actually was a little bored and my mind wandered!! I’ll have to watch it again.

      Have you been following Gotham! It’s much better than last season. It’s the kind of campy fun Sleepy Hollow used to be!

      • Riddley Walker

        Haven’t seen episode 2 yet. If S3 is good critically and engages the core fans but ratings remain low, maybe it could get a secondary life. We’ll see…

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