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

Monster of the Week

Two local  Westchester County yokels are shooting cans and talking trash. (doesn’t sound like Westchester County to me, but okay).  A monster that looks like what would happen if the red devil costume worn by the serial killer on Fox’s new series, Scream Queens, came to life (and did cross-fit), attacks them.

It never matters what the monster of the week looks like, when Sleepy Hollow ends a scene with the monster leaping out at the TV audience, I always jump. Always!

Ichabod struts into the crime scene with Abbie to investigate the yokel attack.  No one questions his presence. #CranePrivilege. He sprinkles some dragon’s breath on footprints at the crime scene to determine if there’s been demonic activity, the resulting explosion tells the witnesses what they need to know – there’s demonic activity in Sleepy Hollow!

Not just any demon, back in the archives, the team (Abbie and Ichy, now joined by Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood)) determine that a Yaoguai, a demon that can paralyze people with fear, attacked the yokels. Because this demon is a follower, not a leader, the team also concludes the yokel-attacking Yaogaui must have been summoned by an even more powerful evil force.

The Yaogaui wastes no time moving from attacks on Westchester yokels to an attack on Abbie’s new boss, Mitch Granger (C. Thomas Howell).

Abbie is bad luck for bosses!

  • Sheriff Corbin – Beheaded
  • Captain Irving – Lost his soul, killed, turned into a zombie, exiled.
  • Reyes – Ignored.

Because the cops don’t realize Abbie is a magnet for boss-attacking monsters, they think Operation Anaconda lead gangster, Lorenzo Chang (James Chen), is responsible for attacking Granger. Chang takes hostages and wants to clear his name about Granger’s murder. Abbie launches into a monologue about how she’s seen demons, witches and goblins, but Chang shouldn’t be afraid, because *meaningful background music swells* she’s a witness and it’s her job to fight the demons, witches, etc! What the?   This speech brings Chang to tears. WHY? I’ve got to believe he was sobbing from confusion over the crazy FBI agent talking about witches, goblins, and witnesses.

Abbie manages to arrest Chang and then saves Jenny and Ichabod from the Yaoguai. The episode ends with a witness hug, happy hour at the bar where Jenny works, and Abbie’s first encounter with Pandora!

Overall – the monster-of-the-week storyline was one of the weakest in the show’s history (the Sandman and Weeping Lady storylines were high points).  Otherwise, the new writers did a decent job laying the groundwork for the new season.

End Notes

Jenny Has Traveled the World Securing Ancient Supernatural Artifacts

Jenny reminds the audience of her backstory at least 3 times. Enough! We know! Fans never forgot your backstory, Jenny. That’s why so many of them couldn’t understand why Sleepy Hollow’s second season writers brought in Hot Hawley to do the same job. (TV Juriste was/is a Hot Hawley fan, he just needed to be deployed differently).

New Sleepy Head Game: Take a drink each time Jenny talks about traveling the world securing artifacts.

Where is Captain Irving?

Jenny gives Ichabod and the audience the update on Captain Frank Irving. (sniff, sniff, the Sleepy Head Fandom will miss you, Orlando Jones). Jenny tells us Captain Irving took his family and fled to another country in an effort to protect himself and his family, from what exactly is not clear.  Irving was exonerated and freed from prison by the end of Season 2. I guess Irving was afraid of U.S.-based demons? Maybe he was sick of Abbie and Ichabod.  Who knows. He’ll be missed (particularly his social media presence in the fandom).


The new big bad is Pandora, named for the Greek goddess sent to live and wreak havoc among mortal men.  She’s collecting “fear water” from the victims of the Yaogaui and using it to water a plant, which I’m sure we’ll learn about in future episodes.

Fear is a great theme for this recap. Sleepy Hollow’s writers likely are afraid of fandom backlash after last season. A few PR missteps during the hiatus made fandom activists who lobbied hard for Sleepy Hollow’s renewal to become afraid their efforts were wasted on a show destined to repeat the same mistakes, which brings us to . . .

The Sexy Betsy Battle

Speaking of battles, the Sleepy Hollow Fandom (known for its activism) started gearing up for battle when Fox announced the casting of Nikki Reed as sexy Betsy Ross, a new Sleepy Hollow series regular. Some of the misunderstanding occurred because of this quote from show creator, Len Wiseman,

“Nikki’s the perfect choice to bring a smart and sexy edge to our show’s twisted version of American icon, Betsy Ross.”

As fans repeated that statement on social media some interpreted it as if he’d said Nikki Reed would bring “a smart and sexy edge to THE show,” which seemed like a slight to Beharie and Greenwood. But he actually just admitted that the show was going to have a Betsy Ross character, but in the same way that men have normal Halloween costumes and women only get to have sexy ones – unlike the “twistory” that applies to male historical figures, the show for some reason needs its version of Betsy Ross to be hot.

And, the sexy Betsy character, so far is as silly as it sounds.  In two unnecessary flashbacks, Ichabod explains that Betsy was one of Washington’s most trusted spies. She’s wearing pants and a cleavage bearing corset, which will be her standard attire according to publicity shots. Any historians out there? Was the trouser/corset look typical for women in that era? Was she trying to disguise herself as a man? If so, the push-up bra enhanced cleavage was a giveaway. We know the real answer to these questions; Sleepy Hollow’s wardrobe team or producers require at least one female series regular to wear a corset/pants ensemble. I mean, that’s the only explanation for the outfit.

Here’s my take on sexy Betsy, Sleepy Heads. Don’t lose your head over her. The new writing team would have to be insane to bring a Katrina 2.0 into the mix. I’m calling it now  . . .

Icahbbie is Endgame

The witnesses have matching bobs, for God’s sake!  Sleepy Hollow’s new show runner, Clifton Campbell gave a great interview that explains the path forward without giving too much away. According to Campbell,

  • The Abbie Mills character will not be pushed aside in favor of Crane Family Drama;
  • New season regular, Lance Gross, as FBI Agent Daniel Reynolds will help the show explore Abbie’s personal life; and
  • Season 2 will NOT  be a bunch of standalone monster-of-the week episodes (which was TV Juriste’s greatest fear). The witnesses will face a season-long 2nd tribulation of the apocalypse.

It’s all good or at least it’s on its way to being good again.  See ya next week! (I hope, take the poll and let us know if you plan to keep watching), but not before you watch Fox’s extended tease of Season 3 —

Watch Sleepy Hollow on its new day

Thursdays 9 pm / 8 pm on Fox


The lovely sketch of Nicole Beharie as Abbie Mills is posted here courtesy of Randi Laing. You can find more of her great fan art on her page.

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About The Author

TV Juriste
Founder/Web Designer

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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