From the beginning of season three, Sleepy Hollow’s new showrunner, Clifton Campbell, hit the ground running with a total reboot after fans rose up in protest over the lack of Ichabod and Abbie in season two. With a few new faces and wardrobe lift for both Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), he has successfully conjured season one nostalgia, firmly placing Team Witness together, trying define their ‘relationship. Yes, I said the ‘R’ word!
All season long chatter among Sleepyheads has been, “Why can’t Abbie have a real relationship, while Ichabod has two (or three if you count Abbie in the mix)? Why aren’t we seeing what happened with Reynolds (Lance Gross) and Abbie on screen in a flashback, instead of just hearing about it? Why aren’t they writing Ichabod and Abbie as a couple because it’s been two and a half years?” Honestly, while I do validate some of the complaints to a certain extent, I was hoping that since the show had clearly reset itself with amazing new cast members, a cohesive, intriguing chapter in the Sleepy Hollow saga and new baddie, Sleepyheads would give it a fighting chance. Still, many continue to harbor ill will and some fans chose to abandon ship, believing there would be no chance of Ichabbie (smush word for Ichabod and Abbie).
As most of you know, I’m definitely in ‘Team Ichabbie’s’ court, swooning over every little touch, look and sideways glance! All season long TPTB have said Ichabod and Abbie work better as “just partners” or their relationship is “platonic”. I kept asking myself, “Am I reading too much into all the Ichabbie Moments over the past two and a half seasons? And is it possible my Ichabbie shipping heart is just seeing what I want to see?” Being a fan of soap operas since I was 14 years old, I’ve learned to be patient for favorite couples to get together, as each new pairing went through months of obstacles, misunderstandings and family drama before even coming close to admitting how they feel. Hell, it took Days of Our Lives Bo and Hope over a year and a half to finally make their relationship “official”.
Unfortunately the times of stringing fans along for several seasons is no longer conducive. Now our attention spans have dwindled down so much that if a show doesn’t hook the audience right away, it’s practically hitting the cutting room floor with a loud boom! Some of the best online serials are only 15-20 minutes in length and even at that, some snicker, “Why should we continue watching?” My point is, I think we’ve seen Ichabod and Abbie play dodge ball for two and a half years. It’s time to stoke the fire…and burn up our screens!
But I digress. Let’s “memory lane it” as Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) says and take a look at season three thus far…
We begin the season with Ichabod in the slammer, orange uniform and all, due to his attempt to smuggle an ancient tablet he found in his family’s crypt in Scotland. Abbie is now an FBI Agent on the fast track to what she believes is her new mission, while her sister Jenny is back into the thick of things with Joe Corbin (Zach Appelman), the late Sheriff Corbin’s son.
After Ichabod summons Abbie to bail him out of his predicament, we learn he’s been MIA for nine months with no contact! Really? I’m still finding it hard to believe. They’ve been glued to the hip ever since he rose from the grave and Abbie is literally the only friend he has (minus Jenny) in the world! I don’t buy this “it became a habit” scenario. I mean we’ve seen him texting Zoe (I’ll get into that later) twenty times an hour! Can you feel my blood starting to bubble? Okay. I’m back to my senses.
Ichabod also informs Abbie that the energy in Katrina’s (Katia Winter) necklace has been drained. He believes something has happened to Abraham Van Brundt (Neil Jackson) aka Horseman of Death. He further relays the reason this tablet is so vital to their “Mission” as Witnesses is because it reads, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Abbie laughs and then proceeds to discredit this notion, sure Ichabod is just looking for something to latch on to since losing his family. Needless to say, although reluctant to don her ‘Team Witness’ cap, both realize evil has once again returned to Sleepy Hollow.
Little do they realize the magnitude of that statement.
VILLAINS: PANDORA AND THE HIDDEN ONE
The season literally begins with Pandora, played brilliantly by Shanynn Sossamon, capturing the Headless Horseman (aka) Abraham Van Brundt in her little box o’ horrors. She has a plan to bring forth her boyfriend, a deity from Ancient Egypt named Etu Illue (Peter Mensah).
Ichabod and Abbie deduce that this particular Pandora, is not derived from Greek Mythology, but is the Sumerian version of the first woman created by the Gods. In Sumerian lore, Pandora is called ‘Inanna’, who is sent to the “inferior world” aka Earth. In Sumarian Mythology, the Anunnaki were good and evil God and Goddesses sent to Earth to begin the human race. They created bloodlines. If you’ll recall in “Novus Ordo Seclorum” Pandora tells Abbie that she and Ichabod can join the ‘new world of the ages’ because of their linage.
This has been one of my biggest questions- how did they become Witnesses, who knew and are they reincarnated each generation? If you recall in Magnum Opus Abbie saw one of her ancestors turned to stone by the Gorgon! Was she a Witness lured there to her death? I think we’ll finally learn exactly why Ichabod and Abbie were chosen as Witnesses in the second half of the season.
On Sleepy Hollow, in order to punch a hole into this realm, Pandora grows a tree by which a single flower blooms upon extracting a fear from the Witnesses. She proceeds to summon creatures from her box, but not just any entities, very specific ones that illicit variations of certain types of fear. Although Pandora disappears into the tree, which is believed to be a portal to the Underworld, she returns with her boyfriend, Etu Illue. But where did she snatch him from? Was he really in the Underworld?
“I have waited millennia for this moment”, she confesses, gently unwrapping her mummified beau.
“What have they done to my world”, he complains. Entire species gone forever.
Their essence only echoes. This foulness, heat. Even the water is tainted.”
Did Pandora say she’s been waiting over a thousand years to return and take over Earth? Later Etu Illue says they’d made a plan thousands of years ago. Question is, where did they meet? How did they hatch this plan, how do they intend to “bend this world to our will again” and what do the two Witnesses have to do with all of it? To her boyfriend’s dismay, he learns there are two Witnesses.
“Witnesses? They still exist to plague us?”
What lies ahead for Team Witness? Only our evil geniuses know! It all remains to be seen.
The Shard is the casing that douses and hides the mystical energy of the “eye” (aka) binding stone, that higher beings need to gain their full strength upon their return to Earth. Pandora hired Nevins to find the Shard because she needed the “eye” so Etu Illue could absorb its mystical energy.
According to Ichabod, Paul Revere’s (Paul Burke) protege was infected by a binding stone and quickly spun in a downward spiral. Knowing the binding stone can take out a small village, the boy sacrifices himself in a field, miles away from civilization. Later, Revere retrieves the stone using the staff that originally held it. Realizing how dangerous the stone is, Revere creates the outer casing (aka) Shard to snuff out its mystical powers and hide it. Question is, why did Sheriff Corbin want Jenny to procure it for him? Was he really working with Nevins? The verdict is still out on that one!
JENNY AND JOE
Meanwhile, Jenny and Joe Corbin are a midst their own storyline involving The Shard of Anubis, a rock-like piece of metal. In the Archives Jenny finds the rock, recalling that Sheriff Corbin (Clancy Brown) sent her for the item years ago, though she has no idea exactly why. This prompts her to do a little research, which leads her to a website about Ancient Egypt. Before she can look into it any further, she receives a call from Joe that her camper is ransacked. Although Jenny is reluctant to bring Joe into Team Witness, after pleading his case she agrees.
However, things go from bad to worse when Joe is kidnapped by Randall (Anthony K. Hyatt), an old fencing buddy Jenny knew. Why is this Shard so important now? After Jenny tries to take down Randall, unfortunately she has no choice but to hand the rock over.
Enter Sophie Foster (Jessica Camacho), who appears to be working for Atticus Nevin (Bill Irwin), a man Joe recognizes as his father’s friend, a notorious artifacts thief. Both are alarmed by this development, especially after Jenny realizes Sophie is using her moves a la Corbin! They start to question who Corbin really was? Could he have been involved in a stolen artifact ring? Jenny and Joe commensurate, disturbed by the revelation. Ultimately they track down the stone and take it from Nevins. Though Jenny believes the stone disintegrated, something more sinister occurred– it is absorbed into her body making her a human “eye”!
*A side note– one of the big drops is when Sophie blows her cover and announces she’s an FBI Agent, working under Reynold’s command! Abbie is upset by this information because she was not in the loop, as Jenny and Joe could have been implicated after surveillance teams spot them going to meet Nevins about the Shard. Is our undercover agent Sophie Foster a relative the Mills sisters? As I recall (please don’t quote me on this), Foster was listed on the family tree at the end of Sanctuary, 01×09. (Shout out to Michelle Eddington for pointing this out).
*NEXT: COMPLICATIONS OF THE HEART, Part Two