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‘Sleepy Hollow’- What’s New and Reasons to Watch Season 4

Sleepy Hollow, the break out hit of 2013, is set to reboot yet again returning to screen Friday, January 6 at 9 p.m. on FOX. It has been a tumultuous three seasons for the show, once hailed as one of the most unique series, as it hit the ground running in its inaugural season. However, a fandom that once revered the story about a man out of time and his biblical partner, now languishes at the prospect of another season without co-lead Nicole Beharie (Abbie Mills), who decided to leave the show after the third season.  I was not the only Sleepyhead in shock watching the Season three finale as Abbie Mills sacrifices herself  to save humanity from the clutches of Pandora (Shanynn Sossaman) and her ancient God boyfriend ‘The Hidden One’ (Peter Mensah).  Those of us on social media blew up the internet that night after the devastating moment, with many feeling as though our hearts were ripped out of our chests, then callously thrown to the curb.  As someone who is deeply entrenched with the series, it sort of felt like a huge betrayal.

As most of you know, I will continue to watch and support the show until the bitter end, even though my ‘Ichabbie’ (smush word for Ichabod and Abbie) heart weeps for the dynamic duo.

When I look back at the series as a whole, there are still a lot of reasons I love the show, one being how it’s mired in the founding of America and American history. In a day and age where there is so much upheaval worldwide, I like the fact that the series sheds a light on and honors our Founding Fathers, their vision for freedom and what they accomplished in fighting for it during the Revolutionary War. Over the last three seasons the writers added their own stamp so-to-speak, using ‘twistory’, highlighting several of the great men involved in creating our Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin (Timothy Busfield) and Thomas Jefferson (Steven Weber).  We will continue to see classic Sleepy Hollow twists throughout the new season.

Another aspect unique to the show is Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), a British soldier turned spy for the Patriots, fought in the Revolutionary War under the command of General George Washington, who awakens in the 21st century! While there are numerous science fiction television shows and movies involving time travelers, Ichabod Crane is one-of-a-kind. We’ve had fun watching this 18th century, genius-level eccentric, befuddled and amused soldier learn how much things have changed. His awe (and sometimes dismay) of technology, industrialism, culture, agriculture and other luxuries, is like watching a kid in a candy store with his mouth hanging open. From modern-day gadgets like coffeemakers, televisions, showers, planes, banking systems, taxes, the internet, etc… Ichabod not only had a rude awakening, but never missed a moment to spout off how insane some of the things are, such as his outrage of bottled water in episode seven of the first season, ‘Midnight Ride’,  “You paid?  For water? Why not drink out of one of the thousands of taps around town, or the lake?” To which Abbie informs him how both are contaminated with chemicals and more.  His response? “The extent of which your generation has defiled this earth is truly mind boggling.”  These moments throughout seasons one and two kind of petered out as Ichabod acclimated to this century. Now that he has been taken out of his comfort zone in Sleepy Hollow and finds himself in Washington D.C., he is once again a fish out of water, unsure of his surroundings and new compatriots.

There are several new faces in the opening credits and I have to say, it was a little sad and strange seeing a whole new cast flash by my screen.  Here is a break down of the newbies:

Diana Thomas, played by True Blood‘s Janina Gavankar.  Diana is thrown into the world of the supernatural after her partner dies by a demon that looks like a cross between Freddie Kruger and the evil Emperor in Star Wars.  Though skeptical, she continues in pursuit of this killer with the help of Ichabod, who informs her of the things that go bump in the night.  Both confess their situations and commensurate on each losing their partners to the unthinkable.  Of course the difference between Abbie and Diana is that Diana has a ten-year-old daughter Molly, who has some issues of her own and a seeming connection to Ichabod, unbeknownst to her mother. Diana is a strong, independent yet emotionally guarded woman, formerly in the military, now a Homeland Security agent.  I have a feeling there is more to this character that will be learned as the season unfolds.

Molly Thomas (Oona Yaffe, Masterchef Jr.), has had a rough time and now suffers trouble communicating. Apparently she is enamored by an internet star.  Why doesn’t that surprise me? While we don’t know too much about her yet, I predict she will be pivotal in locating the second Witness.

Malcom Dreyfus, played by the uber talented Jeremy Davies (Justified, Lost).  Malcolm is a tech guru and billionaire who can pretty much get whatever he wants, even if it means killing someone as we’ll see in the first episode.  The character is introduced conducting a satanic ritual of some sort and we later learn he knows all about our boy Ichabod and is involved in a twistory involving Abraham Lincoln. Not only that, but will he succeed in conjuring the Headless Horseman to do his evil bidding? Who is this billionaire behind the scenes and what is his end game?  It all remains to  be seen.

Ichabod is getting a couple of new allies in the form of a techie geek Alex Norwood (Rachel Melvin, Days of Our Lives) and supernatural catalogist, Jake Wells (Jerry MacKinnon). Alex is a bit over-bearing and cocky but her enthusiasm for gadgets, artifacts and weapons bounces off the screen.  Meanwhile Jake collects and tracks all types of cases involving other-worldly, supernatural or other mysterious happenings around the nation.  He recognizes Ichabod and confesses he’s been following news from Sleepy Hollow. In true geek form and one of the funniest moments of the episode, he asks an annoyed Ichabod for a selfie! Well I would too if I were him!

Since Ichabod has read anything and everything in the archives, it’s fitting that a new bunker of information is introduced and he finds the original play books of George Washington among other publications. Not only is there a new archive room, but we can’t have Sleepy Hollow without secret tunnels!  Conveniently located off the new archive room is a secret tunnel entrance to a labyrinth that coils underneath D.C. Who knows what could be lurking in the dark depths of the capitol!

Robbie Kay (Peter Pan, Once Upon A Time) also joins the cast this season.  Looks like art imitates life as the slew of internet stars permeating our every day lives also hits matriculates to Sleepy Hollow.  Robbie is set to play Logan MacDonald, a charismatic tween star on the net that Molly is infatuated with.  Question is, will there be more to Logan? Will he somehow be connected to Malcolm?  What better way to get to the young minds than on the internet.  Is there a bigger plan afoot orchestrated by the billionaire?  The plot thickens!

Jobe (Kamar de los Reyes, One Life To Live) is Malcolm’s bodyguard and gets in Ichabod’s way as he tries to block the big boss’s plans.

With all the supernatural, other-worldly creatures popping up, one we didn’t expect will make an appearance- Henry Parrish (aka) Horseman of War played by the incomparable John Noble! He’s up to his old tricks again when he catapults his son through time back to the 1600’s, handcuffed in front of a court! What diabolical plan does Henry have for daddy?

Have I mentioned everyone?  Hmmm….who could I have possibly missed?  I know, I know, Lyndie Greenwood!  Thankfully Lyndie returns as badass Jenny Mills. When we left her, she had lost her boyfriend Joe Corbin (Zach Appelman) and sister Abbie (which I’m still crying about) all within 24 hours!  While everything has changed personally, the mission refocuses to find the second Witness and time is ticking.  Both Jenny and Ichabod are more invested than ever in finding who the Witness is before the corrupted, nefarious group inside the government get their hands on him or her first. We will see our ‘Sleepy Warrior’ kicking ass and taking names as always.  How will she react to meeting Diana?  I think Jenny and Diana will be a fierce force to be reckoned with!

One question I asked the Show-runner Clifton Campbell and writers Albert Kim and Raven Metzner, was what happens to Abbie’s soul?  They were quick to remind me that they aren’t thinking of it as “Abbie’s”, but the soul of a Witness.  Here’s my press room interview I did at the New York Comic Con:

Lots of Sleepyheads have one question…will we see the Headless Horseman ride to the Capital? The answer is yes!  I mean, you can’t have a show called Sleepy Hollow without the Headless Horseman (aka) Horseman of Death can you?  Could the other Horsemen show up this season? The Book of Revelations predicts, our two Witnesses are set to endure seven tribulations. As I recall the third tribulation reveals the Anti-Christ.  Is Malcolm going to be the Anti-Christ? Though I asked Tom Mison, Lyndie Greenwood and Jeremy Davies, none had the answer so I guess we’ll have to keep watching!

Unlike last season, where the first eight episodes disconnected with the last eight leaving a feeling that it was disjointed, with only 13 episodes this season I expect a tight, well-thought out plot.  The cast is more than up to the task, the writers seem to have an interesting story to tell and I think fans who love the premise of the Horseman, the apocalypse and the biblical Witnesses will hold on for the roller-coaster ride.

After watching the first episode “Columbia”, overall it had the usual formula of a murder, a demon monster, twistory, case research, suspense, humor.  I’m giving it a B+.  The opening scenes are reminiscent of the pilot, with a brief review of what has happened as told by Ichabod under interrogation by the FBI (or was it?).  The demon is creepy and is definitely of the caliber of monster we’ve grown to demand on Sleepy Hollow.  For me, the jury is still out regarding Diana and Molly.  I’m wondering if Molly could have some special powers?? Will they jump the shark and romantically entangle Ichabod with Diana? I’m willing and ready to go headfirst (pun intended) into season four to find out!

Sleepy Hollow returns Friday, Jan. 6 at 9p E.T. Don’t miss the twitter party by @SleepyAddicts, beginning at 8p E.T. with Sleepy Trivia, followed by live tweeting during the east coast airing.

Need to catch up?  Sleepy Hollow Season 3 is on sale.  Get it now on DVD, Blu-ray or online.

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