Could Abbie Return To 'Sleepy Hollow'? Stranger Things Have Happened In That Town
In the Season 3 finale of the supernatural Fox drama Sleepy Hollow , Abbie Mills died when she sacrificed herself to save the world. It was a twist that sent much of the fandom reeling, since Nicole Beharie had been the co-lead of the show with Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane) since the series began. Many fans responded with rage and disappointment, not just because Abbie died, but also because the strong and equal partnership of the Witnesses tilted irrevocably in favor of Crane. If both Witnesses are essential to mankind's survival, then how could one go on without the other? The mythology of the show changed drastically with Abbie's death, but with one important exception. There must always be two Witnesses to fight the forces of evil. Dare I hope? Could Abbie come back to Sleepy Hollow ?
That's a question with a two-pronged answer. The first thing to consider is the viability of the character's return within the structure of the show. Death is a tricky and somewhat impermanent thing on Sleepy Hollow. Captain Crane took a long nap in the years between the Revolutionary War and the early 21st century. Abbie was trapped in purgatory. Katrina was hanged for witchcraft and then showed back up to third-wheel her husband and his Witness partner. Andy Brooks had a broken neck, but even he stuck around for a while. And even characters who are permanently dead (like Abbie's mother and her mentor August Corbin) have spoken to the living via dream sequences or visions. Depending on the universe they've created, sci-fi and fantasy shows have the luxury of keeping the door open a crack for characters who have been killed off. Having that option is one of the benefits of writing genre TV.
In this case, I'm afraid none of these story tricks matter. In the moments after the Sleepy Hollow finale aired, Fox and Beharie confirmed the worst fears of Abbie Mills fans. The actress gave an exclusive statement to TVLine about her departure from the show. "I loved playing Abbie," Beharie said. "It’s been such a gift to have taken this wild ride. Alas, ‘Abbie Mills has done all she was meant to do.'" And in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sleepy Hollow Season 3 showrunner Clifton Campbell summed up Abbie's final stand, saying "she made the ultimate sacrifice and completed her role as a Witness."
Even if the world of the show would allow for Abbie's return and I think it does (or did), it can't happen without Beharie. The mythology changes I mentioned above? To prepare for Abbie's death, the show established the Witness role as one that's carried through bloodline. And in the finale, Sleepy Hollow went so far as to declare that Abbie's very soul would turn up again in Crane's new partner. Taking a character's soul? That's another nail in the coffin. A big one.
Of course, Sleepy Hollow has yet to be renewed for Season 4, so this speculation may be in vain. But even if the series makes it out of cancellation season alive, it seems that Abbie Mills will not.
Images: Brownie Harris/Fox; Giphy (2)