Will Nicole Beharie Return For 'Sleepy Hollow' Season 4? Abbie Mills May Be Gone For Good

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Get ready for some changes in Sleepy Hollow. On Friday, Jan. 6, Sleepy Hollow returns for Season 4 with a new focus on Ichabod Crane and without Abbie Mills. But will that last for the entire season? Or will Nicole Beharie ever return to Sleepy Hollow? Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem like that is going to happen. When Abbie was killed off in the Season 3 finale, it was a jaw-dropping moment and while lots of TV shows love big cliffhangers that are resolved pretty easily, that's not the case here. Abbie's death wasn't just a ploy in order to make for an exciting season finale, but a conscious choice, and it seems like Beharie will not be back in any capacity.

In a statement released after the Season 3 finale, Beharie said, "'Sleepy Hollow' has been an incredible experience in every way. I loved playing Abbie. It’s been such a gift to have taken this wild ride… Alas, Abbie Mills has done all she was meant to do." All of that past tense and the final mention of Abbie doing what she was meant to effectively shuts the book on the character.

Tom Mison, who plays Ichabod, spoke about Abbie's death at London Comic Con back in Spring 2016 and expressed uncertainty about where the show would go in her absence:

"I never really was, funnily enough, interested in Ichabod's backstory in the beginning … that changed a lot in season two when they then did start to explore Ichabod's backstory and family and things, so it'll be interesting to be where they go without that crutch because I still think Abbie was grounding that as well. I'll be very curious to see whether they decide to find another way to ground Ichabod in reality or whether they think he's an inhabitant of the modern era enough that he can do it on his own. I don't know what they're planning, but I don't envy them having to make that decision!"

If that's not enough evidence that Sleepy Hollow won't be bringing her back, unnamed sources claimed to The Hollywood Reporter that Abbie was actually almost killed off in the Season 3 midseason finale, but her tenure on the show was extended until the end of the season. Many fans were justifiably upset that the series killed off its lead woman of color, since not many series have women or POC in such central roles. Luckily, the series didn't undo that progress and has cast another woman of color, Janina Gavankar, as a new protagonist for Season 4. While fans likely would’ve been happy to see both women on the show at once, in light of Beharie’s absence, it’s a relief to see Gavankar join the series

With the Season 4 premiere upon us, Sleepy Hollow has a chance to prove whether it can move on without Beharie. Abbie will surely be missed, but if Mison and Gavankar bring the kind of chemistry fans have gotten used to, Sleepy Hollow could have another few great seasons ahead.