Like many other crazy busy families with schedules that inhibit watching TV live, we are often stuck in DVR land. We do try to get to new episodes the night they air, but we often run out of time and shows get pushed back. We didn’t get around to watching the epic and contentious Sleepy Hollow Season 3 finale until Monday night, and by then I have to admit to having picked up a whiff of what was to come via my travels across the internet. Spoilers come in many forms, but the most simple and unavoidable are headlines.
So I had a clue that Sleepy Hollow was going to kill off the beloved “Luftenant” Abbie Mills, played by the remarkable Nicole Beharie. Given that Abbie is co-star of the show with dashing Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), and that their chemistry and bond as “Witnesses” and friends is the very essence of the show, this was naturally a shock to the show’s fans and the punditry alike. Even worse, there had been persistent rumors floating about that Abbie and Crane would finally get together romantically in Season 4. Whoa, guess not.
What I didn’t expect coming into the episode is the care taken with Abbie’s departure and the hero treatment she was afforded. In fact, she didn’t even die per se, but just gently dematerialized and was absorbed into Pandora’s box, thereby saving the world from destruction by monomaniacal demigod, The Hidden One. My first thought as sweet, tough, resilient Abbie drifted away was General Douglas MacArthur’s indelible line, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
Agent Mills went out a hero, of her own accord, with the knowledge that her act would in fact achieve the noblest of all goals in preventing the destruction of mankind. And her sacrifice came just 20 minutes or so into the hour-long episode.
The rest of the ep was essentially a tribute to the nobility of her character, including assurances that as a Witness she would be reincarnated quickly into a new body. We also got to see Abbie and observe her talking with a temporarily astral Crane in a kind of afterlife waiting room, reminiscent of Harry Potter meeting with Dumbledore in Deathly Hallows.
Now as to the why of all this. Strong rumor has it that Beharie has been agitating to get off Sleepy Hollow for some time, so maybe the showrunners were just acquiescing to her wishes. If so, they are to be commended for not only granting Beharie her leave, but doing so with full hero honors and star treatment.