Sleepy Hollow Season 3: New Beginnings

Sleepy Hollow season two was rocky as all get-out, and after two significant character deaths in the finale, FOX’s supernatural hit is starting anew. The thing is, after the disappointment of last season, I’m struggling to join the change. Three weeks into the new season and I’m only just watching the premiere now. I  suppose I could make excuses and blame it on my day job or the change to Thursday broadcasts. But really, that same spark that made me eager to change the channel to FOX just isn’t there anymore.

Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX
Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

3×01 – “I, Witness”

The season premiere doesn’t waste any time to establish the new direction of the show. The Headless Horseman/Horseman of Death, once a fearful antagonist (and then a demented love-sick puppy for Katrina) is captured by the new villain in town: the mysterious Pandora, played by Shannyn Sossamon.

After the deaths of Henry and Katrina, Ichabod went soul-searching in Europe. Along the way he discovered a Sumerian tablet that may hold the answers about the next Tribulation he and Abbie are destined to face.  After a nine month estrangement, the two Witnesses  reunite when she bails him out of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement prison.  Now an agent of the FBI, Abbie thinks her gig with the supernatural is done. Ichabod isn’t so easily swayed. He insists something has happened to Abraham/The Horseman, and offers Katrina’s amulet as proof. In the end, the Ichabbie partnership resumes, ready to face the new player in Sleepy Hollow.

C. Thomas Howell, what are you doing in my Sleepy Hollow?!

Now for the good, the bad, and the yao-guai.  Abbie working for Agent Granger was bittersweet for me. I started this article all set to complain that he was taking the role Orlando Jones and Sakina Jaffrey previously held as Abbie’s superior. To spell it out: a white dude filled the space previously occupied by two people of color.

But it turns out I was wrong, because Granger got offed by the monster-of-the week in his first episode. Rather than substitute for Leena Reyes or Frank Irving, he’s a brief parallel to Sheriff Corbin, Abbie’s mentor. Corbin’s death at the hands of the Headless Horseman prevented Abbie from going to Quantico in the pilot. Granger’s death while Abbie is moving up the ranks of the FBI  drives her to reclaim her duty as a Witness.

Frank Irving is just gone without a trace, though it’s heavily implied that Jenny helped him disappear with his family to keep them safe. I was already, shall we say, displeased to hear that Orlando Jones’s character wouldn’t be continuing on SH. But after Irving’s story arc was shoved aside for unnecessary Katrina drama, an off-screen send-off is just…irksome.

But my princess-of-the-apocalypse, Jenny Mills, is back in action! Taking her rightful place as the third member of Team Witness, she wastes no time proving her usefulness with supernatural artifacts (unlike a certain titian witch). While I’m not exactly hooked on the new direction, I’m at least interested enough to watch the next two episodes.

What do you think of the new Sleepy Hollow? Is it finally back on track or too little, too late?
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