Sleepy Hollow showrunner on that game-changing twist, what's next for Season 4

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Apr 11, 2016, 12:01 PM EDT

The ratings have taken a major hit since the breakout debut season, and with Sleepy Hollow on the proverbial bubble at the end of Season 3, the creative team decided to make one heck of a wild move. So, what’s next?

Spoilers ahead for the Season 3 finale of Sleepy Hollow!

Showrunner Clifton Campbell chatted with TV Line about the decision to kill off the character Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), axing a founding member of the cast and a key player in the narrative. Think: What if The X-Files killed off Scully at the end of Season 3? It's basically the same idea here. For a show that’s been struggling to recapture its critical (and commercial) success, it’s one heck of a gutsy move.  

Here’s how Campbell explained the decision:

“The character of Abbie Mills makes the supreme sacrifice to save the world, and her character dies in the season finale, yes. To answer the second part of that question, she will not return to the show as Abbie Mills. There’s certainly the possibility, given our really good relationship with Nicole and how much she’s help build us these past three seasons, that reflections of her will be around and that the idea of her will be around is certainly something we’ve all talked about, but not as the character of Abbie Mills.

Tom has really created this character from the bottom up. His instincts are without parallel. His fearless creation of this character in all of these moments, particularly as they pertain to his relationship with Abbie Mills, is not something any of us would second guess. You picked up on that contained emotion — I think this is such a big moment, and a huge loss in his life and his world that he needs to process. At a point where we have that opportunity in the finale, he hasn’t quite reached that point yet.”

Circling back to that aforementioned crash in the ratings, Fox has yet to make a decision in regard to bringing Sleepy Hollow back for a fourth season. The numbers show no sign of getting better, and with a fan-favorite cast member off the board, you’d have to think that almost hurts the odds, right? Regardless, the creative team is still holding out hope and tease that the mysterious organization mentioned to Ichabod at the end of the season will be a major component of next year (if there is a next year):

“That’s our way in to a Season 4 that looks forward to the different understanding about what being a Witness is all about. We ran the clock out on both Abbie’s Witness relationship and how she was instrumental in bringing Ichabod into this world, and understanding and giving context and framing to what it meant to be a Witness. Then her job was done, and she did what all Witnesses apparently do, which is to pass the essence of their soul on through the bloodline. The organization… is something we’re exploring should we be fortunate enough to have a Season 4.”

What’d you think of the plot twist? Have you already given up on this show? Should it return?


(Via TV Line)