Sleepy Hollow's Kurtzman on what's coming next season, S1's shocking finale

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Jun 17, 2014, 12:42 PM EDT (Updated)

One of the biggest shocks of last season was Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, which flew in a bit under the radar and went on to be one of the biggest hits of the year. So, what's next, and what do the creators have to say about that shocking season-one finale?

Spoilers ahead for the first season of Sleepy Hollow!

As we know now, the writers were dropping breadcrumbs for much of the season on the way to a shocking reveal in the final 10 minutes of the season-one finale. John Noble’s character turned out to be Crane and Katrina’s adult-aged son, and he’s one evil, string-pulling piece of work.

Executive producer Alex Kurtzman opened up to Entertainment Weekly about the jaw-dropping finale, and how they plan to follow it up this fall, and he has some great insight into the background work they did to plant those seeds and get to that point.

Here’s an excerpt:

“The fun for us was, over the course of the season, trying very hard to construct a narrative that was hiding the ball but would be inevitable by the time we got to the end — where you didn’t see it but, of course, there was really no other way it could have happened. And we were so worried people were going to guess John was Crane and Katrina’s son. We would check online every day after an episode aired to see if anyone was there, and to our utter amazement, people didn’t see it coming. So by the time the finale aired, we were just giddy. We were like, ‘Oh my God, people are either going to rebel and hate us for what we just did, or they’re going to love it!’ And it was very exciting to see the reactions that started kind of halfway through the episode and then quadrupled by the time the reveal came…

And in order for those surprises to really land, the pieces that led you there have to be so emotionally honest. That’s the key. They can’t be gimmicky, because I think audiences will instantly reject it if it doesn’t feel like it was true to the characters they invested in. And that’s, I think, what made us confident: We felt like we were backbuilding from an incredibly emotional idea that was inevitable. So it was fun because obviously Orlando has a huge online presence, and watching him tease people — it was either going to make people guess it, or it was going to sort of deflect it. And everything he said was exactly right: “It’s right in front of you, and you don’t see it.”

So, what’s coming in season two? According to Kurtzman, they’re well aware there’ll be a lot more scrutiny on them this year, but they plan to face it head on by keeping things just as insane and emotionally punchy as we’ve come to expect:

“It’s definitely scary. I think Sleepy caught people by surprise last year a little bit, and that worked to our advantage. And now there’s a microscope on the show, which is wonderful and terrifying all at the same time — but mostly wonderful. I think the compass that we all use is just really wanting to make sure that the stories are coming from an honest place, that they’re ultimately coming from character. For example, one of the rules that we had from the beginning was that the monsters can never be random. The monsters need to be literal manifestations of the inner demons that our characters are fighting. If we can link each monster to an emotional trial that our characters have to overcome, then the monsters are going to be really satisfying because you’ll have the emotional experience of watching our people jump hurdles that make them stronger at the end.”

The second season of Sleepy Hollow, which the network has beefed up to 18 episodes, is set to premiere Sept. 22 on Fox.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)