At some point in Sleepy Hollow’s third Season, the show asked us to like Jessica Camacho’s Sophie, the artifacts dealer turned-undercover agent. She started as an occasional friendly face, but now, for some reason, is a mainstay. “Into the Wild” pairs her with Abbie, forcing a backstory with the supernatural. Her entrance into the main picture has felt sudden and contrived — if I were a betting man, I’d wager Sophie is about to seize the reigns from Nicole Beharie’s Abbie. But it doesn’t matter anyway, since Sleepy Hollow’s days are pretty numbered.
Following last week’s ridiculous fight with the Jersey Devil, Sleepy Hollow attempts serial television by following the mystery of Abbie’s symbol that she believes “saved” her during her nether dimension days. It’s not revealed until the last few moments, which means the other 43 minutes are spent with another boring monster of the week, just adding to the noise. This time, Abbie and Crane are separated, so there’s none of the usual bullshit that plagues a Sleepy Hollow episode — but they still find a way to make up for it, of course.
Much of “Into the Wild” follows Abbie and Sophie bonding and working together at an FBI survival camp gone awry, and admittedly, it was necessary. The two haven’t spent a lot of time together alone since Abbie’s return — and if the show wants us to root for Sophie, she should placate the show’s original bad ass.
But aside from lame dialogue and horrendous telling without showing, it doesn’t feel as if Sophie or Abbie are any closer. They are, supposedly, but I’m not convinced.
Let’s be honest: the excitement has vanished. This is not the same, fun hour of dark suburban fantasy we fell in love with in 2013. Sleepy Hollow is hollow indeed, too lost to reclaim its glory. It feels like centuries ago, when Ichabod’s clash with modernity felt entertaining, or Abbie’s employ with the Sleepy Hollow PD answering to Capt. Irving (remember him?) and seeing Andy Brooks or Nick Hawley (remember them?) brought new wrinkles to the mysteries. Those guys alone weren’t what made Sleepy Hollow great; it was its sharp writing and electric chemistry between the two leads. But the decline of its characters means the show isn’t above trying to make you forget the better days are over.
The show will probably not get rid of Abbie. Or maybe it will. (They damn near did at the midseason finale.) They likely won’t kill the main reason Sleepy Hollow was dynamic in the first place. But if writers are desperate enough, they may sell Sleepy Hollow’s soul. And if they do, at least there’s a replacement.