Sleepy Hollow Season 3 has been full of disappointments and mediocrity, but last week’s episode “Dawn’s Early Light” reminded me how great the apocalyptic procedural once was. In “Delaware,” the penultimate episode of the season — and perhaps the series — Sleepy Hollow once again proves it may be worth sticking around for, at least until the series finally calls it quits.
“Delaware” propels the plot forward by turning Pandora (Shannyn Sossaman) onto the side of the Witnesses, along with Agent Reynolds (Lance Gross) and even Papa Mills, Ezra (Joe McDaniels) all aboard Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abby’s (Nicole Beharie) crew of crusaders. This is Sleepy Hollow going Fast Five or The Avengers, assembling the season’s key players together to take down The Hidden One (Peter Mensah) once and for all. Of course things go wrong, because it wouldn’t be good television if they went smoothly. Among the losses is, sadly, Joe Corbin (Zach Appelman, one-time guest star turned regular this season).
Indeed, the Hidden One used his magical voodoo to permanently transform ol’ Joe into his Wendigo alter ego, forcing Jenny and Ezra to shoot him down like a rabid dog. Joe has been both a blessing and a curse for Sleepy Hollow; already a fan favorite when he guest starred in Season 2, he was clearly recruited to fulfill the heroic white-guy role Hawley bombed. But Joe endured and became the show’s totally earnest brother. His death is heartbreaking, but there’s probably not a lot of time to mourn if Sleepy Hollow doesn’t live to Season 4.
Elsewhere, Ichabod and Abby return to the feared Catacombs, but not before having my favorite moment this whole season: Ichabod and Abby, sailing the Delaware with Betsy Ross’s enchanted American flag, Abby remarking, “You do realize if this doesn’t work we’re just two people singing with a flag?” Cut to a wide angle of these two bozos in a boat, standing in silence. This is why we watched Sleepy Hollow in the first place, guys. Where was this fun all year?
With satisfying action, a plot that drove relentlessly forward, and stunning reveals — Surprise! Ezra, Jenny and Abby’s father, knows about August Corbin’s crusade and is prepared for it like he’s the Punisher — “Delaware,” like “Dawn’s Early Light” last week, proved Sleepy Hollow is and can be a worthy genre fusion that deserves to be better than it’s been.
Even when it was boring and painful to watch, Sleepy Hollow was still something of a joy to witness in its lifetime, and its twilight reminds everyone not only how good it once was, but how good it still can be. Maybe it’s not too late for Sleepy Hollow. Maybe, if it pulls itself together, there’s still a chance at life.