‘Sleepy Hollow’ Season 3 Marks The ‘Beginning Of The Second Tribulation’

Sleepy Hollow returned this week and, along with some familiar faces and long-tested themes, change has also come. While some of those differences — mainly the loss of characters such as Katrina (Katia Winter), Henry Parish (John Noble), and Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) — are readily apparent, there has also been an upheaval behind the scenes that will ultimately bring more spice to Sleepy Hollow‘s overall flavor.

Sleep Hollow has a new showrunner, Clifton Campbell, according to Variety, who is best known for executive producing The Glades, as well as Profiler and White Collar. Campbell brings a list of new characters to Sleepy Hollow for season 3 and, as has always been the case in the first two seasons of Sleepy Hollow, new characters such as Nikki Reed’s Betsy Ross and Shannyn Sossamon’s Pandora will spice up historical accuracy with 21st century sauciness.

Coming in after two seasons of Sleepy Hollow, Campbell took a fresh look at the series and decided the story of the Witnesses needed two things: a time jump and a return to the tribulations. The new Sleepy Hollow showrunner felt that, by employing a time jump of a year, there could be a great deal more to explore in the lives of Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison). Also, Clifton says that he found the mention of the seven tribulations that the Witnesses would go through to be a compelling source of story material.

Crane and Mills face the second of the seven tribulations in 'Sleepy Hollow.' Image courtesy of FOX.

Getting into that second tribulation turns out to be as intriguing a saga as season 3 of Sleepy Hollow itself with both Abbie and Ichabod stretching their legs, during that year-long time jump. While Abbie Mills is off earning her credentials with the FBI, the Sleepy Hollow showrunner reveals that Ichabod is off learning more about himself and his role as one of the Witnesses.

“And Crane’s is really an arc about finding his place in the modern world, and it felt like he should do a bit of a walkabout on his own, and he travels to England and Scotland where his family tomb is, and while he’s there he finds something that lends a lot more credibility and opens up the history of his [role] as a Witness in a tablet that he brings back to Sleepy Hollow that does in fact speak much more clearly and has much more resonance with what they’re doing today,” said Sleepy Hollow‘s Campbell. “And both of them, Abbie and Crane, may have a history with being Witnesses that they weren’t even aware of.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about Sleepy Hollow, Clifton revealed that the big bad nemesis in season 3 will be a 4,000 year old entity and, although he was cagey about revealing much more than that, casting news may have revealed at least a portion of that storyline with the news that Shannyn Sossamon has been cast as Pandora. When asked if Pandora’s Box would be a topic of interest, the Sleepy Hollow showrunner’s response seemed to confirm that it would have something to do with that new foe Abbie and Crane would be facing.

“We all have an impression of the mythology and we have a twist on it but I don’t think anybody is too far off from thinking that will provide a lot of fun and a handful of demons.”

Mr. Campbell speaks of the Sleepy Hollow/Bones crossover as though the creation of the event were a crime itself, comparing the DNA of each show and trying to reveal how they relate to one another realistically, even though Bones deals with terrestrial matters and Sleepy Hollow is far more involved in the supernatural.

Abby Mills returns to 'Sleepy Hollow' as an F.B.I. agent. Image courtesy of FOX.

“The Bones side of it is much more enduring than anything we might see in an Abbie and Crane partnership,” said the Sleepy Hollow E.P. “With that DNA in mind and knowing that we are trying to build out a fun evening on Thursdays, it made sense to throw a crime into the middle of both of them that they can share and evolve those storylines through a cross over.”

The next episode of Sleepy Hollow airs on Thursday, October 8, on FOX.

[Featured image courtesy of FOX/Sleepy Hollow]