Sleepy Hollow defeats the odds every season by getting a renewal despite dwindling viewing figures. The show, which airs on FOX in the US, has gained a cult following and is seemingly much-loved by the network. For its third season the show got a new showrunner and made a concerted move to a more episodic format rather than the serialised nature of the previous two seasons.
Season 3 picks up nine months after the end of season 2. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) are separated but they reunite when Crane is arrested. Abbie is now working as an FBI agent and as soon as the two characters come together, they are thrown into a murder investigation. Over the course of the season they have to deal with this season’s big bads, Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) and The Hidden One (Peter Mensah).
The attempt to move the show to an episodic formula is only partially successful. With Pandora present throughout every episode of the season, there is no getting away from the serialised arc of her story. Casual viewers would likely be incredibly confused had they not seen the first two seasons and season 3 quite honestly is no easier to dip in and out of.
The season came under criticism for being overly complicated and confusing. Unfortunately that does hold true and the lack of development for Pandora is incredibly frustrating, particularly as she is such a presence over the course of the season. One thing that did work, that I was sceptical of when it was announced, is the crossover with Bones. Despite the two shows existing in very different world, it worked pretty well. The first part of the crossover started in Bones and the two episodes gave an increase to the ratings.
By the season’s end Sleepy Hollow is set up to evolve into a very different series. For those that haven’t seen it, I don’t want to give away what happens but I will say that the show is moving into a new phase, unlike anything it’s done before. It’s a fairly satisfying conclusion to an uneven and muddled season and it definitely provides the hook to come back for season 4.
As always Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie remain the primary reason for watching Sleepy Hollow. Mison in particular is a joy to watch on screen and he’s created a really loveable character with Crane. The chemistry between Mison and Beharie has been the heart of the show and it continue to drive it forward, even in the duller or more underwhelming episodes.
Special features on the release include deleted scenes and a gag reel.
Sleepy Hollow continues to be on of the most frustrating shows on television. It’s still not as good as it should be but it’s still entertaining enough to demand your attention every week. With the show getting a fresh start for season 4, which could well be its last, it’s time that it broke free from its mythology that’s bogged it down for three seasons and truly realised its potential.
Cast: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Lyndie Greenwood, Nikki Reed Certificate: 15 Duration: 738 mins Released By: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Release Date: 19th September 2016