SLEEPY HOLLOW Midseason Finale Post-Mortem: Mark Goffman on the Potential Deaths, Changing Loyalties, an Upcoming Test for Abbie, and More - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SLEEPY HOLLOW Midseason Finale Post-Mortem: Mark Goffman on the Potential Deaths, Changing Loyalties, an Upcoming Test for Abbie, and More

December 1, 2014 by  


[Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the midseason finale of SLEEPY HOLLOW, “The Akeda.” Please do not read this until you’ve seen the episode.]

The first part of SLEEPY HOLLOW’s second season came to an end with tonight’s episode, “The Akeda,” and as showrunner Mark Goffman noted over the summer, “We’re building towards a much bigger cliffhanger to leave people on with episode 11, and is one no one will see coming.”

Well, did you see that coming?

After last season’s finale shocked viewers by revealing that Abbie and Ichabod’s new companion, Henry, was actually Ichabod’s son, Jeremy (and War), one of the central shocks of tonight’s midseason finale also centered around Henry: after he spent all season vowing his allegiance to Moloch, when Henry realized how little he meant to his father figure, he opted to not kill his mother (as ordered) and killed Moloch instead.

And that wasn’t the only death — Irving was the only person suitable to use the Sword of Methuselah (the team learned from Abraham that whomever used the sword would lose their soul, and since Irving’s soul was already claimed by War/Henry, he was their best bet), and in the process of defeating War, was fatally wounded himself.

So what the heck comes next? I spoke with Goffman about what will be going down when the show returns in January…

After everything that went down in the midseason finale, what can you tease about what’s next?
Mark Goffman: I’m so excited about the back end of this season. We end in such an intriguing place for our characters: we don’t know what’s going to happen with Henry next. We don’t know his motives for what he did, or whether he’s even alive after this. We just know he killed Moloch. It’s sets up such exciting possibilities for all of our characters as they try and figure out what their lives are like in a post-Moloch world.

There’s going to be a lot of focus on Abbie, and Crane, and their role as witnesses. There are some really interesting storylines that are going to develop with Jenny. We have an episode with Hawley where you begin to understand more about his background. I think there’s a lot of really fun, surprising twists coming up in the back half.

One character you didn’t mention was Irving, who certainly seemed dead. But on SLEEPY HOLLOW, we’ve certainly learned that death doesn’t actually equal a character — or an actor — being gone. What can you say about Orlando Jones’ role going forward?
MG: Well, he had an incredibly heroic sendoff in the finale. One of the things I enjoyed seeing in the episode, and getting to write, was having our team all back together, and really coming together in this time of crisis. And so [Irving] died a hero. And I thought that was really emotional and important and impactful on our team.

If and when he resurfaces, I think there are going to be a lot of questions about who that character could be…In doing this show, you fall in love with all of the characters, writing them and understanding their point of view. Irving — as well as Orlando — is absolutely beloved among me and the writers of the show. And so it’s exciting to be on a show where dead doesn’t necessarily mean gone forever.

Can you officially confirm that we’ll Irving again?
MG: Well, history often repeats itself on this show: we’ve seen Andy come back, and we’ve seen Corbin come back [after their deaths]. I think I’ll leave it at that.

Completely fair. You touched on the questions about Henry’s motivation now that he has suddenly switched sides. Where does Henry go in the second part of the season?
MG: It’s interesting that we don’t know about his motives for killing Moloch. It could have been that he was betrayed by this person he looked up to as a father figure. One of the things he’s looking for and searching for is unconditional love and family that he was denied in the cruel existence he’s had. So that theme will recur if and when he resurfaces as well. Where he’ll get it from and what he decides to do is really intriguing.

It’s a mystery: did he kill Moloch to save his mother? Did he have a change of heart? Was it a power grab? All of these are legitimate reasons. The one thing we do know about Henry is that he’s a mastermind, and absolutely brilliant and forward-thinking. So he probably has a plan.

As for Henry’s parents, Ichabod and Katrina had a really honest and long-overdue conversation about the state of their marriage, and agreed to table things until they had defeated Moloch. Since they have seemingly done that, what does come next for them?
MG: That is a fantastic question. What comes next? In crafting the back half of the season, we really wanted a shift and for our characters to be as caught off guard as we are by Moloch’s death. So they don’t know what’s coming next.

And I think that creates a really interesting new dynamic for Abbie and Crane in their roles as witnesses. The show isn’t just about fighting a monster of the week — it’s about the trials and tribulations of the two witnesses over this period that they are witnesses. So there’s a lot of discovery between the two of what are their roles, how does it work in this post-Moloch world. And then ultimately they start to understand there is a greater plan both for them and among the other villains we’ve seen.

It all comes to a head as we drive towards the season finale. I’m actually writing the season finale right now. I can’t wait to share it with people; it’s pretty bonkers.

Abbie’s family dynamic was briefly touched on this season in “Mama.” Will we be exploring anything more with her mother, or is there anything else in store with Jenny that you can preview?
MG: This season has definitely been about family and the test of family bond versus duty.

We’re going to test Abbie in some other ways as well, though. There’s one in particular I’m excited about in the finale that’s [a] really big Abbie story. And it starts in episode 17 and then climaxes in the finale. And I think it will give Abbie a completely different and new understanding of the world. And I think that’s really exciting for us and the character.

If Moloch is truly gone, what is the next big fight the team is facing? It is something they’ve already touched on/encountered, or is their next threat something they can’t even fathom yet?
MG: One of the things I liked about Moloch’s death is we were kind of heading towards a biblical, New Testament, Revelations form of the apocalypse. And every culture has some version of the apocalypse, and we wanted to bring in other cultures and other religions, and expand our mythology.

So now it seems like that particular apocalypse has been thwarted. But that doesn’t mean the end is necessarily gone or the threat of evil is gone. There are a lot of different baddies. We don’t know if Henry replaced Moloch, or he has other designs, or someone else asked him to do what he did. These are all things we get to discover over the course of the season.

Now that Moloch is gone, does that mean the introduction of the remaining two horsemen is off the table?
MG: We certainly have a lot on our plate with two horsemen. I think Headless is pretty awesome, as is War. I think there is a lot of character development and stuff we can play with those two. design

I’m excited to reveal the other ones. We spend a really long time developing the creatures and villains on this show. The horsemen, in particular, take months and months of research and design and working with our incredible costume department and creature department. So when we do reveal them, we have a high bar to hit, because…we want them to be as terrifying and compelling as War and Headless.

You guys have been open about some of the changes that have been made to some of the storytelling — some of the planned moments from the premiere got pushed to later in the season, etc. As you’ve been making season 2, what have you found to be the biggest challenge?
MG: The biggest challenge in any television show is just the fight of time. This show is incredibly ambitious. We love doing the fantastic every episode. Having the adventures have an epic feel every episode means heavy action, heavy visual effects, humor, horror, and really deep, interesting, character development all with an emotional feel so when you’re watching it, there’s something very relatable despite the ride the characters are going on. Doing that and getting all of those elements every episode is a real challenge.

I think this season — with any season — you get to try new storylines and get to push the envelope, production-wise. We have over 500 people working on this show, and every one of them is incredible and talented. If any department has a hiccup, it could have significant ramifications. We’re really blessed that we have so many people who are dedicated to the show and love it as much as we do, crafting it. And we’re lucky to have the actors we have who make it feel real and relatable.

If you had your choice, would you prefer to do 13 like you had in season 1, or 18 like you have this season?
MG: It’s just a different show. When you’re doing 10-13 episodes, that’s much more a premium cable model. It’s just a very different show. If you do more than 13, you’re doing a different show. I’m very proud of this season, and I think we came up with a really great arc. I actually like the way we’re dividing this season this year, because [with the episodes split into] 11 and 7, I think that helps with the arcs.

Is there anything else you can tease about what’s in store for the second half of the season?
MG: We have…some really fun moments coming up with Crane going house hunting. That’s actually going to be a lot of fun.

We’re going to encounter an angel in our midseason premiere, and I think that’s pretty exciting and is going to change the dynamic for our team.

And then, I’ll give you one last one: Thomas Jefferson is going to be featured in an upcoming episode, and like with Ben Franklin, I think it’s going to be a T.J. you’ve never seen before.

SLEEPY HOLLOW returns Monday, January 5th at 9 PM on Fox.


SLEEPY HOLLOW Midseason Finale Trailer
SLEEPY HOLLOW Midseason Finale: ‘The Akeda’ Photos
SLEEPY HOLLOW: 5 Teases for ‘Mama’

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13 Responses to “SLEEPY HOLLOW Midseason Finale Post-Mortem: Mark Goffman on the Potential Deaths, Changing Loyalties, an Upcoming Test for Abbie, and More”

  1. Alison on December 2nd, 2014 1:19 am

    YES. i saw that coming. Saw it coming and dreaded it. I really don’t know what to say. It’s very sad and disappointing. This once great show has become a joke, where it feels like every character of color is being shoved aside for more Goffman friendly white characters and more boring Crane and Katrina drama. Goffman goes on and on about Henry, Crane and Katrina, and then oh yeah, Abbie. And then there’s Abbie. I just can’t stomach this show as it is anymore. If Crane going house hunting is the most exciting thing he can say about the upcoming episodes — what more can you say?

  2. Regina on December 3rd, 2014 7:43 pm

    All I will say to the first commentor is AMEN.

  3. Angela on December 3rd, 2014 11:23 pm

    Wow, where did you read that the poc were being pushed aside? I sure didn’t read that. And Crane/Katrina are as important as Abbie/Jenny, there all family and have issues. Quit whining or move along. This show doesn’t need racists idiots like you.

  4. Susannah on December 3rd, 2014 11:53 pm

    What happened to this once fun show? It used to be scary and suspenseful, a great thrill ride. Now it’s dull and boring, with a boring Colonial romance and a “Big Bad” with mommy and daddy issues.
    Where’s the scary Headless Horseman from the first season that couldn’t be killed and terrorized the town? Oh yes, he’s playing house with his love Katrina and is a love sick fool.
    Where was Irving this year? Sidelined for more Crane Family drama that is turning people’s TV sets off all over the country.
    Fix this show by making it terrifying again, reuniting the Witnesses on the same side fighting evil. Kill of Henry who has killed more people than the worst serial killer. Get rid of the Crane family drama, no ones here for that and the ratings reflect it. Resurrect Irving and put Abbie at the heart of the show where she belongs as the other Witness, not Katrina and Henry but Abbie and Ichabod.

  5. Sam on December 4th, 2014 12:54 am

    There are more characters in this show than just Ichabod and Abbie. I am starting to get annoyed at how people keep complaining that Katrina is getting too much screen time. In season 1 she was barely in it! Just accept that there are more than 2 main characters and get over it already.

  6. HelloSweetie on December 4th, 2014 2:11 am

    This is one of the only Goffman interviews I’ve seen where he talks about Abbie with any level of detail. Usually, he treats her like an afterthought (if he mentions her at all) while gushing all about Katrina. Guess he’s finally decided to throw Abbie a bone with all the criticism the show has been taking lately. Nice way to treat your leading lady!

  7. sam on December 4th, 2014 5:33 am

    I don’t care about the Cranes going house hunting, Goffman. I care about how you sidelined all the black people in this show. I care how you only care about the Cranes and their boring family drama. I care about how you disrespected your lead actress, sidelining her in favor of your favorite, Katrina. I care about how you destroyed a cute show, that could have turned amazing, because your prejudices take precedence over good storytelling. I care about how this is the only interview in ages, where you mentioned anything abut Abbie’s future in the show.

    Your dislike of your leading lady is so obvious, I wouldn’t be surprised you killed her off in the finale, so that you could make your favorite the second witness. That’s the kind of man you are.

  8. KylKat on December 4th, 2014 7:23 am

    i hope they bring back Frank Irving, he was favorite character and Orlando Jones is the best cheerleader this show has on social media.
    The Henry redemption storyline has drained all the energy from this show. Hopefully his character will be gone soon and Katrina and Hawley can make limited appearances.
    I agree that the show is no longer frightening, headless is pathetic, Henry is just a surly teen with parental issues. It’s just so deathly dull.
    I just hope they can get back to the Season 1 scenario when the show did well in the ratings and the focus was on scaring the pants of you again.

  9. Frances on December 4th, 2014 12:43 pm

    I hope FOX execs fire Goffman. He’s turned this show into a flaming pile of turd. The finale was a joke. Bad writing. Bad character development. This show doesn’t know what it wants to be anymore.You can’t waste talent like Nicole, Tom, Orlando, Lyndie and John on this mess.

  10. FashionMaven on December 4th, 2014 7:12 pm

    Oh so NOW Goffman is FINALLY talking about Abbie? It only took him – what – 11 episodes! It took him THAT long to see that focusing on a supporting character who is as dull as dishwater and sucking the life out of this show (hello – RATINGS)!!?


    It sounds like some FOX executives or someone finally got to him and told him to shut UP about Katrina – no one CARES about her! She should have been killed off in the pilot like the creators of the show planned to.

    And to the poster who said that Ichabod&Katrina are just as important as Abbie&Jenny – up NO. Ichabod&Abbie are the LEADS on this show. Jenny and Katrina are supporting characters – that means they have some importance (Jenny more than Katrina, since Jenny is actually an entertaining character) – but they do NOT have the same importance as the TWO Witnesses who are supposed to work together to stop the Apocalypse.

    THAT was the premise of this show and if you want to sit around and watch As the Cranes Turn you can do that until the show is quickly – QUICKLY – canceled.

    Goffman finally (after months of interviews) talking about Abbie makes me ill. Nicole Beharie is the female lead on this show and it’s like Goffman never talks about her. Prior to this interview if Abbie was brought up in a question, he would talk about Katrina! This is the FIRST time he’s ever – FINALLY – mentioned her.

    Goffman did not create Sleepy Hollow. Apparently FOX had a falling out with the show’s creators – Orci and Kurtzman. FOX needs to go groveling back and get them to come back and fix this show. Fire Goffman and kill off Katrina. Kill “Jeremy” from inside Henry and get this show back on track, focused on BOTH of the TWO Witnesses (not just Ichabod and his boring family drama) and FUN again!

    Goffman Ruined Sleepy Hollow.

  11. amelia on December 6th, 2014 1:42 pm

    Ugh. I am so sick of this guy. He’s just running this show into the ground. This interview is perfect evidence: HE JUST DOESN’T GET IT. Doesn’t understand what is great about the show, what was so great about the first season, what characters and stories keep the viewers coming back (Abbie, Irving). It’s so tone deaf, so clueless. And- I hate to say this- points towards a quiet kind of rascism and misogyny in his perspective. Just another out of touch inept old white dude in a position of power…I JUST WISH HE WOULD’NT RUIN A GOOD SHOW.

  12. thewire on December 6th, 2014 7:38 pm

    Orlando Jones would have never been given Tom Mison’s airtime, even if he cried and begged and pouted. Jones is a talented actor, but he is/was a supporting actor, not the lead. Mison is the lead, And Jones knew it.

    Katia Winters would have never been given Nicole Beharie’s airtime, even if she cried and begged and pouted–Oh, SNAP…wait–

    And that, good people, is the difference.

    Goffman, take a cue from Chris Carter and the X-Files. Good story writing, strong and equal male-female leads, AND REMEMBER THAT SCULLY’S Intelligence made her sexy, not physical objectification. Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane = Sleepy Hollow. That’s it. Don’t insult your audience or your numbers will continue to go down. Trust us, we are more progressive minded and sophisticated in the ways that we view the world than you and your writers.

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