Though Game of Thrones doesn’t come back for another three weeks or so, it would have been understandable to confuse it with last night’s Sleepy Hollow season three finale. After all, all Game of Thrones fans know not to get too attached to their favorite characters, even the stars, as Sleepy Hollow fans last night sorely learned.
Abbie Mills, the young FBI agent played by Nicole Behari, sacrificed her soul and her life in In an effort to protect the town and the world from two catastrophic threats, Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) and the Hidden One (Peter Mensah), The Hollywood Reporter reports.
While the permanent death of a main character is devastating to any longtime show follower, there is some comfort for Sleepy Hollow fans; the decision to kill Abbie off did not come quickly or lightly. According to sources at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Beharie had been mostly unhappy working on the show for some time. At the beginning of the third season, the lead actress asked Sleepy Hollow show-runners to leave the series, which apparently, the head producers and the like did not protest. Originally, Beharie was going to make her departure in the show’s mid-season finale, and technically, Abbie did die in that episode–just not irreparably. Her soul was saved, and Beharie’s undesired place on Sleepy Hollow was dragged out just a few weeks longer.
Of course, Beharie, alongside with her co-star Tom Mison, were the life-force of this show from the beginning. While Sleepy Hollow has never been a juggernaut in the ratings or in its following, those who did watch the series did so for the obvious tension between Abbie and Mison’s character Ichabod Crane, who is a married man. On the end of season two, the Huffington Post even wrote, “Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie are so charming, nuanced and compelling that I am likely to stick with this show until the Apocalypse dawns in our reality,” and then followed that praise by admonishing the show’s repetitive plot points and circular drama. Without Beharie, then, it is fair to wonder what Sleepy Hollow will become without that “compelling” chemistry life-jacket.
As an attempt to combat the female-gender void that Beharie left behind, the show added on a handful of women this season in Sossamon and Nikki Reed. Nevertheless, Sleepy Hollow‘s effort to pass the Bechdel test may not be enough still; the show-runners are still in talks with Fox over whether or not there will be a fourth season, and the show’s meager ratings don’t help. The finale only garnered 2.6 million viewers, which is a pittance compared to the farewell to Fox’s longtime ratings-king, American Idol, which was watched by 13.3 million, according to the LA Times.
Overall, Sleepy Hollow‘s uncertain future rests in Fox’s hands, as the network takes a hard look at what they need to do to compensate for the loss of their biggest show. One thing is for certain–Abbie Mills has joined Jon Snow, Teen Wolf’s Allison Argent, and Mad Men‘s Betty Draper in the club for star characters who should not have died but are, unfortunately, permanently dead.