Sleepy Hollow showrunner explains that tragic death, shocking midseason finale twist

Fox’s surprise hit Sleepy Hollow has worn its insanity as a badge of honor, and there was no wackier episode than Monday’s night’s midseason finale. So, what does the guy writing this stuff have to say for himself?

Spoilers ahead for Monday night’s Sleepy Hollow midseason finale!

Phew, that was one heck of an episode. First up, we had the tragic death of Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones), who died in a battle with Molock’s minions. But that was only the beginning. The big twist came a bit later, when Henry (John Noble) took control of the Sword of Methuselah and jammed it into Moloch in the biggest “whoa!” moment in an episode of them.

First up, let’s talk about Irving’s death. Irving was awesome, and though he admits it was a “tough decision,” showrunner Mark Goffman told TV Line death might not be the end for the character. Which, heck, in Sleepy Hollow, death is almost always a guarantee you will be back at some point. Regardless, we're glad there should be more coming for Irving:

“One of the things I love about working on Sleepy Hollow is that ‘dead’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘gone.’ On other shows, if you kill a character, it’s pretty hard to make them return. Irving’s death in the midseason finale needs to have weight, needs to be real and had a very strong impact on Abbie, Crane and Jenny. And that has to have ramifications in the second half of the season. But I think it’s interesting to see what happens when people come back, like Brooks for example.”

Beyond Irving’s death, the final scene of the episode where we see Moloch’s death is obviously a game-changer. He’s been the Big Bad since the pilot, and by taking him out midway through the second season, it will inarguably change the direction and shape of the series as a whole. 

Goffman told Entertainment Weekly they felt it was a good time to end the Moloch arc, which will allow them to open up the story in new ways and tell different types of stories within the framework of the Sleepy Hollow model they’ve created. It’s a gutsy creative move, no doubt, and we hope they can pay it off:

“That was really exciting to me. We felt like we had played out Moloch’s story, and we wanted to liberate the show from just seeming like we’re telling stories about Moloch’s vision of the apocalypse, or that all of the evils seem to be generated by Moloch and Henry. So this really freed us up. I think it’s going to be really exciting. Abbie and Crane won’t know where the next creature is coming from, or what evil they’re facing, or why. So the storytelling then becomes much more interesting…

We’ve got some great twistory coming up. Benjamin Franklin’s going to be coming back; we have an episode with Thomas Jefferson, and I can’t wait to tell you who’s going to be playing Thomas Jefferson. It’s really fun. We also have a lot of fun with the “man out of time” moments with Crane. I think we have some great ones planned. As we get back to episodes that are really Abbie/Crane centered, I think that comedy and levity just naturally emerges, because Tom [Mison] and Nicole [Beharie] are just so good at it. The tone that we get from them is just a joy to watch and to write.”

Sleepy Hollow returns to Fox’s schedule on Jan. 5, 2015. What did you think of the finale? Was it a good twist? Where would you like the series to go next?

(Via Entertainment Weekly, TV Line)

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