‘Sleepy Hollow’ spoilers: FOX assures fans that heads will keep on rolling in S3

When will we see the infamous Headless Horseman again? (Photo credit: FOX via FoxFlash)

The Headless Horseman may not return to “Sleepy Hollow” in Season 3, but heads will still roll. During the Television Critics Association Press Tour, FOX released details on the highly anticipated “Bones” and “Sleepy Hollow” crossover event, giving fans a glimpse of what we can expect from the Halloween themed episodes airing on Oct. 29.

Here is the official synopsis:

“Just in time for Halloween, the scientific world of BONES meets the supernatural world of SLEEPY HOLLOW in a crossover event to thrill the living, the dead and everything in between, airing Thursday, Oct. 29. On BONES (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), the grisly discovery of human remains lead Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) on a hunt for clues, during which they encounter Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), searching for answers of their own. Realizing that they are after the same evidence, they team up to solve the mystery. Then, immediately following on SLEEPY HOLLOW (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the intrigue continues as Ichabod’s old nemesis is back from the dead. Ichabod and Abbie need advanced forensic help and expertise to stop him and turn to Brennan and Booth to unlock 18th century secrets using 21st century science.”

During their TCA panel on Aug. 6, FOX executives, Gary Newman and Dana Walden, revealed that Booth and Brennan discover a headless corpse, which leads them to Ichabod and Abbie, who are busy battling zombie redcoats. So that explains the “grisly remains” and Crane’s nemesis. However, “Sleepy Hollow” show runner and executive producer, Clifton Campbell, made it clear that the Headless Horseman will be a no-show this season. So, what gives?

Is Campbell’s previous statement supposed to be a misdirect? Is a new baddie messing with Team Witness by masquerading as their formidable foe? Could it be the Kindred (seriously, we need to know what happened to Franklinstein’s Monster)? Or is the Headless Horseman simply at work off-screen? Just because Campbell says we will not see him, doesn’t necessarily mean that Headless is totally out of the picture. After all, what would “Sleepy Hollow” be without the infamous Headless Horseman?

Whatever the case may be, Campbell and “Bones” executive producer, Michael Peterson, are very excited about this crossover event. Both EPs express their enthusiasm in another statement from FOX (via FoxFlash):

“When the idea came about to create this crossover event for fans, our writers’ room was immediately energized,” said Campbell. “The creative freedom to merge these two worlds which, at face value, seem so different; but at their core have such striking similarities – mystery, intrigue and methodical deduction, wrapped up in such strong character partnerships – was a challenge that we all welcomed, and we believe that fans of both series will be very satisfied by the result. It was a terrific collaborative experience across the board and we are eager to see the fan reaction to Ichabod and Abbie working alongside Brennan and Booth.”

“The BONES/SLEEPY HOLLOW crossover is like a great episode of THE X-FILES, where the BONES hour is the Scully, logic-based perspective and the SLEEPY HOLLOW hour is more Fox Mulder-esque,” said Peterson. “Put them together, and it’s going to be a great two-hour event that fans of both programs are going to love.”

Perhaps this creative and buzz-worthy hybrid is FOX’s attempt at restoring both shows to their glory days. “Sleepy Hollow” took a brutal blow in its sophomore year after making an extraordinary debut in Season 1. In an interview with TVLine, Walden assures fans that Team “Sleepy” (which still includes co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci) is working tirelessly to capture the magic of its awe-inspiring first season. Walden describes some of the improvements they strive to make this season, “What we asked for [in Season 3] was a bit of a return to the storytelling model of the first season — a bit more of the fun instead of such a deep mythology that got a little bit dense.”

Despite all of the criticism, Walden defends “Sleepy Hollow” and believes they will not repeat the same mistakes. TVLine reports:

“We’re still proud of the episodes of last season,” Walden added. “But our observation was that a lot of the show had moved into the fantastical world, where it used to be a show that was weighted very evenly between Abbie in the real world and Ichabod in the fantastical. We’re trying to shift it back to a more even-handed storytelling engine.”

She also promises to give fans what they really want, which is more focus on Ichabod, Abbie and Jenny. Last season, twisted mythology and apocalyptic agendas overshadowed “Sleepy Hollow’s” greatest appeal, the show’s rich and compelling characters and their complex relationships. Unfortunately, Season 2 displayed poor character development and muddled relationships. Katrina and Hawley’s story-lines were especially troublesome. Hopefully Sleepy Writers will do a better job of fleshing out solid character arcs for this season’s newcomers, Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) and Betsy Ross (Nikki Reed).

Speaking of Ichabod’s former flame, Entertainment Weekly released (on Aug. 7) first look photos of Reed dolled up as the star-spangled seamstress. Check out the images HEREEW also reveals that Ross’ supernatural flag will aid Ichabbie throughout the season. What do you think, Sleepy Heads? Will Ross prove to be a vital asset in the war against evil? Can she be trusted? Will she turn out to be a devil in a blue dress? Only time will tell.

FOX is trying very hard to get “Sleepy Hollow” back on track. So far, they are telling fans what we want to hear: Season 3 will focus on the characters and relationships we have grown to love. Huzzah! As long as Ichabbie’s bond stays strong, we’ll gladly follow them on any scary adventure Sleepy Writers can conjure up.

Do you feel a little relieved after learning more about the crossover event with “Bones” and “Sleepy Hollow’s” goals for Season 3? Are you excited to see how Betsy Ross and Pandora will play into the mythology? Do you think FOX will succeed in capturing the magic of Season 1 by making these changes? What else would you love to see in Season 3? Share your thoughts in the comments below or continue the conversation on a Twitter and Facebook.

“Sleepy Hollow” returns Thursday, Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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