Sleepy Hollow's Neil Jackson on Ichabod and Abraham's Face-Off & Loving (but Not Trusting) Katrina

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Midseason Finale Preview Neil Jackson

“So you know Ichabod dies?”

Relax, Sleepyheads. Neil Jackson is kidding as he kicks off an interview about the lead-up to Sleepy Hollow‘s fall finale. The two-part episode starts Monday (Fox, 9/8c), concludes a week later and features one heck of a game-changer — though not the one the actor faux-teases with a laugh.

The hour also brings Ichabod and Abraham face-to-face for the first time since their duel in the woods way, way back in the day.

“They expand the mythology of the necklace a little bit so that other people are now able to see Headless as Abraham,” the actor tells TVLine. “It’s a scene I knew was coming, and I was so excited to see when they finally wrote it.”

The beauty — and tragedy — of the former friends’ interaction, Jackson says, is that they’re so similar.sleepyhollow_ichabod_finger

“From Ichabod’s perspective, everything that’s bad that has ever happened is a result of Abraham and his jealousy. And then from Abraham’s perspective, everything that has ever been bad has happened as a result of Ichabod coveting and stealing his fiancée.”

Jackson adds that one line, in particular, from the episode stuck with him.

“There’s a great phrase that [the writers] threw in there, when the two of them are arguing and clashing, where Abraham says to Ichabod that he was never meant to be the villain of the story. He was supposed to be the hero, and all that changed when Ichabod came on the scene,” he says.

Alas, even Abraham’s villain cred has been usurped this season by his brother-from-another-Moloch, Henry — AKA the Horseman of War.

“The way that I perceive Abraham to be is that he’s only got one foot in Moloch’s camp, and that Moloch was a means to an end so that he can enact revenge on Ichabod,” Jackson says. “If he was given the choice, he would choose Katrina over Moloch.”

That doesn’t mean, Jackson hastily adds, that Abraham trusts the witch. However, “All that he wants is to recapture his humanity, and his one chance at that, he believes, is to rekindle his love with Katrina.”

Humanity? Love? This is the same being who lobbed off Sheriff Corbin’s cranium with a red-hot battleax, is it not?

Though Jackson makes no apologies for Abraham’s extracurricular activities, he does get a little emo when talking about the horseman’s motivation.

“I mean, we’ve all had situations where we’ve lost something. But to lose every single thing in one moment, and it’s all directly as a result of one man’s actions? [Abraham] is just this bundle of angst, hate, pain and frustration, and it’s completely relatable,” the actor says.

But any fears about turning the Horseman of Death into someone who just needs a hug should evaporate whenever Jeremy Owens — AKA the stunt performer who provides Headless with his hulking body — strides onto screen.

“When you see [the Horseman of Death] walking around without his head, wielding an ax, there’s nothing necessarily lovable about that character,” Jackson says with a laugh. But, from the feedback he’s been getting, “the audience has become conflicted, because when they see ol’ stumpy running around with his flaming ax, they actually start to think of Abraham and that fragility,” he says. “Therefore, they feel some sort of sympathy for the Headless Horseman, which is amazing.”

He adds: “I mean, if you can create sympathy for the Headless Horseman, then it means they’re doing something right.”

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20 Comments
  1. I don’t think I’ll be coming back to Sleepy Hollow after the break. This just isn’t the same show I grew to love last season.

  2. karen says:

    Too much drama and focus on the Crane arc and trying to make villains into redeemable characters has been the biggest mistake Sleepy Hollow could make. That and keeping Katrina round when the pilot script called for her to be dead. I don’t want to give up on this show but I’m watching more now for Abbie and Ichabod’s relationship and hoping that Jenny and Irving get more screen time. But even that might not keep me around for much longer. Sad, because when you have screen gems like Nicole and Tom, that kind of chemistry is hard to come by. Shame they are letting it go to waste, and I’m not speaking on any romantic sense. It’s just their interaction is suffering this year because of the drab plot of the Crane family drama. It’s boring.

    • Calista says:

      Agree. I miss the Ichabbie dynamic. SO MUCH. I am not clamoring for a romance right now (although I wouldn’t be opposed to them mirroring how Mulder and Scully evolved and eventually got together on The X-Files because I see a lot of parallels). I just miss them being together, working together, fighting together, laughing together. Their partnership is at the heart of the show – it made the series more unique, and their chemistry has been remarked upon by critics and fans alike. Focus on the Crane family drama/Katrina drags the show down. I’m hoping that the writers have some shocker in store over the next two episodes that will make this season’s boring Crane family storyline “worth it” and return the focus to Ichabod and Abbie.

  3. Remy says:

    Katrina is NEVER to be trusted. This show is getting way to bogged down in Crane drama. Let’s get rid of Katrina & Henry & move one!

  4. Michelle says:

    Sympathy for Headless? Is the entire production crew smoking something? I was really excited about season 2, but it’s been a disappointment after the premiere.

  5. Babybop says:

    I still love this show… I’m super excited for the fall finale!

  6. I agree with the other commenters. Sleepy Hollow is getting off track. They undermined an amazing villain for a rather dubious payoff. The moment he was revealed, Headless became just a sad stalker moping in the background of a story that is moving slower and slower this season. It’s like the show creators are solving problems that don’t exist. The world of Sleepy Hollow doesn’t need more complex villains, it needs more time spent on it’s residents, building out the world of Sleepy Hollow and further exploring beloved characters like Jenny, Irving, Macey, Luke and Andy.

  7. Carla Krae says:

    I don’t have a problem with this season.

  8. Regina says:

    I think that the whole Crane family drama is necessary to drive the plot at this point. That having been said, Katrina needs to go. Ichabod is realizing that his trust in her May have been misplaced. I don’t think Abbie has ever trusted Katrina 100% and that is another part of the plot. Katrina is going to betray Ichabod and really make this storyline interesting.

  9. Sharon says:

    I can’t Waite 2 see what’s gonna happen next week ending!!! So don’t disoppoint me……

  10. Alichat says:

    I’m a little worried that Irving is going to die……now that he’s escaped the hospital.

  11. Karen says:

    ““They expand the mythology of the necklace a little bit so that other people are now able to see Headless as Abraham,” the actor tells TVLine.” Except the ability to see Abraham in the chamber had nothing to do with the necklace, and everything to do with the chamber, which made him visible as he ‘really’ is – human and not a monster, strangely enough.

    I have no problem with the show, loving it, can’t wait for each episode. This whole “hate Katrina” movement is kind of silly, she’s married to the series lead character, she’s Abraham’s obsession, and Henry’s mother! I wish they’d allow her to be more ‘witchy’, that would be fun.

    • Jemjean says:

      I’ve seen some photos,video of the second part of season 2 and it looks as though the Headless/Katrina situation is being ended. Katrina seems to be saving Crane and Abbie from him at some point.

  12. Jemjean says:

    I will definitely be back as will most others I’ve spoken with. I’ve seen some photos of the back end of season two and it is exciting! It’s hard to feel sympathy for Abraham. He wasn’t concerned about whether the woman he was marrying loved him! When Katrina decided not to go through with the marriage, she wasn’t leaving Abraham, she was leaving what she knew was a contractual obligation on her part. Her treatment of dead Ichabod and dead Abraham was probably the most telling. Ichabod was lovingly buried in a safe and secluded spot and Abraham was chained up in metal and thrown in the water. He wasn’t betrayed by his friend, he chose a strong woman who knew what she didn’t want her life to be.

  13. Jemjean says:

    The big mistake most viewers are making is that this show is a two dimensional show. It could be about Abbie and Crane just going along slaying monsters each week, but that’s not what the show is about. Every character has a history and a family that they care deeply for. THAT is the premise of the show. If you can’t see beyond the goofy fist bumping and latte sipping that’s not the show’s fault. Katrina is not the problem, you are, for wanting to make this show into something more like a comic book. Characters take time and Katia has not had much connection w/ Tom in order to build on that relationship. Abbie has settled things with her sister and now I’m waiting for Crane’s wife to dispense w/Headless and be brought into the fold. It’s not that I care if you watch, there are enough of us who love the show the way it is. But I fail to understand why you are constantly logging on to bash something for one character who you feel stands in the way of Ichabbie. It’s not going to happen, so just let it go.