The story of Abbie and Jenny Mills’ deadbeat dad has been canon since Sleepy Hollow‘s first season: Unable to handle his wife’s increasing mental instability, Ezra Mills bailed on his family when the sisters were young.
But what if Papa Mills’ story has gotten as twisted as every other historical tale the Fox drama tells?
“I think the hardcore fans have always wondered about Dad,” showrunner Clifton Campbell tells TVLine. “There was a picture painted of him early on that was the guy who ran off, who couldn’t deal, and who fled. It’s very nice to find that that’s not necessarily true, and the part of it that is true is much more realized in the back half [of the season].”
Adds executive producer Albert Kim: “He’s been a figure of mystery for both Abbie and Jenny for most of their lives,” and once he’s around, it becomes clear how much was “missing from his perspective.”
NYPD Blue alum James McDaniel will take on the role when Sleepy returns on Friday, Feb. 5 (8/7c); Kim says that McDaniel’s scenes, so far, have been “awesome” and “amazing,” and that the series is looking for ways to “work him in even more than we have.” (Though he wouldn’t say whether Ezra shows up for the funeral of Abbie — who seemed to perish in the midseason finale — or under some other circumstances.)
But does Dad know that one of his daughters is a Biblically foretold Witness to the apocalypse and the other dabbles in demon-fighting? And might he share some of their tendencies toward the occult?
“As with everything in Sleepy Hollow, he has more in his past that we don’t know about that will come to bear on Abbie and Jenny’s story,” Kim says. “That’s a big spoiler: whether he’s keyed in or not.” — With reporting by Matt Webb Mitovich