[There was a video here]
Sleepy Hollow, previously the most popular new TV show in America and currently airing one day after America's most popular TV show, climaxed during last night's fall finale with a nice long monologue delivered by a nice old man holding a nice big sword. Which may explain a few things.
Abbie and Crane stopped Moloch thanks to a final betrayal by Crane's estranged son, Henry, the Horseman of War, and after much preparation for a battle that turned out to be a skirmish. Entitled "The Akeda"—referring to the binding of Isaac, by his father Abraham, upon God's orders—the hour was all about family, faith, debts, and demons; and how, if you think of any TV series as being like a bowl of spaghetti, it is never too late to slather everyone in dumb sauce.
It was full of reasons why people have probably stopped watching. Some aesthetic, some not. Sleepy Hollow is a pretty busy show, lots of mythology, lots of plans. The more it makes sense, the less fun it becomes. What has always mattered are the reaction shots. (Unless you are really committed to being told one more Apocalypse story.)
But before: The series premiered in 2013 to surprisingly robust ratings (Fox's most successful drama open since 2001) and audience reaction (this thing runs!), a rococo curio turned mainstream, overnight; and a salvo from former network chief Kevin Reilly, who proclaimed that it would run in short, cable-style seasons. Unfortunately, while Sleepy Hollow was on hiatus, most people forgot Fox was even a network.
When a series' audience fragments, and quickly, as happened here, it's fun to ask why. Like: Why did Sleepy Hollow double-down on a love triangle between an ancient witch, a Revolutionary War vet, and the man who used to love them both until he went and made himself the Headless Horseman? Why give the Headless Horseman feelings? Why's your Satan-character always have to be big, black, and horned? Just thoughts!
One more Walking Dead connection: Last night's climax began with our heroes battling a wave of "demons" (zombies in Revolutionary-era garb, to my eyes), rose toward the sudden death of beloved compatriot Frank, and was book-ended by a series of stupid decisions such as: Abbie getting injured as soon as she touched the battlefield; Abbie and Jenny acting like they have no idea what telekinetic magic was (those aren't roots; they're roots that can be controlled at lightning speed by someone's mind); and so on.
As a series gets bigger—adding witches, adding blondes, adding Headless Horsemen's heads, the noodles multiplying—things tend to tangle; you keep moving to move through and arrive at a destination you have convinced yourself, by fact of the journey, must be the end.
For all of that, I do enjoy Sleepy Hollow, which is full of attractive people pledging to and/or snarking at one another against a rising tide of supernatural disaster. And big tables seem lit from underneath, so that when everyone gathers 'round to plan, they glow. And Nicole Beharie is so much more talented than Tom Mison that it's nice to just watch her lead him around. I recognize the habit.