We’re hours away from the “Sleepy Hollow” midseason finale, titled “The Akeda,” and after retrieving the Sword of Methuselah in last week’s episode, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) are preparing to face Moloch and his Horseman of War, Henry (John Noble), in a battle of Biblical proportions — and they’ll need all the help they can get to avert the apocalypse.
Below, Variety has an exclusive sneak peek from tonight’s action-packed episode, and we also caught up with director and executive producer Len Wiseman to preview what fans can expect when the Witnesses go up against the horsemen with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
“Sleepy Hollow” likes to go big when it’s going on a break — what can you preview ahead of the midseason finale?
Wiseman: It definitely comes to a head and a lot of surprising reveals will pop up. We’ve got a lot that is going to shock people. We spend a lot of time with our characters playing out their loyalties; it’s been a very complicated, heart-wrenching struggle that they’ve gone through about where their loyalties fall, and in the finale, those loyalties will be tested for good.
Katrina (Katia Winter) and Ichabod’s relationship has been fairly strained in recent episodes. Where do they stand tonight?
They’ve got the most difficult relationship I’ve ever seen. They’ve been struggling, and they’ve got their son in the mix of it all. Ichabod loves her dearly, but he’s only going to be able to bear so much, and we see that Crane has a cracking point; he has a love that he’s had for her for many, many years, but he’s going to take a stand.
The story has been building toward a confrontation with Henry — are Ichabod and Katrina willing to sacrifice him at this point, or do they still have hopes of redeeming their son?
I think what’s really interesting and also problematic for them is that they are quite split. With Crane, he has Abbie as an ally, and she’s able to give him a point-of-view without having the emotional attachment to who Henry is, so he’s able to have a bit clearer judgment on Henry than Katrina is. In terms of going into the finale, it splits them apart, because Crane, above all else, wants to stop the apocalypse and fulfill his duty as a witness, and Katrina wants to do everything she can possibly do to save Henry.
Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) has been sidelined for much of the season, but it seems like he has a big role to play in the events of “The Akeda.” What can you tease about his plot thread?
With Frank, he becomes a crucial player because he has an ability that none of the other players in our fight against the apocalypse has — his soul has already been claimed, so that makes him special.
The apocalypse has now been set in motion — how did you approach realizing that on a TV budget and timescale?
With a lot of work and blood and sweat and tears of trying to make as much of the apocalypse you can possibly do on television. We have a really great visual effects team; they’re doing an amazing job for us in a very limited amount of time. We are really heading towards merging hell on earth, and we start to see aspects of that. I do believe that it’s the promise of the show: It is about the apocalypse, we do want to see that visually and pay that off, so we’re doing our best to really bring that to life.
Last week’s episode really showcased Abbie and Ichabod’s partnership in a way that felt very reminiscent of season one. Do they have any standout moments in the midseason finale?
There are a lot of great moments where Crane is able to become more of a partner with her, like he used to be. He’s had to really ride a fine line with Katrina and Abbie, and that line becomes more clear for him, and it strengthens the bond between Abbie and Crane.
What role does the Headless Horseman, aka Abraham Van Brunt (Neil Jackson), play in the events of the finale?
All these characters are so complicated in what they want — Headless ultimately wants his love as well, and he’s given up his soul for Katrina; he’s made a deal with Moloch, and he’s going to go to every length to get Katrina. Without giving anything away, you’ll see how Crane will play a part in that: Will he help Abraham if it means Crane can get to his goal?
“Sleepy Hollow” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)