Outside a nondescript soundstage tucked in a far corner of a Wilmington, N.C., backlot, it’s a stunning late-fall day. Cornflower blue sky. Chilly. Sunny. Quiet.
Inside, however, a different, sinister story unspools. A warren of dark tunnels snakes through the dimly lit space. Skulls, burned-down candles, cold case files and ancient demonic texts keep each other company in dark corners. A fog machine works overtime to ratchet up the creepy factor.
And in the center of a set where light filters through high, round windows and George Washington’s Delaware Crossing portrait watches over all, Sleepy Hollow‘s seven-year war against the forces of evil stealthily marches on.
‘SOMETHING MASSIVE’ | Because Fox would hand us over to Moloch in a heartbeat, we can’t divulge details of what Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, the supernatural series’ leads, are shooting in the confines of the sheriff’s department archives. But we are at liberty to tell you that it contains a huge reveal – and during a break in filming, Mison lets us know that, like the Horseman himself, the exchange is a harbinger of even bigger twists to come.
“Every week, there’s going to be something massive,” he says, promising “a huge climax” in January’s Season 1 finale.
Though he doesn’t speak as archly as his 18th-century alter ego, and his manner is far more relaxed, Mison’s accent is the same as Ichabod’s. Add that to the fact that he’s still in wig and costume – though he’s traded Ich’s dusty overcoat for a zip-up hoodie – and it’s almost as though we’ve caught the time-traveler after a few tankards of that rum he likes so much.
“Since we came back from the hiatus, there’s been a really strong narrative arc,” he says, grinning. “It just builds and builds and builds.”
WHITHER THE WITCH? | Executive producer Ken Olin echoes the actor’s excitement, foreshadowing a narrowing of the gap between purgatory and the present-day New York ‘burg. “In the finale, certainly there will be a more immediate kind of convergence between the two worlds that will not only involve Katrina and Crane, but Abbie, too,” he says.
The witch, her Revolutionary War captain husband and his beloved leftenant, possibly sharing the same space at the same time? Whether or not you’ve booked passage on the S.S. Ichabbie, you’ve got to admit that it’s a situation rife with potential drama… unless you’re Mison, and fond of messing with us.
“I don’t know what you’re suggesting,” the Brit says, his deadpan delivery undermined by his inability to keep a straight face. “It’s a business partnership! What, there will be calls back to Katrina? ‘I’m just staying late at the office darling. I’ll be in purgatory a little later’?”
SYMPATHY PAINS | Witnesses of a feather keep mum together, apparently, because Beharie isn’t much more illuminating when the subject comes up. “Who knows what’s going to happen to Abbie and Crane?” she muses, pulling up a seat during some downtime. In Abbie’s quilted leather jacket and wielding a brook-no-fools expression, she is a petite badass. “I do feel like it’s a platonic relationship, and they are just working toward a common goal.”
And if Mrs. Crane plays a bigger part in the apocalyptic fight ahead, Beharie says, so much the better. “It’s really wonderful that they waited to reveal more about Katrina, because as the fan base is missing her [and is] sort of unsure of who she is, you start to feel almost like Crane does,” the actress says. “We’re separated from this person, you’re getting flashes of this person… and the answer is revealed.”
She smiles the smile of someone who knows exactly how the season is going to wrap – and who is well aware that you don’t. “It’s worth the wait,” she says. And then, as Beharie is called back to work, she offers her slender hand, fingers curled, in a parting expression of elation, teamwork: a fist bump.