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Sleepy Hollow's Season 4 Finale Explained

sleepy hollow season 4 poster

Here's how Sleepy Hollow season 4 ended the cult horror series. The show is based on "The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow" story by Washington Irving, about schoolmaster Ichabod Crane's encounter with a Headless Horseman. This gothic ghost story has been adapted many times, including 1980's The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow starring Jeff Goldblum (The Fly) as Crane. Perhaps the most famous version is Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow from 1999, which deviates heavily from the original tale but was an enjoyably moody - and bloody - adventure.

The story also formed the basis for the Sleepy Hollow TV series which debuted in 2013, where Crane is a professor played by Tom Mison (Four Weddings And A Funeral), who decapitated the Headless Horseman himself and mysteriously awakens in 2013. Crane then works with the Sleepy Hollow police to stop the Horseman and other supernatural threats that pop up. The show became a cult favorite and ultimately ran for four seasons; the series also crossed over with Bones.

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While the showrunners behind Sleepy Hollow hoped for a fifth season, season 4's "Freedom" turned out to be the final episode. It was certainly a dramatic one, as immortal businessman Malcolm Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) raises the Four Horseman and storms Camp David, managing to take the President himself hostage. The team needs to find a way to kill Dreyfuss - which will also stop the Horsemen - so with a little help from demon Jobe, they literally go to Hell to bargain with the Devil himself.

sleepy hollow devil

Lucifer (Terrance Mann, Sense8) isn't particularly inclined to help, so Crane sells his soul to obtain a new Philosopher's Stone. This leads to a final confrontation with Dreyfuss and his Horsemen, where Diana (Janina Gavankar, Star Wars: Battlefront II) shoots and wounds Dreyfuss. Since the Philosopher's Stone has taken away his immortality, Jobe takes Dreyfuss to Hell. The thankful President makes Crane an American citizen for his efforts and reestablishes Agency 355. It's not a totally happy ending since there's still the whole issue of Crane selling his soul, but Diana vows to help him find a way out of the deal.

For some fans, Sleepy Hollow is a show that started strong but the quality dipped in later seasons, especially in the wake of co-star Nicole Beharie's (Jacob's Ladder) season 3 departure. Season 4 won back some viewers and set up an intriguing season 5, where Crane has to escape his hellish contract. "Freedom" at least proved to be an action-packed finale to Sleepy Hollow and ended the show on a strong note.

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