One of the show's main characters was killed off on Friday's third season finale

By Andrea Park
April 09, 2016 10:30 AM
Tina Rowden/FOX

If there’s one thing showrunners can expect after killing off the main character of a TV show, it’s that the fans will have something to say about it.

And Sleepy Hollow fans have plenty to say about Friday’s shocking death of Nicole Beharie‘s Abbie Mills, one half of the show’s central team of Witnesses on the hunt for the Headless Horseman.

Viewers of the season three finale took to Twitter to express their shock, frustration and sadness – or a mixture of all three – in the hours after the episode aired, writing about everything from their unstoppable tears to their promises to never watch the show again.

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In a statement to Variety, 20th Century Fox and showrunner Clifton Campbell confirmed that Abbie’s death was final.

“The finale featuring the tragic death of Abbie Mills was a very dramatic ending and a bold move for the show, but Sleepy Hollow has always been known for its shocking finales. We feel we provided a wonderfully poignant conclusion for Abbie and showed some of the best moments between the Witnesses that we’ve seen on-screen,” the statement read. “We thank Nicole Beharie for bringing Abbie and Sleepy Hollow to life. We are currently discussing season four, and should the series be picked up for another season, we have some exciting scenarios and new avenues we want to explore.”

In her own statement to TVLine, Beharie said, “Sleepy Hollow has been an incredible experience in every way. I loved playing Abbie. It’s been such a gift to have taken this wild ride… Alas, ‘Abbie Mills has done all she was meant to do.’ I’m excited about what the show has in store for us next.”

Campbell spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the decision to kill off one of his show’s major stars.

“It was with a great deal of thought and really going back to the roots of the show and the mythology of the show – it too has to evolve,” he said. “To that end, Abbie did everything she could as a Witness. She honorably served her partnership with Crane, and she made the ultimate sacrifice and completed her role as a Witness.”

The showrunner also shared what he hopes fans will ultimately take away from the shocking episode.

“I hope they see the durability of what this show has set out to do, which is to capture a genre that is so completely unique and like nothing on television, that has its roots in the birth of our nation and the promise of freedom and hope,” he said.

“And I hope that they recall Nicole’s brilliant performance, and don’t ever let that go, and appreciate the need for a show like this to evolve.”