Sleepy Hollow: “Ichatrina,” Ship of Fools


Tombstone for Sleepy Hollow's Katrina Crane

Did you know that “stupid fangirls” and “petty Crabbies” killed Katrina? These “loud,” “louder” and “loudest” “Ichabbie” fans are the problem.  Sidenote: I need someone to explain to me why the word “loud” is always used to describe Abbie loyalists. Can one be loud on Twitter? Are you Tweeting in all caps? (Stop it!) Did someone invent an audio version of Twitter and forget to tell me? If that’s the case, I’m not going to waste time composing Tweets when I could holler at you in 140 characters or less. Perhaps there is only a miniscule amount of Katrina devotees. Either that or the legions of them can’t speak above a whisper, which kind of makes sense….

Here’s an interesting Tweeter’s opinion, “They [meaning the show] were so afraid of the race issue they let the racists decide the show. Now Sleepy Hollow is dead as Katrina.” Hmmm “racists” are responsible for Katrina’s death? Where is Rosa Parks when you need her?

The DressTo make an analogy, Sleepy Hollow is The Dress. That confounding dress that led to family feuds and broken friendships. The Dress is blue and black. The show’s costume designer told me so on Twitter, so that’s the end of that. If you saw white and gold you were mistaken. If you saw any other combo, you were mistaken. If you saw the Crane marriage as anything other than a plot device, you were mistaken.

“Ichatrina” was never a thing. It was white and gold, an optical illusion. Katrina served two purposes. As an unwitting time-traveler, it was vital that Ichabod have something to tie him to the past. Katrina’s other purpose was to give the leading man a heroic mission. She was simply a sought-after object like the Lost Ark, the Holy Grail, and the Ice Princess. The primary relationship was, is and always will be Ichabod and Abbie. Getting Katrina out of Purgatory just began the process of a drawn-out and inevitable divorce — or stabbing — whatever’s easier. The show demonstrated that the end was nigh with subtle hints and sometimes anvils.


Ichabod comforts Abbie after Frank dies. Katrina’s in the background

The season one finale, “Bad Blood” was white and gold on the surface, but black and blue at its core. On their way to rescue Katrina from Purgatory, Ichabod reached out to clutch Abigail’s hand. The cameras focused on a close-up lingering shot of hand-holding. In TV land, that is a ship tease.

Upon his reunion with Katrina, Ichabod held her in his arms and wept tears of joy. Wait, no that didn’t happen. He charged in with that twitchy finger in motion and his first words were, “What do you know of the secrets of Washington’s Bible?” That wasn’t exactly a scene to make Ichatrina fans swoon. When Abbie insisted that she stay behind so Katrina could escape, we saw Crane’s passion. He pulled his Leftenant into an embrace and murmured, “I swear to you, for as long as I can draw breath…. Remember our bond.” There was hair-stroking, for crying out loud. Katrina was standing right there — even she could see that the dress was not white and gold. After that scene, it was delusional to think this was an epic story of the Crane romance.

Once they were out of Purgatory and Katrina was sprawled out somewhere by herself, Ichabod started telling Henry about how he planned to save Abbie. Um, hello, aren’t you forgetting something? When Katrina called her husband’s name, he finally remembered it was hug time. No husky whispers and hair-stroking, just a comforting hug.

Ichabod tries to leave a video message on Sleepy Hollow.

Get the message

In the season two premiere, “This is War,” Abbie was still in Purgatory and Ichabod, buried in a pine box, recorded a message  … for Abbie. “If I do not survive, I want you to know, Leftenant, I never stopped fighting.” Presumably if he died and Abbie survived and found his body, he could have left a message for her to give to Katrina, no? Mrs. Crane was an afterthought.

The next episode was “The Kindred” and Katrina’s captor and former fiancé, Abraham pointed out the obvious. After she found out that Abraham had lied about Ichabod’s death, there was this exchange:

Katrina: Ichabod is alive… and free.

Abraham: And what did he chose to do with his freedom? Did he search the ends of the earth to find his beloved wife? No, he rescued another woman. Abigail Mills. Couldn’t stand to see her trapped in purgatory mere hours. And yet, how long did he leave you to rot there?

Abraham is many things, but he is not a fool.

In this same episode, a bank employee assumed that Abbie was Ichabod’s girlfriend. Random extras are shipping Ichabbie. None of that would matter soon because Katrina would be back in Ichabod’s arms. Except when he showed up to rescue her, she decided to stay and spy on Abraham, the Horseman of Death, and Henry, the Horseman of War, instead of trusting Ichabod. Abraham more or less told Katrina that Abbie was a threat and she still let her husband go off with Miss Mills. Are the Cranes shippable? Seriously? I guess that dress is still white and gold.

Mary Wells confronts Katrina on Sleepy Hollow

Mary had the last laugh

The Titanic  Ichatrina ship was heading for an iceberg in “The Weeping Lady.” For starters, Caroline (a delightful character who died too soon) was surprised to hear Crane had a wife. “You live alone, you never talk about her. [There are] no photos of her around. I assumed you were single or separated or a widower.” Just a matter of time, Caroline, just a matter of time.

When Mary Wells, Ichabod’s obsessive friend-turned-ghoul, pointed her finger at Katrina, he immediately questioned his wife (Where’s the trust?) and became furious when she kept  hemming and hawing.  He was pretty salty, when he said, “There’s something you’re not telling me. You’re hiding something. I will not leave until I hear the truth … from your lips. What in God’s name did you do?” Crane was disgusted by his wife’s story about how she covered up Mary’s accidental death and forged a good-bye letter. A fed-up Crane pointed out all of her lies by omission (spying for Washington, witchcraft, pregnancy.) After Katrina returned to Abraham for more “intelligence gathering,” Ichabod hit the bar with Abbie and mused, “Marriage is difficult on the best day. But without trust… without honesty… how can a union between two people hope to survive?” That was the Foreshadowing Fairy, the marriage was doomed.

Now, we get to “Heartless,” an episode which should have drove a stake through the heart of anyone still clinging to hope that the marriage was worth shipping. This is the episode that comes right after “Deliverance” when Henry used venom to impregnate his mother and… Oh, my God! Please do not make me relive that sordid affair. The bottom line is that once again Kat was saved by Ichabod and Abbie. So how does she repay her husband? When she’s not feeling well and he offers her something, she wants quince tea instead and has the gall to say, “It’s just… well, Abraham brought me some when I was ailing. It soothed my nerves.” Witch, please. Reminiscing about good times with the fiend who imprisoned you does not make you the romantic lead.

Later on in the episode, Ichabod talked to Abbie about his wife.

Ichabod: So much has transpired for us both. We’re not the people we once were.

Abbie: Crane, people change, especially during a war. They grow and evolve. It’s just that your relationship has to evolve, as well.

Ichabod: As must, I suspect, my opinion of Mr. Hawley. He is a brigand and a mercenary, but not without his charms.

Abbie: The hell are you talking about?

Ichabod: All I’m saying is if he were to explore a social relationship with… someone, I… I would certainly not be…

Abbie: Oh. (laughs) Uh, let’s say you’re onto something. You, of all people, know that there’s no room in our lives for complications.

Ichabod: And since when has opening our hearts to new possibilities been a complication?

During a hunt for the demon, Crane still wouldn’t let the matter drop and grilled Hawley.

Ichabod: Mr. Hawley, what are your intentions towards Lieutenant Mills?

Hawley: Excuse me?

Ichabod: The one thing you have in your favor is you are a man of your word. So, it would mean something if you were to tell me that your intentions are honorable.

Hawley: I don’t know what you’re talking about, but, whatever it is, I’m pretty damn certain it’s none of your business.

Even the Succubus could see what was going on, telling Ichabod, “I can sense your desire. It burns strong, even though you try so hard to hide it. And yet… the emotion in your heart has soured, hasn’t it? I know that taste. It’s the taste of doubt.”

The Cranes finally got a dream date in “Pittura Infamante.” This was Katrina’s night to shine and the show still got in a burn. Sheriff Reyes’ response to meeting Katrina: “Ichabod has a wife? He never mentioned you.”

Finally. we get to the end of the road, “Tempus Fugit.” Katrina tries to kill Abbie and it backfires. As Tom Mison put it in a TVLine interview, “He wants to stop her and he wants to defend Abbie. It’s just in the tussle, her knife goes into her heart. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

Ichatrina was never going to be a thing, it’s as plain as black in white, I mean blue and black.

Whether that episode was the season finale or the series finale remains to be seen, but at the end of the day, the show decided that Ichabod would move forward without Katrina. “Stupid fangirls” and “racists” did not kill Katrina. The show took 19 episodes to make it clear, Ichatrina was never happening.

Have an opinion about this?  Please leave a comment. (They don’t appear immediately, but we’ll get to them.)

Elaine G. Flores, Chief Editor
Elaine is the chief editor of TV Recappers' Delight. She's an experienced entertainment reporter, reviewer, editor, blogger, columnist and Bon Vivant.

12 thoughts on “Sleepy Hollow: “Ichatrina,” Ship of Fools”

  1. Dee says:

    Ugh! Did you really have to bring in that dress. I damm near poked my eyes out. The world made it seem as if Indiana Jones was real, found a chalice in a hidden cave, and now the world wants to know if its real. Then you stop and think but it’s proof that Indiana Jones is real! Forget the damn chalice! I just can’t.

    Anyways, about the fans killing Ichtrina. Uhhhh, oohh those fans. The fans that were screaming, “Ichabod and his wife are soul mates. He said it!” Lol yea, those fans. These are the fans that questioned if they saw any chemistry between Abbie and Crane? I will tell you who killed Katrina. Mark Goffman killed Katrina by doing the bait and switch on this show and totally thinking that fans would fall in love with her the same way Abbie grabbed everyone. Katrina was poorly written and portrayed. Yes, I understand Katia Winter has to go with what the writers give her but at the same time she made me confused and a struggling listener since season 1. Lets also shed light on the lack of promotion Fox did for season 2. The show was off air for an entire pregnancy! 9 months, they waited almost a week or 2 to promote this show for the 2nd season. Way to treat your surprise hit FOX. If you look at past interviews for this season Abbie was suppose to get a love interest. That never happened. The fact that they totally sidelined everything we loved about the show all for one character is what killed Katrina.

    Now, you have yesterday’s event with Nicole Behire on instagram basically calling out the show about how they didn’t invite her to do dvd commentary. I really didn’t want to jump to conclusions but the way they did season 2, you just blow right by logic and automatically believe that Fox is treating the the star of the show like last night’s leftovers for the dog. It’s really not hard to find who was the real murderer here. Fox and Goffman may need to talk with ABC and Shonda Rhimes on what they should do with POC who is a popular lead.

    Thanks for the overview.

    1. Elaine F. says:

      Thank you for writing, Dee. I deeply apologize for bringing up that dress, it has caused nothing but trouble — not unlike this bizarre shift of focus with Sleepy Hollow. I honestly think Katrina was meant to be a spoiler, but it was poorly executed. No sane writer would consider her character to have rooting value.

      1. sleepynegress says:

        I HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT! Katrina was meant to be disliked and foreshadowed as not the business. It was already poorly received, but a certain sector of fangirls in denial and made the rest of us despise her all the more.

        The wheel-spinning, OOC idiot Ichabod and “Katrina was right” BS from Abbie didn’t help. Add the irritating whisper and you have a fandom that despises the show for spending so much time on her.

        1. Elaine F. says:

          Thanks for writing, Sleepy. I agree we were supposed to dislike her and then somehow things spun out of control. I honestly can’t think of a worse television character. I have yet to hear an eloquent argument in her defense. They failed debate class.

  2. KIm says:

    I haven’t been here for a while, so I can’t speak about the prior posts I’ve not read yet, and look forward to viewing your archives, but I have to say, this is by far the best piece of critical analysis I have seen to date on the relationship between Ichabod and Katrina, of which the Ichatrina/Katrina long drawn out storyline also proved to be the Achilles heel of the show. Your use of the blue and black or white and gold dress, as a metaphor, is just brilliant. Your attention to the details of dialogue and expressions between the characters as seemingly illusive to those who would like to perpetuate the myth of Ichatrina, has with pinpoint accuracy, brought the myth to its knees. And might I add, that in the last scenes of the episode, we see that Abbie has stopped the axe from hitting Ichabod, in freeze frame, and then we are privileged to view the details of Ichabod and Abbie becoming Ichabbie, as snippets of the development of this new union is flashed before our eyes, as time moves. Immediately, as present time has reset and continues in forward motion, we see Ichabod, stab Katrina (Shakespearean tragedy style), swiftly and with certainty, call it an ‘oopsie’ if you want, whatever, but it was definite and conclusive, and she disintegrates (Not even any signs of ashes or sparkly dust, left behind), ‘The End’. And now, ‘The Beginning’, we see Abbie and Ichabod-Ichabbie, together, alone, in this space and in this time, of which the Season 2 finale was aptly brought to its conclusion.

    If Season 3 comes to fruition, will Katrina return to Sleepy Hollow, and in what capacity, who knows. I don’t think the creators, writers, showrunners, appreciate the fact that they could have ushered in a Sleepy Hollow of the 21st century, beautifully, having a supernatural story with a Black female heroine-Abbie evolving along side the male hero-Ichabod, including love and romance between them-Ichabbie, if they (the writers and showrunners) were more courageous and willing to subvert the status quo. It would have certainly, become the New Legend of Sleepy Hollow in my house.

    As an aside, you should have written the New York Times Arts review on the Sleepy Hollow finale. Just going by your analysis of this topic, I know you would have done a phenomenal job, on the season finale. I hope you sipped on a nice cocktail after writing this piece!

    Can’t wait to listen in on your podcasts, once you get that going.

    1. Elaine F. says:

      Kim, thank you for writing. I’m blushing. I read so much foolishness about “loud,” “stupid fangirls,” that I was forced to write when I could have been sitting around enjoying a House of Cards binge. I hadn’t actually considered a podcast, but it’s certainly an idea.

      Thanks again for reading. I will most certainly have a cocktail.

  3. kendra says:

    This!!!! Everything you posted is Spot.On.

    I’ve been following the fandom war closely and from what I can tell there’s a broad Ichatrina fan profile I’ve been able to glean: Conservative, religious and non-black. Some even have the nerve to couch criticism in barely veiled racist comments, then get offended if you point it out to them. I’ve found them to be largely tone-deaf with valid criticisms about the direction of the show which makes me wonder why they started watching in the first place.

    I’m an Ichabbie shipper, more slow burn to be honest. And at this stage if they never went past this intimate friendship I won’t mind too much (that’s what fanfic is for!) The problems in S2 came when the focus shifted off the Witnesses, and brought an arc front and centre that should have been background fodder and with the use of less episodes.

    Hopefully we can put the SS Ichatrina behind us forever and get this show back to where it belongs, and bring back the original fans who jumped ship mid S2.

    On another note, I always love to read your recaps and original analyses. Keep up the good work!

    1. Elaine F. says:

      Thank you for writing, Kendra. I agree that the slow burn is the way to go, a good ship requires yearning. It fascinates me that some fans have such eloquent and solid arguments for their opinions while other arguments are paper-thin. Thank you for the compliment about the site, I’m flattered.

  4. sam says:

    You make a lot of good points and I think that, before Deliverance, that’s what the show intended to say, but from then on? No. Deliverance was the turning point, where Goffman gave way to his lesser instincts and veered the ship to The Katrina Show and therefore Ichatrina. The last 3-4 episodes were course correction FOX forced on him and that’s why Ichabod’s reconciliation with his wife in the Pittura episode was forgotten without much of an explanation. If that awful episode had met with approval from fans, we wouldn’t be talking Ichabbie right now. Heck! We wouldn’t be talking Abbie right now, because there is no way Goffman didn’t intend to kill her off and make Katrina the lead.

    Let me explain. You mention the succubus telling Ichabod, “I can sense your desire. It burns strong, even though you try so hard to hide it…” That scene had nothing to do with Abbie. The succubus was representing his wife. As dumb as that was, because she was supposed to bring to the surface hidden desires, for some reason Ichabod’s hidden desire was… his wife?! Even if the doubt was there, the succubus made clear to the audience Abbie had no place in Ichabod’s heart. It was all Katrina. That scene told me all I had to know about the direction of the show and I was proven right in the following episodes…

    Who did Ichabod side again and again, whenever Katrina opened her mouth to utter the most ridiculous BS about redemption of mass murderers? Not Abbie. Who left Abbie on her own, because he had to attend to her weak fainting wife? His priority became pleasing his wife’s every whim. Abbie reached a point, where she thought Orion was her only ally! And the sad truth is that he was.

    For all of Ichabod’s talk about the Witnesses trusting each other and his lack of trust in Katrina, who did he choose to trust every single time? Not Abbie.

    Ichabod also said very clearly what he was fighting for and it wasn’t Humanity’s survival or defeating evil. His fight was personal: love and family, which for him at the time was Katrina.

    If FOX hadn’t intervened, the reconciliation after Pittura Ifamante would have followed its course into Ichabbie oblivion and Goffman’s mission would have been completed.

    What I mean to say is that Goffman fed racist Sarah and her pals, because he’s just like them. He gave them reasons to believe in Ichatrina, although they remain delusional for blaming Ichabbie shippers for the debacle that came from that.

    1. Elaine F. says:

      Hi, thanks for writing, Sam. I thought the succubus episode reflected wavering feelings. That said, I may have been looking at it through the I-Hate-Katrina filter. I understand that they had to demonstrate Ichabod’s ride-or-die loyalty to Katrina for a while so he wouldn’t look fickle. In any case, I can’t believe any sane writer wanted us to root for her. The words “delusional” and “debacle” sum up the whole mess.

  5. Melissa says:

    Thank you for writing this! I’m angry I missed it earlier…

    You really hit the nail on the head! Katrina WAS always a plot device and I thought they would execute aforementioned plot immediately following her release from purgatory. I think the Ichatrina lovers would’ve let the issue die a long time ago had they made Katrina evil when it would’ve been most relevant. They dragged this relationship out during season two and it really didn’t have to go that way. Hell, I’m not a Katrina fan at all and dare I state that she likely WOULDN’T have had to be killed off if they just made her evil straight out of purgatory. She could never carry the role of big bad herself, but she likely could’ve stayed on in a SUPPORTING capacity (sorry for the caps. I forgot how to post in italics. Not yelling, merely emphasizing) to assist the next big bad to come along. She and Henry perhaps could’ve made the reveal together. I like John Noble as well, but Henry’s character reached his plateau long ago so maybe he could’ve remained the humble sin eater and also stayed on. So many missteps, but I’m not on the payroll so maybe we as viewers didn’t pick up on what we were supposed to be perceiving out of this mess. In my opinion, that equates to sloppy writing.

    On a final note, I must agree with most fans that even if it wasn’t intended a whole lot of whitewashing was taking place during the second season. I’m of the caucasian persuasion (with red hair. not a wig lol) and noticed immediately. It was infuriating that all the stans immediately started saying that all the “black” or “loud” and even “entitled (which to me screams racist) were the ones that were racist! The show changed completely! It’s one thing for a show to evolve, but this was like watching another show entirely. They tried to make it all about color, but they failed to realize that there were MANY infuriated white fans as well, shippers or not. I was drawn to this show because it is PROGRESS. When I saw the premise and previews before the show, I assumed whitewashing would happen because that’s what Hollywood has taught us. When it didn’t in season one and actually expanded on its diversity, I was almost as pleased as when Obama won the presidency. Ok, that’s extreme but it was damn close. It’s important and necessary and we as a human race cannot move forward without this kind of progress. So when I saw the plans for pushing Katrina’s story in the second season, it was more than just what it appeared on the surface. Maybe TPTB didn’t intend for the changes to be perceived as whitewashing. Perhaps they only intended to tell more Katrina so the reveal of her as a bad girl would be more effective. Whatever the case, they didn’t look at the bigger picture. I’m not a POC, but if it was monumental for me I can’t begin to imagine how infuriating it was for others. Then some Ichatrina fans would post hateful Tumblr and tweets stating Ichabbie fans were racist. Wait, what? Yes, because racists go around supporting interracial relationships regularly. I for one am also tired of seeing “matching” couples all over the television. Seriously, do I have to be paired w/someone that looks like my brother? I’ve always found that weird and slightly narcissistic, especially when even the nuances like hair, eye color, and skin tone are exactly the same. It’s nice to see DIFFERENT couples.

    Hopefully the new showrunner will take EVERYTHING into consideration when preparing for season three.

    1. Elaine F. says:

      Melissa, thank you for writing! I love this fandom because it’s so eloquent and analytical. You must be psychic — come back in an hour or so for my next piece.

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