Sleepy Hollow hasn’t been at the top of its season 1 game for a while, and that has been pretty obvious for many fans of the show, who have either stopped watching– as shown by the huge drop in ratings compared to last season and the fact that it hasn’t been renewed as opposed to other shows in the FOX schedule– or have taken it to social media to complain to the writers and executive producers of the show.
Whether you find this fair or not, most of the complaints have been reasonable. The erasure of characters of color to highlight white characters that has been pointed out not just by the viewers but by the critics is real and the fact that some characters who don’t work have been given more screentime than one of the main characters (Abbie) is undeniable.*
Obvious diversity problems aside, many complaints do come together in one name: Katrina.
Yesterday, Katia Winter, who plays Katrina herself, posted this on twitter.
All I can do is my very best with what I am given. I’m not at all in control over the story that is being told. That said. I agree with you.
— Katia Winter (@katia_winter) January 27, 2015
It honestly made me a little sad. Now, what can you do as an actor when you know the material you are given does not live up to the audience’s expectations and to make it worse, it doesn’t live up to yours? Katia Winter’s performance has never been the problem when it comes to Katrina, and the fact that she has had to address this means there is a lot of work to do to fix this problem.
So what can the Sleepy Hollow writers do in order to make Katrina an interesting character? No, I don’t mean likable and I don’t mean lovable. I mean interesting. Here are some ideas:
1. Give up on saving her marriage
Ichabod and Katrina are doomed. It is obvious, and the thing is, we don’t need to see them try again and again to know this. This has been one of the worst parts of this season. They cannot simply work their marriage out and it would be so much easier if they just came to terms with the fact that they don’t have to in order to have a good relationship. Katrina and Ichabod remaining friends and allies would be positive, for both their characters and for Abbie, who couldn’t keep rolling her eyes more at their three hundred attempts because she sees what we see. As my friends in Head Over Feels pointed out in last week’s recap, Ichabod wants them to find a “new state of being, together” and not a “new state of being together”, which is really a polite version of “we are better off as friends”. And he is right, they are, and the show would be so much better if that’s all they were.
2. Make her go full evil
This would be the show’s best bet, and hopefully that’s where it’s going. Katrina has always been a liar, we know this. But the show always tries to justify her lies in some way and Ichabod always forgives her for them. It is time to give her lies some reason, and the only reason that works right now is that Katrina has something to gain out of the impending Apocalypse. It is obvious her coven was not the most trustworthy and to add up to all the suspicious things she has done and all the lies she has told about her past, we have seen her, in current time, trying to keep Abraham alive and now hiding from Irving that something isn’t right with him. And does she truly not know where Henry is?
Katrina going full-on villain and bringing trouble to Team Witness would make her much more interesting that someone who stands on neutral ground and does good things and bad things without good reason and it would probably make her a character people love to hate. That is so much better than a character that people just hate.
Just don’t make her full evil out of raging jealousy in some sort of move against Abbie, that is a no-no.
But if evil is not the way the writers want to go, there is another option:
3. Make her an ACTIVE member of Team Witness
Last week’s episode was a step in the right direction regarding Katrina. One of most heard complaints regarding her character is that we hear all the time how she is a powerful witch, but we barely see her doing any magic. Either she gets knocked out, or Abbie and Jenny have to do the magic themselves or she ends up needing being saved. Last week, the episode finally highlighted her powers (yes, in the end Abbie Mills saved the day, but it was a team effort!) and we saw her put her brains and her memories to the use, like we’ve seen Ichabod do so many times before. Now, while I think the heart of the show are Ichabod and Abbie, having Katrina as actual support for them would be so much better than what we have now, which is a passive Katrina that barely does anything useful and instead complicates things.
4. Give her some mentoring to do
One of my dreams in this show is for Jenny Mills to become a powerful witch. She’s as linked to Sleepy Hollow’s history as Abbie is and she is a key team member of Team Witness. She has also, along with Abbie, shown some magic abilities. It is time for her to become a witch herself, and even though Katrina isn’t her favorite, she would be useful as an ally and as a mentor. And having a good relationship and possible friendship with Jenny would also help her relationship with Abbie (#ladiessupportingladies).
5. The easy way out: to kill her
Now this is what I am worried about. Tom Mison has hinted at a permanent death coming to the show, and production has just wrapped up. Now, given that Nikki was able to speak up about her agreement with the complaints regarding the mistreatment of Abbie before, I am not going to assume anything, but this tweet by Katia has a really weird timing. I would be disappointed to see the way they solve this is by killing Katrina, because she would be just another character with a lot of potential killed because of an inability to write her.
What do you think? Do you love or hate Katrina? Do you want her dead or would you be on board with her staying? If you love Katrina, what are your hopes and dreams for her? Let me know below!
*If you want to read more on this, I link you to the #AbbieMillsDeservesBetter hashtag on twitter, where fans of Abbie have come together in order to point out how she has been undeveloped by the writers and pushed aside in favor of others and whose bond with Ichabod– who was truly the thing that kept the show together– has been completely destroyed by the constant pushing of Ichabod and Katrina on us. This hashtag has been acknowledged by the writers and Nikki Beharie herself and in a way, the show acknowledged these problems as of last night’s episode.