Agent Grace Abigail Mills, better known as Abbie, was a main character and a FBI Agent in the small modern-day town of Sleepy Hollow. At a very young age she had a series of mysterious encounters with demons that upended her life and left her estranged from her family.
Upon meeting Ichabod Crane, she learned she is one of Two Witnesses foretold in the book of Revelation to fight against the coming apocalypse. Abbie and Ichabod, the show's two main protagonists and biblically ordained Witnesses, must team up in order to fight the seven tribulations.
Abbie Mills had a troubled childhood, which included brief run-ins with the law. Both Abbie and her sister, Jenny Mills, dealt with instability at home as children. Their father was an alcoholic and their mother though loving, struggled with what was believed to be mental illness. Abbie and Jenny were very close, often locking themselves in their room to play with their dollhouse and escape their parents. Their father eventually left the family and their mother was declared unfit, leaving Abbie and Jenny to be placed into the foster care system. After an attempted kidnapping of Abbie and Jenny from their foster care home, their mother was institutionalized and later died while she was still in the care of Tarrytown Psychiatric.
Abbie and Jenny then cycled through a few homes before settling in a place that Abbie felt was a good fit. During that time Abbie taught Jenny to pick locks, and they acquired a taste for criminal activity. Around the age of 13, they were sneaking beers in the woods when four white trees and a demon appeared before them. They both blacked out and neither were able to recall much of what happened during the four days they went missing. This was later revealed to be due to Moloch sealing away their memories in Purgatory. After being found by a civilian from a local search party, the girls were taken into police custody and callously interrogated. Jenny insisted on telling the truth about what they had seen even though Abbie warned against it. Fearing that no one would believe her and that she would be removed from her foster home, Abbie lied and didn't back up Jenny's story. Jenny was later put in a mental institution and the sisters remained estranged for nearly 13 years.
Abbie continued to struggle with what she saw in the woods that day and her feelings of resentment and guilt towards her sister. By the time she was sixteen, she was using drugs and pursuing a life of crime. After a botched attempt at robbing a pharmacy, she is taken into custody by Sheriff August Corbin but instead of arresting her he offered her a chance to change. She accepted, and under Corbin's tutelage; took a class in Latin, graduated high school, went to college, rose to the rank of Lieutenant as a police officer and was accepted into an elite FBI entrance program at Quantico to become a criminal profiler. Despite her success, Abbie was still marked by her tumultuous past. She never told Corbin about the demon she saw in the woods or that the experience still haunted her, making her doubt her own perceptions, feel out of place, and struggle in finding purpose. Some of Corbin's last words to her were to ask if her joining the FBI was really about her running away.
We are first introduced to Detective Abbie Mills as she is having a conversation with her mentor and partner, Sherif August Corbin. Abbie, being the headstrong woman that she is, has set her sights on transferring to the FBI Academy located in Quantico, Virginia. Sheriff Corbin is convinced that Abbie has only considered this training position as an attempt to escape (certain aspects of her life that she has yet to deal with). This conversation, which takes place in a quaint diner, is cut short when the two are radioed by the police station to tame a few spooked horses at the Fox Creek Stables. Once they have arrived at the stables Abbie realizes that something seems a little suspicious. This is when the Headless Horseman makes his first appearance in modern day Sleepy Hollow. Sheriff Corbin, while inspecting the area, comes face to, well, no face, with the Headless Horseman and after a few ineffective shots at the Horseman, gets his head chopped off. Abbie is transfixed, as she sees her partner's decapitated head lying on the ground. As the Horseman makes his exit, Abbie is able to catch a glimpse of him and, in that moment, is in disbelief. Back at the station, a man by the name of Ichabod Crane, has been arrested and held in confinement as a suspect for Sheriff Corbin’s murder. Abbie, once at the station, reveals that this person is not Sheriff Corbin’s murderer [as this man still has his head]. After having a brief discussion, Abbie realizes that, Ichabod not only knows who the Headless Horseman is, but that he is responsible for cutting off his head. Abbie, though reluctant, decides to defy orders [that she immediately take Mr. Crane to a psych ward], hoping that Ichabod can provide answers. Ichabod, acting as Abbie’s ride-along for the day, assists her in figuring out more about the Headless Horseman. Retracing his steps, Ichabod reveals to Abbie the cave in which he was resurrected. It is in this cave that Washington’s Bible is retrieved, revealing that Abbie and Ichabod are the Two Witnesses, and the Headless Horseman is the first horseman of the apocalypse: Death. According to the Bible, the two were brought together for seven years of tribulation.
Abbie Mills is a lieutenant with the Westchester County Police Department in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. She is poised to leave the town in a week for the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, but with the slaying of her mentor and partner, by a headless horseman, her plans are derailed. Unwilling to divulge the more supernatural elements of partner's murderer without further proof she is forced to team up with Ichabod Crane, an unwilling fugitive from the past who claims to be a soldier in the Revolutionary War and the only person that can corroborate her story. Together they learn they are the Witnesses foretold in the book of Revelation to fight against the coming apocalypse. Throughout the season, Abbie struggles with the death of her mentor, her skepticism, her partnership with Ichabod, rebuilding her relationship with her sister, and accepting her role as a witness.
The arrival of the new Sheriff has Abbie delving deeper into the mysteries surrounding her childhood. Sheriff Reyes had responded to some the domestic disturbance calls at Abbie's home when she was still very young and was directly responsible for Abbie's mother being placed in Tarrytown Psychiatric. As a peace offering of sorts, Reyes allows Abbie access to her mother's files where she finds out that Lori wasn't mentally ill after all but actually plagued by demons. After confronting a violent haunting at Tarrytown Psychiatric, Abbie and Jenny have a touching moment with the spirit of their mother who reveals that she always knew Abbie was a witness and Grace Dixon had passed down a spellbook that contained clues to a weapon that could destroy Moloch. While pursuing the weapon, Abbie realizes she is one in a long line of women tasked with fighting against the end of days and her legacy gifts her with a renewed sense of self and purpose.
After the defeat of Moloch, Abbie and Ichabod spend time cleaning up the remnants of the demon's evil and repairing a rift in their relationship. Frank Irving's return creates conflicting feelings in Abbie. Eventually it's revealed that her initial hunch is correct and that he is still under Jeremy Crane's control. Jenny pleads with her to try to help Frank and Abbie agrees to look for a way to free him.
She later expresses concern that she and Ichabod seem to be fighting a battle with no goal and Ichabod tells her to simply have faith. They come across an underground library compiled by Thomas Jefferson, and find a sentient hologram of the third US president that tells them that the library was made to provide the Witnesses guidance in their mission. Ultimately, Ichabod and Abbie decide to destroy the Fenestella and the tunnels around it to keep the creatures that guard the area from attacking more people.
Eventually, Katrina joins forces with her son to awaken the magical blood within the residents of Sleepy Hollow using the Grand Grimoire. Understanding the risk evident in such an endeavor, the Witnesses stop them and Abbie kills Jeremy in the confrontation. Katrina goes into the past to correct the mistakes she made so she can raise her son and Abbie follows her to prevent her from killing Ichabod and permanently changing history. Abbie meets her ancestor Grace Dixon and together, they succeed in returning her and Katrina to the future. Katrina attempts to kill her as revenge for the death of her son and Ichabod stabs her to save Abbie, leading to Katrina's death.
After Ichabod leaves Sleepy Hollow, Abbie spends the next nine months speeding through training at Quantico and quickly rising through the ranks at the FBI. She ultimately returns to Sleepy Hollow when she is stationed at the White Plains regional office. After busting Ichabod out of an ICE detention center, she is confronted with the possibility that their mission as witnesses is not truly over in the form of a mysterious Sumerian tablet Ichabod found in his family's crypt.
After witnessing her boss's demise at the hand of a demon, Abbie is surprised to find that her old flame from Quantico, Daniel Reynolds, is his new replacement. Ichabod senses that their relationship was more than professional prompting Abbie to warn him to mind his own business. Ichabod concedes in an attempt to be a good roommate but later they both confide in each other secrets that they had been holding onto after a run in with a secret sucking demon. Abbie discloses that a lot of personal stuff had come up in Ichabod's absence and she had ended up finding her father. She had not however worked up the courage to confront him.
Things started to turn from bad to worse, as Reynolds always questioned her motives. He forces her to explain about the war, but she kept holding back as he wouldn't believe her. She resigned as an FBI agent and went after Pandora in an attempt to save her sister from the Eye's destruction. She was able to contain the energy before the Hidden One can have it, and she escaped through the tree just seconds from exploding. After spending what seemed like several months in the Catacombs, Abbie was visited by Crane's Astral Form who was able to discover that the Eye had the power to send her back to the real world. Pandora appeared in her Astral Form to retrieve the Eye for the Hidden One. Pandora cuts Crane loose from the tether to his body and tries to persuade Abbie to give her the Eye in exchange for Crane's life and her freedom from the Catacombs. Abbie, furious at Pandora, smashes the Eye to prevent Pandora from using it and Pandora left Abbie to rot in the Catacombs. Abbie was able to escape the Catacombs through the well, leaving the remnants of the Shard of Anubis and the Eye of Providence behind in the Temple of the Gods. Moments later Crane followed suit when he heard her voice in the dark, and he said the Witnesses must always stick together no matter what.
Trouble was still brewing as she became obsessed with a mysterious symbol she found at the Catacombs. It distracted her from many things, even when Ichabod's life was in danger. He tried to keep her occupied from it before she would drift away and her consciousness would be stuck between worlds, much like her mom. They soon discovered that the Emblem of Thura wasn't as harmful as they thought, as it gave them the ability to telepathically see each other. It was a driving force to unite as one, especially since the symbol split into two. Eventually, Reynolds came to terms with her mission and she retained her career.
By the time the Hidden One was able to regain his lost strength, Ragnarok began. She and Crane were crossing the Delaware river and approached a portal back to the Underworld. They met Betsy Ross and she lost consciousness when a shadow touched her. In order for Pandora's Box to have enough power to seal the Hidden One for good, a Witness must sacrifice his/her eternal soul. Abbie accepted her fate as she gave up her life force, trapping her inside the box indefinitely.
She actually ended up in a waiting room between life and death, instead of being imprisoned. There, she reunited with her mentor, August, and his son, Joe. She later saw Ichabod in his dream after the box exploded. The first scene was when they first met at a jail cell when she was in her lieutenant uniform. Only this time, she said, "It's time to say goodbye." They met at the Archives where she explained where they were. Finally they ended up at her porch. Ichabod must find the new Witness and part of her spirit would live on inside him/her. Her life was done, and she felt that way since she left Quantico. She made amends with her father, she thinks that he can make it in the 21st century on his own, and she fulfilled her duty as a Witness. Crane pleaded that he should go with her, but she told him to stay strong and brave without her and end the war; however, her last words were that he should never give up hope and he would always be her man. After Crane made his signature bow, her spirit was at peace and she was never seen again.
Her tombstone said, "She Bore Witness," and that's precisely what she did.
Abbie is a tenacious and valiant woman, often putting other’s needs above her own. Abbie keeps a tight reign on her emotions which might be a product of her upbringing or perhaps her training. As a result she is often reserved and slow to anger, but beneath the tough exterior is woman who feels very deeply. She is incredibly empathetic, as displayed in her repeatedly choosing to attempt to talk down perps rather than make shows of force. She also has a soft spot for children, while fighting against the Pied Piper she essentially offered herself up as bait is order to track down a missing girl.
Abbie is also incredibly patient and kind. She is an amazing teacher, introducing Crane to the modern world with efficiency and ease. She lets him come to his own conclusions and guides him without patronizing. Furthermore, she was the only person to suspect that Ichabod wasn’t crazy and in fact might have been telling the truth about his identity. His first night in his hotel room, she makes sure to place sticky notes all around his room explaining how to turn on the lights and make coffee.
Abbie is also knowledgeable, practical, intelligent and at times calculating. She has a knack for profiling and her skills have helped track down both Henry Parish and Abraham Van Brunt. She is also very curious. When she first meets the angel Orion, she jokes with him and asks about dinosaurs. In return, Orion calls her clever. Abbie ultimately has a skeptical mind. She initially pushed back against the idea of the supernatural and her being a witness. However, though she does eventually commit fully to the cause, she continues to question why she was chosen. She also is the first to offer up science as an alternative to magic, regularly finding ways to resourcefully replace spells with generators, chemistry, and uv light.
Abbie has dealt with a lot of hurt and pain in her life. As teenager she went down a really dark path though it should be noted that she not once lashed out others. Those experiences left her guarded but also very wise. For example, she understands that family must be earned and that sometimes love isn’t enough. Similarly, despite her empathy, Abbie can and does make tough decisions. She killed her friend, Andy Brooks, in order to give him some semblance of peace. She also frequently argued the necessity of killing Henry, was proven correct in the end, and by pulling the trigger herself saved Ichabod from carrying the burden of killing his son.
Abbie has shown to be protective, and loyal to those close to her, caring to an extreme extent for their well-being. When her mentor, August Corbin, was killed she was devastated by his death. She worked to save his son, Joe Corbin, even when everyone else thought hope was lost. Jenny, Frank, and Ichabod particularly all have benefitted from her steadfast and heartfelt care.
As a FBI Agent, Abbie was trained at Quantico. Abbie is very skilled in marksmanship and is capable of utilizing a pistol as well as numerous firearms. Abbie is also shown to be well trained in Close Quarter Combat. Due to her past life as a criminal, Abbie picked up a talent for lock picking. She also displayed a rare moment of swordsmanship, after wielding a sword and flawlessly beheading a doppelgänger of Ichabod while trapped in Purgatory.
Abbie also has some supernatural powers. She has had prophetic dreams, assisted in casting spells, been visited by spirits only she can see, and had detailed visions of the past. However, it is currently unclear if these experiences are due to her status as a witness or a benefit of her bloodline. A possible drawback to these powers is that after surviving, then leaving, the Catacombs, Abbie began hallucinating a specific symbol she associates with a supernatural being that saved her life in the Catacombs. She paints the symbol on her shed wall--a V, a diamond, and a V shaped with a single line--and pledges fealty to the being it represents.
RelationshipsEditHeadless Horseman who killed her mentor, Sheriff August Corbin, she slowly began to believe his tale. They began to work together to solve the murders of Corbin and Reverend Knapp and eventually learned that they are the beginning of a plan orchestrated by an ancient demon named Moloch to bring about the End of Days. They also learn that she and Crane are the Witnesses spoken of in the Bible and decide to take on the task of preventing the Apocalypse. Abbie is Crane's sole guide to the 21st century and patiently helps him get acclimated to living in the modern world. She frequently teaches him about new technologies, advances in language, and the new social norms that have arisen in the 230 years since he died. Knowing what a big adjustment it is for him, Abbie does her best to reassure Ichabod that he has home with her in the modern age and though it takes a while Ichabod eventually decides to settle in calling Abbie his greatest boon. They have grown to understand each other intimately and have developed a strong and affectionate friendship.
As Witnesses, however, their relationship is a bit more contentious, with Abbie and Ichabod almost constantly butting heads. Initially, it is Abbie's resistance to believing in her being a Witness that is source of a tension, but morphs into Ichabod having very different ideas as to how to approach the conflict surrounding his family. Later, this comes full circle in Abbie assuming that her role as a Witness is over and trying to move on with her life while Ichabod steadfastly believes their mission is still relevant. Despite this, when they are on the same page, they work very well together. Ichabod always inspires faith and trust in Abbie, even when he doesn't always earn it and Abbie in turn, is always there to remind him he is human and that it is okay to make mistakes. Abbie is fiercely loyal to Ichabod, it can be argued that he is the single most important person in her life besides Jenny. She's said that her faith in Ichabod is her greatest weakness. Abbie confides in him and is able to sense when something is bothering him. She'll often do small gestures of kindness for him whenever he's feeling down or they've been through a particularly rough time and always tries to get him to see the positives in a situation. She worries over him whenever he decides to take on a task alone and has saved his life more than once. Even when their friendship is tested, Abbie and Ichabod have shown that they are willing to be honest with each other and work through any disagreements or hurt feelings, coming out stronger for it in the end.Ancitif that repeatedly took possession of her body. During these fits of possession Jenny would make threats against Abbie’s life. Jenny, fearing she would actually go through with the threats, would often purposefully get arrested in order to keep herself as far away from Abbie as possible. It is later revealed that she was marked that day in the woods, and Moloch had planned to use her to kill Abbie and hasten the coming of the apocalypse. Jenny was reluctant to forgive her sister even after Abbie apologized, but they do manage a strained working relationship early on. Abbie came to rely on Jenny’s know-how involving just about all things supernatural and the more they interacted the more Jenny visibly softened around her sister. When Abbie found out about the possessions and Jenny’s sacrifice in order to keep her safe, they hugged for the first time in years.
- The name "Grace" is from the English word grace, which ultimately derives from Latin gratia. This was one of the virtue names created in the 17th century by the Puritans. The actress Grace Kelly (1929-1982) was a famous bearer.
- The name "Abigail" is from the Hebrew name אֲבִיגָיִל ('Avigayil) meaning "my father is joy". In the Old Testament this is the name of Nabal's wife. After Nabal's death she became the third wife of King David. As an English name, Abigail first became common after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans. The biblical Abigil refers to herself as a servant, and beginning in the 17th century the name became a slang term for a servant, especially after the release of the play 'The Scornful Lady' (1616) which featured a character named Abigail. The name went out of fashion at that point, but it was revived in the 20th century.
- In the original script, Abbie's last name was Archer instead of Mills. In addition, she was a Detective instead of Lieutenant.
- Abbie's birthday is shown on her ID in "Tempus Fugit" stating that she was born on December 23, 1973, it would mean that she was in her early 40s when she died. On her tombstone, her birth year is inscribed on the stone as 1986 which is more realistic as that would make her about 30.
- Abbie's phone passcode is Ichabod's birthday: 0818.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- According to sources, Nicole Beharie had been wanting to leave the series for some time before her character's death. The character, sources say, originally was supposed to be killed off during the midseason finale, but insiders are said to have gotten cold feet and decided to keep her on until the end of the season.
|"Pilot"||"Blood Moon"||"For the Triumph of Evil..."||"The Lesser Key of Solomon"||"John Doe"|
|"The Sin Eater"||"The Midnight Ride"||"Necromancer"||"Sanctuary"||"The Golem"|
|"The Vessel"||"The Indispensable Man"||"Bad Blood"|
|"Columbia"||"In Plain Sight"||"Heads of State"||"The People vs. Ichabod Crane"||"Blood from a Stone"|
|"Homecoming"||"Loco Parentis"||"Sick Burn"||"Child's Play"||"Insatiable"|
|"The Way of the Gun"||"Tomorrow"||"Freedom"|
|Bones: Season Eleven|
|"The Resurrection in the Remains"|