I remember hearing about the crossover with Sleepy Hollow months ago. Actually, I recall hearing about the blind item well before that. I think the initial news took a lot of us by surprise. Some were furious, others were confused, and a few were intrigued. I, myself had mixed feelings- I was certainly intrigued by the idea. But how could you not be more than a little perplexed? Bones is a show that is generally grounded in reality. Sure we have had an elaborate dream episode, and even a cartoon character cameo. But anything out of the ordinary has always been easily explainable by science or medicine. I had never seen Sleepy Hollow before (though I had heard positive things from friends). Though even just the small amount I knew about it had me scratching my head as to why FOX would suggest a commingling of the two shows (aside from a ratings ploy). But I stood by it, supported it, anticipated it. I trusted our producers, writers, and actors to not sacrifice the quality and integrity of Bones. And I have to say, I really do believe that they delivered a enjoyable and actually believable Halloween crossover episode!
Disclaimer- if you are a Sleepy Hollow fan, I do apologize if I get any facts wrong or if I make any erroneous assumptions. My focus here with regards to the visit from Ichabod and Abbie will be strictly limited to their presence in “our” world. We have a Sleepy Hollow recap from that hour of the crossover as well!
It’s A Halloween Party!
The episode opens in an old (abandoned?) chapel, where we find some high school or college boys decorating for a Halloween party. After some talk about how to entice all the girls to show up, they try to find a sufficient spot for the keg. One boy wants to put it higher up on a ledge so that it lasts longer. However, the floor is weak and both the keg and the boy fall through the wooden boards. And what should they find? Why, a body of course! And cue the chorus of screams.
She’s Becoming Quite Amusing
Booth is just getting home from what appears to be a very successful candy excursion. He’s brought home 15 pounds of goodies for the trick-or-treaters. Can I just say that I am so thankful that the writers remembered that Booth and Brennan enjoy Halloween? We haven’t really seen them “celebrate” since Mummy in the Maze. But their house is just completely adorned with skeletons, pumpkins, and black cats. And I couldn’t love them any more for it. Brennan is appalled that Booth would bring home such a large haul of candy. “Do you know how bad it is for children’s endocrine systems?” But as Booth says, “it’s Halloween, all bets are off.” His ulterior motive is actually to prevent their house from being egged. Apparently, they ran out of candy last year and passed out raisins instead. I’d be okay with the raisins. Your house is safe with me!
Booth notices that Brennan has concocted a rather strange dish in the kitchen. It appears to be a brain, but is actually one of her very realistic Halloween treats for Christine’s class. She was disturbed by the plastic eyeballs “Olivia’s mom’s” brought in the previous year, as they were “completely unrealistic.” So she has constructed her own special treats out of agar gelatin and food dye. Booth is undeniably excited about this (“Look at that, it’s like Jello!”), and proceeds to take a bite of the “brain.” But the expression on Brennan’s swiftly changes to one of extreme horror. “Booth! That was a model. That’s an actual brain I brought back from the lab!” Booth makes maybe the most hysterical face I’ve ever seen him make on this show, and heaves the “brain” out of his mouth.
But our Brennan has clearly improved her acting skills over the years (remember “THAT’S WHY WE NEED THE MRI AT BETHESDA!”), as she suddenly breaks out into a smile. “Gotcha!” And there is no denying that. She got him. “I was pranking you! As is the tradition for this time of year.” Point to Brennan. Booth tells her that “this does not end here.” But duty literally calls in that moment. So it does end here. For now.
Laugh It Up There, Okay, Squint Girl
In true B&B fashion, the two walk down the “aisle” at the church debating the religious component to Halloween. Brennan somehow uses the opportunity to bring up that morning’s prank again, which she calls “objectively hilarious.” He then very sweetly helps her down to where the body lies. I only add in that detail because I know many of us LIVE for quick little moments like this. And the fact that Booth called her “Squint Girl” made it all the more sweet.
Hodgins, Cam, and Brennan begin their preliminary examination of the remains. Hodgins starts talking about the bugs present on the body. But when he looks up, he looks like a demon of some sort. Apparently Michael Vincent flushed his contacts and demon eye lenses were all he had left. Brennan determines the victim was female. And Cam posits that she couldn’t be older than 30. The group then happens upon a mortsafe in the chapel. Inside, they find a “headless” corpse from the 18th century. “What do these two bodies have to do with each other?” And as Cam says “Happy Halloween.”
What’s A Girl Like Her Doing With A Guy Like Him
At the Jeffersonian, Brennan is regaling Cam with the tale of her “most amusing” prank on Booth. She is so proud of herself here, and it’s completely adorable. Cam calmly notes that she would have loved to see his face. But now down to business. Wendell recounts everything they know about the bones. The victim also had a redcoat uniform, which Hodgins finds out is the “real deal.” Brennan can see no clear cause of death. “Other than having his head cut off?” Thank you Hodgins. Brennan points out that the only reason they are examining the 18th century body is to help them figure out what happened to the “newer” remains.
Angela’s facial reconstruction was not bringing up any matches. But with Cam’s help they figure out that the victim used to look a bit more alternative, rather than the “put-together” woman she appeared to be right before she died. They find a match (who looks an awful lot like Bones writer, Emily Silver): Sarah Lippman, a medical student.
Lotta Bodies Here
Aubrey and Booth head to the hospital to interview Sarah’s boyfriend, Joel. Booth seems a little agitated to have walked in on a gross anatomy lab. But really? After countless dead body finds, some far more gruesome than anything in that room, how is he so uncomfortable?
Joel seems quite upset. He just thought Sarah was catching up on some sleep over the past few days. Though they were seen as a bit of an “odd couple,” they worked. And over the last few weeks she was apparently “happier than she’s ever been.”
Back at the lab, Hodgins has conducted a lot of scientific analysis using the bugs- most of which I still do not understand after all these years. But it all boils down to the older body belonging to a high-ranking British officer. The question remains “ why was this one buried under a church in the middle of nowhere?”
Is There A Cosplay Competition Going On?
Later that evening, Booth and Aubrey search through Sarah’s locker in the anatomy lab. Aubrey discovers a book of witchcraft. Booth recognizes the symbol on the book as the same symbol found on the mortsafe. “That is not a coincidence.” No, I imagine it’s not.
Brennan and Hodgins are taking a look at the book, now in their possession at the lab. There has to be a link between the “ancient” body and Sarah. Hodgins is fascinated by the whole thing. “Is it just me, or is something otherworldly going on?” Enter Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane from the town of Sleepy Hollow. I feel odd even typing that in a Bones recap, but here we are. Abbie thinks whatever is going on is right up their alley. But Brennan, always the welcoming hostess, asks “who are you and what are you doing in my lab?” Hodgins comments on Crane’s attire, and Crane immediately explains that he chooses to wear his clothes to honor revolutionary war soldiers. Abbie introduces the pair (since I introduced them a little too early). Abbie is from the FBI and Crane, from the Historical Society. They are particularly interested in the headless body. Brennan explains that the body is evidence in a current murder investigation, but Abbie tells her that they are “not leaving without those bones.” Oops. That’s probably the wrong thing to say if you do not want to be on the receiving end of one of Brennan’s infamous glares.
A Partnership of Opposites
Over at the FBI, Aubrey gives Booth a rundown of the plethora of open cases in Sleepy Hollow. “I thought small town living was supposed to be safe.” Booth tells Aubrey they have to help the pair, even if Brennan does not like it. Booth has also taken a look at Abbie’s file. “Ex-cop, great conviction rate. But I mean, what is with that partner of hers?” Aubrey wonders what kind of parent gives their child a name like Ichabod. Booth obviously defends the parents’ “unusual” decision. Unsurprising, given that his name is Seeley. Aubrey backpedals a bit telling him that there is nothing wrong with the name Seeley. And there isn’t. But I always like to take a moment and be grateful that most people refer to Booth and Brennan by their last names. Especially each other.
Brennan shows Crane the 200 year old remains on the platform. As the two begin to interact, we are gifted with the first of many glorious “WTF” faces from Brennan. Crane informs her of who he and Abbie believe the British soldier is. The man was apparently decapitated in the battlefield in 1781 by a patriot. Brennan explains that his “identification” seems accurate, but that the decapitation could not have happened until recently. The victim’s neck was cut by a modern fine-toothed saw.
Angela joins the pair on the platform, a little taken aback by Crane’s appearance. “I like the…like the jacket.” Angela projects her facial reconstruction of the soldier on the monitor. Crane steps in front of Brennan to get a closer look. “You and Agent Mills are exceedingly persistent, which I find both irritating and impressive.” He tells her “we are a partnership of opposites. Yet our affinity for one another bears the ripest of fruit.” Brennan inaccurately interprets that to mean that Abbie and Crane are involved, sexually. Crane assures her they are not. “Then I would suggest you consider it. I have found taking my professional life with Booth into the personal realm has been…quite rewarding.” Oh Brennan, though that was an endearingly awkward and blunt delivery, look how far you’ve come. Remember the denial? Remember the “line?” Even just a few years ago, that is just not something Temperance Brennan would ever say to another person. But here we are. And Angela looks on as quite the proud friend. Or maybe she i just thinking “FINALLY.” I’m not sure anyone watching just for the episode’s Sleepy Hollow integration will understand just HOW “rewarding” the whole relationship is. Not many shows have to wait as long as we did. But we are still reaping the benefits in season 11.
Angela finds a match for the victim, and Crane is shocked. “It is of the utmost consequence, far worse than I thought.” Insert another set of wonderfully perplexed faces from Brennan and Angela. The body belongs to General William Howe of the British forces, “famed for his cruelty.” That certainly does not sound good. The body was apparently buried in Twickenham, England. But Brennan points out that the facts say otherwise. Crane leans in and says “we have stumbled upon a mystery of the highest magnitude. And I shall not rest until it is solved.”
Dead Before Dead?
Abbie and Booth are searching the victim’s house together. He asks her why she retracted her application to the bureau, and she asks him why he quit last year. I rather liked the few scenes we got with just these two together. Somehow they really worked for me. Good chemistry, I think. Booth finds a note reading “last night was insane.” Booth and Abbie also find the alleged saw that cut off the general’s head.
At the lab, everyone is in Angela’s office inspecting the spellbook. “What would a medical student be doing with a book of nonsense?” We can always count on Brennan to tell it like it is. But it would appear that Crane believes in the existence of the supernatural. Or at least acknowledges it. Something Crane says sparks an idea in Hodgins. They need to illuminate the text. The newly revealed text was actually quite illuminating itself, as we can now assume that Sarah dug up the skull for the purpose of raising the dead. Crane wants to delve a little deeper into the mystery. Though still clearly skeptical, Brennan tells him he may use any of the Jeffersonian’s resources.
Wendell and Cam are attempting to figure out the actual cause of death, as the noted injury to the skull would not have killed Sarah. After some more scientific jargon, Cam lets us all know that Sarah actually died two weeks before she died. “Maybe the person Sarah brought back from the dead was herself.”
If It Was A Tuesday I’d Understand
Booth really wants to prank Brennan after that morning’s “brain” incident. Aubrey suggests making her think she’s eating something worse than brain. His answer: soy cheese. Have we finally found something Aubrey will not eat? Astounding. Though soy cheese is really the worst. Booth says she already eats soy cheese. But I’m thinking Brennan strikes me more as an almond cheese lover. Booth admits that he has a good prank in the works, and for Aubrey not to worry. So they move on to more pressing matters. Sarah died and was resuscitated two weeks prior, but there was no record of her having visited a hospital. Booth posits that Sarah overdosed and one of her medical school friends had to revive her. Seems plausible. I do appreciate that there is a scientific explanation for everything going on in this episode. Aubrey finds an inconsistency in Sarah’s spending, as she apparently spent $250 dollars on champagne on a Monday night. The question remains, with whom was the victim “celebrating.” And why on a Monday?
Based on findings from Wendell and Hodgins, Cam hypothesizes that Sarah was beat by General Howe’s skull. There’s a lot more bone talk from Wendell. But what it all boils down to (and we can always count on Bones to boil it down) is that Sarah fell into something sharp.
Let Go Of All The Fear
Abbie has just gotten back from the bar where Sarah purchased the expensive champagne. Booth is surprised she went to the bar without him. “Was I supposed to fill out a permission slip?” I like her. She’s no-nonsense, it would seem. Again, I’ve never seen this show, so please just bear with me. Booth tells her that “Corbin” was right about her. And that she’s not one for following the rules. I read somewhere that the Sleepy Hollow universe knows who this man was. But I’ll just consider him the link between Abbie and Booth. Apparently, Corbin mentioned Abbie the last time he and Booth spoke. “He said that you were a lot like me back in the day.” Abbie considers this “high praise,” which delights me. And she’s right. Corbin also told Booth she would have made a great agent. “But?” “Just don’t think you have to save the world all in one day.” I do believe these two are a great deal alike based on this conversation. Back to the case, Abbie found out that Sarah was out with a man who did not resemble her boyfriend. But he did resemble her boyfriend’s friend seen earlier at the hospital.
Aubrey interrogates Joel’s friend, insinuating that he and Sarah carried on a sexual affair. But he’s gay. He explains that he and Sarah became friends because they both had close calls with death in their lives. Sarah’s sister died young, and she was “desperate to find out what happens after.” Sarah asked him to kill her so that she could find out. And he did. He stopped her heart and then restarted it. Sarah called the experience “transformative.” That is what they were celebrating. “It was science at its most powerful.” This was actually a line I overlooked the first couple times I watched this episode. But really, it’s quite an accurate way to explain this crossover. At least in the Bones world. The friend has no idea where the skull is, nor did he believe in its resurrection “power” as Sarah did.
Looking For A Needle In A Needle Stack
In the Ookey Room, Hodigins is doing his usual mass spectrometer thing. Angela asks him if Abbie and Ichabod remind him of any other couples. Of course we are all thinking what Angela is thinking. But Hodgins, how I love you. He believes that she is referring to the two of them. “They’re us!” “She’s beautiful, he has an incredible head of hair.” But Angela was referring to Booth and Brennan. Hodgins doesn’t see it. But he has found traces of a chemical generally found under morgue tables. “Same as you would find in an anatomy room.” Sound familiar?
Hodgins, Cam, and Aubrey visit the hospital to look for blood spatter. And after a quick conversation about the possibility of heaven, Cam locates arterial spray on the ceiling. Sarah was killed there.
Some Inevitabilities Take Longer Than Others
Crane has just come from the archives, which he found “impressive, to say the very least.” Brennan has found marks on the bone consistent with bone marrow donation. This indicates that Sarah may have donated her marrow in an effort to save her sister from dying. Crane believes that “perhaps the untimely death of her sister compelled Ms. Lippman to seek out the hereafter.” But unsurprisingly, Brennan dismisses that. “The hereafter doesn’t exist.” She goes on to explain that it’s a fictional device used to explain the inevitability of death. I can only assume Crane disagrees.
Brennan shifts the conversation to his findings in the archives. Crane has uncovered an edict from George Washington ordering Howe to be entombed in the colonies. Sleepy Hollow, in particular. Brennan calls it a “convenient” find. She also notes that the handwriting doesn’t match the signature, but Crane suspiciously assures her that he has proof the letter was dictated to Washington by a “trusted captain.” Brennan tells him he can have his body back if the letter is proven to be authentic. “Until then, it stays at the Jeffersonian.”
She’s Not Hip To That
Hodgins, Cam, and Wendell are sifting through medical waste, which I’m assuming is Hodgins’ idea of a party. Hodgins finds a piece of broken porcelain. Let’s make a note of that for now. Cam finds some medical needles, which is suspicious because there are no live patients in an anatomy lab. Wendell finally locates the skull, and the case progresses.
Booth appears to be talking to a very irritated Brennan on the phone. Well, we all know Brennan doesn’t like anyone messing with her remains. Nor does she appreciate someone threatening to interfere with cases. Booth will take care of it. He tells her to “go look at a dead body or something.” I love them.
Aubrey brings Booth the results, which Hodgins got from the vials. The prescriptions were filled at the hospital the night Sarah was killed. And the kicker- the prescription was written by the chief resident of Sarah’s medical program.
Is Mr. Crane A Liar Or Not?
Angela has confirmed the authenticity of the letter. But there is something inexplicable about it. The handwriting is an exact match to Ichabod Crane’s. Brennan points out that the letter has been in their archives for half a century. Angela has no explanation, unless he went back in time. “That would be impossible.” Yes, in our Bones world, that would indeed be impossible.
The chief resident claims that he tried to talk Sarah out of her crazy idea. He denies killing her, and explains that his wife left him. Sarah had nothing to do with it. He was drinking a lot, and Sarah smelled alcohol on his breath. She blackmailed him for the drugs.
I Was Wondering If You Could Resolve A Paradox For Me
Brennan lays out the paradox of how a 200 year old letter could appear to have been written by a man in the current century. Crane calls this an “impossibility.” But she shows him the handwriting match. Crane “easily” explains it away by saying that he knew of the letter. He adds that it was written by his ancestor, Ichabod Crane. Crane is not sure if handwriting is an inherited trait. Brennan has never heard of such a trait, but is resolved to believe his explanation. There is no other possibility. “If you eliminate all other possibilities, whatever remains must be the truth.” That being said, Brennan will allow him to take the body once the case is solved.
Howe’s skull is confirmed as the murder weapon. The evidence should have been found in the tooth, but the tooth had been knocked out. Crane points out that during that time period, porcelain teeth would have been all the rage. Brennan has an epiphany and in her usual glorious Brennan fashion, abruptly exits the room. She tells the rest of the team that the missing tooth wasn’t a tooth. It was a false tooth made of porcelain. Remember porcelain from earlier? They find the tooth among the porcelain pieces that Hodgins earlier assumed to have all been part of the same coffee cup. And guess whose skin cells were found?
She Took Your Faith Away
Joel, the boyfriend. Isn’t it always? Sarah wanted Joel to share in her “transformative” experience. So they repeated the process for him. But his experience yielded nothing. There was nothing after death. “How are you supposed to live with that, knowing there’s nothing after.” He lost his faith. I was almost afraid for Booth in this moment. Booth’s faith is so paramount to him. So much a part of who he is. But I imagine he’s able to quickly shake these moments off, as evidenced so long ago in The Devil in the Details. “The sun will come up, and tomorrow’s a new day.” Joel didn’t mean to kill Sarah. Though how often have we heard that?
To New Friends
Two sets of “opposites” head to the Founding Fathers for a celebratory drink. Though we all know that Booth and Brennan are not actually opposites. But that’s a conversation for a later day. Ichabod Crane at the Founding Fathers bar. How perfect.They toast to new friends. And Brennan rationally explains why it is not “impossible” that they solved this murder. Always the logical one. The gathering is far too short for my taste, but Brennan has to get back to the lab to prepare Howe’s remains for transport. Booth follows behind her, claiming to have some work to do. He tells Abbie she can call him anytime. Abbie hopes they can work together again. Though obviously we know Sleepy Hollow will be calling Booth and Brennan quite soon.
Abbie and Crane are left alone at the bar. Crane’s Sex on the Beach is quite potent. He says that Benjamin Franklin called the drink Fondle in the Forest, which I find quite amusing. Maybe he and cousin Margaret should meet up for a discussion. The two have a laugh, and that’s the last we see of them in this episode. I can understand why Sleepy Hollow fans root for them. They are obviously different. But somehow it fits. Just like our favorites.
I Told You I’d Get You Back
Speaking of Booth and Brennan, Brennan is back at the lab and irritated that the remains haven’t been shipped. Wendell has her sign off on the transport and leaves the remains with her. She uncovers the body only to be greeted by a body she knows much more intimately. Booth pops up in a rather terrifying mask, and it’s clear he has succeeded in pranking his wife.
Booth is obviously very pleased with himself, but Brennan asserts he did not “get” her. She was merely “surprised.” She proceeds to explain the difference between being surprised and afraid. “You can’t science your way out of this, Bones.” Brennan tells Booth that she thinks she will fire Wendell- as a prank. “He assisted in your prank so I think it’s only appropriate that I prank him back.” She will eventually tell him, maybe after a year. Booth is perplexed. But that was just another prank from Brennan. The two exit the lab in probably the most adorable fashion that only those two married idiots in love can.
Ultimately, I was very pleased with the crossover. I cannot speak for the Sleepy Hollow hour, but I can say that the writers did a very stellar job in making sure that even the supernatural aspects could be rationalized by science. There was still room for interpretation if you so chose. But at the very least, Brennan was able to ascertain rational explanations for everything. And that is what was most worrisome when this was first announced. That was also what was most important to us as fans, I think. For me, I am always on board as long as long as it all makes sense within the context of the show. And it did. I also really took a liking to the Sleepy Hollow characters. They somehow fit in seamlessly with their Bones counterparts. While I would have loved more Booth & Abbie scenes, they did really lovely work with the ones they had. And I always appreciate any excuse for Brennan to go through a full spectrum of confused faces. So Crane was a great addition. He also was just a fascinating character. I only have a very rudimentary understanding of the show’s premise so I will not comment beyond that. Though I will quickly add that the hug and the children’s Halloween costume mentions from the Sleepy Hollow episode were fantastic. I could watch that hug all day. But those are the kinds of things I fixate on. Booth and Brennan can just be so sweet together. And like many, I do wish we saw the kids’ halloween costumes. But alas, it was just too much to work in, I imagine.
FInally, while some who were maybe new to the show may not have quite understood the relationship between Booth and Brennan (I’m being kind with my words here), I thought their scenes together in this episode were so wonderful. Their playful side was in full swing with the pranks they played on each other. And a playful Booth and Brennan is always one of my favorite things. Brennan’s prank was obviously a bit more complex and grotesque, but Booth just went right for the spook. Both worked. And both were very fitting with their characters. I also just adored their exit from the lab. Those last moments of the episode. The way the end episodes sometimes is just so revealing of who they are as characters. And who they are is an exuberant beautiful couple who still love each other after over a decade of constantly being together. Not only do they love each other, they still want to play, bicker, and just be together all the time. I love that. And I love them. They are just so special
With that, I’ll end this! Tonight’s episode should be excellent. I know Canada has already seen it, but I’ve heard great things. If the sneak peeks are any indication, I’m going to be shrieking quite frequently! – Marla