Early in the colorful fever dream that is this Bones/Sleepy Hollow crossover event, Ichabod Crane needs a candle to illuminate the invisible ink in an old book. Angela pulls up a simulated candle on her high-tech screen. It works. Barring all heat- and chemistry-related logic, the most unbelievable science on Bones meets Sleepy Hollow at the height of supernatural madness, and it works. Of course it does.
Bones and Sleepy Hollow are not, on the surface, designed to share space, but crossovers that make complete sense are a lot less fun. And despite appearances, these shows aren’t actually opposites, in that each hinges on the partnership of two people who aren’t really opposites, either. It’s fitting that this event was touted with an X-Files analogy, with Bones as the Scully to Sleepy Hollow’s Mulder, because even Scully has a cross necklace (that’s Booth), and even Mulder has his doubts (that would be Abbie). They have enough in common to work together. Anyway, to quote Booth, “It’s Halloween — all bets are off.”
For Brennan, Halloween means bickering over candy, talking smack about the other moms in Christine’s class for their “completely unrealistic” plastic eyeballs, and pranking Booth into believing that he’s eaten an actual brain. I’d expect nothing less. But as soon as this prank war gets off the ground, it’s interrupted — some college kids found a body buried beneath the floor of an old church. Beside that body is a mortsafe (an iron coffin meant to prevent grave-robbing) with a strange symbol on the top and a headless Redcoat inside. Approximately 250 miles away, a tall British guy yells for a “lef-tenant” to get her coat.
I’m already so deep in the crossover mindset that this surprises me, but the Jeffersonian doesn’t view the 18th-century body as a fresh case deserving immediate attention. It’s material evidence, so it’s everything to Brennan, and you’ll have to pry it away from her cold dead hands, but it isn’t, on its own, a case — just a lead that might help them solve another one. The more timely dead body belongs to Sarah Lippman, a third-year medical student who recently shook up her entire look, going from pink hair to blond and trading eyebrow piercings for manicures. Her boyfriend, Joel, says that he was just “starting to rub off on her” — which is a weird thing to say, because happiness and personal style aren’t actually related.
Ichabod Crane, for one, is perfectly happy in his colonial garb, no matter how many people assume he’s in town for a cosplay competition. (Hodgins, who believes in a world where everyone owns demon contact lenses, just wants to know why he wasn’t invited.) Crane and his partner, FBI Agent Abbie Mills of the Westchester field office, show up to claim the Redcoat’s body, but since Brennan still needs it for the case, they’ll have to investigate from there. Crane and Abbie think the body might belong to Abraham Van Brunt (a.k.a. the Headless Horseman, a.k.a. the Apocalyptic Horseman of Death), but it’s actually General William Howe, a famously cruel commander of the British forces. So what’s his connection to Sarah, and where is his definitely-severed-in-this-century head?
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The answer might lie in the old book found in Sarah’s locker, which is marked on its cover with the same rune as Howe’s mortsafe. Via my new favorite CGI candle, the team uncovers an invisible message: The text will guide a Witness to a skull that can raise the dead. Whether that’s the Horseman’s skull or Howe’s, there’s no one better to investigate than the two capital-W Witnesses in the fight against the apocalypse. Crane heads to the Jeffersonian’s archives to learn more (it’s “like archive city,” so he’s living the dream) while Abbie teams up with Booth for some old-school detective work.
Abbie and Booth make a good team. He actually knew her old mentor, August Corbin, because this country probably stops functioning if Booth doesn’t “know a guy” in every city. He tells Abbie that Corbin talked about her the last time they spoke, even comparing her to Booth back in the day. Abbie takes that as the honor that it is. They could both stand to ease up on themselves, but there are are worse traits than a desire to save the world overnight. Anyway, this is a man who just almost died trying to save his brother talking to a woman who was literally predestined to fight the end of days. Slowing down is easier said than done.
NEXT: Fist bump treason