What's Worth Watching:'Bones' and 'Sleepy Hollow' on Fox for Thursday, October 1
Bones, "The Loyalty in the Lie" (Thursday, Oct. 1, 8/7c, Fox)
Sleepy Hollow, "I, Witness" (Thursday, Oct. 1, 9/8c, Fox)
Pity the procedural addict, who often is subjected to the same storylines show after formula show. On the other hand, forget pity. The familiarity of these crime dramas offers a comfort level that helps explain why a show like Bones can be returning for an 11th season. Fans enjoy the eccentric characters and the ups and downs of their relationships. The forensic puzzles are easy enough to swallow, even if Bones' gruesome crime scenes often turn the stomach. But what is it this fall with heroes going rogue in the season openers? On Castle, Kate Beckett went off the grid for the two-part season premiere. Same for Callen on NCIS: LA. And now it's Booth's (David Boreanaz) turn.
The action jumps forward six months from last season's finale, when Booth and Bones (Emily Deschanel) announced they had solved their last case for the Jeffersonian and were taking on new gigs to allow them more time for their growing family. Booth is now training future FBI agents, but after bidding wife and kids goodbye one morning with a wistful gaze, he vanishes—and the charred skeleton found inside a van suggests it may be none other than Seeley Booth. Which sends concerned spouse Bones right back to the lab, where she bullies the team, most notably her temp replacement and former "squintern" Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat), whose romantic relationship with boss lady Cam (Tamara Taylor) could complicate his full-time promotion.
The investigation into Booth's whereabouts summons forth an FBI internal-affairs snoop, played so unsympathetically by Kim Raver (Grey's Anatomy, 24) you might actually consider it brave. It's not much of a spoiler alert, this being the season premiere, to reveal that Booth probably hasn't been reduced to a pile of bones just yet, but the answers to what he's up to will have to wait until next week.
There's also a time jump—this time nine months—between seasons of Sleepy Hollow. Makes sense to put as much distance as possible from last year's sophomore slump. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is now with the FBI, no longer a "Leftenant," but try telling that to Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), first shown with a dramatically new look (prison orange) for reasons that soon become clear. The demon Moloch may be toast, and Katrina and Henry thankfully laid to rest as well, but the fight against supernatural evil reignites when a mysterious sorceress arrives in the Hollow, conjuring a demon that feeds on fear.
This is a promising jump-start for a show that threatened last year to go completely off the rails. Abbie's sister Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) is back, but the focus stays firmly on the Ichabod-Abbie partnership, given renewed purpose with the new threat. And some pleasures of Sleepy Hollow will never dim. Yet another piece of Revolutionary War lore takes on new meaning in a revisionist flashback to the Battle of Bunker Hill, and when Ichabod is introduced to a tacky "Colonial Times" theme restaurant, Mison's expression of his "for shame" revulsion is delicious.