Bones: Season 4, Episode 20

Mayhem on a Cross (16 Apr. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
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Skeletal remains used by a Norwegian Black Metal Band lead the team to explore the underground music scene. Gordon-Gordon prepares to retire from psychology, but not before meeting with ... See full summary »



(created by), (inspired by the life of forensic anthropologist and author), 3 more credits »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Jack Hodgins (as TJ Thyne)
Pinworm (as AJ Trauth)
Dr. Solberg
Delta Unit Commander


Skeletal remains used by a Norwegian Black Metal Band lead the team to explore the underground music scene. Gordon-Gordon prepares to retire from psychology, but not before meeting with Sweets and helping Bones and Booth solve their current case. Written by Jesse Sanchez

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

blood eagle | torture | ritual | knife | dinner | See more »


TV-14 | See all certifications »





Release Date:

16 April 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


A fictionalized spin on a real murder case. The a few members of a Norwegian heavy metal band, Mayhem had engaged in a real murder. The band had a lead singer named Dead, who liked to cut himself and bleed on stage. "Mayhem on a Cross" features a lead singer from a fictional band who likes to do the same on stage. In April of 1991, Dead committed suicide. In 1993 band member Varg Vikernes brutally murdered the group's guitarist Euronymous. Euronymous had several cuts, many of them to the back and neck area. Vikernes claimed self defense, stating that he learned of a plot by Euronymous to in fact, murder him, and videotape the entire event for his own pleasure. Both Euronymous and Vikernes has earlier been involved in a plot to blow up several churches. In the end, Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison. See more »


When the forensics are talking about how skull (Skalle) is pronounced in Norwegian, Clark Edison is actually the one who pronounces the word correctly, despite Brennan's insistence otherwise. See more »


Special Agent Seeley Booth: [Watching from his offioe and speaking to Bones with an earbud] Okay listen, Bones, you just tell him you don't care if he did it or not, you'll just throw his ass in jail.
[Bones scoffs]
Special Agent Seeley Booth: It's all right to lie during an interrogation, it's a technique.
Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan: The evidence is inconclusive regarding your guilt,
[rising up and starts yelling]
Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan: But I will damn well make sure it's conclusive!
Dr. Lance Sweets: Whoa. What?
Special Agent Seeley Booth: Atta girl, give it to him.
Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan: I will perjure myself if I have to because you... make... me... sick, punk!
See more »


References Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) See more »


Turn to Dust
Performed by Tondra Soul
(plays over the opening scene)
See more »

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User Reviews

TV can't get more stupid than that
15 April 2010 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I always considered "Bones" to be one of the better crime shows. Not following the show closely it has always been nice to pick up an episode on German TV once in a while. But this episode, dealing with Black and Death Metal, killed the show for me.

Being a Metal fan for years with a deep interest in the extreme versions of the genre, and having been working as a Metal music journalist for the past three years, interviewing a variety of Death and Black Metal musicians (Satyricon, Secrets Of The Moon, Vader, Behemoth, Agalloch, Dornenreich, Nile, etc.) I cannot start to express both my amusement and disgust at how clichéd, shallow and plain stupid the subculture was portrayed in this episode.

The so-called "Black Metal concert" at the beginning was a complete artistic train wreck by the hands of the producers. Just to clear some things up: Black Metal does not sound like a lame Ministry copy; and Black Metal fans do not look like a mix between Mini-KISS and Emo-Kids in designer clothes from the town's mall. At least not in Norway. And what's up with that chainsaw? Black Metal fans would have laughed at that show and left after five minutes...

Anyway, once the characters on the show started talking about Black Metal and the case got underway, it really became excruciating to watch for someone who actually knows the music and is friends with many people in the scene in Germany. All the stereotypes were neatly laid out: Satanism, desecration of dead bodies, self-mutilation, etc. And someone should have mentioned to the producers that Black Metal musicians DO NOT walk around in corpse-paint all the time! Many bands don't use it all anymore. And the ones who do, do so on stage and for promo shots, certainly not when they are interrogated by the police! But oh well, better to present the unknowing audience a decent freak show than to at least try to be somewhat realistic.

I really couldn't watch the whole episode (had to mute in between because of the ridiculous and misinformed dialogue). I could never have imagined "Bones" to sink that low. The depiction of the music and the scene was way off. It had almost nothing to do with the reality of this subculture. The writers merely picked out the most scandalous events of the past (yes, the guitarist of MAYHEM was indeed stabbed to death by the BURZUM guy in 1993) and presented them as the essence of this genre. As far as research on the subject matter goes, the depiction of the concert at the beginning and the ludicrous costumes of the "Black Metal kids" clearly showed that the producers had no interest whatsoever in actually trying to shed light on an interesting and sometimes very obscure scene.

What they did instead was a toe-curling freak show. A disgrace to all the artistic beauty and significance of a musical style; a defamation of a whole subculture (marked by some stupid lunatics and many, many intelligent, insightful people); and finally an insult to the viewer's intelligence.

20 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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