The Skeleton Grief is an episode of Beyond Belief.
- Frank Doyle - Paul F. Tompkins
- Josie, a Frankenstein Girl - Annie Savage
- Peggy, a Frankenstein Girl - Autumn Reeser
- Spooky Hal (Narrator) - Hal Lublin
- Crispin Doyle - Jon Hamm
- Skeleton Leonard - Adam Savage
- Skeleton Boz - Rich Sommer
- Ken - Michael McMillian
The two Doyle brothers are toasting the holiday. Crispin asks Frank if there is anything that scares him. Frank replies that only “the familiar mixed with a sense of something different”, not unlike the feeling he gets from Crispin.
His train of thought is interrupted by a knock at the door. Frank stops Crispin from answering, asking who he is. Crispin insists that the two of them are brothers, although Frank has no memory of him.
Crispin reminds Frank that the person at the door is most likely Ken, their liquor delivery boy, and the two rush to open it. Instead of Ken, it’s Leonard and Boz, the two skeleton men. Frank remembers them immediately from The Skeleton Brief, even though Crispin insists this is the first time such events have occurred.
The two skeletons reintroduce themselves, insisting that they’re humans. They ask Frank to guess why they’re visiting, but Frank already knows: they want his liver. The skeletons are impressed by Frank’s guessing skills, and they, too, are experiencing deja vu about the situation.
The skeletons feel compelled to explain themselves, even though Frank already knows everything they have to say. They insist they need Frank and Crispin’s livers, since theirs are the strongest. Frank says that his might be, but he can’t speak to the strength of Crispin’s liver. Crispin says that his liver is just as strong as Frank’s, and that he has been keeping up with Frank, drink for drink, since their childhood. Again, Frank does not remember that.
The two skeletons insist that Frank would change his mind if they explained the situation, and Frank says he won’t. Crispin wants to hear the skeletons out, since it’s “part of this”, but he doesn’t explain what, exactly, it’s a part of. Leonard begins explaining that he and Boz met some Frankenstein girls, but Crispin tells him he’s explaining things wrong.
There’s another knock at the door. The skeleton men think it’s the Frankenstein girls, but Frank knows it’s Ken. It is Ken, and he’s arrived with the Doyles’ liquor. Crispin tries to shoo Ken out straight away, but Frank tells him to come in. Frank wants to ask him something, but Ken doesn’t want to stay too long - he’s got to pack to leave for Harvard, the college.
Frank asks Ken if he made a wish on Frank’s cursed copy of the Monkey’s Paw (as a previous liquor delivery boy had done in order to change his life), but Ken did not know about the book and had no desire to change his life. He got in on his own merit - a very high score on his standardised test. Frank asks him if he used to book (or a genie wish) to get the test, but Ken insists that he did not (“liquor boy’s code”).
Frank trusts Ken, but finds the two skeletons and Crispin to still be suspect. Crispin says that Frank should trust him because they’re family, but Frank isn’t sure how that is possible. Crispin and the skeletons all swear that they haven’t made any wishes either. Despite that, Frank is still very suspicious of them.
Since Frank doesn’t suspect Ken, he wishes him goodbye. The skeletons overhear about Ken attending Harvard (the college), and question him about his brain. Crispin jumps in, protecting Ken and telling them that if they follow this line of thinking they’ll only end up hit by a bus.
Crispin wants Ken to leave before the Frankenstein girls arrive, but hes too late - just as he tells Kens to leave, the Frankenstein girls knock at the door. The Frankenstein girls enter, very excited to meet their secret admirer, and talk excitedly about the sorts of organs their secret admirer must have. They immediately spot Ken and take a liking to him, especially after they find out that he’s going to Harvard (the college) and therefore has a brain.
Crispin tries to distract the girls, to no avail, and so he tries to get Ken to leave instead. Ken says goodbye and asks Frank to pass on his goodbyes to Sadie, since she isn’t there. Frank also wonders about this, and Crispin tells them that she’s at Donna Henderson’s place. Frank doesn’t remember Sadie leaving, but he knows she’s there.
Crispin asks to speak to Frank where they can’t be overheard by the others. He wants Frank’s help to get Ken to leave, because if Ken if there for too long the Frankenstein girls will fall in love with Ken instead of the skeletons, and then they’ll be hit by a bus, which he finds to be an unsatisfying ending. Crispin believes that the love between the skeletons and the Frankenstein girls must win out above all others, claiming that any other outcome is unfair.
The skeleton men try their luck with the Frankenstein girls, but fail their test (whether they have livers or brains). Ken, who has both of those, is still a better choice in the Frankenstein girls’ minds. The skeleton men, upset over losing the Frankenstein girls, talk about leaving to go to a bar on the opposite side of the street.
This development upsets Crispin even further. Frank wants them to leave, but Crispin insists that they can’t until the Frankenstein girls fall in love with them, and that “love always wins”. Frank suggests that maybe love is going to win, but that maybe it will be the love between Ken and the Frankenstein girls rather that the skeleton men and the Frankenstein girls.
Crispin tells Frank to fix things, or they won’t be brothers anymore. This threat is not very effective on Frank, who isn’t entirely sure that they’re even brothers to begin with, since he doesn’t have any brothers.
Ken wonders who Crispin could be if not Frank’s brother, and Spooky Hal intervenes - Crispin is a Wil O' The Wisp, like him. Like Spooky Hal, he watches the lives of others unfold, but he’s become too involved in their story and Spooky Hal (or Merryl, as Crispin calls him) has come to stop him before he goes any further. He didn’t come in prior to that because, well, he’s a Ken fan.
Frank tells them all that he will take no more intrusions on his reality, but first, he has to make a very important phone call - to Sadie, to ask how she’s doing with her own adventure, and to tell her that he loves her.
With that taken care of, Frank turns to the matter of Crispin’s reality bending. Crispin says that too much has happened, and they should start again from the beginning so he can get things right. Merryl and Frank disagree.
Since wil-o-the-wisps are involved, Frank wonders who’s telling this particular story. Merryl says that it’s him. In fact, Crispin is merely a character that he created who gained too much of his own agency. Frank says that since it’s his story, he has the power to fix it. Merryl doesn’t know how, so Frank makes a suggestion - that Crispin should become mortal and join the skeleton men for a drink at the bar over the road, thus getting hit by the bus.
Crispin dislikes this, but is powerless to resist Merryl’s power over him. Crispin and the skeleton men leave. Ken, Merryl, and the Frankenstein girls leave for a date to the roller rink.
Since Merryl isn’t there to do the outro, Frank concludes the episode by wishing everyone goodnight, and hoping that Sadie would come home soon.
Frank: (on the phone to Sadie) Only to say I love you, and when you are not around everything is terrible and dumb.
Frank: Do I look okay?
Crispin: Dapper! Wait, how do I look?
Frank: Who cares?
Crispin (to Frank): I'm your brother, Crispin, you remember ... from childhood.
Frank: Who care what evil lurks in the hearts of - what is - who is - who are you?
Crispin: Next round's on me! Brothers forever!
Spooky Hal: I've allowed it, because I'm a Ken fan.
Ken: Gee, thanks, Mr O' the Wisp.
Ken: liquor boy's code!
Frank: I'm sorry I doubted you, you're deliver our liquor! you're practically family.
Frank: So all that happened. Once again I win. So... Good night. Come home soon, Sadie. THE END.
- Clink count: 4 (counting the one on the phone to Sadie)
- Spooky Hal has intervened in Frank and Sadie's stories before, in A Beyond Belief Valentines Day.
- Unofficial Transcript by Blooper-boy
- This is the 201st episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- The previous episode is TAH200 TAH10.
- The next episode is Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars - Die Hardware.
- The previous episode in Beyond Belief canon is Gory Gory Hallelujah (TAH #197).
- The next episode in Beyond Belief canon is Three Strikes You're Dead (TAH #204).
This episode was recorded at Largo on January 10, 2015 and released on March 23rd, 2015.