Welcome back to Bones! Season 11 is certainly off to a wild start. For anyone who wanted to ease comfortably back into the show, you might want to grab an inhaler. Because this goes from 0 to 100 pretty quickly. There was a sweet family scene to kick of the episode and provide us all with some nice “feels.” But it was full steam ahead the rest of the way!
“See You Later, Alligators”
We begin the episode at Booth and Brennan’s D.C. home. Initially it was thought that they would possibly relocate to pursue careers in Kansas. But as they say (in Kansas): “there’s no place like home.” The B&B home is a bit of a mess, as Brennan has given birth in the time since she and Booth left the Jeffersonian. The couple now has an adorable baby boy, Hank- named after Booth’s grandfather. It was a touching and quiet tribute to Ralph Waite. A perfect way to honor the late actor’s memory while tastefully avoiding any exploitation.
Booth and Brennan are having a rather picturesque morning, for them at least. Brennan is cataloguing artifacts with Christine, and Booth is “playing” hockey and engaging in some diaper-changing fun with Hank. The morning hits a bit of a snag when Booth says they may need to reschedule dinner at Hodgins and Angela’s with the kids due to another late night at work. But when Brennan tells him he’s been working too many late nights and that they promised to be there, he relents. After all, Booth is now a freelancer, so theoretically he should be able to make his own hours, right? Maybe. He hands off his little boy to Brennan, and kisses his family goodbye. His girls correct his “battle axe” comment (“PLOW”) for the second time that morning, and he heads off to work. But not without a seemingly foreboding “last” look at the people he loves most in the world. Aside from the last few seconds, this scene was a dream come true. Or perhaps fan fiction coming true? Either way, I am still in complete disbelief that we are in season 11 and that we can have scenes like this!
“Got a Body Torched in a Van”
Back at the Jeffersonian, Cam is desperate to find a “replacement” for Dr. Brennan. But Dr. Brennan, who has been consulted on all qualified candidates, has taken issue with each one. Not surprising, as Brennan has high standards. Also, she simply cannot be replaced. But Cam brings up the option of possibly bringing on Arastoo full time. Angela and Hodgins think it’s a really great idea. But there is the question of whether or not he’s actually the best they can find- since he has a bit of a romantic entanglement with the boss.
Further discussion would have to wait, however, because there was a “torched” body found in a ditch. We see Aubrey for the first time in “six months,” and he seems to have acclimated quite seamlessly to his new role. He’s been “getting things done,” by delegating. All in all, he appears to be in control. Though, where was his food? That was the only thing that seemed to be missing in this episode. I’ve grown accustomed to Aubrey and his food.
The team, including Arastoo who is now the lead forensic anthropologist, inspect the body at the scene It’s “burnt to a crisp,” and appears to have been outfitted with some high-end professional equipment- including a pretty serious gun. This raises some definite suspicions among the crew. Back at the lab, Angela makes a startling discovery- “It’s his gun.” The gun is Booth’s.
Bam. Cue Credits. Here we go.
“It Can’t Be Him”
It’s hard to believe that after such a perfect morning spent with her family, Brennan is now in her home listening to Cam and Aubrey tell her that they believe they are in possession of Booth’s remains. After discovering that Booth’s guns were missing (but his wedding ring left behind), an exasperated Brennan heads to the Jeffersonian to hopefully dispel any assertions that her husband is dead. While Arastoo tries to point out why the injuries identified on the victim’s bones match Booth’s perfectly, Brennan refuses to listen to “indications.” She requests time alone with the bones to do what she does best. Before Angela leaves, Brennan tells her “We left all this behind. It can’t be him. It just can’t.” My heart just metaphorically breaks for Brennan throughout this entire episode.
What comes next in this episode is truly extraordinary. We are gifted with an exquisite scene during which Brennan examines the remains in the bone room. As she touches each bone, believing that it COULD possibly belong to her husband, she is transported back to a pre-coupling moment in their relationship. With the skull, it was their first kiss. The metacarpals/phalanges brought her back to a time when Booth gently grabbed her hand to comfort her. And the sternum, well, that brought back a memory of when Booth saved her from a gunshot. He shielded her. He saved her life. It was the first time she truly believed she lost him forever. It’s not a coincidence she revisited that memory in this moment. It would take me pages to fully express my feelings on this whole scene. So I’ll spare you. If you want to talk for several more hours about it, look me up! I could gush for days.
“I Wish He Was Here”
Aubrey and Caroline fill in the FBI on the scant information they have about this case. At the very least, Booth is missing. And obviously, worst case scenario- he’s not missing. Both Caroline and Aubrey wonder why Booth did not confide in them before going AWOL.
“It’s Not Booth!”
Back the Jeffersonian, the team is looking at a facial reconstruction, which is eerily comparable to Booth’s face. Angela gets flustered, wondering what could possibly have compelled Booth to put his life at risk after everything he and Brennan had been through recently. But just when we are about to lament along with her, Brennan comes rushing in to tell everyone that the remains are not Booth’s. And she’s Brennan. She would never jump to a conclusion. She has proof! Sight of relief.
As Brennan is explaining to her old colleagues whey the bones do not belong to her husband, Arastoo is feeling a bit defeated by the mistakes he’s made. Perhaps he’s not ready to run the department. Arastoo takes full blame for the “oversight,” and tells Brennan he understands that she’s angry. To which she replies “You told me my husband is dead. Angry doesn’t even begin to cover it.” Brennan is now on the case. She’s going to stick around until the bones lead her to Booth.
“If Seeley Booth Isn’t Dead, He’s in Trouble”
Caroline and Aubrey are at the FBI pouring through papers. Searching for clues. We are then introduced to a rather prickly character, Agent Grace Miller from Internal Investigations. She’s looking forward to “collaborating” on this case, since Booth is now a suspect. Well, I guess Agent Miller won’t be attending any squint functions anytime soon.
The next day (I assume), Agent Miller is interviewing Brennan about Booth’s behavior over the last few days. But her questions are too “emotional.” Brennan still has trouble discerning emotional behavior. She insists that Miller is attempting to make her feel uncomfortable as a tactic to extract desired information about Booth. Agent Miller dismisses her, and Brennan is incensed. She argues that she’s needed to solve this case. They go back and forth. And finally Caroline advises to her calm down, for Booth’s sake. His life may depend on Brennan being around to solve this case.
“This Tells Me Who This Is”
Angela and Aubrey figure out that Booth wasn’t working alone. Meanwhile, Arastoo finds cause of death, and Brennan is able to identify the victim- It’s Jared Booth, Booth’s brother. Poor Booth, hasn’t had the best of luck the past year and a half, has he?
Agent Miller and Brennan head to talk to Jared’s estranged wife, Padme. But not before Miller implies that Booth could have murdered Jared. But as Brennan emphatically tells her, that’s “categorically impossible.” We learn a bit more about Jared’s life through Padme. She tossed him out three months earlier, but he had been giving her expensive gifts try to get her back. Supposedly in debt, Padme had no idea where Jared got the money. Perhaps Booth? Padme scoffs at that. Certainly not from Booth because of “Booth’s wife.” She makes it very apparent in this scene that she is no fan of Brennan’s.
“Is That What I Think It Is?”
Earlier in the episode, Arastoo is feeling down as a result of all his mistakes on this case. He was planning on proposing to Cam, but doesn’t think he can after the events of the day. Hodgins, however, encourages him to do it. So after Cam and Arastoo do a little more examining of the body, Cam comes across the ring box. After an initial moment of shock on Cam’s end, they decided it wasn’t the right time. Though Hodgins walks in while Cam is checking out the ring, and it all gets a bit awkward. You have to love Hodgins.
“The Man Went Through Hell”
Aubrey and Miller show up at Jared’s friend, Kevin O’Donnell’s apartment. They are trying to gather information about Jared’s illicit activities, but Kevin is not having it. Jared was a “good guy” and a hero. He doesn’t want their “garbage assumptions,” and essentially throws the agents out.
“Booth Is Still Out There”
Brennan appears to be wistfully looking around her old office- still empty. Does she want to come back? It appears she’s at least entertaining the thought at this point. The whole point was to stay away from danger. And they weren’t doing an effective job of that, even after removing themselves from this life. Angela comes in with an offering of pudding. Brennan says an offering of food is common for those who are grieving. But she is not grieving because Booth is still alive. He’s out there somewhere. But we don’t have to wait long to get that confirmation because we get a glimpse of a wounded Booth at that moment. And he looks like he’s in really bad shape. But he is alive.
“You Will Not Be Satisfied Until You’ve Ruined A Good Man’s Name”
Over at the FBI, Agent Miller has learned that Jared’s financial life was completely off the books. Miller’s suspicions about Booth intensify after learning that Booth set up an account three months prior from which only Jared was withdrawing. At the very least, she believes him to be an accessory in this case.
The Jeffersonian team figures out that Jared fell through a glass window, and they are able to identify the house from which it came. Caroline recognizes the owner of the house, calling him the “worst of the worst.” Aubrey, Miller, and a whole team swarm the house, but all they find is a pile of dead bodies. Unfortunately, this makes Booth look even guiltier to Miller.
Agent Miller gets increasingly more unlikable as the episode progresses. Though I suspect it’s all by design. We later learn that her partner had disappeared as well, four days prior. This may have something to do with her unrelenting suspicion of Booth. Seems more personal than anything.
“How Long Does Booth Have?”
Brennan is struggling with finding a logical reason as to why Booth would break his promise not to see Jared. She’s angry. Arastoo tells her it was likely the one promise he couldn’t keep. “Booth and I discussed this many times. So what was he keeping from me?” We all would like an answer to that, Brennan. Though Brennan is a character that has seen great evolution over the past decade, she still retains the qualities that have always made her “Brennan.” One of those is difficulty understanding the emotions of others. By now she can usually read Booth pretty well, as she does have that disturbingly steep learning curve. But I guess he can still surprise her.
Angela constructs a scenario of the mansion bloodbath on the Angelatron. It was a five man team. Cam can prove Booth was there, as she sequenced the blood found at the scene four times. They can deduce now that Booth was shot. And with the amount of Blood lost, he doesn’t have much time left. Brennan looks horrified.
“Yea, I’m With You. ’Til The End”
In a surprising turn of events, Booth doesn’t actually appear to be held completely against his will. He’s with a group of men, including Jared’s friend. He’s definitely in bad shape, but is not allowed to seek medical help. But Kevin asks if Booth is still with them. And he is. “‘Til the end” The last image we see is a pile of money and guns.
What in the world is Booth up to? I honestly have no idea. It had to be important enough to risk his life and lie to Brennan. And there’s no possibility that Booth has just decided to become a criminal. He’s too good. He’s too just. His morals are important to him. We know all he wants is to to be with his family. His wife and his babies. So I’m definitely looking forward to some revelations in the next episode. I really need answers. And maybe I’m hoping for a good rescue scene as well.
This was a phenomenal start to the season. That a show can up its game after so many years is astonishing to me. It’s really a testament to the cast and crew. They’ve created a well-oiled machine. Kudos to my favorite show!
Absolutely 100% the flashback/montage scene. Long-time Bones fans were given a wonderful gift by the writers. It was tragic, beautiful, and extremely emotional. And Emily Deschanel was just stunning in it. What a treat for all of us who have watched this couple go from partners, to friends, to lovers, to parents, to husband and wife. This scene reminded us what a beautiful journey it has been. Even if it it was given to us under completely devastating circumstances. This is not only my top scene for the episode, but it’s up there as one of my favorite in the entire series run (and if you know me, you know I basically love every single scene in this entire show).
Agent Miller: Miller
Angela: Oh. Ah. Okay, Montenegro…here.