I’m running out of quasi-compelling ways to begin these monstrosities. Obviously, I loved this week’s episode. That is always the case. While I’m certain next week is going to devastate us, this episode offered up the right dose of levity and humor. I’m not implying that 12×04 will be completely devoid of humor. No matter the drama, a bit of humor is always somehow infused. I am merely saying that the intensity level will certainly be escalated. I cannot wait. Yet, of course I can.
There were some truly stellar guest stars in the latest installment. And there were some incredibly sweet developments with all of the couples on the show. Cam and Arastoo’s resolution brought tears to my eyes. And Booth and Brennan’s story started out as humorous, but turned out to be extremely touching- and even a bit open-ended. I absolutely adored every single thing about this episode. And thus far, I love everything about this season. It’s a hard pill to swallow, really. You want these episodes to be incredible. But the fact that they exceed expectations does hurt. Because the show could feasibly go on indefinitely. There is always so much more story to be told with these characters. And that’s tough. Sure, one “chapter” could finish. But another one could easily begin. These characters are not in the same place they were in season 1. In another 12 years their lives could take them into completely unexplored territory. As long as you have well-rounded, well-written, and truly compelling characters (and outstanding actors to bring them to life), the possibilities are limitless. Anyway, it was definitely not my intention to stray that heavily at this point. I was just emotional after the episode. So I’ll get to that now.
The episode begins with three kids trespassing onto a toxic hazard area under the cover of darkness. Actually, at first, we do not know these are children. I initially thought that it was some sort of government heist. But they remove their masks, and reveal their identities. And really, all they want to do is run some science experiments. They intend to mix baking soda with the acid in the barrels to create an instant volcano. Two of the kids start laughing, and the third wants to know what’s so funny. Turns out, what they initially thought was hydrochloric acid was actually sulfuric acid. And the “white stuff” is sugar. The third kid wants to know the result of mixing those two particular substances together. “Only the biggest baddest black snake firework you ever saw.” I will admit, it is pretty amazing. I would say “science is cool!” but I’ll let our resident lead forensic anthropologist take that one a bit later. It was too perfect a moment. They then realize that there is a skull beneath their creation. I think this show has conditioned me to assume there is always a dead body lurking somewhere near me.
Booth, Brennan, and Aubrey are en route to the crime scene. The married partners are already gloriously bickering about something. Booth doesn’t believe that 7th graders should be playing with barrels of acid. I’m semi-inclined to agree, though they seemed reasonably intelligent. I would imagine they knew what they were doing. Brennan, of course, has taken no issue with it. The kids took the proper safety precautions. “I applaud their curious minds.” Aubrey adds that their intervention prevented the body from completely dissolving. “See.” Booth tells Aubrey to “zip it,” and wants to know whose side he is on. “Hers. Sorry, in this instance I’m hoes before bros.” I think this is the wrong crowd on which to use that particular line. Booth appears to be a bit shocked at someone calling his wife a “ho,” however harmless it was intended to be. Brennan moves on to talk about the real criminals in this story thus far- Good Life Chemicals, which illegally disposes of its toxic waste. Aubrey speaks up again, but Booth has apparently had enough of his breath. “It smells like death warmed over, almost like a toxic blast of camel butt.” Eloquent. Aubrey informs Booth that he happens to be drinking a black kale chia smoothie. It wrong that this drink sounds delicious to me? I live in LA- There’s a juice shop on every corner. Booth wants to know if Aubrey lost a bet. And Brennan as to whether he has an infected lesion. Both plausible scenarios, to a degree. No lesions. No lost bet. Aubrey just figures it could be a beneficial idea to go on a junk food cleanse. And I wonder how long this will last. Booth wants him to go back to the donuts, as the smoothie smells like “monkey ass.” To be honest, Aubrey doesn’t seem to be enjoying it all. Life should be lived, James.
Crime scene techs are all clad in hazmat suits so as not to contaminate themselves with potentially harmful toxic waste. Even Booth is impressed with the black snake fireworks. Brennan playfully punches him twice and exclaims “I told you, science is cool!” with two thumbs up. This is perhaps the nerdiest (I cannot even think of a better word at this point) and most precious moment. Brennan’s love of science is so pure and beautiful. Cam tells Brennan that she should work on her delivery. But I think it was perfect. She’s enthusiastic! Cam’s words deflate Brennan just a bit, but she bounces back. An attorney representing the chemical company walks over to the team and requests that the FBI move all their people in hazmat suits away immediately. The lawyer claims that the suits and decontamination foam misrepresents that these chemicals are hazardous. Brennan debunks his words and informs the man that sulfuric acid is hazardous and corrosive. “It would eat through your flesh in seconds.” The lawyer claims it’s just an opinion. But Cam assures him it’s fact. And it’s also the reason she has very little remains to work with, except for a patch of grey hair. Aubrey assumes it’s “an old guy.” And Brennan confirms the man was at least 70. Aubrey guesses that perhaps the victim was one of the plaintiffs suing the chemical company. Brennan cannot tell precisely when the body was dumped, but tells Booth that Hodgins would be able to. But apparently Hodgins had some sort of a wheelchair accident and was not able to make it to the crime scene. This worries me at first, but I assume it’s nothing serious. Cam would have been more worried if it was. The lawyer threatens to sue Booth for slander if he insinuates the company’s involvement. “Right. That’s exciting.” Yeah, Booth is certainly shaking in his boots, so to speak. The lawyer begins panicking as the press pulls up. And Aubrey accidentally spills some of his smoothie on the man’s back. He mistakes it for acid, and the team plays along. They douse him in decontamination foam, and look like they are having the best time doing it. I love these people. I hope the lawyer went off to get a Silkwood shower, next.
Hodgins appears to be perfectly fine as he enters the lab, and I can breathe a small sigh of relief. Cam runs into him, and lets him know that the team missed him at the scene. She asks if he’s okay. And Hodgins replies “Oh yeah. Never better.” Interesting. Hodgins gets caught up on the case, and realizes that he missed out on a carbon snake. Apparently whenever Hodgins has thought about his own death, he wanted to go out in that same way. I do recall him talking about being shot into the sun as well. But perhaps he has changed his mind in the last few years. “Man, this day just keeps getting better and better.” Someone is extremely happy. And Cam is confused.
Brennan finds Angela finishing up her work on the facial reconstruction. She’s a little bothered by the fact that it is not a very flattering picture of the victim. Brennan notes that the reconstruction reminds her of Eddie, the Iron Maiden mascot. Angela thought she misheard her friend. “Iron Maiden- not the torture instrument of historic myth, but the English heavy metal band.” Angela is stunned Brennan knows Iron Maiden. “You, who thinks Maroon 5 is a color palette?” But Brennan claims she has long been fascinated with black and heavy metal cultures. “Ever since we had the case involving the band “SKALLE.” I need to pause for a moment. Because I have always been obsessed with the way she says skalle. When I watch Mayhem on a Cross, I can barely get through that scene without crying. And now it’s back, eight seasons later. I know it’s a minor callback but I am obsessed. And then she says it, yet again. Brennan reminds us that SKALLE means skull in Norwegian. Angela remembers. As do I. Iconic.
Brennan once again looks up at the reconstruction and feels as though something is off. She examines the photos of the skull more closely, and both women notice the weathering to the mandible. The jaw has been somewhat disintegrated, which is a marker of a longtime denture wearer. As Angela is searching for a match in the DMV records for the adjusted reconstruction, Brennan informs her that she is happy to hear that Hodgins is okay after his “incident.” Angela explains it was no big deal. A wheel popped off the axle, and it was just “one of those things.” “One of those things being you having sex in his wheelchair?” She misses nothing. Angela is shocked that she could have figured that out. “Who are you?” “Just a forensic scientist at the height of her deductive powers.” Brennan is magical. Though she would obviously argue to the contrary. Angela gives in, and shares that her experience with Hodgins was “really awesome.” And additionally, it’s better than it’s been in “forever.” Brennan is pleased for her friends. Angela adds that she and Hodgins have reopened the discussion about having another child. She wants to know if Booth and Brennan have had those talks as well. Brennan admits that she and Booth have not actually talked about whether or not they are finished having children. “Perhaps we should.” The Angelatron returns a match for the victim- James Felbeck. He was 86. There was a Silver Alert out on him, issued that morning.
Booth and Brennan are on their way to the retirement center where the victim lived (and was last seen). Brennan is surprised that the victim was 86, and the FBI barely has anything on file about him. Booth assumes that he was probably a good guy and didn’t have any brushes with the law. But Brennan takes it to mean that he also had no family to visit him in his old age. They are both silent for a moment, and Booth finally asks her if she’s okay. She brings up the discussion she had earlier with Angela regarding children. “Wow, what, you want another one? Why? I mean our family is perfect the way it is.” Brennan agrees. Which is why she wants Booth to have a vasectomy. Well that escalated quickly. She begins to explain the procedure to Booth, but he knows exactly what it is and what it entails. He actually looks to be in physical pain while she’s talking about it. He refuses. “Why are you covering yourself? I’m not going to perform the procedure myself in the car.” I just need a moment after that. I almost died laughing. Booth flat out tells Brennan that it’s not going to happen. She asks if he’s scared, but more so in a patronizing tone. He’s not. “I’m a sniper. You hear me? And snipers, they do not fire blanks.” Oh, Booth. “And in that analogy, my ovaries are what? Target practice?” It’s a bit more complicated than that. But I love that these two have actual meaningful conversations in the car. Never just a throwaway scene. Booth shifts focus to the case. He asks Brennan to follow his lead because his gut is telling him the killer is someone on the staff. Brennan points out that the killer could potentially be a fellow retiree. Booth has a laugh at that notion. “You’re presuming that just because somebody is old, they are less capable? That’s ageism, Booth.” He’s suddenly aghast at her presumption that he is ageist. “However, if you’d like to talk about something else we could always return to you being…” Please note that she is making a scissors motion with her phalanges while whistling. I love this woman. I love this couple. I cannot believe this conversation is happening. And yet, of course it’s happening. Booth attempts to once again flip to a safe topic. “How ‘bout those Mets?” “What are the Mets?” And he smiles. And I’m melting.
Booth and Brennan are quite impressed with the facility, as they walk through the retirement village. An elderly woman passes by and pinches Booth on the rear end. He appears to be both shocked and amused by the bold action. She admits to pinching his “cute little tuchus.” And then adds “Can you blame me?” Brennan has an immediate reaction to that. “No, I cannot.” She understands completely. She playfully hits booth on the arm, and says “I like her.” Francis, presumably the head of the facility, approaches Booth and Brennan. He first tells the lady to keep her hands to herself. I like her too, though. Francis seems a bit nervous to be talking to Booth and Brennan. He starts rambling about how death is horrible. Booth interrupts him to ask him why he’s so nervous. Brennan assumes that given his occupation, he should be more accustomed to “literally being surrounded by death.” She may have said that a bit too loudly. She receives a few stares in her direction. “What? Death is inevitable.” Under her breath she mumbles to Booth “and relatively imminent.” Booth attempts to apologize for her. “She just likes to blurt things out. You’re gonna have a very healthy and happy life.” “No, Booth. He will not.” They are off to examine the victim’s room, and of course Booth and Brennan continue bickering as the scene transitions. Again, I love them so much it hurts.
Arastoo is the “intern” of the week. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way. The squinterns will just all always be interns to me. Even as they each earn their doctorates. And I love them all. Arastoo is “complaining” about the state of the bones he has to work with. But Hodgins doesn’t want to hear it. “At least you got something to work with.” Hodgins is not finding any trace of clothing. Arastoo is a bit in disbelief that this is the way Hodgins really wants to die. “Yeah, it’s my viking funeral, baby.” Arastoo is also very impressed with the kid’s experiment. And Hodgins adds that he and Michael Vincent are going to recreate it when he gets home. I’d love to see that. Arastoo likes the sound of Hodgins and his “mini-me” playing “mad scientist.”
Speaking of kids, you got a wedding coming up soon…
Wedding is not kids, Dr. Hodgins.
You know what they say: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes-
But Cam chooses that moment to enter the conversation, and she shuts it down. “Work comes next.” Arastoo can only smile. Thanks to John George Haigh, AKA The Acid Bath Murderer, Hodgins is about to deduce about how long the victim was immersed in the acid. According to Haigh, it takes approximately 48 hours to fully dissolve a body in acid- to the point where it can be funneled down the drain without clogging the pipes. Oh, the things I learn from this show. Hodgins determines that the victim was added to the barrel of acid approximately 18-24 hours before the sugar was added. Based on some blunt force injuries, Arastoo presumes the shape of the weapon is long and cylindrical. He and Hodgins start brainstorming possible weapons- a pipe, dowel rod, golf clubs, rebar, baseball bat, nun-chucks. Cam finally interrupts the two to remind them that the victim was an elderly man who lived in a nursing home- think cane. A revelation, for sure.
Francis shows Booth and Brennan to James Felbeck’s suite. Brennan immediately begins ALS-ing the room, which only makes Francis that much more nervous. Booth wants to ensure that no one cleaned the room before they got there. As Brennan searches for blood evidence, Booth gets right up in Francis’ face asking questions about the victim. Francis inches backwards and Booth follows. Intimidation tactic, for sure. Booth asks whether there have been complaints about any staff members from the residents. But Francis informs him that sometimes his residents get confused, as many of them are quite elderly. And some even suffer from diseases such as dementia.
Booth, I found something.
She found something.
<Francis>: Oh, my. Is this where he died?
No, this is where he went to heaven.
My HUSBAND is euphemistically referring to sex.
And there’s a lot of…evidence dispersed about that bed. But can we talk about the fact that Brennan just called Booth her husband in the field. It’s not a fact she hides. But generally when they are together working a case, they are partners. When they are in a social setting, they are husband and wife. It was startling but quite satisfactory to hear that particular descriptor for no other reason than it’s just a gentle reminder of their status. They are married. This is their fourth season (more than four years in Bones time) as a married couple. And yet, the show has gone on. Because these two are as enticing to watch pre-wedding as they are post-wedding. Well, that’s obviously my own opinion. But I’m allowed to voice that within the safety net of my own recap. It just never gets old. I’ll never tire of it. Because this right here is the payoff. And it’s just never lost its novelty. Booth demands to know who the victim had been seeing. “By seeing, he means…intercourse.” And she does the HAND GESTURE from The Double Death of the Dearly Departed. This damn show. Stop adding these perfect callbacks!
Francis leads them to a common room, of sorts, and points out the woman James had been seeing. Played by June Squibb, the feisty Barbara Baker is one of my new favorite guest stars. Francis informs the partners that Barbara has no family left. She “technically” has a daughter, though they have not spoken in some time. Booth notes that she looks like his Grandma Alice. For a moment, Booth appears to remember his “Gram.” It’s really quite precious. Booth and Brennan make their way over to Barbara, and Booth requests that he do all the talking. He doesn’t want Brennan to say anything that may “freak” the women out. Brennan is surprisingly fine with that plan, as she has “no intention of causing this poor woman and myocardial infarction.” There are a few gentle touches in this scene and I need a moment to fixate on that. It’s always the little moments for me. Booth asks to speak to Barbara, but she’s in the middle of her Bridge game. “Whatever you need cannot be more important than playing Bridge.” Brennan informs her that it’s to do with James Felbeck. And that got her attention. She actually guesses pretty quickly that he was murdered, and she then runs off to repeatedly whack Rufus Tucker (Ed Asner) with a cane. “Booth, I would say we have our next suspect, except I’m not sure who seems more guilty- Mr. Tucker or the cane-wielder herself.” Their faces are priceless.
Barbara is distraught, and wants Booth to arrest the man sitting next to her on the couch. The two residents are questioned together, and Rufus wants to know why they aren’t being interrogated separately. It’s apparently what Columbo used to do. “I’m not Columbo.” “My HUSBAND doesn’t believe you’re true suspects. Because you’re so old” And there she goes again. I love it. I love it so much. In the car, Brennan accused Booth of being ageist and believing that a resident could not possibly be the killer simply because he or she was elderly. Booth asks Barbara why she believes that Rufus was involved in the murder. She claims he was jealous of her relationship with the victim. “I courted Barbara.” “He asked if I wanted to pork.” How romantic. Barbara calls James Felbeck a gentleman. She has nothing but fond memories of the victim, and truly saw herself spending the rest of her “days” with him. Rufus claims he was watching television during the time the victim was murdered. And “the new guy,” Red Hudmore, could corroborate his story. Rufus thanks Barbara for remembering Red’s name, and she tells him to “pork” himself.
Back at the lab, Arastoo believes he has found cause of death. Instead, Cam wanted to use this opportunity to talk about personal matters. “Look, I want nothing more than to marry you, and I know how much you want to be a father-” But Arastoo interrupts her. He really wants to table this particular discussion for later. Cam implies that the matter cannot really wait because they have a very small window during which they can conceive a child- if they so choose. “I hear you. But when I look at you, all I see are limitless possibilities.” She is clearly touched. But Hodgins chooses that moment to ascend the platform, and disrupt the tender moment. Always the awkward entrance. “That is the most beautiful thing I have ever awkwardly interrupted.” And that’s saying something. Because his timing is perpetually at the most impeccably awkward moments.
Cam asks Hodgins what he needs. “Well, Limitless Possibilities here sent me a text.” I know I tend to pause at the most seemingly random of moments, but Hodgins joking around with the team is something that I used to take for granted. But he is so light. And so free now. And it just warms my heart to see the “old” Hodgins back. Arastoo texted Hodgins so he may swab some vertebrae. Based on Arastoo’s findings thus far, the victim seems to have died from a broken neck. Hodgins will swab for trace, and hopes that it will yield some answers. “At this stage, it’s anyone’s ball game.” But Cam found that the victim had osteoporosis. He was participating in a bone density study, which actually significantly improved the strength of his bones. So she believes it’s unlikely that a fellow resident inflicted such damage.
Booth and Brennan find Red Hudmore (Hal Holbrook) sitting on a bench outside the retirement home. Booth introduces himself and his partner, and Red already knows why they are there- because of the “guy that was killed.” He claims not to have known the victim, but he was in the TV room with Rufus Tucker that night. Apparently Rufus was constantly flipping channels, and talking about the “babes” on television. “A gentleman would never talk that way about Donna Reed.” Booth notices a tattoo on the victim’s arm, indicating that he was in the 720 MP Battalion. While Brennan has not heard of that group, Booth is visibly excited. “Bones, the 720 was the only battle-tested MP Battalion in Vietnam.” Pops served with them in the 1950s. And now I know that Booth is going to get attached to this man. And at this point, I could only hope like hell that Booth didn’t end up hurt. Brennan informs Booth that they should be on their way now that the alibi has been verified. Booth tells Red that it’s an honor to meet him. Before he can go, he asks if the man is up for one last case. He needs eyes and ears on the property while he’s away. Red obliges.
Hodgins received the swab results back on the vertebrae and ribs. Cam was right, the victim was hit with a cane made of aluminum alloy. Hodgins also has a requisition form he wants Cam to sign. He plays it off as nothing to worry about- just a list of seemingly harmless objects. Cam realizes she doesn’t want to know what he’s planning, and willingly signs the form. She has meanwhile found five types of dog hair from the scene with trace of the victim’s blood. These particular types of dogs are commonly used in therapy, so the team can narrow down the location of the murder if they can find a room where dog therapy takes place. I feel strange writing a sentence such as that. But I have written far stranger things as it relates to this show.
Francis shows Booth and Brennan to the dog therapy room, and informs them that all of the staff members had access to it on the night of the victim’s murder. Francis introduces them to Sam, one of the orderlies. And Booth asks both men to leave, as this room is now a crime scene. Side note, Sam is tall. Booth notices the man’s height since it’s not as though Booth is a short man. Booth notes that the room looks clean. He tells Brennan to check the couches, as that may be where they conducted the dog therapy. “I don’t need your assistance, Booth. If you are bored and need to keep busy, I have a video on my phone showing exactly how a no-scalpel vasectomy is performed.” Ouch. Booth’s phone rings, and he’s saved by the bell. “Aubrey to the rescue.” Brennan finds traces of blood with her ALS, and notes that the killer likely used up to four cleaning agents on the blood. Aubrey overhears this, and tells Booth that he’s been investigating records of one of the orderlies. “Big guy” Sam turns out to be the orderly in question. He was previously charged with assault. Aubrey adds that the photo of the man Sam hit made his crime look more like attempted murder. Booth grabs (figuratively) Brennan, and tells her they have to go retrieve Sam. They find the orderly mopping the hallway, and Brennan finds blood on his cleaning supplies.
In the interrogation room, Sam claims he didn’t do anything wrong. The man he previously assaulted was an “accident.” He only gave him “a punch” for hitting his car. Sam assures Aubrey that he and James Felbeck were actually friends. They watched movies and boxing matches together. “He was one of the coolest old dudes I’ve ever met.” And something about the way he speaks about the victim seems sincere to me. Aubrey wants to know who else could have killed him. But Sam really has no idea. He did notice that the victim spent a lot of time in the computer lab during the last few nights. When Sam asked what he was doing, Felbeck told him it was better he didn’t know.
Arastoo checks in with Hodgins to see how he’s progressing on his experiment. Angela and Hodgins split apart to reveal a sculpture-esque figure of an elderly man. They introduce the “man” as Preston Alexander Hildenbrand III. “Or you can just call him Gramps.” He happens to be named after Hodgins grandfather- whom he despised. “He was the most selfish miserly billionaire this side of Montgomery Burns.” Angela suggests that perhaps Hodgins be the one to repeatedly clock “Gramps” with the cane. “It’s cheaper than therapy.” This couple makes me so happy. With a giant grin, Hodgins proceeds to whack Gramps. And he is completely loving it. Angela deduces that the killer has to be someone significantly stronger than Hodgins. But Arastoo adds that the victim’s bones could have been less robust than they were six months prior.
Back at the retirement home, Booth is conferring with Red once more. Red noticed that the FBI was taking some of the computers out as evidence. Booth mentions that the victim spent a lot of time online prior to his death, and it’s worth checking. Red then asks about Sam’s interrogation. Booth asks for his new friend’s opinion on whether or not he believes Sam is “good for it.” Red’s gut says “not a snowball’s chance in July.” Booth asks the man if he wants to go for a walk. But Red isn’t interested. Booth gets a bit more enthusiastic, and tells Red that they can get a little exercise and scope out some suspects. Red reluctantly gets up to his feet, and then proceeds to fall right to the ground while Booth’s back is turned. Booth rushes to his side and calls for help. Francis accuses Booth of over-exertion, but Booth really did not do anything wrong from where I was sitting.
Arastoo finds Brennan in her office, and shares the results of his latest analysis with her. He found that the victim only had 20% of optimal bone density. “Which means his bones were so brittle, anyone, young or old, could have killed him.” But just six months prior, he had “robust and healthy” bones. The two realize that the victim had not been taking his medication. But why?
Angela has been examining the computers from the retirement home, and has found a plethora of pornographic material. “Enough to make a teenage boy blush.” Angela figures that at a certain age, “enough would be enough.” But Brennan explains that males are biologically programmed to continue seeking out sexual gratification- “which is why I told Booth he needs to get a vasectomy.” She slips in that sentence, and attempts to move on. But Angela wants to pause for a moment. She refers to a “vasectomy” as “neutering your husband.” Seems a bit hyperbolic, but I can understand the intention behind her words. Brennan calls it a rational decision, as neither she nor Booth want more children. Angela points out that Booth is Catholic. “So? We had premarital sex. Clearly, exceptions can be made.” Angela drops the subject and returns to the case. She discovered that whoever had been using this particular machine was also using the identities of deceased residents to sell medication online. Additionally, he or she had also searched for “naked pictures of Donna Reed.” A clue, indeed. Brennan quickly pulls out her phone and informs Booth that she knows who he needs to bring in for questioning.
Aubrey questions Rufus Tucker in the interrogation room. He tells the man that he knows he had been selling James Felbeck’s prescription medication online. “Good. That’s excellent detective work.” Aubrey is perplexed as to why Rufus seems satisfied about getting caught. He’s just happy that his tax dollars are not being wasted. Aubrey figures that Mr. Tucker stole the victim’s medication to sell online and replaced his pills with placebos. He also assumes Felbeck confronted Rufus about the pills when he found out. Rufus takes back his comment about the “excellent detective work.” What really happened is that the victim came to Rufus and asked him to sell his medication for him. He needed money, and knew Rufus was “street.” Aubrey is in disbelief. James Felbeck truly needed his medication. His bones were becoming more brittle by the day. He never told Rufus why he needed the money, but just emphasized that it was urgent. “That’s all I know.”
Booth and Brennan bring Barbara in with the hope that she can maybe shed some light on these new developments. First and foremost, she lets Booth know that Red is going to be fine. But the partners were already informed. Booth asks her if she was aware of Felbeck’s financial difficulties. She claims that he never had a lot of money. She helped him out on occasion with small things. And she told Booth and Brennan that James had no gambling debts either. She claims was a boxer in his 20s, which triggers something in Brennan’s mind. She has to return to the lab at that moment. “Thank you, Ms. Baker. You have been very very helpful.”
Brennan had instructed Arastoo to examine the metacarpals. But because the victim’s hands were submerged in acid, he was unable to detect any remodeling. Brennan takes a look at the x-rays and sees no callouses on the metacarpals. Arastoo notes that there definitely would be damage if he was truly a boxer. Arastoo also did not find any remodeled fractures on the metatarsals. “No stress fractures at all.” Brennan comments that this would be the most common fracture found on soldiers. The isotopic analysis proved that the victim did not live in France for over 20 years. It does, however, match someone who lived in a watershed. The victim lied about his job, where he lived- “He lied about everything.”
Aubrey appears to be making another smoothie when Booth locates him in the FBI kitchen. He tracked down the victim’s home in Richmond (not Paris, as he previously claimed). Before Booth can continue, Aubrey adds chocolate syrup to his “health” smoothie. “There are some sacrifices that a man just should not have to make.” I knew it wouldn’t last. The real shock to the case was that the victim’s roommate in Richmond was none other than Rufus Tucker. They bring him back in for questioning. And Rufus admits to previously making some “omissions.” He was accused of running a scam at his previous retirement home. The two agents assert that Rufus and Felbeck ran a scam on Barbara. First Rufus hit on her as the “lech,” and then James “swoops in like a knight in shining armor.” Rufus claims he has no idea what the money was for. And adds that he may be a lot of things, but he is not a murderer.
At the lab, Angela is surprised that Aubrey wants to check out Barbara- being that she is well over 80 years old. But Aubrey is an equal-opportunity accuser. I did enjoy the show’s use of octogenarian. Angela discovers what the victim had been doing online. He had been searching for private investigators from New York. Barbara is from New York. Aubrey finds it suspicious that she was also living in New York when her husband died. “You think this could be like a black widow killer?” Aubrey is not ruling anything out.
In the bone room, Brennan has discovered micro-fractures in the hamate and capitate, which suggests that the victim was holding something that reverberated in his hand. Arastoo and Brennan realize that the victim must have hit someone else with his cane. His bones were so brittle at that point that they would have fractured from the force it took to strike the other person. He still would have had to swing the cane hard, so the killer was likely injured as well. With Angela’s scenario, they can determine that the killer was struck on the left side. “Have you met anyone with a head injury?” They haven’t. But Brennan figures that the downward strike of the cane could have injured another part of the body. This time Angela runs a reenactment hitting the clavicle. It’s also a match. And with a pained look on her face, Brennan knows who did it.
Booth is the one to visit Red in his room. He tells his new friend that he knows what happened. Red tries to claim the fracture to his clavicle was from his fall. But Booth was there when he fell, and he would have injured the other side of his body. Booth asks what happened. Apparently James Felbeck was bragging about the war, and Red knew that the man didn’t even serve. He claims he didn’t hit him hard. But it wouldn’t have taken much to inflict a detrimental injury to the victim.
This scene sort of breaks me just a bit. We never really saw the aftermath of Pops’ death. And I definitely understand the reasoning behind that. The show did not want to overstep or disrespect the memory of Ralph Waite. In the Bones world, I wasn’t even certain that Pops was actually gone. Up until the point Booth and Brennan named their son after him. Booth has been forced to deal with loss far too much for still being so young. Most recently, he lost one of his best friends, his brother, and his grandfather. And obviously, he has endured profound loss all throughout his life. We always tend to give credit to Brennan as it relates to character development. Because she is the most obvious case on the show. And it has been astonishing to behold. She was closed off for so long. But so was Booth. Being a sniper is one of the loneliest positions one can be in. It’s just a man, his gun, and his target. It’s isolating. Booth once again isolated himself when starting out at the FBI. Sure, he had a few partners over the years, but obviously nothing stuck. He preferred to work alone. It took a lot to let these “squints” from the Jeffersonian into his life. And now they are family to him. He was resistant to both Sweets and Aubrey, initially. But they became more like brothers to Booth than his actual brother. Though that still didn’t make Jared’s death any easier.
My point in examining Booth’s past is to say that he doesn’t trust easily. He doesn’t form relationships easily. On the surface, he appears easy-going. And I imagine he had a lot of acquaintances growing up. But that’s all they ever were. Very few people actually know this man. He rarely opens up to anyone. Even now. Still waters run deep. And at times, people can very erroneously label this man as simple. I will tell you, he is far from it. I digress, yet again. Booth lost Pops. Once upon a time, Hank Booth saved his grandchildren from an abusive situation. Booth admitted years ago that he probably would have killed himself if Pops hadn’t taken him away from his father. While not all memories of his parents were marred with horror, his time with his grandfather was the first time he could feel any semblance of calm and safety. Losing so many people is hard for him. But losing this father figure is unimaginable. I am almost glad we didn’t have to watch him deal with that particular loss. But here, he has found someone who reminds him of that man. If only for a moment. This older gentleman was in the same unit as his own Pops. Booth has immense respect for fellow soldiers. He knows what it’s like to serve. There’s a sense of pride as well. Booth would not ordinarily rule someone out as a suspect right off the bat. But surely, if this man was anything like his grandfather, he couldn’t be the killer. I think the “ageism” played a small role, but I do think it was more the fact that an unearned trust was established when he learned that this man fought overseas. And in the end, his gut was wrong. It’s not always foolproof. And it really crushes me to think about the disappointment Booth must have felt when learning that this man was not like his grandfather. Sure, he murdered the victim because he claimed to have served when he didn’t. In the eyes of someone like Red and Booth, you do not pretend you served when you have not. But it was just another reminder that his Pops was gone. I hate that he endures so much loss. And I hate that he will likely be adding one more loss to that list next week. But he’s a strong man. He’s a good man. And he has his family to keep him going.
Arastoo and Cam are about to head home, but Cam wants to revisit their earlier discussion first. Arastoo still wants to wait. But Cam tells him that it needs to be now. She lets him know that she loves him, wants to give him everything, and starts to say something about getting pregnant right now. It sounded like it was not something she wanted to do. Arastoo interrupts her again, and informs her that he wants to adopt. I love this. With Booth having been taken care of by his grandparents, Brennan growing up foster care, and Sweets actually adopted, I have always wanted someone to adopt in this show. It’s perfect for them. Arastoo wants to give a good home to refugee children. And again, it’s perfect for them. Cam tells him that he will make such a good father. “And I am with you all the way.” This definitely feels right for them. It’s a wonderful resolution.
In the car, Brennan is confused as to why Booth is taking a particular route home. Booth forgot to inform her that Aubrey wanted them to stop by the Hoover. He didn’t say why, just that it was important. Booth brings up the vasectomy again. “I shouldn’t have asked, given your religious leanings.” Booth thanks her and tells her that it means a lot. Brennan is also not sure she is actually ready to “close that door.” Booth is surprised that she would want another child. But that’s not what she’s saying.
I am completely content the way things are.
Okay so what are you saying?
You know, when I think about what I value most- you, Christine, Hank, Parker, even my friendship with Angela- none of it makes any sense. It was not planned.
So, you want me to get you pregnant?
No. I do not. We will be bagging your sniper, and I will stay on the pill. I just…I’m-I’m not ready to say this is it.
My thoughts on this scene are unfortunately influenced by some of what I read after the episode this week. People have very strong feelings about whether or not this couple should continue having children. Biologically, the window for more children is small. But in a very un-Brennanesque move, she is leaving it up to fate. She and Booth will still take the necessary precautions against pregnancy. However, because the greatest pieces of her life have all been completely unlikely and unexpected, she doesn’t want to definitively shut the door on anything. The chances of her getting pregnant at 40 while on the pill and with Booth using condoms are quite minimal at best. But if for some reason nature won out, and she did get pregnant again, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for her. In fact, I do not believe the two of them could ever actually be unhappy about such an outcome. They love their children. They love their family just as it is. But knowing them, they would also love it if it grew. There was no decision made here. Just the decision to continue on as they were. 40 is not old. More and more, women are waiting to have children. Not out of desperation. Not out of some misguided need to fulfill some biological imperative. But because people are marrying and starting families later in life than they used to in decades past. And men and women often want to attain some individual success and become more financially stable before deciding to share a life with someone, and subsequently (or the other way around) creating a new life. Even more, modern medicine allows women to have far safer pregnancies and give birth to perfectly healthy children at 40 and even older than that. Even if someone has 3 or 4 children already, there is nothing wrong with bringing another child into your family if you can both love and care for it. I celebrate every step of Booth and Brennan’s journey. They got together later, and began having children a bit later than what is “usual.” But they have so much love to give. And they are wonderful parents to their children. Any possible future child would be nothing but lucky to be a part of their family. This is also not to say that it will happen. The beauty of life is that it’s their choice. Someone else may make a different choice for her own life. And that is okay. I loved this moment. And I love that the ever-rational Dr. Temperance Brennan is leaving it somewhat up to chance.
Upon arriving at the FBI, Booth and Brennan see Barbara conversing with someone Booth presumes to be her daughter. Aubrey informs them that the victim hired the private investigator to track down Barbara’s daughter, and paid him with the money he received in exchange for his medication. Brennan is confused. She was under the impression that the victim was scamming her.
He was. But things changed.
The unexpected happened. He fell in love.
And Booth and Brennan exchange one of those long loving looks that the two of them do best. The look that hooked me right from the beginning, and the one that has only grown more powerful throughout the years. This scene really strikes a chord. The story is obviously not a direct parallel to these characters’. There was no scamming or swindling in Booth and Brennan’s story, though I suppose there was a bit of blackmailing. But neither of them are living the life they expected. When Booth met Brennan, something changed in him. Yes, he knew right from the beginning. He knew there was something special about this person. He knew he had to work with her. And he knew he had to get his act together. But I don’t think he knew that they would end up where they are now. It was completely unexpected. Well, meeting her was entirely unexpected. Booth fell in love. And he fell hard. He can surely relate to the victim in that sense. Booth was gambling at the time he met Brennan. And he changed his life. The victim was something of a crook. But instead of scamming Barbara, he used the money from the sale of his medication to help her find her daughter. So that she wouldn’t be alone in this world. Booth can only smile. He knows what it is to be altered by love. And Brennan does as well. They are an incredibly beautiful story. My heart is so full because of them. And at the same time, they also figuratively kill me with those looks. Love leaves scars. And not all scars are bad. These two are now inextricably linked for life. If you told either of them 10 years ago that they would end up in this exact place- they would probably laugh in your face. Actually, Booth would secretly hope it was true. And Brennan would be unable to discern her jumbled feelings and thus, would have probably run off to Guatemala. But here they are. And they are perfection.
I have no idea what to expect out of the next episode. We had two weeks to catch our breath a bit. But we have already seen that 12×04 will likely (metaphorically) rip our hearts from our chest. I am scared, but in a good way. Scared- because I hate seeing these characters in pain. But I am more excited than anything. Because the story will be good. Or perhaps it’s just because I am something of a masochist? Who can say. Either way, it will be brilliant. As usual.