Bones: The Blackout in the Blizzard

It’s finally getting to be spring in most of North America, but we’re back to winter with the most recent episode of Bones! A blizzard means that Booth and Brennan spend most of the episode stuck in an elevator, which clearly isn’t symbolic of anything at all.

In the Mystery of the Week, a body is found near an overpass and brought to the lab immediately because otherwise it would be covered in snow by the developing blizzard. Hodgins and Wendell determine that the victim was female, in her late 20s or early 30s, and had been dead for twelve days. There’s a lot of blood on her clothes, an unrecognizable tick on her body, and a dead cell phone in her pocket. When Hodgins IDs the tick, he realizes that the victim had Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, but that wasn’t the cause of death – she was strangled. But she might have infected her killer, so they need to find the killer before he or she starts an epidemic. The disease had to be contracted overseas, but the victim’s bone structure shows she was part Native American, so she had probably traveled recently. Unfortunately, there’s no match in missing persons or passport control.

Over the phone from where she’s stuck in an elevator with Booth (more on that later), Brennan instructs Wendell on how to do an X-ray without electricity (with the help of a journal article), and the resulting X-ray shows something embedded in the bone. Booth recognizes it as shrapnel from an explosion about four years ago. Wendell and Hodgins identify the material as blown-up coins, possibly from an IED. Hodgins rigs something up from various history exhibits to help him figure out the composition of the coins, and it turns out that they’re Russian rubles. Booth theorizes that the explosion was in Chechnya, where they put Russian currency in explosives as a sign of protest, and suggests looking for news coverage of an American blown up there. Cam gets the newspapers on microfiche from the relevant time, and Angela scans through and finds the victim – an American aid worker named Ann Marie Weston, who had recently been traveling back and forth from Albania. Wendell sees injuries on Weston’s arm bones, and Brennan has him do a test with dye to make the injuries clearer. There are scratches as though from broken glass, but also bigger gouges in a regular pattern, and Booth suggests that these are from the wires in security glass.

Angela gets the SIM card from Weston’s phone, but it won’t fit in anyone else’s, so she needs a way to provide gradual power to the dead phone. Wendell hooks potatoes together to make a battery that powers the phone for a minute or so, and Angela manages to copy the call history. There are only incoming calls on the phone, and when Sweets finds out that Weston was working to help victims of human trafficking, they surmise that the phone may have been a dedicated line for women who needed help. They find the location of a call made around the time of death, but the police can’t get there because of the snow. Booth and Brennan finally make it out of the elevator and go to the address, where they find windows with security glass consistent with Weston’s images – and one of them is broken. They see scared-looking girls inside, but when Booth tries to talk to them, a man hears him and comes out to scare Booth and Brennan off. He’s clearly infected with the fever, and when he goes after Booth, Brennan knocks him out. It turns out that he’s Tariq Grazdani, a human trafficker, and the girls he was holding in the building witnessed him kill Weston.

Booth and Brennan start the episode at the diner with Sweets. Booth sees someone throwing out stadium seats from The Vet and makes the others help him get them home, but when the power goes out, he and Brennan get stuck in his building’s elevator – with the seats. (It’s a cage-style elevator, so Sweets can talk to them and pass them things.) Brennan gets mad at Booth that they’re stuck because of the chairs he wanted. She tries to climb up to the ceiling to get them out, but can’t open the ceiling panel because the chairs are blocking it. They both fall, and Booth hurts his back. Sweets, taking advantage of his captive audience, suggests that they resume therapy, but Booth yells at him and tells him to never mention Hannah again. About his relationship with Brennan, Booth says “The past is the past” and “It is over.” Oof. Once Sweets leaves, Booth finally tells Brennan why the stadium seats are so important to him: he went to a World Series game with his father in that stadium, in a two-week span when his father had stopped drinking, and it was the best day of his life. In other words, yes, the object that has them literally stuck in an elevator is a metaphor for Booth’s emotional baggage. Anyway, they agree that they should discuss their relationship at some point, and do discuss it a little then: Brennan rather hilariously gives the reasons why she always assumed the sex would be good, but Booth is clearly thinking more about love than sex. Will this cause problems? Hm. Booth eventually accepts that they need to break the chairs apart in order to get out of the elevator.

After the case is solved, Booth and Brennan sit in the stadium seats in Booth’s apartment and eat popcorn and hot dogs. He admits that he’s angry – just in general, not really at her – and needs time before he gets into a relationship. But then, he says, he wants “love and life and happiness” with Brennan. For her part, Brennan explains how impervious things don’t need strength, because nothing can affect them. When they met, she was impervious, but now she’s getting stronger, so at some point she’ll be willing to give up the last of her imperviousness and risk a real relationship. Booth suggests that they each write down a date on which they guess they’ll be ready to be together and then burn the paper in the candle flame, because that’s what he did with wishes when he was a child. Brennan clearly thinks this is a little silly but goes along with it, and Booth totally sneaks a peek at her paper before she burns it. What dates do you all think they guessed?

All the Booth/Brennan relationship drama notwithstanding, Hodgins and Angela steal the show with a dramatic pregnancy storyline this week. At the beginning of the episode, Angela is worried because she’s an LCA carrier, and if Hodgins is too, there’s a 25% chance their baby will be blind. Hodgins’s results are delayed because of the blackout, and he annoys Angela by insisting that everything will be fine, but when he refuses to give up his cell phone to one of her experiments (because he doesn’t want to miss the doctor’s call), she realizes that he’s worried too. It turns out that he is a carrier, and T.J. Thyne does a wonderful job here, showing Hodgins quietly falling apart as he works. He confesses to Wendell that he’s afraid Angela will hate him, but Wendell talks him down. Eventually, Hodgins tricks Angela into being less freaked out about the odds by talking about taking up the piano so he and the baby can do that together instead of looking through microscopes, and they end the episode by agreeing that they can handle anything together. Awww.

Poor Sweets spends the episode going back and forth between the elevator, where he tries to make Booth and Brennan talk about their relationship, and Booth’s neighbor’s apartment, where he tries to teach her to communicate with her adult daughter. Meanwhile, Cam is at the lab trying to coordinate things over the phone with Brennan and keep Hodgins’ and Wendell’s crazy experiments under control.

Our Rotating Intern is Wendell, who becomes involved in the drama with Hodgins and Angela when he overhears Hodgins on the phone with the doctor’s office. He turns out to be an exceptional friend in this situation – he’s eager to be supportive but also willing to give them their space and privacy. Given the history of his romantic entanglement with Angela and hostile relationship with Hodgins, it was great to see him and Hodgins come together and act like real friends here.

Next time: Dismembered feet! Um, fun? Ooh, and a body farm!

Photo Courtesy of FOX

One thought on “Bones: The Blackout in the Blizzard

  1. I could’t quite figure out why stadium seats from Philadelphia were found in D.C. Also, I assume that Booth’s speaking about his dad means that that story arc will re-emerge, since we know that Bones has info about Seeley’s father that she is supposed to pass along at some point.

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