This week’s Bones was barely about the supposed A plot – the mystery – and instead put all its energy into the B plot – Booth and Hannah’s split. So the Mystery of the Week was a little thin …
The body of a male in his early twenties is found on the roof of a warehouse in the navy yards, devoured by an aggressive mold. There’s a dent on the roof where the victim was dropped, and a trail of blood shows he was dragged behind an air conditioner. The door to the stairs was locked from the inside, so it’s unclear how the victim got onto the roof (or how the killer got on or off). When they get the body back to the lab, they discover fractures on almost every bone; some are recent and some are up to two years old. Hodgins discovers that the mold – dog vomit slime mold, to be precise – came to the rooftop on the victim, and the A/C runoff combined with the heat made it spread so aggressively. Also in the mold: bedbugs, which Hodgins tracks to three motels with recent outbreaks. One gave their discarded mattresses to BMX bikers to use as soft landing material.
Angela creates a likeness of the victim and surmises that he’s a daredevil, which lines up nicely with the BMX connection. She goes to the bike park with Booth and Brennan, and sure enough, the infected mattresses are there. A guy at the desk named Pete claims not to recognize the victim, but another biker identifies him as Dustin Rottenberg. He tells them that Rottenberg was making videos of himself doing stunts because he was trying to get sponsorship, and one of his stunts involved jumping from roof to roof in the navy yards. Mechanical engineering student Staci admits to designing a ramp for him but says it wasn’t ready to use. She suggests someone might have killed him for his expensive bike, so Booth has an informant named Noel find the bike for him. It turns up at a hot dog stand, where the young man who has it tries to escape, but Booth brings him in. He says he found the bike between two building in the navy yards.
Meanwhile, Fisher determines that Rottenberg died from internal decapitation caused by blunt force trauma to the chin. Angela examines the bike, recreates the accident, and decides that this decapitation could not have been caused in the accident, so Rottenberg was definitely murdered. Hodgins and Fisher find a tooth in the mold, and they trace it back to a biker named Ty, but this is a big red herring, because Ty and Rottenberg had each others’ teeth as souvenirs of a big bike crash. The team talks to Staci again, and she thinks that Rottenberg made the jump from the ground to the roof using one of her designs, which she didn’t even think was possible. She tells them that someone would have had to tow him to get enough speed for that launch. Fisher finds threads of glass in the bone and the mold and decide they’re from the weapon – a fiberglass cast. Someone kicked the victim in the chin with a broken leg. They trace the cast to Pete at the bike park, who admits that he towed Rottenberg to help him with the stunt. After Rottenberg crashed on the roof, he was mad and he and Pete fought. Pete kicked him, and he died.
Now that we’ve dealt with the mediocre mystery, let’s get to the actual point of the episode. We’re going to start with Sweets, because it’s easier to explain this week’s giant subplot that way. He and Booth go out drinking, and he starts talking about how much he loves Daisy, and how he doesn’t want to be unmarried like Booth. He considers proposing (again), and though Booth at first says Sweets is too young to get married, by the end of the rather torturous conversations they’ve both convinced themselves to propose to their respective girlfriends. (Is Daisy even Sweets’s girlfriend at this point? Who knows.) They go to pick out rings together, and when the obnoxious jewelry store lady tells Sweets not to bother proposing with a less-than-gigantic ring, he backs out and says he’s not ready.
Booth, on the other hand, is upset by Sweets using him as a model of what NOT to be when he grows up, and goes through with proposing to Hannah. But she rejects him, saying that she’s not the marrying kind, which she has apparently told him many times (offscreen). She admits that she knows he is the marrying kind, but explains: “I thought we would have more time before we got to this.” On the face of it, that sounds like she thought she’d have more time before inevitably breaking Booth’s heart, which is not a very convincing excuse. But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she thought if they were together longer, Booth would be more okay with the level of commitment she was willing to provide and stop thinking marriage was so important. Anyway, she wants to forget he said anything and go back to how they were, but he won’t do that, and they break up. Hannah leaves, Booth throws the ring into the Potomac, and I start yelling at the TV, because that was an expensive ring, and Booth isn’t made of money. Seriously, sell it or give it to Sweets or something. Sheesh.
Booth heads to the Founding Fathers to get drunk, and Brennan meets him there because Hannah called her. (I know this call is controversial, but I thought it was perfectly correct of Hannah to call his best friend to check on him.) Booth doesn’t want to talk about it and insists that he’s just “done.” Rebecca, Brennan, and Hannah have all rejected him, and he’s angry. “What is it with women who just don’t want what I’m offering here?” Oh, Booth, honey. (I must note that Boreanaz is amazing in this scene. He and Deschanel both deserve meaty emotional scenes like this more often.) He ends by giving Brennan two options: if she stays and has a drink with him, they can be partners and make small talk and get a drink occasionally, but not be real friends or anything more. If she leaves, he’ll find her a new FBI guy.
Brennan: “Those are my only choices?”
Booth: “Yeah. Those are your only choices.”
Brennan: “Then I’ll have a drink.”
No one actually thought they were going to dissolve their partnership, but this scene was heartrending all the same. They’re going to have some serious work to do to repair their relationship now that Hannah is out of the picture and things are somewhat reset. I know Hannah had to go, but I wasn’t thrilled with how it happened: I’m afraid it will be hard to make it look like Brennan is anything but a consolation prize at this point, and I wanted Booth to realize that his relationship with Hannah wouldn’t work himself rather than being rejected. But the follow-up scene in the bar was amazing, so I can’t complain too much.
In light of all the crazy bike stunts in the episode, Angela starts worrying about her baby playing dangerous sports, which leads to a discussion with Hodgins about their wishes for their child’s future. Hodgins has all sorts of wild ideas – musician, astrophysicist, stand-up comedian, all of the above – but Angela thinks it would be nice if the child grew up to be a mad scientist like Hodgins. This … I don’t know, this is fine, and they’re still cute and everything, but I’m getting bored with the all-adorable-all-the-time. (Not that I want something bad to happen to the baby! I don’t!)
Cam apparently used up all her plot time last week, so she has little to do.
The Rotating Intern is Fisher, who is now using herbal tea and and a noise machine to make himself relaxed and productive while driving his coworkers insane.
Next week: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we have a wedding planner stabbed through heart – and maybe a new boyfriend for Brennan?
Photo Courtesy of FOX