Bones: The Body in the Bag

“The Body in the Bag” had one of the most disgusting corpses this show has ever had, and for Bones, that’s saying something …

The Mystery of the Week begins when Brody Mannings finds a body in the shower of his young socialite girlfriend, Paisley Johnston. The body is particularly disfigured because of the water pressure: the shower has been on for three days at 105 degrees. Because the victim is female and in her early to mid-twenties, the team assumes it’s Johnston. The cause of death is an epidermal hematoma from a fracture that caused the facial bones to fragment; the initial examination also shows that the victim had mild scoliosis. Booth looks into Johnston’s financials and finds that she was a big shopper, but nothing suspicious turns up. Sweets has more luck with her social networking account: Johnston has uploaded so many pictures of herself that Sweets thinks she may have narcissistic personality disorder, and many of these pictures include her chinchilla, Chichi. Johnston had lots of admirers but only interacted directly with one Nicole Twist, with whom she exchanged hundreds of messages for months until a fight four days before. When they bring her in for questioning, Twist says they fought because Johnston gave her a fake Chanel purse, and Twist was arrested when she tried to exchange it. Twist was humiliated and wanted revenge – but says she got this revenge by defriending Johnston on the social networking site, not by killing her.

The squints’ examination of the skeleton soon reveals that although the victim was 5’4″, like Johnston, her femur measurement was off, and suggests that she was actually of Asian descent. When Hodgins snakes the shower’s drain, he finds a paper with Chinese writing in with the hair and bone fragments. Angela enhances the writing and Brennan identifies it as a Daoist charm designed to cure bone ailments, probably used for the victim’s scoliosis; it was in the shower because the victim had it pasted to the affected area of her body. This charm leads to an apothecary named Ming Tsou who identifies the victim as his fiancee Jenny Yang. He hadn’t seen her in a week, but hadn’t reported her missing because they’d had a fight. He thought she was trying to be American and turning her back on traditions that were important to him, but he swears that he just wanted her to be happy, and didn’t kill her. Specifically, he says that Yang was trying to be part of Johnston’s crowd, and that she met Johnston at the restaurant where she (Yang) worked. Tsou tells them to look for Mama Liu at the restaurant. Mama Liu shows Booth and Brennan to a storeroom full of counterfeit bags – and her operation is busted by the police while they’re there. The investigator, Eric Anderson, says that Yang was the one who tipped them off. Mama Liu tries to bribe Booth and Anderson, but seems honestly shocked that Yang was murdered. She tells them that Yang had gone to Johnston’s house to collect money Johnston owed them for purses, and that “she tried to be white. That’s what killed her.”

Meanwhile, Sweets discovers a few more clues in Johnston’s social networking history: Johnston had ignored a friend request from Yang, and she had had Chichi the chinchilla “lojacked.” This lets them track down Johnston herself – she had been missing because of an overdose. Johnston claims that she barely knew Yang, but that Yang knew where she kept her key. Booth tells Johnston that they found a small electronic device under her mattress, and … you know, I don’t think this is ever actually explained. (Did anyone else catch an explanation?) Johnston thinks Booth is talking about the teddy bear cam that her boyfriend used to spy on her, but Booth says they didn’t find a teddy bear or camera. Back in the lab, the team figures out that Yang was killed by a very violent blow to the back of the skull, but that the weapon must have been smashed upward into her skull in a really unlikely way. It turns out that Jenny was actually picked up and smashed downward onto a shower nozzle. Mama Liu, for her part, has an alibi – she was in New York, and turns in her supplier to Anderson, giving him an even bigger bust.

Mannings shows up with the teddy bear cam and says that he doesn’t care that Johnston was sleeping with other men – he’s just happy she’s alive. The camera has recorded Yang having sex on the night of the murder, but the video doesn’t show the man’s face. Rhinoceros horn is found with the remains, and Brennan tells the team that it’s a male aphrodisiac that Ming Tsou sells. Tsou claims he actually gave it to Yang to “cool her spirits,” and Brennan can tell from his leg measurements that he’s not the man on the tape. Angela makes a composite image of the man’s face from bits of images in various reflective surfaces in the room, and it reveals that the killer is Eric Anderson, the detective who made the counterfeit purse bust. He tells Booth that he made a mistake by sleeping with an informant, but denies killing her until Booth shows him the facial reconstruction and an arrest warrant. Anderson eventually tells Booth that Yang wanted him to arrest Johnston instead of Mama Liu, and threatened to tell his boss about their affair. In order to protect his job and marriage, Anderson killed Yang and ran, without even turning off the shower.

Thanks to Brennan‘s declaration to Booth in the previous episode, the dynamic between the two of them and Hannah became even more complex this week. Booth tells Sweets what Brennan said and asks for advice, but Sweets suggests that Booth doesn’t want to tell Hannah about it because he actually still has feelings for Brennan. Booth denies this and tells Hannah about the conversation with Brennan, but swears that his feelings are all in the past. Hannah seems a little upset but says she’s glad Booth told her. She’s mostly concerned about Brennan figuring out that she knows, so she starts cancelling plans that they’ve made together. It takes Angela to point out to Brennan that Hannah is avoiding her because she’s embarrassed about keeping something from her, and Angela advises Brennan to get Hannah to tell her what’s wrong in order to maintain their friendship. So Brennan intercepts Hannah on her way to the White House and Hannah eventually tells her what’s going on. Brennan is upsets that Booth told Hannah, because she didn’t want to hurt her friend, but they’re both committed to being friends. They meet up for a drink later and agree that Brennan should try to move on, but the guy they think is hitting on Brennan is actually trying to pick them both up for a threesome. They’re shocked, because it’s not like the same man would tend to be interested in both of them or anything! I know some fans are upset about the way things are progressing with Hannah, but I actually like it: all the characters are really trying to act like adults, and it’s refreshing.

Sweets didn’t get much of his own plotline this episode (and Daisy was absent), because most of what he had to do was comment on the Booth/Brennan/Hannah issue. In a cute moment at the beginning of the episode, though, we learn that he listens to (and sings along with) “Coconut” at the gym, where Booth tells him “Treadmills are for mice.”

Hodgins and Angela continue to be generally adorable as they prepare for parenthood, and we get to see the baby during a DIY ultrasound at the end of the episode. Angela loves Paisley’s house and neighborhood, and it prompts her to confess to Hodgins that she’d rather raise their baby in a real neighborhood instead of a secluded estate, and that she wants to make their own history in their own place. Hodgins seems somewhat less than thrilled with this idea at first (which seems odd given how much he usually tries to ignore his wealth), but by the end of the episode he buys Paisley’s house for Angela.

The Rotating Intern is Clark Edison, who had previously asked for a more professionally detached workplace. He has seen the error of his ways – to the point of asking all sorts of intrusive questions and making Cam and Hodgins, at least, deeply uncomfortable. He also starts volunteering information about himself: he has nine siblings and thinks he has abandonment issues because his parents traveled a lot. He tells Hodgins that he briefly worked for the NSA, and Hodgins, of course, becomes highly suspicious. Edison also continues the practice of having the intern act as a sort of Greek chorus (or stand-in for the audience) on the subject of Booth, Brennan, and Hannah: he comments that “the potential emotional fallout could be cataclysmic,” but that his “money’s on Doctor B and Booth.”

Next week we’re in for a dramatic episode: the Gravedigger is shot by a sniper at the courthouse, and the team must figure out what’s going on and whether they’re in danger.

Photo Courtesy of FOX

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