Bones: The Couple in the Cave

This week on Bones: A weirdly mismatched couple is found dead in a cave. Not that that’s a metaphor or anything …

In the Mystery of the Week, hikers in a national park take shelter in a cave and find the remains of a man and woman in their late twenties or thirties. Early examination suggests that they were bludgeoned to death, and that they died holding each other, as though he couldn’t let her go. From the pollen count, Hodgins places the time of death at two weeks prior to discovery, and Angela’s drawings reveal that the male victim looks uncannily like George Clooney, which becomes a running joke throughout the episode. The female victim, however, is a woman named Hillary Fuller whose boss filed a missing persons report when she disappeared. The boss admits that he was interested in Hillary and took her to lunch a few times, but swears he was fine with it when she “put on the brakes.” Booth, of course, suspects him anyway.

Meanwhile, an over-friendly park ranger named Gary Nesbitt is trying to bond with Booth over their shared military background, and perhaps to leverage that bond into a job with the FBI. He tells Booth and Brennan about a murder in the park ten years earlier, when a squatter who didn’t believe in the federal government beat a camper to death for “trespassing.” It turns out that this man, Winston Hinkle, has a history of mental illness and was released from prison just days before the murders. He tells Booth and Sweets that he’s innocent, and Sweets is inclined to believe him but fears that his psych meds could be masking a lie.

Hodgins finds aphid eggs in the remains and concludes that the victims had been in a cabin in another part of the park. At the cabin, the team finds the initials HF and FV carved in a heart, which suggests a romantic relationship between Hillary and the other victim. Forensic evidence suggests that the mysterious FV was a migrant worker from Guatemala who picked tobacco, and everyone (except Booth, who is on the “love conquers all” bandwagon) is puzzled by how he would have met and connected with a professional like Hillary. Investigation into their bone density provides a connection: they were both alcoholics, and Hillary stopped drinking two years ago but the man less than a year ago. Booth concludes that they must have met at AA and soon finds their meeting, where FV finally gets a name: Felix. Other members confirm that Hillary was Felix’s sponsor but that the relationship had turned romantic, and one suggests that Felix’s girlfriend Lupe was jealous.

When the team tracks down Lupe, they find that she’s oddly unconcerned – she claims that she just assumed Felix ran off with Hillary, so she didn’t report him as missing. She also says that her allergies would prevent her from going into the woods, but Hodgins finds residue on her car’s tires that proves she was there. Edison, meanwhile, figures out that the victims weren’t bludgeoned after all – they fell onto rock, and she broke his fall so his injuries weren’t as bad. Booth and Brennan find the vista point from which they fell, and conclude that it’s isolated enough that someone could have pushed them off the cliff without being caught. The team tests Lupe’s allergies by exposing her to various plants found in the park, and determine that she is in fact allergic; she admits that she followed Felix and Hillary but insists that she left when her allergies got bad.

Cam finds the clue that puts it all together: the tissue around Felix’s eyes was untouched by scavengers because it was full of strong pepper spray – like the kind the government gives to park rangers. A little digging turns up the fact that Felix had been arrested for buying liquor for a minor, who then drove drunk and died in a car crash. That minor? The niece of park ranger Gary Nesbitt. He quickly confesses, because he’s convinced that he did the right thing and expects Booth to agree with his version of justice. Of course, we all know better, and Booth arrests the murderer.

The Booth and Brennan drama is all Hannah-centric this week. At the beginning of the episode, Brennan suggests that the fact that Booth left Hannah to go back to D.C. suggests that he didn’t really love her, but then Hannah herself shows up at the diner to surprise Booth. She has requested a transfer to the Washington press corps in order to be closer to him, even though he worries that it won’t be exciting enough for her. The whole team watches Hannah’s tapes and is simultaneously impressed by her looks and concerned about Brennan. Cam tells Brennan she assumed that Booth and Brennan would be a couple when they got back, while Angela insists that they were a couple; they just weren’t having sex. Even Edison, the stickler for professional behavior, gets into the act. Hodgins just thinks Hannah is hot and is thrilled when she is interested in his conspiracy theories.

In the midst of all of this, Brennan insists that everything is fine: she’s alone, just like she always expected. No one believes that she’s okay, though, because she’s inexplicably hard on Edison for reasons that clearly have more to do with her own personal turmoil than with his work. She admits that she imagined herself with Booth while they were away, but claims that such a relationship would never actually work because they are too mismatched, like this week’s murder victims. This mismatch is framed in yet another way at the end of the episode: Booth says that love is thinking of someone before yourself, while Brennan won’t accept this because survival is the human imperative. Meanwhile, Booth insists that he’s happy with Hannah, even though Sweets thinks that Booth is weirdly self-conscious while talking to her on the phone and may not be as happy as he claims. Incidentally, the story of how Booth and Hannah met is rather different this week than it was last week – is this on purpose? (Last week, Booth said they met when he arrested her, and this week Hannah says they met when he saved her life.) Hannah, for her part, is bending over backwards to be friendly to Brennan, even going so far as to suggest a girls’ night out. She finally admits that she’s jealous of Booth and Brennan, but she says that what makes her jealous is not their relationship but rather the action they see when they solve murders. A hint of trouble in paradise, perhaps?

This episode was heavy on the Booth/Brennan/Hannah triangle, so the supporting characters had less to do. Daisy isn’t in this episode, but Sweets is still trying to decide what to do about their relationship. For now, he claims that they have no commitment or obligations to each other and are just enjoying “riding that wave.” Cam doesn’t have much plot of her own in this episode, but she continues figuring out how to balance her team’s professional activities with their sometimes fraught and intertwined personal lives. She and Hodgins had the exchange of the episode: Hodgins: “You know, you could be my lovely assistant.” Cam: “Yes, but since I’m your boss, you’re my lovely assistant.” Angela and Hodgins continue to be adorable about their unborn baby in this episode, although I’m pretty sure they still haven’t told anyone but Brennan. Hodgins is rather taken by Hannah – both her looks and her readiness to discuss his conspiracy theories – and Angela has fun teasing him about it, but it doesn’t actually lead to any problems between them. After all the angst, it’s nice seeing them so happy. The Rotating Intern of the week is Clark Edison, who returned because he was passed over for promotion in Chicago. Edison is the one who always wants to keep things professional, but even he can’t help but be dragged into the Booth/Brennan drama. He is perhaps standing in for the fans when he gives an uncharacteristically long monologue on how he can’t understand why Booth and Brennan don’t just rip each others’ clothes off. We’re all with you there, buddy.

Photo Courtesy of FOX

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