I think what I’m feeling after this Bones episode is something akin to what Booth feels when he gambles: a guilty rush. There’s no pleasure in watching Booth relapse, especially as the team worries around him, but there is some excitement in watching this 10-year-old show prove that it’s still got it. The joy of Brennan’s second pregnancy is undercut with such tense precision as Booth goes undercover in the world that dragged him into addiction before he met her. Why did this week’s victim have to be a gambler?
But even with the case as a convenient excuse, the decision to put his gambling sobriety on the line is Booth’s alone, and he is all too ready to risk it. Brennan, by way of Sweets’ writing, is right: A happy life change can be a trigger, too. They’re having another baby! Emily Deschanel’s ill-fitted blazers rejoice. The revelation is a joyful one—Booth literally somersaults across the bed, and Brennan, whose priorities are in line, cheers that she can keep eating cookies. We’re supposed to believe that Brennan’s blazers have been tight lately because she’s developed a sweet tooth, which is the only aspect of this episode that doesn’t land. It’s weirdly insulting to both actress and character, not to mention an unnecessary retcon. We already know she’s pregnant. It’s fine.
Booth and Brennan decide to keep the news quiet for now, because what goes on between them should just be theirs, but they can’t hide their good moods. Booth shows up at the crime scene with coffee for everyone. Brennan, meanwhile, compliments intern-of-the-week Jessica for having knowledge that she would normally expect of any intern, which prompts Angela to pull her aside and ask for a hug. The sore boobs have it. Angela promises not to tell anyone, but that doesn’t mean they won’t figure it out.
Has any group of coworkers ever been worse at keeping secrets? They know each other too well. When Booth wants to join the underground poker game that their victim, Jeff Dover, frequented, even Aubrey knows it’s a bad idea. Sweets said in his notes that Booth gambles to cope with trauma: “You’ve been shot multiple times since then, you spent three months in prison, and your best friend died in your arms. Isn’t that enough trauma for you?” This is personal for Aubrey too; he watched his dad’s addiction to the stock market destroy his family. He also likes Booth and asserts that he would take a bullet for him. It’s official: Aubrey can stay.
Booth says all of the right things to everyone. He tells Aubrey that addiction is never the loved ones’ fault. He tells Brennan that he’s in a better place now. He says that he wants to find justice for a fellow addict—and since Dover got into gambling after his wife and daughter were killed, that no doubt hits home for him, too. The line between Booth and the dead body in the lab is a thin one tonight, and they all know it. The difference is that Booth is willing to take the risk. The difference, essentially, is that Booth is a gambler.
And he’s good at it. Ignoring everyone’s warnings, Booth calls up his old bookie, Jason Samuels, and gets a spot at the poker table. Of course gambling would be his vice. Booth can talk his way out of anything and bond with anyone. He reads people. By the time he gets home from the game, he’s already in deep, and he gets defensive with Brennan when she asks if he’s talked to his sponsor. Booth resents the idea that he could relapse because of her pregnancy, asking Brennan if that’s how little she thinks of him. “No, Booth,” Brennan shoots back, “that’s how much I love you.”
NEXT: Not a bad piece of ash[pagebreak]
Hodgins finds evidence on the bones that leads them to the murder site—a back alley near the poker game—but they still don’t have a lead on the killer, so Booth decides to go back to the game, bring up the murder, and see who reacts. To get him out of there as quickly as possible, Brennan and the team cut a few corners. Angela hacks into the players’ financial records, which reveal that Nate “Mid-Life” Stowe is completely broke. He’s also a baseball coach, and the splinters of wood on the body are from a baseball bat. Nate killed Dover for his winnings so he wouldn’t lose his house.
Brennan texts Booth that they’ve got enough evidence to make the arrest. Booth is sitting on a big hand, but he walks away, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief as they watch through the monitor. He did it. He chose a life of making pancakes (and broccoli, with ketchup) for his pregnant wife while their eavesdropping daughter figures out that she’s going to be a big sister. Secrets do not last on this show. But Booth is determined to try anyway—he says he’s taking a call from his sponsor, but it’s actually Jason. Booth asks his bookie to put $200 down on the Cardinals. Here we go.
Bits and pieces:
- Sweets got so many mentions tonight, as if this episode weren’t sad enough already.
- There’s a great moment of understanding between Brennan and Hodgins when she asks him to hurry with the evidence. Brennan wants Booth out of that poker game, and Hodgins doesn’t have to be told why. “Like the wind, Dr. B.”
- Should we also be worried by Angela’s uncharacteristic good cheer? She doesn’t make a single comment about how gross the dead body is. She actually calls it cool. What is going on here?
- “I mean, since my work is my life, in essence everything I do is for the Jeffersonian.”
- Hodgins has a new source of income, and it’s all thanks to Jessica. When she points out that he should invent an unbreakable glass beaker, he does the next best thing and invents a floor mat to keep them from breaking. Commence late-night science without fear of waking the kid.
- I love that Hodgins dedicates every discovery to Angela.
- “It was the kitchen floor night, after the bottle of Brunello.” Moment of silence for all of the nights between Booth and Brennan that we don’t get to see.
- “I don’t know what that means.”