This is it, everyone: We could now officially build a skeleton entirely out of Bones episodes. And the show’s 206th installment is significant not just because that’s the number of bones in the human body, but because it marks Bones as 20th Century Fox Television’s longest-running one-hour drama. Milestones all around!
It’s fitting that the landmark hour should revolve around the Royal Diner, which is such a reliable background player on the show that my mom and I once muttered, “There’s that diner,” in unison at the start of a scene. (Genetics is a terrifying science.) Bones is always celebrating the overlooked—and occasionally suggesting that we overlook not what’s unremarkable, but what we’re not ready to face. Like Booth’s gambling relapse. Or, in the case of this week’s murder, a celebrity chef with a long list of vices.
TV personality Chili Reuben, of the hit show Gettin’ Spicy with Chili Reuben, is found murdered at a fitness boot camp. If you hear “Chili Reuben” and think “Guy Fieri doppelganger,” you are correct. Chili was the kind of celebrity chef whose job entailed going from diner to diner and eating a pizza slice on top of a burger, so he was basically Aubrey’s hero. He was also responsible for giving the Royal Diner a bad review. The thought that anyone who serves them food could be responsible for murder throws the team into such an existential panic that Cam calls in reinforcements. (“Not that our history with the diner would affect our ability to remain impartial.”)
Unpleasant though the task may be, Booth and Brennan put their free refill privileges on the line to question chef Frankie, who’s got a temper, and waitress Joanne, who had sex with Chili in the back of his Spice Mobile. (I literally could not make up anything on this show if I tried.) He might have spent his onscreen life dipping chicken wings into waffle-flavored ice cream, but when the camera wasn’t rolling, Chili preferred sleeping with waitresses, getting into bar fights, and ordering his staff to score him some crank. Or at least, that’s what sound guy Kenneth Morton says when they catch him on film pawning Chili’s signature earring.
Though Chili had no drugs in his system, the team does find evidence in his body that he was a habitual user. His producer, Sid, says that he tried to force Chili into rehab—and Chili responded by rolling out of a moving van. The night he was murdered, he got into a fight with a bartender who tried to take his keys. But for everything he did that could have killed him, Chili was murdered for what didn’t kill him—for the fact that he found a way to keep living despite obvious disregard for his own life.
The celebrity chef managed to get two organ transplants while Morton’s mother waited for a new kidney; she never got one, and she’s dying because of it. When Chili showed up in Morton’s hotel room, angry that his sound guy hadn’t found him any crank, he slipped, and Morton took the opportunity to drown him in the bathtub. Then he dumped the body and paid his mom a visit. Probably not at “that diner.”
NEXT: Mo’ money fewer problems [pagebreak]
The Royal Diner remains, as ever, a no-murderer zone—and, even better, neither Frankie nor Joanne hold anything against our team. How could they, when business has been booming since word got out about the case? With the diner back on their good side, Booth and Brennan can get back to business as usual—writing raps about the skeletal system.
Christine is learning about backbones that connect to “chest bones” in school, and that can’t stand. For the sake of her daughter’s education (and for the sake of giving all 206 bones a shout-out in the 206th episode), Brennan takes it upon herself to write an anatomically correct song. With an assist from Clark, it actually turns out to be pretty catchy. All it’s missing is a reference to dancing phalanges.
But not all is well in Booth and Brennan’s household. Booth’s gambling relapse, never vocalized, still looms in the background of the episode. He gets a little too excited about a text. He buys Brennan an expensive necklace. He loses his Gamblers Anonymous sobriety chip in the laundry. The lying is upsetting, but I’m encouraged to know that this story hasn’t just been dropped until the next Special Episode. Addiction is a serious and pervasive problem, and it’s going to require some follow-through on the show’s part. I’m not sure that I believe that Booth would really be so good at continuing to function like nothing is wrong, but Brennan does pick up on his discomfort when she hands him his sobriety chip. David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel throw just the right amount of unease into their relationship—Booth and Brennan are almost all right, but they’re not. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Bits and pieces:
- How long has it been since a non-serial killer episode opened with a “Previously on Bones” segment? This is how you know it’s getting serious.
- Arastoo is still in Iran to care for his sick brother, and despite his repeated insistence that he’s fine, Cam is on edge. Everyone offers words of encouragement except Brennan, who tells it like it is: “Arastoo loves you, Cam, whether or not you marry him. That’s why he didn’t want you to go with him. I would have done the same thing.” Brennan is so good at taking the most unsettling truths and finding comfort in them.
- Hodgins has already sold his honeycomb rubber invention, so he and Angela are about to be extravagantly rich again. Hodgins: “I don’t know why I’m so excited because it’s not like I’ve never been rich before!”
- Looks like we’ve found a new reason for Angela to question her career. She doesn’t need this paycheck anymore.
- Cam is thrilled to know that Hodgins and Angela are making money that would have gone to the Jeffersonian—for once, something happy came from her need to follow the the rules. Does Cam ever dream about just setting fire to every rulebook in existence?
- Are we still pretending that no one knows about Brennan’s pregnancy?
- “I bet this was delicious once.”
- “If the shoe fits your metatarsals, then you might be Cinderella.”