Aca-believe this: Bones has never, in its nearly 11 complete seasons, tackled the world of a cappella. Competitive miniature golf: done. Civil war reenactments: been there. Small-business disputes between organic applesauce manufacturers: obviously. But glee clubs have waited patiently in the wings until now, impossible as that seems. This show lives for the exact sort of hyper-passionate subculture where people could conceivably kill each other over something called “nationals.”
Making the over-the-top hour even sweeter is the reveal that Aubrey sang a cappella in college. He tries not to let on, but he’s about as chill about this as I am when people talk about my favorite shows. Why even bother keeping quiet? Aubrey expects Booth to razz him mercilessly for his life choices, but he should know by now that no group is more accepting of your secrets than this one. Are you the sole heir to a multi-billion-dollar corporation? Cool. Did you film a B-list vampire movie for the money? Even better. Hodgins spends much of this hour bonding with a rat, so trust that this is a safe space for weird interests.
Scott Hill, director of prestigious Lynwood University’s equally prestigious a cappella group, the Whippersnaps, is found dead. Given the group’s competitive zeal, Scott’s fellow Whippersnaps are the obvious suspects — which is great because they’re every Glee caricature turned up to 11, and I never want to leave them. “What is it with you, Julian?” snaps new director, Jake. “You are pitchy, and your snapping looks like weird chicken claws.” Julian is not threatened: “At least I can keep my diva hand under control.” I’ve really been enjoying this season’s conscious effort to de-emphasize the quirk in favor of grounded character moments, but every now and then, there’s nothing like watching Bones go full-on ridiculous.
Asked for motive, Jake points to ex-Whippersnap Ian Johnson. Scott kicked Ian of the group a month ago, and Ian was so upset that he left Lynwood entirely. His voice was definitely not to blame; it’s like butter. Ian says that Scott was acting weird and keeping secrets before his death, so Aubrey turns to Scott’s music to uncover the truth: Scott was planning to bring a woman into the Whippersnaps. He’d been collaborating with Liz, a member of their all-female rival group, the Gingersnaps. That high G doesn’t lie.
Another Gingersnap, Esther, lands at the center of the investigation thanks to her work at Lynwood’s biomedical research lab. Scott and five other Whippersnaps tested positive for a strep-like infection last month, and Lynwood’s lab created the strain. Esther admits to putting a sample of the disease in her lip gloss and making out with some Whippersnaps — she wanted her group to get some good gigs for once — but she had no idea that Liz was planning to defect. It wouldn’t have worked anyway. The Whippersnaps’ bylaws prohibit women, and only Ian’s father, William, the head of their alumni foundation, can amend them. William isn’t signing. Esther should know; she’s tried.
The finger-pointing continues. William directs the FBI to Whippersnaps Julian and Ted, who were up for the role of director until Scott found out that they were buying term papers and blackmailed them. Julian and Ted have no alibi but each other — and, in Julian’s case, the inability to make it through Legally Blonde 2 without crying — but the ladder at Whipperspace (THAT’S ITS REAL NAME) doesn’t match the wood that caused Scott’s injuries. They’re off the hook.
In this noisy case, the killer is the quietest one: Scott’s roommate, McKay. Scott stole McKay’s anxiety medication and gave it to Julian to calm his nerves, which caused McKay to have a panic attack in the middle of a presentation for an astronomy fellowship. He lost the fellowship. Upset, McKay threw a piece of meteorite at Scott’s head. Scott lost his balance and grabbed a bookshelf, which toppled over and killed him. It was all an accident, aside from the whole “feeding him to the rats” thing.
NEXT: Ratted out