Lace up your skates and prepare for bruises — Bones is getting back on the ice. It’s been more than seven seasons since a case took Booth and Brennan to the ice hockey rink, with adorable results. A lot has changed over the years… Brennan knows the difference between a goal and a basket now, so Booth can count that as a victory. There’s also the small matter of the two kids they didn’t have back then. Hank and Christine are growing, and Booth and Brennan need to find a way to make room for their futures without losing track of the past — because despite all the rough days, the past is also when he took her hand on the ice and told her he wouldn’t let her fall. They can’t lose that.
Booth and Brennan are doing their best to declutter their house when a body turns up in the Anacostia River. Without a head to work with, the team is lost on an ID until Booth gets involved. You read that right: Whether he likes it or not, Booth is an honorary squint tonight. He knows a hockey injury when he hears one. The body belongs to Seth Lang, a seven-time all-star hockey player currently on the roster of a local team. (Please enjoy the nonspecific jerseys emblazoned with “SK8” and a club from a deck of cards.)
The team’s previous owner, Jerry Stober, died last year, leaving his young wife Katie to run the show. Katie, who makes a big display of how frazzled she still is a year later, directs Booth to the head coach, hockey legend Jeremy Roenick. Booth lights up: “J.R.!” He acts like he was waiting for permission to talk to Roenick, but it’s safe to say Booth was going to make that conversation happen no matter what. When Katie jokes that Booth should put on some skates and interrupt practice, Brennan sighs — and doesn’t stop sighing until another seven seasons have passed. Booth doesn’t need that kind of encouragement.
Booth would bring his skates to an interrogation, wouldn’t he? Our favorite government-employed hockey enthusiast slides up to Roenick on the ice and asks if anyone had issues with Lang. The coach offers up Drew Poppleton, an enforcer. Drew’s whole job was to guard Lang, but Lang thought he slowed them down; he wanted Drew gone. Aubrey interrogates Drew while Booth takes a shot on goal to help a player win a bet. (Booth! That’s gambling-adjacent behavior!) His priorities have always been in line. As for Drew, he’s pretty dim, but he says he wasn’t worried about losing his job. Plenty of other teams are interested.
The records at Lang’s gated neighborhood show he was visited three nights in a row by equipment manager Daryl Patterson, who happens to have history with Booth. (Booth. Knows. Everyone.) Daryl played hockey opposite Booth in high school, and Booth won the championship on a goal that some (just Daryl, really) might call controversial. This guy can’t let it go. He tries to hold his own alibi over the FBI’s head in exchange for a rematch, which is a stunning combination of illegal and clueless.
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Daryl explains he was setting up an infinity rink, sort of like an ice-skating treadmill, which sounds cooler than either ice skating or treadmills have ever sounded on their own. He leaves out the fact that he was selling Lang’s gear on eBay, but only because he didn’t steal it; Lang gave him permission. Katie slashed the budget and cut salaries, so Lang worked out a way for Daryl to make extra cash on the side. There goes Katie’s public image. She isn’t nearly as “scatterbrained” as she’d like people to believe, and she’s been tanking the team on purpose in order to move it to a bigger market, which could net her hundreds of millions of dollars.
NEXT: Game of drones