'Bones' recap: Goofy done right
This is what I want from a lighter episode of Bones: A fast pace, some fun for everyone, and Booth still wearing a suit. Thank you! So the team attended the wake of 50-year-old Jeffersonian colleague Hank, who died of heart failure from a congenital defect — or so we thought until Brennan attempted to pay her respects (to a fabulous Danny Elfman-esque soundtrack) and realized that he’d been murdered. Booth didn’t want to believe her because he has respect for the dead — unless they owe him $20 from the fantasy football league — but his attempt to silence Brennan failed. (“Drink up, will ya?” “Why?” “‘Cause I’m hoping you’re gonna pass out.”)
I’m not sure which physical comedy bit I enjoyed more: Booth coaching Brennan to put on a sad face (which she was incapable of because she was happy that a murder investigation had interrupted the mourning) or Brennan using the wrong hand gesture to tell Booth that the undertaker and widow were having sex. I’m thinking the latter. Her enthusiasm won me over. I must have still been giddy because I wasn’t even bothered by the RIDICULOUS sight of Brennan and Booth stealing the body, which Hodgins saw through a window as he gave a toast to Hank. How much had Booth had to drink to go along with that plan? (He was packing a flask.) All I kept thinking was that Angela would not be happy when she found out that they used her car to transport the body back to the Jeffersonian so Cam could find the evidence needed to get an injunction to stop the cremation of the body.
After Cam found stab wounds and poked Hank’s eye for trace evidence of a toxin (not as gross as I thought it’d be), they ruled that Hank had been poisoned with something that made his heart and respiratory rates mimic death in some kind of coma, which fooled the medics and medical examiner. When the undertaker started embalming Hank, he hit a nerve and the pseudo corpse shot up like a zombie. The undertaker may have officially killed Hank with stab wounds, but only because he’d gotten to Hank before the drug could finish the deed. So who poisoned him? We had the obvious fake outs — the colleague whose Caribbean Studies department was being shut down and would now have to report to the deceased. I applaud the writers for being in tune with what some fans have been saying this season about Brennan. After she said there was no such thing as Haitian Zombieism, the man said, “And now you’ve managed to insult an entire culture and their belief system.” “She does that to everyone,” Booth responded. Ha. (Kudos to them as well for having Booth ask Brennan to leave him alone to interrogate the family’s estate lawyer, a beautiful woman, because “I can be devastatingly charming if you aren’t watching me.” Also quite true.)
The widow (who reminded me of Annette Bening) also had motive. She confronted Hank’s graduate assistant about their affair at the wake. Booth must have had multiple drinks with that lawyer because he broke up the fight saying, “He wouldn’t want to see us fight. He’d want to see us sing!” and launching into an off-pitch rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Charity.” I’d say he was just doing that to stall so Sweets and Cam could get the body back into the coffin and Hodgins and Brennan could test all the loose tea in the house for the toxin, but he seemed to be enjoying it a bit too much. Against my better judgment, I laughed out loud when he broke it down. I half expected him to start popping and locking. Total commitment on David Boreanaz’s part. But where was Angela during all this? Disinfecting her car, maybe.
Angela was present and accounted for at Hank’s funeral, where Brennan had the genius idea to ask all the mourners to drink tea from his collection. The person who wouldn’t drink was the killer. I have to admit, I hadn’t suspected the mother, who was actually his stepmother. She was angry that her husband had arranged for their money to go to Hank upon her death instead of her son Barney, the aspiring novelist. We ended with a funeral scene (embedded above) that made far more sense than the one at the end of “Hero in the Hold.” Leaving Barney, who was now mourning his brother and his mother, Booth made Brennan promise that when he inevitably drops dead before her, she will come visit his grave and talk to him. (Kinda eerie since we know Booth will face a major health crisis before the season is over…but I like it. Remember that early session they had with Sweets where they decided they’d only have coffee if they were no longer working together? We’ve come so far.) Naturally, Brennan protested at first, because she doesn’t believe he’d be able to hear her. But she changed her mind when he stopped, shot her a look, and said, “Promise me.” She agreed to visit him because she’d feel better if she pretended that he were still here for a moment, and because she’d temporarily look at herself through his eyes, which would make her live her life more successfully. Does she have any idea what her occasional words of kindness do to Booth? I really don’t think so. I love that he found a way to put his arm around her as they left the cemetery. But the man totally needed a bigger umbrella.
So, do you agree that if Bones is gonna go goofy, this is the way they should do it? Not a total homerun like Season 3’s “Mummy in the Maze,” but still thoroughly entertaining.