They say not to eat during the first 10 minutes of Bones, but they also say, “Don’t eat cake in the morning,” and, “It’s not even real cake,” and, “You can’t have a tea party with people who don’t exist.” None of that can stop Christine, who’s enjoying a classy morning tea with her imaginary friend and an array of invisible desserts. Booth is uncomfortable, but Brennan is all for encouraging their daughter’s imagination. This is the woman who turned her own life into a series of novels. As much as she likes science, she also likes escaping to a world where the rules don’t apply.
Tea time is interrupted by a notification on Booth’s phone: Today is Sweets’ birthday. Booth set a calendar reminder to get him some birthday doughnuts on the way to work. This kind of ruins doughnuts forever, right? Message received. Don’t eat during the first 10 minutes of Bones.
Everyone at the lab needs a minute to deal with the fact that Sweets never made it to 30. Cam tries to boost her employees’ morale by reminding them that at least Sweets was happy, but he had a rough childhood, his son will never get to meet him, and you can’t talk me out of being sad, Cam. Then again, working with murder means these people have to talk themselves out of being sad every day. By now, it’s a force of habit.
Today’s dead body was found in a tree that was covered in lovers’ initials but dying on the inside—not a great place to dump a body unless you’re willing to get caught for the sake of symbolism. Angela works her magic and identifies the victim as Justine Simmons. She’s been dead for a month, but her father, a pastor, only reported her missing two weeks ago. Pastor Simmons and his daughter were working to repair their relationship—not only because Justine was driving when they got into a car accident that left him needing a cane, but because she worked as a psychic.
Did someone say psychic? The word is barely out of Simmons’ mouth before Angela can make a call to Avalon Harmonia (Cyndi Lauper), who shows up at Justine’s apartment and starts touching all of the pillows. Booth finds $3,000 cash in Justine’s things and traces the money to a client named Lana Jackson, who says that she gave the money to Justine voluntarily. Booth calls out the obvious: Lana and Justine were having an affair. It’s not hard to tell, but that doesn’t take away from the satisfaction of watching Booth read someone’s mind. And he says he doesn’t believe in psychics.
Booth is definitely having better luck than Avalon, who tried asking Justine about her killer, but Justine just cried. (“LOTS o’ cryin’ goin’ on with her,” says Cyndi Lauper, for emphasis.) Angela nods unquestioningly while Hodgins looks for a rubber band to snap. He likes Avalon, but he doesn’t want her on this investigation, and he really doesn’t want to hear what she has to say about Sweets. Sweets’ birthday means something different for everyone. For Booth, it means standing in the FBI conference room with a box of doughnuts in his hand; he doesn’t know what to do, but he felt like it would be wrong not to get them. Aubrey gives Booth the customary five seconds to mourn before suggesting that it might also be wrong not to eat them. My plans for the rest of the week include lying awake wondering if I’d do the same.
Intern-of-the-week Rodolfo figures out that the trauma on Justine’s skull could have been left by a cane, so Pastor Simmons is back in the hot seat. Simmons says that he supported Justine when she came out to him at 16, and it’s not his place to judge. Aubrey, looking more emotional about this than he did about the doughnuts, wants to believe him, but he has to take the cane into evidence anyway.
Rodolfo compares the cane to the skull and clears the pastor of wrongdoing, but he might be in trouble himself. He has a backpack full of cash, and he just got a huge box of prescription drugs in the mail. It’s fine. The money wasn’t for him; it was for bribes. (“Okay, this is not sounding better.”) Rodolfo has been shipping medicine to Cuba and bribing customs officials to let it through. He won’t apologize for saving lives, but he will resign to spare Cam from firing him. Has any intern not done something wrong for the right reasons and then resigned to spare Cam? They’re good people at the Jeffersonian, but they’re stubborn.
NEXT: Hammer time
To combat her husband’s stubbornness, Angela (stubbornly) compiles a list of accepted scientific facts that were once thought ridiculous, arguing that psychic abilities could easily be on that list one day. Hodgins can grant her that, but bug autopsies are accepted right now, and he just did one. He found a flooring adhesive, and Justine’s landlady is putting in new floors.
This leads to one of the best interrogation scenes in 10 seasons of Bones. When confronted with the fact that her flooring mallet tests positive for Justine’s blood, the landlady admits that she lied, but she had a good reason: She was afraid that the FBI would think she killed Justine. (Aubrey: “We do.”) The landlady was sleeping with Justine, but she heard her confess her love for someone else, so she “accidentally” threw her mallet at Justine’s head. When reminded that the mallet hit Justine square on the head, the landlady says, “I know. I know. It’s hard to aim a hammer,” earnest and wide-eyed, like she thinks she’s making sense. She adds that Justine came at her with peace crystals (!), but they both walked away bleeding and alive.
Rodolfo comes back to the lab to tell Brennan his latest findings, and he’ll be taking the drugs—or he would, if not for the fact Brennan already took them from Cam’s office and shipped them to Cuba through Booth’s friend at the CIA. Brennan doesn’t care what the law says. She’s basically impossible to fire, and she knows it. It’s a good thing she uses her power responsibly. The evidence is gone, so Cam graciously accepts defeat and advises her employees to be more covert next time. Rodolfo offers a thumbs up, which is the appropriate response to being told that it’s cool if you smuggle drugs across the border as long as you’re better at it.
Being on the other side of the law makes Cam, Brennan, and Rodolfo more well-rounded crime-solvers. Justine went to Lana’s to break up with her, then wanted to hug it out. (I love this case.) When Lana gave her a little push, Justine hit the bike and went down—which, thanks to her existing head injury, was enough to kill her. Lana might have gotten off clean if she hadn’t hid the body, but thanks to some intervention from Booth and Brennan’s people, she’ll be able to strike a deal for probation. The landlady and her accurate mallet don’t get the same courtesy.
Back in the land of imaginary friends, Booth and Brennan discuss murder over a tea party, and Avalon has a message from Sweets. She found a thumb drive in his car, which turned out to be his birthday present to Booth and Brennan. Of course Sweets would give his friends presents on his birthday. Take me instead, cruel world. He took the book that he wrote about their relationship, took out the psychology, and turned it into a love story. But wasn’t it always? Named after the 100th episode, Parts of the Whole opens with a dedication. We’re going to need more cake to get through this one:
“Dedicated to Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth, people who taught me that understanding, compassion, and love are not just notions in a book. My life means more because I know you.”
Bits and pieces: