Booth and Brennan miss what's right in front of their faces. A lot.

By Kelly Connolly
May 08, 2015 at 03:38 AM EDT
Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX
S10 E17
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Given its nature as a procedural, I expected Bones to spend a few weeks in denial of Booth’s gambling relapse. Tonight’s two hours took a different approach. Even if his addiction hasn’t been put into words lately, the show is not in denial that Booth is hiding something. The characters, on the other hand, are. In both their cases and their personal lives, Booth and Brennan keep missing what’s right in front of their faces. It’s not subtle, but neither are their problems.

Brennan has at least told everyone that she’s pregnant, but the big announcement is such a non-event that we don’t even see it happen. It’s starting to look like Brennan might actually have been the last one to catch on to the fact that she’s having a baby. While she says that she’s about three months along, Angela assumes it’s more like six. How long has everyone been tiptoeing around Brennan’s weight gain? I know these people get uncomfortably personal with each other every week, but maybe we should extend “never ask a woman if she’s pregnant” to “just stop making deeply personal assumptions about women’s bodies, in general.” But what’s the alternative? Asking? Chalking it up to a love of cookies? The cookie theory doesn’t sound so bad anymore.

And of course, Angela is right. Brennan is about six months pregnant. To understand why she’s so afraid to bring a kid into this world, just look at her world. Tonight’s first hour finds Brennan investigating a 14-year-old prep school student found dead on a riverbank. Molly Delson was at the top of her class at the prestigious Pemberley Academy—the top of every class, in fact, except for music. “Being the best in music demands more than willpower. It requires real talent,” snips Headmistress Amelia Minchin, as if studying hard isn’t its own virtue. LOL, academics.

That’s also the attitude of Molly’s classmates, who look like dream college admissions candidates on paper but are still more concerned with sneaking alcohol on campus and making plaid skirts look cool. The team’s prime suspects are popular girls Kathryn, Arianna, and Cayla, who bullied and ostracized Molly until she internalized their criticism. Brennan sees herself in their young victim, who owned all of Brennan’s books—not the murder mysteries, but the “real,” non-fiction ones—and wrote notes in the margins. High school wasn’t the kindest to Brennan either, but she has a happy life now. She’s only sorry that Molly never learned she could have a good life, too.

Kathryn, Arianna, and Cayla only have each other as alibis. Arianna’s car has Molly’s hair in the trunk, and Cayla’s scissors are a match for the murder weapon. But their story—that they drank half a bottle of vodka with Molly and passed out, only to find that she wasn’t there the next morning—is so stupid that Booth actually believes it. They’re smart enough to make up something better. And it doesn’t account for why the straight-laced Molly posed nude to get drugs or why the left-handed girl has no wounds on her left arm. Brennan has been missing something right in front of her face. (“I know what happened to Molly Delson. Oh, and also I’m very pregnant.”)

Molly, depressed and suicidal, killed herself, framing Kathryn, Arianna, and Cayla for her death in order to take them down. She slipped the drugs she posed for into her classmates’ vodka and used dentistry drugs from her parents’ office to numb her own pain. Molly knew how to plant the right clues, which raises the question: Did Brennan’s books help Molly commit suicide? A few years ago, Brennan would have blamed herself, but now she has Booth. Molly wasn’t so lucky.

NEXT: Death penalty 101

After losing their house in a shootout and raising Christine on her own while Booth was in jail, Brennan knows how lucky she is to be in a stable place. But her life—and the world she’ll raise her kids in—is a dangerous one. “The more our family grows,” she says to Booth, “the more we have to lose.” Booth points out that they also have more to gain, but Booth is currently gambling and lying about it, and he and Brennan both have a lot to lose when that truth gets out. He might not be the best one to talk right now.

The night’s second hour makes everyone question what other obvious truths they might be missing. In 48 hours, ex-baker/ex-ex-con Alex Rockwell—last seen being hastily arrested for some ritualistic serial murders—is scheduled to be executed. Brennan is reviewing the evidence, as she always does before an execution, when she notices that Rockwell has untreated rotator cuff injuries on both shoulders. He could never have swung the pipe that killed Leonard Barnes, the original victim.

But Rockwell wasn’t tried for Barnes’ murder—only the three that came after—and anyway, he isn’t cooperating. When Booth offers to help him, he says that he won’t even cross Booth’s mind in a couple of days. Rockwell is convinced that justice is not in the cards for him, which means it’s time for Bones to debate the death penalty! Cam is for; Hodgins is against. Cam suggests that Hodgins might change his mind if his son were killed, but he likes to think that he wouldn’t—which is a little idealistic, given that he once wished he could send a killer a fruit basket for taking out the woman who buried him alive. But idealism from Hodgins isn’t surprising.

What is surprising is that when Hodgins makes his argument, he doesn’t go with statistics on wrongful conviction. The episode kind of makes that argument for him, but it’s also implied in the point he does make about the role racial profiling plays in convictions. He pulls out stats on the disproportionately high percentage of black death row inmates. Cam reminds him that between the two of them, only one of them is black: “So a person shouldn’t believe in the death penalty because of the color of their skin? How liberal of you.” Get these two to Pemberley Academy and let them coach the debate team.

Intern-of-the-hour Fuentes points out that they should save this debate for later—like after they’ve caught the actual serial killer, maybe. They don’t have much time. Alex’s boss from the bakery, Roger Flender, shows up to suggest a solution: They can name him as their primary suspect, giving the judge a reason to postpone Rockwell’s execution. Booth reminds Flender that evidence is kind of a necessary part of having suspects.

This is when Booth realizes that he’s been staring actual evidence in the face. The killer murders every three to four months, but Rockwell has been in jail for seven. If the real killer is still out there, a new victim is out there, too. In an abandoned factory on holy ground, the team finds another body—complete with the obligatory patch of dried, tattooed flesh to really round out the aesthetic of the murder house. The judge still refuses to stay the execution on the off chance that a copycat killer is also an expert at carving Masonic symbols into people’s bones.

NEXT: Stealing the Declaration of Independence

Sweets used to say that most serial killers have a personal connection to their first victims, so Angela looks into Leonard Barnes, tracing the people in his life who might have had reason to kill him. Shortly before Barnes’ murder, his driver, Kyle Martin, overdosed on drugs. Martin was Flender’s nephew. Barnes gave Martin the drugs that led to his death, and Flender killed Barnes out of revenge. Roger Flender can now officially take his place behind Mrs. Lovett in the pantheon of murderous bakers.

It’s almost comforting that Flender is the killer—he seemed off from the start. In a world where people slice into other people with holy compasses, isn’t it nice to know that we can at least tell who is most likely to slice into someone with a holy compass? With less than an hour until Rockwell’s execution, Booth heads to Flender’s apartment and goes full-on National Treasure, pulling a brick out of the wall to find his hidden stash of weapons. Rockwell is saved just as he’s about to be injected. I’ll admit that I thought he might die for a minute there; Sweets is dead, and I don’t know where this show draws the line anymore.

I wouldn’t even put it past Angela and Hodgins to move back to Paris for a while. Angela is thinking about it, now that they don’t need the money anymore. “I just started imagining what our lives would be like without all this death and shadow governments and serial killers,” she says. “What a life would be like without my best friend’s house getting shot up.” Should someone tell her that unless she gets a new best friend, that could happen even when she’s out of the country? Still, Hodgins doesn’t rule out a move. It’s been 10 years, and they deserve to let life surprise them. Something tells me that he’s speaking for the show.

Bits and pieces:

  • Brennan goes to a yoga class just so she can sit off to the side making commentary and eating yogurt. I hope she never changes.
  • Of course Aubrey keeps a stash of emergency gummy bears in his jacket. Designers, this is why women need bigger pockets.
  • It’s been six months since she lost Sweets, and Daisy’s getting some interest from yoga guy Jake. Brennan wouldn’t blame her for sleeping with him—girl’s got needs—but if anything ever happened to Booth, she knows that she wouldn’t be ready to move on, no matter how illogical that might be.
  • Great, Daisy, let’s remind Brennan that Booth can die at any time.
  • “Oh, yes, that’s what I was thinking about. Murder. Not dating again.”
  • This week in Aubrey Speaks for His Generation: “Molly kept a diary? Hand written? In a book? That’s weirdly archaic.”
  • This week in Students Speak for Their Generation: “No one can hack a book off the Cloud.”
  • Just so everyone knows, Aubrey has no problem being mistaken for Booth’s boyfriend.
  • Booth is just waiting for Brennan to catch on to his gambling relapse. He seems almost hurt that she hasn’t figured it out yet: “Did you ever hear of a person, a really smart person, who denies something that’s obvious to everyone, but not to them?”
  • “It’s an eggless tofu omelet. Booth says it’s your favorite, which is upsetting.”

Episode Recaps


Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz play a will-they-won’t-they crime-solving duo.
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