Bones is wearing the white hat tonight. The victim of the hour is a high-powered fixer in the style of Scandal’s Olivia Pope, and while this episode is tragically light on oversize pea coats, it does boast a guy who’s been dyed purple. It’s got that handled. Also handled? Murky morality, affairs, fathers doing objectionable things, child forgers, men trying to buy women’s affections, and lots of blackmail. Shonda, show yourself.
But if Frank Kwietowski is our Olivia, he’s more chair-bashing Murder Olivia than Gladiator Olivia. An intimidating man known for making his clients’ problems disappear, Frank did extensive work with Aubrey’s father back in the day, which works to our team’s advantage. Aubrey was a snoopy kid. He knows this office inside and out, right down to the hidden file room behind the bathroom. On the one hand, genius move: No one’s going to go crawling around under the toilet looking for switches to flick. On the other hand, Aubrey apparently did that.
Frank’s face shows signs of being hit with something made out of wood, and his left leg looks to have been shattered a year ago. The most likely culprit is Jimmy Nasari, a low-level mobster and nightclub owner known for breaking people’s legs with bats. Frank’s work with Nasari’s soon-to-be ex-wife cost the mobster $12 million. Nasari doesn’t deny breaking Frank’s leg, and he had motive to finish the job; he claims that Frank retaliated by ruining his life. But his story is tame compared to what the rest of our suspects have to offer.
Billionaire CEO Abraham Froome (new band name; I call it) hired Frank to retrieve a blackmail sex tape and complementary images featuring Froome in a series of compromising positions. And a diaper. Cam likes it — maybe a little too much. “Fetishes are my fetish,” she shrugs, unapologetic. It’s too bad she doesn’t get to join Booth and Brennan as they track down the hotel employee who hasn’t shown up for work in a week; bellboy Valon opens the door dyed purple head to toe. I’d bet (not money!) that Cam found an excuse to stop by the FBI during that interrogation.
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Valon defends his blackmail on the grounds that Froome was a bad tipper and swears that he didn’t kill the guy. Frank robbed Valon, right down to the blackmail tape, and forced him at gunpoint into a bathtub full of purple dye. Then he lied to Froome, telling him that the blackmailer was crazy and he’d better pay up. He sold the story with self-inflicted bruises and pocketed the $2 million for himself. In this case, that pocket was a safety deposit box — purchased by his loyal employee, Kerry.
NEXT: Notes on a report card
Kerry and Frank were sleeping together behind his wife’s back, giving both women motive for murder. Brennan’s science and Booth’s instincts can take it from here. Sticking it to cocky intern-of-the-week Oliver, Brennan finds a scrape on the back of Frank’s skull that Oliver missed. The scrape was caused by gaudy jewelry, and Frank’s wife wears plenty of that. But hers isn’t cheap. Rich people just don’t wear cubic zirconia. In other news, Booth might be Elle Woods. Kerry is the murderer; she claims to have been in love with Frank, but she’s not the “happily ever after” type, especially when faced with $2 million in cash. She bashed his head into the sink at their office, then blackmailed all of her clients into saying that she was in Atlanta. They’re all talking now.
But Frank left cabinets full of open cases in his wake, and one of them is personal. Karen spends the hour repeatedly begging Aubrey to look at his father’s file; he always refuses. (“Your discipline is terrifying.”) Given that Karen’s interest in dating Aubrey is only eclipsed by her interest in psychoanalyzing him, it’s easy to assume that she just wants to see how he’ll react, but she’s actually looking out for him. Karen meets Aubrey at the Founding Fathers at the end of the case to tell him that she’s been transferred to Kansas City, and she really needs him to open that file first. His dad is back in DC, and he’s been investigating Aubrey. You aren’t really a member of this team until your long-ago-buried parental issues come back to stare you in the face, are you?
Christine’s first report card has arrived, and (no surprise) she’s killing it in the classroom. Booth and Brennan are proud of their daughter’s stretch of perfect E+ marks (that’s “exemplary,” for those who’ve been out of first grade a while), but there’s a catch, and that catch’s name is Oliver. Oliver, whose only joy in life is taking joy from other people, claims that Christine isn’t really as good at art as her report card indicates. She doesn’t shade her stick figures to Oliver’s liking. He really is the worst. At first, it’s all talk, but Oliver eventually latches on to the idea that Christine changed her E- to an E+. Even Hodgins (who doesn’t realize whose report card he’s studying) thinks the ink looks different. Brennan resists, but let’s be real: The blood of Max Keenan runs in Christine’s veins. I would not put it past a Brennan child to forge a document.
Brennan asks Hodgins to run a chemical analysis, which confirms that the ink is different — costing her a bet with Oliver, who forces her to record a two-page voicemail greeting on his phone. But his victory is short-lived because the most obvious explanation wins out: Christine’s teacher ran out of ink. Not one scientist thought of that one. It’s dangerous to spend too much time dealing with scandals; you lose touch with the real world.
Bits and pieces: