'Bones' recap: Skeleton Dancer
.Booth and Brennan investigate a murder in the terrifying world of contemporary ballet.
A typical episode of procedural TV is both a murder mystery and a highly subjective guided tour through one particular subculture. That’s especially true of Bones – you could practically list episodes as “The One with the Amish,” “The One with the Guidos,” “The One with the High-Class Hookers,” and “The One with the British People.” It’s sort of like an introductory sociology course, wrapped up in a detective story, with lots of witty banter and barely-repressed sexuality. Take last night’s episode. Sure, there was a murder, and lots of nifty gadgets (lasers!), but half of the episode felt more like a PBS investigation show: Bones and Booth Take On…Modern Dance!
At the episode’s beginning, the victim’s skull is buried in cement. (It was discovered by an exciting skateboard montage, which apparently just escaped from 1991.) Turns out that there was an entire skeleton under that cement — and despite the best efforts of returning intern Vaziri, the most the team could get out of the exposed bits was a dental tattoo. Angela had the big idea to use a helpful Laser-Goo machine, which somehow managed to take an imprint of the cemented skeleton and create a fake blue skeleton. I have no idea if this is actually possible. (I hope not, because if we’ve created machines like that but still haven’t built a moon colony, we’ve truly wasted the last few decades of human history.) Cam perfectly summed up the Laser-Goo device: “I’d like a 6’4” 34-year-old with good income and no mommy issues.” (Message to Cam: All men have mommy issues. Settle for a man with a good therapist.)
Vasiri called the dead dude as a ballet dancer. (Skeleton Dancer alert!) That sent Booth and Brennan off to a local ballet studio, where they witnessed an adorably little ballet coach pick on an underperforming dancer with a Flock of Seagulls haircut. Here are the five suspicious things the ballet coach did within three minutes of meeting criminal investigators:
1) Demonstrated that she was strong enough to lift a dead human being.
2) Demonstrated that she frequently exhibited homicidal levels of rage.
3) Upon hearing that the investigators were there to ask her about one of her acquaintances, she said, “I hope you’re here to tell me he’s dead.”
4) She then described her relationship with the deceased – he dropped her in the middle of a pas de deux and might have ruined her career – thereby presenting a clear vengeance motive.
5) Also, her dad owned a construction company, so she knows how to mix cement. And she called one of the investigators a “bitch.”
Clearly, she didn’t do it. Back at the lab, Hodgins found bronze in the dead guy. He also found bone-eating fungus, which is just a whole lot of fun to say. Bone-eating fungus. Bone-eating fungus. Thanks to Google Maps, Hodgins figured out that there was an outbreak of bone-eating fungus in Kalorama Park. Bones and Booth investigated. Turns out Kalorama Park also suffered from an outbreak of hippies, So You Think You Can Dance contestants, and well-dressed pickpockets named “Johnny Wizard.” While the camera gave some love to Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Booth talked to a Joan Baez-looking singer-songwriter. She was anxious. She was anti-authoritarian. She literally said, “The FBI has no jurisdiction over us! We’re just trying to have a good time here, narc. Don’t commit your hate crimes here. HATE CRIMES!”
NEXT: Shakespeare explains it all, as usual.
Turns out that Mini-Baez was Mr. Dead Guy’s old partner. “I played, he danced,” she said. (My roommate was watching with me, and after hearing that line, he said: “How do you dance to folk music? Something doesn’t add up.“) Mini-Baez and Dapper Dan pointed towards tWitch, but Booth and Brennan’s attention was stolen by a horrifying Shakespeare clone covered in bronze. That led to my personal pick for Unexpected Scene of the Year. Bronze Shakespeare could only speak in Shakespearean verse, because apparently he’s completely insane, but the fun kind of insane. Booth “doesn’t speak Shakespearean,” so Sweets was called in. They swapped Shakespeare talk back and forth – if you’re interested, the quotes came from Richard III, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night. (Thanks, Google!)
All the iambic pentameter came down to a simple story: the dead guy was a criminal, he screwed over his partner, vengeance ensued. Cam and Angela figured out that some sort of sharpened screwdriver was the original murder weapon. Booth and Bones spoke to tWitch. (But only after a lengthy dance montage.) The dancer had a bit of a record and was actually in possession of a sharpened screwdriver, so naturally he didn’t do it. He did get one good line in: “I work the streets. People come and go. That’s the way it is.” Deep.
Meanwhile, back in the poor hippie-besieged park, Hodgins and Vaziri were dumpster diving for clues. They noticed a local hippie picking up trash with a patented Sharp-Enough-To-Kill Trash Stabber. Back at the lab, Brennan staged a mock corpse-disposal exercise, with Hodgins as the dead guy. Yeesh, now that I think about it, Hodgins did everything this episode – besides figuring out all the stuff about the bronze, the bone-eating fungus, and the trash-stabber, he helped to cook up a nifty gold/zinc/water contraption that revealed the killer’s handprints. Can’t Hodgins get the Bones spin-off?
The handprint was small, and all the mysterious children were on vacation this week, so the team brought in the two female suspects to squirm. I loved the glee Booth took in watching them together in the interrogation room – he even had Brennan make a little bet on which of them killed the guy! (To get their fingerprints, he conned them into drinking water by turning up the AC to suck all the moisture out.) Turns out it was Mini-Baez – her and Mr. Dead Guy were actually robbing people in the park, and Mr. Dead Guy was all set to screw her over. In summation, never trust street performers.
Brief pause for some important business: Hannah wanted to invest some corrupt cops over in Anacostia, but her boss wouldn’t let her, because everyone knows that modern newspapers want more glitzy White House news and less boring police corruption stories. Hannah investigated anyways – and promptly got shot. She claimed that she was shot by a corrupt policeman. Brennan looked at her x-rays and found a barely perceptible injury that could’ve feasibly severed Hannah’s femoral artery. “So, basically, you saved my life,” said Hannah. There was so much happening in this subplot – um, the DC police are corrupt? – but so little time was given to it that it felt a bit ridiculous. I’m still very mixed about Hannah’s role in this show – surely, it’d be better to find some way to integrate her into the ensemble, instead of sending her off into Serpico-ville?
Best Throwaway Booth line of the night: “Yeah, look, an ear flower!”
Best Deliciously Awkward Brennan line of the night: When asked to name a “rough neighborhood,” Brennan offered Venus: “It’s covered by sulfuric acid and hundreds of volcanoes!”
What’d you think of the episode, Bones fans? Did you enjoy this little peek into the lives and dreams of contemporary dancers? Can Bronze Shakespeare return every week? OMFG, can he be the Jeffersonian’s official snitch? And is it too early to tease us with the notion of Hannah getting shot?