After last week’s poorly received (by me) crossover episode, we’re back to the regular Bones programming!
The episode opens with yet another disgusting mangled dead body: this time one caught in a street sweeper, as the title would imply.
After a brief disagreement between Brennan and Booth about whether to have a television in the bedroom, we return to more gore at the Jeffersonian, as Cam & Co are picking bits of the body off the sweeper brushes. As Hodgins and Angela tease intern Jessica about her Battlestar Galactica watching activities with Agent Aubrey, Cam discovers a senator’s pin on the victim’s clothing and Angela quickly IDs the body: it’s fracking Senator O’ Malley of Virginia.
Turns out freshman senator O’ Malley was one of the good ones and came from a blue-collar background. Aubrey has aspirations of growing up to be just like him. If a wacky artist can become a computer expert-hacker-supersquint on this show, then sure, I’m behind the idea of a young FBI agent becoming senator.
Booth and Aubrey visit the family to break the tragic news, but the press has already beat them to it. The wife suspects her dead husband was having an affair with the party whip, and naturally Caroline is not happy about the idea of bringing her in for questioning. Although they catch a lucky break when senator Winters actually requests their presence in Congress, there’s a catch: she wants to talk to Brennan, doctor to doctor, about the forensics of the case; and, as clearly evidenced earlier in the episode (and every episode since the pilot), Temperance isn’t exactly well versed in diplomacy and politics. In the meantime, Aubrey is handed a new task: run a background check on his intern ‘friend’ Jessica to determine if she should be cleared to work on such a high-profile case.
The background check yields several skeletons in Jessica’s closet that would present a problem in this investigation: she was a Greenpeace activist, a recreational drug user, and even admits to peeing at the Lincoln memorial! Nevertheless, she convinces Aubrey not to share the information, as she’s not the same person she was then.
On their way to see Winters, Booth is trying to coach Brennan to be less direct, and she interprets that as an acting gig, and not a very good one at that, judging from her Bogart impression. Oh dear. Booth can’t 86 this fast enough, and, true to herself, Brennan comes out of the gate swinging with hypotheses and accusations that clearly make Winters uncomfortable. Winters denies the affair, as well as any senator with a grudge within the party. She does admit that she convinced the late senator to vote for a bill that was against his constituents’ interests, for the sake of the party.
Back at the lab, Cam and Hodgins poke around squishy body parts to determine what O’ Malley had for dinner before his demise. Angela discovers heavily pixelated video footage of O’ Malley being ambushed by a very angry large man yelling at him the night of his murder, but – of course – it’s impossible to make out his face. Luckily, Caroline identifies the scumbag and joins Aubrey in the interrogation room to talk to Frankie, who of course denies everything.
Jessica presents Brennan with the victim’s reconstructed skull and takes the opportunity to drop a hint about her uneasiness regarding her possible future relationship with Aubrey, and of course Brennan not only fails to take the bait, but when she does, she manages to draw parallels between Jessica’s situation and her argument with Booth about having a TV in their bedroom.
Okay, it’s been eleven seasons. When will these people realize that Brennan is the last person one should seek out for advice? Angela, being the romantic, urges Jessica to figure out what she and Aubrey want and, when a decision is warranted, to just go for it despite the unlikely odds. Brennan finally figures it out and suggests that Jessica inform Aubrey about the bizarre contents of the dead senator’s stomach, and appears decidedly proud of herself for coming up with the fact that pigeon heads are considered a delicacy in certain eastern cultures, therefore Aubrey and Jessica should check out Asian restaurants in the DC area to find out where O’ Malley had his last meal.
Chasing the lead down to an Indonesian restaurant, Booth and Brennan learn that he was a frequent customer who was quite chummy with a waitress. Maybe she was his mistress? Nope – Brennan does her magic and, based on her features and bone structure, comes to the conclusion that Anissa the waitress was his daughter… and the poor girl wasn’t even aware that her father had been murdered. She tells Seeley and Temperance that she was content with her status as his unrecognized child, as she didn’t want to become a DS scandal, and that last time she saw him, the night of the murder, he was upset about the upcoming vote, so she advised him to follow his heart.
At the Jeffersonian, Jessica finds a needle mark on the skull and deduces that the killer tried to poison O’ Malley, making their suspect 5 times more likely to be a woman. Statistics is the running theme in the episode, in case you missed it: first it’s the high percentage of couples with a TV in the bedroom having less active sex life, then it’s the odds of Jessica’s supposed future relationship with Aubrey not working out, now the gender of the killer.
A lot of candidates could fit the bill: the wife, the whip, the daughter, or any number of female senators, but Aubrey’s vote is for the wife, as she has a very shaky alibi, but Winters is the one with access to a hospital (and a poison that becomes untraceable merely hours after it is administered, as is the case with the senator). As they arrive at the senator’s house, Aubrey and Booth find the two together; well this is cosy. The Governer will appoint O’ Malley’s widow to his seat for the remainder of his term in office, and Winters obviously has her on a short leash. Our FBI guys delay the announcement while the lab guys are looking for evidence, and they find it: the murder weapon is the same shape as the state of Virginia and is made of petrified coal, which, when it contact with organic tissue, conveniently colors it blue. It is also quite sharp, so it must have nicked the killer during the attack
Both ladies’ hands are squeaky-clean, but O’ Malley’s assistant seems to prefer to keep his hidden in his pockets. When ordered to show Booth his hands, voilà! Blue. Not only did he kill the senator, he also had a thing for his wife and hoped to work with her, on and off the job, once the senator was out of the way. Oh boy.
None of us is surprised whenever the killer turns out to be the one person in the investigation who was given the least attention and was never even really a suspect, but the whodunnit part of the show usually takes a back sheet to the actual process of finding the evidence anyway.
By the end of the episode, all of our sub plots come to a nice conclusion: Aubrey and Jessica go on a date and it’s going well, despite the prospect of pigeon heads on the menu; Brennan surprises booth with a big screen TV in the bedroom (with a promise to return the TV if their ‘intimacy level’ falls under a certain threshold), and they end up in bed, mock-fighting over the remote.
[As a side note, I can’t begin to describe how much my inner clean freak is annoyed by the sight of shoes on a bedspread or comforter. Actually, shoes worn in the house has always been inexplicable to me. Then again, the idea of Booth in bed might just appease my OCD enough to let this one slide…]
Until next week!