The Warrior in the Wuss
A couple guys playing hooky from work stumble over - or rather, into - a headless body. Brennan and Booth arrive, with Hodgins, to scope the scene. Brennan notes that the person was male based on the heart-shaped pelvic inlet, Hodgins estimates time of death as three days prior based on blowfly larvae, and Booth falls down a hill and finds the head in a puddle.
At the Jeffersonian, Saroyan finds that the stomach and pyloric sphincter are intact, which will allow her to figure out the last things he ate. Brennan estimates the man's age at death as 26 to 36 years old based on the pulp cavity depth of the maxillary central incisor. She and Clark note a perimortem wound on the man's right ischial spine, consistent with a stabbing injury that may have severed the external iliac artery. Angela's facial reconstruction and vital stats don't get a hit in the missing persons database, but Clark notes the man's height may be exaggerated. He found markers on the man's right distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints and calcaneus that make him think the man wore lifts or heels. With an exaggerated height of 5'8" (rather than the man's real height, 5'5"), Angela gets a hit - Tony Cole.
Cole's wife notes that Tony's colleague at Spark & Steel, Karl Singler, often made fun of Tony's short stature. Clark examines the cleaned bones and finds the tip of a weapon that was at least 7" long embedded in Tony's ischium. Booth and Bones decide to go check Karl out - they find him with a van full of metal implements, many of which fit the description of the murder weapon.
At the FBI, Sweets tells Booth that a recent police report was filed against Tony. He tried to start a fight with his son's karate teacher, and the son called 911. They question Danny, the son, about it, and he admits to picking a fight with Blake, the sensei's kid. Meanwhile, Saroyan notes points of compromised periosteum over the pelvis and lower extremities that indicate bruising with highly localized points of impact. All of these lead Booth and Brennan to question the sensei.
But the style of karate being practiced is shodokan aikido, or "empty hand" (no weapons). Brennan still wants to measure the sensei's hands and feet to see if they match Cole's bruises. Using Angela's technology, they determine that the person who caused the bruising was smaller than the sensei, possibly a kid. Saroyan finds lots of peanuts in Cole's stomach, and Hodgins rehydrates and dissects a mezcal worm he found. Because of the small but precise bruises, Brennan and Booth return to the karate studio and question Blake, the daughter of the sensei. She admits to beating up Cole, after he got irate when she defended herself against Danny's attack, and she has proof of it - her friend videotaped it and uploaded it to "WeTube."
Clark once again reexamines the ischial spine. Scratching on the bone makes it look like Cole was stabbed from the front, then the weapon was pulled out the back, an unlikely scenario. Hodgins traces the contents of the mezcal worm to a specific distillery in Mexico, which makes Maguey del Sol. Only three bars in the D.C. area are licensed to sell it, and one is on Cole's normal work route: Cantina Carreras. Booth and Brennan talk to the owner, who admitted to giving Cole the liquor. Cole had had a bad day, as the video of him getting beaten up by Blake had just gone viral. Sweets and Angela attempt to track the hits to the video, and they determine that the source of the virality was likely Karl Singler. He spread it to all of Cole's customers, hoping they'd defect to him. It seems Cole found out about this, confronted Karl, and Karl kill him with the curved fishing blade on his multi-tooled knife.
The B plot this episode involves Hodgins' buying more equipment than the Jeffersonian can afford. He is instructed to return at least some of it by Saroyan, his boss, but he ignores her. He uses each piece of equipment to help solve the case, then uses the equipment at the end of the episode to distill alcohol and make guacamole.
In the C plot, Parker is back from England(?) and meets his new baby sister for the first time. Although he seems happy, he starts sneaking out of the house and then destroys some of his possessions. Brennan and Booth finally confront him, and it turns out he's made a mobile for Christine.
- I don't understand how Hodgins can buy things without Saroyan's approval, much less against her wishes. Someone has to sign those requisition forms and get budgetary approval for spiffy gadgets that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. And would the Jeffersonian really not let Hodgins buy his own equipment, since he's independently wealthy? I don't see why that would be a conflict of interest, if he "donated" it to his lab.
- A heart-shaped pelvic inlet is a very quick, very imprecise method of estimating sex of a skeleton. (The idea being that males tend to have a more curved sacrum than females do, since we don't want the tip of our coccyx to poke our babies on the way out.) As usual, it annoys me that they never revisit their sex/age estimation in the lab with multiple methods.
- Estimating age based on pulp cavity depth is not a commonly used method in bioarchaeology, since our skeletons are long-dead, but there seems to be recent research on the method in the world of forensics.
- I know that, according to the dictionary, ischial is indeed pronounced IS-key-al. But I have always heard ISH-ee-al, the Anglicized pronunciation. Votes as to how wrong I am about this?
- I'd never heard the phrases "pump bump" or "mallet toe" before and had to look them up. The former is actually Haglund's deformity, or bursitis at the calcaneus that could theoretically lead to some minor bony changes. And the latter is another name for hammer toe, which affects the proximal interphalangeal joints (PIPs) of the feet, not the DIPs as Clark noted.
Dialogue and Plot Comments
- What was Parker doing in England? (Serious question. Don't feel like looking it up.) And how old is he? (I can't remember that either.) Why isn't he in school?
- Brennan thinks that a fun family activity would be trawling their property looking for carrion and then rearticulating the skeletons. I actually agree.
- Way too much time was devoted to the worm autopsy. In fact, a lot of this episode felt padded.
- Brennan and Booth frequently go back home during the day, even though their infant is in daycare? And Parker acts all strange for a full day, including leaving the house without their knowledge or permission, yet neither one of them thinks to talk to him until the following day?
- Booth refers to Brennan as "Bones" when talking to Parker. Brennan calls herself "Temperance" when talking to Parker. Thankfully, Parker also calls her "Temperance." It's definitely a pet peeve of mine that Booth and Brennan refer to one another by last names, even in private.
- Hey, look, there are at least 7 other people who work at the Jeffersonian! And they don't get to talk to the main characters, even at a party. One of these days, someone needs to write a web series for them, like a modernized Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (oh, the sheer number of possible puns is making my head spin...).
- The theme of the episode made me think of today's Sociological Images post on bias against short men, and then I was annoyed at the title - there was no indication Cole was a "wuss" (a very emasculating term), just that he was short and had been bullied for it.
What I Like about Bones (Clothing Edition)
- Since many of you think I'm too negative, I will say that I loved Angela's dress. And I mean LOVE. If anyone recognizes it and can tell me where to buy it, I will give you 1,000 internets and my undying gratitude.
- I liked that Brennan's outfits were quite conducive to nursing in this episode, even if nothing has been said about her nursing her infant since the one episode that mentioned it.
- Seems to me Saroyan has gotten too thin recently. But I loved her outfits too - the floral-print dress and the top-and-skirt combo at the makeshift fiesta were both awesome.
Forensic Mystery - B. It took a bunch of different methods to finally ID the victim. Although I would have preferred for them to use more accurate (and multiple) methods, the mystery about the weapon was decent.
Forensic Solution - B-. I wasn't all that excited about Hodgins' newfangled equipment that helped solve the case. But it did help solve the case.
Drama - C-. The murder mystery was slightly more involved than most episodes, but the Parker story line was lame (and telegraphed from a mile away).
Next week: Christine gets kicked out of the Jeffersonian's daycare? Could be interesting, or could be lame.