April 14, 2014

Bones - Season 9, Episode 21 (Review)

The Cold in the Case
Episode Summary
A body is found in a swampy area in a new subdivision.  Brennan concludes based on the vertical frontal bone and mental eminence of the mandible that the body belonged to a female in her mid-30s. The prominent maxilla apparently means to Brennan that she was Caucasian. Animals seem to have eaten the hands and feet but curiously not the meatier parts. Brennan notes extensive fracturing to the bones but does not think it relates to blunt force trauma. Time of death, though, is all over the place: Piophilidae suggest 72-96 hours, but Calliphoridae larvae suggest the last 3 hours, while the crystomamarufifithes (seriously, Hodgins, please enunciate so that I can look stuff up properly) puts it in the last 14 days.

"Maybe somewhere in here there's a bone that
will tell me age so that I can stop guessing randomly."
Back at the Jeffersonian, Brennan finds something lodged between the left maxillary second incisor and canine. Saroyan finds tissue unrelated to the victim. Vaziri and Brennan see on xray a remodelling injury to the right posterior superior iliac crest (sic) from a large-bore needle.  Brennan thinks the victim may have donated bone marrow approximately a year ago.  Apparently the bone marrow registry is magical, and Madeline Papadelis is the only Caucasian female in her 30s who donated bone marrow in the last year.  Madeline was divorced and her daughter, Corine, succumbed to cystic fibrosis 18 months prior. She also had a restraining order against her ex-husband.  Booth brings him in to question him; the ex admits to waving around a gun while cleaning it, but denies ever wanting to hurt Madeline.

Hodgins somehow deduces from the fabric in Madeline's teeth that she was given chloroform. The fibers on her back were rayon and silk, a blend popular in sleeping bags. The DNA from the extra tissue comes back as being fox tongue. Saroyan thinks that the damage to Madeline's organs was caused by fracturing.  Brennan starts a histological study, and she and Vaziri conclude that Madeline wasn't frozen normally, which would cause ice crystals to form in the body and damage cells. Rather, she was likely cryogenically frozen.   Booth checks Madeline's credit cards and finds that she mostly used them to buy bus passes.  She was regularly travelling to Vienna, Virginia, where Cryonova was located. 

Booth and Brennan head to Cryonova and meet Dr. Noah Summers and his wife Michelle. They confirm that Madeline's daughter Corine was one of their patients. She used to come every Saturday to visit her daughter, and she and Noah worked closely on grant proposals to help fund the facility. Originally, Madeline was going to use a competing cryonicist, Trip Warshaw, but backed out.  He admits that his equipment was recently repossessed, as he was going out of business, but has a solid alibi for the time of Madeline's death and disappearance. The Summerses claim that Warshaw shot up the facility as an attempt at sabotage, but he denies this.The shots were actually from a gun similar to one Madeline's ex-husband Ethan had. He admits to shooting open the door to the facility, but he simply wanted to get Corine's body to bury her.  He couldn't figure out how to get her out of the storage dewar, though. Although Ethan did study pre-med in school, Booth finally concludes that he didn't do it.

Angela goes through the emails and security footage from Cryonova.  She finds video evidence that Dr. Summers was chopping up a frozen body and selling organs.  Summers admits to this; the man in question was frozen but his wife ran out of money.  He preserved the man's brain and sold off his organs. He claims Madeline knew this, so that's not what they were arguing about on the video footage.  Brennan and Vaziri find some more interesting things on the skeleton.  First, some flaking of the cortical bone on the tibia, metatarsals, and tarsals of one leg suggest whoever froze Madeline was either in a rush or had faulty equipment. Second, they find evidence of multifilament thread, the kind used for stitches. There is also a hole in the side of the head with curved, smooth edges. Brennan thinks that this is where the crack-phone was placed, to listen for cracking when freezing the brain. Angela finds the audio file, on which Michelle Summers can be heard calling Madeline a bitch and saying that Noah was hers. Booth questions Michelle, but she lawyers up. Finally, Brennan pieces it all together.  The bevelling on the hole in the temporal bone suggests a left-handed person made the cut. The style of stitches that Noah Summers made is also quite distinctive: interrupted vertical mattress sutures tied left-handed with a surgical knot.  These stitches are found on bodies Noah processed... and I guess on the thread they found on the body?  At any rate, they confirm he is left-handed.  Noah Summers confesses to having drugged then frozen Madeline; he was in love with her, but she did not reciprocate.  When Michelle found Madeline's body during her search to find space for several new bodies, she decided to dispose of her.

Comments
  • Forensic
    • Oh, are you kidding me with the demographic ID?  Brennan just guesses mid-30s based on... nothing?  Lazy.  Vertical frontal bone is not really a sexually dimorphic trait.  Mental eminence, sure, that's fine.  And I don't know what they mean by prominent maxilla, because really prominent would mean prognathic, which would be African-American, not Caucasian.  Yeesh.
    • Kinda handy that the victim was the only female in her mid-30s to have a bone marrow aspiration a year ago.  I mean, it's not like there are millions of other people in the U.S. in the bone marrow donation database who would fit that profile.  And I'm not a medical doctor, so I don't know... can bone marrow donations help or cure cystic fibrosis?
    • Hodgins mentions that the fiber in the victim's teeth is from chloroform.... which is not a fabric. (I actually rewound it to make sure that's what he said.)
    • It's the posterior superior iliac spine, not crest.
  • Plot
    • I did kinda like the image of the small animals getting their tongues stuck to the victim's remains.  I don't think that would happen, though.  I mean, if she's so frozen their tongues get stuck, she's probably too frozen to smell like food.
    • Vaziri and Saroyan had some issues with his parents.
    • Booth may be asked to head up a field office in Germany.  Brennan thinks this is awesome, but Booth doesn't seem to want the job.
  • Dialogue
    • I got nothing... except a whole bunch of shouting in Persian.  Anyone?  Real Persian or Google translate Persian?



Ratings
Forensic Mystery - C+.  Having the husband do it was a bit of a twist. And creepy.

Forensic Solution - D.  Age-at-death was glossed over.  Sex and ancestry were both iffy.

Drama - F. Yaaaaaaawn. Holy pete, this was the most boring episode I can recall.  I mean, look at those bullet points up there.  Nothing to comment on at all. Maybe Ghost Face Killah will be good next week?

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