September 25, 2014

Bones Review - Season 10, Episode 1

Welcome to Season 10, Bones fans and haters. I’m back for another season of unabashed snark and secret fan-girl-ing. My own week was full of Bones-style adventures – mystery human remains and an FBI agent! So join me in knocking back a couple dirty martinis while we hatelove on a new year of Bones.

The Conspiracy in the Corpse
Episode Summary
Booth has been in jail for an indeterminate amount of time (but my guess is about 3 months over the summer).  For the sake of narrative convention, the other inmates have just started hating Booth. He gets into a fight with someone who threatens the safety of Brennan and Christine.  Brennan sees a freshly-injured Booth during visitation and decides to use some of the blackmail material she has to convince Brady, the federal prosecutor, to let him out.  He does, and Booth is free; however, he is still treated as a pariah at the FBI because he killed three colleagues in last season's finale.

"I think I see some conspiracy in this corpse!"
While all that's going on, Brennan, Miss Julian, and the Jeffersonian team got a warrant to exhume the body of Howard Cooper, who died 16 years ago and who they think might have been near the center of the original conspiracy. He ostensibly died of leukemia.  A fancy mini-CT scanner slash facial recognition thingamajig gives them a positive ID. Hodgins and Edison work on cleaning the bones, but they notice that there is quite a lot of urine or ammonia in the coffin and on Cooper's suit. They speculate, based on how the bones crack when they try to remove the copious adipocere, that someone specifically put urine in the casket to ensure the bones would be damaged if the adipocere was removed. Edison notes in a broken tibia that the leukemia had not progressed to Cooper's bone marrow; he did not die of the disease. He further manages to get the adipocere off the bone without the bones' crumbling.  Cooper's body was washed in a stronger-than-normal germicide before burial, possibly to get rid of evidence. Edison notices healed fractures to the ribs and sternum about 5 years before Cooper's death. Saroyan notes that the only meds in the tox screen were cancer drugs and pain and nausea medicine. 

Booth meanwhile, freshly out of prison, decides he needs to go talk to Hugo Sanderson (argh, I know that actor, but can't place him! it's killing me), whose chemical company was initially denied some sort of permit but then got it after Cooper's death. Sanderson insists he is untouchable.  New FBI agent Eyebrows McGee James Aubrey follows Booth and gets the patented Booth take-down.  He has been tasked with keeping an eye on Booth by Always Off-Camera Stark, the FBI director. Booth enlists the help of Sweets to find out more about Sanderson. They're surfing the web in Sweets' apartment when a heavily pregnant Carla Gallo Daisy comes in.

And then Brennan does her thing--by "her thing" I mean, she finds an awesome little bit of evidence that has been previously overlooked (by Edison), but that only leads to more questions, and then she happens to find another little bit of evidence previously overlooked (this time, it's her own fault, although she won't admit it). Yes, narrative convention.  Yes, annoys me every time.  Just do a thorough analysis of the bones to begin with, damnit.

Anywho. She finds bilateral Smith's fractures on Cooper's radii, and she and Angela work to model the car accident that must have caused them. Based on the healing, the accident happened about 5 years prior, and Brennan thinks it was covered up.  Booth and Brennan go talk to Dr. Durant, the ER doctor who treated Cooper for a fall down the stairs.  He initially hedges, but they also find out that in the same ER that night was a homeless man who died from a hit-and-run, also worked on by Durant.  They confront him, and he admits that he was blackmailed into the coverup but does not know by whom. There are indeed pictures of him on that dead guy from last season's microchip-nipple-ring.

Damage to Cooper's carpals--hamate and triquetral--suggest he was pushing away an assailant just before he died. Brennan finds a scratch to the spinous process of C7 with perimortem hemorrhagic staining.  The scratch was likely from an IV line, and the scratches on the clavicle and left scapula suggest Cooper fought an assailant who was trying to poison him while he was undergoing chemo. But Cooper's remains have to be returned because a family member claimed the Jeffersonian was defiling them. Hodgins was freezing the os coxae and the scapula, though, for Brennan's histological analysis, so he didn't return all of Cooper's bones. Saroyan finds that Cooper was injected with a kind of antacid that would have been metabolized quickly but also would have killed Cooper because of a fatal interaction with his chemo meds. The antacid was being manufactured by Sanderson Chemical.

Brennan and Booth go to a retirement community to question Gerald Norsky, head of security at the hospital where Durant was working and Cooper was treated.  Norsky claims to have been assigned the job as an undercover FBI agent working under Director J. Edgar Hoover. Booth and Brennan don't have time to check out his story, though, because they are called to a parking lot by Agent Aubrey.  Sweets was trying to serve someone papers and was shot.  His injuries are substantial, and he bleeds out with Brennan and Booth beside him.

Sweets' body is immediately rushed to the Jeffersonian, where Saroyan, Brennan, Hodgins, and Daisy vow to work on him to find out who killed him.

  • Forensic
    • I don't think that a fancy-CT-scanner-computer thing meets the Daubert standard for positive ID.
    • Unclear why Hodgins saved two flat bones for a marrow study; why not a long bone that had lots of marrow?
  • Plot
    • I know they're married, but can Brennan really take some of Booth's money and buy a house?  He might want to get that retitled in both of their names when he has a minute. You know, protect themselves in case they get sued.
    • Too many confusing parking garages in this episode.
    • Why are Cooper's bones not being studied inside the fancy central ring that people have to swipe a card to get into? They seemed to be in a room off the front door.
    • I guess Sweets' death is supposed to be unclear, because they're going to solve it later in the season?  But that choice made his death seem capricious.  At least Nigel-Murray was killed by a serial killer angling for Booth; that made a senseless murder make some narrative sense.  Although I love John Francis Daley, his death didn't feel as unexpected or crappy as Nigel-Murray's did.
    • Also, how did Booth and Brennan get to Sweets before the ambulance did?  It's not like they were anywhere nearby.
    • Carla Gallo is (was?) actually pregnant, which was pretty obvious from her face.
  • Dialogue
    • Brennan on Booth's injuries: "You've clearly suffered trauma to your greater trochanter and sacrospinal ligaments." (Although I'm not sure how; I didn't see Booth getting his butt beaten.)  "Your coracohumeral ligament is strained."
    • "There's some logic behind the pseudoscience you practice." - Brennan to Sweets
Forensic Mystery - B.  There's certainly a whole lot of mystery this episode.  But some of it relates to confusing writing.

Forensic Solution - C+.  They solved Cooper's cause-of-death, but nothing else.

Drama - B+.  This rating is so high solely because of John Francis Daley's dying-face, which was superb.


Charlotte Troman said...

Sweets wasn't shot. He shot his assailant and that was the gun shot heard.

He was presumably beaten severely (or hit by a car) ....that part wasn't too clear. Hence the 'I fought back' talk.

I would guess that it wasn't Sanderson (the old guy who was on 'Lost' among other things) directly therefore.

Booth was also hit a few times in the prison (possibly not enough to cause those injuries) when one of the convicts had his photo of Brennan and said he was going to do 'something' to her when she got out.

Elimy said...

The actor who plays Sanderson also played Holland Manners in Angel, an interesting coincidence because Angel (David Boreanz) and Manners were enemies then too.

His name is Sam Anderson

Keri Laughter said...

It says at the beginning of the episode it is three months later. Also facial recognition software exists. I'm not sure it could make a match between an x-ray and a picture like that, but it is not completely made up.

Ronda Del Boccio said...

Lots of "wolly science in this episode and yes, a confusing number of parking garages.

I ahd the same thought about why not use a long bone when I was watching. The change in set made me wonder if the protected zone was "under construction" or something, because you'd think they would use the most protected area possible for such a sensitive investigation.

Sweets going to serve papers really doesn't make narrative or literary sense, nor does his death.

I understand the actor wanted a hiatus to take another project so they killed his character off instead because that was supposedly "better for the fans."


As a writer myself (though certainly not a famous one, admittedly) I can think of LOTS of ways to get Sweets off-screen for a while. These include:
Medical issue.
Training (off to an advanced course away from the J)
Family emergency, like helping an aging relation
Have to use those long overdue vacation days or lose them

A few scenes could be filmed ahead of his absence.

Anyway, NO they did not have to kill off Sweets.

And why would the body be taken to the J immediately? That didn't make story sense to me.


Sharon Wood said...

Sam Anderson played Bernard the dentist in Lost

Sharon Wood said...

Sam Anderson also played Bernard the dentist in Lost

Unknown said...

Okay I don't understand why Brennan bought booth the house. Why aren't they still living together after booth returns?? Why did she buy him his own place?

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