The Lost in the Found
A team of people collecting trash in the woods stumble on a body decomposing by a creek. Based on the amount of blood suffused into the soil, Saroyan thinks that the person was killed there. Braces on the teeth suggest a young adult. Hodgins puts time-of-death around four days ago based on Hermetia illucens larvae. Booth believes it is Molly Delson, a prep school teenager who went missing, but they want Brennan to confirm back at the lab. Brennan puts the age-at-death at 14 to 18 based on the lack of eruption of third molars, but no one bothers with sex, ancestry, or stature for some reason.
|Doo doo, just reading some books with latex|
gloves on... like ya do... because science!
The FBI first questions Tyler O'Brien, one of the people who found the body. Aubrey thinks he's just enough of a narcissist to lead the FBI to one of his victims, but Tyler insists he didn't do it. He does have a rap sheet, statutory rape of a 15-year-old when he was 19. Meanwhile, the Jeffersonian team pores over the skeleton for clues. They find remodeled microfractures to the ends of various long bones dating from 7 to 10 years ago. Brennan first assumes that Molly had been beaten as a child, but when she and Booth question the parents, she realizes Molly had been obese, which caused the microfractures. Her parents mention that Molly was top in her class. Fibers from a car mat and beads near the victim indicate a possible struggle, and Hodgins also finds evidence of duct tape with Molly's epithelial cells on it, suggesting her mouth was taped. The rape kit comes back negative.
Booth and Aubrey visit Pemberley, the prep school where Molly lived, and find two girls ransacking her room: Arianna and Cayla. They claim to be looking for Molly's diary to protect her and her parents; Aubrey finds it. Both girls are star pupils at the school, but Aubrey and Booth find a shoebox full of insults and other evidence that Molly was being bullied by them and a girl named Katherine. When Booth questions Katherine, she admits she got into a fight with Molly because Molly was snooping and threatening to tell the headmistress about Katherine's weekly drinking party.
Daisy finds evidence of stab wounds to various body parts, and Hodgins finds evidence of glue, glitter, and green and blue construction paper. They also find fragments of Katherine's beaded necklace on Molly's body. Hodgins runs parts of Molly's clothing through the mass spec and finds traces of wall-climbing ivy, which apparently is only found at Pemberley. White paint chips match the kind used in the trellises at the school, meaning Molly climbed out on her own. Brennan notices that Molly owned all of her forensic books and articles and starts to identify with the smart, lonely life that Molly led. The FBI techs find a bunch of stuff in the creek and send it to the Jeffersonian. Hodgins finds a pair of scissors that are the match for the murder weapon, and through chemical magic, finds they are labeled Cayla. Daisy notices a puncture wound at the lateral femoral neck, and Brennan sends it to Hodgins to magically swab for something.
Aubrey brings Tyler in for questioning again after Angela finds that a nude photo of Molly was leaked onto the internet, with her phone number, a few days before her death. Tyler took the photo and uploaded it, but he denies having killed Molly. She posed for him, he insists, to get benzos. Booth and Brennan go back to Pemberley to question the girls again. Their alibis destroyed, they all admit to drinking on the night Molly died; but they were drinking with Molly. Something about their story doesn't add up; namely that they all blacked out after a relatively small amount of vodka.
When Hodgins comes back with results from the puncture wound swab, all the pieces fall into place for Brennan. Molly got the benzos to put into the girls' drinks, and she took a little bit of evidence from each to frame them for her death. She snuck out of her room, went to the creek, injected herself with lidocaine she got from her parents' dental practice, and stabbed herself repeatedly. [Here my DVR did some beepboopwonky things, so I missed a minute or two, but it seems the girls were let off the hook and Molly's parents were told some amount of information. The end.]
- Demographics - Terrible prop teeth aside, dental eruption is generally a good way of narrowing down age-at-death for subadults. But the third molars erupt at a really varied range of times, so Brennan would do better to use epiphyseal closure (since she did xrays anyway) and could probably get a two-year range. They didn't estimate sex because... the clothes? The victim was 16, so normal methods of estimating sex are likely to work. And they didn't do any other demographics like ancestry because... Angela's magic machine can figure out skin and hair color now?
- I always have complaints for the prop department, but this week they didn't even try to make the victim's skeleton appear to be that of an adolescent. And not just the weird teeth. Put in some unfused or partially fused epiphyses next time, please. Or at least don't show a close-up of the femoral head when that doesn't fuse until like 18.
- Remodeled microfractures from 7 to 10 years ago? In a growing kid? Mmmm, no. I don't buy that evidence of microfractures could linger anywhere near that long.
- Molly's parents were orthodontists. She has braces. Clearly she has antemortem dental xrays. Comparing those with post-mortem xrays can yield a positive ID. Doing a facial reconstruction cannot.
- I'm not in any way a legal expert, but can Booth and Aubrey question a bunch of 16-year-old girls without their parents and/or a lawyer present? I doubt the headmistress is in a position to properly counsel them during FBI questioning.
- If Molly killed herself creekside, where did the blood in the girl's car come from?
- And Brennan mentions the torn tendons that indicate a struggle with more than one person attacking Molly. A bit later, she mentions Molly's arm was violently twisted behind her. How are these things explained away with the finding that Molly killed herself?
- Brennan makes Angela and Hodgins both come in in the middle of the night? Don't they have, you know, a kid to take care of or something?
- Arrrrgh, why do they write Brennan like a complete moron regarding pregnancy and parenting? She's a highly trained biological anthropologist. Maaaaaybe I can buy that she had two birth control mistakes (even though someone with as many control issues as Brennan is not likely to have those). But she doesn't know how far along in her pregnancy she is? Because she just ignored the OBGYN on her last, probably 2 visits where they do an ultrasound and check the length to make sure the baby is growing and that you are as far along as you think? (And yes, at her age, she probably has had 2 ultrasounds at this point.) I guess I'll just pretend she has PCOS or prenatal depression or something to reconcile all of this.
- "A bellybutton can't touch a heart. That's an implausible instruction." - Brennan (...which I highlight because when I was pregnant the first time, I went to prenatal yoga. In the second class, the instructor told us to "breathe into your heart space." I didn't return because... come on, really?)
Forensic Mystery - C-. I thought this plot was pretty heavily telegraphed, and that's saying a lot considering this is generally a heavily telegraphed procedural.
Forensic Solution - D+. Come on, no one did sex or ancestry? No dental xrays, but a facial ID to confirm? Remodeled microfractures? And swabbing for fingerprints, particulates, and lidocaine after the body had been in the water/cleaned/etc.? Nopenopenope.
Drama - C-. Increasingly disliking the Brennan character for all the dumb pregnancy stuff. Still not liking Daisy either.