Bones - Season 8, Episode 13 (Review)

The Twist in the Plot
Episode Summary
A group of tourists segueing through the forest stumbles upon a dead body when one of the group goes face-down into a giant nest of beetles.  The Jeffersonian team investigates, and Brennan notes signs of rodent predation.  There isn't much tissue left, but from the browridge, Brennan estimates the dead person was female and Caucasian.  Wear on the mandibular teeth suggest she was in her early 30s, and lacerations and avulsions on the radius and ulna point to homicide.  As Brennan brushes dirt away from the skull, she finds a second body.
"Looking at the infraramicular sulcus tells me the victim
had red hair and liked to go frog gigging."

Back at the Jeffersonian, Brennan and Daisy Wick study the injuries to the first body: massive trauma to the sternum and 4th, 5th, and 6th ribs bilaterally suggests a crushing blow, while fractures to the right and left radii and ulnae indicate defensive wounds.  The second body was arranged differently: a scarf tying the chin in place, anointed with frankincense, sandalwood, and cloves.  Booth does a search on the land and finds that it was a burial plot leased to Dr. Wes Craig on behalf of his wife, Monica, from a natural burial company called Green Passages.  Monica had terminal lung cancer and had been buried there.  While Sweets is questioning Dr. Craig, he shows him a facial reconstruction of the first skeleton, which he identifies as Rachel Knox, Monica's death doula.  Dental evidence confirms her ID.

Booth and Brennan head out to Green Passages and question Akshay Mirsa, the co-owner of the company and Rachel's business partner.  He is visibly upset about Rachel's death, but it does not come out until later that he and Rachel had a thing going on seven months back.  It ended around the time he accidentally broke her nose during one of their tantric sex sessions; Rachel was adamant that her liaisons last only three months each.  But Mirsa was ok with that, and they resumed being business partners.

Because Brennan apparently can't be bothered to do her job in the lab this episode, Daisy continues to examine the bodies at the Jeffersonian to determine cause of death.  On Rachel, a comminuted fracture of the distal end of the sternal body just superior to the xiphisternal joint was the likely cause of death: a crushing blow fractured and pushed the sternum into the heart.  Particles found in the wound indicate locally sourced stone about the shape of a grave marker.  Booth and Brennan question Mirsa again, as he is also the stone mason for the company, but he denies killing Rachel.  Meanwhile, Sweets talks to Mr. Warren, a funeral director who wanted to go into business with Rachel but, when she refused, filed several lawsuits against her.  He points the FBI back at Mirsa, though.

Daisy also studies Monica's body and, from a histological examination, doesn't think that her cancer was advanced enough to have caused her death.  Hodgins notices that some of the beetles from Monica's body are fatter than the others, so he tests only the fat beetles.  He finds evidence of methylone, or bath salts, a substance that some people were using to get high until the FDA banned it.

Sweets confronts Dr. Craig again, asking him about methylone, which he apparently used in his never-explained doctoring practice.  At first he denies knowing what the substance is, but then he admits that he did not prevent Monica from overdosing on it, as she begged him to let her die.  Booth, however, notices in Craig's phone records that he had been calling Rachel on a regular basis for three months leading up to Monica's death.  Two days before her death, the calls stopped.  Booth interrogates Craig, causing him to admit that he had been having an affair with Rachel.  She called it off right before his wife died, and seeing her at his wife's graveside caused him to freak out about losing someone else.  So he... killed her?  And maybe his wife too, since Sweets didn't think that Monica committed suicide?  Anyway, the good doctor (of who knows what) is the bad guy.

  • Forensic
    • Brow ridge is not going to tell you that someone is Caucasian.  Female is a bit more likely, but we still need more osteological markers to do this sort of assessment.  See last week's complaint about using dental wear to estimate age.
    • Not strictly forensic in nature, but a green burial company wouldn't bury a body that shallowly. Sure, these sorts of burials are usually done more shallowly than traditional burials to provide better access for the bugs, but I'm pretty sure they take precautions so that, you know, bodies don't just erode out of the landscape on a daily basis.
    • I'm not buying that Daisy is an expert in histology of bone cancer.  Saroyan, sure.  But not Daisy.  Also not buying that Daisy could get bone marrow from those nice, white, thoroughly cleaned bones that are lying on the forensic exam table.
  • Plot
    • What kind of doctor is Wes Craig?  He plays dumb at the FBI far too much: "What does descecrated mean?" "I don't know what methylone is."  A dumb doctor, I guess.
    • Why wasn't Brennan in the lab, like, at all this episode?  There was no need for her to go question the green burial guy repeatedly.  I can see her on the scene when they need to swab something or someone, sure.  But she needed to be supervising Daisy and doing her job.
    • Wait, so did Dr. Craig kill his wife or not?  Daisy said it was homicide, then someone said it was suicide, then Sweets said it was homicide again.  But was it homicide, or a mercy killing, or what?  How was this never resolved?  And why did Craig kill Rachel?  Not wanting to lose someone else is a stupid reason.
    • Oh yeah, there was something about Sweets and Daisy too.  They want to get back together but don't.  Hey, whatever happened to that FBI agent who took a bullet for Sweets?
  • Dialogue
    • "Doula is the feminine version of the ancient Greek doulos, which means servant or caregiver." - Etymological Brennan FTW
    • Daisy's latest publication is, "Asymmetrical bilateral fracturing of pubic tubercles in late surgical separation of post-Medieval conjoined twins in Romania."  This made me laugh because the critique of bioanthropological article titles is spot-on.  (Also, I would totally read that.)
    • Brennan initially planned for a sky burial.  (No word on how someone should get her putrifying body to Tibet, though...)  Then she revised her will to ask to have her ashes scattered in a volcano.  Neither of these makes particular sense, though, since any good forensic anthropologist would leave herself to the Body Farm.
    • Brennan's will is 312 pages long.  Booth's is a sticky note.

Forensic Mystery - D.  The two women in the grave were handily ID'ed, one by a property records search, and the other by a facial reconstruction that we never got to see created (no Angelatron = no fun).  The cause of death for Monica was sketchy at best.  The killer was clearly the playing-dumb-doctor-of-whatever. Eh.

Forensic Solution - C.  I guess they did their jobs.  Well, Daisy did anyway.  So they mostly figured out what happened to the two women.

Drama - D+.  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.  I surfed the internet whenever Sweets/Daisy and Booth/Brennan started mooning about their various and sordid ends.


DanaR said…
Also, am I the only one who couldn't figure out how old the wife was when she died? Angela says "she was only 33" while showing us an obituary with the woman's name and what appears to be her age- 39. I replayed it twice and couldn't figure it out. Maybe the fake obituary people didn't read the script? It's one thing to not be consistent, but she says it WHILE posting the thing!
Love your blog, btw, came for Bones and stayed for the Roman Bioarchaeology. It really makes me want to go back to school.
Lara Newell said…
I also surfed the internet, read a few articles, folded laundry while this was on. At the end when they were talking about the Dr I thought had missed something and rewound it....nope, I hadn't missed anything. It seems like the writing and the continuity of plot is getting worse.
Anonymous said…
the fbi agent youre thinking of didnt take a bullet for sweets, she shot sweets.
and since daisy and sweets didnt break up over her, they really dont need to bring her back. not that i would mind, i hate daisy and sweets together.

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