'Bones' Season 9, episode 23: Can Sweets replace Booth in 'The Drama in the Queen'?

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"Bones" Season 9 introduces a new twist on the show's typical dynamic in episode 23, "The Drama in the Queen." Can Sweets keep up with Brennan when he takes Booth's place?

The answer is ... kind of.

Sweets and the new girl

To Sweets' credit, he is distracted throughout most of the case by the arrival of a brand-new squintern, Jessica Warren (Jessica Weaver). This one is perky and smart and totally unafraid to say whatever pops into her head. Cam doesn't like this much -- especially when sex seems to be what pops into Miss Warren's head a lot of the time -- but even Brennan is quickly impressed by how often Jessica's snap judgments are correct.

Sweets, however, seems mostly irritated. Whether this is him trying to hide an attraction or just the pressure of trying to keep up with Brennan and the FBI rules, Sweets doesn't appear to enjoy Jessica's company until close to the end of the episode.

Then they flirt. Then they go back to Sweets' place and proceed to imitate a demolition crew. Apparently, Sweets is over Daisy now.

When a drag queen is just a red herring

The murder victim of the week, a college swim coach named Brian Thomas, also turns out to be a drag queen named Jenny. Naturally, this is where the FBI focuses the search for Thomas' killer. But despite the glitz, glamour and drama of performance and cross-dressing, Brian's murder has another source.

It's back at the swimming pool where everything went down. Injuries eventually indicate that Thomas was killed in the swimming pool, shot through the water. Due to amplification of the sound by the liquid, the victim ended up deafened by the gun's noise -- and so did the killer.

Earlier in the investigation, Brennan and Sweets had interviewed a few of the swimmers, one of whom had an obvious hearing problem.

As it turns out, the swimmer had cheated on a test and killed his coach in order to avoid getting into trouble with the school (and blowing his chances of a four-year university).

Foreshadowing?

Although Booth does make a quick trip out to the drag bar, he mostly spends the episode at his desk, going through paperwork and studying up for his hearing. From spoilers and previews, it's clear that things are going to fall apart soon, so how much does this step back from the action preview things to come?

That remains to be seen in the upcoming "Bones" Season 9 finale.
Photo/Video credit: FOX