'Bones': Sweets leaves in 'El Carcinero en el Coche'

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Now that the Booth-Brennan relationship has been reestablished in "Bones" Season 9, it's time to move on to the Pelant fallout as it affects the rest of the Jeffersonian/FBI crew. Dr. Lance Sweets ( John Francis Daley) feels that pain in "El Carnicero en el Coche."

Extra crispy car bits

But before we can get to the inner turmoil and early-life crisis of Sweets, there's a case. This one begins with a car that has been burned to a crisp. The car is so crispy, in fact, that just touching the frame causes large pieces to fall off in rather amusing ways.

There also happens to be a very dead body and a meat cleaver in that car.

Through the magic of the Jeffersonian, however, the team gets the extra-crispy vehicle back to the lab. Hodgins uses a combination of normal science and a Peter Pan-like harness to dig out many little bits of dead guy and evidence. He even finds a bullet.

Just one problem: The team finds only one bullet but two entry wounds. A lack of any exit wounds is also an issue. Fortunately, they have science. Turns out that one of the "entry" wounds is actually the exit -- it's just kind of funky.

The evidence now points to a gunshot to the head as the cause-of-death. An identity is found for the victim as well: He is a gang member named Jaime del Campo, nicknamed "El Carnicero" (the Butcher).

Investigating the butcher

Thus, "Bones" dives into the messy and violent world of gangs. El Carnicero was a member of the Estrellas Locos, one of five nasty groups all in an endless war with each other. Naturally, none of these gangs have much interest in helping the FBI track down a murderer.

Even the victim's girlfriend, Maria, is a gang member who won't help out. Is she the killer or is she just a loyal member of the group?

It soon seems like the latter, as the gun is tentatively traced to another gang. That lead dies a violent and bloody death when automatic gunfire erupts while the FBI is standing right there! Some gang leaders aren't the smartest ...

This event does at least point law enforcement to a "library gun" that seems to be in the hands of someone in the Estrellas.

Sweets in turmoil

The emotional angst and soul searching of Sweets run through all of this. Never having quite recovered from Pelant's murders, the young man has started to think he might want to help people directly instead of profiling criminals.

Sweets has actually been working at an outreach center in the Estrellas neighborhood. Unfortunately, the case -- in which Sweets needs to help and speak rotten Spanish -- outs the psychologist as connected to law enforcement.

This is all a problem for Sweets, especially when it becomes clear that the friendly and intelligent son of mob girlfriend Maria, a boy named Javier, may have some clues as to what happened to El Carnicero.

And a little child shall lead them ... to the weapons

Not surprisingly, Javier doesn't want to turn on his mother and the gang -- that's his family, after all. Sweets gets the truth though after detailing all of the horrible things that will happen to Maria if she goes to prison for her boyfriend's murder.

Javier breaks and tells everything, but the truth is a bit of a surprise.

It seems that Carnicero was stepping out on his lady and then hit her when she objected. In order to win back the girl, the Butcher killed his mistress -- who was also an informant, conveniently -- and stole the woman's earrings as a gift to buy some affection.

None of this sat well with young Javier, who was angry about his mother's honor and afraid for her life. The boy confronted the Butcher when the man was setting fire to his car (to hide evidence) and shot him in the head.

Maria doesn't like this. She doesn't like this at all. The woman doesn't like this to the point of slapping her child to the floor and declaring him dead to her. Bad parenting anyone?

On the bright side, Javier is now free to give up the location of the gun, and FBI tracks it down. Also, the murder turns out to be self defense and perpetrated by a minor, so charges aren't going to be an issue. Javier will get another chance at life.

Clink

All's well that ends well, right? Alas, it's still not all well for Sweets. He has a little more leave time and plans to use it to help kids like Javier find a better life. The Jeffersonian crew is sad to see him go, but they all offer a toast in solidarity anyway.

Fun fact: Did you know that clinking glasses during a toast derives from a method to avoid poisoning -- clinking makes liquid from one glass spill into another. Thank you, "Bones"!

After the toast

What's next for Sweets? Since there have been no rumors of Daley leaving the show, it's likely that Sweets will return -- at least in some capacity -- at least on a recurring basis throughout the current season. We can hope so anyway.

We can also hope that no other decapitated human heads need to have the skin and flesh peeled off. That was disgusting, even by "Bones" standards.

Photo/Video credit: FOX