'Bones': The agony of de-feet... doctor
After a tumultuous season interrupted by heartbreak, frustrations and well, interruptions, we enter a seven-episode stretch of new "Bones" that will take us to that potentially game-changing finale.
Dare we think of what that might mean? Not yet. There are two way too disgusting things that demand our attention first: feet (gross in any context) and a body farm.
The closest thing to Disneyland for Brennan ( Emily Deschanel), body farms are real facilities, run by universities, in which human remains are studied in various states of decomposition. The fact that this is our first time hearing of them six seasons is another shining example of the kind of restraint our "Bones" crew possesses.
Romance, pregnancies and interpersonal issues within the Jeffersonian gang are almost completely sidelined tonight, so it's going to be a squint-heavy recap. Onward!
For the squints:
- We start off our episode of obscure all-star guest actors with... Don (Joel McKinnon Miller) from "Big Love." He's this week's overacting, body-finding extra. And we're happy to see him and his flattop are already getting work -- or 23 seconds worth of it, at least.
- And did we say they found a body? Because he didn't. He just found a whole mess of feet -- from 8 different bodies. They washed up on the side of river near the New York/Canada border, and when Brennan and Booth (David Boreanaz) got to investigate, they're joined by a Canadian expert who shares an awkward history with Brennan.
- Dr. Filmore (Scott Lowell), a podiatrist, wrote a paper about his work as a forensic foot expert... something Brennan slammed in a retaliatory article. Her dismissal of his life's work caused his right arm to become paralyzed. (She can have that affect.) But since some of the feet are Canadian, they have to work together.
- One of Angela's (Michaela Conlin) magical machines retraces the feet (ha!) up the river to an American University. It's the body farm! And they're only missing 7 bodies' worth of feet from a flood, so there's at least one murder to solve. Cue giddy Brennan!
- Upon arrival at the body farm, Brennan skips from decomposing corpse to decomposing corpse until settling on one that explodes from too much bloat. She's like a morbid little Goldilocks. The flying intestine fragments alert the professor and student manning the farm -- the latter of which plays a bit part in the "Twilight" movies. He makes a confused/distressed face that means he is so clearly the killer. And a bad actor.
- The victims fancy sneakers lead them back to the campus, where his roommate (played by "Pumpkin" star Hank Harris) is auctioning off his other footwear. (Have we mentioned how little we like all of this foot talk?) He has a motive-ish, but he's not the killer.
- Poor, paralyzed Canadian foot doctor is walking on eggshells at the Jeffersonian, while everyone -- particularly Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Sweets (John Francis Daley) -- try to get him to get sassy with Brennan, in hopes of regaining his masculinity and use of all four limbs. He remains polite.
- Back at the body farm, we learn why the victim had $2K sneakers. He was growing a ton of weed. Turns out the professor knew about it, but kept quiet on account of all the comp'd kush he got. There's only one character left who hasn't been ruled out as a suspect...
- "Twilight" guy. Despite his alibi of studying abroad at the time of death, Hodgins discovers the body was slathered with bug bait to fudge the time of death. And foot guy determines the murder weapon was a riding lawn mower. His big dead body project was ruined by the victim's pot field, so he accidentally ran him over when trying to clear the plants.
- A kinder, gentler Brennan confronts foot doctor to tell him that while she doesn't believe there should be, she does appreciate his contributions to their field. And then, like Charlie's bedridden grandpa in "Willy Wonka," he has full use of his limbs again.
For the Shippers:
- Aside from a few tender moments of Booth and Sweets trying to get Brennan to show her softer side to those outside her immediate circle, all of the squishy stuff is in Cam's (Tamara Taylor) court. Turns out she sent in an application to Columbia for her adopted daughter Michelle (Tiffany Hines), who's following her boyfriend to a community college... in Maine!
- ... which is good, because she's been dumped. And now she has no where to go to school. But Cam's afraid to tell her she's gotten into Columbia, because it would out her sneaky antics.
- Enter the real moral conundrum of the episode. Michelle clearly warrants admission to Columbia -- it's not like her grades or test scores were fake -- yet everyone gets morally indignant about Cam's move, including Sweets, which we're 99 percent sure is completely unprofessional. [Editor's note: Yes, I realize this is technically wrong, but if my mother sneaky-sent my transcripts to a couple Ivy League schools, I might not be writing "Bones" recaps at 28 years old. Just saying.]
- Cam tells Michelle she got into Columbia, Michelle says she'll take a year off and get in on her own to make Cam proud, they both smile. [We're still furious.]
Brennanism of the week, just because it was punctuated with a genuine "woo-hoo": "You rarely get to see a body rupture from distension."
Next week? The "Bones" writing debut of Mr. John Francis Daley (with co-writer Jonathan Goldstein). Our little Sam is all grown up!