The State of Maryland vs. 'Bones'

Emilydeschanel_bones_s3_240 We're presented with an intriguing mystery on Bones, but we're not going to find out what happened. Instead, Brennan watches her team try to convict her dad of a murder she's pretty darn sure he committed. Sounds heavy, right? Actually, it was a hell of a lot of fun, with a tear-jerker ending.

I swear to tell the spoiler, the whole spoiler and nothing but the spoiler.

Prosecutor Caroline Julian interrupts our regularly scheduled murder investigation with the news that Brennan's dad is ready to go on trial for the murder of FBI Deputy Director Kirby  -- no more talking! Yeah, right... Brennan gets here dad a (dryly funny) substitute forensic anthropologist, because everyone she knows will be testifying for the prosecution. Awkward!

Except Brennan doesn't feel that way. Hey, it's just a murder trial, you're just doing your job, what's the big deal? Angela announces she won't be testifying, no way, no how, and Hodgins asks Brennan's permission to take the stand, but everyone else proceeds like this is a standard case.

And the case does look pretty airtight: The murder weapon found on the scene matches Max's M.O., Sweets' psychological profile shows that Max is just the sort of personality who would commit such a murder without remorse, and oh yeah, both Brennan and Russ are pretty sure Max did it. The defense lawyer won't even put Max on the stand, because  Brennan and Russ can't keep a straight face when Max says he's innocent.

Then there's a break -- Clark, the defense's bone guy, figures out that the weapon found at the scene, the weapon so closely associated with Max, wasn't actually the weapon used to kill Kirby. Aha! Unfortunately, Booth and Zack soon find the real weapon -- a copper ceremonial dagger in Brennan's apartment, which Max easily could have used and returned. Oh well...

The only thing left to do is give the jury an alternate story they can buy -- and Brennan basically offers herself up as an alternate suspect. She was at all of the places the trace evidence came from, she owned the weapon, she could have been trying to protect her brother... Booth protests that the woman he knows could never commit the crime, but has to admit that she did have the opportunity. Max is acquitted.

Booth and Brennan
This episode was all about the bond and grace notes in the Booth/Brennan relationship. Booth knew he had to do his job -- he knew that Brennan wouldn't take it if he didn't -- but he made sure throughout the process that Brennan was getting the support that she needed. Even when he was searching her apartment for the weapon that killed Kirby, he was able to talk Brennan through the war going on between brain and heart. He's funny and sweet and goofy, and just what Brennan needs: "Sometimes I think you're from another planet," she says. "And sometimes I think you're very nice."

Brennan turns to Booth when she's coming up with her hail-Mary plan -- yes, she knows she's not supposed to talk to him about the case, but he's the one she bounces things off. He's the other half of her. She can't let her heart take the lead without Booth to bolster her.

The shot at the end, when Booth leaves the trial before the verdict is read to be with Brennan outside, says it all. They respect each other, but what's more, they complete each other and would do anything for each other. Even if this never turns into a romantic relationship, Booth and Brennan are one of the most real and organic pairings on TV today.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • Caroline, when she finds Brennan cracking up at the crime scene: "I did not know she could laugh." Then she tells Brennan she's off the case. "For laughing at Booth?" Brennan asks. "That doesn't really bother me," Booth adds.
  • Am I the only one a bit peevish that we'll probably never find out what happened to definitely-not-wrapped-in-a-carpet, possibly-from-Cirque-du-Soleil skeleton?
  • Max thinks Clark, the forensic anthropologist that Brennan brings in to compete with her team, looks a bit young (evidently he never met Sweets). Clark responds: "I shave, sir. I have a driver's license, I've won a couple of fistfights. I've saved a life, I have lain with a woman, I've been hustled at pool, I've defied my father's wishes, I have broken hearts and I've had my heart broken. So by all the markers of this society, I am a grown man."  He says it with such gravity while still sort of making fun of himself. I like him!
  • Booth and Brennan have to break up with Sweets, since they're no longer partners and therefore don't need partner therapy. Sweets is devastated. Later, Sweets approaches Booth and Brennan and asks his he can study them for a book he's writing. Booth and Brennan enjoy the moment: "Do you liiiiiiiike us?" Hee! Poor Sweets.
  • I love Caroline. Here's her instructions to the team at a pre-trial meeting: "Here's what's not different: [To Booth] Lose the 'Cocky' belt buckle. [To Hodgins] No badges saying 'resist authority' or 'the truth is out there'. [To Zack] Do not cut your own hair the day before a trial. [To Angela] Ugly up a little -- the plain women in the jury hate you. [To Sweets] Use your fully grown-up words. [To Cam] Eat! Last time your stomach was growling louder than your testimony."
  • Later at the meeting, Sweets gives his opinion: "Dr. Brennan does seem to have an enviable, if somewhat disturbing, ability to compartmentalize. [To Caroline] Hey, how's that for grown-up vocab, huh?"
  • Max tries to reassure Brennan: "In this case, my conscience is clear." "That's not the same thing as being innocent," Brennan replies. Yeah, that's the problem...
  • Angela refuses to testify and gets thrown in jail for contempt of court. Brennan asks why Angela did it: "Friends don't send friends fathers to the electric chair," Angela replies. "Maryland uses lethal injection," Brennan points out.  "Well, the principle still stands."
  • Booth and Brennan keep whispering to each other during the trial, until the judge makes them switch seats. Hee!
  • The defense lawyer spins the tale of how Max might not be guilty. Caroline responds: "Objection! It's just rude to accuse me of murder."
  • Booth realizes what Bones is doing when he's up on the stand. "That's a lot of heart there, Bones," he whispers. It's almost unbearably sweet.