BONES 10×14 Debriefing: “One in the Hole!”

bones cast s10

Tonight’s Bones had different takes on family matters (more specifically, heirlooms of sorts): Brennan and Max or, to a lesser extent Wendell and Andie… It’s funny the meaning each family ascribes to its possessions.

Before we get to that, we have to talk about how competitive the world of mini-golf turns out to be. I will actually let Brennan do the talking here, because she nails it:

But let’s follow along to see what “The Putter in the Rough” had in store for us.

HOLE IN ONE! (aka, The Case)

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

A body belonging to a male in his mid 30s is found on an abutment high up in a parking garage, where it’s been decomposing for the last week. The smeared blood on the scene as well as the missing skull fragments lead the team to believe it was a murder, rather than a simple suicide. Also at the scene? Very corrosive bird droppings that have eaten away at the bones, so Hodgins has to find a way to remove it before it’s too late. However, they find cause of death: bullet in the cranium (entry wound is in the back, exit… where there is no face).

Once Wendell and Hodgins get the bones clean, they find some remodeling from 10 years ago (including some screws without serial number in them, unfortunately). Angela matches them to Troy Carter’s medical records — a superstar pro mini-golfer. Mini-golf, as Booth and Brennan quickly find out, is a really competitive sport and since the Mini Masters were being held in Troy’s home course, there are a few suspects, including Sammy and Lori Tucker (the owners), Troy’s rival, and his 18-year old fling, and her father.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

However, they talk to his brother first, who accuses Troy of many things, including not caring about their landscaping business. He does tell them Troy was a great mini-golfer.

Sammy and Lori are surprised to find out Troy’s dead; Sammy and Troy were particularly close. Lori, as it turns out, is a hand model (something Brennan quickly deduces, to Lori’s surprise and Booth’s amusement).

Troy’s rival had the same “code” Troy had, and now that he’s out of the picture… it’s his tournament to lose. While Booth’s talking to him, Brennan finds blood and various other bodily fluids in the tiki house –the  killer tried to clean it up, but didn’t completely finish the job. The holes on the wall are probably bullet remains.

Meanwhile, Cam shows Brennan some of the victim’s tissue: there are some stitches on Troy’s eyebrow. Combined with the antibodies for Hepatitis B and the yellow fever in his blood, you can probably guess Troy’s health wasn’t at its peak.

Booth interrogates Troy’s 18-year old girlfriend’s dad, Eric. Aubrey interrogates Darla and gets some interesting information: she was there when someone snatched Troy and can actually describe him — she does say it was not her father. Her description leads the team back to Troy’s brother, Jake. Their business is actually in fiscal free-fall and he blamed his brother for everything, including losing clients. Another interesting tidbit: he does own a rifle.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Examining some other just-cleaned bones, Wendell and Hodgins find three bullet holes. Putting them into a simulation shows how they all have different angles of entry — was it done by four different shooters? Even though nothing makes sense (especially to Brennan), Booth suggests multiple-bullet ammunition, which turns out to be right, as it justifies the many bullet angles. Since the three bullets to the chest were survivable, the definite cause of death is that someone chased him down to the tiki hut when he hid and shot him in the head. As per Aubrey, it turns out Troy was going to Johannesburg, South Africa for a mini golf championship.

Who was the gun’s owner? Sammy, Troy’s best friend. However, they were planning on going together and he was paying for the whole trip. (At this point, it felt obvious who did it, but it was interesting seeing them get to that.)

Turns out a stain Wendell missed (and Brennan scolded him for) wasn’t blood — but red polish. Hodgins was able to identify it thanks to a new machine Cam (the Jeffersonian) doesn’t know she just paid for.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

So yes, Lori did it in alleged self-defense. In one of the funniest (and saddest) confessions, she explained how Troy was attacking her life by taking her husband from her — they spent all their time together nowadays! They were going to Africa together! So she took Sammy’s gun to save her marriage. Even if she pleads for community service or something that isn’t prison… she still committed murder. (Seriously, though, “I was just a pair of beautiful hands that could pay the bills!” made me laugh a lot. But poor thing.)

Shady Business

Max is back… and he is keeping Brennan in the dark. He breaks a promise to take care of Christine as he has to go out of town (but won’t say the reason why) — Brennan is understandably concerned he’s back to his criminal ways.

I mean, you can tell she’s really upset when 1) she stops calling him ‘Dad’, 2) mentions this as abandonment. She wants to put a tracker on him, and Booth complies with her request. (Aubrey seemed surprised when he finds out.) After awhile, they lose him – Max might have found the device.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Yet, the feds later find him. As Booth informs Brennan by phone, he was caught grave-robbing Marvin Barlow’s grave. (Barlow was a federal fugitive, so Max is now caught in the middle.) Max keeps the reason to himself, and Brennan is quite frustrated.

In the end, Booth brings his father-in-law with him and everything is explained: Barlow stole what used to be Brennan’s favorite ring as a child. Barlow had taken it off of her (as she slept!) when she was a kid and was held as a threat that he could kill her anytime, if Max didn’t comply with what [Barlow] said. Now that is all over and safe, he’s returning it to her. Brennan, in turn, gives it to Christine.

Even if Brennan will not completely forgive him, she will move past this, starting with dinner all together and family games.

The Clock Is (Not) Ticking

Getting ready at his girlfriend’s after spending the night together, Wendell notices a nice clock on her mantle: it’s a family heirloom, from her grandma. She talks about wanting to clean it, while Wendell tries to wind so it moves again… and breaks it.

He enlists Hodgins’ help to fix it, since a jeweler is too expensive. They come close to fixing it repeatedly, but it ends up breaking every time (and it made me laugh even harder). After the seemingly definitive fix turns out to not work either, Hodgins presents Wendell with a replica he found on Craiglist for nine dollars (that’s such a bargain). The clock is different and doesn’t have all the scuffs that make the clock the same as Andie’s, so Wendell declines using it. However, Hodgins does suggest they use the bargain’s internal mechanism and put it into Andie’s.

And it works!

However, Wendell decides to come clean about this at his and Andie’s coffee house date. She actually reveals the clock had stopped working awhile ago (I definitely called this!), so he had never broken it. It broke after her grandpa died, which her grandma took as a sign. And now, he’s fixed this — this is now their clock, marking their time together.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Tonight’s installment, written by Dave Thomas, was really solid and fun episode (something you can expect out of his episodes). I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I liked that the overall cause of death was immediately known about the case, and that the details were so complex. Mini-golf was an interesting world to explore (and I will always defer to DrBrennan’s tweet about competitive nature when it comes to this type of world!) but it was also so ridiculously amusing. As I mentioned, Lori made me laugh (from her first scene!) as much as she made me feel bad for her by the end of it.

I love it when the show delves into the Brennan-Max dynamic: it’s so delightfully complicated and there are issues to be explored there. While the minutiae mentioned might have been off, the overall emotional beats were there; I felt bad for Brennan and how betrayed and hurt she felt. I honestly loved how Booth did what she wanted (no matter how crazy or questionable it could be)… And I loved how it was him who brought Max home to make (some) amends.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Finally, Wendell and Andie are so cute! I like them as a pairing. I actually kind of guessed the clock was already broken, but I liked the whole symbolism there. When Wendell asked Hodgins if he knew why he was trying to repair it, and Hodgins went on about how it was a way for Wendell to feel in control again, after the cancer made him not feel in control? I was impressed. Wendell might have said it was to avoid being killed by his girlfriend, but I actually feel like the writers sneakily underlined what it was about. (Wendell and Booth are so alike.)

As I mentioned before, there were bits about family here; heirlooms being used to close a chapter and open another. Andie’s clock is beautiful but broke once her grandpa died — it could be argued that the clock represents the owner’s heart, as her grandma’s heart was probably broken when she lost her husband. It was a beautiful representation of what her life once was. (And let’s be honest, it’s a gorgeous clock.)  Now, that clock is ticking again, and so is a new relationship in the family. Even if Wendell and Andie eventually break it off — let’s not think about that yet! I love seeing Wendell so happy — he gave her a good time and brought that clock back to life.

On the other hand, Brennan thought she had lost that ring she loved so much and I don’t blame her: we all lose a lot of things as kids, unfortunately, and as sad as it might make us at first… we eventually move on, because there is nothing we can do. Little did she know that that ring had become a threat against her and her family. Her getting it back kind of closes that chapter of her life for good (even if the profound effect abandonment had on her will never disappear). Brennan giving it to Christine is a new start: her daughter will love it as much as her, and it will live on. (There is another important heirloom Christine will get at 16, with its own baggage. The Brennans have a thing for rings…)

This probably makes no sense (I’m blaming the final weeks of this semester) but I really liked how there were two important family storylines in this week’s episode.

Odds and Ends 

  • The ending with Booth and Brennan bickering over the family game made me chuckle a lot. Of course they would accuse the other of cheating! It all comes back to competitiveness, and those two do enjoy getting competitive when playing games!
  • I really liked Booth and Brennan had more scenes together this episode! Two car scenes! Even if I enjoyed the past few episodes, it’s always better when they are out together. Plus, this gave us some really amusing moments, so I cannot complain.
  • I guess this was (at least, partially) what Max wouldn’t reveal to Brennan last spring. I am not exactly sure how he fits into the previous established mythology (with McVicar and whatnot), but I like the effort.
  • I’m also glad to see that he’s very much a part of his family’s lives, even if we don’t get to see it as often!
  • I might have to say this every week, but I love the @DrBrennan twitter account so. much.
  • FOX, I know this is useless and that there are logistics behind that, but I’d love it if there was at least one still related to each of the main storylines.
  • Next week: as I said on the stills post back then, we get three of the most relevant (or so it seems) storylines going forward. As seen in the promo, there might be exciting news for a couple of people in store… (I have been hoping for that storyline for a long while, but I’ll save all of that for next week.)

… is a young graduate student that has been way too passionate about television ever since she was little. While she insists she doesn’t have a specific type of show, they all usually have strong but flawed lady characters, some derivation of the stubborn friends-in-love/friends-to-lovers trope, and they all make her yell at her tv a lot. She just wishes she had more hours in the day so she could actually write about this.
You can usually find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and at cassidy at

4 Responses to BONES 10×14 Debriefing: “One in the Hole!”

  1. Nels Nels says:

    Wonderful job yet again, Cassidy!

    (Love your section titles, too, by the way.)

    I love anything Max-Brennan, but have to admit I wasn’t totally loving the story tonight. But, you opened my eyes and put it within context, and I can almost get it, now.

    It was indeed nice to see Booth go along with Brennan’s whims, for good or for ill, because that’s what a partner does. In the end, it was the right thing to do, too.

    I love your observations about the importance of objects in these families! That flew over my head, but I see what they did there (and what you did, too).

    Great read, as always!

    • Cassidy says:

      Thanks! I tried to be somewhat original with them, but it’s hard.

      I can see why you didn’t! This wasn’t the best of their storylines, but it did give some nice resolution to that. I guess this was one of the things Max was referring to last spring, when he was hiding stuff from her! (I’d need to check the exact quote, though.)

      Indeed. I loved that he did that, even if it was a somewhat ~crazy request at first. And he did it during the case, too!

      I’m still not sure about what I wrote… Everything sounded better in my head than it does on paper!

      But thank you so much!!

  2. I loved your take on the episode. Some corrections 1) the screws did not have serial numbers on them. Hodgins said he wished they did. 2)Lori was not a former model but currently working as a hand model. 3)Wendell found three holes in that bone. The 4th was the obvious one in the head. 4) Max never lied to Brennan just refused to tell her what was going on.

    • Cassidy says:

      Thank you! It was so late at night so I confused a bunch of details and I didn’t have the chance to correct them but, the Max thing was definitely awkward phrasing on my part.

      The screws part confused me because I had conflicting notes on it, but you are right! And the holes was just writing the wrong thing late at night.

      Anyways. Thank you so much!! They should now be corrected. 🙂

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