BONES 11×03 Debriefing: Black Market Craiglist

BONES:  David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the "The Donor in the Drink" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenneyFOX

Only Booth and Brennan would deal with a case that dipped its feet into the organ harvesting world on their first day back, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The show returned to its usual, procedural-y formula tonight with an interesting case with a powerful ethical debate as its center, and added its usual share of great character stories that perfectly complimented it.

Let’s discuss all the things that happened during Bones 11×03, “The Donor in the Drink”!

The Case

A male in his forties is found at a fish farm; he was reported missing by his assistant. There is a knife fragment in his ribs (which is Hodgins’ territory). My favorite part of the ID process is the fact that it was his moustache what identified him: Lloyd Nesbit, an inventor known for the “Flexi-Box” mailbox, famous in the 90s.

BONES:  L-R:  John Boyd and David Boreanaz in the "The Donor in the Drink" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: L-R: John Boyd and David Boreanaz in the “The Donor in the Drink” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

His assistant, Tim Diffley, has only nice words to say about his mentor: he was a wonderful man who gave him advice, despite only giving him a raise once. Booth and Aubrey are suspicious about the patent he submitted the day he reported Nesbit’s disappearance (for a jewelry polish).

Meanwhile, the team discovers the postmortem ‘stab wounds’ in the victim’s body are actually  surgical incisions made with a scapel: someone removed his liver and kidneys. They later add his corneas and Achilles’ tendons to the list.

During lunch, Booth and Brennan discuss the booming business that black market organ harvesting has become. Brennan is not surprised some opt to go down that route, as many would die if it didn’t exist, nor the ethical dilemmas it presents.

Angela surfs the Dark Web, including a Black Market Craiglist; alongside Aubrey, she determines “The Matchmaker” is a very possible suspect. Thus, Aubrey decides to pretend he is looking to sell a lobe of his liver for money to set up a meeting, and locks her up for a few days when she takes the bait.

Angela has also gone through the transplant waiting list and found the people recently taken off; then, the list is further reduced to those who are blood- and antigen-compatible with Nesbit. Booth quickly realizes the killer must have had access to Nesbit’s medical records and quickly narrows it down to Rodney Dale, who worked doing data entry at Nesbit’s insurance company. Dale claims to have just bought a kidney to save his daughter’s life, and is reticent to share any other info, as she will need a pancreas down the line and wants to protect his source.

BONES:  L-R:  David Boreanaz and John Boyd in the "The Donor in the Drink" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenneyFOX

BONES: L-R: David Boreanaz and John Boyd in the “The Donor in the Drink” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenneyFOX

Back at the lab, Hodgins is making the trout regurgitate the mandible bones (gross). Wendell also reminds him to swab the perimortem triation marks in the rib for particulates, where Hodgins finds unusual skin cells (pigment is different than Nesbit’s). Meanwhile, Angela identifies what caused the marks in that rib: a trocar button, used by morticians during the embalming process. Thus, it seems a mortician is the incision surgeon. Coincidentally, the cells Hodgins found belong to the victim of a failed drive-by shooting, making the search for the specific mortician easier.

At the funeral home, Brennan realizes the dead body’s abdomen is too deflated for someone with that bone structure. Thus, she decides to open his shirt to prove Vargas (the mortician) did remove his liver. During his interrogation with Aubrey, he admits to taking a body part from a dead body every once in a while, as they would not use it. Regarding Nesbit, he says a trusted friend (phone records show that is Nina Slocum, “The Matchmaker”) delivered the body to him. However, Vargas will only talk if he’s promised in writing all charges against him are dropped.

BONES:  L-R:  Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the "The Donor in the Drink" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenneyFOX

BONES: L-R: Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the “The Donor in the Drink” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenneyFOX

Meanwhile, Wendell and Brennan examine the reconstructed mandible and determine that blunt force trauma is a real possibility, especially from a car — the mandible’s and the legs’ fractures have similar measurements. From slabbing the mandible, Hodgins has found traces of car polish in there. Cause of death is determined: his submental artery was lacerated by a large shard of the mandible… by a car, possibly.

Whose car is a match for this? Nina Slocum’s. There are no damaged bumpers (possibly replaced) but there is a lot of blood in the trunk. She admits to being the one who threw him into the pond. The body was brought to her (dead), and she wanted to take advantage of all those organs.

Yet, the angle of impact does not match or make sense with what they have assumed. So while Nina’s car is a match, her bumper doesn’t jibe the angle. Therefore, Angela searches for the cars that match the victim’s injuries (hint: they are big ones). Brennan determines that Nesbit was probably only hit with a piece of one — the bumper guard. Wendell and Brennan outline the way Nesbit was murdered: hit with the bumper guard in the legs, then hit again on the face while he was on the ground.

After Brennan tells him, Booth quickly makes the connection between the murder weapon and the car polish, finding our killer: Tim Diffley.  Nesbit told him the other way he could keep his job was if he paid him $30,000, and he sold his right kidney for it. He accidentally hit him, and after he died, he decided to sell his organs to make something good come out of it — saving many lives, in exchange for the one he took.

Ashes to Ashes

BONES:  David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the "The Donor in the Drink" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenneyFOX

BONES: David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the “The Donor in the Drink” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenneyFOX

Jared’s ashes are MIA and Booth is fine (not). Over the course of the series, he has proven how quickly he puts on the tough guy façade but unfortunately for him, everyone can see through it by now. It’s not weird: he’s just lost his brother and nothing can change that. Every time he made a sly comment, mentioning how he couldn’t help Jared while he was alive and still can’t now that he’s dead, he revealed the deep guilt he feels. It is during the car conversation that we probably get the best hint at why he’s upset: Jared was troubled enough in life that he wants him to rest in peace now.

Plus, who wouldn’t be mad at the mortuary if they had lost your loved one’s ashes? His frustration is perfectly understandable. But the problem goes deeper than that, and Brennan knows him well enough to understand the ashes aren’t really the problem.

This is not at all unlike Booth, though. It was hard to see Brennan desperately reach out and try to support her husband, only to get shut down; same as Aubrey. We’ve seen Booth grieve in many ways over the course of the show, so we know he carries the burden inside of him until he explodes (or he needs to be snapped out of it). This time, I was glad to see he was self-aware and realized he was being a bit of a jerk towards the people who were trying to help him, no matter how shocked and in disbelief he might be.

In the end, after much frustration with the mortuary, it seems as if the box was home all this time (or at least, it got there at one point), as it is what Christine used to climb into her brother Hank’s crib. On that note: how heartwarming was that scene? Especially since Booth was obviously emotional at how much Christine loves her little brother, much like he did… and does. He misses his brother, no matter how much of a pain he was (whose little siblings aren’t?), but it took him awhile to admit it.

“That Black and White One With the Light and the Trees…”

BONES: Michaela Conlin returns as Angela Montenegro. The eleventh season of BONES premieres Thursday, Oct. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Lipsky/FOX

BONES: Michaela Conlin returns as Angela Montenegro. The eleventh season of BONES premieres Thursday, Oct. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Lipsky/FOX

Angela has recently gotten into taking artsy pictures that are amazing. Even though she tries to keep it quiet, since it’s fairly recent, Hodgins acts like the proud husband he is, and shows it off to everyone. Later in the episode, we find out he has decided  a soirée at the Founding Fathers that night without giving her notice. However, not only has he invited family and friends, but a few professionals as well… which sends Angela into a panic, begging him to cancel the event.

I particularly loved that Angela used Wendell as an intermediary to talk her husband out of it, if only because of all the history they share. Hodgins does not back down, as he knows his wife will eventually come around to it, and come around she does: in the end, she sees he is just doing it because he finds the photographs beautiful and he is really proud of his wife. As far as we know, not a lot of people show up… but Sebastian Kohl, a renowned photographer, does, buying one of the prints on the spot from a flabbergasted Angela.

I liked this storyline, if only because it put the spotlight on Hodgins and Angela, and I always like that. I felt like much of this was an introduction to something that is likely to come back in some way later this season, but for this episode? Hodgins’ unwavering support and utter adoration towards his wife is adorable.

What’s Up with Cam?

At the end of last week’s episode, Cam broke things off with longtime boyfriend and almost-fiancé Arastoo. Though we do not really know how she is feeling until the end, it is easy to see she is conflicted — which she is: she feels guilty because she feels at ease with her decision. There is some slight awkwardness with Brennan; on any other show, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had pinned the breakup on her (not this one, though). Cam? She knows the Jeffersonian needed her back. The truth is this was something bound to happen for two people in such different stages of their careers.

BONES: Tamara Taylor returns as Dr. Camille Saroyan. The eleventh season of BONES premieres Thursday, Oct. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Lipsky/FOX

BONES: Tamara Taylor returns as Dr. Camille Saroyan. The eleventh season of BONES premieres Thursday, Oct. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Lipsky/FOX

So, it is no surprise I immensely enjoyed that scene at the end, where Brennan and Cam show us how far their relationship has come. Cam seeks advice from her friend, who reassures her she didn’t make the wrong choice in this difficult dilemma. All the couples are offering their support to her, while Cam kindly rejects them. I’m here for Cam’s happiness and success in love, but I also adore having more characters on TV who openly choose their careers over love, just because they know it’s the correct choice for them at that moment.

Mentorship with Benefits

I really enjoy it when the show has some thematic connections between the case and the characters (which is most episodes) but I really liked the whole mentorship aspect of tonight’s. I’ve particularly talked about mentorship in the past (mostly contrasting Brennan and the squinterns vs. Booth and Aubrey) but tonight’s episode made a point of mentioning it a few times.

As we know, the mentorship between Nesbit and Tim was not healthy at all — though Tim presents it to us as this wonderful thing he appreciates more than anything, it is clear Nesbit wasn’t any of that. He murdered his mentor, after all! Meanwhile, Booth and Aubrey are the opposite of it and the episode highlights how much their relationship has grown in the past year.

Tim had to give a kidney to Nesbit to be worth his boss’ time and didn’t get any raise in six years; Aubrey does a few things for Booth just because he knows Booth would do the same for him. At this point in time, Aubrey might be more than an equal to Booth, but he still respects him.


BONES:   Booth (David Boreanaz) in the "The Donor in the Drink" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Ray Mickshaw/FOX

BONES: Booth (David Boreanaz) in the “The Donor in the Drink” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

This season is off to a strong start, with another well-balanced episode.  Much like the characters within the murder case, I feel conflicted about the organ harvesting black market — it is such a morally gray topic, and it’s hard to choose a definite side. The show brings those topics to the forefront and finds a way to connect them to the story in a way that feels organic, without being overbearing. (It doesn’t outright support a side, either; rather, it shows both sides.) I also liked the various thematic connections in the episodes: the ‘never giving up in the face of failure’ that harkens everything to Angela and Hodgins’s storyline; the mentorship-related mentions, etc.

 


Odds and Ends

  • Brennan’s giddy expression at being able to open the plastic bag of remains is everything. Everyone’s reaction to that was equally adorable.
  • I want to know why Angela loves staircases. Those photos were gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but I’m fascinated by that. (And the amount of fog in some pictures.)
  • Glad to hear Wendell and his girlfriend are still going strong.
  • “Please don’t tell me there’s a grown man rifling through the trash right now.” I really laughed really hard. It would’ve been a shame to let that perfectly good marmalade go to waste.
  • I have been loving Aubrey this season, but I really liked how he gave Booth his office back (though Booth wouldn’t ever let him warn him about things regarding that)… because he found a better one. Obviously. In all seriousness, he’s a very competent agent on his own. It’s interesting that he is not just Booth’s mentee now, but his equal (a Special Agent). This should be a pretty interesting dynamic to explore.
  • With that said: Booth and Bobblehead Bobby forever.
  • Did anyone catch the names Cam and Wendell were signing as? I saw a ‘B. Slaughter’ in there, but didn’t quite catch the ‘F. M.’ one.
  • Christine is an adorable big sister. Both of her scenes reminded me of how I was when my brother and I were younger.
  • Next week: Betty White! Two weeks from tonight? Sleepy Bones!
… 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 thankyoulizlemon.com

2 Responses to BONES 11×03 Debriefing: Black Market Craiglist

  1. […] the Tooth Fairy should pay Christine a visit, and Sebastian Kohl (the photographer we saw in Bones 11×03) is helping Angela with her […]

  2. […] Kohl, the famous photographer who showed up for Angela’s exhibition at the Founding Fathers a few weeks ago, is back in town! He is checking out his mentee’s progress and dishing out some advice, while […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: