BONES 11×06 Debriefing: “You Know How Much I Love Cute”

BONES: Cast L-R: John Boyd, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, Michaela Conlin, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz. The 11th season of BONES premieres Thursday, Oct. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: FOX

Is it fair to let your past taint your future? We usually improve upon our past mistakes so that we can become better people, but there are instances where those mistakes come back to haunt us.

It’s not surprising that a murdered senator would have a secret biological daughter he did not want anyone knowing about. The characters we care for? They have plenty of those skeletons hanging around in their closet, too, so it’s not a shock that Jessica has been involved with Greenpeace and the like in the past.

Tonight’s episode did not fully delve into this but it was resonant enough to stick with me. Read on for more thoughts on that and a recap after the break!

Sic Temper Tyrannis

The remains of first-term Virginia senator Rick O’Malley are found by street sweepers on an Arlington street. He is ID’ed by the pin in his lapel and a few specific markers (height, race, and more importantly: eye color). That means this case is going to be crazy.

Once that is confirmed, Caroline recommends Brennan doesn’t go to notify the widow and urges Booth to take Aubrey instead. The O’Malley residence is plagued by journalists who have caught wind of the crime. Inside, Lynette O’Malley has already heard of the news and laments how her husband and she lived in the spotlight for most of their lives. As for her alibi, she last saw her husband the previous morning, as she had a talk at UVA the day before and spent the night in Charlottesville.

BONES:  Guest star Brenda Strong in the Street Sweeper" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: Guest star Brenda Strong in the Street Sweeper” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Morales, his chief of staff, seems collaborative and is willing to send over the team anything they might need. When asked about O’Malley’s recent state of mind, his widow says he had been aloof as of late, and she suspects he might have been having an affair with the Party Whip, Hayley Winters. He had been receiving many calls from her, and had been spending much time together: they even attended a fundraiser together the previous night.

After hearing that, Booth wants to talk to the party whip, but Caroline is not having any of it. Much to her surprise, Aubrey reveals that the whip actually requested to see Booth… and Brennan, probably due to her forensic knowledge (Winters used to be a doctor herself). On their ride to Capitol Hill, Brennan reassures Booth she will be on her best behavior, but that’s the opposite of what Booth wants: he wants her to be her wonderful, direct herself so he can get a good read on Winters.

Once on Capitol Hill, Winters tells them they have the full power of her office behind the case — they are currently preparing a bill to increase the debt ceiling. In some of her ‘direct’ questioning, Brennan wonders whether the dismembering marks were made by someone who had no knowledge of anatomy, or instead someone cunning. (As a former surgeon, Winters would fall under the latter category.) Moreover, she does infer their frequent meetings were due to her desire to keep a close working relationship with freshman senators (like O’Malley) and feels flattered they’d imply she has the stamina to have an affair. She also mentions a recent incident with protestors that left the victim unnerved, and made him leave the fundraiser early: one of the amendments to the bill reduces coal emissions and O’Malley was voting for it (despite going against his platform).

Now that they know he left early, Hodgins is going to look into what he had for his last meal, while Angela has a low quality video of O’Malley interacting with one of those protesters. Caroline is able to identify him right away as Frankie Cesari, the president of the coal miners’ union in Virginia. He is a possible suspect since one of his accusers in a previous case disappeared and was never found. Thus, Aubrey and Caroline bring him in and he assures them they only talked about the bill; he inquired about his vote, revealing that the victim was unsure. Even though he has proof of all he’s saying, Caroline decides to keep him in custody while it’s all checked (and in retribution for their war of words).

BONES: L-R:  David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the "The Senator in the Street Sweeper" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: L-R: David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the “The Senator in the Street Sweeper” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Jessica is able to reassemble the skull quickly and she finds perimortem blunt force trauma to the right side, caused by an uneven weapon that seems different to the one that fractured the ulna. Moreover, Hodgins has identified the victim’s last meal: pigeon, very typical of far eastern cultures.

Back at the FBI, Aubrey has been looking at all the victim’s bank records; the only questionable thing is the $2000 withdrawn from his account every month. Moreover, the cab driver that picked O’Malley up from the fundraiser shared that he dropped the victim off at an Indonesian restaurant that, coincidentally, serves the best pigeon in town. He was also seen embracing a young woman. Thus, Booth and Brennan head that way. The manager remembers O’Malley as a kind man with a big appetite who was there the previous night —while disclosing that he’s a good friend of the waitress. It is when they request to talk to her that Brennan realizes the waitress is not O’Malley’s suspected lover, but his biological daughter.

Anissa did not know who her father was until she turned 18 four years ago and obtained her birth record. Booth and Brennan ask about the deposits into her bank account and whether it was any kind of way of buying her silence, but it wasn’t: he was helping her with college tuition, and he never made a public statement about her because she asked him not to (she didn’t want to be another DC scandal). It is after this they realize she has no idea her father has been murdered. She does give them some insight into what O’Malley was thinking. He was upset about the vote, and she told him to follow his heart; then, she drove him home.

At the lab, Jessica finds abrasions behind the left ear, corresponding to a 31 gauge needle: someone (a woman, typically) probably poisoned the senator. Thus, Aubrey and Caroline go over the possible female suspects and find that the wife is the most likely: she has no alibi from 10 pm to 7 am, and she uses a 31 gauge needle for her diabetes treatment.

Booth and Aubrey head to the O’Malley residence to confront the widow. Turns out the poison used on the senator was ideal for homicide due to its quick short life (the reason why it didn’t come up in any toxicology report). It’s not an accessible poison; Winters probably had access to it. When they arrive at the home, they find even more reporters as there is a press conference about to start: the Governor is going to appoint Lynette to office (as the widow’s mandate is in place). Aubrey has questions for both Lynette and Senator Winters, but they don’t have enough evidence to back up anything.

BONES:  L-R:  Guest star Brenda Strong, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the "The Senator in the Street Sweeper" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: L-R: Guest star Brenda Strong, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the “The Senator in the Street Sweeper” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Meanwhile, Brennan and Jessica are reexamining the bones at the lab. What Jessica had labeled as a mark from the dismemberment might be something else: the hemorrhagic stain’s location suggests the subclavian artery was penetrated and the victim bled out. Moreover, Brennan’s gut is telling her there are not three different weapons, but just one. With Angela’s help, she moves the shapes around to relate them together: they form a shape akin to the state of Virginia. Hodgins chips in to offer the material: coal.

This gives Booth and Aubrey the evidence they need: the weapon is a petrified coal, Virginia-shaped award or statue, which Booth finds (and it smells like bleach). Brennan adds that due to the force the killer needed to use, they will have a blue stain on their hand tissue. Neither Lynette nor Winters have that, but Eric Morales (who tried to divert the attention from his hands by shoving them deeper into his pocket) does.

Morales was having an affair with Lynette; he also knew that O’Malley was going to vote against the bill, effectively ruining their future. His motive was that he knew about the Widow’s Mandate, and knew he and Lynette could make a difference together.

TV or not TV

Booth decides he wants to have a TV in his and Brennan’s bedroom, so they can use it while the kids watch the one in the living room. Brennan isn’t pleased by it: she knows how Booth’s mood varies depending on the hockey outcome of the night, plus she has read enough statistics to feel like their sex life could be severely threatened by that. Seeing that his wife takes it seriously, Booth promises to devote as much extra time as needed to their extracurricular activities in exchange for having the TV in the bedroom — which Brennan asks him to prove right there, right then. (The case Cam has called in about be damned! It helps Brennan has some scientific mumbo jumbo to back her request up.)

Thus, Brennan texts Angela to let her know they will be fifteen (no, an hour!) late to work that day. What’s more, during a conversation with Caroline about Brennan’s lack of filter at times, Brennan reveals they had sex twice that morning… proving Caroline’s point (the ADA’s reaction to hearing it was actually three times is honestly great). Don’t fret: even though Booth sides with Caroline on that, he sweetly supports and defends Brennan later in the car, showing why they are such a good match.

BONES:  L-R:  Guest star Brenda Strong, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the "The Senator in the Street Sweeper" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: L-R: Guest star Brenda Strong, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the “The Senator in the Street Sweeper” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

In the end, Brennan surprises Booth by leasing a TV for their bedroom — yes, leasing. If their intimacy levels don’t reach a certain minimum established by Brennan, the TV will be returned. While Booth is ready to keep those standards up, Brennan is in the mood to to watch a documentary and her recent interview on the news. And thus, we leave the two of them fighting for the remote.

I feel like someone failed to take Brennan’s TV time into consideration, thinking the TV would only be for them… and didn’t think it all through. Will the TV be there next week? Tune in!

Related to the TV business: who does a better Bogart impression: Booth or Brennan? (I vote Booth… but they are both awful.)

“I am pretty certain about you”

Ever since he was introduced, the show has made it clear Aubrey has higher aspirations than just being a pretty good FBI agent; tonight, it made it clear by revealing he has a ten-year plan, in which he enters the political circuit by the 2020 election cycle. (Whoa.) Because of the case’s political nature, both Caroline and Booth look out for him so that he doesn’t do or say anything that might be held against him when the time comes.

His major storyline, however, revolves around his ‘relationship’ with Jessica — last time we saw them, they obviously had a connection they brushed off as friendly and colleague-like. More than seven months later, and that chemistry is still there… only that it is something more, too. (Even glacially-paced relationships have some subtle movement!) At the very least, Aubrey and Jessica are now tv watching buddies (they’re binging on Battlestar Galactica), and have not moved beyond their friendship, but the potential for more is quite obvious for both parties — and everyone around them.

Thus, it’s not surprising that Caroline requesting Aubrey to look into Jessica’s past was not only about the DOJ’s clearance, but also about looking out for his future in politics. He uses the opportunity to do exactly that, but takes it a bit too far: she can see the disappointment in his eyes when she is honest about her answers about her Greenpeace involvement or drug usage. She does remind him that, though she’s who she is because of her past, she’s not like that anymore. The whole scene has a sad undertone to it, as it temporarily seems to squash any of their potential as a couple; in a way, it feels as if her college experiences (a time when she did not know him) is what is creating a wedge between the two. If anything, her plea does work, as he doesn’t really tell much to Caroline about their conversation.

This is why the scene with Angela and Brennan is important and quite eye-opening. Jessica expresses all those pent-up feelings of frustration at seeing something potentially end without having really started; like she says, these are the kind of issues you would question while you are in a relationship, not right before. Angela hits the nail on the head by saying that the best things in life happen against the odds (and that playing safe is boring). Much like Brennan resorting to statistics as her safe haven, Aubrey thinks outlining his future is going to secure his future, but he is not preparing for the unexpected — and those are the best things in life.

It’s amusing to see how Aubrey and Jessica’s relationship is following the same path Booth and Brennan’s did (at least in the early stages), but with a deeper awareness (and higher stakes). By bringing her past into the relationship, he is already straining a fun relationship and making it serious. But I think that what resonated with me the most was the whole uncertainty of where they stand: both feel there is something there but neither is doing anything to make it “official”; they are in a fun-for-us, confusing-for-them relationship.

‘Will they, won’t they’ is an exciting TV trope because engages the audience by being the most fun, agonizing experience for the viewer. So I like that tonight’s episode showed the confusion and torment the ‘limbo’ in one of those relationships brings — never really knowing where you stand, not being sure which way it’s going to go, but enjoying every little moment.

Luckily for us, we know the answer for this one: these crazy kids are probably going forward with their relationship… someday. Their dinner date (which they probably do not consider to be one) had them flirting: she doesn’t hold a grudge for his holding her past against her, while he makes it obvious he doesn’t mind — but blurting out how certain he’s about her. If anything, their smiles and timidness should tell you where this is going.

Another really solid and truly fun installment. It seems surprising to me there haven’t been more cases that have dealt with politics this directly, but this one was interesting as the victim was struggling between doing the right thing for his party, and doing the right thing to keep a clean conscience: not always an easy decision. This theme got some nice support from the main secondary storyline tonight, which put Aubrey at the center. His internal dilemma isn’t simple: Jessica doesn’t have an unblemished past, which could be detrimental to his own future in politics… but they still have something special brewing there. In the end, much like Rick O’Malley, it feels as if he chose to go with his heart and let things happen naturally.

Odds and Ends

  • I want to be Caroline Julian when I grow up. I also want her to be in every episode: I cannot decide on a favorite line or reaction, or anything. Maybe a toss-up between the antacid scene and her reaction to hearing Booth’s “three times”?
  • Speaking of which, her interactions with Aubrey are also an absolute delight.
  • Cam’s wardrobe continues to be great, but I also really liked Jessica’s dresses.
  • Also, Jessica now wears ponytails and not french braids!
  • Brennan figuring out who Jessica was talking about was adorable. I think she approves…?
  • Fun teaser with the Impractical Jokers. But oh lord, was it gross when he licked the blood thinking it was fake.
  • Brennan continued to call the Flyers ‘Whos-its’ after Booth mentioned them multiple times. Was she trying to rile him up? Also: it’s impressive how hot that scene manages to be just on the suggestive science talk + body language/innuendo.
  • Next week: Magic! Clark is back.


… 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

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