BONES 11×07 Debriefing: “A Little Mystery is Good for the Soul”

BONES:  L-R:  David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel and guest star Jay Thomas in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Kevin Estrada/FOX

In these times where anything is a Google search away, parents have to come up with increasingly creative ways to trick their kids into believing some mysteries to create a sense of wonder and feed their imagination.

Tonight’s episode was centered around magic and deception, whether it was our victim of the week, an argument about the Tooth Fairy, or magic aficionados Clark and Hodgins one-upping each other. Ultimately, the case came down to something as abstract and binding as a promise.

Read on for more thoughts on Bones 11×07, “The Promise in the Palace”…

Avada Kedavra! (Oh wait. Wrong type of magic.)

This week’s victim is a female in her mid-20s found near a national park in Gainesville, VA, killed in the last forty-eight hours. There are plenty of indications she might be a performer of some kind: Her bone density, muscle tone, and light frame are consistent with her being a dancer — she also has various fractures and dislocations that have happened over the years. There is a the key she seemed to swallowed plenty of times.

BONES:  Emily Deschanel and guest star Eugene Byrd in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: Emily Deschanel and guest star Eugene Byrd in the “The Promise in the Palace” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

After some complications with the reconstruction, a partial finger fingerprint helps reduce a list of 397 women to just one: Klarissa Mott — a 27-year old from Silver Spring, MD. Interestingly enough, she had no relatives in the DC Metro area and no one had reported her missing. Thus, Aubrey and Booth pay her roommate Anna a visit, and find her cooking for the catering business he runs with her boyfriend, Victor. While  Anna and Klarissa did not know each other very well (they found each other online and kept to themselves), she reveals that Klarissa was an escape artist who worked at the Magic Palace, where she performed as Klarissa Bilbao — confirming what her bones hinted at about her profession.

Thus, Booth and Brennan head to the Magic Palace where Brennan disapproves of everything, as magic sets out to deceive its audience. (In case you doubted where Booth stands on that debate: the place is riddled with magic memorabilia, and he’s pretty stoked about that.) Soon, Lenny Jr. appears and calls his father, the owner. Mr. Jay discovered Klarissa at the National Mall and gave her a start. This gamble paid off, as her acts were groundbreaking, and had recently secured her the coveted Friday night main stage.

BONES:  L-R:  David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel and guest star Jay Thomas in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Kevin Estrada/FOX

BONES: L-R: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel and guest star Jay Thomas in the “The Promise in the Palace” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Kevin Estrada/FOX

Mr. Jay also points them towards Klarissa’s main competition. Aubrey brings him in for questioning, and inquires about the burns, as his act involves fire. He reveals they all pulled pranks on each other; this particular fire prank is one he had done to her plenty of times but this time, she was distracted enough to miss it. He argues that Klarissa had lost her attention to detail as of late. He had the motive to kill her (he had just gotten the main stage and she took it away from him) but does he have an alibi? (Probably.)

Back at the lab, Cam informs Brennan and Clark that Klarissa’s liver shows high levels of dilaudid, an extremely addictive painkiller — and the possible reason for the change in her life? There is a correlation between this and her mysterious $340 withdrawals from the same ATM every Wednesday: the security cameras at that ATM reveal she then went to the building that can be seen in the background. Interestingly enough, the guy who lives and works there is a flexibility trainer who uses an active release technique to loosen the muscles — Klarissa wanted more pliability in her shoulders and hips; she paid in cash because he lost his PT license. He also mentions she was positive and completely focused on her work; as for himself, he doesn’t sell dope (despite his reputation) nor does he sleep with his clients.

Furthermore, Angela uncovers some anonymous, threatening emails accusing her of stealing moves. According to Aubrey, Mr. Jay has openly admitted he gave Klarissa his moves, grateful he had someone to carry on his traditions — thus, it’s not a surprise when the emails turn out to be from Jay’s son, Lenny Jr. When brought into questioning, he admits to being upset she was doing his father’s tricks (including his father’s signature “Drunken Monkey”). He knew something was up, so he followed her for a few days until he got the courage to confront her; thanks to that, he saw her kissing some guy who dropped her off at the Palace.

BONES:  Emily Deschanel and guest star Eugene Byrd in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: Emily Deschanel and guest star Eugene Byrd in the “The Promise in the Palace” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Moving the case along, Clark is reexamining the ulna mark, where he found a defensive wound. Brennan points to another indentation that was probably made simultaneously by the same weapon. Whatever the weapon is, it has corners at an angle of 135 degrees and made of alloy. Simultaneously, Aubrey has asked the Palace people about Klarissa’s mystery man but no one knows. Her super, however, mentioned she got some flowers a few weeks ago. Later, Clark also takes a look at the damaged hyoid bone and finds some bruising and microfracturing in its cornua, which pretty much reveal cause of death.

Later that night, while Booth and Brennan are discussing their friend’s love life, Cam calls them to tell them the latest findings: the neck tissue was bruised by hives from her life-long fungus allergy, and it was close enough to time of death that it was still present. Booth quickly connects the fungus to truffle — particularly, the truffle oil Victor was using to cook at the apartment: he was probably the mystery lover.

The next morning, Victor (Anna’s boyfriend) is brought in for questioning. He denies having anything to do with the oil on her neck, but eventually admits they were having an affair — the oil got on her neck when they kissed goodbye. He does reveal they were meant to meet at her place later that night but that never happened, and denies the flowers are from him — they were just having some casual, very good sex; she only loved her work. As for Anna? He actually thinks she might know, as she might have looked into his phone. Thus, Aubrey pays Anna a visit and we find that she knew about the affair but didn’t kill Klarissa. She has invested everything in her catering venture and didn’t want to hurt her business, so she looked the other way. However, her previous convention alibi is not solid as her company’s credit card’s records show she bought gas and groceries in DC the night Klarissa was killed.

The case keeps progressing at the lab, as Clark determines the fractures in the mandible to have been caused by the same alloy object as the ulna, and Aubrey finds that the flower sender was a casino in Las Vegas: Klarissa had accepted a new job.

BONES:  L-R:  Guest star Eugene Byrd and TJ Thyne in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: L-R: Guest star Eugene Byrd and TJ Thyne in the “The Promise in the Palace” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Magic enthusiasts Clark and Hodgins have collected every piece of magic memorabilia from the Jeffersonian archives. Even though they are goofing around, which infuriates magic opponent Brennan — until Hodgins confirms the mandible and the ulna were made from the same alloy, only the latter was a sharp object with a blunt surface. Brennan quickly settles on the lock and chain. Thanks to the Angelatron simulations and picture base, they are able to postulate a few scenarios with the Drunken Monkey lock from the Magic Palace. The lock proves to be a match for all those injuries: she was hit by the lock (her left arm was up defensively) and then, the killer strangled her with the chain. She fell to her face, damaging her maxilla and zygomatic. If the Vegas flowers didn’t tip you off as to who the killer was, this does: Lenny Jay Sr. did it, and it’s possible he hasn’t gotten rid of the incriminating lock yet because he’s arrogant.

Therefore, Brennan and Booth head the the Palace to find a recently cleaned lock. Unfortunately for Mr. Jay, he couldn’t have cleaned the interiors, which still have the victim’s blood. (Brennan makes up some reasons that sound pretty scientific to make him confess, though.) Why did he do it? He had given her a start and her best material (that he hadn’t even shared with his own son). She had promised to him she would spend her whole career at the Palace… After investing so much in her, she had broken her promise. (He also says that’s why her death was her own fault. Oh-kay.)

Later that night, at the Booth and Brennan household, Booth gets Brennan to admit she tricked Lenny Jay in order for him to confess, as DNA samples would take too long — allowing him to make up a new excuse.


A World Full of Magic and Deception

Christine’s first tooth fell out! Most parents would just leave some money in exchange for that memento, but this is Booth and Brennan we are talking about. More specifically, this is Brennan we are talking about:  she would rather explain to her the science behind baby teeth than let her daughter believe some goblin broke into her room to exchange a body part for money. (When you put it like that… it does sound creepy.) Yeah, that really sounds like fun — but not unlike Brennan.

BONES:  L-R:  Guest star Jay Thomas, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Kevin Estrada/FOX

BONES: L-R: Guest star Jay Thomas, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the “The Promise in the Palace” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Kevin Estrada/FOX

As a fellow scientist and parent, Hodgins has adopted the opposite stance: they are kids, so why not let them believe in that! She is deeply rooted in science and reality so it is not strange she considers this to insult the children’s intelligence or a fraud by the parents.

During their visit to the Magic Palace, Brennan likens magic to the tooth fairy myth, mentioning the deceiving nature of both. Brennan is quite insistent Christine needs to know why her baby teeth fall out, rather than just getting ice cream money (that will cause her to lose more of those teeth). Later on, Booth brings the tooth fairy topic up to Aubrey and surprisingly, he agrees with Brennan’s stance,  arguing she is a very smart woman, who might know something they don’t.

Eventually, Brennan comes to realize that some trickery and deception aren’t too bad, and thus decides to slip a dollar under Christine’s pillow when she kisses her goodnight.

Magic was everywhere in this episode (though the victim was more of an escape artist), so it’s not a surprise when the characters try their hand at it. Clark admits to being a magic fan himself (which Brennan doesn’t really understand). Thanks to her, though, we find out that magic got Clark through middle school, where he was picked on because of his intelligence. This brief bonding moment prompts Clark to show her one of his tricks; however, Brennan quickly explains it away once again. (Poor Clark. He was just trying to impress her!)

Wanting to prove he is better than that coin trick, he enters into cahoots with Hodgins for a new act that uses a beaker filled with water and a spoon he makes disappears. Yet, he isn’t lucky: Brennan quickly explains it off with science, guessing the water was warm enough to dissolve a gallium spoon. For the record, Hodgins’ delivery of “You made Dr. B disappear!” was probably my favorite of the night.

However, the third time’s the charm… only, Clark is not the one behind the trick: it’s Booth. He takes the important document she is filling out and folds it… and tears it. However, the document is still intact in its folded form in Brennan’s shirt’s pocket! She’s shocked and cannot figure out what he did. When she asks him about it, he trolls her: “How did you do that?” “I did that very well, thank you.”  (Another serious contender for favorite quote of the night.) The only thing better about shocking Brennan like that were the eye rolls she shot in his direction.


Successful, good-looking man seeks…

Sebastian 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 hanging around her office. Cam comes in during one of those sessions, and believes Sebastian is interested in Angela as more than just a mentor. Kohl does call Angela at least once over the course of the episode, to which Cam reacts with a knowing smile. (Cam, she’s married!)

BONES:  Michaela Conlin and Tamara Taylor in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: Michaela Conlin and Tamara Taylor in the “The Promise in the Palace” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

That’s not quite what it is, though.

Cam runs into Sebastian after getting some coffee. Her apparent forwardness after she implies she knows why he has been around so much, makes him admit he wanted to ask her out — which catches Cam completely off guard. (They apparently connected at the gallery a few weeks back!) Cam gently rejects his offer by confessing she isn’t ready, as she recently got out of a serious relationship they talked at the gallery. He sweetly offers he will still be there if she changes her mind, and if her smiling face as she walks away is any indication… she’s inclined to say yes soon.

She decides to tell Angela what just happened, feeling that she has a right to know, since Sebastian and Angela are close. Angela dismisses it and reminds her what I thought for much of this episode: she’s a happily married woman! (Come on, Cam.) The whole scene is truly fantastic, though: Cam admits to not being over Arastoo yet and Angela reminds her that it takes time, and to cherish the attention from a new suitor— after being with someone great like Arastoo, nothing compares but she won’t know what will happen if she doesn’t try.

Even Booth and Brennan discuss their friend’s love life! Booth understands why she hasn’t dated since Arastoo, while Brennan thinks it’s been long enough — she would like her to move on, just like she’d hope Booth would do if something were to happen to them. Booth is alarmed to hear that — what would happen to them? Brennan has a long, slightly depressing list, that calls back to the dangers of their jobs: Sweets, Jared, etc. (This is also the reason they quit their jobs a few months ago!). Before they are interrupted by a phone call (from Cam, coincidentally), Brennan argues he’d want her to be happy — he only gets to sweetly say he doesn’t like the idea of her with another guy.

After a whole day of mulling it over, and once the case is closed, Cam decides to take the plunge and call that good-looking photographer with a very appealing accent!


Another entertaining episode that had some nice case-personal side thematic resonance. I guess that Klarissa’s distraction was due to having to leave her home for a better opportunity: she was successful at the Palace, so she ironically didn’t need to escape this life or anything. Yet, breaking that unrealistic promise (why would you limit someone’s potential to go places like that?!?) ultimately cost her her life.

BONES:  Emily Deschanel and guest star Eugene Byrd in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: Emily Deschanel and guest star Eugene Byrd in the “The Promise in the Palace” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Clark used to be reticent to share anything personal, yet I enjoy whenever he divulges a piece of his past: learning magic was so important to him was touching, even if Brennan caught his tricks right away. (A normal person wouldn’t be so quick to figure them out.) It’s even appropriate that was his ‘escape,’ so to speak, as magic does feed kids’ imaginations, and the skill and practice required probably helped him concentrate on something else.

As for the tooth fairy argument, I might not side with Brennan on this one but she did raise a good point: that is one creepy story. Christine is still a five year-old who will probably be happier to get money than a scientific explanation (even if she’s proven to be her mother’s daughter). I have read many Facebook posts in the past few days about families who have made up traditions or stories so that their kids have something to look forward to, something they cannot really explain by looking it up online. There is a whole argument to be made about how much folklore is actually made-up, enhanced stories that fermented kids’ imaginations in times where the spoken word was the only distraction you could have — and how magic is a derivation of that.

I digress. I liked how Brennan came around in the end: not only did she trick Mr. Jay in the end in order to close the case (before he had a chance to trick them), but she also got outplayed by Booth with his awesome magic trick. After all, a little mystery is good for the soul.

As for Cam’s storyline, I really hope Sebastian is as good as he looks because Cam deserves to be happy. (That accent and those good looks don’t hurt, either.) Do I think they are going last? Probably not, but they obviously like each other and that’s a good start. Not going to lie: I initially thought the writers were indeed setting Sebastian up to come between Hodgins and Angela, which I wasn’t too fond of… so I am so happy he’s not. That scene between Angela and Cam was fantastic, and probably my favorite in the episode — their friendship is one I enjoy immensely, and that scene encapsulated everything I love about their dynamic. Also, Angela has been dishing some great relationship advice as of late, and I am loving every second of it.

Overall, this was a really entertaining episode full of callbacks (have I mentioned how much I am loving those?), fun one-liners, and great character interactions. This has been a great fall run so far and I can’t wait until the Thanksgiving episode next week!


Odds and Ends

  • Brennan drove her car this week! There was some “Who’s the better driver/what’s the better lane” banter! I don’t even mind most of it was some Toyota product placement.
  • I loved how Hodgins and Booth also turned out to be magic enthusiasts. All the memorabilia in the episode was pretty cool, so I don’t blame them.
  • The music cue that played while we saw the acts at the Magic Palace kind of  reminded me of the Harry Potter theme.
  • Thinking he was some other actor, I was amused to find out Lenny Jay Jr. is played by Zak Henri — Brenda Strong’s son. (Brenda Strong appeared in last week’s episode as Senator Winters.)
  • I love the Clark-Brennan dynamic, and I love when Clark opens up to someone about this past!
  • Next week: Thanksgiving at chez Booth! (Promo, stills.)

… 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

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