BONES 11×10 Debriefing: Fate Dealt You a Tricky Hand

 

This is way overdue. We know, we know.

The fact two episodes aired the same night, coupled with exams, made uploading this recap difficult. Add in Christmas travels (and the holiday itself), and it was not a good time to upload this at all. We decided to save it for a bit until the spring premiere, thinking it would be in early March (or late March, at the latest) and boy, were we wrong. Enough with excuses, though.

It’s mid-April and the show is finally coming back this week after four months off the air. (And little promotion to anyone watching on TV, ahem.) The previous episode ended with Angela and Hodgins at odds about expanding their family, and Cam opting to finally give Sebastian a serious chance.

Needless to say, this episode is a doozy. There is an inherent, underlying tension because you know things are going too well, and they are certainly not going to be like that by the end of the double-header. The events were pretty hyped, and we got plenty of reminders this was supposed to be the season opener until they decided to scrap that.

Let’s just recap what happened in Bones 11×10, “The Doom in the Boom”…

THE CASE || The Creep and The Simpleton

Aubrey, Hodgins and Cam are at the crime scene in Columbia Heights, where the body of a male in his mid 40s is found. Shortly after the victim’s phone starts ringing (weirdly connected to a wire), the body explodes. Cam is separated from the group, calling the lab to prepare the platform. Luckily, Aubrey is able to warn everybody and remove Hodgins far enough from the body to mostly shield him from the explosion. While there are four casualties (all cops), no one we know is among them.

BONES: L-R: John Boyd and TJ Thyne in the second part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: L-R: John Boyd and TJ Thyne in the second part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

At the hospital, the whole gang is worried: Hodgins is walking (in pain), but Aubrey is in surgery and it does not look good. Until Aubrey gets better, Booth will take the lead in the case.

While driving away from the hospital after such discouraging news, Booth tells Brennan they are sending the body of the deceased cops to the lab. However, Brennan is more concerned about how Booth might handle things in the event of Aubrey’s death — calling back to Sweets’ murder and Booth’s ultimate downward spiral into gambling as a result of his guilt.

Back at the lab, Brennan determines that the bomb was placed in the victim’s ribcage, and it was all about efficiency. Angela is distraught, not just because she almost lost her husband tonight, but on a philosophical note, wondering why they are always the lucky ones. (Um, hold that thought.) Right on cue, Arastoo appears out of nowhere to remind them they are still here because someone else needs to help those who aren’t. He came as soon as he could after hearing what happened on the news, and would like to help out. (Cam is not so happy with his return, though.) He proves to be useful quickly, as he finds the original victim had an artificial knee, which could ID him.

Three hours into Aubrey’s surgery, and there are still no updates. Caroline is concerned: The original victim they were investigating was also a cop for the DCPD named Thomas Gallo, who had been killed before his body was planted at the scene — suggesting the killer had a problem with law enforcement. Caroline knows a behavioral analyst who specializes in this kind of case, and brings her in first thing in the morning.

BONES: TJ Thyne in the second part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: TJ Thyne in the second part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Hodgins finds some asbestos fibers in Gallo’s clothing, but a piece of lung Cam examined contained none — meaning he was already dead by the time he was exposed to it.

Meanwhille, Karen Defts, the behavioral analyst,  studies the case. She postulates that the victim choice suggest sophistication, since it requires a level of planning. She also thinks that Gallo was likely targeted for a specific reason, that could ultimately lead them to the killer. (Booth: “That’s amazing! You drove all the way down here twice to tell me something I already know.”)
Booth interviews the head of the DCPD gang unit, where Gallo had spent the last ten years. The unit was after La Serpiente, bringing them in for minor violations. Four days ago (one before his death), Gallo nabbed the head of the organization for a broken tail light, and found an unregistered gun — the guy’s third strike. Meanwhile, Caroline brings Julian Molina in, the right hand man to the La Serpiente leader. Caroline speculates that they took Gallo down and used his body to send a message to the force. Molina insinuates he planted the gun in the back of his boss’ car in order to take over the gang.

Aubrey finally wakes up! Caroline and Hodgins, who are by his side, inform him that Jessica has also dropped by a couple of times. Luckily, none of his arteries or vital organs were injured. Hodgins is still feeling much gratitude towards Aubrey for saving his life. Unfortunately, they also have to break the news to the agent that not everyone survived.

After a night of hard work, Arastoo has cleaned, separated and rearticulated the bones, and finishes the skull reconstruction. The findings on the skull seem to point towards a close-range gunshot from a small caliber weapon, similar to La Serpiente’s style. However, as Hodgins informs them, the bomb seems to be a pipe bomb, far from what la Serpiente would typically employ.

BONES: L-R: Guest star Pej Vahdat and Michaela Conlin in the second part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: L-R: Guest star Pej Vahdat and Michaela Conlin in the second part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Angela uses the DCPD’s ‘ShotSpotter’ to locate the gunshots heard three nights ago, reducing it to just two places. Using the decibels and the gunshot frequency to determine the range, they are able to find the location where the victim was murdered. Hodgins, Cam and on-loan FBI tech guy take a trip to the dark alley were Gallo was shot, looking for stray bullets. After finding blood splatter on the wall, they quickly find a bullet that matches what they were looking for. Hodgins’ back hurts as he stands up, and he takes some pain relievers to cope. Moreover, Cam gets a message from Booth: a bus boy remembers seeing a bright orange Mustang at the time of the shooting. That car was also present the previous night.

The driver turns out to be the crime scene videographer. He is good at his job, and knows where to hang out. Karen gets to the interrogation room late, but brings the graphic images the videographer has sold to the news organizations as leverage. She compares his level of detachment to that of a murderer; his case isn’t helped by the fact he gets money every time his images are shown on any news station.

Angela analyzes the footage the guy took of the dark alley the night Gallo was murdered. She sees something behind the dumpster — a human being standing over the body, proving the videographer’s innocence.

Arastoo has found some postmortem injuries — the killer probably broke the bones to plant the bomb in the rib cage, using a powerful shearing tool. Moreover, Cam found a match for a fingerprint in the bullet they found in the alley, belonging to Scott Larette.

Caroline brings background information on Larette to Karen and Aubrey for them to study. He applied for a position with the DCPD multiple times, but failed due to anger issues. He ended up as a part-time security guard, but the police’s constant rejection could’ve fueled his rage tendencies. Caroline gets a message from Booth: it doesn’t look like Larette has been in his apartment all week.

BONES: L-R: Emily Deschanel, Tamara Taylor and Michaela Conlin in the second part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: L-R: Emily Deschanel, Tamara Taylor and Michaela Conlin in the second part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Hodgins has the results of the swab to the rib cage: traces of preprocessed latex. This can only be found at processing centers, and only one recently shut down that used asbestos in its insulation. Thus, the team has found the place where the killer brought the body to plant the bomb. Booth and a team raid the center, and find another body that has also been shot in the head. Hodgins and Arastoo determine that this is another caucasian male, who was killed around five days ago (the day before Gallo was killed). Thanks to Angela’s reconstruction, we know it is Larette.

Booth and Aubrey talk about all of this. The killer must have taken Larette’s gun after he killed him. Karen, for her part, has a profile on the killer: he seeks notoriety (Gallo was recently on the news, a symbol for good policing). The killer’s problem is with authority in general, which would make the task of identifying his next target difficult.
From Larette’s skull, Arastoo and Brennan are able to assert he was most likely shot at close range with his own gun, much like Gallo. There is some microfracturing in the left ulna, which suggests a defensive wound and a struggle before his death. Not only does this reflect this wasn’t as well planned a murder as Gallo’s, but it’s likely the killer left some traces behind.

Booth calls Brennan to the FBI, since he is coming up short. He is thinking of making himself a target, so he at least knows who the killer is going after. Brennan is upset at this prospect, as he’s been through a lot as of late (“I just got you back!”). Caroline interrupts their argument so they can watch the news: Aubrey is making himself the target, buying the team some time.

Cam found some postmortem tears to the hip and shoulder tissue, suggesting two killers. There is also a depression fracture to the occipital, caused by a wide flat surface.

BONES: L-R: Guest star Pej Vahdat, Emily Deschanel, Tamara Taylor and Michaela Conlin in the second part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: L-R: Guest star Pej Vahdat, Emily Deschanel, Tamara Taylor and Michaela Conlin in the second part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Aubrey knows he beat them to the punch. He snuck out of the hospital, arguing he is fine. Hodgins has found wax on the back of the victim’s skull: he was hit with a skateboard. The kids who found Gallo’s body were skateboarding, too.

Booth and Aubrey pay a visit to the suspect’s home. There are some neat details on the photographs: one of the kids’ father was a cop, but probably died years ago. When Booth and Aubrey enter the room, they are preparing new weapons. It is after the interrogation that we get some more details, when Karen debriefs Aubrey and Caroline at the Diner: the leader of the two is an extremely intelligent kid with psychopathic tendencies. The kid’s father was a cop, who died years ago. After work, he would redirect his anger onto his wife and kid. After getting into an argument with Larette when they got caught skating on private property, things got out of hand.


The episode was not really a two-parter in conjuction with 11×09, but there were interesting storylines that carried over. (Then again, the show is usually good at that.) Let’s explore them more in depth:

CAM’S LOVE LIFE/ARASTOO’S RETURN

As we know, Cam is now seeing Sebastian but Arastoo’s reappearance is bound to complicate matters. After all, Arastoo appeared in the lab as soon as he heard they were in trouble, while Sebastian took a day or so to get in touch with Cam. When the former intern returns, Hodgins is the first one to voice what everyone might be thinking: Cam is in a tough spot right now. As he later reveals to his mentor, Arastoo is not employed at all.

There’s an inherent awkwardness to Cam and Arastoo’s interactions, but that’s how it works when you break up with someone you work in close proximity to. Cam does not really tell him about Sebastian, until Hodgins lets it slip once she takes a personal phone call. (Which makes for a really fun Hodgins moment!)

BONES: Tamara Taylor in the second part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: Tamara Taylor in the second part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

While Brennan offers Arastoo her connections to assist him in his job hunt, he rejects her help. We later learn why: he’s being courted by a company based in Berlin, who is offering him a great position. However, that would mean leaving Cam behind and if he’s learned something since they’ve broken up, it’s that he doesn’t want to be away from her.

Though Sebastian might not be a serious relationship, Cam still deserves love, and to properly move on from him. Plainly admitting to someone that you want them back in your life is putting them in an impossible position.
We will probably get a better peek into Cam’s mind in future episodes, but Angela’s terrifying scream cut their heart-to-heart moment short.

HODGINS AND ANGELA

In a slightly selfish decision, Hodgins admitted he was not sure he was ready to alter their family dynamics and make room for someone else. Since Hodgins was not present for the date night at the beginning of this episode – he was away at that fateful crime scene – Angela laments his decision with her close friends. When Angela sees a drawing Christine created expressing her love for her little brother, it is clear she wants that for Michael Vincent. And, who can blame her? When you see your friends expand their families and be so happy about it, it’s natural to feel that longing. (We are also given some insight into Michael Vincent’s life. The kid has an entourage of friends — he will probably be alright.)

The good news: The explosion makes Hodgins reconsider his stance on having kids. After this near-death experience, he is ready to have as many ‘curly-headed little ones’ as Angela wants. He admits to wanting to get out of his comfort zone: there is so much in life he wants to experience with her, and he wants to keep growing. This would be a start.

BONES: Guest star Pej Vahdat l in the second part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: Guest star Pej Vahdat l in the second part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

The bad news: You know how Hodgins looked increasingly paler every time we saw him throughout the episode? That was no coincidence, and was all leading up to his collapse. He suffered localized trauma after the blast, which resulted in significant swelling around the spinal cord. (Cord swelling doesn’t peak until 24-48 hours after the fact.) The aspirin he kept taking for the pain only worsened the condition: he now has epidural hematoma compressing his spine. He is paralyzed.

There was nothing as heartbreaking as seeing Cam and Brennan’s expressions as they realized the gravity of his condition, in contrast to Angela and Booth’s more optimistic approach. Hearing the news was a blow to everyone.


This was a very intense episode, with a disturbing case. I can see why it was originally supposed to be the premiere, but it has even more impact with the character work from the past nine episodes. There is an inherent tension to knowing there is something bad about to happen, and trying to guess what it is. (Spoiler alert: it is still devastating.) It was easy to rule out possible victims, and at one point, it became clear it would be Hodgins — I mean, it is hard to not notice how ill he gets as the episode goes on.

It is just so sad. After rewatching the episode a couple of times, I keep realizing there were subtle details I missed (mostly, ironic statements) that made me even sadder for the characters.

The case itself is horrific. The homicidal kids are truly terrible people and I don’t have any sympathy for that. I applaud Caroline’s decision in the end to not reveal their names to the public. When people commit truly terrible acts, they do not deserve the notoriety they are seeking. I feel for the smart one’s abuse as a kid, but there are plenty of examples in the characters on the show who did not go down that path. They killed innocents for nothing.

As Karen Defts, a behavioral analyst assisting with the case, Sara Rue got to be the comic relief of this episode and she was fantastic. She had smart insights, and she provided some much-needed levity with her endearingly awkward moments. She should be an interesting character to have around when the next serial killer comes along.

The regular cast also got to show their more dramatic chops, thanks to the consequences of that pipe bomb, while showing what a close-knit family they are: Brennan was as equally worried about her husband’s possible reckless actions as she was about her best friend’s husband’s condition; Jessica might have not been in the episode, but we know she’s still tight with Aubrey; Arastoo’s different bonds with Hodgins and Brennan reveal his headspace, and so on. There were plenty of examples of that here.

My favorite part about this episode was all the characters’ interactions. It is always a delight to see how much they have evolved throughout the years, and how everyone rallies when one of them is wronged. The reason why the final scene packs such a punch is not just because of how bad you feel for the characters, but because the show has taken the time to carefully develop their lives. In Hodgins’ case, we have seen how this propelled him to realize he wants to get out of his comfort zone; now he is so far out of it, he might wish to go back. His life (and by proxy, Angela’s) is upended in ways he could not anticipate.

BONES: Emily Deschanel in the second part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

BONES: Emily Deschanel in the second part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

While I could not feel worse about what he is going through, I cannot wait to see how Hodgins navigates his new condition, and how it affects everyone around him. I’m particularly curious to see how it affects his relationship with two people. One would be Aubrey, since he felt deep gratitude for saving his life, but I can’t help but wonder if this new condition turns that into resentment. After all, I imagine the way Aubrey shielded him might have inflicted some trauma to his spinal cord. (He should not be blamed for saving his life, but deep pain might make you say things you do not mean.) The other one is obviously Angela: this is not an easy situation, and they have been relatively lucky (as Angela pointed out early in the episode)— it could be argued their relationship has been the most drama-free in the last few years. I’m excited to see how their strong marriage is tested, while I also prepare myself for some angst. (I imagine another kid will be the last thing on their minds.)

Odds and Ends

  • So I’m probably going to be referring to putanesca as “whore sauce” from now on. Thanks, Booth.
  • I do love Booth and Brennan host double dates with Hodgins and Angela. While we might not see it all on screen, I love knowing the characters hang out when murder is not involved.
  • Caroline Julian is still a national treasure, and her “I’ll have what she’s having” never fails to make me laugh.
  • I enjoy Aubrey and Booth’s relationship. This episode highlighted how far they’ve come since that tepid start to their work partnership. Aubrey has taken after his mentor in a lot of things, including being prone to making stupid, impulsive decisions that put them in danger.
  • This recap’s title comes from one of the Lumineers’ new songs, “In the Light.” It felt pretty appropriate.
  • Just a few days until the show is back! Check the stills right here and check back later in the week for our recap. We promise it won’t be four months late this time around.

 

… 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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