We start with the married duo debating the pros and cons of bouncy houses for their daughter's birthday. In fact, Brennan doesn't see the need for a birthday party at all, and comments on the fact that she never had a birthday party. Max comes downstairs and defends his parenting skills by reminding everyone that they were fugitives.
At the Jeffersonian, there is a newly minted author on the premises: Clark. He has written a mystery novel and is pretty excited about his achievement.
Hodgins and Clark take a peek at a clump of dirt and vegetation that are covering some remains. Hodgins is in heaven when the kudzu plant starts moving because it is still growing, while Cam is pretty sure it is just plain creepy. They are worried that the living roots will damage the victim's bones.
Booth turns to Sweets to discuss how upset he is that Brennan never had a birthday party. Sweets is sympathetic, and he also never had a birthday party. Booth shares that the only time he ever saw his father sober was at his birthday party. Sweets urges his friend to let Brennan help plan the festivities.
Clark's Novel Dream
Brennan arrives and determines that the victim, who is still encased in the vegetation, is a male. Hodgins cuts away the leaves to remove the skull before it is damaged. When he pronounces it free, the skull falls apart in front of a horrified Brennan.
Cam and Hodgins think that the time of death is approximately eight days ago. Booth finds tire tracks next to the embankment where the body was dumped. Clark is also making progress, and it seems the victim suffered trauma to the head and sustained other injuries consistent with a fight. Clark is also heady from his writing experience and wants Hodgins to read the manuscript. Cam also tries to dodge the novel and suggests that Brennan read it.
Carrot Bill is Dead
The DNA evidence is back, and the victim is Joe Starkel. Booth and Brennan head out to meet with Starkel's brother at the television production company where they both worked. Booth rejects Brennan's idea of an environmental storyteller for Christine's party. The couple watch a group of actors, dressed as vegetables, singing and dancing. Booth loves it, and even knows the name of the group -- The Veg-Ta-Bills -- since they are all named Bill. It seems that Christine is a fan, while Brennan is not so much. Bones and Booth's heated debate over whether corn is a vegetable is hilarious!
The scene ends, and it is time to notify Mr. Broccoli, and his wife, that his brother is dead. Joe played Carrot Bill, and his brother, Ken, has no idea who would want to hurt him. It has been a few months since Ken saw Joe because he left the show to create a new one.
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Brennan and Booth go to the set of the new show, Mirthquake Village
, to gather some information. Apparently, Joe was far from popular, and the show was a flop. Jake, the producer, pulled the plug on the production. An actor comes over and lets it slip that Joe and Jake had a physical fight. Jake claims self-defense. Don't they always? In this case, Jake's alibi of being out of the country holds up.
Hodgins works his scientific magic and finds motor oil and the remnants of Portland cement on the victim. Cam and Hodgins bond over their mutual fear that Clark's book may be junk.
Angela looks at Carrot Bill's Twitter account, and there are some adult fans of the show. One fan in particular, Debra Ann Volker, catches Angela's attention because she sounds obsessed with Starkel. She also threatened his life a week before the murder. So Sweets sits down with her to chat. Debra, a cosmetic sales woman, watches the show with her son, and admits to being a fan. She also credits the Veg-Ta-Bills with helping her lose weight and become healthier. Sweets feels that Volker is on the edge of being capable of killing Joe.
Meanwhile, Clark's book club is in full force, and Cam, Hodgins and Angela can't stand to read another overly descriptive word. Clark enters the room, and they try to cover up their true sentiments so they don't crush his dream.Childhood Memories
Brennan and her father meet for coffee and Brennan confesses that she is uncomfortable about her daughter's birthday party because she doesn't have an understanding of it from her own childhood. She blames her parents for making the choice to break the law. Max reveals that he and Brennan's mother didn't plan to be fugitives, and that he will someday reveal the motives for their actions when it is safe to do so. Max encourages his daughter to remember pleasant childhood memories, like playing tag together. A Motive for Murder?
Clark and Brennan puzzle over cause of death. It looks like Joe was somehow rendered unconscious since he has no injuries consistent with trying to break his fall. Angela gains another piece of the puzzle when she finds Joe's deleted e-mails to the owner of the company, Henry Munson, about wanting to come back to the Veg-Ta-Bills. Munson's son, Tommy Munson, is the new Carrot Bill.
Booth talks with Tommy, who mentions that he knew that Joe wanted to come back, and that Joe was secretly creating a new character for him. He also spills that Joe and his brother fought often. Munson remarks that Joe met a lot of women through the show. Yikes!
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Clark determines that Joe had CPR several months before his death, causing fracturing to the victim's sternum and ribs. Brennan finds Joe's medical records, and he suffered from a rare heart condition that can cause a fatal arrhythmia if one is frightened or shocked. Although he was prescribed medication for it, his toxicology results showed no drugs in his system. Brennan thinks that he may have stopped taking the medication because it can cause impotence.
Booth tells Brennan that he has booked a one-man band for entertainment at Christine's party. Brennan requests that they also play tag, and she brags about her tag skills.
Angela tracks down credit card charges that correspond to Joe and his sister-in-law, Marilyn. It looks like Joe's brother just jumped to the top of the suspect list. During their sit-down, Starkel admits to knowing about his wife's affair and that they have an open marriage. He is also shocked that his brother stopped taking his heart medication.
Parking Lot Clues
The team narrows down the murder scene to the parking lot next to the studio the Veg-Ta-Bills use, and it happens to be the set of Charlie's Barnyard. They find blood in the parking lot. Hodgins also discovers traces of high quality makeup in the run-off from the kudzu.
And the Killer Is...
Booth and Brennan interrogate Volker and let her know that they found Joe's blood and DNA in the trunk of her car. Her tires also match the tire tracks where the victim was dumped. She finally admits to driving up behind him in her electric car and honking the horn. Joe collapsed, hitting his head against a cement parking block.
Now that the case is solved, Clark serves wine to his book club while they gather to discuss his novel. Clark has a publisher, and it happens to be the same one who publishes Brennan's books. I see trouble on the horizon with this situation. They all compliment the book while swigging down the wine.
Christine's party at the park is underway, and when Ronnie the one-man band passes out drunk, Booth climbs into his outfit and gets ready to entertain. Of course, the show must go on! His performance, and appearance, is priceless! Christine says that she wants to play tag, and Booth and Brennan chase their daughter in a gleeful game.
I really liked this episode of Bones, and this sentimental ending was perfect.
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