Okay, now, see? That was a most excellent Bones episode. Paying respectful homage to Sweets' memory without reliving the profound grief of the previous two episodes, "The Purging of the Pundit" brought equal parts understated humor and emotional confrontation for Booth while allowing the rest of the team to move forward, but not away from their own grief over his loss.
The best parts of this episode were unquestionably the combination of simple humor and the perfectly delivered discomforting grappling poor Booth as he tries to get back into the swing of working a case without the baby duck by his side. What I love about this episode is that no one steps over the loss as if it were a pile of unspeakable poo left on the middle of the kitchen floor with Booth not being allowed to suffer in silence. Booth has too many people in his life who care about him to let that sleeping dog lie.
And what about Aubrey? Well, that guy has earned a place in this veteran show as well as in my favor and hopefully yours -- if not after the last two episodes, then certainly after this one. Aubrey makes his own case and delivers it with the appropriate mix of chutzpah, respect, and dare I say, grace? I feel an op-ed article on this very topic coming on. Stay tuned for more on Aubrey and other nuances from "The Pundit" in the drainpipe to appear on our blog in the next 24 hours. For now, let's get down to the nitty gritty of tonight's episode.
Booth is in the Hurt Bag, but Sex and Pancakes Just Might Cure Him
After two high school co-eds come across the dead body, we are treated to a scene at The Mighty Hut 2.0 where Booth is up way before the rooster crows and it appears he hasn't been sleeping well since he got out of prison. Geez, it feels weird saying, "Booth got out of prison." Not because I never thought he'd get out, but because the idea of prison itself seems so crude in the same sentence with the refinement of the man we've come to know very well as Seeley Booth. Not that he's a pansy by any stretch of the imagination, but because he's not a thug, which is what comes to mind when I think of prison. I still just want to hold the guy and make all that crap go away.
Apparently, Brennan is feeling the same way and is quite worried about her man. She attempts to tell him about it and he shrugs it off, diverting her attention with the promise of pancakes. Okay, pancakes may fill the tummy and give a person a good start to the day, but a lack of sleep can do a body damage.
So, if Booth is having trouble sleeping, perhaps he needs what Brennan has admitted she finds helpful in starting her off to a good night's rest: a couple good orgasms. Remember that from that wonderful scene in "The Sense in the Sacrifice" when they are awaiting the call that Flynn has successfully delivered the corpse to the park to entice Pelant? Yes, that's what I'm talking about. And what better episode to return the favor than one that centers around a man who's into S&M. However, as I may have already mentioned, the gravity of the loss Booth and Brennan have faced does not lend itself to that kind of humor during the morning conversation. I digress.
The Case of the Causticly Conservative Corpse
So, the body of a talking head is found half eaten in a drain pipe under the most beautifully constructed underpass in all of DC and its environs. As an aside, why is it always the storm drains that catch the dead bodies? They should be called corpse drains. I digress again.
It turns out the victim was an ultra conservative talking head hated by many for the extreme persona he portrayed on his talk radio show. Aubrey joins the team at the crime scene and almost hurls several times. He could have played it up a bit more, but he's convincing enough. Hodgins is in his element digging around in the in the drain pipe pulling out the ferret den which looks like Frankenstein's grade school papier-mache project because it's dappled with hair, body parts and gnarled clothing bits. The ferrets, however, and stinkin' adorable.
The Return of Dr. Rodolpho Fuentes
The squint on deck in "The Purging of the Pundit" is Dr. Rodolpho Fuentes whom we first met in "The Repo Man in the Septic Tank." Right off the bat, Fuentes expresses his condolences over the loss of Sweets and we have a poignant moment where everyone gets a tiny bit choked up, but Cam, per usual, moves things along quickly. Throughout the episode Fuentes makes several thoughtful observations or comments that give us greater insight into who this man is. He's not just some displaced Lothario looking to find another lab to make his own or another woman to bed. Not that he was completely shallow in our first exposure to him, but this time he is appropriate in every way and I hope we see more of him in the future.
Once again, adding to both the plot and the development of Fuentes' character, Rodolpho makes several comments referring back to his experiences which are relevant to the case at hand. He is the one who identifies markers consistent with torture on the bones of the deceased. Before long, he and Brennan together determine that the evidence points toward some form of compassionate torture which they correctly realize is more likely the result of sadomasochism rather than pain inflicted against the victim's will.
Add to this the fact that the victim's blood does not show increased levels of the chemical the body usually produces when under extreme duress. So, again, it looks like aggressive sex play is part of the tableau for this case.
Professional Assholes Make A Lot of Money
Aubrey does some research and uncovers that the victim, Hutch Whitehouse, a big time conservative blowhard on the radio earns about $10 million a year. As the case unfolds we learn that Whitehouse didn't believe half of what he spewed into the ether through the radio waves. As a matter of fact, he felt so guilty about it that he rented out office space, had it sound-proofed and hired a dominatrix to beat the crap out of his testicles and other body parts to punish him for being such an asshole - even though his on-air douchiness was just his stage persona. As an aside, I was a bit disappointed not to get to see Dominatrix Scarguard (what a name for a whip-yielding woman, no?), played by the lovely Mouzam Makkar who was suited up in some black leather and ass-less chaps. Full disclosure: I've always wanted to mention "ass-less chaps" in an article. My day has just been made. TMI? Who cares. Thank you, blessed Bones Fairies.
Angela roots through Whitehouse's data and finds a rented office space that Whitehouse spent three thousand dollars sound proofing. Brennan and Booth head over to check the place out and find lots of bodily fluids that cause Booth to almost hurl. Brennan, on the other hand, is quite intrigued by all the paraphernalia. Take a look at her smirk in the image at the top of this article. Though this scene provides fodder for some interesting back and forth between the partners, what it doesn't provide is cause of death or the murder weapon.
Whitehouse has gained himself an entire file cabinet full of enemies who want to kill him, but the most suspicious are his beautiful wife, his dominatrix, and one of his biggest opponents whom Brennan and Booth confront.
Aubrey Stands Up to Booth
Aubrey did some good research and works hard to gain Booth's trust. However, Booth is still very much in the hurt bag over losing Sweets and is not yet ready to allow anyone to take Sweets' place by his side. Aubrey, though originally seeming to be a combination of Sweets and Vincent Nigel-Murray, is proving to be a very different guy all unto himself. He really wants in on this case with Booth, but he's not gonna beg. He knows when to say, 'Fine, have it your way," but he's also not going to allow himself to be walked all over. When Booth is significantly resistant to allowing Aubrey to assist him in the field, Aubrey hits him between the eyes with several comments that let Booth know that 1) it is not Aubrey's intention to take Sweets' place, and 2) Sweets trusted Aubrey, so Booth should trust both Sweets and Aubrey and allow him to assist. There is indeed enough material in regards to Aubrey and Booth's relationship. The confrontation is for an entire article unto itself, so keep your eyes peeled for that here on our BuddyTV Bones
blog or our Bones Ultimate Fan Page on Facebook
, coming tomorrow.
Brennan to the Rescue Once Again
Also throughout this episode are several examples of Brennan's continuous demonstrations of strength in regard to her love for Booth. She will not let him crawl into himself without learning to trust others again. Once it's determined that the wife and the bomb-building fanatic who hates Whitehouse are not the killer, Brennan brings proof of the cause of death to Aubrey and preps him about how to interrogate the actual killer to force him to confess. Then she directs Booth to allow Aubrey to conduct the interrogation by Booth's side.
In the end, it was Whitehouse's on-air sidekick who killed him. What happened was that the sidekick had gone to confront Whitehouse and found him bound and gagged in his sex room after having been left to ponder his sins by his dominatrix. Whitehouse, whose tethers had safety releases, struck out against his assailant who then clocked him in the nose, causing his sinuses to swell and suffocate him. Case closed.
In the end, Booth begins to trust Aubrey, even to the point of admitting he was good in the interrogation room. Brennan has had a large part to play in this and I am hoping to see some sex toys come out at the end of the episode, but perhaps that would have brought a little too much levity too soon after the tragic death of our beloved Sweets.
All in all, this was a great episode and we are well on our way to a fantastic tenth season. As a matter of fact, buzz is already circulating about an eleventh. Yes. Bones Fairies FTW!
Bones aires Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Images courtesy of FOX)