Last time on Bones, we were treated to Brennan’s belated bachelorette party, complete with drinking, dancing, and a fist fight. Did I mention that it was held in a biker bar, but the ladies thought they were going to a western bar? I loved it!
Angela also made peace with Booth and they hugged.
This episode of Bones, titled “The Spark in the Park,” deals with the murder of a gymnast. This episode also features guest stars Richard Schiff and U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney.
The show begins with a couple who discover a body in the park. It is a rainy night, and this couple of course decide to take some pictures of the remains. Of course–who wouldn’t? They also decide to shield the body with their umbrella so evidence doesn’t wash away. When the umbrella is struck by lightning, body parts literally go flying. Yikes!
Meanwhile, Cam begs Booth to let her look her identity thief, and former college roommate, Haley Kent in the eye. When the woman begins to apologize, Cam punches her in the face. Good job, Cam! Cam and Booth head to the park and leave the suspect sitting in interrogation.
Brennan determines that the foul-smelling remains belong to an adolescent female, who literally exploded when struck by lightning. Bones is excited to discover how the body actually exploded, but Booth isn’t as enthused. Hodgins is thrilled about the stinkbugs that smell like cilantro near the corpse, which has been there for about three days. Ah, I love how the Bones crew appreciate the simple pleasures of life!
The Clue in the Photos
Back at the Jeffersonian, the team discovers a locket, which has a photo of a man and woman, snagged on the remains. Cam and Arastoo think that the victim was abused because of the remodeling and fracturing of the bones. Sweets takes a peek at photos of the body, which was carefully laid out with respect. Could one parent have abused the victim, and the other disposed of the body? Sweets is intrigued by a cloth placed over the victim’s face, which suggests that the killer knew the victim.
Cam is deeply troubled by her on-going identity theft nightmare, and wants to prove that Kent stole her identity with malice, which would result in more jail time. Arastoo thinks that Cam should begin to let go and forgive.
Meet Dr. Watters
Angela works her magic and pulls up the identity of the victim from the photos of her parents. The victim is 16 year old Amanda Watters. Booth and Brennan go to meet with her father, who is a professor. Dr. Watters (Richard Schiff) has an odd reaction to the news of his daughter’s death and becomes absorbed in a calculus formula on his chalk board. Brennan reacts sympathetically and asks if he would like to finish the equation before speaking.
Watters reveals that his wife died one year ago from breast cancer. He also explains that Amanda was a nationally ranked gymnast who was completing her high school education online. When Dr. Watters also tells Booth that he is narrow-minded, Booth’s frustration boils over and he writes the word “daughter” on the chalk board, much to Brennan’s horror.
Brennan lets her husband know that Dr. Watters is one of the best physicists in the country, and she tries to convey that Watters is dealing with the stress of losing both his wife and daughter. Sweets attempts to referee between the newlywed couple when Brennan states that she and the professor are very much alike, and Booth becomes furious. Poor Sweets!
Motive for Murder?
At the gym, Brennan and Booth meet with head coach Dennis McIntyre. The coach says that Amanda had been resting her fractured fibula, so he wasn’t concerned when she didn’t come to the gym. It turns out that one of the other girls on the team, Ellie Pitera (McKayla Maroney), was spotting Amanda and let her fall, causing Amanda’s injury. Although they were friends, Ellie was ranked second behind Amanda.
Brennan returns to see Dr. Watters and check on him, and is shaken when the physicist stops working on his equations. She is worried that Watters will take his own life after the loss of his daughter.
Booth and Brennan talk with Ellie, and she confides that Amanda had been skipping physical therapy and using drugs. Sweets finds further evidence of this in school chat rooms when another student, Julian Anton, was talking with Amanda about the club drug “Molly.” Anton lets Sweets know that Amanda and her friend, Rachel Howes, bought some of the drug from him the day that Amanda disappeared.
Signs of Violence
Rachel and her parents come in to meet with Booth, and the young girl has bruises on her arm. Her father admits to striking his daughter when she came home high, knocking her down the stairs. Rachel, who is a cello prodigy, mentions that Amanda was going to tell her father that she wanted to quit gymnastics. Angela and Hodgins are finally able to scan a key card found with the victim’s body, and it is from Buchanan University, where her Dr. Watters works.
Defending Dr. Watters
Booth and Brennan interrogate Dr. Watters, who maintains that he was working the night his daughter disappeared, and never saw her. He is also missing his key card, which his daughter apparently stole. Brennan helps Watters remember that his daughter brought him dinner that night on the way to practice. Booth is furious that Brennan is defending Dr. Watters and is even angrier when she remarks that the presence of a loved one can be distracting during work.
Cam goes to meet with her former friend, and identity thief, Haley. Cam is furious when the other woman tells Cam that it if Cam had given her a loan, she wouldn’t have stolen her identity. Cam talks with Arastoo and tells him that she is no longer considering going after Haley for aggravated identity theft. She doesn’t want to be as hateful as the criminal who stole her identity.
Cause of Death
The victim died from being knocked on her back, with her neck pressed against a balance beam. The killer knelt over Amanda’s chest and strangled her, causing the fractures found in the victim’s cervical spine. Booth and Brennan confront the coach at the gym, and Brennan finds part of the victim’s tongue in the matt under the balance beam.
McIntyre states that he did not see Amanda that night, and that all the team members know the security code to the gym. Brennan and Arastoo discover that the person who strangled Amanda was weaker in one hand than the other.
And the Killer Is…
Booth and Brennan again meet with Rachel and her parents. DNA evidence matching the victim was found in Rachel’s car trunk. The other girl admits to driving over to the gym after her the altercation with her father only to discover that Amanda had changed her mind about quitting gymnastics.
Brennan and Booth have a chat, and Booth admits that he is wrong about Dr. Watters. Brennan meets with the physicist to see if he is doing alright. He is working hard, once again. Dr. Watters has documented Amanda’s life, through motion, in his formula and Brennan is moved by his beautiful tribute.
I enjoyed this episode of Bones, particularly the empathy that Brennan feels for Dr. Watters. I must admit that I also love any time Sweets is dragged into a marital discussion.
Bones airs Fridays at 8 pm on FOX
(Image courtesy of FOX)