In “The Carpals in the Coy-wolves,” Bones delivers a well-rounded hour of delightful laugh-out-loud fun. The featured guest star is none other than the iconic comedienne Betty White who plays brilliant forensic anthropologist, Dr. Beth Mayer, Brennan’s colleague and rival. This sassy Emmy and American Comedy Award winner brings to her Bones character the moxie and comedic timing she’s charmed the viewing public with for nearly nine decades as a performer.
Tripling the levity of this season’s fourth outing are three wildly creative and entertaining subplots. The first centers around the juxtaposition of Booth’s distress and Brennan’s cavalier attitude over the fate of Agent Andy. The second, providing countless opportunities for sarcasm and sexual innuendo involves Drs. Mayer, Hodgins and Wells, and tackles Oliver’s disturbingly flaccid phallus. The third and most minor of the subplots introduces the madcap adventures of Hodgins and Oliver out in in the wild with guns. (Oh, no!) Buckle your seat belts, boys and girls, and prepare to Laugh … Yourself … Silly.
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Adios and Arrivederci, Agent Andy
Booth is wowed by Brennan’s most recent Kathy Reichs novel. He’s especially impressed with the “cliffhanger” about whether Agent Andy survives a gunshot wound to the sternum, poor baby. Brennan is surprised by Booth’s misinterpretation and explains that Agent Andy bleeds out. He’s dead, dead, dead. Upon hearing this Booth, of course, is shocked almost speechless.
Of course, Agent Andy is based upon Booth’s own sexy self, and remember how proud he was in the honeymoon episode when all of Buenos Aires mooned over the famous gun-slinging hero of whats-her-name’s novels? The look on his face when he finds out he, er, Agent Andy, has been killed for real is priceless. We’re only three minutes and 17 seconds into this and I’m laughing myself silly. Awesome. Fantastic. Right away this first subplot confirms that we’re in for a classic comedic Bones episode.
Oliver is Douchier Than Usual
A victim is found in the woods by a father-son pair. Being a true huntsman, the pansy-butt dad shoots the decapitated head. Seriously? (Grow a pair, buddy.) However, this particular display of masculinity is crucial to the rest of the plot.
The team descends upon the crime scene and finds the skeleton all shot to hell. Booth sulkily suggests that perhaps the victim was a publisher who killed off the most important character, just like Agent Andy. (A little snarky, are we?)
Dr. Oliver Wells (Brian Klugman) is on deck as one of two squinterns assigned to the case. Oliver, who is douchier than usual, notices Angela. He’s also depressed about meeting Dr. Beth Mayer (Betty White) whom he assumes will be a gorgeous female. Why this is a problem is a mystery at this point. Seeing Oliver like this makes me miss Fisher …
Agent James, At Your Service
At the Hoover, Aubrey offers his condolences to Booth upon hearing of Agent Andy’s demise. Booth insists that Kathy Reichs is replacing Agent Andy with a younger, sexier partner which Aubrey immediately concludes must be based upon his own donut-gorging self. Aubrey has a ball with this and feigns smugness to further taunt Booth. Welcome to the fray, Agent James. Or shall we say, “James, Agent James” Boom, that happened.
Dr. Wells Has Lost His Bone
It’s funny how Hodgins always gets the down-and-dirty on the squints’ private lives, isn’t it? Oliver tells bug boy about his inability to get a boner, and now we understand his emotional malaise. Oliver says he hasn’t been feeling himself lately. (Uh, maybe he’s been feeling himself a little too much? Maybe he should try feeling someone else … but not at the Jeffersonian, please. This is a family show, for crying out loud.)
This, my fellow Bones friends, is our second outrageous (read: hilarious) subplot: An anthropologists unable to get a bone. Good humor. Prepare for a slew of awesome inappropriate innuendos between the boys. Oh, also watch out for how Dr. Mayer deals with it. Betty White has a reputation for her lack of inhibition when it comes to openly discussing anything libidinous.
Then comes the public service announcement: 21 million men in the United States suffer from erectile dysfunction. Really? That’s 6.6%. Let’s all entertain our own thoughts, but keep them to ourselves. A flaccid phallus isn’t a laughing matter, but it makes for fantastic humor on a Bones episode, doesn’t it? Especially when it’s attached to someone as condescending as Oliver.
Introducing the Incomparable Dr. Beth Mayer and Her Libido
When Angela can’t digitally reassemble tiny pieces of the skull, she learns that Dr. Mayer invented the platform her graphic simulator is based upon. (Wait, is Mayer a polymath like Oliver? This old girl gets around.) The victim turns out to be Justin Ross, a real estate agent.
A Realtor, a Contractor, and an NFLer Face the Reality of Fantasy Football
Suspect #1: Chris Winfelder, Ross’ hapless temp worker, points the finger at Ross’ obsession with fantasy football. Over coffee with Brennan and Booth, Dr. Mayer, a lover of trash-talking fantasy football, explains to her fellow anthropologist how this kind of gambling works. Mayer suggests they look at Ross’ online fantasy football stats and communications. Enter suspect #2: Craig Smith, one of Ross’ fantasy football pals who’s flummoxed over who will take over Ross’ players now that he’s logged his final touchdown.
Smith points to suspect #3: Lou Divers, a real NFL starting running back, whose failed performance lost Ross a chunk of change. The footballer and the fantasy gambler got into a Twitter fight shortly before Ross was killed and met in person. Aubrey and Booth confront Divers who says Ross bragged that he’d just won $15,000. Any good Bonehead knows that where there be money, there be motive.
The Almighty Powerful Fantasy Football Commissioner and Sandwich Artist
Suspect #4: Jamie Whetzel is a fantasy football commissioner by night, and a sandwich designer by day. Whetzel’s boss screams at his idle employee while Whetzel is talking to Brennan and Booth. Immediately, that guy is looking like a good suspect, but we never see him again.
The Wilderness Will Help Wells With His Withered Willy
Some crucial bones are missing from the collected remains so Hodgins wants to go back to the scene and capture some coywolves. Did you see the gleam in Hodgins’ eyes when he suggests it? Mayer suggests Oliver accompany into the woods with Hodgins. She says the fresh air will help him get his mojo (aka Mr. Happy) back as the camera pans toward Oliver’s crotch. How the heck did Mayer know about Oliver’s un-bone-able unit? She says she can actually smell erectile dysfunction on a man. Well, she is in that age range where the likelihood of failure to inflate is frequent. Oh no, what fun are we in for when Oliver goes wild? This is excellent, though I have my doubts about a stiff breeze making anything else stiff no matter how fresh it is.
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Brennan’s Green-eyed Monster Rears Its Not-So-Ugly Head
Brennan is baffled that Mayer intuited Oliver’s penis problem. Oliver smugly explains that Mayer is more perceptive than she is, inspiring an inkling of rivalry in Brennan. This is the third minor comedic thread that weaves its way throughout the episode.
Later, Brennan assumes that the more senior anthropologist is taking a nap when in fact, she is digitally cataloging all the lab’s unidentified bones. Brennan fumbles over herself when Cam asks her if she’s jealous. Insisting that she’s not, Brennan’s face tells a different story once she’s alone.
In the past, Brennan has been undignified, stilted, even juvenile, when envious of another anthropologist’s intellectual prowess. I would go so far as to say she has appeared to have regressed socially. However, in “The Carpals in the Coywolves,” Brennan remains dignified in every way, and fully in keeping with the character she has grown to be over the last decade. For that I say, “thank you” to the Bones fairies. Thank you for the consistency of her evolution as portrayed in this episode, and hopefully in all those to come.
A Foreclosure and a Fling Complicate the Case
Somehow we’ve got suspect #1, Chris Winfelder, back in the hot seat. Apparently Ross derailed the sale of Winfelder’s family home by missing the closure. Was that enough to kill the guy over? No, says Winfelder. Ross had the opposite problem as Oliver and apparently wasn’t shy about sharing his bone with Ashlie Smith, Craig Smith’s wife. Wow. That makes Ashlie suspect #5.
When Aubrey puts the fire to Ashlie’s feet, she admits to the affair as payback for her husband’s lack of attention due to his fantasy football obsession. (Honestly, can you blame her? She’s a good looking gal in her prime. That guy is almost as stupid as Rebecca and Hannah, the two women who rejected Booth. On second thought, no one is as stupid as the two women who failed to buy tickets on that ride. I digress.)
Oliver Shoots Hodgins Silly
Back out in the woods, Oliver isn’t getting any more wood-sy, but the pair are searching for coywolf poop. Oh, joy. While attempting to holster his tranquilizer gun, Oliver accidentally shoots Hodgins. Hodgins freaks out a little, and Oliver calls him a pansy ass drama baby. Wells insists that Hodgins will be fine because it is a very low dose of sedative.
When Angela calls the woodsmen for a video conference about their progress, Jack is two sheets to the wind and ready to serenade his lovely wife. In the background, Oliver is half naked, crowing to the coy-wolves. Together they figure out that Ross’ Fit-Step GPS can lead them to the missing bones.
Back at the lab, Oliver mounts the platform with a box of coywolf poo and the missing bones. The poop is totally gross. As Oliver has gotten his mojo back, he attempts to flirt with Cam and Brennan to no avail. With the missing bones completing the skull, two pits become visible in the bone. The victim bled out from being stabbed. Oliver thinks the murder weapon might be a nail gun.
At the end of the episode, Oliver and Hodgins go back to the woods, but Oliver still insists Hodgins was overreacting to being shot with the tranquilizer gun. Payback is a bitch, baby. Hodgins shoots Wells.
Agent Aubrey, Love Doctor
At this point Aubrey and Booth are on the way to visit the cuckolded Smith once again. Aubrey suggests that Brennan took her marriage frustrations of the past year out on Agent Andy and that’s why she killed him. Better than cheating like Ashlie Smith cheated on her husband, Aubrey reasons. (You have to admit, this is a good argument and “Aubrey, James Aubrey,” isn’t wrong. On a personal level I can attest that writers do do this. My husband and I are as solid as Booth and Brennan, but my fiction can be rather bloody. As a matter of fact, I have a plaque that says, “Be nice to me, or I’ll put you in my novel.” No one is immune to the writer’s wrath, people. No one. Bones is proof of that.)
Craig Smith is an Unmitigated Bastard
Booth and Aubrey find Craig Smith in his man cave and then wrestle him to the ground because he works with nail guns and Ross was banging his wife. Truth is worse than fiction, because what really happened is that Smith tried to exact retribution from Ross by making him trade his star quarterback to him. What? Wow. Just — wow. (And this guy was the fastest sperm?)
Smith says that the commissioner wouldn’t allow the trade to go through because it would be considered colluding. Is he talking about the same commissioner as our suspect #4, Jamie Whetzel? You bet your sweet Bippy, he is.
Mayer and Brennan Solve the Case, Aubrey and Booth Take the Collar
Brennan and Mayer find two more bone injuries shaped like the previous pair, and exactly equidistant from each other. Together they identify the weapon as a meat holder, a large two-pronged fork. Aubrey and Booth get the full story from the killer, suspect #4, Jamie Whetzel.
Ross was pissed that sandwich boy wouldn’t allow Smith to trade his wife for the quarterback, so he threatened to get Whetzel ousted as fantasy football commissioner. A fight broke out, then Whetzel stabbed Ross twice with the meat holder and dumped his body (and a bunch of ham) in the woods to attract the coywolves. The league was all he had, claimed Whetzel, and Ross wanted to take that from him. (Can a person participate in fantasy football while in prison?)
Dr. Mayer Advises That Brennan Embrace the Heat
In the penultimate scene, Brennan admits her jealousy to Dr. Mayer and asks for some personal advice. She explains that Booth thinks she killed Agent Andy because she was subconsciously dealing with something even though it was during a time of peace and quiet in their lives.
Mayer’s response? “Gals like us need to be challenged.” She advises Brennan that the heat Brennan fell in love with between herself and her husband is the heat that will keep them together. “Embrace the heat,” she says, as the entire Bones fandom takes a collective sigh of relief.
Will Brennan and Booth Embrace the Heat?
As the case is solved, Booth and Brennan return to The Mighty Hut 2.0 to dry dishes and discuss the fate of Agent Andy once more. Booth says maybe this death symbolizes new beginnings and might not be a bad thing after all. Before the figurative curtain falls, the two engage in a water fight with the kitchen sink nozzle. You have to admit that it’s adorable, and exactly the kind of heat we like to see the dynamic duo embracing, short of passionate embraces and smooching. This makes yours truly a very satisfied customer.
Special note: Join us Thursday, October 29th, for “The Resurrection in the Remains” and “Dead Men Tell No Tales” when Brennan and Booth team up with Abby and Crane of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow for a two hour special event. Until then, keep lovin’ Bones!
Bones airs Thursday’s at 8pm on FOX.
(Images courtesy of FOX)