In “The Donor in the Drink,” Bones introduces a fishy murder, missing cremains of Booth’s deceased brother, and a finalized break-up between Arastoo and Camille. More centrally, however, is the issue of Booth reinstalling himself at the FBI while dealing with unease over being unable to take care of Jared even though he’s no longer alive.

After an intense two-part premiere with “The Loyalty in the Lie” and “The Brother in the Basement,” this third installment gives us the sweetness of siblings Christine and Hank as well as some good old Aubrey humor. It’s good to have the Booth’s back in the saddle, isn’t it?

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Something Fishy This Way Comes

My niece recently went to the Orient and found out that you really can get the dead skin nibbled off your feet by fish, so the opening scene of “The Donor in the Drink” is not all that far fetched. What doesn’t usually happen during a mani-pedi is getting your feet gnawed on by human incisors. That’s what happens to the two unfortunate freeloaders trespassing at a fish farm in Western Virginia as Bones opens its third installment of season 11. 

Booth in Big Blue Boxers Searches for the Brother in the Box

At the Mighty Hut 2.0 Booth frantically talks with a delivery person about getting Jared’s cremains so he can finally put his brother to rest. He laments that he was unable to help Jared when he was alive and now he’s not doing much better for him. Hopefully we’ll hear a little more about how that whole Loyalty-In-The-Basement debacle came to be, but right now we have B&B’s first official case to pursue. 

Christine, of course, wants to wake Baby Hank and read him a book. (Can we squish “Baby Hank” together and call him “Hanky,” or would that be crass? Yes? Okay. Enough said.) Christine in braids looks a little like Auntie Daisy. She doesn’t get why Daddy is looking for Uncle Jared who is supposed to be in Heaven. Brennan, of course, wants to explain death so Christine won’t fear it later in life. Booth is nonplussed by the whole scenario. Then the phone rings … 

Booth Back at the Hoover, Brennan Back Amid Bones, and Arastoo is Incommunicado

Booth suits up and escorts Bobblehead Bobby back into the office only to find Aubrey has taken over his territory and even installed a humidor and an mini fridge. So, are they going to share the space now, or what? Much, much later, Aubrey returns Booth’s office to him and installs himself in a big office one floor up. But first, we have a case to solve.

At the Jeffersonian, the rainbow trout-nibbled corpse is lifted to the platform in a plastic hammock which Brennan gleefully slices open. Hodgins says trout are carnivores who have gobbled up the missing mandible and lots of missing organs. He plans to get those missing bones and teeth out of the fish any way possible. (I smell fish poo in our future.)

When asked about Arastoo’s job prospects, Cam admits that she and her almost-fiance are not keeping in touch since he left the Jeffersonian. (Rut ro!) Later, Jack, Angela, and Wendell take turns asking Cam to come over for dinner. She admits that she’s now single … so, I guess that’s that? Well, at the end of the episode we get a final answer to this question, but I, myself, find it hard to swallow. 

The Mustache Makes the Man … Or At Least Gives Him His Name

The only identifiable part of the victim left is half of a handlebar mustache. Angela, of course, among her many diverse databases of identifiable characteristics, has a database of mustaches. What? Oh, hell yeah. I want her job. So, the ‘stache database leads the team to Lloyd Nesbit, the inventor of Flexi-Box, the indestructible mailbox. If you’ve ever lived in a neighborhood with a gaggle of mischievous teenage boys who own baseball bats, you know that this is not a bad invention at all. It’s a miracle this guy isn’t a millionaire by now.

Aubrey and Booth visit Tim Diffley, Nesbit’s employee, at the lab where the two do all of their inventing. It sounds like Lloyd was a great mentor and a fine human being. Diffley has nothing but good things to say about his boss, though he does admit that Nesbit wasn’t very excited about the jewelry polish Diffley had invented. Apparently that’s not enough for motive. 

Did Someone Harvest Nesbitt’s Organs?

It turns out that what appeared to be knife wounds in Nesbit’s ribs are actually surgical incisions made by a scalpel. It appears that Nesbitt’s liver and kidneys were harvested, rather than having been eaten by the rainbow trout. Also, his tendons and corneas are missing. What the hell? Maybe this guy died naturally and arranged to donate his viable body parts before hand? It has been done before.

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Angela and Aubrey locate a donor-recipient matchmaking business run by a gal named Nina Slocum. Aubrey poses as a donor looking to sell part of his liver for $50,000. He meets with Slocum to broker the deal and arrests her, but gets no further.

Booth’s research uncovers Rodney Dale, a guy who worked at the insurance company where Nesbit had his coverage. Nesbit’s medical profile fit with Dale’s daughter Lauren who was in need of an organ transplant. Dale admits to buying a kidney off the internet, but won’t cough up the name of the surgeon who did the transplant for Lauren. Dale says he knows nothing about how Nesbit was killed. 

Booth Is Beholden to Help Jared Rest In Peace

Jared’s remains continue to be MIA. Brennan wants to support Booth in his grief, but the sniper insists that he’s not grieving, but merely frustrated over Jared still being a pain in the ass even after death. I’m thinking Booth is kidding himself and will eventually be able to admit to being heartbroken over not being able to save his brother like he’s been able to save so many other people. However, we’ll have to wait until the end of the episode for that. Losing your flesh and blood is enough, but not being able to have closure because the funeral home lost the only remaining part of that person has got to be devastating. No wonder Booth is relegating his pain to anger, which is much more manageable, especially for alpha males like Seeley Booth. 

Brennan visits Booth at the Hoover and is concerned over his lack of privacy now that he’s got Aubrey’s old desk. Booth finally admits to struggling a little, but wants to focus on the case.

Brennan Uncovers a Cavernous Corpse

Later, Brennan and Booth are on the way to visit a mortuary which may be responsible for the organ thefts and the murder of the victim. The marks on one of Nesbit’s rib bones prove to be from a button used by morticians to hold cadaver body parts together, and cells from another cadaver were found on Nesbit’s remains. While driving to the mortuary Booth admits to wanting to put his brother to rest, finally. Who can blame him? I still can’t get over the fact that Booth had to torch Jared’s remains in “The Brother in the Basement.”

Brennan and Booth crash the viewing at the funeral home where Brennan rips the clothing off the corpse revealing a gaping abdominal cavity. Under interrogation by Aubrey, mortician Vargas admits to occasionally taking body parts from dead bodies and selling them. He will not admit to having any involvement with Nina Slocum whose phone number peppers his phone records. Bastard.

Hodgins Plans an Art Show for Angela

Angela has begun dabbling in artistic photography. Her husband, of course, thinks she’s the next Ansel Adams and plans an art show for her. She resists at first, but then gives in. Wow, that wasn’t predictable, was it? 

Aubrey Is Snacking Again and All Is Well with the World

Aubrey puts his peeps to work and locates a package that just might contain Jared’s remains. Booth opens it only to find packing peanuts and three jars of gourmet marmalade. Booth thanks Aubrey for trying and dumps the jars in the trash. Aubrey, in true Aubrey form, retrieves the marmalade from the garbage as Booth says, “Please tell me there isn’t a grown man rooting through my garbage can.” This is what was missing (and rightly so) from that two-part macabre premiere — the wonderful humor provided by a chagrined Booth in the face of a voracious Aubrey. Great laugh-out-loud moment here, folks. 

How Did Nesbit Really Die?

It seems Nesbit had been hit by a car. A shard from his own mandible sliced an artery which made him bleed out. 

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Organ matchmaker Nina Slocum’s car seems a match for the car that killed Nesbit. Slocum admits to depositing the dead body in the fish farm. However, she denies having killed the man. Where the hell is this going?

Wesley, Brennan and Angela look further at bone bruising because the angle of impact doesn’t seem to match the car bumper. Was the man beaten with a baseball bat instead? 

Angela simulates Nesbit being beaten with a metal bumper guard. Hodgins had earlier found car polish on the remains, which then leads Aubrey and Booth back to Nesbit’s employee, Tim Diffley. Diffley admits that Nesbit hated his invention as a car polish as much as he hated it as a jewelry polish. 

Booth confronts Diffley about a $30,000 check he gave Nesbit and insists upon seeing Diffley’s abdomen. Well, holy gut-busters, Batman, guess who sold his own body parts to fund Nesbit’s inventions? Apparently, Nesbit made Diffley sell his right kidney in exchange for part of the lab. However, their big pay day never came. Diffley says he accidentally killed Nesbit to save lives. What a fruitcake!

Cam Doesn’t Miss Arastoo. Really?

Cam says she misses Arastoo, but realizes she might actually be okay with choosing her career over her lover. Brennan assures Cam that her guilt doesn’t mean that she’s made the wrong decision. Okay, I’m with Brennan on her logic here, but Cam was way too in love with Arastoo to just give him up like that. Well, that’s the way the ball bounces in Hollywood, my friends. It’s more likely that the career of Pej Vahdat, the actor who plays Arastoo, is going gangbusters and he has to move on. Therefore, something had to happen to that relationship because it just wouldn’t be the Jeffersonian with out Cam.

Sebastian Kohl Buys Angela’s Art for $1,000

Angela and Jack go to the Founding Fathers for the art show only to find that an actual photojournalist is interested enough on one of her pieces to purchase it for $1,000. How about that? Stay tuned, people. There’s supposed to be some big shake-up in the Hodgins household in seven weeks, so this may have something to do with it. Regardless, kudos to Mrs. Hodgins!

Christine Used Booth’s Brother to Get to Her Own Brother

In the final scene it turns out Jared’s remains had been delivered to the house and then stolen away by Christine who had used them to boost herself up so she could visit with Hank. Brennan finds the box in Hank’s room where Christine has fallen asleep on the floor during a sleep-over with her brother. 

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I half expected to see Christine in the crib sleeping beside Hank like my twins did when they wanted to have sleepovers. My kids used boxes, toys, piles of blankets … anything they could get their hands on to achieve their goal. It makes perfect sense that Christine would use the delivery box to climb into the crib and assemble her hand-made mobile for Hank the same way Parker made one for her when she was an infant.

Booth is finally able to admit that his anxiety over the missing wasn’t really about the ashes; it was about his brother being gone. He misses him. Booth sweetly observes that Christine really loves her brother and decides to leave the box in Hank’s bedroom so Christine can visit the baby in his crib in the morning. 

We didn’t get all the facts about Jared’s death, but we do know that Booth has begun to process … and, also, to see that his own family, while not a replacement for the family he had with Jared, is a new and healthier family with unlimited possibilities and unblemished love.

Bones airs Thursday’s at 8pm on FOX. 

(Images courtesy of FOX)

Catherine Cabanela

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV