While making his nightly rounds, a policeman stumbles across what appears to be a filthy, blood-soaked dead body. Except, in a fantabulous Bones-esque twist, the body lurches forward, thrashing around a gigantic carving knife. Before you get too worried, loyal fans, rest assured: Bones hasn't jumped onto the zombie bandwagon (yet!). The knife-wielding being turns out to be a horrifically feral mute girl covered in so much blood she looks like the star of some community theatre production of Carrie.
Since the seemingly family-less girl is discovered to be "deaf and uncommunicative," and being poked and prodded at Temperance Brennan's (Emily Deschanel) direction back at the Jeffersonian isn't putting her in the signing kind of mood, Sweets (John Francis Daley) reminds the oft-mechanical Bones of her own scary time in Foster care. This leads the best forensic anthropologist "in the world" to treat the girl less like a walking crime scene and more like a human being. After using a much more people-friendly procedure, Bones deduces that Stabby is somewhere between 13 and 18 years old.
Meanwhile, the team determines that the blood all over Stabby's clothes belongs (or, belonged) to a 40-year-old white male named Duvall Price. A quick trip over to Mr Price's apartment reveals a broken-down door, a big old puddle of blood, and — you guessed it! — an ice-cold stiff. Alas, poor Duvall! We hardly knew you.
Brennan, whose Foster-hell flashbacks have given her a big ol' soft spot for Little Miss Staberson, decides that there's no way in the world some pint-size teen knocked down a huge oak door all by herself (well jeez, Bones — we don't have a fancy anthropology degree, and we could have told you that!) — and Hodgins (TJ Thyne) is tasked with working his forensic magic on the busted-down piece of oak. And in case you'd forgotten about Booth (David Boreanaz) — as if! — a reconstructed receipt found in Stabby's pocket sends Agent Awesome on a short road trip to a hardware store in Backwater, Pennsylvania. Surprisingly, the store owners are all, "Hey, that's our daughter!" in a less-than-concerned way (hmm), explaining that Amy (Stabby has a name!) is a really bad girl with a pesky habit of running away.
Back at the lab, Hodgins, who's been fervently testing the door, deduces that it couldn't have been broken down by Amy (as Bones suggested — is she ever wrong?). Thankfully, he makes this discovery beforeCam (Tamara Taylor) spills the beans that Angela's been having contractions. Baby?
Upon reexamining Amy's X-rays, Brennan discovers a previously healed fracture which screams of child abuse. Amy's dear old ma and pa (remember? — the ones who couldn't be bothered filing a missing persons report? Yeah, we thought that was weird, too) won't be winning "Parents of the Year" after all: Turns out they’ve been using her as a punching bag since she was 3 years old.
Amy's abusive, hardware-hawking parents show up to reclaim her, except Brennan (and child protective services) totally serve them with some pretty damning X-rays. But a closer look causes an unusually emotional Bones to have an Oprah-patented aha! moment, leading to the biggest breakthrough in the case thus far: She realizes (with a quick pinch of their noses) that they're not Amy's biological parents after all. Twist!
Later, in the interrogation room, Sweets uses some good old-fashioned reverse psychology on the faux-'rents, and the mom buys into it hook, line, and sinker. She starts blabbing about how Amy "needs to learn to mind" (we love bumpkin-speak!) — and just as she's about to start really running her mouth off, the dad smacks her in the face. So, yeah, it's pretty clear who the loose cannon in this relationship is.
Hodgins, still on door duty, realizes that it was knocked down two hours after Duvall Price was sliced and diced. The news is so overwhelming that it causes heavily preggers Angela to have some more contractions. And Hodgins freaks out. Baby! (Nope, sorry, false alarm... )
So anyway, it turns out that the toddler-snatching fake parents had hired Duvall to kidnap Amy after she ran away. Duvall had dragged the poor girl back to his apartment, and she stabbed him purely in self defense [insert great scene of Bones making squintern Arastoo (Pej Vahdat) lay on top of her to simulate the stabbing here]. When the fake dad broke down the door, he saw Duvall bleeding out and left him for dead — making him the episode's official bad guy (if Booth punching him in the interrogation room isn't indication enough).
Everyone loves a happy ending...set to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Sadly, since she was kidnapped from her birth parents when she was only 3, Amy has no memory of a life before those slap-happy jags in Backwater, PA. Doctor B, however, comes up with an ingenious plan to help the poor girl — and it all hinges, of course, on bones. Brennan figures that by extracting a wisdom tooth from Amy's mouth, she'll be able to locate where she was originally raised based on isotopes. (Frankly, we're just going to have to take Bones's word on that.) After a fun, isotope-heavy montage (set to a fabulously acoustic version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs's "Soft Shock" — lurve that song!), Booth figures out that Amy is originally from L.A. See, Amy — you're not a rural bumpkin after all! But just before Bones can break the good news with anyone, Amy breaks into the lab and stabs Bones and Brennan with that gigantic steak knife of hers.
Kidding! The episode ends with Amy having a very emotional reunion with her elated birth parents, and Brennan finding some type of closure about her past. Although in next week’s bound-to-be juicy episode, looks like Brennan's not done showing her softer side — specifically to Booth. Three words, kids: Can't. F-ing. Wait.