Bones Season 7, Episode 3 Recap: “The Prince in the Plastic” Sweets Gets Certified to Carry a Gun!
Tonight, we begin with some former aristocrats down on their luck. Wifey doesn't seem too happy about searching for collectibles in a landfill, but hubby is fortunately much more optimistic. All cause for optimism vanishes, however, when a truck drops off a new load of junk...complete with a Saran-wrapped liquefied corpse!
Naturally, Booth's not down with the program: "You're a shrink. Shrinks have couches, not guns." But Brennan can't help disagreeing with her beau here: "I have a couch, and I'm not a shrink." When stuff like this comes out of Brennan's mouth, we can't help thinking that she misconstrues what Booth's saying just to pull his leg. But that's okay, because a classic "arguing partners" debate ensues, and we're always happy to see that. And we have to give the victory to Brennan on this one; after all, "[a]t the very least, he could draw fire away from you and get shot himself." Touché!
And here's the much-anticipated Daisy (Carla Gallo). She and Cam (Tamara Taylor) have the unparalleled honor of examining the plastic-wrapped body, which is apparently so well-wrapped that it's like some sort of water balloon of goop. But Daisy knows how to get the goods — she uses an air compressor to pressurize the interior of the bag, whereupon Cam makes some slices and lets the...well, the stuff...just drip on out. This is easily the most disgusting "remains" sequence we've seen this season, so folks, keep your barf bags close!
We're in for quite a shock after the commercial break: Sweets pointing a gun right at our faces! And he's pretty good with the pistol, too — at least until Daisy shows up. But all it takes is a whit of encouragement, and Sweets pops off a few more bull's-eyes. Daisy is duly impressed: "I wish I didn't have any clothes on right now." Too bad Sweets can't hear her over the earmuffs.
In the lab, Hodgins confirms that an alloy in Debbie's bones matches the material from which the loading door is made. He also determines that whoever broke into the room used a common car jack to compromise said door. Considering that the prototypes in that room were worth mucho bucks, it's not hard to believe that someone would want to break in. Could this be a robbery-murder?
Well, we've got the robbery part down: Angela has discovered in Debbie's computer an e-dispute with a guy selling rare toys. Looks like the seller stole his wares from Dillio headquarters, and Debbie was demanding that he return them. A little research into the seller's username, and we have...Debbie's brother?! Is this a sororicide?
Time to bring Rick Cortez back in for questioning, so Booth and Sweets corner our newest suspect at his car. And what does Booth find inside? Why, a rare toy, straight from Dillio's stash. Even worse, right next to the offending toy is the very type of jack that could have ruined the loading door.
Things are not looking good for Ricky. And indeed, he admits to the theft, but he won't confess to murder.
Cut to Booth and Brennan in the apartment. With his own kid on the way, Booth's having a tough time not getting attached to this case — here's a woman who extracted herself from a tragic childhood and worked her way up the social ladder, only to get murdered. Brennan offers some encouraging words in a rare moment of empathy: "We will find her killer. That is how we can honor her life, right?" For all you shippers out there, this is the part to say awwwww — Brennan leaning on Booth on the couch, "we're a natural, happy couple"-like is just too cute for words. Isn't this what we've been waiting for these six years?
As usual, Hodgins is doing the heavy lifting in the lab. He's found an epoxy with some skin cells on it — meaning Cam now has someone else's DNA from under Debbie's fingernails. It's not anyone we've yet met, though; on the contrary, it's a guy who looks suspiciously like Prince Charmington. Could this be the other half of the clandestine relationship Lawrence Deighton was referring to?
Now, ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to present what may well be Angela's best performance this season. David Boreanaz recently claimed that as a director, he's been pushing Michaela Conlin to get more out of her character...and it seems that he's not the only one. This baby-walker toy is eliciting pure, unadulterated comedic gold from our favorite new mother: "How did China take over the world with instructions like these?!" And when Hodgins comes in to try to aid in the assembly, things only get better. "To make seat with secure," Hodgins reads, bewildered, "to fasten red pin B to happy." Angela, now in an apocalyptic mood, has only this to say: "There is nothing happy."
The remains might be the most disgusting thing in the plastic, but they're not by any means the most curious thing. No, that would be "the prince in the plastic": a slop-covered, partially dismembered "Prince Charmington" doll. Daisy immediately sets to gushing, as she had the entire Prince Charmington collection in her closet as a little girl. (Anyone shocked by this? Anyone?) And childhood devotion morphs into a very adult thirst for vengeance: "As God is my witness, whoever did this to Prince Charmington and his friend is going to pay." Nice to see that the poor dead woman warrants at least an aside in Daisy's mind.
Since there are no bugs to be found, this murder kind of leaves Hodgins (TJ Thyne) in the dust. He does manage to find some muscle tissue for Cam (a lung...lovely) and some bits of bones for Daisy. Looks like Christmas has come early for the ladies! Thanks to these discoveries, Cam is able to figure out that the victim died of suffocation via a punctured lung — not a pretty way to go. Worse than that, it looks like the victim has a preponderance of long-healed fractures, quite possibly indicating child abuse.
Angela (Michaela Conlin) , meanwhile, has turned her watchful eye to the wrapping that this grisly package came in. She's culled a handprint, which leads to a positive ID: a predictably pretty young lass named Debra Cortez. This positive ID, in turn, leads to one Rick Cortez (Rick Gonzales), the victim's brother. The good news is that Debbie wasn't abused as a child. The bad news? Well, she and her parents were in a plane crash when she was nine, and she was the only one to survive. Bummer.
But according to Rick, Debbie has since picked herself up by the bootstraps and made a name for herself as the VP of Dillio Toys. She even got brother Ricky a job as a night security guard at the facility! Sadly, playing second fiddle to Big Sis didn't exactly take, so Ricky's sitting on 1 Unemployment Street for the time being.
Cut back to the lab, where Brennan and Angela are taking a closer look at the evidence. Not us, though — we're far more interested in Brennan, who is (and we can't put this delicately) huuuuuge. We know they said the baby would be born later in the season, but we kinda can't help expecting it to pop out any second!
Anyway, Angela's pretty curious as to whether Brennan ever had a Prince Charmington doll of her own. Naturally, Brennan had no time for such things, which would distract her from all-important science. But Angela's not having that — surely toys must have some scientific function in society! (Her exact words: "I'm sure there's some kind of anthropological BS to back me up.") In fact, Angela says, Brennan had better get used to disporting with dolls, because "[h]oney, pretty soon you're gonna have a baby of your own, and she's gonna wanna play with you." This is all the reason Brennan needs to get down to business, picking up dilapidated Prince Charmington and giving him a funny voice (is that a British accent we hear?). And she does a pretty good job of it...but all that talk of liquefied tissue might bother Bones Juniorette.
Back at FBI headquarters, it's Sweets's big day — and who should be monitoring him in his certification test but Booth himself? Cue the cool music, and throw Sweets into the field. It's all strobe lights and cardboard bad-guy cutouts here, but Sweets takes everything in stride. He switches from pistol to shotgun with fluid ease, taking down every cardboard adversary to cross his path. (Men in Black fans might be reminded of Will Smith's character, who blithely shot the little girl target through the forehead.) His mission accomplished, Sweets asks Booth how he did. Booth's reluctant response? "Good enough to have my back." Attaboy, Sweets!
But there's no room to dwell on congratulations — it's time to get Prince Charmington, aka Brock Vorback (Ryan Bittle),in the interrogation room (in full charming uniform, no less!). Indeed, this is the guy on the other end of those whispered phone conversations with Debbie. But he too pleads innocent; he just thought that Debbie had broken up with him when she stopped calling. Debbie was sick of Dillio Toys, Vorback tells Booth and Sweets, and he was encouraging her to quit. She was the ideas lady, after all, and Vorback thought she should take her brilliance on the road.
Wait a minute...
And just when we're getting an inkling of what's going on here, the King of the Lab cements our suspicions. According to Hodgins, Prince Charmington (the doll, not the guy)'s leg was burned by acid from a car battery...but there's no way Debbie Cortez's body could fit in the hood of a car. So we must be talking about a car with its engine in the trunk — a trunk lined with the same wool fibers Hodgins also found embedded in the victim's liquefied skin. Turns out the much-sought-after Maserati is a good candidate...and who at Dillio Toys owns a Maserati?
Now we get to meet Dillio Toys CEO Bianca Chiverton (Morgan Fairchild), who's giving Booth and Brennan a tour of her marvelous Wonka-esque factory. She informs our intrepid investigators that Debbie Cortez was the intellectual powerhouse of Dillio, cranking out good idea after good idea without pausing to catch her breath. Such brilliance, Booth surmises, was bound to make some of her coworkers jealous — and lo and behold, Bianca introduces Lawrence Deighton (John Ross Bowie), who just got out of testing a new toy on some kids (read: getting mercilessly beaten with foam noodles by rabid children). Perhaps understandably, the first words out of his mouth concern how much he'd love to wring the little darlings' necks — but that's definitely not the thing to say when an FBI agent is waiting outside!
So it's straight to the interrogation room with Deighton. Naturally, he denies killing Debbie, but his alibi's pretty thin. At the same time, though, he notes that Debbie was "calling in sick" a lot (yes, he uses finger-quotes) and spending a significant amount of time whispering conspiratorially into the phone. Could there have been a clandestine relationship afoot?
(Pregnancy watch note: at the end of this scene, Brennan has so much trouble getting out of her chair that Booth has to lift her up to standing. This is simultaneously adorable and hilarious.)
That's right: Bianca Chiverton, who definitely looks evil enough to have committed any number of heinous crimes! Booth and Brennan pop the trunk on the Chief Evil Officer's car, and bam: blood everywhere.
With the murder solved, Angela can tackle her second-biggest problem: this God-forsaken baby-walker toy. Heck with it, she says — it's time to pay the folks at the toy store to assemble the thing for her. With unspeakably cute baby in tow, Angela asks Brennan to accompany her. Heck, maybe Brennan can learn a thing or two about all the playtime she missed out on as a kid!
And learn Brennan does: Booth gets two seconds of peace at home before he's being attacked by his hugely pregnant, Nerf gun-wielding baby-momma! Fortunately, Brennan bought a matching weapon for Booth, and the two commence tearing through the apartment, foam balls ricocheting everywhere — off the walls, through the corridors...and eventually right into the camera lens. Fin!
In the lab, Hodgins has found Prince Charmington's missing leg in the still thoroughly revolting flesh-goo. Having Daisy in the room makes this scene ripe for Three Stooges style interaction — Hodgins smacks her forehead out of the way of the microscope and summarily shoves her out of the room when she gets to be too much for him. Now, Hodgins is obviously Moe, and Daisy comes off as a kind of Curly. So who will be Larry? We think Fisher (Joel Moore) would make a pretty good Larry...
Now, ladies and gentlemen, we have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to what may well be Angela's best comedic performance in Bones's history. See, she's got this "baby learn to walk" toy on the floor of her office — in about ten thousand pieces. Needless to say, the recent inductee to motherhood is not pleased, especially considering the horrifying Engrish in which the instructions are written. Not even Brennan can make heads or tails of this stultifying contraption, so it's back to the bone scan, where the two geek girls discover that the victim had to be crushed by a huge, heavy bar of some kind. But who could wield such a massive weapon? "Fee, fie, fo, fum," says Angela, but Brennan only rolls her eyes.
Here's a novel idea: Daisy and Booth together in the car! It goes about as well as you'd expect, with Booth needing to tell Daisy to shut up a good three or four times. Sadly, there's no way he can stop his garrulous copilot from going on about Booth, Brennan, Sweets, and Daisy herself going out on a "murdery double-date" now that Sweets is getting his firearms certification. You can just see Booth shuddering.
In the toy factory, Daisy is slightly more obedient with the whole "don't speak" thing, although she seems to be misunderstanding the concept when she outright tells Bianca that she's not allowed to speak. (Booth is plain disgusted at this point.) Thankfully, Daisy finds an opportunity to put herself to good use and notices that the prototype room is all but covered in what could well be the same plastic wrap used to package Debbie Cortez. Even better is the preponderance of blood (thank God for Luminol!) all over the floor just under a huge metal door. Turns out there was no giant, after all. And based on the condition of the door, it's clear that the room was broken into.