Meanwhile, Caroline is on a mission: get Cam to see reason regarding Finn Abernathy. And if it takes the unsealing of the new squintern's records to hit the point home, well, Caroline's all too pleased to oblige. Turns out Finn's a little worse for wear than joyriding — our guy assaulted his stepfather with a hunting knife, whereupon, a year later, Stepdad disappeared without a trace. Big problems here, and Cam's having a harder time ignoring them now.
Finally, we get to the meat of the episode (so to speak)! To better put herself in her beau's shoes, Brennan joins Booth at the Gluttony Games. ("[B]eing around all this food while you're pregnant, that doesn't hurt," Booth quips.) So our favorite crime-solving couple watch a hot dog-eating contest almost as gag-inducing as Bones's human remains. Could the competition's winner have killed Tina to attain "top-dog" status? Better take him in for questioning!
Unfortunately for Booth, Ron "The Woodchuck" Patterson (Skyler Stone) is full of nothing but hot air — basically, all those hot dogs he just scarfed have resulted in a burping spree that makes him more deserving of Patricia Belcher's name than Patricia herself is. Granted, The Woodchuck was indeed jealous of Tina's freaky-deaky magic jaw, but he's sticking to his story that he was "training" at a restaurant at the time of Tina's death.
In the lab, Finn discovers that the best way to Hodgins's heart is through a doe-eyed snake (boy, we never thought we'd write those two words next to each other!). "Opie" has figured out a way to save Hodgins's fanged friend — but not before he gets an apology out of "Thurston" for being so abrasive. Hodgins needs some coaxing (namely, Finn threatens to make the snake's body temperature low enough to kill it), but he comes around: “I’m Thurston the ass-hat.”
Cam's got a match on the owner of the chunk o' flesh in Tina's tooth: Brian Tobin (Joel McCrary), a rather aggressive "coach" for competitive eaters. Booth and Brennan head out to investigate, but things go south when the couple sees Tobin “coaching” (read: screaming and yelling at) one of his new charges. Brennan, attempting to channel Booth, tackles the corpulent Tobin and sends him to the ground. (How a pregnant woman could pull that off without going down herself is well beyond our ken.)
Poor curmudgeonly landlady (Pat Crawford Brown) — all she wants is a late rent payment from one of her tenants, but what she gets instead is a rat-infested corpse. Oh well...at least she’s unfazed.
At the Jeffersonian, we're hitting the ground running with the new squintern, Finn (Luke Kleintank). It appears that Cam (Tamara Taylor) and Finn are getting along together just fine...at least for now.
Meanwhile, at the crime scene, Hodgins (TJ Thyne) alludes to last week's episode by worrying that a squatting Brennan (Emily Deschanel) might deliver sooner than expected. But Brennan is not concerned: "My uterus and cervical plug are quite healthy." Then, true to form, Brennan nonchalantly divulges what we've been gunning to hear for months — baby Bones will be a girl! That's news to the father, which naturally leaves Booth (David Boreanaz) feeling pretty disgusted. We can't exactly blame him … but there's a pet snake to be found and the murder of its owner to be solved, so Booth's being a big boy and keeping his ire under wraps. For now.
Egregious Southern accent notwithstanding, Finn Abernathy proves himself perfectly apt in the lab via an excellent postmortem monologue. He doesn't sweat even under Brennan's piercing gaze. And it's a good thing, too, because today there's an even more piercing gaze in the room — from a several-feet-long python slithering out of the rotting corpse! Cam is none too pleased by this, as evidenced by her girlish squealing and running. Someone get the lady a chair to stand on! But our baseball cap-clad squintern saves the day; according to Cam, "[h]e's quite handy with serpents. Even Dr. Brennan was impressed."
Hodgins, on the other hand, is not takin' too kindly to the Jeffersonian’s new good ol' boy. With his down-home colloquialisms, Finn is ripe for ridicule, and that's just the sort of bait Hodgins can't resist. And let's not forget that our resident conspiracy theorist could never pass up the opportunity to pry into just what Finn did to get him in juvie. Hodgins won't settle for anything less than a full explanation. And he gets it: joyridin’, shopliftin’, general cavortin’...pretty tame stuff. But is that all?
Cut to Booth and Sweets (John Francis Daley), on the case and out in the field! With a troubling lack of furniture or decoration in the apartment, Booth needs his new partner to get his "Jedi mind powers" working to establish a psychological profile for the victim. Unfortunately, Booth gets a different sort of psychic puissance from the shrink — looks like Sweets knows the Booth-Brennan-daughter news, too! But Booth's just gonna have to grumble that one off for now, as Sweets has a theory: Judging from the victim's reported extreme physical attractiveness, the sparseness of the her apartment (perhaps a second residence, for "doing business"?), and her being seen with various "very fat men," Sweets kinda thinks our dearly departed was a prostitute.
Tobin professes his innocence: sure, Tina bit his finger (that really hurt, Charlie!), but they were just fighting over money. After all, Tina was starting to vomit — losing her edge, you might say, as champions never throw up — and she wanted out of the competitive eating business. With all that hot-dog digesting lucre on the line, this was not something Tobin wanted to hear. But he'd never kill Tina...right?
Angela, under orders from Cam, digs up Finn's old offenses to see just how bad he is. She's a lousy spy, though, and Finn catches her almost immediately. He's so hurt by everyone's suspicion that he flees the Jeffersonian — but not before suggesting that Angela use some nifty scientific equations to figure out the mass of Tina's killer.
In keeping with Tobin’s testimony, Tina's got some puke-related tooth erosion problems not to be expected from a champion eater. Brennan gets to the bottom of why: in one more realization of an old TV cliché, it turns out that Tina was eight weeks pregnant. (See, women on television never, ever throw up unless they're pregnant! Not ever!)
Back at the lab, Cam's got to know that she's in trouble when Caroline (Patricia Belcher) storms into the room with that look on her face. (Caroline tends to always have "that look" on her face.) The acerbic attorney is not pleased with Finn, "a criminal," doing highly sensitive work at the Jeffersonian. But Cam's fallen in love with her new and brilliant puppy-dog squintern, and she's determined to keep him (provided he's housebroken, we're sure!).
Things haven't changed for Hodgins, though, who would like to see Finn sent back to the pound. The bugs and slime expert is not about to see a poor, innocent snake mercilessly executed for its stomach contents — but that's exactly what Cam wants. (Cam's passionate loathing of all things slithering might have something to do with her eagerness to guillotine Mr. Python.) Yet Hodgins wrangles a grudging compromise from Cam: two hours to save the snake, provided he can extract the very important human bone in its stomach in the process.
On the other end of the lab, Angela’s (Michaela Conlin) once again taking a stab at talking some sense into Brennan — and thank goodness, because Brennan sorely needs some! So, learning the sex of your baby without even bothering to ask the father if he wants to come along for the revelation? Not cool. If last week's episode is any indicator, this is strike two for Brennan on the "utter insensitive clod" scale. Fortunately for her, though, Booth plays a unique form of baseball wherein it takes...oh, about a thousand strikes before you get even a green card. (A green card? Are we thinking of a different sport?)
Now that they have an ID on the victim, Booth and Sweets have taken in Greg Thomas (Paul Hewitt), her husband. Here the Bones writers have outdone themselves, giving us a sort of "who's on first" routine wherein Booth and Sweets allude to the victim's saucy occupation, only for the husband to reveal that he's totally cool with it — all the while not knowing what Booth and Sweets are actually talking about. Great writing here: even though we know this one's about competitive eating, we couldn't help fearing for a moment that Thomas really did like to watch his wife peddle her bodily wares to the criminally obese. Very impressive!
Booth brings husband Thomas back in; turns out the neighbors heard the spouses fighting about being too poor to have kids up until the day wifey died. But Finn's wizardry has proven that the killer was over 300 pounds, so Booth has to let Thomas go yet again. Now stymied, Brennan must go back to the skeleton for more clues — but thankfully, Finn returns, hang-dog expression in full force, to relieve her.
The good news? Finn didn't kill his father (an abuser, as it turns out). The sort of bad, sort of heartwarming news? Finn did fantasize about doing just that, but a paper by Brennan convinced him that he'd never, ever get away with it. Better to get into forensics and help catch bad guys instead of becoming one of them, right?
Hodgins, meanwhile, has worked some wizardry of his own: after successfully getting the snake to throw up its stomach contents, he found Paragonimus westermani, a lung fluke (i.e., a parasite) endemic in Japanese freshwater crabs, in the human bone the snake gobbled down. Heeeey...wasn't that executive Clancy talking about the competitive eating market in Japan?
Bingo — a few medical records later, Booth gets a full confession. The "golden goose" argument kind of flies out the window when your golden goose would rather produce a baby than golden eggs, doesn't it? Book ‘em, Dano!
But no — "Tina the Python," as the victim was called, was what the experts label a "competitive eater." What we call it is something closer to "a person who shoves hot dogs in her face for money." Tina's claim to fame? A unique condition that allowed her to dislodge her jaw and swallow...well, anything. (That's what she said?)
Booth and Brennan take to the diner to discuss the finer points of competitive eating. Of course, what's really on Booth's mind is Brennan's consistent "I'm a robot" problem; he'd really love it if she could even consider including him in their daughter's incipient life. The ultrasound would have been great, for example, and Booth would love to come along to see Brennan's financial counselor (even though "you have no money," as Brennan oh-so-robotically reminds him). Thus, a challenge is born: Brennan's to try to put her undoubtedly pregnancy-swollen feet in Booth's shoes. Hopefully she'll come to realize the whole not cool thing Angela vainly tried to explain to her earlier.
Labside, Cam the flesh-wizard has found a bit of human flesh lodged in the victim's tooth. (Note to our readers: gag.) Turns out that Tina the Python may well have bitten her attacker! Well, she certainly bit a whole lotta hot dogs, as the video playing in the background attests while Booth questions Mitch Clancy (Brad Grunberg), her agent. We're pretty sure that a lady can't shovel that many franks and look as trim as our girl can! Scientifically accurate? Color us suspicious.
According to Clancy, Tina was worth mucho bucks in Japan, where competitive eating is a much bigger thing. (The Japanese do tend to love some real bizarro stuff, entertainment-wise.) So why on Earth would Clancy kill the golden goose? It's a good question, and Booth is stumped.
Back at the erstwhile Booth-Brennan household, it looks like the latter is slowly but surely getting over her troubling robot-itis. After a few days in Booth's shoes, she thinks she understands how devastating it was for him not to be there for the ultrasound. Fortunately, she's got more than an apology to make up for her callousness: She’s got the ultrasound footage, and the two lovers sit down to watch it together. Big-time awwww moment here, folks...and you'll be happy to know that (a) baby Bones has Booth's "mental protuberance," and (b) that is, indeed, a "good thing."
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