Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: Booth and Brennan in Bones Season 7, Episode 5: “The Twist in the Twister”

We're starting out with kind of a good-news-bad-news thing here. The bad news is that there's not much to the opening sequence of this episode: camp counselor and camp counselor-to-be stumble upon a moldering corpse in a ditch. Screaming and wailing ensue... in short, pretty ho-hum for Bones veterans. The good news? If you were putting the finishing touches on your dinner when the show started, you didn't miss anything!

Cut to Hodgins (TJ Thyne) and Angela (Michaela Conlin) looking like the walking dead. In fact, the simile's not too far off; these poor new parents haven't slept a wink in the past forever because they've been forced to follow baby Michael's example. But the baby — who, by the way, will soften even the hardest and most unrelenting of hearts with his astronomical adorability factor — is plugging along just fine.  "Maybe he's part shark," Angela suggests.

Fortunately, Angela's dad has decided to take Michael off these harried parents' hands... or at least, it would be fortunate if the ungrateful husband and wife had any faith in poor Billy Gibbons. Indeed, Angela's pops has made quite the transformation from terror-inspiring rock star to lower-lip-puffed-out puppy dog. Maybe Hodgins has nothing to fear, what with the nuptials all taken care of? Or maybe he's too sleep-deprived to be afraid of anything at this point. Either way, both parents have nothing but a resounding no when it comes to Grampa taking care of shark-boy for a while.

Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons Returns as Angela’s Father in Bones Season 7, Episode 5: “The Twist in the Twister”

Now, we're gonna be straight with you guys here: there's no reason to belabor the next scene. Yes, Booth (David Boreanaz) gets overprotective of Brennan (Emily Deschanel), and yes, there is a certain "style" to the way the former tries to insist on helping the latter up from on all fours. And that's all we intend to say about that.

With the mother of all sexual-innuendo scenes out of the way, we can move on to an exquisite view of our latest corpse leaking all over the examining table. Mm-mm. Our resident squintern today is Fisher (Joel Moore), who's staying with his mother as a condition of being let out of his latest "loony bin" (Hodgins's words, not ours!). Yes, the victim has a huge wooden stake embedded in his chest, but unfortunately, he is not a vampire — no Bones-Twilight crossovers yet, dear readers.

As a matter of fact, this poor zhlob happened to kick the bucket in around the same time and place as a series of particularly violent tornados — yet all the tornado-inflicted wounds are postmortem, meaning we're in straight-up murder territory. Hodgins yawns right through the revelation — "Is death getting dull to you, Doctor Hodgins?" asks ever-hilarious Cam (Tamara Taylor) — but the poor guy just can't keep his lack of sleep in check.

Brennan, on the other hand, can't wait to get a piece of the tornado action. After all, she has yet to do a case involving extreme weather, which will be fascinating for some gobbledygook forensic anthropologist blah-blah-blah. At least, that's how Booth interprets it — and he's not interested in the love of his life getting anywhere near a gigantic nature-spawned death-machine. So we have independent-minded Brennan and overprotective Booth coming to loggerheads over tornados tonight? Pass the popcorn.

Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: Booth Watches Over Brennan in Bones Season 7, Episode 5: “The Twist in the Twister”

In the meantime, Hodgins has hopped, skipped, and jumped straight to the other end of the alertness spectrum, courtesy of an obscene amount of coffee. Angela, for her part, is still in the doldrums, as we can see by her trying to scan her way into the lab via a frozen-yogurt punch-card. But somehow these two unfortunate parents have gotten an ID on the victim: Scott Braley, resident storm-chaser. (Bill Paxton, call your office!)

Booth follows his instinct and scours the records for any Braley family members. He comes up with a brother, Kevin (Jon Curry), who is... well, rather affable for someone who just heard that his brother's dead. Of course, we're always loath to suspect family members of killing each other (and besides, the episode's not even a quarter done), so we'll let this guy be for now. And besides, he's got a nice piece of information: the souped-up motor home Braley used to chase tornados — affectionately called a "moho" — is worth about a hundred grand. Motive for murder? You betcha!

Booth is not having Brennan go anywhere near anything to do with tornados, so it's time to pile Sweets (John Francis Daley) into the car to go investigate this diamond-studded motor home — and interview some surviving storm-chasers while they're at it. The two intrepid investigators get some intel en route: the murder weapon was painted orange and cylindrical, like a baseball bat. (Could the murderer from last season's guido episode have escaped to kill again?!) Of course, Sweets is mightily curious as to why Booth lied to Brennan about "sending a team" to interview the storm-chasers; after all, Sweets observes, "we're the team." But Booth is keeping his lips zipped, as usual (even if we know why: 'cause he's a big ol' softie).

This motor home looks like something out of BattleBots, or maybe Mad Max. And it's sort of... well, shaking. And if that weren't enough of a hint, the ecstatic cries emanating from inside make it clear that we're in the middle of the episode's second sexual innuendo. Delicious! But Booth the killjoy is here to put an end to the fun, and the offending couple emerge, thankfully fully clothed.

Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: Hodgins, Angela, and Billy Gibbons in Bones Season 7, Episode 5: “The Twist in the Twister”

A few commercials (laden with the inevitable and inevitably horrible merchandise-themed Christmas song covers) later, Booth and Sweets are interviewing the lothario who came out of the trailer. Turns out the guy's name is Nolan (Charlie Weber), and the victim was letting him use the motor home for some good ol' storm-chasing. And it's easy enough to understand that such a dangerous job will land a guy his share of chicks, hence the groupie. But there's not enough evidence to take the oh-so-classy Nolan in, so Booth's going to have to leave him alone for now.

Now we take a break from the case to see Hodgins and Angela once again commiserating over their joint sleep deprivation. We've got to say that they are a surprisingly loving couple, for two people under that kind of stress! We award them one thousand kudos. Angela's dad makes another impassioned plea to babysit, but Mom and Dad are standing firm. Not even the hangdog expression will move them — maybe Gibbons's beard is getting in the way.

Meanwhile, Booth and Sweets compare notes over lunch. It turns out that Braley was seeking out a half-million-dollar television contract to chase tornados, but another chaser named Toni (Samantha Shelton) got to it first.  And Toni's no saint — in order to boost her résumé, she filled Braley's gas tank with sugar, thus keeping him off one of the year's more high-profile storms. Definitely some room for murderous intentions with this lady — better go check her out!

And check her out they do, but there's a catch — Toni and her team are just about to chase a tornado. Yes, that's right: Booth and Sweets have elected to interrogate murder suspects with a tornado on the horizon.  And boy, is this an angry one. But while everyone's running to the shelter, Booth notices a curious detail on Toni's truck: a cylindrical fire extinguisher, painted orange. Ever the hero, Booth rushes to extract the possible murder weapon, and, as we know, he almost gets cut in half in the process.

Thankfully, everyone makes it into the cellar in one piece.  But just when we think we can breathe a sigh of relief -- the cellar door swings open!  You might think this is a horror movie, but nope!  It's just Brennan, catching Booth in his big, fat lie.  And she ain't happy about it.

Now safely ensconced, Booth, Brennan, and Sweets proceed to gather information from the crouching storm-chasers. Toni admits that she and Braley were fighting over the contract, but she didn't kill the guy. (A likely story!) Wes (Joshua Dov) shoots the storms, but he wasn't around for Braley's final tornado. And Wes's ex-girlfriend Misty (Samantha Quan)?  Well...she really, really likes rainbows.

But enough of this nonsense, Toni says — you guys should be searching for the guy Braley was screaming at on the phone a couple of weeks ago. Whoever it was on the other end of the receiver, the two of them were totally arguing about money, and Braley totally owed the guy a huge sum. All but shrugging their shoulders, the three investigators decide to check out the lead as they climb back out into the world — but the killer tornado killed Booth's car, and Brennan drives off well before he can think to hitch a ride. See ya!

Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: Squintern Colin Fisher and Hodgins in Bones Season 7, Episode 5: “The Twist in the Twister”

Poor Booth does get home eventually, and it looks like he took advantage of the extra time to realize that he should be all apologies. Brennan's not having it, though; she can't have Booth treating her like an invalid all over the place. Looks like this issue's just going to have to simmer for a while (but at least Brennan saved Booth some pasta) — and if that's not bad enough, Brennan gets a double-whammy bad news phone call. The murder weapon doesn't match, and Toni's alibi checks out. On the bright side, though, they figured out whom Braley was screaming at on the phone: his own brother! Uh-oh!

And that's not the only family drama going on. Poor beleaguered Angela and Hodgins have finally, finally agreed to give the former's dad a chance with yon baby. We half-expect to see him toting little sunglasses and a little ZZ Top beard by episode's end.

Meanwhile, Kevin Braley's getting his second go-round with Booth. Yeah, he was a little sick of Scott drinking up all his money to chase tornados, and yeah, he took out a life insurance policy on Braley frère. So what? The only problem here (besides the fact that killing your brother is a total drag for ratings) is that Kevin was nowhere near the tornado that sucked up Scott after he died. In fact, shockingly enough, Kevin is terrified of tornados. What a ridiculous phobia, right?

Now, as if never sleeping weren't bad enough, Hodgins and Angela get the unenviable task of sifting through all the trash along the tornado's path of destruction for clues about Braley. This sort of tedium requires a montage, dear reader. And Bones delivers in spades, so we get to montage it up until Angela discovers a few curiosities: first, one of Braley's weather probes (which contains footage of the tornado), and second, a blood-covered shard of orange-painted glass. Jackpot!

Hodgela return to the lab to link brains with Brennan, who's learned from the storm-chasers that 99% of the tornados in the northern hemisphere rotate counterclockwise. (Don't worry -- we wouldn't put something like that in this recap if it weren't important.)  But no one's got time for meteorological miscellanea right now, because orange isn't the only color Hodgins found on those glass shards.  In fact, there was a green shard, and a blue one, and a...well, a whole rainbow's worth.  And they all fit together to make a murder-weapony heavy-duty water bottle, so you can guess who's next on the interrogation list.

In the perp-breaking room, Misty maintains that she never met Scott Braley—  but she did meet his moho. In fact, she penciled in some time for a horizontal mambo lesson in said moho with none other than the inimitably charming Nolan. Heck, she must have left her water bottle in the moho during her bang-session. Needless to say, Wes was not happy about this, which is why the two broke it off.

At this point, you can just see the gears turning in Booth's head. He figures that Wes was doing a storm-shoot with Braley. The two got together to collaborate in the moho, where Wes noticed his girlfriend's water bottle. He assumed that Braley was the offender, and bam! But Wes said that he wasn't around for Braley's final tornado — so how to prove that he was lying?

Well, that's what squints are for. Angela's got tornado footage from both Braley's probe and some footage confiscated from Wes's last chasing session. Now, Wes's footage is unique because his tornado is going clockwise (remember how we said that was weird?), but Angela can't make heads or tails of Braley's footage. Thankfully, we've got Brennan to connect the dots — turns out both tapes show a clockwise tornado, which puts Wes in both the time and the place of Braley's death. Done and done, baby!

With the murderer in the bag, it's time to wrap up all these troublesome subplots. Angela and Hodgins come home to the ear-splitting sound of cranked up rock music, and, horrified, they burst in on Papa Angela. Before they can utter a word, however, they find Michael fast asleep for once in his nascent life; turns out the tyke is a big fan of "them low-down blues." Angela and Hodgins look at each other, praise the good Lord written plainly on their sleepless faces.

As for Booth and Brennan, things aren't so copacetic. Booth's (still) sorry about lying, but Brennan insists that he's got to stop hovering over her just because she's carrying his kid. And Booth's willing to give some ground, here — he admits that he knows he can't be there for Brennan all the time, so if he's overprotective when he can be there, then it makes him feel better. Brennan sees right through that: "Basically," she says, "you're asking me to support your delusion."

Yep, Booth replies... and it's not about to stop, like it or not!

 

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