Bones: “The Doll in the Derby”

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Grade: A

Airdate: 2/4/13

Every so often Bones has an episode that it excellent and fun in a purely Bones sort of way. And that’s how this episode was. It had a more than usual gruesome murder, a goofy theme, an undercover operation and a lot of Bones history.

Keeping with its increased creativity with screamers, two rookie cops, who think they are being tricked, walk through an abandoned warehouse. They scream and the Jeffersonian team comes in to find the dismembered body. On the way there, Booth (David Boreanaz) says he has to go to the hospital again, but doesn’t say why. Bones (Emily Deschanel) looks concerned and that creates our mystery for the episode and the start of the history element. I was worried this had something to do with Booth’s brain tumor from season four.

Back in the lab, it’s Wendell’s (Michael Grant Terry) 29th birthday and he doesn’t feel that he is accomplished enough. He and Hodgins (TJ Thyne) have a few fun scenes with Hodgins switching between teasing him and making him feel better. After saying things that you have to do before 30 — including posing nude for an art student — Wendell ends up telling Hodgins that he did for Angela (Michaela Conlin) when they were dating back in season five.

The team is able to identify the victim and Sweets (John Francis Daley) talks to her doctor husband as Booth and Bones go to the place she was shortly before she died. Cue episode theme: roller derby.  Booth and Bones talk to the owner and captain–I think– of the team. They tell them to talk to the victim’s best friend, who is another team member and physical therapy student. She tells us that the victim turned into a crazy, partier after she separated from her husband a year ago.

In the midst of rather violent evidence finding with the victim being cut up with a saw while still alive and stabbed in the eye with a key, Angela overhears Bones talking to Booth about being at the hospital. Bones will not tell her whats going on, so Angela goes to Cam (Tamara Taylor) to see if she has heard from Booth. Bones history element: Cam and Booth have been friends since they were 15 and dated briefly in season two. Cam doesn’t know anything and starts to get concerned.

Booth, Bones and Sweets decide they are at a dead-end and need someone to go undercover. Buck and Wanda already got their undercover mission for this season, so they decide for Angela to go in. Hodgins is slightly worried and points out that Angela is an artist not a cop. But, she roller skates so she goes to tryout for the team, which created a fun roller derby scene. In the locker room, she makes nice with the victim’s best friend and the team’s captain, who she ends up getting drinks with, but can’t find any evidence. There was not a direct history reference in those scenes but knowing that Angela is bisexual and had a girlfriend for most of season four added to the scene as she flirted a bit with the girls.

The undercover operation didn’t last very long and only told the team that the victim got into a fight with the team owner shortly before she died. Booth and Bones end up collecting everyone on the roller derby team’s keys and finds out it was the best friend.

Back in the mystery element, Cam finds out the doctor Booth is seeing and goes to meet her. She specializes in Neurofibromatosis or NF, which is a disorder that causes tumors to form in kids. From a non-medical perspective, it sounded a lot like what Booth had. The doctor will not tell Cam anything and she starts worrying that all this is about Christine or Parker.

Bones realizes that Cam isn’t going to stop worry and bugging her until she finds out what is going on. So, she takes her to a carnival for kids with NF that Booth organized but didn’t want to brag about it so he told Bones not to tell people. It had something to do with a Bible quote, which was weird when Bones said it. That story line was a little bit of a public service announcement, but it was worked in rather well and wasn’t about a Toyota Prius so fine with me.

Overall the episode was fun. There was a good mix of gruesome murder and non-murder related story lines. I really liked all the references to other seasons because it expanded the story beyond the episode and made it more about the characters’ lives as a whole. I wonder if they did that because Bones gets shot next episode?

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