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'Bones' recap: Live for the applause

Season 9 | Episode 23 | “The Drama in the Queen” | Aired May 12, 2014

If it’s characterization that keeps Bones from being your average murder-of-the-week procedural — which it is — then the bit players stand at the center of it all. The ones who are only on screen long enough to scream at dead bodies are the ones who make this show different, because only Bones would take the time to make sure we know that the mother who finds this body is the absolute worst. She rubs dirt on her daughter’s face and tries to lower her into a well so she can “search” for her and cash in on the resulting fame.

The daughter, who is having none of it, turns the tables on her mother and gets her trapped in the well, which conveniently has a body in it. The little girl then skips off into the field, pigtails bouncing.

It doesn’t matter exactly what happens next or who eventually calls the Jeffersonian to the scene. What matters is that the little girl is out there living her life, because everyone in the Bones universe has a life, and usually it’s a weird one.

Booth doesn’t have time for a dead body and a negligent mother in a well right now. He’s prepping for his big FBI subcommittee hearing. (“You’re gonna be on C-SPAN.” “Yeah, that’s heavy.”) To lighten his load, Booth taps Sweets to head up the investigation. Remember when Booth only worked alone? Sweets takes his duties to heart and starts pushing everyone to follow the letter of the law. Enter new intern Jessica Warren (Laura Spencer), who has five brothers and says “dude” a lot and likes to shoot from the hip on things like murder investigations — or she likes to act like she is. She’s got evidence to back up her “vibe” that the victim is an athlete, so it’s really not a vibe so much as a logical conclusion. Still, she’s right: The victim is community college swim coach Brian Thomas.

Thomas and his wife, a nurse, worked long hours that strained their marriage. His swimmers think he might have had a fling with another coach, Gabby, but she insists that they didn’t. Gabby did suspect Thomas of having an affair, though. She smelled perfume on him sometimes and found a flashy earring in his car once, and his wife wasn’t the type for either. When his credit card statements reveal that Thomas bought dinner at the same restaurant every Friday, Booth jumps to get out of his office and check it out, but it’s Brennan who puts together the pieces. There’s a drag club next door. Thomas had bone markers congruent with wearing heels and carrying a heavy load on his chest. The perfume and earrings were his.

As a queen named Jenny, Thomas performed every Friday night at Madam’s Apple. It’s all right if you need a moment to deal with how perfect the club’s name is. The queens are all over Booth, which amuses Brennan, and Booth takes it in stride. He has no problem with any of this — he told Brennan years ago that he’d make a hot woman. He just prefers pants. He’s also really happy to not be at a desk. The queens explain that Jenny had an altercation in the parking lot a few weeks ago, so Angela checks security footage and tracks the license plate to a plumber by the name of Joe Rizzo.

The bones show traces of metals commonly found in pipes, so a plumber makes a logical suspect. Joe resents being implicated by his job: He’s actually a regular at the club. He and Jenny fought when he accused her of stealing his credit card info, which turned out to be the club owner’s crime. (“Not everyone can live on booze, cymbals and applause.”) The owner promises that Jenny made him turn his life around. As for Thomas’ wife, she just wants to know why he never told her about his life as Jenny. She loved him and would have accepted him, which makes their missed opportunity the real tragedy of the episode.

Back at the lab, new intern Jessica asks out Sweets (for “beer and meat”). Angela pushes Sweets to accept, because she lives for interoffice relationship drama, and Jessica seems to attract conflict. She tries untested methods on the bones and runs experiments with Hodgins. Anyone else notice that Hodgins’ fake bodies are getting more elaborate? He’s escalating. Brennan asks Jessica to take her abilities more seriously. (“I’m constantly marveling at myself. You should try it.”) The two of them then team up to realize that Thomas’ injuries can only be explained by being shot underwater.

Hodgins finds a bullet in the pool, and based on its trajectory, the shooter would have to have been underwater as well. The blowback would have caused hearing loss, which a swimmer on Thomas’ team happens to be experiencing. Quentin wanted to get into a four-year school, but swimming was bringing down his grades. Rather than reprioritize, he cheated on a midterm and shot Thomas when he caught him. Sweets’ first case as lead is officially closed, meaning he’s free to destroy his entire apartment sleeping with Jessica. He really does have a thing for interns.

Brennan worries that Booth was testing her to see how she would do with someone else as her partner, but Booth insists that he’s made the terms of this promotion clear. They’re a package deal. But what does the promotion entail? Bones has a longstanding tradition of penultimate episodes that bounce around fluffy murder investigations before getting serious at the last second. The fact that this episode kept things light makes me even more nervous. What do you think the FBI will want from Booth? And what did you think of the new intern? Until the finale, everyone.

Bones, rated TV-14, airs at 8/7 C on Fox.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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