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'Bones' recap: Waiting to explode

Season 9 | Episode 24 | “The Recluse in the Recliner” | Aired May 19, 2014

Bones might be the only show that intensifies by spending less time on dead bodies. There’s no skeleton in a well this week; there’s just a bloodied Booth slamming through a hospital door on a gurney. Brennan isn’t far behind. She pushes past anyone who tries to stand in her way and insists that, as a doctor, she should be allowed in the operating room. It’s a nice callback to the last time Booth found himself in a hospital bed and had to beg her to join him in the OR. He doesn’t care that she’s not a medical doctor. She’s a genius, and that’s good enough for him. It isn’t good enough for the hospital, though. They didn’t even let Brennan ride with Booth in the ambulance, so something shadowy is going on here.

Bones, season 9, episode 24: Booth bloodied (Fox)Flashing back 48 hours, a phone call interrupts Booth’s morning coffee and saves him from Brennan’s German lessons. An anonymous source has information about the McNamaras, the wealthy, corrupt family that was one-half Ghost Killer and one-half killed by the Ghost Killer. They trace the call, but it’s too late: All that’s left at the scene is a charred trailer with a burned body inside. The fire department thinks it’s an accident, but the trailer’s circuit breaker is melted in the off position. Chances are good that this guy wasn’t just sitting in the dark waiting to explode.

The team identifies the victim as Wesley Foster, the trailer’s owner, whose career in journalism fell apart five years ago. All he has to his name is a conspiracy blog. Bones, season 9, episode 24: Booth (Fox)Sweets thinks Foster was unstable, but something got him blown up, so Booth makes Sweets and Caroline (Patricia Belcher) promise to keep the investigation private until they know more. As far as the Deputy Director is concerned, Foster was a harmless crank. Booth does what he can to sell the lie, but his charming smile seems a little strained.

It’s not that he’s worried about proving himself on his last case. Booth just can’t stand to let anyone get away with murder, and he’s got the whole Jeffersonian team behind him. Hodgins is in full-blown conspiracy mode, which is always adorable, and Fisher (Joel David Moore) is just annoyed that anyone would be capable of this. He’s been doing a lot of therapy lately. (“Fisher is just starting to realize that murderers are bad.”) They find a memory chip embedded in Foster’s nipple ring, which contains information he stole from one of the McNamaras’ companies. Everything on the chip is blackmail — even McNamara was under someone’s thumb — but what rattles Booth the most is a surveillance photo that he took. What he thought was a routine stakeout actually took down a senator. Booth trusts the FBI, and he’s been lied to.

Three federal judges have denied Caroline’s request for a warrant, and it’s starting to feel like everyone is in someone’s pocket. But Booth still has to go to his lunch with Congressman Hadley and pretend that everything is under control. The congressman is impressed by Booth’s field experience. When Booth explains that the military taught him to make decisions by getting close to a situation, he’s not just talking about his FBI leadership tactics. This is how he’s approached the entire case. He’s buried his suspicions about the promotion and proceeded as usual, to see what reveals itself.

Bones, season 9, episode 24: Brennan, Booth (Fox)That’s exactly what he asks Brennan to do with Foster. If Foster was killed by Delta Force operatives, as the evidence suggests, they can’t have any eyes on this investigation. Declaring the death accidental will buy the Jeffersonian time to continue its investigation in secret. Brennan is all about breaking rules to get to the truth, so she lies to the Deputy Director with a charming smile that’s much more convincing than Booth’s.

Brennan is so fierce about defending Booth in this episode. She’s right behind him when his Congressional hearing goes south, as Hadley turns on Booth with the revelation that he assassinated an American citizen in Pakistan. Booth can’t talk about it. Government directives prohibit him from ever having this discussion, and the files are classified, but knowing Booth, he’s already carrying enough guilt for the entire Congressional committee. Journalists swarm him as he grabs Brennan’s hand and runs. I love all of their hand-holding with everything I am, second only to the way Brennan yells Booth’s exceptional record at the reporters. This whole promotion is starting to look like a setup. The team looked too closely at McNamara, and now Booth is being made into a warning. The Deputy Director withdraws his nomination and puts Booth on administrative leave.

Hadley’s pressure point turns out to be a photo of him kissing another man, so Booth slips into his car and coolly notes that while he doesn’t care about the picture, Hadley obviously does. He’s got all of the information, and he’s going public. This isn’t true, but Hadley takes the bait, which means Booth has just offered himself as a sitting duck to three Delta Force operatives. They’re on their way, and he needs Brennan to take Christine and go so he can get to work incorporating bombs into the home décor. Brennan gets fierce again and tells Booth that she hates him for telling her to walk away, and he’s not allowed to die. They still have to fight about the fact that he kept C-4 in their garage. (“It’s stable until you detonate it.”)

The best of Bones’ intense episodes are the ones that violate the idea of home. This finale makes that literal. The stairway explodes, tables are smashed and walls are littered with bullet holes as Booth fights back against Foster’s killers. In a smart bit of direction by David Boreanaz, Booth’s wedding ring is all over this sequence. Just as Booth is shot in the chest, Brennan rushes around the corner and shoots the operative in the head, then drags Booth across the floor, grabs a gun, whips around and shoots another guy. I will fight anyone who doesn’t love her. Booth snaps the last operative’s neck (which is terrifying) and collapses, because apparently his vest wasn’t bulletproof. Are shoddy vests also part of the conspiracy?

Brennan and the team wait at the hospital until word comes that Booth is alive and out of danger, but the trouble isn’t over. The doctor wants her to wait for someone to explain, but Brennan is already down the hall and around the corner. FBI agents block her from Booth’s bedside, where he’s handcuffed to the rail, accused of killing three agents who were trying to serve a warrant on him. It looks like the Deputy Director is in the blackmailer’s pocket now — either that or he’s clueless. When Brennan protests, the agents grab her for questioning and drag her kicking and screaming from the room.

How great was Emily Deschanel in that scene? I was worried for a minute that Booth’s life would be left in the balance all summer, which would be a waste of a cliffhanger. FBI custody is much more effective, because there’s no one way out of this. The only sure thing is that it’s going to take the whole team to solve. Hodgins in particular is going to have to wear his conspiracy hat. How do you think they’ll expose this much corruption? Will the inevitable FBI reconstruction mean a new job for Booth? What are we going to do with ourselves until then? Thanks for joining me these past few months, and thanks to the cast and crew for all of my new trust issues.

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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