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'Bones' recap: The stuffed bunny of Wall Street

Season 10 | Episode 7 | “The Money Maker on the Merry-Go-Round” | Aired Nov 13, 2014

Bones can create a whole subculture in a few lines of dialogue. The first scene of every episode depends on that, as the show builds a community only to disrupt it with a dead body. It’s like one of Brennan’s anthropological studies: How will people react when their world is shaken? Tonight, the people in question are the playground dads of America, recently divorced and desperate to give their kids an hour of normal childhood on a hot metal slide. They don’t care that the merry-go-round is a little rusty. They do care that there’s a body underneath.

This is one of my favorite body finds in a while, because it sets up a world where risky choices look a lot like harmless indulgence. “Horrifically dangerous playground equipment” basically sums up this episode. Money, parties, letting your child say naughty words—it looks fun, but it can still cause problems. Christine keeps calling her stuffed bunny a jackass. Booth wants to put a stop to this gateway cursing, but Brennan could not care less. She’s not going to punish her daughter for expressing herself without violence. Brennan is so cool.

As for the dead man under the merry-go-round, his name is Toby Wachlin, and he was a high-frequency trader at Horizon Equities, the biggest hedge fund in DC. According to his boss, Mason Barnes, Toby cost the company $8 million with the click of a button last week. That’s pocket change to Barnes, who literally hands out $10,000 as a party favor, but it means something to stock brokers like Blair Ellis. Ellis is a former college football quarterback with a championship ring and a well-documented temper; Toby’s mistake cost him big money.

rsz_bones_ep1007-sc14_0068_hires2Toby liked to party at a house near his office, and there’s evidence of his blood on a candlestick. The prints are a match for a woman named McKenzie Solloway, who is either a prostitute or the owner of an online linen business, depending on whom you ask. McKenzie made an expensive deal with Toby, and he didn’t pay, so she took his phone and wallet as collateral. She also admits to nicking him with the candlestick, but she insists that she didn’t kill him.

The cocaine and the prostitutes are all news to Toby’s wife, who breaks down in Booth’s office. Aubrey tells her that she’s better off; if her husband really loved her, he would have put her before his money. This isn’t really about Toby. Aubrey’s father was arrested for securities fraud, skipped bail, hopped on a plane to Croatia, and left Aubrey’s mother to raise the family by herself. Aubrey was 13 years old. When he tells Toby’s wife that she deserves better, he’s just trying to fight for her, but it’s too soon. Her husband is dead. Aubrey apologizes and leaves the room.

Angela unlocks an audio file in which Mason Barnes asks Toby to bribe an executive. Toby recorded the conversation in order to blackmail Barnes. Booth wants Aubrey to help him make the arrest, but Aubrey is still too shaken up. He regrets losing control.

I never wanted Aubrey to have a tragic backstory—it felt like too much, too soon, and given that so many members of the Bones team already have that connection to the cases they solve, it’s worth exploring how people empathize when they can’t draw on personal experience. But the minute Booth reassures Aubrey that he’s a good agent, it’s like Aubrey becomes part of the family. These people recognize sadness in each other.

Booth and Brennan arrest Barnes, whose desk is definitely where the murder took place, but he has an alibi in the form of time-stamped selfies he took with a prostitute. Brennan goes back to the bones and finds a shard of emerald in the skull, which matches the gems on Blair Ellis’ college championship ring. Ellis found out that Toby was blackmailing their boss, and he killed him, because companies are like football teams, and players have to respect their coaches, or something like that. He can write a memoir from jail and fill it with sports metaphors. (“It was an accident.” “You smashed Toby’s head into the desk nine times.”)

rsz_bones_ep1007-sc33_0080_hires2Brennan finds Aubrey at the bar and tells him that she knows about his father. Aubrey says that his father is his problem; she doesn’t have to get involved. Brennan knows that. She’s just here because she wants him to understand that he’s not alone. And while Aubrey and Sweets are not the same person, it’s safe to say that Brennan would not be having this conversation if she hadn’t had a similar one with Sweets years ago.

Brennan tells Aubrey that her parents were criminals who abandoned her when she was 15, and she’s still angry. (“So this isn’t a comforting talk.”) The best thing she’s learned is to stop fighting the anger. It’s real, and it’s part of them, so they might as well get used to it and use it for good. She gets Aubrey to buy her a beer to pay her back for the advice. Brennan claims to have forgotten her wallet, but I think she just wants to make him feel important.

Back at home, Brennan tells Booth that Aubrey is going to be okay, but they have a new problem: Christine is now calling everyone a jackass, mommy and teacher included. Brennan had the best of intentions, but it was too much of a good thing. Horrifically dangerous playground equipment will do that. Booth pulls Christine onto his lap and waits for Brennan to talk herself out of this one.

Where do you stand on the gateway curse debate? And what did you think of Aubrey’s story?

Bones airs Thursdays at 8/7C 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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