“Bones” has had some seriously unconventional murder weapons in the past, but death by Lionfish has to be one of the most unexpected and bizarre ways we’ve seen a victim meet their untimely demise thus far. This week, the Jeffersonian team must investigate a sub-aquatic homicide when a human leg is found with bite marks from three kinds of sharks marking its bones. The beautiful visuals of the aquarium they have to search are a welcome sight, but the ridiculously timed discovery of the human skull—conveniently barfed up, for lack of a better word, by a grouper—made me roll my eyes, a phenomenon that seems to be increasing in frequency over the last few weeks of the show.
The writers tried to round out this week’s episode by focusing on several plotlines at once, though the core remains the newly uncomfortable tension between Booth and Brennan. There was a very striking moment between Angela and Hodgins that seems to indicate a reunion is not entirely out of the question but is also potentially imminent. With Wendall out of the picture, both halves of the ex-couple seem to be rethinking their feelings and moving in the direction of reconciliation.
Rena Sofer guest starred as Dr. Catherine Bryar, a marine biologist who takes a very keen liking to Booth and provides the FBI agent his dearly-sought opportunity to move on from Brennan. The interactions between Booth, Brennan, Bryan, and Hacker when forming a truly awkward love quadrangle in the lab were priceless; four-way-glances abounded, and this new dimension their relationship is interesting at the very least. Regardless, it’s nice to see Booth receiving some positive attention that he has been too-long-denied with Brennan. I would like to note, however, that I still don’t totally understand Brennan’s reasoning behind rebuking Booth but allowing herself to date Hacker. I follow that she expects nothing serious from Hacker, but my frustration remains. Hacker’s just generally creepy and not at all up to par. But, moving on.
The body found in the tank belongs to self-help guru and motivational speaker ‘Jazz Gunn’ (really?) and the team determines that he was stabbed in the eyes, poisoned, and dragged to the larger tank where he was fed to the sharks. Ultimately, the squints prove that a teacher shoved Jazz’s face into a tank with a lionfish, immobilizing him and then drowning him because she discovered he was a fraud and couldn’t cure her fibromyalgia.
The case closes in the seamless manner we are accustomed to, and Booth and Brennan pause at the elevators of the FBI building to say their goodbyes. Brennan prepares to leave for a date with Hacker and Booth quickly informs her that he’s going to date Catherine now that she’s not considered a suspect. In a painfully sweet exchange, Brennan and Booth both try to sound happy for one another. Brennan notes, “She’s easily as pretty as I am, using myself as a standard.” Booth immediately replies, “Bones, you are the standard.” Brennan humorously notes that Catherine isn’t as smart as her, and Hacker isn’t as attractive as Booth, and after a few moments of awkward silence, she enters the elevator and wishes Booth well on his date while Booth reluctantly does the same. To this scene alone, I must ask the “Bones” writers to stop taunting me; honestly, watching now is pure masochism.
The concluding scene is worth mentioning if even only for one simple line. Booth and Brennan meet for their usual post-case drink, and they discuss their respective dates. Booth seems genuinely happy, the faint hint of uncertainty in Brennan’s words indicated she might not be as supportive of his moving on as she initially claimed to be. As Brennan tries to describe her own date with Hacker, she concludes: “Andrew is going to introduce me to the ‘rat pack’; he was very excited about it, they must be extraordinary rodents!” These moments of Brennan’s ignorance always bring me back to the days of her saying, “I don’t know what that means,” nearly every episode; back to when things were simpler, and she and Booth weren’t dating other people and breaking my heart.