New Show Recap: Bones, Episode 8.08, “The But in the Joke”

A clumsy street artist spills his bucket of glue while vandalizing a billboard and then manages to fall off the billboard himself. Fortunately for him, landing on a dead body seems to break his fall. Unfortunately, he’s now stuck to it with industrial strength adhesive.

Hodgins uses the old peanut butter trick to unstick the bodies and the team uses the victim’s fused vetebrae to identify him as Morgan Donnelly, a telemarketer by day and comedian by night. Morgan’s boss Denny Bennett points them to Morgan’s girlfriend, Alexa, who stormed into the office yelling about him cheating on her the day he died. When Booth and Brennan inform Alexa (and her brother Eliott, who lives with her) about Morgan’s death, they both crack up. Not because they’re psychopaths; they thought it was a practical joke. When she realizes that it’s not a prank, she’s very upset. The fight was because a fan walked up to him and kissed him and in Alexa’s opinion, he “didn’t need to enjoy it that much.” She says that Morgan came over for dinner that night, then she went to work and when she came home, he wasn’t there.

A screenshot from the TV show Bones: Character Larry Bergen, as played by Joe O'Conner (famous for playing Marshall Darling on "Clarissa Explains It All")
Marshall Darling, what happened to your architecture career? Screencap via bones-daily.com

Sweets goes through tapes of Morgan’s act (videoed by Eliott) and finds one repeat heckler, Larry Barren (played by Clarissa’s dad Marshall Darling!). When they question Larry, he explains that the heckling was all part of the act; Larry got laughs and Morgan got the audience’s good will. They question another comic, Rex (who stands to inherit the Friday night slot now), and he says that Morgan stole jokes from other comics. Since an open mic night would have been the best place to steal, Booth goes onstage to tell some of Morgan’s jokes that Sweets determined weren’t written by Morgan. A female comic, Annie Pinkus, stands up claiming the jokes as stolen and they take her in for questioning. Annie works at the telemarketing job, too, and she explains that she’s good at writing, but terrible at delivering the jokes, so she sells them to Morgan. His death actually hurt her career; Morgan was about to move to NYC with show bookings and everything.

A screenshot from the TV show Bones: The character Hodgins makes a grossed out face.
Poor, poor Hodgins. Screencap via bones-daily.com

Angela’s magic software leads them to the murder weapon: his face was smashed in by a toilet seat, most likely while he was over it puking. Hodgins gets the unenviable task of checking all the toilets Morgan would have frequented and the one that matches is in Alexa and Eliott’s apartment. After Morgan’s last dinner, Alexa left and Morgan and Eliott were going to stay in and write jokes. Eliott comes in with a lawyer and confesses. Morgan was drinking a lot, trying to work up the courage to tell Alexa he was leaving and breaking up with her. He had promised that he would help Eliott start an act, too, but was bailing on that. And so Eliott killed him. Damn.

 

The B Plot

As Hodgins comes to raid Angela’s peanut butter stash, she laments that she got a ticket for right turn on red at Broadway and Nash that morning. Hodgins thinks they should fight it, but Angela just wants to pay it and be done with it. Hodgins wonders where the spark plug that he married went and Angela points out that said spark plug had an indiscriminate sex life and didn’t stay in one place. Not exactly conducive to being married with a baby.

While the artist stuck to the body refuses to give the team his name, Angela recognizes his work immediately. He’s Zed, an anonymous underground artist who no one knows (shades of Banksy). He finally gives up his name as Seth Zalinsky, but won’t cop to being Zed. Eventually, he admits to Angela that Zed is his alter ego (and gets a kiss from her in the process).

A screenshot from the TV show Bones: on an easel sits a painting of a unicorn with a rainbow behind it.
Granted, her technique is actually kind of terrible in this. But whatever. UNICORNS! RAINBOWS! Screencap via bones-daily.com

As Zed is recovering from the body removal (and sedatives used to make it easier on him), he’s sleeping it off on Angela’s couch. He admires some of her work, but points out a newer painting of a unicorn and a rainbow, asking “What the hell is that supposed to be?” Hey now, don’t rag on unicorns and rainbows. He tells her that she’s the only person who knows his secret identity and if she keeps the secret, he’ll take care of Broadway and Nash for her. He leaves her saying, “You have excellent… technique.” Angela is gutted.

Hodgins finds out about the kiss and is a little worried, explaining to Angela, “Zed is cool and I’m not. If you ever leave me, it’s gonna be for someone who’s cool.” Angela explains that there was nothing in the kiss; she kissed him because she was in awe of his talent. I totally get that, Ange.

That night, Angela and Hodgins wait around at Broadway and Nash, where Angela has done a bit of social vandalism herself. Angela’s worried that Zed will hate it. Zed shows up, looks at it, then leaves. Hodgins goes after him to ask why he didn’t paint anything. “Someone beat me to it,” Zed replies, “I got nothing better to say.” Angela asks if he likes it, then, and Zed replies “I love it, but your technique blows.” Best compliment ever.

A screenshot from the TV show Bones: Graffiti on a wall with a police officer holding a paper reading "You have no right to take away our right."
Um, actually, they do. It’s probably for pedestrian safety. Screencap via bones-daily.com

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Crystal Coleman

Florida girl living on the west coast. During the day, I consult in social media and community management. I have a really cute puppy (Elphaba) and a British husband (I keep him for his accent) as well as an unhealthy relationship with parentheses. http://thatgirlcrystal.com

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