The A-Plot: The Case
When the episode opens, the body has already been discovered beneath a bridge (I’m sure there was screaming involved) and the pieces are scattered on a metal table in the Jeffersonian. Because the bones are still fleshy and disgusting, Brennan takes the opportunity while they’re being cleaned to go home. During dinner, Booth suggests they all spend the weekend at a lakeside cabin and make some family memories. Brennan disagrees since Christine is too young to remember anything that happens (and apparently it’s not important that she and Booth will be able to enjoy the memories of a fun weekend with their baby). Quicker than you can say, “We need to get Brennan back to the lab so she can get shot!” the discussion escalates into an argument that culminates in Brennan slamming the door behind her as she, you guessed it, heads back to the lab.
While she’s examining the bones, a security guard, Hal, stops by on his rounds for a chat. Brennan points out that the body was probably pushed off the bridge to obscure the fact that the victim was murdered and Hal continues his rounds. A few minutes later, she dons the magnification headgear to get a closer look, hears a sound, looks up but can’t see anything (because of the headgear) and gets shot. Not long after, Booth shows up to apologize for the argument and discovers her lying in a pool of blood.
She’s rushed into surgery (where Cam tells the surgeon how to do his job) but strangely enough, no bullet is found even though there’s no exit wound. As it happens, Hal the security guard was also killed and no bullet is found during his autopsy either (I allowed myself one snarky Cam comment and since I’ve already used it, I won’t say anything about her conducting this autopsy). Curiouser and curiouser. At the hospital, Brennan mentions feeling a sensation of cold when she was shot, so Hodgins posits the theory of an ice bullet. Trial and error, and Brennan’s bad reaction to a different type of blood in her body, lead him to a bullet made of frozen human blood.
With Booth being mostly at Brennan’s bedside, Teen Agent Sparling is back (seriously, what is she? 12? 13?) and she and Sweets question the other employees who were at the lab the night Brennan was shot and Hal was killed. When Angela’s facial reconstruction identifies the remains found under the bridge as a guy named Johannes Groot, the two of them also go to Groot’s apartment where they find a lot of expensive stuff (which apparently reminds Sweets of his short fling with Sparling) and some confetti from a taser which can be linked to Hal, the dead security guard. When an infection in Hal’s head turns out to be from flecks of gold paint and centuries-old wood from Crete, all roads lead to an art restorer at the Jeffersonian who just happens to have a small cryogenic freezer sitting right out in the open, with some of his own blood frozen inside it. That blood turns out to match the blood that caused Brennan’s bad reaction and voilà! the case, she is solved.
The B-Plot: Brennan Sees Her Mom
During periods of unconsciousness, Brennan is back in her old house with her mom, Christine, who apparently is stuck for all eternity in the ugliest outfit the costume department could find. Note to self: die wearing something cute. Rational scientist and atheist that she is, Brennan immediately has a credible, scientific explanation for the visions, but Christine gently disagrees. They have several conversations: Brennan tells her mother about Booth and the daughter she also named Christine; they talk about the last time they saw each other, when they argued over a boy and her mother told flighty, dreamy teenage Brennan (I’ll refrain from commenting) that she should be more rational; and, finally, Christine tells Brennan she can stop being rational now and flourish, not just survive. Christine also has a message for Max, which is that she always knew he stole the first gift he gave to her (to which I would say, “Duh,” except that it’s Max and I absolutely adore the old rogue).
The Final Verdict (IMO, anyway)
FWIW, the case and the blood bullet were much more interesting to me than the stuff with Christine Brennan. Emily Deschanel was fabulous (as always — where is her Emmy already??) but I felt zero connection between mother and daughter. That Brennan, whose only friend was a creepy janitor who brought her dead animals and who could go for days without saying anything other than a whispered, “Polo,” morphed into a fickle teenager who would start smoking just to impress a boy was (for me, anyway) eye-rolling.
So, what did you think about Brennan’s visit to the beyond?