It’s been a couple of weeks since Sweets started his leave and just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in for help with a case relating to gang violence.
Sweets is making his way downtown, walking fast, and, as faces pass, Booth sneaks up on him. It’s been a couple of weeks since Sweets has checked in and Booth is worried. Sweets says it’s not about his guilt over the Pelant thing, it’s about him feeling good helping out disadvantaged kids. Booth asks if he can call on Sweets if he needs him. No, Booth, he’s on leave… leave him alone. Sweets says yes, of course, though. Gee, I wonder how long it’ll take for Booth to need Sweets.
The victim of the week is found in a car with a cleaver, but the cleaver is surprisingly not the murder weapon… it’s his signature (the episode title translates to “The Butcher in the Car”). The bullet that’s lodged in the roof of the car is more likely the cause of death. The victim is identified as a hitman with a gang called The Crazy Stars, who just happen to be running in the area that Sweets is volunteering with, so of course Booth has to ask him for help. Who called three hours until Sweets was called in? You win!
The gun is identified and it’s been used in five other unsolved murders. It’s apparently a gang’s library gun, used by many members and almost impossible to connect to one person. Booth and Sweets go to question a member of a rival gang and get caught in the middle of a drive-by. They’re okay, but Booth kinda forgets to tell Brennan and she has to hear about it from someone else.
Another victim is found, murdered by the same library gun. She was an informant on the gang and was having sex with victim of the week. The injuries on Victim 1 indicate that he actually beat up and murdered Victim 2. The girlfriend of Victim 1 becomes the primary suspect (revenge killing), but she’s not talking. Sweets knows her son from the Community Center, but the boy clams up to him, as well. Sweets is convinced that he can get through to the boy and asks Booth to stand down from the questioning on this case. Sweets appeals to the mother and her son both. Finally, “Don’t you love your mom?” ends up being the question that cracks the dam. But the case turns when the son tells him mom that he did it to protect her. “I did it for you, mama, for family.” In a surprise reaction, the mother slaps him and says that The Crazy Stars are her family and he means nothing to her. Damn. Harsh. I’m thinking this kid will be better off without his mother.
The boy knows that the gang will kill him. Booth promises that they’ll protect him, he’s a minor and felt in fear for his life. He doesn’t know where the gun is, but he knows someone who might have it. They use his mother’s cell phone (which is still in evidence custody) for the boy to call Ana, who may be the gun librarian. They trace the call and find Ana and the gun.
After the case is solved, the gang gathers at the Founding Fathers to celebrate Sweets being back on the team. He can’t toast to what’s untrue, though; he’s not back quite yet. He still has more leave and feels that he still has more to do with helping kids choose education over silence. Angela assures him that no matter what happens, he’s still one of them. Sweets leaves early to help Javier get set up with his foster family but he takes a bittersweet look back at the team as he goes.
This episode was pretty light on B and C plots and I’m kind of thankful for that. This felt like a much more cohesive episode than we’ve gotten recently. Instead of a shoe-horned subplot to remind us that Booth and Brennan are totally in love, we get a little scene that makes sense given the rest of the episode. Sweets’ subplot fit with the case well and I’m glad that his leave arc wasn’t summed up nicely in one episode. Is it too soon to say that this episode gives me hope for the season?
What did you think?