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Retro Recap: Bones, Episode 1.12, “The Superhero in the Alley”

Booth and his boss are at the crime scene. You know it’s bad when Booth’s boss is there. A teenager’s body has been found and the media is all over the case already. It looks like the body fell from one of the buildings around, but Booth tries his charm smile out on Brennan so that she’ll quickly conclude it’s murder. She knows better, though. Brennan estimates the age as 12-17, but the size indicates the lower end of the scale. Back at the lab, Hodgins determines that some foreign material with the body was a comic book and we find out that Zack isn’t a comic geek. Hodgins and I are both surprised. Brennan comes to the conclusion that the body was dropped after he was dead: it’s a murder!

The victim was Warren Granger, 17. When Booth and Brennan visit his parents, they find that Warren went missing 2 months ago. He was a loner, into his comic books more than friends. They tried to get him to engage more through a job at a bowling alley, but he just spent the money on more comics and toys. As B&B look around his room, Booth admires Warren’s comic collection and Brennan teases him for being a nerd. Booth defends that it is perfectly normal for young men to develop an interest in comic books. They find a book that Booth doesn’t recognize: Citizen 14. And the costume looks like the costume that Warren was found in.

Hodgins makes magic with the comic book and finds that it was a prototype. Dr. Goodman suggests that the boy thought that he was a superhero. When B&B head to the comic book store that Warren frequented, they find Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as the shifty-looking owner. Adorable Aaron Paul says that Warren was a nice kid. There’s a meeting of the Doomsday League upstairs and Aaron Paul (yeah, I didn’t even pay attention to the character’s name) reveals that Warren was a member. The Doomsday League (really, that’s a terrible name for a superhero group. It sounds more like a villain group) doesn’t take kindly to the intruders, but Booth pulls the FBI card and starts asking them questions. A girl in a blue wig realizes that something bad must have happened to “Citizen 14″ and she’s upset. She introduces herself as Blue Minnow (or Abigail Zilley) and says that Citizen 14 was her partner; Warren was her friend. The last time they saw him, he called them all posers and stormed off. The three boys imply that they were more than friends and Abigail storms off. On the way back to the office, Booth categorizes the boys as “Columbine nerds” and wonders if they got too into their game, killing their friend.

Dr. Goodman has been reading the comic and believes that the writer was in physical pain, afraid of death. Brennan doesn’t see how he could conclude that, but he says that writers always reveal more of themselves on the page than they think. Brennan states that her books are pure fiction and everyone huffily points out aspects of themselves that she’s stolen to put in her books. Goodman also finds a female presence in the comic: The Opalescence: a beautiful girl who can’t be approached. Angela suggests it’s just a masturbatory fantasy, but Goodman’s not convinced. The Opalescence cowers before The Twisted. Goodman’s sure the girl is based on someone real. Zack’s also been doing some reading: graphic novels. And he likes them, especially the ones that are retellings of Greek myths. Fortunately, he’s had time to do some work, too and determines that there were no drugs in Warren’s system, there are parts of the bone that were really fragile and the victim was stabbed in the neck, severing the spinal cord. Zack also finds that there’s piting on the bone; Warren was sick.

They bring Blue Minnow in for questioning and she says that Warren had a girlfriend that the rest of them never met, and he wouldn’t say who she was. She insists that she and Warren had a connection, but she doesn’t think The Opalescence is meant to represent her. Blue Minnow says that the other guys were posers, just like Warren said they were. He believed in truth, he was Citizen 14.

B&B head to the bowling alley that Warren worked at. Booth has brought his shirt and bowling ball. Aww, Booth’s a bowler. He tells Brennan that he likes it as a sport, and Brennan challenged that there’s not physical benefit, so it’s not a sport. They speak to the owner, Ted McGruder, who thought that Warren had just found another job. Ted’s wife, Lucy, is teary at hearing that Warren is dead. B&B ask about Warren having a girlfriend and Lucy doesn’t think he did. Blue Minnow would stop by sometimes, but Warren would ask Lucy to say he wasn’t there. Brennan gets a call from Zack about the problem he found with Warren’s bones. It turns out that if Warren hadn’t been murdered two months ago, he’d be dead by now anyway. WHAAAA????

It turns out that Warren had leukemia as a child, but it went into remission long ago. He must have been ill again and the parents realize that’s why he pulled away. He saw what it did to his mother the first time and he didn’t want her to suffer again. Brennan realizes that Warren wrote the comics, but they haven’t found anything that indicated he drew them. They discover that Stew Ellis, which is apparently Adorable Aaron Paul’s name in this episode, was the artist. When Booth questions why Stew didn’t reveal that earlier, Stew says that they’d had a fight about merchandising and he didn’t want to be a suspect. Nice move, Aaron Paul. Geez. I hope you’re better about seeming like a less shady person on Breaking Bad, which I actually haven’t watched yet, but have heard it’s great.

Sorry, back to the point”¦ back in the lab, they find an extra bone fragment ““ one that didn’t belong to Warren. Brennan uses DNA FBI magic to do something involving bone slides to get the age, sex, and weight of the person the bone belonged to. It was from a white male, mid 30s. Ted raised their suspicion when they noticed that Lucy appeared to be injured and the pieces start to come together with Lucy as The Opalescence and Ted as The Twisted. They confront Ted and Lucy at the bowling alley and find Ted trying to gather money so they can skip down. Lucy makes excuses for Ted, but eventually comes to the realization that he killed Warren when Warren confronted Ted about his abuse of Lucy.

At Warren’s funeral, Booth places his sharpshooter medal on the coffin, making Warren an official hero. Angela has finished the comic, trapping The Twisted and letting The Opalescence free. She gives the comic to Lucy, who places it on the coffin.

By 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.

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