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Recap: Bones 7.02 “The Hot Dog in the Competition”

An old woman (who is played by the old woman that plays every single old woman in everything ever, you know who I’m talking about, the woman has 170 IMDB credits and is credited as some iteration of “Old Woman” in 15 of them!!!) enters an apartment. She’s the landlady and rent is 8 days late. Probably because the tenant’s dead body has been flung through a terrarium and is being eaten by rats. Apparently, this landlady has seen some stuff in her day, because her only response is “Someone’s not getting their security deposit back.” I want a spinoff about this old landlady and her life. When Brennan’s team arrives, she discerns that the woman was in her early 30s and had an artery punctured when she was thrown through the plate glass. Oh, and all those rats, they were just food. For the snake that was in the terrarium. That they need to find (in case there’s evidence in its stomach).

Back at the lab, Cam is recapping the new Squintern’s life story, to him. It’s well done, as far as infodumps go, but it’s still a blatant infodump. The new guy is Finn Abernathy, a good old boy from the deep south North Carolina. Graduated high school at 16 and just turned 18 a few days ago. Great timing, because Finn has a troubled past with juvie stints, but that’s all expunged now that he’s an adult and Cam’s had him cleared to work at the Jeffersonian. When the remains get back to the lab, Finn shows off his stuff by pinpointing that the victim must be 30 to 31 due to something sciencey to do with her ribs. The glass she was thrown through was plate, not tempered, and 6mm thick. Brennan says it’s a promising start and Cam looks really proud. Cam starts examine the body, which has its lower half still intact, when something in the pants starts moving. Oh, hey, there’s that snake! Cam freaks out (which I would do, as well). Finn thinks this is the best damn job ever.

Maybe he starts rethinking that when he meets Hodgins, who is really hostile to Finn because of his juvie record. Finn says that he made a few mistakes, but he’s past that now. Finn gets back to work (like a fucking professional, HODGINS!) and notes that the victim could unhinge her jaw, like a snake. Hodgins presses about Finn’s past again, asking what he went to juvie for. Finn explains that it was some joy riding, vandalism, shoplifting. Hodgins seems to drop it, but mocks Finn’s southern dialect at the same time. Again, like a MFing professional, Finn gets back to the victim and notices an extra bone in her throat. Hodgins isn’t the only one concerned about Finn’s background, though, as our favorite DA Caroline Julian visits Cam to lecture her about hiring a criminal. Caroline is concerned that a lawyer will use Finn to question the integrity of the lab in court. Cam says that he deserves a second chance and she’s going to give it to him.

After x-raying the snake, they’ve found a rat with a finger bone inside it. Cam wants the snake killed before the digestive juices ruin the evidence. Finn tries to offer a solution, but Hodgins mocks him, leading to Finn telling him off and reminding him that they “both speak science and that’s all that’s important in here.” Cam offers a well timed “Oh, snap.” Hodgins asks her for the two hours before there’s any danger of digestion and Cam grants it. On the other side of the lab, Brennan praises Finn’s notes, except for the extra bone thing. He was looking for extraordinary and missed the ordinary. It was a chicken bone. But the new question becomes why did she cough it back up?

Booth and Sweets investigate the crime scene and find out that the leaseholder has been subletting for the past four years and, for some reason, doesn’t know the name of the current tenant. The victim had no personal effects in the place, no mail. Neighbors described her as very attractive and occasionally saw her with very fat men. Booth and Sweets are sure she was a prostitute. Angela finds a match for her sketch, Tina Thomas. Booth and Sweets bring Tina’s husband, Greg, in and give him the bad news. They start to ask about the apartment and Greg says that he knew about it, she did her business there. He was supportive”¦ she was so good at what she did that he quit his job. Sweets and Booth are about to have their delicate sensibilities offended because Greg reveals that she was a competitive eating champion. Not a prostitute.

As Booth looks over the info they have about Tina “The Python” Thomas, Brennan anthropolizes about the history of eating competitions and how they, historically, show the upper classes indulging in the abundance they have available to them that peons don’t. Tina was the reigning champion of Hot Dogs and Buffalo Wings and Booth is impressed by her 65 wiener record.  Speaking of hot dogs, Cam finds a piece of human issue mixed in with the macerated hot dogs in Tina’s teeth, either she bit her attacker or she should really switch brands. Booth brings Mitch Clancy, the head of the competitive eating organization in. Clancy says that he was in Japan, setting up a TV offer, and Tina was the draw. The last time he saw her was at the wing competition four weeks ago. She would have been in the Gluttony Games that weekend, and she was a shoo-in to win $10K.

Brennan goes to the games with Booth; she finds this to be an anatomically fascinating case. And, you know, being around all that food is great, too. She also thinks the crowd atmosphere is fascinating, too, and gets into the crowd’s enthusiasm, yelling at the contestants along with everyone else. The winner is crowned with only 56 dogs, paling in comparison to what Tina would have eaten. Booth suggests that might have been a good motive for murder. His alibi checks out, though.

Hodgins finds Finn in his lab and starts in on the mocking again, adopting the nickname “Opie” for him. Finn throws it back on him, calling him “Thurston.” Finn explains that he’s cooling the snake down for five minutes to slow down the digestion and then he plans to get the snake to throw up. That’s what he was trying to suggest before when Hodgins was being a douchnozzle. Under a crunch for time, Hodgins admits that was a good idea and apologizes for being an asshat earlier. Finn launches a fake mongoose he’d rigged up, and the snake vomits in spectacular fashion, bone flying against the cage.

For their next suspect, they turn to Hank Tobin, who matches the DNA found in the skin in Tina’s mouth. Tobin was an exec at the Tina’s Hot Dog Company Sponsor, who is at the Gluttony Games. Brennan and Booth head back and they find him shoving food down a girl’s throat and yelling at her. Brennan charges him (claiming to be acting like Booth, see the B plot below), but Tobin was just helping the girl train and now they’ve wrecked her personal best! Booth and Sweets question Tobin, who doesn’t deny that she bit him. He’s hands on with his training, all his eaters have pieces of him in them. Ew. He says they were fighting about money. She had started puking during training and said she was done with competitive eating. He would never kill her, though.

Caroline approaches Cam again, wanting to know how much Cam really knows about Finn. Caroline had his record unsealed and found assault charges, a history of violence, and attacking his stepfather with a hunting knife. A year after that assault, the stepfather went missing and not a trace of him was ever found. Caroline says that her contact down there said that the whole county heard Finn making threats to his stepfather. Cam is speechless and Caroline tells her not to ruin her career and her reputation for a kid she doesn’t even know. Cam asks Angela to check Finn out on the downlow. Finn comes across Angela as she’s reading about him on her magic screen (seriously, Ang, don’t you have a desktop monitor for confidential stuff?). She asks Finn if what she found is wrong and Finn avoids answering, saying it doesn’t matter, people always believe the worst, in his experience. Again, like a damn professional, Finn leads the conversation back to the case. He was cleaning the bone and thought that, with how thick the glass was, maybe they could use Angela’s computer to figure out the force she was thrown at it with. He hands her some graphs and math that he scribbled on a napkin. Angela tries to explain why she was looking him up but he tells her not to worry about it, he’s used to it. Finn walks into the room where the bones are laid out, replaces the finger bone, and leaves his lab coat next to the table, walking back out of the room. The next day, Cam finds it and Brennan doesn’t understand why he left. She says that if Finn were a danger, it would be illogical for him to work surrounded by investigative minds all day. Her little experience with him tells her that he’s too smart for that. Getting back to the case, Brennan sees that there was tooth erosion, probably from vomiting. Also, she spots a very subtle widening of the pelvis – Tina was eight weeks pregnant.

Booth and Sweets bring Tina’s husband, Greg, back in. The job he quit was being a garbage man and neighbors said he and Tina argued all the time about having kids. Greg admits that he didn’t want to have kids yet. She was just starting to make good money and they had years for that. When he realizes that they’re accusing him of murder, Greg clams up. Brennan clears him, though. Angela’s projections put the killer at being at least 312 pounds, which narrows it to Mitch Clancy and Brian Tobin. Size isn’t motive enough for Booth to bring them in, though, so Brennan gets back to the investigation (as she plays some cool music for the baby through a belt on her stomach). As Brennan works, Finn comes back. She comments that she doesn’t appreciate having to do his work as well as her own. He tells her that he came back to apologize and she tells him to get back to work. He hesitates and Brennan asks what no one else will just ask him. “Did your interest in forensics stem from a plan to murder your stepfather?” Finn says it did. She asks if Finn murdered said stepfather,  and he confirms that he didn’t. She asks what stopped him. It was Brennan, oddly. He read a paper she wrote and he knew that he’d never get away with it, so he saw it as a sign from above to stay on the straight and narrow. Last time he saw his stepfather, he did threaten to kill him, but was bluffing. Apparently, his stepfather believed him. Brennan accepts this explanation, admonishing “You just never walk out again, y’hear? There ain’t gonna be no more second chances.” Brennan is a John Wayne fan. Securing his place there (and a Jeffersonian cap from Cam), Finn spots some parasites in the body (which break the case). Hodgins ids it as a lung fluke, not found in the US but found in Japan. Booth confronts Clancy, who claims they got into an argument because she wanted to quit and his contract was worthless without her. He shoved her, but it was an accident. He gives a full confession.

In BabyPlot, Brennan reveals in an offhanded remark that she and Booth are expecting a girl, which is news to Booth, who didn’t even know she had a scan appointment. Brennan says that she knows he only like color movies and the quality of an ultrasound isn’t up to his standards. Oh, Brennan, seriously? I’m going to blame this on pregnancy brain because you can NOT be this clueless. Of course he’d want to be at the appointment. For shame, Brennan. Angela tries to talk to her about the cluelessness, but gives up. Clearly, Angela agrees that this is ridiculous, even for Brennan. Booth gets left out again when Brennan sets up a meeting with a financial advisor about setting up a trust for their daughter. Brennan defends that he doesn’t have money and wouldn’t have wanted to go anyway and Booth points out that he would have just liked to have been asked. He doesn’t want her to make things easy for him. He challenges her to try walking in his shoes and she accepts the challenge, announcing that she’d like to have sex (because he apparently always wants to have sex). He shakes his head and walks away, which is the only acceptable response in that situation. Throughout the episode, Brennan continues to try seeing things from his view and she comes to realize why he was hurt. She apologizes for not including him at the ultrasound. She can’t undo it, and he says the apology’s enough. But she has more. She puts the DVD of the ultrasound on and Booth is very happy to see it. He spots her kicking and Brennan points out that they share  they same prominent mental protuberance. Aww, love and babies.

So what did you think of new squintern Finn? Or of Brennan’s cluenessness?

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.

6 replies on “Recap: Bones 7.02 “The Hot Dog in the Competition””

I wish BONES had writers who actually watched the show because obviously, they don’t.  If they did, Brennan would have some sort of consistency to her character.  If every episode is going to follow the Brennan does something clueless/Someone explains said cluelessness/Brennan apologies to Booth formula, it’s going to get old quick.

I’m not so fussed about the missed ultrasound.  I think that’s a generational thing now that women just expect that fathers want to be there.  My kids are in their 20s and back in the day, we didn’t get ultrasounds and the fathers didn’t go with us every time we had to put our feet in the stirrups.  But I do believe Booth has a gripe that he had to find out his child’s gender so publicly.  Not well done, Brennan darling.

I liked Finn more than I thought I would (I’m southern and I was a little nervous about all the typical southern stereotypes).  Hodgins was just Hodgins – no one seems to remember how he treated the old guy intern in Finger in the Nest.  Same sort of attitude, really.

But, it’s only the second episode and there’s no Hannah so life is still good.



I think you wrote about this before, but it seems like Brennan has regressed in terms of her ability to express herself etc. It’s like the writers have lost the ability to write a nuanced character who struggles with expressing emotion and are instead relying on the sort of stereotypical portrayal of Brennan from when the series began.

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