Men run around in military-style camo, but it’s not a tactical mission, it’s just paintball. One of the brave paintballers goes all Leroy Jenkins and gets covered in paint, obscuring his vision. He falls on what he thinks is another player, but it’s totally a dead body. And one of the grossest ones we’ve seen in a while. My husband was disconcerted at how much it resembled the hummus he was snacking on as we were watching. Ew.
Elsewhere, Booth and Brennan are domesticating it up at Booth’s place, where Brennan is finding it harder to move around in the kitchen with her preggo-belly. I’m actually kind of glad that the pregnancy revelation spanned the season break because now we’re seeing Booth and Brennan as a fully-functioning couple in a relationship. I guess the writers figured that the six seasons of sexual tension and back and forth we’d already had were enough, so they saved us the discussion of, “Hey, we did it and now we’re having a baby? Wanna go steady?” It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. They agreed upon splitting their time between the two apartments, but Booth thinks they should have one place that’s their place. Brennan reminds him that he said (after the Hannah debacle) that he would never live with someone again unless they were married and Brennan humorously wonders if that’s a proposal. Booth says he’s not asking her. She’ll ask him, someday. A call about the paintball murder interrupts the awkward conversation and, at the scene, Booth tries to keep Brennan from carrying things. She drops some knowledge about tribes where women carry bales of hay while pregnant.
Hodgins and Brennan begin examining the body and Hodgins concludes that it’s about a week old. As Brennan looks over the injuries, the pregnancy hormones start getting to her and she gets weepy. As hackneyed as it is to play the “Pregnant Women Are Emotional” card, I actually like the way they’re doing it with Brennan. She’s hyper-aware of why her body is reacting the way it is, but that doesn’t mean she can resist the base impulse. Booth, jerkily, snaps a picture of this rare moment as Hodgins confides that Angela cried at the ShamWow! commercials when she was pregnant. Brennan concludes that she sees evidence of something being jammed through the hard palate and skull, so it’s a murder. Cue (new) credits!
The case is a pretty tricky one this week: Angela’s facial reconstruction identifies the victim as Claire Serrano, who had two missing persons reports filed on her recently: one six months ago and one just last week. Booth and Sweets question Claire’s husband, Joseph, a pastor. He explains that after the first time she disappeared, she reappeared six weeks ago with amnesia from a head trauma. She couldn’t remember anything about the previous months. She was starting to remember and they were getting their relationship back to normal. Joseph says that her return was the Lord’s work and he has to believe that this must be, as well. And he’s really creepy when he says that, too.
Sweets finds the psychiatrist that was working with Claire on her amnesia, David Yasrick, and Booth recognizes the name as someone who got run out of Vegas for writing a book on card counting. Yasrick reveals that Claire had no distinct memories of her time away or time before the head trauma, but during their last session, she was beginning to remember parts of her wedding. She was so happy she was in tears. Yasrick also had her in some group sessions. One of the fellow participants, who had aphasia after his wife was killed in a plane accident, grew very attached to Claire. Yasrick insists that the other patient had no history of violence, but Booth still thinks it sounds like the makings of a stalker. Yasrick introduces Booth and Sweets to Trevor, the aphasia patient, and explains that Trevor can only communicate when he’s playing his violin. Trevor says that Claire belonged with him and they both knew it – she was afraid of her husband. That man wanted to change her, and then what would happen to him. Trevor only seems more suspicious when linseed oil is found in his case. Claire’s body was covered in linseed oil, as was another type of fiber found underneath her remains – something that was dug up before she was placed there. The oil on the body doesn’t match Trevor’s oil, though, letting him off the hook.
Looking at the next suspect, Booth has found a number of domestic disturbance reports filed against Pastor Joseph, but the pastor chalks it all up to the difficulties they were going through with her amnesia and insists he has a clear conscience.
Meanwhile, Wendell has found evidence that Claire had been shot four months ago, and finds a piece of a bullet still in her. They match the bullet up and find that Claire was shot during a robbery, one that she was committing with Ricky Duval, who they find in a halfway house. Ricky reveals that she was calling herself Brenda then. He saw her on the side of the road, they hit it off, and went on a robbery spree. Booth realizes that Ricky’s stash was at the spot where Claire was buried and Ricky admits to it (explaining the other fibers). He has an alibi, though, and says that she must have brought someone along to help her dig it up. There was more than $80K in there.
The case is pretty much at a dead end, but then Brennan realizes that there could be something in the paintball splatters that could help them. Wendell and Hodgins find a wad of gum in a splatter, with a very clear dental impression on it. Who chews gum? Dr. Yasrick, who, Booth notes, didn’t seem to ask Claire any questions about her time away – or he removed the notes. And Booth suspects that the card counting – it was a gambling habit. They check his financials and as soon as money came in, it was gone. The perfect motive to want $80K. Booth and Sweets confront Yasrick after matching his dental records to the gum. He kind of confesses while saying, “I gave Claire her life back. I wasn’t asking for much in return.” I’m really not sure what that’s supposed to mean.
In the B-plot, throughout the episode, Brennan and Booth go back and forth about the living situation. Angela suspects that Brennan’s issues are linked to her childhood in foster homes and straight out tells her that she’s never going to be on her own again, so deal with it. Brennan approaches Booth with the idea that yes, they should move in together – in her place. Booth tries to explain that a new place would be better, but Brennan shuts that down with talk of the Iroquois tribe where men move in with the women and the housing market and she’s more financially secure, which doesn’t sit well with Booth. The next day, he throws his own Wikipedia-ing at her and says he can name 20 tribes that say she’d have to move in with him (I gotta admit, I thought that was a fairly thin argument when she brought it up). She defends herself as just being rational, but Booth points out that their situation, that he loves her; none of it is rational. Brennan returns the L word, but she still doesn’t think it’s rational to buy a house as she talks it out with Angela. Later, though, Brennan finds herself stuck behind some Egyptian cases (her center of gravity has changed, poor kid) and calls Booth for help (her first instinct, rather than security, aww!). He finishes up his apology from earlier about pushing for them to get a new place and explains that he just wants their kid to know that he’s not his dad, that he’s a good dad, giving the kid a real home. He just didn’t think she’d understand. She admits that she doesn’t but agrees that they should get their own place together. “Lying here, I’ve had some time to think,” she starts hilariously. She can always depend on him to assist her – practically, emotionally, sexually (yeah, you get it, Brennan!) – so she wants him close by, even though it’s a stupid investment. Aww”¦ that’s completely romantic of her.
B&B end the episode in more domesticity as Brennan researches houses while Booth noisily watches football. Brennan says they won’t have a TV in the bedroom in their place. Booth wants a yard with a swing set and a tree house. She wants one, too. “We can have whatever life we what. You know that, right?” Booth asks her, sweetly. Brennan finds a totally reasonable three million dollar house, but Booth vetoes it, wanting to split the house costs 50/50. I imagine they’ll soon learn that a proportional split is a much more reasonable goal to achieve. Oh, those crazy kids.
Most important factoid of this episode: Brennan has a picture of Booth cooking an omelet. Naked. Like a terrible friend, she has not shared this with Angela. Boo, Brennan.
Overall, I felt this was kind of a “meh” season opener. The case seemed overly complicated for an episode that had too much going on in the B-plot to support a big case. It’s nice to see Booth and Brennan together finally, even if it does feel (oddly, after six seasons) sudden. But it’s kind of odd for Booth to be talking about wanting to be there for their kid and not even mention Parker at all. I mean, seriously, Booth? Did you forget you had another kid that you’ve always seemed to care greatly about before? How is Parker adjusting to this relationship? And his impending sibling? I want to know more and I hope they address it soon.