Instead of a gruesome discovery this week, we follow Brennan and Zack as they arrive at the scene of a plane crash. Zack wonders in a less than tactful way what they’re doing there and the answer is because the plane in question was a state department flight with high level VIPs. There were five passengers on the plane, but there are six bodies, and three bone fragments that weren’t on the plane. Back at the Jeffersonian, Dr. Goodman informs the team that priority number one is identifying the sixth passenger. Brennan is more interested in the bone fragments, though, and talks the team and Booth into helping her investigate it without Goodman’s knowledge.Also wanting to help out in this investigation: Jessie Kane, an expert on missing persons cases. He believes that the body might be his dad’s. Max Kane went missing five years ago, which spurred Jessie’s interest in missing persons, due to, what he felt, was police bungling of the case. Kane appeals to Brennan because of her parents, and Booth gets protective of Brennan’s privacy. Kane gives Brennan his box of information that he’s collected in the event it helps their case.
The most we ever find out about the sixth passenger is that she was a caucasian female with work-related markers indicating that she was a prostitute. Honestly, even Goodman doesn’t seem to care that much. I guess it’s not their job to try and cover up ambassadors wanting sexytimes for in-flight entertainment.
The real meat of this episode is the investigation into the bone fragments. Kane suspects (and always has) Karen Anderson, his father’s girlfriend. She still lives in their house and in two years, if Max’s body hasn’t been found, he’ll be declared dead and she’ll stand to get his estate. Booth and Brennan pay her a visit and Karen (along with her new boyfriend) claims that Jessie should be the real suspect: he and his father didn’t speak for two years before Max’s disappearance: Max cut Jessie off.
On finding that the fragments were cut up by a wood chipper (after one of the most memorable Bones moments where Hodgins and Zack feed a frozen pig through one), Booth finds the only person with access to the right machine: Ray Sparks. Unfortunately, Ray was doing time at the time of Max’s disappearance, letting him off the hook.
Brennan and Jessie bond over missing parents and Brennan gives him the case file from her parents’ disappearance. He’s surprised that she never had anyone else look over it or look into it herself and she replies that she never thought about it that way before. Later, she asks for the file back, explaining that she asked the wrong person to help her. She doesn’t think it’s healthy of him to put his whole life into it, and he doesn’t think her ignoring it is either.
Unfortunately for Jessie, after finding more fragments, including one with a well grown tumor, the bone fragments aren’t Max Kane’s. Turns out they had the right man for the wrong crime: Ray Sparks was the killer, but the victim was his brother (so that he could inherit their mother’s house).
Brennan approaches Booth and asks him to take a look at her parents’ file. He doesn’t even have to think about it before saying yes. He tells her that he’s proud she asked. As he looks through the file after she leaves, he smiles at a picture of young Temperance. Awww.
This episode has some of the first blatant Booth/Brennan flirting and it’s nice to finally see them developing the back and forth that we come to know so well. It’s also one of the first times we see Brennan giving in to her less-than logical side. As she says goodbye to Jessie, he tells her that, even though she doesn’t believe it, he knows that her parents are watching her from somewhere, proud of what she’s become. As she hugs him back, she replies that that isn’t logical, but it’s a nice thought anyway.
Bones recaps will return for the new episode airing January 12th and again when the show returns after its Baby Deschanel hiatus!