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Recap: Bones 7.11 “The Family in the Feud”

Family issues abound this week as the case lands the team in the middle of a Hatfield/McCoy type feud and Brennan’s trust issues with her father rear their head again. Plus, Daisy doesn’t drive me crazy!

The Case

After a truffle hunter stumbles upon a decomposing body in a tree, the team is called out to West Virginia to investigate. Why is this an FBI case? Come to think of it, they seem to cover a lot of cases that probably shouldn’t go straight to the FBI, don’t they? Anyway, the victim is identified as Tug Babcock, patriarch of one half of a set of rural families caught in a century-old feud. Daughter (and family lawyer) Claire points Booth and Brennan to the Mobleys, who’ve hated them for years. Caroline Julian confirms (via a cart of records) that the

Caroline Julian's faces are the best. Screencap via

families have been going at it for 125 years. Violence had recently given way to nuisance lawsuits. Mobley patriarch Norbert has a bunch of weapons charges on his record and it’s no wonder since he tries to shoot Booth when the agent goes to question him. Brennan asks to hear the history because she’s fascinated by cultural feuds (and this is tame compared to cannibalistic feuds in South America). Norbert explains that way long ago, a Babcock girl tricked a Mobley man into marrying her, then poisoned him. She ended up dying, too, and the families have been fighting over the land ever since. The latest chapter in this feud (well, before Tug’s murder) resulted in the front rooms of Norbert’s house being torn off…they were over the property line. And also, someone’s been digging holes in his yard late at night.

That someone turns out to be Dennis Timmons, a developer who had rights to the (copper rich) land after Tug’s death. He’s upfront in the interrogation and admits to digging up the land in order to get a bridge loan to avoid bankruptcy. He points them to a blonde girl who was always walking through the woods at night…and shot at him once. She drove a blue pickup with a taillight missing.

After reconstructing the pelvis, Daisy finds a hole that would have been for a biopsy. A bone scan confirms that Tug had bone cancer and probably only had a month to live when he was shot. Daisy gets all social injusticey about how the feud took away Tug’s last days on earth and it needs to end. She determines that she’ll sort through the fifty different origin stories and figure out how it really started. Meanwhile, another person’s bone fragment has been found in the bullet that killed Tug. They eventually ID it as being something that was in the bullet. Norbert Mobley had bullets specially made that included his ancestor’s ashes. That’s, um, neat. Norbert doesn’t have the bullets anymore, though. They were in the part of the room that the Babcocks took, so last he knows, “the lawyer bitch” has them.

Booth finds the blonde in the truck: SueBob Mobley, who explains that she was shooting to scare off bears. She went in the woods to meet up with Junior Babcock. They’re in love, but Tug would have started a war. Booth asks if that’s a motive for Junior, but SueBob protests that he would have killed himself before he hurt his grandfather. When they bring Junior in for questioning, his mom Claire is there with him. And she’s pissed at the revelation about the relationship. Junior says that he talked to Tug about it (he didn’t get to tell SueBob yet) and that Tug gave him his blessing and money for a ring. He was tired of the fighting. Sweets points out later that Claire has a pretty darn good motive; if they feud dried up, the lawsuits dried up and her money dried up. They find the bullets and a rifle at Claire’s, but somehow, Caroline thinks that just circumstantial and wants a slam dunk case. Hodgins points out that if she was in the area where Tug’s body was found, there would be truffle spores on her clothing. They test her clothes and yep, she was there. How are spores more evidence than bullets and the rifle that shot them? I don’t get this show sometimes.

Daisy realizes (after trying one of the truffles that Hodgins dug up from the scene) that the area is actually filled with toxic chemicals, and that it probably would have been even worse 120 years ago. In her research, she finds that the cabin that the original Babcocks and Mobleys lived at was right in the path of a stream that had runoff from a copper mine. No one was murdered – they both drank the water and died from acute heavy metal toxicity. Yay, Daisy! You did something good.

Baby Plot

After Christine has been suspended from daycare (for Brennan trying to rally the other parents to insist on multicultural education time), B&B are having trouble finding a nanny that meets Brennan’s requirements. Booth reaches out to Brennan’s dad Max, who is happy to

Aww, happy grandpa Max Brennan. Screencap via

baby sit, but Brennan has reservations about leaving her daughter with the man who abandoned her as a child. My first impulse here is to think hey, there were some serious extenuating circumstances, but abandonment issues root deep, so I can understand Brennan being hesitant. The first day seems to go well, though. Max gets the baby to nap, gives her a bath, and even manages to make a lasagna for dinner. He wants to know that Brennan isn’t worrying about him. Brennan says sure, but it’s with a definite unease.

The next day, when Max doesn’t pick up for one of her hourly phone calls, Brennan freaks out, thinking his disappeared again. Brennan heads home to wait as Booth calls one of his DCPD friends to go looking for Max. When a cop brings him home, he explains that his cell phone fell out of his jacket at the park and he didn’t realize. He apologizes, but Brennan is upset with him for disappearing and tells him that she can’t have another day like this before asking him to leave. Cam and Angela try to talk Brennan into forgiving him, but she’s not ready yet. The next night, Max comes over to drop off Christine’s bunny and apologizes again. Brennan asks him how he could do that – he knows what it’s like for her and he should have realized when an hour passed and she didn’t call. He replies that he thought it meant she trusted him; he won’t make that mistake again. Brennan softens and tells him not to say that. He doesn’t want to lose her again and she wants to forget about this and be a family again. Booth brings Christine out and Brennan invites Max in for dinner.

Even though this wasn’t the greatest episode, I actually kind of liked it. I was worried that there would be too much stereotyping of the West Virginia people, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Daisy was actually kind of tolerable, and Brennan and Max’s story was handled really sensitively. What did you think?

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.

9 replies on “Recap: Bones 7.11 “The Family in the Feud””

Okay, was I the only one who heard the Mowglis instead of the Mobleys? It drove me nuts the entire time because I knew it wasn’t right.

I really hated Daisy ( as per usual) but I really disliked Brennan in this episode. Honestly, this show is a shadow of what it once was.

I’m glad the writers let Brennan talk through her issues with her dad without Sweet’s help. She’s at the point in the series where that makes more sense than him interfering with their relationship. It was nice to have the brief scene with Cam, Brennan, and Angela sitting with each other. In the past, Bones has done a good job portraying women’s friendships, even post-children (still have lives of their own).

I had a lot of issues with this episode but no one wants to have their version of the fairy tale questioned so I’ve been shouted down pretty thoroughly.

I love BONES and I adore Brennan but I’m really starting to dislike what she’s become recently.  She’s the worst kind of nightmarish seagull parent – I said on another board that now I know why they’re keeping Sweets around, so he can be there for all the therapy Christine is going to need once Brennan finishes micromanaging her life. I’m bothered by what Show has done to her and I want them to stop.

I also thought she completely over-reacted with Max.  I guess drama had to be manufactured somewhere but I hated that choice.  ED and RO were both fabulous, as always, but I was completely on Team Max for this one.

My initial reaction to the Max storyline was the same, but as I thought about it, it bothered me much less. Having dealt with my own set of (completely different) abandonment issues, the feelings those leave you with aren’t rational. Brennan may well know that her dad is working hard to gain her trust again and be on the straight and narrow and be there for her, but there’s a part of her that will never be able to forget that, no matter how much he loved her, he was able to abandon her once. What’s to say he won’t abandon a child that isn’t even his… that he hasn’t raised and seen grow up? It seems like an over-reaction on the face of it, but I found it to be a really truthful character choice.

And I, too, hate that they’ve made Brennan so helicoptery, but I kind of relate to that, somewhat, too. I know someone who is super-educated about children and now that they have their own… I hate to judge the choices parents make, but I could see the seeds of a lot of issues sprouting in her child and most of them are because the mother knows almost too much… and wasn’t adapting her knowledge to her child, but trying to adapt her child to her knowledge. It’s gotten better as the kid has gotten older, but in the beginning, I could barely stand to be around them. So I have hopes for Brennan chilling out as time goes on.

Either that or my character empathy is on overdrive this week. ;-)

Is anyone tired of Bones? I used to LOVE it, but I was watching it the past few weeks and everything just felt so forced. The plot is almost exactly the same each time and I’ve gotten pretty good and pin-pointing the bad guy within the first few minutes. As much as I would hate to see the show end, I’m sort of starting to feel like it’s done all it can do.

In the preview for next week, they’re in LA where one of Brennan’s books is being filmed and I thought “Wait… didn’t we do this already in the first season?” I think all procedurals fall victim to their own formula (and their viewer’s knowledge of that formula) eventually, but yeah… the cases are boring me a lot at the moment. I want one of those really heartfelt, emotional cases again. I feel like we haven’t had one in forever.

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