A Big Gulp proves hazardous to the health of the man it blows up and Booth gets a taste of a desk job promotion while Sweets gets a new partner. Keen DVR-watchers may notice that this episode is numbered as 7.15 in some systems. The Bones crew filmed four extra episodes during season seven that were Brennan-lite (to allow for production to continue during her maternity leave). Since they weren’t afforded an opportunity to air them during the summer, it looks like they’re portioning them out during season eight. All in all, I thought that it fit pretty seamlessly; if I hadn’t seen the episode number before I started watching (and my husband hadn’t pointed out Emily Deschanel’s post-partum breast size increase), I wouldn’t have known this was filmed earlier. Anyway, on to the episode…
In a hotel parking garage, a man walks to his car as another person darts around in the dark. There’s a random drink cup on his car and when he goes to take it off… KABOOM! Body parts fly everywhere. When the team arrives, Hodgins spots that there’s no cratering on the ground, so it wasn’t your typical undercarriage car bomb. He’s super excited about the whole explosion aspect. Until a stomach and intestines fall on his face (oh, Bones, I’m so glad your gross-outs are back). Unfortunately, the fact that basically everything was incinerated is going to make it tricky to ID the victim.
Sweets and Agent Sparling (who’s assigned to the field work while Booth is on desk duty) speak with the hotel’s security manager, who is deeply upset by this tragedy, but says that their request for the security tapes will have to go through legal… protecting their guests’ confidentiality, after all. Sparling gets aggressive, asking who paid him off to hide the tapes, noting that a glorified rent-a-cop couldn’t afford a Breitling watch and Prada shoes. Once the hotel is informed the security guard is now a suspect, they hand over the tapes easily.
Angela, working from the skull pre-cleaning, puts together a facial reconstruction IDing the victim as Robert Carlson, who lived in Bethesda with his wife Gina. Sweets and Sparling go to notify Mrs. Carlson, and Sweets tells her that situations such as this need a little more finesse than she showed at the hotel. Sweets tells Mrs. Carlson that her husband has been found dead and she’s devestated. But then, her husband comes walking up the pathway. “Why would you put me through this?!!” the not-widow screams at a speechless Sweets as she kicks his shins.
Angela looks over her reconstruction again and she’s sure it’s accurate, unless the guy has a twin. Brennan spots remodeling fractures that Angela wouldn’t have seen before the skull was cleaned and Angela adjusts the reconstruction, but it’s still pretty much the same guy… Carlson must have a twin. Sure enough, Robert was adopted, so he never even knew he might have had a brother, but always had a feeling of being incomplete. Sweets questions Carlson, thinking that since separated twins sometimes have similar lives, they may find out who their victim is through finding out what Carlson is like. He agrees, but he’ll have to ask his wife; she has the final say in their marriage. Sparling is dubious of Sweets’ method. When Angela uses Sweets’ data to work her magic and narrow down all the men in the U.S. to 48 men and then just one that provides a visual match, Sparling is almost impressed. And they have their real victim: Jerry Langella.
Brennan finds lots more remodeling fractures and Cam quickly catches that they match being beaten by a baseball bat and having your thumbs slammed in a door… all that time as an NYC coroner coming out. She says it was most likely from a loan shark or bookie. Hodgins finds a deformed cockroach egg on some detonator wire and says that the explosives came from somewhere with large amounts of a toxic insecticide. Angela finds a production facility for the substance, right next to a demolition company. Brennan and Hodgins speak to the manager, who said there was a break in a few weeks ago and four explosive sausages were taken. Hodgins notes that there were only three used in making the bomb.
When Sparling and Sweets notify Mrs. Langella (who looks a lot like Gina Carlson) about her husband, her reaction is markedly different from Carlson’s: she asks who killed him. Sweets and Sparling are suspicious, but she replies “I’m not an idiot… you’re the FBI, it’s not like you cover accidents or suicides.” Fair point. I wonder why more people don’t react like that. They had a rough marriage (he owed a lot to bookies), but her alibi checks out: she was at community service for road rage. Sweets asks Booth for advice on where to go next and Booth suggests that if Carlson and Langella are so similar, maybe what brought Langella to the hotel brought Carlson there, too… check the tapes. Angela investigates and finds that both men were at the hotel attending a Self-Actualization conference.
Carlson admits to lying about being at the hotel… his wife hates him going to the conferences as he’s spent too much money on them. He was going to give them everything and move to their community in Colorado. Sweets thinks that’s a pretty good motive for his wife.
Cam finds hair samples from someone else mixed in with Langella’s remains and deduces that someone else was at the explosion and if they didn’t come forward, they’re probably the bomber. They get a warrant for Gina Carlson’s search history and guess who was looking for info on contract killers. She admits to hiring a hit man, but she never met him. She paid half up front but didn’t pay the other half as her “husband isn’t dead yet.” Yet? Turns out the guy was trying another hit today. Sweets tells Booth about it as they’re heading out and since the only team available is 20 minutes out, Booth feels he has to go with them to make sure the green agent and psychiatrist don’t mess it up.
Working with the team back at the Jeffersonian, Brennan advises that they’re looking for someone shaky and off balance (from being close to the previous explosion). Sure enough, Steve Knealy, foreman of the demolition company, is in line behind Carlson with a big gulp cup. Brennan calls Carlson and tells him to close himself in a nereby ATM. The agents pull their guns on him, but the bomb is already armed, so if he drops it, boom! Sweets wanders into the scene pretending to be an oblivious bystander, using the opportunity to get close enough to snatch it. Unfortunately, he’s shot by Agent Sparling in the process. He’ll be fine, though… case closed.
Brennan wants to buy an $800 stroller and Booth balks at the price. He reminds her that they agreed to split everything 50/50. Brennan pouts and gives Booth “sad eyes,” leading to Booth’s response, “You were never able to do this look before the baby. What did the baby do to you?” Yeah, seriously, that doesn’t seem Brennan-like at all. After this talk of money, when Caroline dangles the prospect of a promotion (and raise) in front of him, Booth goes for it. Unfortunately, that means that he has to prepare justifications for a quarterly budget review, trying to get the accountants to keep his department’s inflated budget intact. If he gets the budget through, the promotion is his. Brennan is apprehensive of the promotion, thinking Booth would be miserable behind a desk all the time, but Booth says he has to think about Christine and Parker.
Booth cracks under the pressure of the waiting budget team and asks Cam for help with the presentation. When he feels he has to help make sure Carlson isn’t killed, he dumps it on her. Cam works some magic, though, and apparently gets an increase in the budget… but Booth misses out on his promotion. Caroline chides him for not doing it himself and tells him, “You’re gonna have to settle for running around shooting people until you grow up.”
At home, Brennan apologizes for him not getting the promotion, but admits that she didn’t want him to get it. No one else would take her into the field, after all. He admits he’s not ready to be cooped up behind a desk either. Brennan asks if she can start buying him stuff now, and he concedes that she can buy Christine stuff. “Like a new grill?” Brennan suggests. Booth brightens: “Christine would love a new grill.” Oh, boys… morals go out the window when grilled meat is involved.
Daisy’s out of town for five days and Sweets wants to get her a present. Booth thinks he’s overcompensating. When Booth is sidelined, new agent Olivia Sparling is assigned to the field portion of the case. She is… less than enthused about working with a “shrink” and Sweets gets defensive. After Sweets’ questioning of Carlson helps ID Langella, Sparling apologizes for underestimating him and admits that it was pretty incredible.
Angela notices a bit of a spark between them, but Sweets replies that he’s “with Daisy.” Angela notes his phrasing: he’s “with Daisy,” not “I love Daisy.” After some flirting back and forth, post-shooting, Sweets admits that he likes her: “You shot me and I’m not even mad.” But he admits that he’s seeing someone and it’s serious. Sparling says she could tell he was taken, and says, “That’s why I’d never dream of doing this,” as she kisses him. Sweets smiles as she walks away.
So what do we think? Are we leading up to a new agent joining the roster and Sweets and Daisy finally breaking up? Bones, you’ve been so good this season, I hesitate to think you could make such an amazing thing happen! What do you think?