BONES Recap: “The High in the Low”

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By: CJ Stevens

We open to a dark forest-like atmosphere with men in uniform marching along holding flashlights and barking dogs. They seem to be chasing a certain gentleman in prison orange, who’s running as if his life depends on it. At least I think he’s in prison orange. Did I mention it’s really dark?

Anyway, he finds…a hole? A hollowed-out log? And nestles in there. That may hide you, buddy, but I doubt it’s masking your scent, as evidenced by the “Down here” yelled by one of the guys in uniform. As they scurry down, the prisoner seems panicked and trapped. That’s when he looks up and sees something far scarier than the dogs.

1

Cue screams of “HELP! Take me back to jail!”

Brennan and Booth are practicing their sharpshooting skills on some paper targets. Brennan is all over the place, but Booth’s shots are all center mass. He crows about it a bit. Apparently his arm doesn’t get as tired now that he’s eating his Wheaties and doing all of those pushups. Brennan asks if he’s also studying for the “mental” portion of the exam. Booth seems unconcerned and is convinced he’ll score in the ninetieth percentile, just like he always does.

Brennan, being Brennan, thinks he should shoot for a higher score and suggests games and applications. Booth being Booth, says he would rather rely on his gut. Brennan accuses him of being set in his ways, but he denies it. Oh, c’mon, Booth. You brag about being set in your ways all the time. I don’t know why you’re denying it now. As Booth mocks Brennan’s shooting skills, he gets a call about the body. As a testament to Booth not being set in his ways, Brennan offers to drive. Booth tries to protest, but by the time he’s thought of an argument, she’s long gone.

When they arrive at the park, they’re still discussing Booth’s willingness to change. Booth argues that his allowing Brennan to drive is proof he’s not set in his ways, but he corrected her the entire time, thus nullifying his argument.

It was, indeed, a hollowed-out log in which our poor prisoner had chosen to hide, and we see in the bright light of day the body that was so creepy, a guy would rather go back to jail than sit with it one more second. This after someone took all that time to bake a cake with a file in it.

The flies are buzzing, and Booth is disgusted. “He’s folded in half like an omelet!” he says. Not to mention the maggots. Ew! Hodgins says all the bugs are indigenous to the log, and Booth says this wasn’t a “drag and dump” situation. The body is riddled with holes and according to Hodgins, has been there less than a year.

As Booth swats the flies away that are buzzing around his head, Brennan tells him termites are eating away at the body. Hodgins grins, because we all know he loves this stuff. He gleefully talks about how they like to eat bone for the nitrogen.

2

I hope you know better than to watch Bones while you’re eating dinner. Or even thinking about eating dinner. There goes Hodgins talking about “uncorking the scent of death.” Gotta love this guy.

Back at the lab, Cam says she can barely make out the body due to all the bugs, and Angela says she hopes Cam gets something with CODIS, because a facial reconstruction is going to be near impossible. Hodgins deduces the body was dumped four months ago just as Wendell comes walking up. Good to see you and your shiny scalp, Wendell!

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He seems in good spirits and dons a baseball cap, so they can stop making a big deal about him, but Angela thinks he’s making cancer sexy. Of course, Brennan reminds everyone that his kind of cancer has an eighty percent mortality rate, and that is TOTALLY the opposite of sexy. Brennan sure knows how to bring down a room, doesn’t she? Cam is worried he’s coming back to work too soon, but Wendell assures her that compared to chemo, doing the job is a vacation and gets to examining the body.

They all throw around a lot of technical jargon, but Wendell gets to the bottom line. The woman had lupus. Cam talks about the horrible symptoms that go with lupus and suggests a “mercy killing” before she panics and tells Wendell she wasn’t suggesting that having a serious illness makes life not worth living. Wendell sees what’s happening and tells them in a nice way to knock it off and stop treating him differently.

Over at the FBI, Booth is trying to needle Sweets into telling him some of the questions on the mental portion of the exam, but Sweets is tight-lipped. Booth reiterates his ninety percent thing, so Sweets thinks he’ll do fine then goes into Booth’s office to take a look at the pictures of the body. He decides Cam’s diagnosis regarding a mercy killing is way off base. The way the body was dumped showed no respect or care. Sweets is convinced it was a spontaneous killing, otherwise there would have been a proper grave. Also no-go on the DNA, since they weren’t in the system.

Angela is in a high-tech room that used to be a janitor’s closet. Cam speculates on how many relationships began and ended there, and Angela wisely doesn’t say anything, since I’m sure she and Hodgins must have taken it for a spin at some point. Angela introduces Cam to the Jeffersonian’s “Three-dimensional Holographic Emulation Outlet“ or “THEO” for short.

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As they run the hologram through the missing persons’ database, they worry over Wendell until the computer beeps and up comes a picture of the victim, twenty-eight-year-old Abby Briggs. Her sister reported her missing four months ago.

And there’s her sister now, with Booth and Brennan. It’s good that Booth is talking, because Brennan isn’t known for her tact in these situations. Booth asks her if Abby received any threats, and the sister says no, but they wouldn’t talk for weeks at a time. Brennan confirms the lupus diagnosis. Turns out Abby had to drop out of art school, because it became too painful for her to draw. The pain was so bad, she was self-medicating, but it wasn’t hard drugs, just cannabis. Brennan thinks it’s effective, but Booth says it’s still illegal, plus she was going to drug dealers.

Is marijuana illegal there? Because in LA, there’s no need for nasty drug dealers, when there’s a marijuana clinic on every corner. Wait. It is legal there, and Abby had a medical marijuana card. Her doctor prescribed it. Oh, Booth, there you go, jumping to conclusions again. And it isn’t “self-medicating” if your doctor gives you a prescription. Anyway, with the cannabis, Abby was able to draw again, and she was so grateful, she even went to work at the dispensary, The Full Health Wellness Center.

Over in bugland, Hodgins is teaching Wendell the fine art of compassionate termite removal. Seems they’ll just crawl along a line of ink and right into a test tube. Wendell calls him the pied piper of termites.

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Once more of the skeleton is exposed, Wendell can spot defensive wounds. Our little Abby didn’t go down without a fight.

Booth and Brennan are in the car, and Booth can’t believe they’re going to “a pot store.” Brennan cites all of the benefits it can bring, but Booth is hung up on how he’s an FBI agent, and on a federal level, it’s still illegal. They argue about it some more, until, again, Brennan brings up him being set in his ways, so Booth wants to know if she thinks him taking a hit off a bong will help his critical thinking skills. Brennan doesn’t look happy.

When they get to the “pot store,” Dr. Burke is informed by the guard that Booth and Brennan are federal agents, and he immediately launches into how he’s in full compliance with DC law, and how they can’t shut him down. Booth cuts him off and brings up Abby. Burke knew something was up, because Abby was dedicated to “their work” and wouldn’t just run off. Booth repeats “your work” in a condescending tone, and not surprisingly, Burke takes offense. He reminds Booth he’s a doctor, not a drug dealer. Brennan asks if anyone threatened her. He says she was liked by everyone. But the guard reminds him of “that kid” from Fulton University.

Cut to them looking at security footage of said kid arguing with Abby. His card is fake, and Abby tells the guy he can get them shut down. He says he’s really sick, but Abby just yells at him to get out. He gets more aggressive, until the guard comes to take him away. As he’s hauled off, he says he’s not going to forget it. Brennan confronts Burke about how he didn’t know about the incident, and Burke seems uncomfortable, until the guard comes to his rescue and says he thinks Burke was out that day. I say something fishy is going on here.

Adam in the hotseat. Booth is busy talking about how what he was doing was illegal, and it probably wasn’t the first illegal thing he’s done. Easy, Booth. He wasn’t robbing the place. Anyway, Adam just wanted to score a couple of joints to celebrate him winning the Fulton Emerging Writers Award, and that it’s kind of a big deal. Booth is put off by Adam’s means of “celebrating” and wonders if he needed the pot to feel better about himself.

Adam claims he’s no pothead. He’s even got a scholarship. Booth says Abby would have put an end to that scholarship if the card thing got out. Then Booth pulls out the big guns and tells Adam they know Abby fought with her killer, and Adam went into the health center with two bruised ribs. Turns out, that guard that threw Adam out whacked him with his flashlight. Booth wants to know what kind of writer Adam is, since he’s convinced Adam’s making up stories.

Wendell and Hodgins. Wendell did some research on Abby. She’s written lots of articles on making sure people had access to cannabis, which in his present state, this issue is near and dear to his heart. This clues Hodgins in to how Wendell is using it, but Wendell claims he was only “a beer guy” before he got sick. Plus, he read that it can also help fight the growth of cancer cells. Wendell assures Hodgins he’d never smoke at work, but Hodgins tells Wendell he’d do the same thing and nobody at the Jeffersonian will care. Let’s see if he winds up eating those words. As Wendell goes to take the tray away, he notices a bug that Hodgins realizes should not have been in that log.

Booth is taking one of Brennan’s “critical thinking” games, so I guess the whole “set in your ways” speech got to him.

Sweets comes in and shows Booth Abby’s sketch book. Sweets says in his clinical training, they use artwork as the window into a person’s subconscious. Turns out, in nearly every pic, the security guard is ogling her, but she places herself far away from him. See? I told you something fishy was going on!

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Wendell and Brennan. She compliments him on his work and asks about the side-effects to the chemotherapy. He says they’re pretty severe and was put on medication for it. She suggests cannabis Then they see Abby was hit by an object that could have been the security guard’s flashlight, like Adam said.

They bring in the security guard for questioning. Turns out Abby had been friendly with him for a while, until she changed. Became secretive. He backed off. He’s willing to say he might have creeped her out and admits he no longer has his flashlight.

Wendell and Brennan. They have the same make and model flashlight, and Wendell says it’s consistent with the injury, but Brennan points out the dimensions were too narrow. Wendell admits to using cannabis. Brennan is totally okay with it. She feels he’s an example to them all with how brave he is. Way to make up for the earlier comment, Brennan. Good job. Then they find a completely different kind of wound, leading them to believe they’re dealing with multiple weapons or multiple killers.

Booth and Sweets. Booth is shooting at the Targets again in preparation for the test, but he called Sweets down there, because he went through Abby’s credit card statements and found out she was buying camping equipment, which totally goes against what they know about her. Sweets thinks she might have been wanting to prove her self-reliance. As Booth grabs his bag, he drops a game that Sweets recognizes is a cognitive exercise board for abstract thinking. Booth claims Bones just stuck it in his bag. Sure.

Wendell comes clean to Cam about his marijuana usage, and to make a long story short, since they’re in a federal institution, and his use of marijuana could call into question every case they work on, she tells him he can’t work there while he’s using. Wendell is understandably devastated.

Hodgins and Angela. Hodgins feels responsible, because he’s the one who told Wendell to come clean and told him how nobody would care, which, really, he should know better. Cam walks in, and Hodgins and Angela lay into her. She’s not having any of it and tells them they can make her the villain if they want to but to do it while they work on the case. They begrudgingly get back to work, but Hodgins is wearing his pissed-off face. Oh, Hodgins, go spend time with the bugs again. You’ll feel better.

He has Angela call up a satellite picture of the park where the body was found. Then he tells her to look for a Virginia Pine, which is where that bug came from that wasn’t like the others. By finding the pine and a special flower Abby breathed in before she died, they locate the murder site. Cam is happy, but Hodgins is like “Yeah, great” and turns his back on her.

Murder site. This is where Abby was camping. Booth asks Brennan if he should call Wendell, and she asks if this changes his stance on medical marijuana. Booth is still “the law is the law” and Brennan points out a couple of archaic laws in Virginia, like children not being able to go trick or treat on Halloween and how you can’t have premarital sex in Virginia, which they did. I’m guessing multiple times. Brennan finds blood on a rock with her special blue light, but Hodgins finds a bunch of marijuana plants, only half of which have been picked.

Booth meets up with Wendell, who asks if Booth would have done what Cam did. He would. But the reason he called Booth to meet is to tell him he’s not a loser. Look who’s feeling guilty now! Booth says he understands, and right now he’s not an agent, he’s Wendell’s friend, and he says he shouldn’t have been punished.

Hodgins and Brennan. Hodgins tested the marijuana. Turns out it was Abby’s special blend. Low on the stuff that gives the person a psychoactive effect but high on the medicinal stuff. It gives relief without getting the person intoxicated.

Cam and Angela. Angela went through the security footage. It looks like Abby was shaking hands with only every few customers and only initiated by her. A close-up of her hand reveals she was dealing her special blend.

Booth and Brennan. Dr. Burke is in the hot seat. They point out he gave up his practice to run the dispensary. They’re convinced he knew about Abby dealing and got angry. He did know, because she came to him and asked if she could sell it, but he refused, since he couldn’t do it legally. They keep going at him, and Dr. Burke, being used to the harassment, asks for a lawyer.

Cam and Brennan. Cam noticed the blood spatter was consistent with a sliced carotid. She offers to call in another intern, but Brennan gives her a hard time about Wendell. Then she tells Cam that she was right…about the carotid. One of the wounds was precise and consistent with something a doctor would do.

Diner with Booth and Brennan. Dr. Burke was speaking at a conference on marijuana policy reform, so he’s out. Talk turns to Wendell, and Booth admits he was wrong, since Wendell put a face on the whole medicinal marijuana issue for him. Brennan feels bad for pushing booth re: the cognitive test. Wendell comes into the diner with his case notes to give to Brennan. Awkwardness ensues, but he promises to come by over the weekend to watch the game, and he even makes a joke about bringing pot brownies.

Cam, Brennan, and Angela. From Wendell’s notes, Angela gets to add “triangular tool” to the list of murder weapons they can’t identify. They’re looking for a weapon that’s circular, triangular, blunt, and sharp enough to slice the victim’s throat. EASY!

Angela’s magical computer comes up with a kind of cylindrical triangle with a circle on the bottom. Brennan suggests putting the circle on top. She believes the victim was hit first with the circular part, then it came off, which exposed the triangle, and the triangle did the rest of the damage.

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The computer does come up with an object. And that object is… The Fulton University Emerging Writers Award. That sounds familiar… Oh yeah!

Brennan and Booth. Adam is in the hotseat as Brennan blue-lights the trophy. So, he wiped the blood off the award and gave it to his proud parents. As to the “why” of it all, Adam is a drug dealer. Abby cut off his supply. Then about four months ago, he sold stuff that wasn’t getting his customers high (which they supposedly admitted to the federal agent…ooookaaaay). Of course, he’d stolen some of Abby’s special blend, but when he found out it wasn’t the good stuff, he left the rest of the plant alone.

Just as he says they have no proof, Brennan pulls off the nameplate. Underneath is a nice sample of Abby’s blood. Now is when cool Adam comes clean. He just wanted to knock her out. Whoopsie. Maybe next time don’t hit so hard you drive through arteries and bone.

Wendell’s place. Booth and Brennan show up. They have good news. They spoke to Caroline (Where have you been, girl? I’ve missed you!) who said that if Wendell works as a Freelance Case Consultant, and he doesn’t come in physical contact with the evidence, he can be rehired. He doesn’t even have to stop his treatment. And! He gets a consultant’s office. So, yay! And Brennan says she already has files for him if he says yes. He says yes! Yay! Wendell’s my favorite intern, so I didn’t want to see him go.

MONTAGE: Booth taking his shooting test. Wendell comes back to the Jeffersonian and is welcome by Cam with open arms. Booth taking the cognitive test and kicking ass. Booth taking the cardboard bad people test. Wendell seeing his beautiful new office. Booth taking the written test. Wendell looking at x-rays. Booth taking the cognitive test as lights flash to try and distract him.

Booth meets Brennan in the park. Sweets pulled some strings and got him the cognitive test results. Ninety-seventh percentile. Always listen to your wife, Booth. Next year he’s going for ninety-nine. He challenges Brennan to a race around the park, but she’s wearing a pair of fabulous boots, so, no. Brennan takes out wine glasses to celebrate with champagne. But hey, it’s sparkling cider anyway, so what the heck. Brennan points out that it’s illegal for them to drink in the park, but Booth tells her to lighten up. They’ve already had sex in Virgina. Look who’s the rebel now.

CJ Stevens falls asleep every night to the comforting flicker of her TV. Nothing makes her happier than the little red dot on her dv-r, notifying her one of her shows is taping. She edits books for a living and was even known among her editing comrades as “the grammar police.” Ending apostrophe abuse is her calling.

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