Brennan is freaking out about being the keynote speaker at the National Forensic Sciences Convention, and if the Shrodinger’s cat joke is any indication of her entire speech, she’s in trouble. Booth is right. Lay off the jokes.
The team causes quite a stir at the convention. All of them are total rock stars, not just Brennan, which is a nice touch.But while the rest of the group is being fawned over, a redhead comes up to Hodgins and clearly gets under his skin by calling them colleagues, while he calls her an incompetent forensic entomologist and a disgrace to her profession.
Her name is Dr. Leona Saunders, and Hodgins definitely doesn’t want to talk about her, but he does go over and talk to her. Angela doesn’t even know about Saunders. Then when Hodgins returns a while later and tells Angela he’s never better, I immediately peg her as the corpse of the week and Hodgins as the suspect.
Brennan also has one of her adversaries there. Tess Brown. She’s done with her sloppy, un-researched writing and wants to become friends with Brennan. I smell a rat. Good thing Brennan won’t associate with someone who has such contempt for her readers.
Aldus Carter offers Brennan a box of his non-stick examination gloves as Dr. Harkness, the director of the Forensic Sciences Convention, comes over to get Brennan and give Tess a polite cold shoulder.
Brennan is about to go against Booth’s advice and tell her Shrodinger joke, when the fire alarm goes off. Panic! Pandemonium! There’s a body burning in the stairwell (where we’d seen Hodgins enter with Saunders), and the smell of gasoline. Brennan tries to put it out with an extinguisher, but that only seems to make it worse. They all hightail it out of there.
After the fire department puts out the corpse, Booth is now there to investigate as the intelligent crowd tries to hock their awesome forensic tools that will help in the investigation. Aldus is back with yet another invention, pure light LED lamps, which the team happily nabs.
Poor Aubrey is reduced to security at a Beyonce concert, aka keeping the crowd on the other side of the yellow tape, while Booth has to shut down good ol’ Tess, who is about as humble as Kim Kardashian as she brags to a reporter about her quick reaction saving the day.
A Dr. Fitch just happened to come there with an invention that would help them scrape the corpse off the concrete. That’s convenient! But Aldus still has the cooler gadgets all the kids want.
Later, Fitch is brought in as a consultant, because he’s an arson expert, while Aldus gets in with a magnetic card he made. Good job on security there, Jeffersonian! I’m sure this also won’t have an effect on the evidence. Then the two come to blows, and Hodgins has to break it up. Cam gets security to escort them both out.
Corpse of the Week!
Surprise, surprise, it’s Leona Saunders. And the fire didn’t kill her. She was stabbed before it happened. She is also eventually brought back to the Smithsonian, which makes me happy. I was afraid we’d be in that stairwell the entire episode, especially after Cam and Hodgins wanted to stay there with the cool gadgets.
Malik Farris, a kitchen worker. They found cooking oil and food particulates from the shoe print, and the murder weapon was probably a kitchen knife. The guy clocked out early, but Booth and Aubrey manage to catch up with him before he leaves.
He’s got a record, too, including arson. They found Leona’s wallet in the trash and a bunch of money on him. Aubrey pushes Malik until he confesses he uses the stairwell to “herb down a little bit.” He saw the dead body, smelled the gasoline, and figured the place was about to blow, so he stole money off a dead woman and got out of there. His excuse for not telling anyone is his rap sheet. But he won’t need that sober public defender, because cameras caught him in the dining room at the time of the fire setting.
Hodgins, as predicted.
When Aubrey finds out from Angela that Hodgins talked to Leona just before she died, and Hodgins says he’s totally not upset she’s dead, Aubrey seems like he’s ready to slap the cuffs on Hodgins right there. But Hodgins seems unaware and gives the backstory of how she stole an invention of his and made four million bucks off it.
Hodgins digs an even deeper hole for himself when he jokes about how many times he’s been a murder suspect and how he should just murder someone so they don’t waste their time. Seriously, Hodgins, know when to zip it, dude.
Though Hodgins being a suspect does not make Aubrey or Booth stop him from handling the evidence and never once consider that a man with his experience could hide any signs he was the murderer.
In a “this can only happen in TV” moment, Cam is able to get DNA results back in like five minutes from a Band-aid found on the body. The DNA belongs to Hodgins, of course.
He’s highly insulted when they treat him just like any other suspect and put him in the interrogation room. Then Aubrey comes off like John Freaking Wayne right off the bat, thus negating any goodwill he’d built up to this point. He brings up the invention thing, but Hodgins points out he was worth billions at the time, so that paltry four mil was nothing. But now that Hodgins can use the money, Aubrey thinks it’s a good motive.
When Hodgins takes offense and Booth defends Aubrey, because he’s just asking questions, I’d disagree. The kind of nerdy, quiet, but effective guy is gone, and Aubrey is taking on a swagger/attitude that makes him deserving of a verbal smackdown from Booth.
Not only that, but Aubrey’s argument makes no sense, since Pelant took all of Hodgins’s money after the invention stealing, which means that money would have been sucked up as well. Aubrey, you FAIL.
Also, even though it had been established the victim was either transported in a trashcan or trash was thrown all over her, after Hodgins says he threw his Band-aid in the trash, Aubrey makes a big deal about how it was found on the victim’s body, to the point Hodgins has to point out the obvious. Oh, and Booth does give Aubrey a verbal smackdown for acting like a jerk, and it was great.
Still with all of that, they continue to let Hodgins test the evidence, even though they bring up how closely the DOJ will be examining everything, and that’s why they’re questioning Hodgins this fiercely. So even though Booth totally doesn’t believe Hodgins is the killer, the DA would wonder what the hell he was thinking letting the suspect handle the evidence.
But Hodgins goes ahead and implicates himself unintentionally, when he realizes the fire started later than first expected, and all of the timelines that cleared everyone now means nothing.
Harkness: After Hodgins tests Leona’s stomach contents and discovers a rare French wine, along with chocolate and strawberries, he finds out from room service that chocolate-covered strawberries and wine were ordered from room service by Harkness.
Harkness is total pretentiousness as he quotes Seneca. Then he gets TMI by saying he got involved with Leona the year before, and conventions, I guess even forensic conventions, devolve into “carnivals of indiscretion” and “The ringmaster fell victim to its hedonistic pleasures.” Seriously, gag. Aubrey wins a little bit of my love back when he says, “So you cheated on your wife and now you’ve turned it into a poem. That’s great.”
Then Harknesss says he knows someone with a motive. Apparently this bookish lothario got it on with Tess Brown before he met Leona and broke it off, but Tess is still carrying a torch for the windbag.
Tess Brown: Obsidian was found in the wound, and in one of her books, an obsidian knife was used. It’s also discovered her publisher dropped her after she called her fans idiots. There’s evidence she was never in the ballroom. She also tries to say her relationship with Harkness was totally professional. She hired him as a consultant. But this means Harkness would have given her some great ideas as to how to commit a murder. And her story falls apart when they hit her with all the hotel evidence. She lawyers up. Later, it looks like someone is trying to frame her, when the obsidian knife is discovered not to be the weapon that killed Leona.
Aldus Carter: Earlier, he’d given the team a thermocouple (a temperature measuring device), and it turns out, that is the murder weapon.
The device also records data each time it takes the body temperature. Aldus erased it, but those nifty gloves he gave them might still hold the key, since traces of them were on the remains. He also ordered obsidian online.
Once Booth and Brennan get him in the hot seat, he tries to deny it, until Brennan tells him they found his DNA on the pieces of glove found on the body. Aldus says it’s a worthy defeat, and Brennan seems pleased with herself and ready to call it a day, but Booth needs a bit more than that.
Hey, once they found out Leona stole Hodgins’s invention, and Aldus had a bunch of inventions, it became clear who the murderer was, right? Sure enough, Leona stole his invention. But that’s not all. It turns out she was sleeping with him to get the info. That Leona was a piece of work. Even Booth is like, “Whoa.”
Aldus wants to complete his invention in prison, and Brennan, who’s been complimenting him all through the interrogation, says she looks forward to seeing it. Booth is flabbergasted, but Bones is insistent Aldus does good work.
The return of Wendell!
Yay! I wasn’t loving this episode, but now I am. Hi, Wendell! Long time, no see. You look great! How YOU dooin’? He’s done no medical cannibus for a month, and he’s been given the all-clear. He’s in remission and in a clinical trial. I’ve missed him.
Even when he’s called away to do blood work for the medical trial, Brennan is totally cool with it, since as she says, he’s of no use to her if his cancer comes back, and he dies. But we’re all concerned when he doesn’t come back on time.
However, he’s okay. He called Booth. He’s in a bar having a beer (which he’s allowed to have now) and tells Booth he’s freaked out that one of the guys in the clinical trial, who’d been doing just as well as Wendell, died. Wendell is convinced this spells doom for him. Booth is completely awesome when he tells a story about how he watched twelve of his brothers die in combat. He basically tells Wendell to suck it up and keep fighting, because he doesn’t need to see another brother die.
All’s well that ends well. Brennan gets to tell her Shrodinger joke, which goes over well, while Booth’s astronaut joke totally bombs.