'Bones': After-school special

Tamarataylor_bones_s4_240 " Bones" slips into very Special Episode territory with this tale of teen pregnancy, a poor man's Paulie Bleeker, and a gruesome corpse. Plus, NotZack  teaches us a valuable lesson about religious tolerance, and Angela's Gotta Have It.

Our Corpse of the Week is found in the road-salt supply, so it's basically jerky. That would be Ashley Clark, a 16-year-old volleyball player who was pregnant. Funnily enough, so were half of her volleyball teammates. Look, I hated volleyball, too, but there are easier ways to get out of playing...

Ashley was impregnated by one Clinton Gilmour, who only wishes he were Paulie from Juno. Sorry, kid, but goofy hair and a schlubby manner do not a Michael Cera make. Clinton also knocked up three of Ashley's teammates. Booth is incredulous -- no way do hot girls like that sleep with a goofball like Clinton -- but yep, DNA tests prove that the babies are his.

Did he kill Ashley? Nope. Let's try door number two! She argued with her coach, but that was because she (1) tried to seduce him and (2) came back later and threatened to name him Baby Daddy if he didn't fork over $5000. Coach went directly to the principal. Then there's her mom -- she's a little off-kilter, and there's evidence that they fought the day Ashley died. Yeah, we did, but I didn't kill her -- I was just upset that she forged my name on a check for $5000.

Brennan is all excited to get to the bones, but Cam wants to rehydrate the flesh and examine the soft tissue. Good thing, too -- there's a bruise right over a specific nerve by her ear. Hit that nerve with enough force, and a person will go into cardiac arrest and die. That's the cause of death, and the bones wouldn't have shown it (although a blown-up digital x-ray of the skull is what showed a cracked bone in the middle ear that led Cam to investigate that bit of tissue, but never mind.) Ashley was killed by a single, expertly placed blow with a strange rounded implement. That, we discover, belonged to her chiropractor -- Ashley finally managed to seduce an adult, and tried to blackmail him for that $5,000 she was so hung up on. He killed her.

But why did she want $5,000? That's because Queen Bee Alyssa -- the first girl to get pregnant, the captain of all the teams, the student body president, etc. -- figured out that it would take $5,000 apiece in seed money for all the teen moms to rent a house together and raise their kids as one happy, communal group. The newspapers think there was a pregnancy pact, but the show suggests that it was just... peer pressure? Wanting to be like the Queen Bee? A really lousy year for movies, and so the girls had nothing else to do? Sure, whatever. Anyway, Alyssa got knocked up (by Clinton) because she was under too much pressure to be perfect and by her parents mapping her life out for her. Again -- easier ways to get out of that, Alyssa...

In the end, Booth decides to scare Clinton straight, telling him that he could be on the hook for child support, that he brought life into this world and he's responsible whether the mothers want him to be or not, and that it's time for him to man up and, you know, be a man. Booth's steely gaze convinces Clinton to embark on the path to responsible adulthood.

The Lab Rats
Roxie dumps Angela, and Angela ends up in bed (and it may have been Louis XIV's bed, considering it was in the middle of the Jeffersonian's storage warehouse) with Hodgins. Angela's fine with it -- she's a "live in the moment" type -- but she gets wigged when she realizes that Brennan approves of her romantic philosophy. So Angela chats with Sweets, who advises her to lay off sex for six months and try to make other connections with people. Hilarity will presumably ensue.

Speaking of "hilarity" -- the NotZack of the week is an Iranian Muslim who -- get this! -- prays five times a day! Isn't it wacky? A guy, taking breaks to pray! On his knees, bobbing up and down! Haw! Brennan is possibly even more tone-deafly insulting toward his religion than she is towards everyone else's, which takes some skill. That's annoying, but not unprecedented. Hodgins, Cam and Angela getting wigged or making comments about someone who observes religious practices? That struck me as odd. But in the end, Special Episode NotZack teaches us a Valuable Lesson by speaking in a language we all can understand -- the post-breakup wallow-mix CD -- thus showing that we're not so different after all. That's one to grow on!

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
  • No Booth/Brennan section today, because there was no notable Booth/Brennan interaction. Sure, Brennan smiles at him through a window at the end, but that hardly even registers.
  • Angela tries to get Roxie to decide between a dog and a cat. She contrasts a picture of an adorable shelter puppy with a lion eating a gazelle.
  • OK, foley artists? The crackling as the scalp and top of the skull were removed was wholly unnecessary.
  • Clinton, when Booth and Brennan interview the guy Ashley and her friend Becca fought over: "Dude, you're a murder suspect! That's awesome!" I weep for the kids who get his genes...
  • Booth, when they see the room full for pregnant or new-mother volleyball players: "This school ever hear of sex education?" Bones: "If so, there are gaps in the curriculum." Does sex ed cover Chiroptera-feces crazy?


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