'Bones': Putting the "fun" in "funeral"

Tjthyne_bones_s4_240 After last Thursday's amazing episode, just about anything they did would seem slight. Instead of fighting it, "Bones" embraced the fluff with the obligatory wacky funeral episode. After all, what could be funnier than body snatching and murder plots?

A colleague from The Jeffersonian died of a heart attack in the office, so everyone is off to the wake. Brennan is surprised they have to go when they all barely knew him. Speak for yourself, Tempe -- everyone else in the car (including Booth) had bonded with Dr. Hank Reilly. Ah, but Brennan's dispassionate eye catches what everyone else missed -- Hank was murdered!

After a judge refuses to grant an injunction to keep Hank from being cremated, Brennan decides they have to get the body back to the lab. She and Booth smuggle the corpse out the back way while Hodgins gives an increasingly crazed and incoherent honor-the-dead speech. Hint to funeral-goers: Whenever someone is really trying to keep your eyes on him at a funeral, that usually means it's time to look over your shoulder.

But the ruse works, the writers work in a couple of product placements, and Cam and Brennan get Hank back to the lab. There they find:

  • The body had bruises that weren't mentioned in the medical examiner's report. That means Hank was still alive when he'd been pronounced dead.
  • Hank had several cracked ribs, and the cracks weren't consistent with CPR.
  • Those cracked ribs were consistent with stabbity stabbing, and the stab wound were consistent with a trocar used in embalming.

Booth confronts the undertaker -- who had just been bonking the grieving widow -- and he freaks out. OK, I stabbed him! But dude, he was all dead and stuff, and then I put the embalming needle in, and he sat up, and I dropped acid in high school and watched zombie movies so I was all die, zombie die! and yeah, I need a drink. So, that's where the stab wounds came from. But why was he declared dead without actually being a ex-parrot Egyptologist? Well, that's because he was poisoned with a paralytic agent. And how do we know that? Because Cam and Brennan stick a needle in his eye. Urg.

The toxin that paralyzed Hank is used in heart meds, and occurs naturally in fugu. A researcher specializing in the Caribbean ordered some of the toxin, which is used to make zombies. Not, like, rarr, brraaaaaaaaains Romero zombies, but voodoo zombies. But nope, he didn't do it, because... well, because he didn't.

Hank he had sushi as his last meal, so maybe it was a fugu accident? Or maybe it was fugu murder, since he was seen arguing with a woman with Cleopatra hair over sushi. Nope, someone put the poison in his tea. Aha! His wife talked about making his tea every morning! But she lied -- it was just a good speech, and something she did to piss off Hank's graduate assistant/mistress. Catfight! Booth intervenes and distracts with spirited spirituals, and this is the point where someone really needed to shut down the open bar. (Kudos to Booth for going for it, though, especially when he couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.)

At the burial, Brennan decides to psyche out the killer -- Hey, everyone, Hank research death rituals, and sharing the deceased's favorite beverage was something the Egyptians totally dug. (As it were.) So let's all have some tea from his special stash! They're sort of expecting his stepbrother or wife to freak out -- they get the most cash form Hank's death -- but it's his mom who wigs. She used some of her heart medicine to kill Hank because she thought the terms of her husband's will -- which gave 90 percent of his cash to Hank, and next to nothing to Barney -- was unfair. Fine, arrest me! She says. And five days later, she's dead, too -- because she was on half-rations of her heart meds, she died herself.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • Yeah, there wasn't much to this episode. It was fine, and fluffy, but after last week... well, I hoped for more.
  • Hodgins and Booth both know Hank as the leader of the best fantasy football league in DC. Hodgins owed Hank $20 from the game, and he tucks it in the corpse's pocket. Hank owed Booth $20, so Booth takes it right back.
  • Booth decides they need a code word -- Hank wasn't murdered, he was "translated."
  • Cam went to Hank for advice because her adopted daughter -- remember her? -- started smoking. Because Egyptologists are renowned smoking cessation experts... Booth says that maybe Michelle is smoking to get Cam to stop smoking. OK, why not.
  • Booth and Brennan have one really nice moment -- at the graveyard, Booth asks Brennan  that, "when I inevitably drop dead before you," she come talk to him at his grave. She agrees -- she believes pretending he was still there would make her feel better, and looking at herself through his eyes "would make me live my life more successfully." That was pretty sweet.
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