BONES Review: Booth & Brennan Take the Helm in “The Donor in the Drink”
By Olga Kijāna
Who else missed Booth and Brennan in action? After the chilling season opener that had us on the edge of our seats rooting for Booth’s safe return, our favorite dynamic duo agreed that the best way forward is returning to their jobs at the Jeffersonian and the FBI, where they belong, and we couldn’t be happier. This week, “The Donor In The Drink” saw them thrown off the deep end on their first day. In addition to the new case, Booth had to deal with his Jared’s misplaced ashes, and things changing at the FBI in his absence. At the same time, Brennan was faced with some awkwardness between she and Cam since Cam’s almost-fiancé Arastoo decided to move on after not getting his promotion.
How did Booth cope with his grief over Jared’s death? What was Aubrey’s reaction be to having Booth back as a partner? Did Cam regret letting go of Arastoo? And how easy was it for Booth and Brennan to bounce back to regularly scheduled crime-solving after a six month break?
Let’s take a closer examination of the episode.
To Donate or Not to Donate
Some of the most amusing aspects of Bones are the many creative ways Karma catches up to the trespassers in the opening scenes. This time, it was going in for a ‘pedicure’ in a carnivorous trout pond, and getting your foot accidentally caught between a very human set of teeth instead. And it’s not even Halloween yet!
The investigation identified the skull as belonging to an inventor whose latest successful invention was the so-called Flexi-Box in the 90s – an indestructible mailbox. The victim was reported missing by his very devoted assistant, and the autopsy showed that some of the victim’s body parts were missing entirely, suggesting he was harvested for organs.
Angela’s sleuthing around the dark web revealed that the matching body parts were recently been sold online. This triggered a discussion between Booth and Brennan about the ethical aspects of the illegal organ trade, in which Brennan argued that hospitals in the U.S. are unable to provide organs for everyone on the 120-thousand-people-long transplant lists, and for many patients, bypassing the list and turning to the black market is the only alternative to dying. Food for thought.
Aubrey went undercover to meet the seller, Nina, and found out she created a network of people who were voluntarily willing to sell their organs for cash. However, all her donors were consenting adults, and it is unclear why the most recent batch of organs came from someone who turned up dead. At the same time, neither Nina, nor one of the clients whose daughter was saved by the victim’s kidneys, were willing to disclose the name of the surgeon who performed the operation, since his work is ‘too important’ and they would doom many desperate people, or even their loved ones, to death.
Meanwhile, Booth and Brennan’s return to work turned out to be quite rocky. Booth was struggling with the fact that his brother Jared’s ashes were misplaced in transit. He was furious at his brother being ‘a bigger pain in the ass dead than he was alive’ and shut Brennan out when she suggested his anger was to do with his grief rather than the mortuary’s mistake. If things were not stressful enough, Booth was also confronted with the fact that he no longer has an office at the FBI – it went to his partner Aubrey, who made himself very comfortable rearranging everything and even getting a mini-fridge for his cravings.
Back at the Jeffersonian, Brennan discovered out that Cam broke up with Arastoo at the same time she was hired back, and wanted Cam to confirm that her return was not a factor. Cam reassured Brennan that she was happy to have her back on the team, but at the same time, she clearly misses Arastoo, so there was some palpable tension in the air.
Things took a new turn for Hodgins and Angela as well when Hodgins suggested that Angela’s talent at photography should be exhibited rather than kept to herself. He secretly arranged an exhibition of her best photographs at the ‘Founding Fathers,’ sending out invitations with examples of her work to various critics and galleries, and informed her after the fact. Of course, they fought and she asked him to call it off because her art is personal, and she was not ready to share it with the rest of the world yet.
Further examination of the victim’s bones revealed that a mortician’s tool was used during the surgery, which led to Booth and Brennan heading to a funeral home. Jared’s ashes still hadn’t turned up, and Brennan tried to comfort Booth with the reminder that they were just a physical representation of his brother, however, Booth snapped back that, because for him, the ashes are his brother, and without them, he was unable to let Jared rest in peace. The two of them arrived at the funeral home in the middle of a service, and attempted to blend in with the mourners in order to keep an eye on the mortician. However, picking up on the unusual body shape of the deceased, Brennan rushed towards the coffin, revealing with all the subtlety of a blunt force trauma to everyone present that there was a huge hole in their loved one’s stomach where some of his organs used to be. So much for staying undercover! The mortician was interrogated, but he was not the murderer – the victim was brought to him recently deceased by Nina, so as to not let ‘perfectly good organs’ go to waste. The blood stains found in Nina’s car reveals that she indeed transported the body, however, Hodgins’ expertise led the team back to the inventor’s assistant as the killer. The paint on the bumper rod which delivered the fatal blow came from the lab where the two of them worked. The assistant was interrogated again, and he cracked that not all was rosy between he and his mentor – the latter urged him to sell a kidney to sponsor an invention, and at the same time never acknowledged the work of his protegé. Not being able to live in his mentor’s shadow anymore, he snapped and killed him. Then, washed over with remorse, he got in touch with Nina to take the dead body and use it for organs, so that this death could ‘save people’s lives.’