By Olga Kijāna
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and no one is immune to the holiday season – not even our favorite crime fighting duo.
Booth and Brennan caught a controversial case – the murder of Vivian Prince, a political reporter for DC Sentinel – right in the middle of their argument about whether to have or not to have a turkey this Thanksgiving, and Booth’s surprise at Brennan’s secrecy concerning a phone call he had walked in on.
Why was Brennan suddenly keeping secrets from Booth? Who would benefit the most from Vivian Prince’s death?
And is the freedom of the press more important than the lives it might put at stake?
It’s time for a recap!
The Truth Can Be a Tall Order
This week’s episode, “High Treason In The Holiday Season,” focused on Vivian who had worked with a mysterious informant, The American, in order to debunk the spying operations of the NSA. Preliminary examination of the remains showed that she was carved ‘like a turkey’ on the morning before the Thanksgiving celebrations. Blunt as ever, Brennan used this ‘opportunity’ to invite everyone at the Jeffersonian over for Thanksgiving dinner – so that Booth would have someone to share their turkey with – and almost converted the rest of the team to her vegan lifestyle when she mentioned the similarities between turkey and human tissue. Naturally, the first suspect for the Vivian Prince case was the NSA itself, and it did not help matters that one of the operatives, Ryan Gill, kept interfering with the case, and bugged the Jeffersonian, which led to the agency knowing every step of their investigation.
Further suspects included Vivian’s adversary Kate, who welcomed being the next in line of succession for her mentor’s column, and Vivian’s ex-husband, whose alimony Vivian had just discontinued. Kate was no murderer – but she did steal Vivian’s laptop in order to compete with her and break The American’s story herself. However, she gave the laptop back to the FBI, as she had never found the encryption key. Eventually, the ex husband was ruled out too – it was his own initiative to stop the alimony, as he was planning to move outside of D.C. and make his own living instead of being dependent on his wife. Turns out, Vivian met The American at a very discreet location, Room 43 of a completely communications-proof guest house, and Ryan Gill’s presence when Booth and Brennan showed up prompted Hodgins to suggest that Ryan was The American.
Throughout the episode, Booth loyalty to the U.S. government made him struggle with Vivian’s choices to expose the NSA agents involved in secret operations and put them in danger. No matter the importance of the freedom of the press, for Booth, nothing could justify exposure of these agents and their families. Brennan argued that from a historical perspective, George Washington was a traitor in his day too – a British subject who led the army against his own country.
Meanwhile, upon further examination of the bones, it was revealed that Vivian had sustained injuries from a torture technique known only to Cooper Blackthorne – the head of Greystream Solutions, who carried out the spying operations for the NSA. However, there was no evidence to charge him as the killer. Further analysis showed that Vivian died of two blows to the head – one with a silver lid from a hotel dish, another with a ‘long computer’ used by the NSA agents to check for bugs. Just like the one they saw on Ryan Gill… The American in this story. Apparently, despite his differences with the NSA, Ryan did not want Vivian to go for a bigger story and expose all his fellow agents in the DC Sentinel. Unable to stop her, he took the matter into his own hands.