Bones 7.07 The Prisoner in the Pipe
After a loooooooonng hiatus, BONES is back to finish up it’s abbreviated 7th season. In case you missed all the previews, this is the episode where the BONES baby is finally born!
You know when the first scene of a BONES episode is a father trying to convince his young daughter that she can use the toilet by herself that the kid is soon to have toilet training set back by a few years. Sure enough, the door barely shuts before the screaming begins. You might think it would be the good ole snake-in-the-toilet, if it wasn’t BONES, but it is, so of course there are body parts in the toilet. And of course Cam and Brennan gleefully fish the parts out while cheerfully chatting about various ways the body could have gotten there, while Booth looks on in horror.
With Brennan around 9 months pregnant, Booth is trying to convince her to have the baby in a hospital while she prefers a home birth. Brennan makes a big scene in a hospital they are visiting by shining a black light around and talking loudly about nosocomial bacterial infections and other unpleasant things that people visiting a hospital don’t want to think about. In the car on the way home, Brennan offers to allow him to have the baby baptized if he will agree that she can have a home birth. This leads them into a discussion of why she thinks Booth’s religion is just mythology, especially the part about the inn being full and Jesus being born in a stable.
Later, by convincing him that they are friends and not just coworkers, Booth enlists Sweets to help him convince Brennan to have the baby in a hospital rather than at home. This plan, of course, fails miserably and ticks Bones off. Poor Sweets is of course “dumped” by Booth as soon as the plan goes south.
The bits of the victim are identified by the serial number on a lens implant in the one eye that was recovered. Turns out he was a prisoner at a maximum security prison, for running a Ponzi scheme. The prison is on the same sewer line as the young girl’s house and a bunch of roots got stuck in the pipes, causing all kinds of things to back up in the pipes. Unfortunately, Team Jeffersonian doesn’t have enough parts to determine the exact cause of death (at least for Brennan’s standards), so Hodgins employs one of his toys – a little robot with a camera the he runs through the sewer. Using the robot, they are able to find enough bones to determine the cause of death – the prisoner was stabbed and the vena cava punctured, causing him to bleed to death.
Angela uses the Angelatron to determine that the weapon was some sort of a shiv, makes a model of it, and sends Brennan a picture of the model. Daisy finds pitting on the bones that suggests the body was dismembered using acid and there is also evidence that he was beaten some time before his death.
Booth and Brennan go to the prison to investigate, although Booth really wishes that Brennan would just hang out somewhere safe and relax. She assures him that prisoners would never hurt a child or a pregnant woman, but he’s not convinced. They talk to a food-obsessed guard who tells them that the decedent was beaten in an altercation a while back but that it was broken up by another prisoner, Ace Jackson. Booth interviews Jackson and tells Booth that the victim was last seen heading to the warden’s office.
They interview the warden and she tells them that she caught the victim embezzling (big surprise!) from the prison where he had gotten a job as a book keeper. She turns over a number of shivs that were found in the last sweep. Brennan identifies one that looks like the weapon in the picture – it’s made out of paper, twisted and glued tightly together. She scrapes a small part of it away and identifies some markings on the paper, which she sends to Angela to identify. Booth tries to get Brennan to leave the prison, but she won’t go until she has all the information that she wants.
Booth and Brennan look around the prison and find another suspect – a prisoner who happens to work in the mailbox making factory at the prison and has access to a big vat of hydrochloric acid. Apparently the victim had stolen the other prisoner’s parents’ life savings and so he was the one who had beaten the victim before his death.
Angela works her magic and finds out that the shiv is made of several pages of a prison cookbook and Brennan is determined to go to the kitchen and find the cookbook herself. Booth urges her to take it back to the lab, but instead she uses cocoa powder to locate a bunch of fingerprints on the pages adjacent to the missing page and then sends Angela a picture with her phone. Booth again urges Brennan to leave, but she isn’t having it. The fingerprints belong to Ace Jackson, who conveniently works in the prison kitchen and has access to vinegar, which when concentrated into acetic acid, was used to dismember the body. Once the bones were brittle from the acid, they were stomped into pieces and shoved down a drain, where they eventually ended up in the poor little girl’s toilet.
Brennan enters the center of the prison, where the inmates are enjoying some leisure time, and tries to confront Jackson so she can check his shoes for bone residue. Jackson pushes some prisoners to escape her and ends up starting a prison riot. Brennan walks through the rioting prisoners like Moses parting the red sea while Booth tries to follow through the melee. Booth gets to her right as Jackson tries to hit Bones with a billy club that he stole from a guard. The other guards arrive and restore order and Brennan tells Booth that they need to leave – now! She’s in labor!
Of course after all the foreshadowing of Booth trying to get Brennan not to stay at the prison any longer than necessary, it was no surprise that she goes into labor there, right after inciting a prison brawl. And of course she can’t make it the 10 miles to the nearest hospital. So Booth stops at an inn…and there’s no room, but the owner offers them a “place in the back”, which of course, turns out to be a stable, complete with a horse. Brennan gives birth on the floor of the stable, with Booth’s help, while they argue about whether her giving birth in a stable makes the nativity story any more likely to have occurred.
We next see the entire gang in Booth and Brennan’s new house, which has clearly undergone some renovations since the last time we saw it. The Jeffersonian team has decorated the place with a big banner “Welcome Stapes” (they didn’t know the name, so they went with the smallest bone in the body) and brought over some supplies. Booth and Brennan show off the baby (hours after her birth? Booth has blood on his shirt and Brennan is wearing his FBI jacket) who Bones introduces as “Christine Angela” and the group all hangs out fawning over the baby, drinking champagne, and enjoying each others’ company.
I’m probably going to catch heck for this opinion, but I was underwhelmed with this episode. The death of the week was much more easily solved than usual and had no emotional pull. The case seemed to just be an obvious device to get Booth and Brennan to the prison so we’d think that she was going to give birth there. I admit that BONES always requires a certain suspension of disbelief, but the whole “no room at the Inn plot” just seemed too ridiculous for me. The concept was kind of clever, it was just the execution that didn’t work for me, I guess – it just wasn’t believable. Even less believable was that Brennan and Bones seem to go straight home and Bones seems not even slightly tired hours after giving birth.
Because of the focus on Booth and Brennan, and the simplistic nature of the case of the week, most of the cast had little to do in this episode, with one exception. Daisy got way more than her share of screen time and every bit of it was cringe-worthy. I love Sweets, but I hate Daisy. She’s long since crossed the line from annoyingly entertaining to just annoying and she drags Sweets down with her. Daisy as a doula, spraying bones with rose water to relax Brennan’s uterus – eww. Daisy and Sweets fooling around in Brennan’s office – disrespectful eww. Is it too much to ask for her to get shipped back to some obscure island, or maybe become a victim of the serial killer we met in the fall? Just wondering….
I did like the final scene in the house with the whole team, once I got over the unlikely timing of it. It reminds me of how many episodes in the past (before Brennan’s pregnancy) would end with them all hanging around the pub. I’m interested to see how the baby changes the team as well as the Booth and Brennan dynamic and curious to see how the story with the serial killer unfolds as the season continues. Even though I didn’t love this episode, I’m happy to have BONES back!
What did you think of the episode? Am I totally off base or did I take the words right out of your mouth? Tell me in the comments!
You’re about to pop, and I am looking at 148 homemade murder weapons. I think you’d be better off back at the lab – Booth
I’m about to push this baby out right now and if you don’t find me a place to do that, I’m gonna get out of this car, squat down on the lawn and have this baby right here! – Brennan
She will squat on the lawn! – Booth
Children who grow up on farms….develop far fewer allergies… – Brennan
Watch BONES on FOX Mondays at 8/7c!