Who knew roller derby could be so brutal? Okay, we all knew, but not like this. Not all dismembered like, ya know?
It was a messy start to this week's episode of Bones on Fox Television. It's not every day that a dismembered roller derby competitor is discovered. Even for Bones this was a bit of a gory start, but I guess it kind of had to start this way if we were ever going to see Angela on a roller derby team.
That's right; Angela goes undercover as fresh meat into the world of hip-whips, jammers, helmet panties, and pivots. What's really fun for viewers of episodes like this one is getting to see actors exhibit their other skills. Denis Leary and Michael J. Fox ice skate like hockey pros; Jesse L. Martin and Jack Black sing like angels; Jennifer Tilly and Gabe Kaplan play poker like they invented it. And yes, Michaela Conlin can roller skate with the best of them.
The poor dismembered roller derby star was beaten to death with a skate. This is one thing I like about the show. There's a thousand different ways she could have been killed, but the writers chose one that definitely fit the theme of the show. It's just a little bit upsetting and helps us care more about the character than had she just dropped dead of a brain aneurysm. It's quality writing and it pays off big for viewers.
The police-procedural aspect of the show ran through the gamut of usual suspects; teammates, ex-husband, coach, and other random people. After all, it is a police show where cops catch bad guys by following a list of tried and true methods. Still, this is my least favorite part of Bones. The relationships and interaction between characters are so excellent it's hard to not focus on that as the show's strength.
So, Angela rolls out the goods as roller derby thug "Smackie Kennedy," the fearless jammer who's looking to make the Derby Dolls team. Well, why not? There's an opening, right? Angela gives it her all, and gets plenty back in return. Roller derby girls are all about the smashing, elbowing, and whiplashing over the rail.
Of course she makes the team, which means she has to get to work to solve this crime. She'll be just fine. She's smart, rich (maybe), and courageous enough to play roller derby.
In an absolutely hilarious scene involving Angela and Booth pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Angela tipped far too many back at the bar with one of her new teammates, who, just after meeting Booth, face-planted into the table at the bar.
This is when suspect number one showed up, Derby Dolls head coach Nicky. He's been accused of skimming cash from the team, which is a big no-no because it's a cooperative ownership. Booth hauls him in for questioning and appears to satisfy himself that Nicky is most likely not the killer.
In a side story, it has leaked that Booth is seeing a neurologist, but Camille did a little poking around and discovered it could be about his and Bones' daughter, Christina. Booth and Bones are playing their cards close to the vest.
Enter suspect number two; the victim's ex-husband. Rumor has it she was really terrible to him, including having sex with another man on his front lawn. Ouch, right? Upon close examination by Hodgins and Wendell, it became clear that the victim was killed by someone who has extensive medical knowledge: Someone like her ex-husband who happens to be a very skilled surgeon.
Don't you just hate it when there's still 20 minutes left and suspect number two, after claiming he would never hurt his ex-wife, tells the FBI agent questioning him that he'd like an attorney? GRRRRR! I never know if they're guilty or just rich and can afford a criminal defense attorney just to stay out of trouble they're not in to begin with!
Further lab analysis shows that the victim had been—are you ready for this?—stabbed in the eye with a key. That's right, like a house key or a car key.
Enter all the suspects; the entire Derby Dolls team. It didn't take Bones and Booth too long to discover who owns the key that did the dastardly deed, or the roller derby queen who did the damage. Isn't it always someone named Ivana Kickass (Suzanne Quast) who ultimately pulled the trigger, or in this case stuck a key where it didn't belong?
Oh, and that thing about Booth and the neurologist? Talk about your smoke and mirrors. His visit had everything to do with throwing a carnival for the doctor's young patients, and nothing at all to do with Christina. He just didn't want anyone to know because charity should be a private matter, at least according to the Gospel of Booth.
Overall, not a great episode but not bad either. Roller derby is always great. They should throw more of that in from time to time.
Stephanie Caldwell is from Utah and writes for Cable TV.