I dare you to tell me there's a better way to start an episode of Bones than some geeks falling off their Segways into a pile of flesh-eating bugs devouring a human carcass. Oh, and thrown in for good measure is Daisy (Carla Gallo) working her first case since she and Sweets called it quits. Or, if you prefer like I do, Sweets agonizing over the prospect of inadvertently running into Daisy as he works this case.
Either way, it was a cracking good start to the episode, and that's all that matters!
On a more serious note, this episode starts off with a very interesting crime. The body found in the opening scene was buried atop another body in a natural grave. Some cultures believe in burial but with the body just placed into the ground. No coffin, not mausoleum, not tomb, none of that. In the United States there is a current "green burial" movement in which people express a desire to simply have their body returned to nature. No fuss, no guff.
The lower body in the grave was the body of Monica Craig, a cancer victim who preferred a "green burial" and chose a death consultant to help her make it through her final days. Her husband, Dr. Craig, was visibly shaken when he heard the news about a murder victim found in his wife's grave.
The body is that of Monica Craig's spiritual death guide, referred to as a "death doula" in the episode, Rachel Knox. Dr. Craig supplied this information based on a facial model made of the woman's remains. In an instant, Bones and her gang have a legit mystery on their hands. See what I mean about a cracking good start?
While discussing the word "doula," Bones and Booth had a preliminary discussion about what should be done with their bodies in the event of an untimely death. It was easy to tell Booth wasn't comfy with the subject, even though he was straightforward with his answers. He was joking about it all, which in turn made Bones not take the whole conversation too seriously.
Finding Rachel's business partner was a breeze for Booth, and immediately I felt like he was the murderer. He withheld some relationship information from Booth that really seemed to implicate him. However, a business competitor of Rachel's, Mick Warren (John Rubenstein) could also be the guilty party. He was fairly hacked off when she reneged on what sounded to be a terrific business plan.
I like the prospect of two likely suspects who are potentially guilty for entirely different reasons. It makes me wonder if Rachel was lying to each person separately about whom she really was in life.
Hogins and Daisy simultaneously-but-separately stumble upon two interesting bits of information that really added some serious twists to the plot, which I have to admit I really love. I love the twists and turns, so long as they don't get too Machiavellian. These two separate discoveries were the right mix of plausible and deus ex machine.
Booth and Bones revisit Rachel's business partner. He admitted to having a three-month, purely sexual relationship. He explained that was her rule; three months and out. She was a tantric sex therapist and all she would ever give a man is three months.
Oh, and I knew this next bit was inevitable; Sweets and Daisy decided to have coffee together, just to make sure breaking up wasn't a mistake. Daisy told Sweets that being together was the mistake; that they didn't belong together in the first place. Sweets agreed. I didn't buy it. He looked like the kid who spent a week gathering up his courage to ask the cheerleader to the prom, only to watch the quarterback beat him to it by mere seconds.
Like all good murder mysteries, there was a third option that had everything to do with guilt, grief, cheating on a dying spouse, and a very convenient grave marker that was harder than bone. The number of people who knew where Monica Craig was buried was very small, but the list of people who knew Monica and also had a three-month relationship with Rachel was even smaller: her business partner, and Dr. Craig.
Why do sleazeballs cheat on their dying wives right up until the last grizzly minute of their time on earth? Dr. Craig wasn't only feeling guilty, he was in fact guilty.
Not a great episode, but far from terrible. Sweets and Daisy are unhappy apart. Bones and Booth will figure out their last wills and testaments. Life at the Jeffersonian Institute Forensic Sciences Department will carry on as usual.
Oh hey, remember how Hogins and Angela chose the lives of young Indian girls over their vast fortune? Yeah. Not a word about any of that this episode. C'est la vie.
Stephanie Caldwell is a writer and Bones enthusiast for Cable TV.