Noise. Lots of noise. There is also a lot of shouting and music but I don’t understand any of it. Oh, there are also subtitles. No wonder I don’t understand – it’s all in Norwegian. Okay, so “Bones and Booth Go to a Concert” starts in Norway where a bunch of metal fans are going nuts at what looks to be an underground club. At the back of the venue, a dark-haired civilian not-Bones is talking to an armed, uniformed not-Booth. In Norwegian. Not-Booth is saying that they got a tip that the skeleton on the cross on the stage might be human. Not-Bones says she needs to get a closer look. The fearless duo push through the crowds until they are at the stage. Non-Bones says the skeleton is indeed human and is not just a prop right about the time that the band spot the cop. All hell breaks loose. Well, not quite that bad. Let’s just say that not-Booth’s riot gear gets a work out.
The next time we see the crucified skeleton is in the Jeffersonian because the Norwegians just don’t have the experience with murders, skeletons, and forensic anthropology. Plus the fact that the skeleton’s orthodonture indicates he was an American. Not to mention the small detail that the skeleton started off in the States before it was stolen before “Skale” (Norwegian for “skull”) (yeah, like I’m going to find the little accent thingy on this keyboard) stole it from a death metal band before they left for their Norwegian tour.
Intern Clark Edison is back. Clark-baby, you are moving up in the rotation. I didn’t expect to see you for at least one more week. Clark and Cam are discussing evidence that may be on the skull. There is a joke about Bones being able to say “ska–leh” in a proper accent and Cam not being able to, but it kind of floundered so I’ll let it go.
The skeleton is in a blood eagle position; the ribs were broken at the spine and spread to look like an eagle. I am learning much too much about torture methods this season, thank you very much. You can stop any time, show. On the up side, the ribs were broken post-mortem, so the victim wasn’t really tortured. That little tidbit is still not going to help me sleep.
Booth is large and in charge at the FBI offices. He tells another FBI agent to get him information on the entire metal music scene in DC. A voice from the past tells him it won’t be that easy. Hey, it’s Dr. Gordon Wyatt, Sweets’s predecessor and the proud owner of a Booth-built barbecue. “Long time, no see,” Booth greets his old friend. He’s surprised to see him because he thought Gordon was on loan to Interpol. Gordon says he’s back and will be seeing Sweets to give an interview on the book that Sweets is writing about Bones and Booth.
Angela brings Cam the facial reconstruction of the skeleton. Angela thinks the boy looks like a puppy. “A 278 pound puppy,” Cam adds. Their humanity shows when they sadly say that the body was never embalmed or buried in a sanctioned grave. The poor puppy was crucified for entertainment. That is sad.
Next is the shrink showdown. Gordon “Gordon” Wyatt versus Lance “Lance-alot” Sweets. Sweets starts off with a compliment. “I loved your book.” But Gordon senses a caveat and Sweets goes with a jab about Gordon’s sample being too small. Gordon counters with an explanation that there simply aren’t that many female serial killers to interview and then takes his first shot. He enjoyed Sweets’s manuscript as well. Sweets ducks the compliment; he too senses a caveat. Gordon lays him flat with a one-two: Sweets’s book is probably the best work he has ever read about opposite personality types working towards a common cause. It’s just too bad that Sweets’s examples are not opposites.” Considering that Booth and Bones being opposites are the basis for the entire book, I’m giving this round to Gordon.
Sweets is confused. What do you mean, they aren’t opposites. Gordon tells him they have similar traits to opposite pairs because Booth and Bones are sublimating their sexual attraction to save their working relationship. One of the pair is aware of the attraction and struggles with it daily. Sweets wants to know which one it is. So do I.
Back in the lab, Angela is rocking out to death metal. Hodgins thinks the celibacy thing is melting her brain. He and Cam interrupt her dance session to tell her that the staining on the skull was caused by theatre makeup leeching into the bone during decomposition. Angela’s puppy was moonlighting as a zombie werewolf. The puppy has also been identified as the former bassist for the death metal band “Spew.”
Now that the fight is over, the fellow professionals get down to business. Sweets asks if Gordon will write the introduction to his book. Regretfully Gordon declines; he is retiring. But he would enjoy discussing the case with him. They agree that it was odd that a death metal prop would be found with a black metal band. Gordon is impressed with Sweets’s understanding of the various metal genres. Sweets admits that he was really into death metal as a teenager. But he’s not like that any more. Really. Sweets, you are starting to channel Shakespeare.
Hodgins gets to exposit a lot in the next scene. The cross that the skeleton was attached to was made of 120-year-old black oak that was stolen from a church in DC. Death metal concerts are set up at secret locations and you only find out if you get an invitation. (RSVP not necessary, but considered polite.) From the soil samples from the skeleton’s boots, Hodgins thinks that the venue of choice is an abandoned slaughterhouse that was shut down because of mad cow disease.
Cam and Clark get their turns next. They have confirmed that the boots belonged to the skeleton because the skeleton and the tissue samples from the boots show the same medical condition. Bones says that isn’t enough proof; 1% of the population has that condition. “One percent of size 11 teenagers?” Cam asks. Okay, Bones gives her that one. Clark has additional proof (because that’s the way Bones likes it). He shows Bones an x-ray that indicates one of the skeleton’s toes is missing. She asks if it fell off. “No,” Clark says proudly, “there is no toe imprint in the boot.” Well, that’s good enough for Bones. The mystery of the boots’s owner is solved. Cam asks Clark if he wants to say, “King of the Lab!” Clark declines, and given the history of the last king, I don’t blame him.
Gordon, Bones and Booth are off to check out the venue, because apparently death metal bands tend to perform where they practice. Gordon is very knowledgeable about music. Booth has a total fangirl moment. He recognizes Gordon from his “Noddy Comet” 80’s band. Yes, the distinguished Dr. Wyatt was into proto glam rock and spent three years in spandex, silver lame and pancake makeup. Awesome. I knew Gordon was cool!
In the old slaughterhouse, the trio are deafened by the sounds of a rehearsal. Gordon notes that the new bassist is actually quite talented. Booth shows the band his badge and tells them to stop playing. The lead singer spits on Booth’s badge and they continue to play. Booth draws his sidearm and empties a clip into the speaker. Not so tough now are ya’, punks. They cower in fear while Gordon hopes his former patient hasn’t suffered a relapse. Relax, Gordon, at least it wasn’t clowns. Gordon reminds Booth that it was shooting inanimate objects that brought Booth to him in the first place. Booth is unconcerned. He didn’t shoot the speaker because he was mad at it; he shot it because it was fun. Bones admits that it looked fun. In an attempt to draw the attention of the gun-wielding agent, the drummer knocks over a cymbal. The lead singer asks if Booth is going to put away his gun now. Booth wipes his badge on the singer’s pant leg. “Don’t rush me.” Punk.
Booth can’t be at the band’s interrogation. He’s back on desk duty after discharging his weapon. Never fear, though, he is watching through a video link and is talking to Bones through an earpiece.
Spew is not at all sad to hear of Zombie Puppy’s demise. Mayhem – Puppy’s band name – was a dabler, a poser in the death metal scene. They confess to killing him because they want a criminal record to add to their cool personas. Stupid, stupid punks. A criminal record will put you in jail. It’s hard to put on concerts there. Also, recording facilities are limited. When the best charge they can finagle is “felony assault on a federal agent” they admit that they haven’t seen Mayhem in over a year.
Watching from the observation room are Sweets and Gordon. Gordon says that one of these punks is not like the other. He tells our crime fighters to get the new bassist, Grinder, cleaned up and exploit his differences.
Meanwhile back at the lab, Clark has cleaned up the skeleton as best he could. He has spotted some suspicious fractures. Cam isn’t surprised; after all, the skeleton was carted across the Atlantic and hauled around as a prop. Clark is insistent; no, these are gouge marks. Mayhem was shot in the arse. This is a little too weird for Cam. The deceased was shot in the arse, then killed, and then somebody dug the bullet out of his gluteous. Yes, Cam, that about covers it.
Grinder’s real name is Darryl Moss and it turns out that he and Justin (Mayhem’s real name) were childhood friends. Grinder says he killed his buddy for the job. Gordon tsk-tsk’s him. Darryl is a trained classical bassist but is trying to hide it. It wouldn’t do his street cred any good if that bit of news were released to his bandmates. Sweets and Gordon tell him that they don’t expect him to break the death metal code by telling them who killed his friend. They just want to know who had the skeleton before the Norwegians. Grinder tells him that the skeleton originally turned up at one of Zorch’s concerts and he wanted his buddy back. Although, he thinks what they did to the body was cool.
There is another concert and to me it sounds no different from the first one. Maybe it is in Norwegian too. Anyway, Bones wants to get a good look at the band but Booth is on the other end of the cell phone conversation and he wants her to wait for back-up. Suddenly, Bones is accosted by a pasty-faced … Sweets. Okay, didn’t even recognize him. Sweets tells her that he arrived in costume to get information for the case. He isn’t at all impressed with the band. Who does the lead singer think he is with that tongue – the guy from Kiss? Booth tells him to leave Gene alone. Kiss and Noddy Comet, Booth? Really? Booth tells them to get a picture and get out.
Bones and Sweets make their way to the stage just before the lead singer does his act, which is drawing a fake knife across his throat to make it look like he is trying to give himself a Columbian necktie. Bones freaks but Sweets says it is part of the show. Bones sees the spurting blood and realizes that something went wrong. She and Sweets storm the stage. She applies pressure to the wound but it’s not enough. Bones rips Sweets’s shirt off and, holy Cow, Sweets, you have been working out. It is only once the makeshift bandage is in place that she sees the very disturbing scars on Sweets’s back.
Halftime report. It’s looking like Zorch, the band who originally had possession of the skeleton, may have killed the victim. If I weren’t doing the recap, these reports would actually be quite useful.
Zorch wants to know who switched the knife and almost killed him. Because it was awesome and will really up his place in society. It’ll definitely up his ratings for a Darwin award. He, too, wants credit for the murder. Booth, via headset, tells Bones that is is okay to lie to the perp. And she goes off like Dirty Harry. It’s quite comical, although poor Sweets doesn’t know if he should applaud or run away. The improv works and the perp says that he found the body under a bridge about six months ago. He stole the cross, fastened the bones to it, and then Skale stole the stage prop.
Gordon’s last official task is to clear Booth from desk duty. Again. He can’t stay and help with the case – although he is sure they will solve it – because he has been accepted by the Institute of Culinary Arts. He leaves them in the capable hands of Sweets, who is mostly normal. Booth is a little concerned at the qualifier. “Can you give us an example of the ‘mostly’?” Gordon tells them that Sweets is quite frustrated at their lack of cooperation regarding discussing their childhood traumas.
Meanwhile back at the lab, Angela shows Cam and Hodgins the Spew footage (oh, that sounds bad) that she’s uploaded from the internet. The quality isn’t very good; it’s mostly from cell phones, but she found a theme. A girl runs up to Mayhem and shoots him in the neck, at which point he starts “spewing” blood. It’s their thing. She’s seen it at least 60 times in 2 years. It’s always the same girl. The only variation is that about 10 months before he was killed, the girl shot Mayhem in the arse, not the chest. They ask if Angela can ID the girl. Of course she can. She’s Angela!
The girl shootist is Lexie, and she’s not talking without her manager present. She’s left the death metal scene and has a mainstream CD coming out. When Booth and Bones tell her she is a suspect because she already shot Mayhem once, she claims innocence. It wasn’t her fault that somebody switched the bullets. Booth calls her on the lie; she knew or else she would have shot him in the chest as usual, not in the gluteous. Besides, Mayhem flinched before she pulled the trigger. He knew it was coming. Lexie admits it; Mayhem thought it would improve his reputation. Why – is he trying to sue her two years later? Booth informs her that Mayhem is dead.
She is truly shocked. And upset. And says that it is all her fault. She invited Mayhem, er Justin, to join her band. Some hard core metal people must have found out and killed him for that.
Clark has discovered more weird marks on the skeleton, this time at the neck. There are also greenstick fractures. Bones orders her intern onto all fours and proceeds to strangle him with a cord, driving her knee into the spine, which would result in said fractures. When she remembers to let go, Clark rasps that she didn’t take into account the puncture wounds in the neck. Bones realizes that they would appear if the garrotte was made from barbed wire.
Group hug. Sweets opines that leaving the band to go mainstream would be the ultimate betrayal to the death metal culture. Also, the killer will keep the barbed wire as a souvenir of the kill. So what they are left with is: somebody killed Mayhem for leaving the fold. The murderer garrotted him and buried the body under a bridge. Somebody, possibly a different somebody, dug up the body and removed the bullet so others would assume he was the killer. And Wrath, one of the band members, wears a shattered bullet in a cross.
While the interview room is being prepped, Gordon and Sweets talk in the observation room. Sweets doesn’t think he’s ready. Gordon says that from what he knows of Sweets, he is ready. Sweets asks him what he knows. Gordon says that Sweets was adopted at a late age, and that he was a damaged child. Sweets says he found terrific adoptive parents when he was 6. Gordon believes they died recently. Yes, just before Sweets started working with Bones and Booth. Gordon’s final analysis is that Sweets was mostly alone as a child, but his parents came along in time to save him. That’s why Sweets wants to save people; because he know it can be done. Their talk ends there when the interview starts.
Wrath is a tough guy. He admits to digging the bullet out of the corpse’s arse. If other people want to think that he killed Mayhem, that’s fine with him. Booth asks what would have happened to Spew’s reputation if others found out that Mayhem was quitting to go to mainstream. Wrath is adamant that it would never have happened; Spew is the genuine article and their power comes from their life in hell. Gordon whispers in Booth’s ear (via microphone) that the kid is vain; play on his pride.
Booth says that speculation is that the other band member Murderbreath committed the murder because Wrath didn’t have the balls. Wrath is insulted. Murderbreath didn’t kill Mayhem. He doesn’t have it in him to strangle somebody with barbed wire. Gotcha! We didn’t mention barbed wire!
Booth and Bones celebrate another closed case by having a dinner cooked for them by Gordon. They toast him for giving them the tips to close the case, but Gordon demurs, saying they should be thanking Sweets. Speaking of, Gordon gives them some unsolicited advice on the other shrink. The book that young Sweets has written is a vehicle to get to what he wants. In this case, Sweets wants a new family since his parents died. Bones kind of understands – he imprinted on them like a baby duck. Gordon says that he is trying to find his place in the world. In a show of compassion that we have not seen in months, Bones blurts out that she and Booth can find him a place in their world! Gordon tells them that his casseolet got him into the culinary institute, but it doesn’t keep so be back in an hour. Bones wants to know where they are going. “Duck hunting,” Booth replies.
Sweets is in his office, working on his manuscript. Bones and Booth invite him to their family-style dinner with Gordon, but he declines. Bones bursts out with a horrific foster parent story. When she was little, her foster parents locked her in a car trunk for 2 days because she broke a plate. She was a clumsy child and they warned her she would be punished but she was little and the dishwater was too hot and the soap on the plate was slippery. The men are shocked that she shared this painful memory. She says, “Isn’t that why we’re here? To share scars?” She tells Sweets she saw the scars on his back and she wants him to know he’s not the only one with a painful childhood. Booth isn’t quite so forthcoming. “If it weren’t for my grandfather, I would have killed myself as a kid.” And he’s not saying anything else on the matter. Now Bones is crying and Booth is on the verge. He gives her his hanky and she dries her eyes. She tucks it gently back into his suit jacket pocket, and he taps the place where she rested her hand on his chest.
Sweets smiles. What? He said that Gordon said something to him and he just figured it out. Then he is smarter than me. A wise friend said that the scene meant that Bones was the one who knew she was in love and she was fighting it off but losing when she acted gently towards Booth. I was thinking that the tap on the chest was Booth making a memory because that was as close to a caress that he would ever get from his twue wuv. So the debate rages on.
“Come for dinner already,” they say. Sweets agrees and puts away the manuscript. Which he has retitled, “Bones: the Heart of the Matter.”