Bones 4.12 “Double Trouble in the Panhandle” Recap

bones_panhandle-sc27-28pt_0147Welcome to Bones, the only show on television that guarantees you a body in every episode. Because if they didn’t have one, they’d have to call the show something else.

This week’s episode, titled ‘Bones and Booth go to the Circus,’starts on the Texas-Oklahoma border. As the premier crime-fighting duo in the continental United States, Dr. Temperance ‘Bones’Brennan of the Jeffersonian and Special Agent Seeley Booth of the FBI have been flown half-way across the country to look at a pile of bones that is so important that the discovery hasn’t even been marked off with crime-scene tape. Guarding the remains are Tweedledum of Oklahoma and Tweedledee of Texas, who are arguing about jurisdiction.

The Tweedles theorize that two bodies indicate a murder-suicide pact, and that the victim and murderer could be from anywhere. I have been assured by two separate sources that the bickering between anything to do with Oklahoma and Texas is entirely accurate and not exaggerated in the least. With barely a glance, Bones comments that both bodies are female. This leads Tweedledum to think it was a lesbian suicide pact, which would be an indication that the victims were from Texas. After a second look, the still fully-covered (it will be important later) Bones notes that the skeletons are joined at the back of their fronts. ‘Joined at the ass definitely from Texas,’pronounces Tweedledum as he gives up his jurisdictional claim. Tweedledee does not refute the facts, which leads me to believe that lesbian suicide pacts among conjoined twins are a clear sign that the victims have never been to Oklahoma.

Meanwhile back at the lab, Mr. Nigel-Murray has returned. For those of you who are having difficulty keeping track of the rotating interns, Mr. Nigel-Murray is the one who downloaded Wikipedia onto a memory stick and swallowed it because he knows everything in the whole wide world except for when to shut up. Cam is already showing the strain of dealing with somebody who does not have an internal mute button but she smiles bravely and carries on. Hodgins reports that there was residue from a cotton sheet under the bodies but no traces of any other clothes. As Cam and Wiki bemoan the difficulty of identifying bodies with no fingerprints, clothes or identification, Angela comes up behind them and cracks their heads together like a couple of coconuts while she yells, ‘Dumbasses, who gave you your degrees?’Okay, she just did that in her head. Instead, she explains – using very little words – that it will not be hard to identify Siamese twins. Wiki’s mute button is still broken as we learn more conjoined twin statistics than we will ever need. Before he finishes, Angela returns with the identities of the victims – Jenny and Julie van Owen. The twins worked as jugglers at a traveling circus.

For reasons known only to them, Bones and Booth meet with Sweets to find the best way to get information on the twins. It seems circus folk are part of a closed society and will not talk to outsiders. Sweets has a deep understanding of the circus culture because he was adopted and he tracked down his birth mother, who worked as a psychic in a circus in Southern Florida (which may explain some things about the boy.) Bones agrees with his assessment because she studied circus society for six weeks as part of her anthro studies. Her study sucked because nobody spoke to her. On the plus side, she became adept at the high-wire.

Booth says that if carnies won’t talk, they’ll go undercover. Bones says they can do an act did she mention that she was adept on high-wire? Booth insists they should do a knife-throwing act because he had the best knife skills in the Rangers.

Booth and Bones decide to run off and join the circus.

First, they visit the sisters’family to get some background. Can I just say that if I had their mother, I’d run away and join the circus as well. Anyway, no clues here.

They also get a lead on the sisters’doctor. He said that the girls could have been successfully separated. Jenny (the aggressive sister) wanted the operation but Julia (the nice one) didn’t. No clues here either.

Apparently the FBI gets their disguises from the ACME Company. Booth and Bones receive model number SCKT- 4.12. The Stupid Canadian Knife Throwers kit comes with a mobile home with a tacky mural on the side, guaranteed to fit into a circus caravan with no questions asked, as well as a wardrobe that leaves me to question if any of the writers have ever been to Canada.

Cue the pipe organ as Buck and Wanda Moose Jaw arrive. At first I thought the trailer said ‘Buck and Wanda from Moose Jaw’but no, that was their last name. I know that we have a lot of funny place names but being from Moose Jaw would still have worked without making them look stupid. Bones, I mean Wanda, is in a nasty wig and a top with a scoop neck that goes down to her navel in order to properly display her bodacious tatas. Buck is in a red vest and leather pants which are not nearly as tight as they could be, according to several of Mr. Boreanaz’s fans.

The circus owner interviews them and asks if they have a theme for their act. For instance – Cowboy and Indian Princess. Bones jumps in with a Russian theme. Booth is rather disappointed that they can’t do the Cowboy and Indian Princess thing (and don’t think that’s not going to appear in some kink fanfic somewhere.)

The owner agrees to give Buck and Wanda a trial performance to prove themselves. They are in! The disguise worked! However, they had a little problem with the lingo. Fortunately, Sweets is on speed-dial and he helps them out. Sweets also advises them to be more interested in each other and not to be over friendly; the other performers will come to them. To this end, Booth and Bones pretend to have sex to celebrate their new job. If this trailer’s rockin’, don’t come a knockin’. The owner looks at the shaking trailer and hopes they are as good out of it as they are in it.

After a very unsatisfying trailer-encounter, Bones and Booth awkwardly begin questioning the carnies. The twins did work there but left a good-bye note when they left. At this point it becomes obvious why Booth became an investigator and not an undercover agent. He sucks at it. They meet Magnum the Strong Man, a Psy-chick, and a horde of angry clowns who are still pissed that the twins didn’t ask permission to use their props when they were working on their new act. They do however learn that one of the twins had a boyfriend who was not with the circus.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, the squints set up a video conference to update Booth and Bones. It takes a minute to get going as Booth and Bones bicker about Buck’s boxers (or perhaps his briefs). Cam asks if the mobile home only has one bed in order to draw attention to the fact that there is unresolved sexual tension between the undercover pair. The squints have deduced that the goodbye note was forged because it was supposedly signed by the righty twin but was actually written a lefty. Or vice versa. Either way, it was forged. Wiki’s mute button is still broken as he goes on about all the words that can be typed using only the left or right hand. But he does not inform the others that ‘stewardesses’is the longest word which can be typed with only the left hand. Take that, Wiki! They also discovered that Julie had hair product residue under her fingernails. It most likely got there because she ran her fingers through the mystery man’s hair. Booth to the rescue! As the son of a barber, he knows his traditional hair products and they now have a suspect!

But, before they take off, Bones agrees to set up a webcam for their act so the squints can ‘look for clues in the background’because four years later she is still a twit.

Off they go. But they can’t do their investigation and get back in time if they take the mobile home, so Booth procures alternate transportation. He finds a freaking motorcycle and sidecar. Because all circuses have one handy. Or it could be an optional package with the SCKT- 4.12 kit.

They arrive back… at the doctor’s office. It’s true. The doctor dated Jenny for a while but he then fell in love with Julia and they became intimate. Booth is confused as to how conjoined twins can date, let alone have sex. The doctor explains that the twins had separate genitalia and that a sleep mask and MP3 play can provide a good opportunity for privacy. This does not squick me out as much as it might have had I not seen the pony-play episode last year. They arrest the doctor.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, Wiki identifies the cause of death as head injuries called ‘kiss fractures,’most likely caused by the twins knocking noggins. Did you see how I foreshadowed that?

On the ride back to the circus, Bones plays a game of pocket billiards in Booth’s pants because they have unresolved sexual tension. Actually, she answers Booth’s cell phone because he’s driving the motorcycle (without a helmet, I might add. But they do have the goofy goggles from the ACME accessory catalogue, available separately.) The doctor had an alibi and is no longer a suspect.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, the squints try to determine how the twins received their head injuries. Wiki goes off and is not helpful. They decide that a likely weapon would be a clown barbell. Just go with it.

The FBI’s delivery service is pretty good because the Russian costumes have arrived. Booth, I mean Boris, has a fur coat, a traditional black fur Russian hat whose name escapes me for the moment, and a stick-on porn ‘stache. Natasha has a bustier that might actually cover more of her tatas than the original shirt, and a gold cape. Wow – all they need is a Zorro mask and this episode would be good to air on Showcase.

Before their act, they quickly go through the clown props looking for the foam barbell. The clowns catch them and go on the offensive. Come on, shoot ‘em. Shoot the clowns, Booth! They threaten to kick Booth’s ass for messing with their stuff. He still doesn’t shoot them. Those sessions with Sweets are really paying off. The clowns advance. Booth tries to fend them off with the strongman’s hammer but he accidentally whacks Bones in the face instead. The boss arrives and peace returns. The show has begun. He points to the big top and sends in the clowns. Booth checks out Bones and asks if she can perform. ‘The show must go on,’says she. What a trooper!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, this is the scene we’ve been waiting for. Bones and Booth take their places. We didn’t get the Zorro mask, but Bones is in an eye patch now. Sweets, who is watching via webcam, really digs it. With a final ‘I trust you, Booth,’Bones takes her place against the board. She arranges her limbs around the five strategically-placed balloons. No, not placed like that. This is a family circus. Booth is petrified and Bones is wearing that smile that says ‘Do it and don’t miss. And if you do miss, make sure I don’t survive because I will come after you and I know where you live.’It’s a very expressive smile.

He winds up, checks the signs, and lets ‘er fly. The balloon explodes! Bones is thrilled. Booth’s surprised. The second throw is just as accurate. And the third. And the fourth and fifth. He did it! The Rangers taught him well.

Booth is ready to get out of there but Bones isn’t done. She takes a stuffed apple from a bag and puts it on her head. Booth looks at the crazy lady but she gestures ‘just give it to me, big boy!’It’s a very expressive gesture.

He skewers the apple and didn’t impale his partner. He’s ready to go.

Sweets and the squints are still watching on the webcam. Sweets notes that this act has a sexual component with the knife representing something pointy. It’s a good thing that he points out the unresolved sexual tension between Bones and Booth or else we might have missed it. He also comments that Bones is showing Booth great trust. Actually, he might have said cleavage, I’m not certain.

Bones still isn’t ready to leave. With a whispered ‘you are as good as you said. You should try a blindfold next time,'(see Showcase!) she returns to the board and puts on a clown nose. Booth’s sweating now and I don’t think it’s from unresolved sexual tension.

Eeeeeek! He does it! In a cute shot, Bones checks to make sure just the clown nose is gone. Now they can leave.
Bones: You did great!
Booth: I could have killed you!
Bones: That’s part of the excitement! And when I say excitement, I’m referring to the sexual component of our act!
Okay, maybe she didn’t say the last line.

After the show, our crime-fighters realize that Magnum the Strongman could swing a foam barbell hard enough to cause fractures. But he escapes after overpowering them. Booth issues a BOLO on Magnum, who won’t be hard to find because he is big and strong. The only reason he got away from Booth in the first place was because he was strong (in case you didn’t get that part.)

The squints call in an addendum to the report on the skeletons. There are fractures to all four lower legs and feet. Bones considers this while she plans her next show. Booth says that the knife-throwing was a one-time gig.

The owner arrives asks where Magnum the Strongman went. Booth and Bones shock him and the other carnies by revealing that they are only undercover knife throwers. They are actually investigating a murder. Every last carnie walks away despite Booth’s credentials. They don’t respect no stinkin’badges.

Alone in the big top, Bones and Booth are ready to return home. The locals LEOs will catch Magnum. But before they go, Bones wants to do one more thing (remember – she’s quite adept on the high-wire.) Booth isn’t going to watch. Bones climbs the ladder. He’s not looking. She steps out onto the wire. Still not looking. Then he looks. She’s doing it!

Suddenly, Bones cries out, ‘Oh, my cuboid!’That’s what it sounded like. What she means is that the wire is hurting her foot. She drops the pole and falls into the safety net where she has a revelation. Jenny and Julie’s new act was not juggling; it was a high-wire act. They fell off the high-wire and bumped heads when they hit the net. It wasn’t murder after all.

Magnum emerges from the shadows. He didn’t kill the twins; he just buried the bodies. The other carnies rally around him. Booth says Magnum won’t be looking at a murder rap but will be charged with illegally disposing of a body, or some such minor infraction. As a final act of solidarity to his fellow showmen, Booth says to Magnum while pointedly staring at the Psy-chick that he will also have to explain both why he wrapped the bodies in a sheet (which is typically a feminine gesture) as well how he forged the note (Booth looks at the owner.) I’m still confused as to why they buried the twins naked wrapped in a sheet. Anyway, Magnum will take the fall to protect his friends inside his closed society.

The next morning, Booth and Brennan stumble out of their trailer. It seems that they slept in their costumes. That bustier must be more comfortable than it looks. Not only that, but Bones is still wearing her stage makeup. That’ll give you zits, you know. And raccoon eyes. They take a look around to discover that the entire circus has moved on during the night. I guess they didn’t notice the noise or vibrations because the trailer was a-rockin’again. They find a flier and reminisce about their alter egos. But Buck and Wanda and Boris and Natasha served their purposes and our crime-fighters are happy to be going home.

Next up, it’s another episode of ‘Bones’. It’s a double-header tonight. Not literally. I mean, it’s not conjoined twins joined at the head. Just a second episode with a regular skeleton.


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