"Bones" introduced the audience – and Hodgins – to someone they – and he – never knew in Friday, Jan. 31's "The Heiress in the Hill," which was a solid episode all around, from the case to Booth and Brennan's discussions about money to the brother Hodgins never knew he had.
When the case first began in this "Bones" episode, it looked like a mob hit, even though the victim was a 26-year-old community college student, but it ended up being more complicated and more intriguing than it seemed at first glance. Her remains were doused in lye, her toe had been removed, and her bones were damaged. Her father and stepmother revealed they had received a note along with the toe that she would die if the police were involved, and when more texts came in, it looked like the kidnappers didn't know her body had been found. She had been living at home, and while it looked like someone in the house – father, stepmother, staff – or her TA boyfriend with a plane ticket to leave the country could have been involved, there was a twist: Penicillin in her system. Someone had been trying to help her, but they hadn't realized she was allergic to Penicillin.
The kidnappers had set the phone to send out texts, including a photo of Lauren that ended up being a selfie from weeks prior, to her father, and it turned out that Lauren had planned the entire thing with her dog walker to get money so she could leave. The dog walker had loved her, but he didn’t know she wasn't going to leave town with him. She had cut off her own toe, and it had gotten infected, but she refused to go to a hospital. He hadn't even cared about the money. However, she had set it up so the last text led the police to him. Poor guy got played.
Meanwhile, when Brennan casually asked Booth to deposit a check for $75,000 (more than he made in a year) for her, it forced him to take a hard look at their financial situation and how he felt about it. In the end, they finally got that joint account, and with the money theirs to spend, Brennan offered to spend it on Super Bowl tickets (which likely wouldn't have been part of it if the game was on another network this year), but he chose instead to invest it and showed her a pamphlet for the Wounded Warriors Project.
Finally, Angela and Hodgins were planning a bank robbery to buy their dream home when Dr. Rozran, from the Sandalwood Home, stopped by to discuss Hodgins' brother, and while at first, he thought it was just a mix-up, when he looked into it, he discovered that he did, in fact, have a brother, Jeffrey. He had schizoaffective disorder, and on medication, it was manageable. However, his care was expensive, and Hodgins didn't have any money anymore, so Jeffrey would have to be sent to a state facility. Hodgins met his brother, and while he didn't tell him who he was, things seemed to be okay between them as they bonded over Jules Verne. But when Hodgins said the wrong thing, Jeffrey had an episode, and Hodgins saw just why his brother needed to be there.
Hodgins had to wrap his mind around the fact that he wasn't an only child like he had thought his entire life, and while he tried to focus on work, he told Angela what happened when she asked him not to shut her out. He couldn't help but wonder what if – What if they had known each other growing up? What if he had been able to help by loving him? In the best Fisher moment to date, he spoke about his own experience and told Hodgins that Jeffrey had won the lottery because he found him.
Once Booth accepted that Brennan's check was theirs to pend together, he suggested giving it to Hodgins so his brother could stay at Sandalwood. While Hodgins appreciated the gesture (hugs for everyone!), he had decided to be a normal person and get a loan from a bank to ensure his brother didn't have to leave the home he knew, something he made sure Jeffrey knew when he went out to find him after he had left Sandalwood.
Hodgins found his brother in the woods, and when Jeffrey argued that he couldn't trust an operative, the truth came out: "You can trust your brother. I'm your brother, Jeffrey. I'm Jack Hodgins. You remember Mom and Dad? Dr. Rozran said you still have a picture of them in your room. Well I have one too. You see that? That's them. And that's me. I never knew it, but I guess I've been looking for you my whole life, to complete the picture. I can finally see past the static, Jeffrey, like you. Let me bring you back? I promise you'll never have to leave your home. Never." And they began bonding over Jules Verne again. (Please have Jeffrey show up again this season?)
Overall, this was one of the best episodes all around, from the case to the personal stories, of the season, and it was one of TJ Thyne's best episodes to date. We've been hoping "Bones" would explore Hodgins' family, and "The Heiress in the Hill" didn't disappoint in that regard, especially after the show touched upon Hodgins losing his money in "The Ghost in the Killer." And as much as we loved Booth wanting to give the money to Hodgins for his brother's care (who else loved Booth in this episode?), we respected Hodgins' decision to get a loan from a bank instead. Losing as much money as he had wasn't something that should've been without consequences, and the show has done a good job of showing those, just like it has done with Cam having her identity taken.
"Bones" season 9 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. beginning March 10. What did you think of "The Heiress in the Hill"?