The full night of "Bones" on FOX continued Monday, Jan. 14, with episode 811, "The Archaeologist in the Cocoon," which highlighted the competitive nature of one of the team and featured an unprecedented discovery.
This "Bones" victim's remains were found in a cocoon (prompting a comment about moth men from Hodgins, of course), which turned out to be from webworms. They fell on Brennan's (Emily Deschanel) face when she sliced the cocoon open to get a look, and Hodgins (TJ Thyne) began picking them off. "I think there's a couple more," she told him. As far as crime scenes go, it was one of the tamer ones this season. The victim was James Sutton, an adventurous archaeologist whose books weren't exactly well respected. His pregnant wife told them he had brought artifacts back from Russia, which they found in a climate-controlled, 24-hour guarded storage unit: bones dating back to Paleolithic times. Upon examining the bones (after Hodgins let loose crows to clean the worms off the remains: "Feed, my children, feed"), they discovered the cause of death was exsanguination and he had been flogged a couple of months before his murder. His wife revealed that his father was responsible; her family was very traditional and did not approve of their marriage. Because she chose James, she was dead to them. While her brother was a possible suspect, perhaps acting on their father's orders, with Special Forces training allowing him to know which major arteries to target, it wasn't him. It wasn't Wilson, the guy who bought all of James' artifacts and whom James refused to give the bones in his storage unit even though Wilson had funded the trip. Instead, it was the fact that fibers were found from a bookbinding that led them to James' publisher, who had used one of her bookends after he had decided to publish in a journal—for no pay—and leave her out of it. She felt betrayed, but he just wanted to be taken seriously as an archaeologist.
The reason he had decided to publish in a journal was the discovery he had made, the bones he had brought back from Russia. Those bones were quite the bone of contention in the lab, as both Brennan and Clark (Eugene Byrd) declared claim over the bones, which showed that Homo sapiens and Neanderthal lived together. At first, Clark argued, "Crime, you. Ancient history, me," but after discovering that the Homo sapiens was murdered, Brennan tried to take the bones back into her custody. What ensued was an argument that Cam (Tamara Taylor) had to resolve, and though she had Clark keep the bones while Brennan was allowed access, what the two could agree on was their reaction over her use of the word "caveman." (Just don't do it in front of an anthropologist. Just don't.) What "The Archaeologist in the Cocoon" did a good job of showing was that Clark didn't just go back to being a squintern after he took over for Brennan when she was on the run. But their competitive natures were put aside once Clark realized that the child was half-Neanderthal, half-Homo sapiens and the team grouped together for a presentation that showed the family's end. An interloper's attack left the father bleeding out next to the mother, who suffocated to death, and their daughter crawled over to them before starving to death. In the light of that horror, competition no longer matter. And in the light of that discovery, Brennan even had Clark replace her authorship credit with James Sutton so his son could see the great discovery he made one day.
Brennan's competitive nature was very much part of this whole episode, including at home as she was determined to have Christine play peek-a-boo (even "Uncle Sweets" got in on it). However, Booth (David Boreanaz) wondered if she was using Christine to make herself look good, and in the end, she admitted she didn't want to pass her failings onto Christine—and she didn't want Booth to either, leaving him to ponder what failings those were.
Overall, the second hour of the show's winter return was a typical "Bones" episode and showed that while some things may have changed since Brennan become a mother, others had not. The case itself had a few twists, and while we do expect that (and even suspected the publisher because, well, we watch a lot of procedural dramas), we enjoyed following it from start to finish. And while the first episode of the night, "The Diamond in the Rough," ended on a touching note, this episode's heartfelt moment came instead as the Jeffersonian team's presentation of the historic hate crime. It was an entertaining second half of the full night of "Bones" on FOX and a good way to kick off 2013 for the show.
"Bones" season 8 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX. What did you think of "The Archaeologist in the Cocoon"?
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Subscribe for the latest in television news.