If nothing else, no one can accuse ‘The Maiden in the Mushrooms’ of lacking in plausible suspects. Indeed, tonight’s Bones featured no less than five people who had the means and motive to kill Rebecca Pearce (Danielle Harris), an up-and-coming producer for the small claims courtroom show Judge Trudy.
However, an equally significant amount of time is dedicated to Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her attempts to clear her daughter’s name in a biting incident at daycare.
What probably started out as a funny B story in the writers’ room evolves as the episode progresses and, by the end, almost eclipses the murder story. It all begins when the Booth (David Boreanaz) returns home with his daughter, Christine, and informs Brennan that the toddler bit another little girl at daycare.
The teacher wants a meeting, but Brennan wants forensic evidence. Unsatisfied with the thought that her daughter might be just your average toddler, the forensic anthropologist goes to extreme lengths to “prove” her daughter’s innocence, including taking a dental impression and getting Angela (Michaela Conlin) to hack into the daycare’s computer records. In the end, she’s only convinced of Christine’s guilt when she bites her on the neck. It’s an odd rabbit trail for the show to take to say the least, though it is April Fool’s Day, so anything goes.
Another (slightly less odd) tangent that the story veers into centers on hot sauce. Give Bones some continuity points for referencing the lost Hodgins (TJ Thyne) wealth, but this newfound poverty has apparently led the bug man to filch things from the Jeffersonian’s communal fridge. Unfortunately, he all but finishes the last of intern-of-the-week Finn’s (Luke Kleintank) hot sauce, the recipe to which only Finn’s dearly departed granny had knowledge of.
Fortunately, while Granny may have taken the recipe to her grave, all Hodgins has to do is take it to his mass spec machine and get a breakdown of the chemical compounds. There is a rather cheesy line in which a sullen Finn tells Hodgins that the unidentifiable compound is love, but this is easily eclipsed when Angela later implies Finn was right, because only love would make Hodgins track down and reproduce the hot sauce. All’s well that ends well, though, and it looks like the Cantilever fortune might just be rebuilt on “Thurston & Opie’s Hot Sauce” and backed by Susan Feniger herself.
Then, of course, there’s the murder itself. The crime scene is somewhat unique but lacks the “ick” factor the show is known for. There’s all of the suspects from drunk Judge Trudy (Gina Hecht) to angry intern Jill (Allison Scagliotti) to Bailiff Griff (Jason Gerhardt) and some assorted extras.
The murderer turns out to be Griff, but more importantly, Bones once again goes for a revenge killing of a not-so-great human being. Granted, not every episode needs to tug at the heartstrings, but it seems like there has to be more than just this one other fallback. On the plus side, the thought of Booth being stripped of his pants by a mob of squealing girls hoping for a stripper should be enough to make some fans smile until the show resumes with new episodes in two weeks.
Bones airs Mondays @8pm on Fox.