"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bones: Mother and Child In The Bay

Should you decide to eat your dinner during the watching of Bones, and you don't have a strong stomach, be prepared to go hungry the rest of the night or perhaps make a visit to the porcelain phone. Because it can get pretty grisly, icky and gooey. Hence, the reason why they preface the show with a 'Viewer Discretion is Advised' message. Just a little warning, courtesy of me.

Don't believe me (you never do)? Well, take this episode: the body of a woman missing for over a year is discovered floating in Delaware Bay (that's in the Mid-Atlantic part of the United States, for all of you West Coasters). Not only do they discover her body, but the body of an unborn baby as well. As a father (which I didn't know about), Special Agent Seeley Booth takes the investigation of this homicide seriously. Unfortunately the main suspect in the murder, her husband, has suddenly disappeared. Well, if he was found and confess to the murder it would be an awfully short episode.

As per many of these crime procedurals, the evidence on the table is not all that it seems. First, the stab wounds were not made by a man. Using a scientific experiment, stabbing a dummy with a knife connected to a computer, it is determined that the force of impact was performed by a woman, possibly the current girlfriend of the potential murder suspect.

Next, there are traces of not only fresh water in the skeletal bones of the murder victim, but salt water as well. It takes the talents of Jeffersonian Institution doctor Jack Hodgins, expert in soil and sediment, to conclude that the victim was originally murdered and dumped in a fresh water creek in Gloucester City, New Jersey (perhaps by Tony Soprano).

Finally, the baby isn't hers. Oh, the victim was pregnant, but the baby was cut out of her and replaced with one that had died by Shaken Baby Syndrome. How do the doctors at the Institution know that? The overlap of the cranial bones points to a breast-fed baby, no older than two weeks.

Using the extremely cool holographic tank, expert Angela Montenegro is able to put a face on the dead child's skull and age it to a point where they can make a facial match to another person. Turns out the profile matches one of the mothers who was a friend of the victim. She had shaken her baby to death, lured the victim up to New Jersey for some relaxation (God knows why), stabbed her above the stomach, and took the unborn baby.

Other than the fact that the plot could have been ripped from Law & Order: SVU, I found this episode to be very enjoyable. The only thing about Bones that makes me uneasy (other than the first 20 minutes) is all of the scientific conversation. True, Agent Booth is there to provide a layman's translation; yet, it's still hard to follow unless you subscribe to Scientific American or The New England Journal of Medicine. I know they're all supposed to be very smart and the tops in their fields, but it can be a bit frustrating at times.

Enjoy your liver and onions smothered in gray gravy.

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