THE CASE: The episode opened to a police training exercise in which a body flew from an exploding meth lab. Meanwhile, Booth and Brennan are in a session with Sweets and Booth is relishing in the near-completion of the Rico investigation, a case that will boost his career and raise his salary. They are called to the crime scene, but not before Booth gets a call from his brother and further piques Sweets interest in his past.
There are multiple cases of mistaken identity before they correctly identify his body as Anthony Pongetti, a gambling con man who stole the identity of a fellow gambler, Jim Stegman. The team worked to solve the case with the long suffering Clark Eddison, who returned because they ‘are the best’. It was fun to see everyone welcome him back with open arms and more than a little good-natured teasing, he fits in, and hopefully they have closed the door on Zack replacements.
The state police send Trooper Brian Walcox to ask that Booth refrain from mentioning that the body was found during police training. Booth has been working with the state police on the Rico case but refuses to cover up for that, instead suggesting they try telling the truth, a move that will come back to haunt him later in the episode. With a group of predictable suspects they solve the crime relatively quickly, but not without incident. Brennan is shot in the arm when they go to take down the corrupt sheriff.
THE SECONDARY STORYLINE: It is Seely’s birthday and The Brothers Booth took center stage and I finally met Booth's younger brother - Jared Booth, who is now working at the pentagon. When Brennan agrees to take Cams place as Jared’s date for a cocktail party, Jared gives her his take on Booths career. “I don’t mean he’s incapable…my brother's very, very capable. Its like Seely’s afraid of success, he stays in his comfort zone.”
The fact that Brennan took his words seriously and believed him, really disappointed me because I was under the impression that their relationship was stronger than that. Jared proceeds to show how he Is different from his coward brother by kissing her.
Booth is called away from the investigation when his brother is arrested for drunk driving and the arresting officer is the state trooper Booth had refused to help, earlier in the episode. To save his brother's career he agrees to give the state police full credit for the Rico case, exchanging his career boost to keep his brother out of Jail.
When Brennan realizes that he didn’t get credit and he appears to not care, she attributes it to what Jared said. Angela advises her against pursuing a relationship with Jared, and Cam, with the help of Sweets, tries to explain the dark childhood of the brothers, and Booth’s role as protector of his Jared. This storyline comes to a head when Brennan tells Booth what Jared told her and couldn’t say no when he asked if she thought he was the type of man who sabotaged himself, a loser. The tension between Brennan and Booth was overpowering and I honestly felt like yelling at the TV. Why did Brennan have to be so……so bones? She redeemed herself when she confronted Jared about being the reason behind Booth's sacrifice and in a classic move, after making her exit, returned to push him off his bar stool.
The episode ended with the entire team (including Clark!) celebrating Booth's birthday. Brennan gives a lovely speech that is one part apology and one part praise, she tells Booth he needs to let his brother learn from his own mistakes. He realizes that he isn’t doing his brother any favors and tells Jared he won't bail him out again and he needs to stop drinking. The younger Booth brushes him off and the show ends with Booth and Brennan sitting side by side and Booth confiding in her that his father was an abusive alcoholic.
The GOOD: The entire episode was first rate. I especially liked seeing Cam's long history with the Booth Brothers, Clark's interaction with Hodgins and Angela, Brendan Fehr as Jared Booth, I was uneasy when I heard of the casting choice, but he was perfect for the part, and last but not least, the further developments in the Booth/Brennan relationship. They are perfect together but the tension is this episode was sorely needed and the ending was the perfect touch.
The BAD: I feel that the cases in the past two episodes have been lacking due to the extensive focus on character developments, and while I love the Bones team, I also like the crime aspect of it and hopefully well rounded cases will return next week.
All in all this was one of the best episodes to date, I believe Brendan Fehr is in two episodes this season, so I am sure his charismatic, alcoholic character will pop up again.