[From a podium on stage, Dr. Brennan is giving a lecture to a large group of anthropology students. Behind her shines a slide showing a variety of what look to be skull fragments.]
BRENNAN: …the F.B.I. and the Jeffersonian have forged a mutually beneficial, if somewhat tense, relationship which survives to this day. Thank you.
GOODMAN: Thank you, Dr. Brennan. Are there any questions?
After a few student questions, Booth just can’t stay out of it!
BOOTH: I have a question regarding role of the F.B.I. in your book: Who do you base the brilliant and insightful Special Agent Andy Lister on? Because, you know, I’m pretty sure it was me.
BRENNAN: What are you doing here, Booth?
He’s there to fetch her for a case, but stops at the sight of her new car.
BRENNAN: What? My publishers gave it to me.
BOOTH: Gave it to you?
BRENNAN: Book sales are pretty good. It’s supposed to be a nice car.
BOOTH: Gave it to you?
BRENNAN: How about I drive for once?
BOOTH: No, I cannot show up at a crime scene in that.
BOOTH: Because it would detract from the gravity of my F.B.I. presence.
They find out the victim is a child and the squints have a hard time with the remains. Meanwhile, there’s party planned and everyone’s invited!
GOODMAN: These are invitations to a banquet.
BRENNAN: You called a special meeting to invite us to a party?
GOODMAN: Don’t this of it as an invitation, consider it a summons. It’s for donors. When I said you should think of this invitation as a summons, I understated. It’s a subpoena. A grand-jury subpoena. Ignore it at your own peril.
BRENNAN: You’re not gonna fire us if we don’t go.
GOODMAN: No, not fire you, but I can move your parking spot to Lot M. Enjoy the shuttle ride.
Early Brennan is great at showing her humanity:
BRENNAN: Something wrong?
ZACK: These are the smallest remains I’ve ever worked on.
BRENNAN: That’s a valid observation, Zack, but it’s not helpful to the investigation.
ZACK: Sorry, Dr. Brennan.
BRENNAN: I was at Waco, Branch Davidian compound. I helped identify children who had been killed in the fire. Seventeen of them.
ZACK: So, you’re saying I’ll get used to it?
BRENNAN: No, I’m saying you’ll never get used to it.
ZACK: So, I’m always going to feel terrible?
BRENNAN: What helps me is to pull back emotionally. Just… put your heart in a box.
ZACK: I am not good with metaphor, Dr. Brennan.
BRENNAN: Focus on the details.
ZACK: Details. Yeah, I can do that.
While they progress on the case, Angela tries to get to the bottom of Hodgins’ anger with the party invitation…
ANGELA: I get that you’re a little off-kilter. Mad at the government, conspiracy of dunces, all that. Maybe even furious that you’ve had to mount a little boy’s jawbone inside a box to find out what killed him. What I don’t get is why going to a banquet makes you angry. Anger is only fear, turned inwards.
However, she is struggling with her own job at the Jeffersonian in general.
BRENNAN: Are you thinking of leaving the Jeffersonian?
ANGELA: I’m not really this person.
BRENNAN: What person?
ANGELA: I’m not like you. I’m not driven by the need for justice and all that. I’m a good-time girl.
BRENNAN: We have good times.
ANGELA: Cracking jokes over murdered skeletons is not good times.
ANGELA: This is the longest I’ve ever had a job. That’s because of you.
BRENNAN: If this is about hours, or time to do your own art, then-
ANGELA: Just let me work on it, okay? I’m an artist. I used to draw naked guys. Now I draw dead guys.
BRENNAN: I’m afraid Angela might quit.
BOOTH: I’m amazed she stuck it out this long.
BOOTH: Oh, because she’s human. I’m sorry, Bones, it’s just that, you know, uh… Angela didn’t get the same training that the rest of you got on, uh, planet Vulcan.
BRENNAN: I don’t know what that means.
BOOTH: She’s more sensitive.
ZACK: Who’s more sensitive?
BOOTH: She likes puppies and kitties and ducklings, and, you know, Jell-O shots and, you know, dancing on bars.
BRENNAN: I know that. She’s my best friend. And Angela’s not the only person in the world who likes baby animals.
ZACK: I never got the big attraction.
During the investigation, they find out that the victim’s mother is not his biological mother; she took the child from an addict. Booth pursues the proper channels, but Brennan is unhappy.
BOOTH: She confessed to kidnapping.
BRENNAN: Margaret Sanders did nothing more than respond to the anthropological imperative. She saw an orphan, and reacted.
BOOTH: This is not a National Geographic study, okay? This is the suburbs.
BRENNAN: Why would she kill the boy? She obviously loved him.
BOOTH: There are situations, right? The kid gets sick, he doesn’t turn out to be what you wanted. I bet that you could give me a dozen examples of societies that have killed their own young.
BRENNAN: What about Shawn and David Cook? Where do they go now?
BOOTH: Back into the system.
BRENNAN: Do you have any idea how bad the foster care system is?
BOOTH: Do you? What do you want to do, hmm? Do you want to kidnap them, the way that she kidnapped Charlie?
BRENNAN: I want you to let them go home to Margaret Sanders.
BOOTH: It’s not gonna happen.
At the lab, they start to uncover the mystery that is Hodgins…
ZACK: I mean, what makes you think I know Hodgins better than anyone else?
ANGELA: You’re roommates.
ZACK: I live above his garage.
ANGELA: But you see a lot of each other.
ZACK: Not really.
ANGELA: He drives you to work.
ZACK: I’ve never been up to the main house.
ANGELA: The main house?
ZACK: It’s at the opposite end of the driveway on the other side of the tennis courts across from pond.
BOOTH: Well, he must be one of those Hodgins.
ZACK: Who are ‘those’ Hodgins?
BOOTH: You know, the Cantilever Group Hodgins?
ANGELA: Oh my God.
ZACK: The same Cantilever Group that generates more G.N.P. than Europe?
ANGELA: Get this. They are the single biggest donors to the Jeffersonian Institution.
BOOTH: That makes Hodgins your boss.
ANGELA: What do you guys even talk about when he drives you to work?
ZACK: I mostly sleep. Hodgins mostly yells at the radio.
Booth has to interrogate the victim’s brother…but both he and Brennan have to struggle with their emotional connections to the situation.
BOOTH: Shawn, you know what that is?
SHAWN: A scar?
BOOTH: Yeah. Got it when I was playing soldier with my brother Jared.
SHAWN: Did it hurt?
BOOTH: Yeah, it hurt. But it was an accident. You got any scars?
SHAWN: My dad did it with a cigarette.
BOOTH: He shouldn’t have done that.
BRENNAN: Foster kids are powerless. They’re treated like garbage. You’re in a position to do something about it, and all you have to say is ‘He’s not being aggressive enough’?
PROSECUTOR: Dr. Brennan, you know this boy may very well have beaten a child to death with a rock?
Booth, sensing this is personal and important to Brennan, helps out:
BOOTH: Bones, I thought you’d like to know that Shawn and David are in emergency care. Pulled some strings, you know, to make sure they- they get to stay together.
BRENNAN: That’s good, thanks.
BOOTH: It’s the best I could do.
BRENNAN: Yeah, I understand.
BOOTH: No, you say you understand, but you don’t. Not really. I mean, if you don’t like the rule, you ignore it, right?
BOOTH: I can’t have that. And if you want to do this-
BRENNAN: Do what?
BOOTH: Work on cases, you know, with me. Outside the lab. If you wanna do that, I need to know that you will respect the law.
BRENNAN: Tell you what, if I can’t respect the law, I can at least respect you.
BOOTH: Well- Yeah, that’ll work, too.
Hodgins tries to get the nosy but well-meaning squint squad off his back:
HODGINS: The reason that I do not want to go to that banquet is that the other members of the ruling elite will make a big fuss about seeing me. My secret will be out and my life, this life that I love, will be ruined. I’m asking you, please, please just let me be Jack Hodgins who works in the lab.
Brennan insists on questioning the victim’s brother.
BRENNAN: You have to get Shawn to tell you where he took Charlie when they left the mall.
BOOTH: He won’t talk to me.
BRENNAN: Let me do it. I know what to say.
BRENNAN: Do you remember me, Shawn?
SHAWN: The museum lady. The one who’s so smart.
BRENNAN: Yeah, I’m pretty smart. Smart enough to know that you didn’t kill Charlie. You don’t have to say anything, Shawn. Just listen. They give you a garbage bag to carry all your stuff, like they’re telling you everything you own is garbage. And then you have to go to a new school in clothes that smell like garbage bags.
SHAWN: All the regular kids know you’re a foster kid. How do you know what it’s like?
BRENNAN: They bounce you from place to place, and it’s never home. Sometimes the foster parents are nice.
BRENNAN: The man you took Charlie to, the man who hurt him, he knows that. You didn’t know that he’d hurt Charlie, but he did. And then he told you that Margaret would blame you, that she’d hate you. But this man is lying to you, Shawn. I can make sure that you go back to Margaret.
SHAWN: How? You work at a museum.
BRENNAN: I have a friend at the FBI. If I ask him to, he will make sure that you and David get to live with Margaret again.
Brennan makes a bold promise that Booth has to now see through.
BOOTH: Oh, man.
BRENNAN: But you have to tell me who hurt Charlie.
BOOTH: I’m gonna need your help to keep the promises she made to that boy.
PROSECUTOR: Hey, I- I can’t promise-
BOOTH: Mrs. Johnson, my people and your people are gonna have to make this happen.
SHAWN: What if Margaret doesn’t want me anymore? Charlie was her real son.
BRENNAN: Charlie wasn’t her biological son either. Charlie was just like you: someone that Margaret chose to love. I don’t think we should let that man take you and David and Charlie away from Margaret, do you?
BRENNAN: We should stop him. You and I should stop him.
(I miss when Brennan was a human. How would she have handled this in seasons 10-12?!)
BOOTH: Look, I’m sorry.
BRENNAN: For what?
BOOTH: You have personal experience in the system.
BRENNAN: I was a foster child until my grandfather got me out. (<———oops!)
BOOTH: Yeah, when you said ‘They take you away from your brother,’ I kind of had the feeling you weren’t talking about David Cook.
BRENNAN: Booth, I’ll tell you all about it one day, but tonight I have to get dressed for a party.
And now, for a famous line in Bones history:
Booth steps in again, this time to help Hodgins.
BOOTH: Dr. Goodman, we need Hodgins in the lab tonight. FBI needs this analyzed by morning.
HODGINS: Uh, I’ll get right on it.
GOODMAN: Wait a minute, what case file is this?
BRENNAN: Am I supposed to know about it?
ANGELA: Booth mentioned it to me earlier today.
BRENNAN: That’s good enough for me.
GOODMAN: Fine. You’re off the hook, Dr. Hodgins. Let’s not keep the limo waiting.
HODGINS (to Booth): Thanks.
And now, for a little bit of B&B togetherness….
BOOTH: You look nice. Better than nice, you look, uh… very…
BOOTH: Bones, how did you know I was gonna keep your promise?
BRENNAN: What promise?
BOOTH: To get Shawn and David back with Margaret Sanders.
BRENNAN: Maybe I was lying. To catch the bad guy. I learned that trick from you. The end justifies the means.