BONES Recap: 'The Puzzler in the Pit' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

BONES Recap: ‘The Puzzler in the Pit’

November 20, 2014 by  


Hey BONES pals! This episode, “The Puzzler in the Pit,” was one of the final three of 2014 (find out more about a BONES hiatus here) — what did you think about it? There was a death, a doula (played by Mindy Cohn), and a delivery room…and a lot more, so let’s discuss.


The Scene of the Crime: In a different twist, the episode starts in the lab, as a set of remains are brought in from a fracking site. Daisy is there to assist, even though she could give birth at any moment. Brennan realizes the victim is a male in his 40s, and the team also discovers a polymer plate in his skull, one of only two recorded cases. His bones are incredibly porous and low in density, partly due to acid having been poured on his body. Hodgins stops the effect of the acid by using baking powder.

The Victim: Angela is able to pull up a picture, and Cam recognizes the photo as Lawrence Brooks, a premier crossword puzzle creator.

The Suspects:

  • Amelia Brooks: Lawrence’s wife didn’t report him missing. She says she just figured he was away creating a new puzzle.
  • Alexis Sherman: Lawrence’s assistant was very ambitious and resentful that he wouldn’t accept any of her puzzle submissions. With Lawrence’s death, she stands to get his job and his generous salary.
  • Emory Stewart: Alexis states Emory was around their office the day before Lawrence died, and was somewhat aggressive toward him. Booth and Aubrey question him, and he insists he was a big fan writing a book about Lawrence.
  • Donald McKean (played by Sam Lloyd): Lawrence’s puzzle rival and one time classmate sends him a cruel and threatening voicemail and accuses Lawrence of stealing one of his puzzles.

The Case Progression:

Lawrence had a cast on his body, and Angela pulls etchings of what was written on it. There are two sets of handwriting, both with crossword clues. One is more aggressive and threatening than the other. Cam recognizes the non-threatening handwriting as Lawrence’s — she has an autographed copy of a crossword puzzle. Cam is also able to run a report on a small trace of blood, and it is a tentative match for Lawrence.

B&B discuss the case at the diner, and Booth tells her about the threatening voicemail Lawrence received. Aubrey shows up and tells them about Emory and his prior records of assault and DUIs. Booth interrogates Emory and accuses him of being a stalker. “You’ve done your homework,” Emory says. “It’s sort of my job,” Booth replies — perfectly. Emory insists he was just writing a book about Lawrence and offers up his manuscript for Booth to examine.

Brennan and Daisy examine the remains and find evidence of very brittle bones, including broken fingers. Cam and Hodgins join and they realize that it is possible Lawrence had Alzheimer’s, possibly caused by his skull surgery. The medicine for that would have caused his bone deterioration.

Booth and Aubrey bring Donald McKean in. He admits he is a rival of Lawrence’s, but that instead of stealing his puzzles, Lawrence stole one of his. He even mailed a copy of his puzzle to himself. Booth and Aubrey are less than convinced; Aubrey asks him if he has a third envelope with an actual alibi. Good one!

Aubrey tells Booth that Brooks’ online fan sites show discussions that his puzzles have changed. They figure it was because of the Alzheimer’s, which would also mean he could have written both sets of clues on his cast. But if he was suffering from the disease, why didn’t his wife say so? They bring Amelia back in for questioning, and she admits she knew but kept it a secret to honor her husband’s wishes. Aubrey wants to know why he didn’t retire, and she says they needed the money. He had hundreds of rough draft puzzles, and she continued to submit them. Booth and Aubrey don’t understand why she would need money. She tells them that Lawrence did have a lot of money, but had no idea where it was. Booth says he’ll help find the paper trail.

Angela traces the money to an online gambling site, and while Booth wants to be involved, Aubrey takes that one and tracks the bookie down. He admits to breaking Brooks’ fingers but says that he was only the money supplier; the real gambler was Alexis.

Booth and Aubrey question her, and she admits she took the money but planned to pay him back. But she never killed him. Booth arrests her for theft, but they still have to solve the murder.

Daisy goes into labor and after kicking the doula out of the hospital room, Brennan helps her deal with painful contractions by talking through the case. Daisy realizes that the victim’s wounds indicate a struggle, but that the blood found on the body would be from a relative such as a son.

As he leaves the FBI building to head to the hospital, Booth tasks Aubrey with looking over Emory’s manuscript for any other suspects or a way to pin the murder on Alexis. When Daisy mentions the possibility of a son, Booth calls Aubrey, who has already discovered Brooks did give up a child for adoption when he was younger. All signs point to Emory.

The Verdict: Aubrey talks with Emory, asking him what happened. He admits that after his parents died, he found the adoption papers in his parents’ effects, and he just wanted to get to know Lawrence. At first Brooks sounded eager to meet him, but he never showed up at the designated place. Emory went to his house and followed him, and when Lawrence didn’t acknowledge him or their relationship at all, they argued. Emory pushed him, and when Brooks died, he freaked and used the acid. He doesn’t know why Brooks didn’t want a relationship with him. Aubrey tells him that his Alzheimer’s likely made it so he didn’t recall the conversation; Emory is horrified, realizing he could have helped his biological father.


The squint subplot surrounded Daisy’s (very realistic) plan to use a doula when giving birth to her son. I thought Mindy Cohn was great as the somewhat flaky Valentina, and it was fun to see Angela and Cam’s reactions to her. I didn’t care for the Brennan and Daisy scene where Brennan said she is told her people skills are bad. Ugh, NO! And it wasn’t even true. The scene at the beginning with Booth was excellent, and Brennan helping Daisy concentrate on the case through her painful contractions was great. Angela never said Brennan’s people skills were bad, and so then Daisy’s sudden lucid “I’m doing the best I can” was an awkward chastisement. Bad all around and unnecessary.

I liked all of the work that Cam and Angela and Hodgins did on the case, and with Daisy; it was nice without being over the top. I especially liked Hodgins really centering in on what was bothering Daisy and talking with her. All of that was very good.

I really liked Aubrey in this episode; I like it better when he’s not doing the whole “eating a ton throughout the episode” thing. He was great in the field and in the interrogation room. The scene where he took charge on Booth re: the gambling website was kind of intense in a strange way, but ultimately good. It was nice to see Booth realize that Aubrey knows some of his business and that he’ll push it if necessary, but it was also good to see Booth is still alpha in that work relationship.


The B&B stuff in this episode was hit or miss for me. I LOVED the first scene, where they were gathering up all of Christine’s goods to loan/give to Daisy; I liked that they were both committed to that and to being there for the new baby. It was also fun when they got calls about the case and responded to each one in unison — very cute, and I don’t think that has happened before. Either way, it was fun.

I did not love the whole “schmo” stuff at the diner.

I also really loved the scenes at the hospital where (a) Brennan gave Booth “seriously?” looks when he was trying to tell her how to handle Daisy and trying to escape the delivery room, haha, and (b) the last scene when Booth held up his little namesake and he and Brennan cooed over the little guy. Very bittersweet. I could write a mile long post about Booth being the one to say there’s more than one kind of family yet still being surprised when people want to be in his family, but I’ll just say this, the final scene was very special.

I do hope it’s the end of Daisy playing the “Lance would want me at the lab” or “Lance would have wanted you to ______” card on Booth. It works better when it’s B&B extending toward Daisy and SLWS vs. her expecting it. Maybe expecting is the wrong word (and it’s true that Sweets did idolize B&B) and it did work in this instance. I just hope that (based on Daisy’s previous manipulative nature), it doesn’t become a recurring thing.

All in all, I thought this episode had a lot of good elements but felt a little bit disjoined. I think it’s fun when the show gets a little nerdy and the crossword puzzle case was fun, even if they could have gone further with it.

But what do you think — what did you like or not like about this episode? Were you surprised by the killer? Did you like how they handled Sweets and Daisy’s baby being born? The comments are open; speak your mind!

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Filed under Bones


10 Responses to “BONES Recap: ‘The Puzzler in the Pit’”

  1. bountypeaches on November 21st, 2014 2:38 pm

    It was an okay episode. I liked the Daisy stuff. Honestly I am not a big fan of Sweets wanting to name his son after Booth. Booth and him were friends but his adoptive parents gave him a new life. They taught him that good people could heal broken people. Gave him the motivation to be a psychologist. Sweets should’ve wanted to honour them.

    I think they are over playing Sweets and Booth’s bromance. They were friends, yes. But it wasn’t such an amazing relationship. I never saw that Booth had much of an impact on Sweet’s life. If anything Brennan was the one that wanted to include Sweets in their family and pushed Booth to open up.

    I have to admit I am starting to lose interest in the show given the limited number of B&B scenes. Normally I used to watch the episodes again and again but these last 3 or 4 episodes I haven’t bothered. There is no romance. No tenderness. And Brennan is repeatedly being made to look stupid. Last week Brennan who takes everything literally is suddenly able to understand the metaphoric use of the word “jackass”. But this week again she is overly literal. At least keep her consistent. Brennan used to be an assured confident women in the first 3 seasons– never this clueless. After all her supposed emotional growth is it necessary to keep using her as the butt of jokes?

  2. Dlg on November 21st, 2014 8:23 pm

    Amen, and thank you! I am glad that someone else is noticing the non-existence of B&B TOGETHERNESS!!! That has been the key to this show all these years! I always watched the show to see B&B work and build a life together, not to watch Aubrey in every frame! Does it make any sense to you that the two supposed “LEAD” characters are now just “bookends” in this show?! Booth and Bones don’t touch each other hardly at all – barely any interaction so far this season!! We waited forever to see some emotional, romantic scenes between these two, and yet they won’t even kiss (or hug) each other hello and goodbye!! I am glad to see someone acknowledge the REGRESSION of Brennan’s character. Remember when Brennan had some really good, snarky come-back lines for Booth when the show started? She used to have a little bit of wittiness about her! She used to know some of the “common” language and phrases like “booty call”, “marching to the beat of a different drum”, etc. In season 1, she showed more empathy toward others than she has the past couple of seasons. For example, she was the one who was able to interact with the little foster boy, and she was the one who called off Booth’s threats toward the Spanish woman, and then paid for a funeral in “The Woman in the Garden”. She used to use her martial arts skills, which I thought was awesome! She acted her IQ (whatever that is supposed to be). Lately, they have gone WAY overboard with the “Holier Than Thou”, snotty attitude! She was not that extreme when the show started – she acted more human than that! The main thing is that she actually acted like a highly-skilled genius; people can be awkward around others and not be totally ignorant acting!! The past two or three seasons, the writers have had Emily acting like a cold, helpless, clueless, nerd a large part of the time. I want B&B back, and the Brennan from season 1 – just softer and more open-hearted as she should be by now!!

  3. Paige on November 21st, 2014 8:53 pm

    The whole show is just not the same. They will have to stop talking about the Boreanaz/Deschanel chemistry if they don’t give them more scenes together and redevelop some of the intimacy. Booth touched Aubrey more than he touched Brennan in the last episode. When they are together, there is a bar or a table between them. I usually watch the episodes over and over too. I have already deleted two or three off my DVR. There is nothing there to rewatch. Bring back my old Bones.

  4. Jo on November 22nd, 2014 1:54 pm

    Dig & Page, I agree with everything you said. It’s so sad to see a great show like Bones fall apart. I hope TPTB wake up and bring back the show we all love for its finial good bye. I love this show I want it to end with high praise. 10 seasons is a great accomplishment it deserves to end on a high note.

  5. Laura Opper on November 22nd, 2014 6:54 pm

    I miss the old Bones, too, but I am not sure there is much that can be done about it. No one is listening. It seems to me that Aubrey is being pushed on us as a sort of new main character instead of B&B. Is there a spin off in the works with him as the title character? I am pretty sure 10 years is the end of the run for this series, but I really would rather it go out in a blaze of chemistry between our protagonists instead of being dragged down and grinding to a halt.

  6. Athena on November 22nd, 2014 8:43 pm

    I do not understand the writers of Bones. I agree that there is something amiss in how the Booth/Brennan relationship is being written. If it is not the writers’ fault, then maybe Emily and David should go back to their drama teacher and practice having chemistry. I never get up without kissing my husband in the morning. There is not even a tender look between these two. The writers better start writing to capitalize on their chemistry. I know it’s not Emily and David’s fault or lack of chemistry — they are adorable in the interviews — always sweet and tender and funny. It is definitely the writers who are messing up this show for me. I hope they change — pronto!!!

  7. Nancy on November 23rd, 2014 3:23 pm

    The lack of B&B scenes is starting to really be glaring. Is there a reason why? Will we be learning the reason soon?

  8. Nancy on November 23rd, 2014 6:43 pm

    Does anyone know why there are fewer B&B scenes than ever before? Will we be getting an explanation any time soon? I feel things have changed a lot and not for the better. I like Aubrey, but isn’t Brennan Booth’s partner or did I miss something where they have already explained the change?


  9. Diana on November 30th, 2014 5:04 pm

    Since Bones won’t be back on until March, it looks like we are not only getting screwed out of our two main characters, we will not even get a full season – unless they air further into the summer than usual! WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!?!

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