An artificial intelligence pioneer gets himself killed while making a deal with the devil in this episode of Bones. “The Final Chapter: The Brain in the Bot” is a perfect combination of Bones-y comedy and heartwarming remembrances after the cloying darkness knit by the Puppeteer case. A lighter foray into the world of crime solving, this episode has one of the most enjoyable recurrences of Bones mythology in a long, long time. I could just kiss the Bones Fairies for that one scene alone.
What’s so fantastic about “The Brain in the Bot” is that Booth is a stitch, Cam is stunning, Angela is humble, Hodgins is goofy and Brennan, well, she’s a constant surprise — and there’s even some singing. That might even be my favorite part and a big clue about that fab blast from the past that I alluded to a moment ago. I see a lot of memes in Bones‘ social media future.
Birthday Brennan Likes Surprises as Long as She’s Not the Recipient
It’s Brennan’s 40th birthday and she’s planning her own surprise party because, well, planning surprises for other people is much more fun than having a party sprung on you on your most vulnerable day. I couldn’t agree more.
To Booth’s chagrin, his wife also refuses to entertain questions about what she wants for a gift. Of course, we all know she’s a millionaire and wants for nothing, but she could use this as an opportunity to get Booth to do something special. I’m thinking perhaps something priceless like a massage or a lap dance, maybe a little light house work wearing bedroom slippers, glasses and a smile. Or anything including the aforementioned covered in chocolate. Just sayin’.
Everyone is invited to this party, so Brennan’s birthday nookie is going to have to wait until later. By the end of the episode, Brennan’s surprises for everyone else (and Booth’s surprise for her) are revealed and they couldn’t be sweeter. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we have a case to solve.
Hodgins Accidentally Goes Bald While Gathering Evidence at the Crime Scene
Hodgins accidentally shaves off his own eyebrow at the crime scene as the episode opens. The absent eyebrow is fodder for numerous embarrassing moments (read: hilarious) throughout the episode, including Jack taping his beard hair onto his brow as a prosthesis, which later falls off and gets mistaken for a bird nest. He reattaches it, which is funny in and of itself, but he’s also suspended (like Tinker Bell) over an enormous diorama of the entire forest where the victim was found.
He reattaches it cattywampus to his brow line and looks directly into the camera, reminding me of those scenes in past seasons when all we saw was Hodgins’ little face and one enormous eye looking through a magnifying glass. How awesome is that? Don’t you just want to smoosh kisses all over his funny face?
The Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Got the Snot Beat Out of Him
The victim, Ian Goldberg, is identified by a not-yet-unreleased bioelectric fitness monitor fused to his skin when he was found in a forest by some competitive puppy competition wackos. Ian, an artificial intelligence pioneer, was developing robots to help kids with autism succeed in a world of confusing human social interactivity. These robots can identify human emotion by interpreting their facial reactions. When Brennan and Booth visit Ian’s company, Social Cybernetics, Ian’s child-sized robot, “AMI” (Advanced Modular Intelligence), diagnoses Brennan as 78% curious and 22% jealous, and Booth as 94% amused and 6% skeptical. That sounds about right, doesn’t it?
Ian was hit all over his body with all kinds of things, from all kinds of different angles. The team just can’t figure out what, who or how. At Social Cybernetics, Brennan and Booth confront Allen, a surly a computer coder with busted-up knuckles matching the injuries on the back of Ian’s skull. The guy is a complete douche, admitting that he punched Ian in the back of the head because he didn’t want to work more overtime to meet a deadline. Wow.
Allen directs B&B to a group called ‘Stop the Robopocalypse,’ who fear that robots will take over and make humanity their bitches for life. According to Allen, Ian got his jollies by visiting Robopocalypse’s chat rooms to provoke the members into online arguments. The organization’s leader, Mathew Coburn, got so pissed that he crashed one of Ian’s meetings and hit him in the leg with a baseball bat.
Coburn admits to hitting Ian in the leg but insists he was actually trying to hit the robot. Ian saw the blow coming and moved to protect AMI, ending up getting cracked in the leg himself. Fair enough. So now where do we go?
Brennan Balks Over Daisy and Angela’s Professional Successes … Or Does She?
Brennan’s ego rears its tentacled head once again but with an interesting twist this time. Very early on in “The Brain in the Bot,” we learn that Daisy and Angela’s hard work and dedication at the Jeffersonian are about to pay off in spades for each of them. Daisy, having recently completed her PhD in forensic anthropology, has applied for the position as lead anthropologist at the National Forensic Lab (whose acronym, coincidentally, sounds like a football organization) and wants Brennan to give her a good reference. Brennan’s hackles go up, but she begrudgingly agrees, cautioning Daisy not to be too optimistic because of her youth. This freaks Daisy out, of course, and much angst ensues for our formerly obnoxiously insecure squintess.
Angela learns that she’s won a McArthur Fellowship Genius Grant for her groundbreaking development of the Angelatron. Condescending Brennan shows up and gets immediately weird about her BFF’s achievement. This strikes me as odd since she’s just not as ruthlessly competitive (or crass) as she used to be now that her life is much fuller. Hence, it looks like we’re being set up for something. Then again, it’s not unusual for a woman to hit a milestone and scrutinize her life’s accomplishments. So maybe that’s what’s going on? We’ll get to the twist in just a moment.
Monetizing Science Through Munitions Could Be at the Crux
Mathew has a burr up his backside about the weaponization of scientific breakthroughs and suggests that Ian was going to sell his technology to the highest bidder, which would probably be the military. He’s kinda not wrong, people. This shite happens all the time. Research is expensive, but selling to the devil is too. Ian lost his life in the process. However, the devil he danced with wasn’t the military; it was something much more provocative and more profitable.
Artificial Intelligence and Perhaps a Penchant for Violence?
Back at the lab, Hodgins recreates the crime scene using a diorama of the forest. The trace elements on and in Ian’s wounds say this guy was dragged to hell and back all over the forest then hoisted up into the air in an attempt to decapitate him. What? That’s harsh, man. Since the victim was a genius, the team concludes that the killer must also be, and perhaps the ridiculous proliferation of injuries was a ruse to obfuscate the real cause of death and the specific crime scene.
While Hodgins and Daisy are ruminating over those possibilities, Angela works her magic on AMI’s data banks because Brennan and Booth realize that AMI has an impeccable memory (which will never degrade or warp like our human memories do) and therefore is incapable of lying. Since she may have been the last one to see him alive, Booth interrogates her and learns that her memory banks from the day Ian was killed were erased. At this point, I’m thinking maybe someone at Social Cybernetics knew that AMI herself had killed Ian, but they thought it would ruin the program if it was discovered.
When Angela recovers what AMI saw and heard that day, she finds a recording of Ian setting up an appointment with someone at Patriot Industries that he must not have wanted anyone to know he was meeting with. Why else would he have erased AMI’s memory? Patriot Industries sounds like the military, doesn’t it?
Ian Planned to Sexualize Artificial Intelligence All the Way to the Bank
It turns out Patriot Industries isn’t an arm of the military at all. Aubrey and Booth track down the business and find military-looking crates filled with life-sized sex dolls. I was waiting for the breast cannons to erupt, but it never happened. Remember Frau Farbissina’s Fembots from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery? Ian could have made a killing (pun intended) on the military and Patriot Industries if he’d lived long enough.
So the deal was that Ian and the Patriot Industries douche were joining forces to create fembots who could talk the way men wanted them to talk. But I thought talking was the last thing men wanted sex dolls for … so? Anyway, we’ll let that slide.
Clearly, Patriot Industries had a lot to gain from Ian remaining sentient, so who the frack offed the MOFO?
Ian’s Druggie Buddy in the Forest was the Doer
Who wanted Ian dead? His pot head buddy, Randy Stringer, who had been the first suspect and was immediately disqualified for stupidity. Randy says it was his idea to marry artificial intelligence with the sex industry. Ian arranged to meet Randy in the woods to celebrate. Randy thought he was about to be a millionaire, but all Ian offered him was a Bluetooth radio. Randy was tripping on speed and completely lost his cool so he killed his “partner,” hoisted his body up a tree and killed him. Or did he kill him then hoist him up the tree, or did he puncture him in the cervical spine then kill and hoist? I got lost somewhere in the explanation. Did Randy yank Ian’s corpse all over the woods himself or did he hang him from the tree and whip him around like a tetherball? Bueller? Bueller?
Booth is Hot-Blooded as Hell and “In Tune” with His Bride
My two favorite scenes of the episode feature Brennan and Booth in the car. The first scene is when they are discussing the existence of the human soul and the possibility of it being recreated by technology. Suddenly, “Hot-Blooded” comes on the radio and Booth jams out while his bride watches. My cheeks hurt from the smiles this scene inspires.
The second wonderful scene is when Booth tells Brennan that he’s gotten a date for a hearing with a judge to review new osteological evidence exonerating Zack of charges related to the Gormogon murders. Brennan doesn’t have that evidence yet, but Booth insists he has faith in her finding some between now and the court date. Warms my heart, people. Straight to the core.
Et La Piece de Resistance … Brennan’s Birthday Surprises Surprise Everyone
In the final scene, everyone gathers at the Mighty Hut 2.0. Brennan reveals not one, but three cakes to celebrate the occasion. Brennan surprises Daisy by telling her she gave her a glowing recommendation for that NFL job, and Daisy has been hired. She also reveals she was the one who recommended Angela for the McArthur Genius Grant.
These two accomplishments (in combination with what appears to be a terminal illness for Max) are reminders that the end is near. Bones is laying the groundwork for the 12th episode of the 12th season — “The End in the End” — and the final farewell. It’s bittersweet for those of us who have been here for all 235 hours and every rerun in between. I look forward to sharing the last 10 hours with my BuddyTV Bones fans.
What do you think is happening with Max and why is he hiding it? How will Angela’s grant affect her work at the Jeffersonian? What about Daisy? Has she finally achieved enough confidence to manage a big job like lead anthropologist at the National Forensic Lab? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Bones season 12 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on FOX.
(Images courtesy of FOX)