It's another Bones Christmas show and can only be an improvement upon the last one I suffered through.
Two women dressed as elves are outside in the alley behind the mall. They find a body dressed in a Santa Claus suit in one of the sewer grates.
Meanwhile, Bones is visiting her father. He has a strand of large fat chains around his neck. They're the kind of chains that you use for your snow tires. He wonders why she doesn't ask why he's wearing them. She says it's because he's in jail. If she really thinks that prisons make the convicts wear chains like that, she should be before Congress right now, fighting for his civil rights.
He is wearing them because he is playing Marley in the Christmas play.
They both agree that the last good Christmas they had was 16 years ago when her mother was still alive and before the kids were abandoned. She remembers the Christmas she got a tool box. He said it was for Russ, but she took and Russ let her have it. It reminds me of a story that Ivanka Trump told about her brother getting a building construction set and she took it and built a replica of her father's skyscraper. Donald Trump remonstrated her for taking her brother's gift, but gave her tips on details she missed in the building.
Max says he would like to spend another Christmas with his family. Again she reminds him that he's in jail. So, is Russ and Mom is dead. She said she's going to Peru for the holiday to look at some bodies they found there. He says that skeletons and Christmas aren't a good mix. She insists that she's looking forward to it.
In the car with Booth, he observes that she has that sad little girl look she gets after seeing her father. She denies it. He tells her that Max can still spend Christmas with his family. They can use one of the conjugal visit trailers. She doesn't seem to latch on to this suggestion. What are his plans for Christmas? He says that he is thinking of driving a truck off a bridge, because Rebecca is taking Parker away to Vermont to spend Christmas with her boyfriend, Captain Fantastic (commands a Coast Guard cutter).
Booth says skeletons and Christmas do not mix, just like her father did. Are Booth and her father two of a kind? I'd hope not.
At the crime scene, Cam wonders why Booth is cynical at Christmas. He says no reason. Bones quickly tells Cam that Booth will be without Parker and Cam says "that sucks majorly."
At the lab, when Zach debunks all of the Santa myths and tells them that their victim can't really be Santa, Cam seems to want to believe it's so and that he is.
Brennan goes to see the horrible complaining Russ. When she tells him that the girls can see him in the trailer, he is mad, because he didn't tell them he was in jail.
Booth is asleep on the sofa in her office waiting for news from the squint about their crime. He asks about Russ and tells her that Christmas is about making the impossible happen. Oh, like him spending Christmas with Parker? Why is she rubbing that in? If he were brooding openly about it, that would be cause for her to address it. But he's not and she just keeps raising the subject.
They get an address for the Santa and they seem to be dressed more casually than usual as they walk along the street. He is in a coat and a sweater. She is in jeans and high boots and a knit cap. He pushes her, because it looks like she will be hit by a car. She says that she's sorry he can't spend Christmas with Parker. What! If she doesn't say that every 5 minutes do they think the audience is going to forget? Bones says that's not right for her to take the boy away at Christmas time when she knows how Parker feels about his dad.
The deceased lived above a toy store. And lived like he was almost a real Santa. They find he worked for a temp agency and head there to talk to the employees. In the car, she says, "thinking of Parker?" Oh, man. She won't quit. The writers won't quit. He denies thinking of his son and she denies thinking of her family.
He says she can't blame Russ for not wanting the girls to know the truth. She says he's living a lie and Booth would never do that. He says he doesn't tell Parker the truth about Santa Claus. She says that myth is based on blackmail and she doesn't believe in lying to children. She says by the Santa reasoning they should figure out a lie that Russ can tell the girls so they won't know he's in jail. He says that that is a brilliant idea. She says that it was intended to be a scathing and incisive comment. See, she DOES do sarcasm, even though she said she didn't a couple of episodes ago!
He says she just wants to go to Peru without feeling guilty. She says he needs to accept that he won't be with Parker. I CAN'T TAKE THIS! He has accepted it. He is not in denial. He's not railing against the fates or Rebecca. Why does she keep bringing it up? Does she want him to be miserable? She's like Barbara Walters trying to get someone she's interviewed to cry: "How did it feel when you found your mother dead?" They glower at each other and agree that they are not enjoying Christmas.
Cam and Zach are in the lab and I almost feel that the writers might be thinking of putting them together as I have suggested. She asks him what he is doing. He is going home to Michigan. She is going on a family cruise, but doesn't think she will enjoy it.
At the temp agency, it's full of Santas. They all loved the deceased, Kris Kringle, and are sad that he is dead. He was a model Santa. The best one there. As they gather around to hear the news, Booth tells them that they need to back off.
Bones asks one why he is limping and he asks if she wants to see his shins. She wonders why she would want to see his shins. He says because kids kicked him. Well, if she asked him the question, I assume it's because she thinks he might have been attacked while killing Kringle. So, why would she NOT want to see his shins? I know she only said she didn't for plot humor, but it doesn't make sense, really.
Hodgins is at the lab giving Cam technical information and she says she understands why Booth hates talking to him. Wow, she's just a Booth expert, isn't she. He is surprised. Booth hates talking to him? She softens the blow and she says not him specifically, just lab people. They find that the Santa sat in some expensive Chinese delicacy, so they are looking for his place of death as a Chinese restaurant. Booth heads there in the car, but she can't make it.
Bones says she has a meeting with Caroline to see if she can get the trailer for the family to use. The prosecutor supposedly has to sign off on the arrangement. No way! The prison administrator would handle trailer permissions, not the prosecutor on the murder case. That's so absurd. Booth reminds her that Caroline is a lawyer, so she will probably do Bones the favor, but she will ask for something in return. Bones said that's only fair, but Booth thinks she's likely to change her mind. She doesn't know Caroline like he does.
Caroline says she will grant the trailer but no Christmas tree, because someone else made a knife out of one, so they're banned from now on. However, the Brennan clan can gather in the trailer otherwise, with one condition. Booth said she'd say that.
Caroline: "Did he say I'd ask you to kiss him . . . No cheeks, no noses, right on the lips." She wants them to kiss under mistletoe. When I saw the screen cap for this dvd episode, it was a picture of them kissing and I felt they would do it under mistletoe, but I thought it would be of their own volition. I did not know Caroline would order it! When I heard, I was excited for the scene, because I wanted to see what Booth's surprised reaction would be, more than I wanted to see them lock lips.
Bones: "People kiss people on the nose?"
Caroline says do it under mistletoe. Why?
Caroline: "Because it will amuse me."
Caroline says it's because they are so formal. Agent Booth, Doctor Brennan (they aren't formal with each other really). "It's Christmas and I have a puckish side. That will not be denied." Caroline says they have to kiss for no less than the count of 5 steamboats.
Bones: "That's blackmail."
Caroline: "That's correct."
Caroline says that's the deal, take it or leave it.
Bones tries to bargain: "What about a tree?"
Caroline: "No Christmas tree. No way. Not even if you squeeze his buttocks."
Bones wonders if she can just take Caroline out to dinner instead. Caroline, "You kiss Seeley Booth on the lips and I'll make sure your daddy has his dream Christmas. No tree mind you, but otherwise as good as an accused murderer can expect."
Booth and Hodgins go to the alley behind the Chinese restaurant and finding wallets in the garbage bin conclude that there might have been a Santa pickpocket. Booth walks off leaving a sputtering Hodgins in the garbage bin.
At the diner, Booth is talking to Parker, while Bones is at a nearby counter listening to them. Is Captain Fantastic a new boyfriend or the one we've already seen, because Parker used to like the old one. Booth tells Parker that if his mom likes the man, then they should respect him and like them too. Bones turns around and says, "Is that true?" Booth says he likes the guy. "Wow," a disbelieving Bones snorts. "Bones!" Booth says. Parker worries that Booth will be alone for Christmas (I remember having that fear about my own divorced dad). Booth says he will spend the holiday with Bones and their friends. Bones says, "I'm going to Peru."
Booth: "We're all going to Peru." When Parker goes to wash up Bones says, "You lied a lot to him." Booth: "That's the magic of Christmas, Bones."
Booth talks to a Muslim security guard that might be a suspect. Booth assumes that he doesn't celebrate Christmas, but the guy does. He got into an altercation with a Santa who pickpocketed him and knocked him down, but everyone around looked at him and, due to his ethnicity, thought he might be a terrorist, so he got out of there. Booth looks like he feels contrite about his assumptions about the man.
In her office, when Booth comes in with a clue, Bones is busy moving a chair so she can stand on it and hang mistletoe. She is also chewing gum. She is hilarious because even though she looks a little self-conscious and averts her eyes from him, she also looks purposeful, busy and business like (though smacking gum like a gun moll). Like she's going to do this very professionally and efficiently and not be an embarrassed school girl about it.
As she moves furniture to hang the mistletoe. Booth asks her, "WHAT is with the mistletoe?" I'm sure he's especially wondering, since he knows she doesn't like to celebrate Christmas. She says, "I was going to talk to you about this." She says Caroline said they had to kiss, for her to get the trailer. This is the only way she will let her family have Christmas.
Booth: "By having us kiss."
Bones: "Because she is feeling puckish."
Booth: "Puckish? What's that mean?"
Bones: "Listen Booth, she's going to be here any second. Do you want some gum?"
"No. My breath is just fine." It's not clear whether he is saying it's fine for kissing or whether he is still taking it all in and not aware of what he's saying.
He says that he will talk to Caroline. "No!" Bones exclaims and he jumps, taken aback by her vehemence. He looks like he might have a half smile, as if he's thinking maybe she WANTS to kiss him, for reasons having nothing to do with Caroline.
Bones: "I'm only telling you out of professional courtesy." What? Otherwise she would have just forcefully kissed him, without warning? That might have been better.
Bones: "so that you won't be surprised."
He says that when she says kiss, she means kiss on the cheeks. And he turns his head from side to side to mimic cheek kisses. No, that's not it. Bones: "No, the lips. [he smiles, perhaps, or at least swallows uncomfortably] Like brother and sister. Colleagues. French people who meet on the street."
He exhales, nervously. "Caroline's feeling puckish huh?" As if he thinks puckish might mean something similar to what it rhymes with.
Bones: "it means playful and impish." Caroline comes in and says she's arranged the trailer. What about Bones' end of the deal. Bones points up to the mistletoe, indicating that she's all ready. Caroline pushes Bones underneath the mistletoe, telling him to take a step to his right, "right under the cute little sprig". He opens his mouth to speak, but only gets out half a syllable. Bones grabs him by the collar and kisses. The camera doesn't really stay on their lips that long [though there's an extended DVD version that does], but focuses a little on the heart-shaped space formed between the meeting of their chins and chests.
After the kiss, they look almost smug, satisfied. Booth stumbles backwards, smiling. A lot happier than my morbid two did after they kissed on New Year's Even in Millenium.
Caroline looks on somewhat astounded, as if she got a lot more than she bargained for and it's making her feel rather awkward.
Bones: "Is that enough steamboats?" She asks Caroline.
Caroline (flabbergasted): "The whole flotilla."
Booth: "I don't know what that means, but Merry Christmas (smiling, but looking at Caroline)."
Bones: "It was like kissing my brother."
Caroline: You sure must like your brother.
Booth: (helping) She does.
Bones: I do.
Caroline leaves. Bones says that she's sure Caroline feels really foolish right now. Caroline is thinking they like each other more than she ever thought. Booth gives one of DB's patented sideways glances and says "yeah." Sheepish and stuttering he says he better go look at some . . . forensic evidence. Bones can't think of an adequate excuse either and stutters too that she has stuff to do . . . with Bones. Bones walks over to her desk. Booth, "I understand completely." He pulls a wad of gum out of his mouth, transferred via the kiss. He sticks it back in his mouth and whispers, with nervous smile, "Thanks for the gum."
Why doesn't Booth thank him? That's one of the funniest things about the scene is that she acts like she can molest him at will for the sake of her family's Christmas and he's lucky she even mentioned what was going to happen. She doesn't even consider seeking his cooperation first, much less his permission. That's what makes her "professional courtesy" line so funny.
At diner they meet with Sweets who is in elf ears [I think he's a regular cast member and not the cannibal, darn it!]. Bones says she has a crisis. Booth says, "Just mistletoe."
Bones: "Not the kiss. That was nothing."
Sweets: "You kissed?
Bones: That's not the crisis.
Sweets: Was there tongue"
Booth: "All right. You know what? Get your own sex life."
Bones: That has nothing to do with sex.
Booth: Nothing. There was nothing . . . mistletoe
Bones: Totally sexless.
Bones says that Booth, who is a very honest purpose, says that deception is necessary at this time of year. Sweets agrees. He says that it's necessary for the Christmas spirit, to bring back innocence and joy. It's our responsibility to allow kids this. Bones says "ok." She finds that very helpful. Booth says it's what he's been saying for the last 4 days.
Bones goes to tell Russ that they will lie to the kids and they won't know it's a prison. He is still ungrateful and says that he gets better advice in prison. He also has the nerve to gripe that there's no tree and says it isn't Christmas without a tree. She says she's going to Peru and he complains that dad wants them all there. Those convicts sure want a whole lot.
The lab figures that the killer was probably one of the Santas, who hit Santa with a brass bell. Booth and Bones go back to the temp center to investigate the Santas. They line them up and smell them for Chinese food on the back of their clothes. Not as funny as the show thinks it is. After they arrest young Dom, the other Santas gather around and sing "Santa Claus is coming to town". Booth and Bones look worried and frightened, surrounded by the red and white clad crazy guys.
Again, I should have guessed that the recognizable name guest star, David Deluise, would be the guilty one.
Case solved, everyone begins to celebrate Christmas. The squints have a party. Cam puts a bow on Zach's head.
Booth gives money back to the security guard who was pickpocketed and gets a hug from them. Then, back at his desk, a police officer brings Parker in to see him. Did Rebecca change her mind or are they still leaving for the airport soon? We learn that the boy ran away from home. Went to a policeman and said his father worked for the FBI. That's how he got to the office. Booth calls Rebecca and promises to take Parker to Vermont after they spend Christmas day together.
After the squint party, Bones is looking at her plane ticket to Peru. Soon enough we learn she's opted not to go. She turns up at the trailer to be with her family.
She and her father agree it's the best Christmas they've had in 16 years.
Booth sets up a Christmas tree for her family outside of the trailer and the fence around the prison. He hooks it up to the car engine electricity and it's aglow with lights that they can look out of the window and see. Bones talks to him on the phone as she looks out the window and says she loves her gift.
Booth: "Merry Christmas, Bones." As he looks at her across the lot, it seems like he is almost near tears.